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I'd like to think I judge people by patterns of behavior -- not one stupid misstep or the worst thing they've ever said to me. I rarely succeed.

I was thinking today about the idea that how customers judge products and services presents the same problem -- we seem to remember the best or the worst. That's why first impressions are so important. If customers start with a negative, I think (in many cases) it is almost impossible to turn them around -- at least without some type of significant, personalized intervention.

Not judgmental? Try a different word: discernment. In either case, I believe judging and categorizing ideas, situations, products, and people is human nature and, in some cases, at the very root of basic survival.

Be well,

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 

This is my Frankenstein's monster

The Oxford Dictionary USA Word of the Year 2012 is GIF. In large part, that is because Joshua Heineman started playing with GIF animation in Photoshop based on old stereographs he found through the New York Public Library.

"One evening in my final year of college," he explains, "I was downloading digital snapshots to my laptop when I got a fleeting sense of 3D as the preview screen flicked quickly between two similar shots. I located the individual photos and flipped back and forth between them continually. The parallax effect of minor changes between the two perspectives created a sustained sense of dimension that approximated the effect of stereo viewing. When I realized how the effect was working, I set about discovering if I could capture the same illusion by layering both sides of an old stereograph in Photoshop and displaying the result as an animated gif."

The rest, as they say, is history. At the end of his introduction on the NYPL Stereogranimator website, Heineman says, "This is my Frankenstein's monster. Now, thanks to the NYPL Labs team, this is your monster, too. Enjoy."

Get out there and GIF!

The Oxford Dictionaries USA Word of the Year 2012 is GIF...  Here 

Example 1...  Here 

Example 2...  Here 

Example 3...  Here 

Create your own GIF The New York Public Library's Stereogranimator website...  Here 

The Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) file format has been around since the early days of CompuServe - in fact, they developed it...  Here 

I've been doing rudimentary animation for many years. Back in the dark ages we did simple animations for presentations using IBM Storyboard. Anyone else remember that?...  Here
I previously pointed you to this perpetual world of GIF animations...  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 

We are all artists now

Here is a smart, insightful, and uplifting new manifesto by Seth Godin: We Are All Artists Now. I'm not pointing you to it because Seth is a well known writer and some might find it useful, I'm suggesting you read it because it is brilliant and important.

This little nugget is a new fundamental...

Quality Is Assumed

We assume that you will make something to spec.

We assume that the lights will go on when we flip the switch.

We assume that the answer is in Wikipedia.

All we're willing to pay you extra for is what we don't assume, what we can't get easily and regularly and for free. We need you to provide the things that are unexpected, scarce, and valuable.

The manifesto gives you a taste of his upcoming book, The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?

The website...  Here
We Are All Artists Now (427KB PDF)...  Here 

You can pre-order the The Icarus Deception here...  Here
Seth's blog...  Here 

Meet the new generation of design rule-breakers

We are living in a world of seemingly perpetual breakthroughs. How do designers do it? By looking at a problem and throwing out all the preconceived notions.

Here's a beautiful example: In late 2011, Zhang Yue and his Chinese-based construction company, Broad Sustainable Building, built a 30-story building in 15 days; now it intends to use similar methods to erect the world's tallest building in just seven months.

How you build a 30-story hotel in 15 days...  Here

An article from Wired Magazine about the Zhang Yue and his company BSB - Broad Sustainable Building...  Here 

BSB's website...  Here 

Meet illustrator Cindy Salans Rosenheim

I use a particular illustration style to, in part, portray a specific mood. When I see this style I think optimistic, bright, earthy, and relaxed.

Example 1...   Here 

Example 2...  Here 

Example 3...   Here 

Cindy Salans Rosenheim's website...  Here 

I noticed Cindy spent 3 years as an artist with Hallmark Cards in Kansas City. Based on the number of illustrators and typographers I've seen with Hallmark on their resume, I assume it is a good proving ground...  Here 

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

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

One minute movies -- Adweek's 10 Best Commercials of 2012

Even if you don't agree these are the "best" you will certainly appreciate the quality of the storytelling and the (often amazing) production values.

10. Carlton Draught, "Beer Chase"...  Here 

9Axe, "Susan Glenn"...  Here 

8Procter & Gamble, "Best Job"...  Here 

7Chrysler, "Its Halftime in America"...  Here 

6Red Bull, "Red Bull Stratos"...  Here 

5Old Milwaukee, "Field Cut Off"...  Here 

4DirecTV, "Charlie Sheen"...  Here 

3Wideroe Airlines, "Grandpa's Magic Trick"...  Here 

2Nike, "Jogger"...  Here 

1The Guardian, "Three Little Pigs"...  Here 

Will you join me on Facebook?  Here 

Does Microsoft's redesign signal the decline of the skeuomorphic interface?

I want to point you to an interesting discussion on Quora about the ultra-simple design grid and tiles being used on Microsoft Windows 8 and within application interfaces created using its Metro design language.

It seems that increasing numbers of designers are abandoning the skeuomorphic-rich interfaces that have been so prevalent in the ramp up years of personal computing.

The term is new to me. In the digital world, a skeuomorph is an object the visually emulates an object in the physical world in the hope that the viewer will associate a similar action or feeling to it. In other words, a designer might use a three-dimensional button with shadows and reflections to communicate that, like a physical button, it begs to be pushed.

Why is Microsoft headed backwards with graphics?... Here 

From Fast Company: About the Windows 8 redesign... Here 

This NYT article points to possible design changes at Apple...  Here 

If you're interested in the nitty gritty... 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