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Apologies in advance. If you appreciate beautifully designed maps as much as I do, you're going to spend a lot of time on the last entry of this briefing -- The OldMapsOnline Portal...

Be well, Chuck

Have you seen 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 
 15 out-of-the-ordinary gifts for graphic designers

Looking for something a little unusual for your favorite graphic designer? These picks will get you started and each land you in places with many other ideas. Enjoy!  
 Need a job? Find your passion

It sounds hokey, but people really do create their own jobs by following their passion. Sometimes you have to be a little crazy, but that's part of the satisfaction in doing it. Today's post was a nice reminder for me.

Wendy Tsao decided to start a business making one of a kind soft toys based on children's drawings. It sounds as if she started out to make money but found that true wealth was in finding her passion.

"In the beginning," she explains, "I treated it as a business, which is fine. And then one day, I started to receive a lot of attention and inquiries, as well as advice on how to grow the business. But the thing is, I realized that Child's Own Studio is not just a business for me; it's really a craft. On some days, when I'm good, it's an art form. And that's where I want to be. Making good art."

Thanks to Daphne Gray-Grant, The Publication Coach, for pointing us to it.

The child's drawing...  Here 

The resulting soft toy...  Here 

Tip of the iceberg...  Here
Wendy Tsao's website  Here 

Copywriter Daphne Gray-Grant's website...  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 

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

Meet designer and illustrator Adam Hill

Adam Hill is all over the place - in a good way. I love how he is able to bring a very different look and feel to each of the pieces he produces. That, to me, is the mark of a truly talented designer.

Example 1...  Here 

Example 2...  Here 

Example 3...  Here 

An interview with Adam Hill...  Here
Hill's website...  Here 

Hill's Flickr account...  Here 

Will you join me on Facebook? Here 
Graphic designers and marketers: Here's why I recommend the Big Commerce e-commerce platform

I created a web store for a client recently using Big Commerce. It's my first experience with this particular platform and I must say I am favorably impressed. (I also have some experience with E-Junkie, Volusion, VirtualCart, Magento, and a couple of others.)

I assure you I did my homework. To me, there are at least five prerequisites to buying into this type of "software as a service" (SaaS):

A robust feature set. Big Commerce has a robust feature set, a comprehensive set of tools for designing and marketing the website, and a client-friendly interface for capturing and processing orders.

Reasonable price. My client is paying $25 per month for the site and no transaction fees - that is a bargain. I liked Shopify too but I couldn't justify the additional transaction fees in this particular case.

Good corporate reputation and outlook. TechCrunch reported in September that Big Commerce had raised it's funding to $35 million and that "The company, which has 30,000 clients and is profitable, also launched an application for merchants to list inventory on Facebook." The company's sales, marketing and support teams are headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA and their engineering and product team is headquartered in Sydney, Australia.

Exceptional technical support. I used Big Commerce live chat support many times as I ramped up, as well as their comprhensive knowledge-base and video tutorial library.

Active user community. I can't emphasize enough how important that figure of 30,000 users is. It gives the organization the momentum and capital necessary to keep the platform current with ever-changing technological and user interface advancements.

If you find yourself in need of an e-commerce platform, this is a solid one. Now is a particularly good time to sign on as they have recently begun rolling out a new interface and website. My experience has been a good one.

Full-disclosure - I was impressed enough that I signed up for their affiliate program so if you use this linke to sign up, I'll get a small commission if you decide to open an account.

The Big Commerce website...  Here 

Here (from BuiltWith) is a current list of the most common platforms listed by the number of users...  Here 

Adobe establishes itself in the burgeoning open source typeface arena

Adobe has taken another step on the web font front. First it acquired Typekit, a paid service that allows you to choose from a library of typefaces and easily apply them to your web pages. Now they have launched Adobe Edge Web Fonts, a free service that allows you to apply open sources typefaces in much the same way.

Adobe's first open source typeface family, Source Sans Pro, was released in August.

Adobe Edge Web Fonts...  Here 

The announcement...  Here 

How it works...  Here 

Source Sans Pro: Adobe's first open source type family...  Here
Adobe's extensive conventional typeface collection is available here...  Here
May I recommend...

Media Temple... Rock-solid hosting services. Click her for a free trial.  Here 

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 

If you're into map and information design, put aside a day then click on this link

That's no exaggeration. If you appreciate maps and information design, you could easily spend days searching the OldMapsOnline Portal. In short, the site is a visual search engine for finding online historical maps across many different map collections around the world. It is simply amazing.

And that's just the half of it. My friend Daniel Will-Harris introduced me to the David Rumsey Map Collection - one of the many collections the OldMapsOnline Portal incorporates in its searches.

It is easy to get lost in the Rumsey Collection too. It not only offers countless conventional maps, the also includes photographs, illustrations, and many pieces that I would classify as information design.

The OldMapsOnline Portal...  Here 

The David Rumsey Collection, Aerial photographs of San Francisco, 1938...  Here 

The David Rumsey Collection, illustration of the Maple Grove Herd...  Here
The David Rumsey Collection, information graphic of the Geographical distribution of indigenous vegetation...  Here

The Rumsey website home page...  Here
Browse the collection by category...  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