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To be a designer in 2012 and beyond, you need to know something about neuromarketing (see the last article below). Not to manipulate people but to understand the process we all go through in making decisions. 

It wasn't that long ago that a graphic designer's job was primarily to take the message and present it. In many cases, the reasoning behind the message had already been determined by someone up the food chain. 

Today the designer has got to be much more a part of understanding and implementing communications. We employ designs within systems that are, for all intents and purposes, part of the design. That job requires a new, far more complex set of skills. I figure you can be intimidated by it or marvel at the changes, embrace them, and come along for the ride.

Hope you are well, Chuck
Check out my InDesign Ideabook...
315 template files in 19 different categories -- Everything from brochures, newsletters, and direct mail to packaging, calendars, and books (one CD works with both Mac and PC). Use two or three files and you'll pay for the entire book and disc...
For Adobe InDesign... Here  For QuarkXPress... Here 

Where web designers find web developers

It seems to me that there is an ever-increasing chasm between the fields of web design and web development. (I'm using the terms here to distinguish between the design of a website [web design] and the programatic execution of the design [web development]).

And, thought I know many designers who dabble in development and developers who dabble in design, I don't know many who are experts at both disciplines. Even among the most talented developers, it is rare to find
those familiar with more than a few platforms.

When it comes to content management systems, for example, developers often specialize in one or a few, such as Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, ExpressionEngine, and so on. Currently I am working on projects that require development on no less than four platforms: BigCommerce, Joomla, Drupal, and Movable Type.

So where does a designer find a developer? Certainly my first choice is to get a recommendation from someone I know. But beyond that, I must search developers out.

Today I want to point you some of the many sites dedicated to, among other things, connecting designers to developers. I have some personal experience with but I have not used any of the others. So I'm anxious to hear how you find developers and about your experiences in the process.

Haha... I'm still looking for a Joomla freelancer... do you know a great one? Here Here Here Here Here Here Here 

Want more choices? Here's a big list complete with reviews (a bit out of date but comprehensive)... Here 

Who's using what content management system... Here

Paris through the eyes of photographer Mayeul Akpovi... Here 

The fine art of emblem design

I really like these bold, old-school emblems designed by Richie Stewart at Commoner. They are not only distinctive, you can imagine how versatile this type of stark, on or off design is in everyday use.

Example 1... Here 

Example 2... Here  

Example 3... Here

The Commoner home page... Here 

A goldmine of graphic design inspiration: bicycle head badges

While we're on the subject of emblems (my last post) check out this glorious collection of bicycle head badges. Need some inspiration? I particularly like the wealth of ideas for integrating typography with imagery.

The Bicycle Head Badge group pool on flickr... Here 

Example 1... Here 

Example 2... Here 

Example 3... Here  

My son Rob Green is updating his portfolio be compatable with the new Apple Retina screen technology... nice... Here 

May I recommend...

Topaz Labs... Killer add-ons for Adobe Photoshop Here A huge library of top-quality, design-oriented tutorials. Click here for a 7-day free trial. Here Thousands of typefaces from hundreds of foundries... Here 

How to transform photographic images into logos and icons

These vector mosaic icons of beer bottles created by illustrator Inaki Soria Izquierdo got me thinking about how we translate photographic imagery into graphic objects. His illustrations look almost as if he pixelated a photograph to and extreme and stylized it. In any case it got me wondering how I'd do something similar.

If you're using Adobe Illustrator, there's a pretty easy way to do it (below). You simply place an image and use the "Create object mosaic" option.

You'll also find a few links to illustrator Charis Tsevis who creates complex mosaics using other techniques.

Izquierdo's ultra-mosaic beer bottles... Here 

This tutorial from offers a good orientation... Here 

The IKEA mosaic campaign from Sweden by illustrator Charis Tsevis... Here 

A detailed look at the same illustrations ... Here 

An example by Tsevis that is more like the beer bottles... Here 

Tsevis' website... Here 

Tsevis' blog shows some of the other effects he uses and discusses his toolset... Here 

From the Design Store

Tintbook CMYK Process Color Selector: A palette of 25,000 CMYK process colors in print... Here 

Color Harmony Guide: From French designer Dominique Trapp... Here  

Communicating With Color: Based on Leatrice Eiseman's seminars on the psychology of color... Here 

Graphic Design, Referenced: A Visual Guide to Graphic Design: One of my favorite design books... Here 

Bored with conventional entertainment?

Spend a couple of hours standing around a convenience store -- I did the other day when my car broke down and I was waiting for a tow truck. 

The most fun was the guy, with out-of-state license plates, who drove in with smoke pouring from under the hood. In the next half hour he shuttled the frail, elderly woman with him inside (for the air conditioning) and took me aside to explain the reasons we should all eat gelatin twice a month (something about sticky cholesterol).

The woman behind the counter went to grab a chair for the elderly lady and was rewarded for her kindness by a slug who took the opportunity to grab some energy drinks and run off without paying (I missed that but she told me about it after the fact.)

Next, the guy with the car bought a roll of paper towels to wipe up the antifreeze his car left in the parking lot -- rolling them out across twenty feet of pavement. (Just fastidious I guess.)

But the real entertainment started when he pulled a violin from the trunk of his car and started playing. And soon after, to his delight, when another random customer pulled out a harmonica to accompany him.

Is America great or what?

Would you join me on Facebook? Here 

When graphic design fires on all cylinders

This invitation from the Minneapolis, Minnesota branding firm Cue is, to me, full-strength design. Full-strength means it works on many different levels: the concept, the overall look and feel, the typography, the color palette, the diversity of patterns and shapes, and so on.

When it happens, it's a joy to see.

The Emerald & Ruby invitation for the Children's Theatre Company... Here 

Two other examples of out-of-the-ordinary work produced by Cue - the first... Here 

and second... Here 

What graphic designers need to know about neuromarketing

The term "neuromarketing" has been around since the early 2000s. It refers to the study of consumer behavior through data gathered by various scientific means - magnetic resonance imaging, respiratory response, EEG measurement, and so on.

That all sounds interesting, but I'm particularly interested when I see experts translating the data into understandable actions. To that end, I think this piece by M.P. Mueller for the New York Times You're the Boss blog (and some associated information) is worth a look.

The Secret of Neuromarketing: Go for the Pain... Here 

The source of the information is Christophe Morin, a researcher with SalesBrain... Here 

My friend Sean D'Souza is the author of The Brain Audit. It too focuses on identifying problems (pain) as a the primary way of moving people to action... Here 

BTW... if you're looking intelligent small business marketing advice I recommend you test drive The Cave at Sean's Here 

PBS's Frontline did a study which included references to neuromarketing back in 2004: The Persuaders (click "Watch the full program online")... Here 

About this newsletter

I try to remain as objective as possible about the information I share here. Unless I tell you otherwise, I receive no compensation from the organizations and people mentioned except for occasional product samples. I am an affiliate of and -- that means, if you purchase something from them, I get a small commission. Comments? Suggestions? Write me at [email protected] -- Chuck Green