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I'm wondering if you'd take a few moments this week to help me to research the development of a possible product. If so, I have a question:

What hard copy tools -- notebooks, pictures, lists, pads, reminders, tables, charts, and so on -- do you keep on or near your desk to refer to occasionally?

For example, here's some of the stuff I keep a close hand...

> a card with fraction to decimal conversion chart
> a list of words I chronically misspell
> a Field Notes Calendar
> a Moleskine notebook
> a stack of lined 3x5 cards
> a pad of Bienfang Parchment Tracing Paper
> a Rolodex that I look at once every couple of months ...and so on.

If you are willing to share, I'd like to hear about it in as much detail as possible. My aim is to discover how much you still rely on old school tools. Please send your answer to chuckgreen(a)ideabook.com.

Thanks in advance. Now on with the news...

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 

Welcome to the graphic design laboratory

Though Stefan Sagmeister is often billed as a graphic designer, I think of him as more of an artist - in either case, he is clearly an innovative thinker. So it is no wonder that two of his protégés - Hjalti Karlsson and Jan Wilker - peeled off during a Sagmeister sabbatical to form a studio of their own - karlssonwilker.

Though I think of their work as experimental, I point you to it because I think you'll find the seeds of many worthwhile ideas.

First, click on "Work" to experience the menuing system...  Here 

Example 1...  Here 

Example 2...  Here

Example 3...  Here 

This is particularly interesting: In the store they share digital artifacts - sketches, in-process drawings, quick ideas, rough layouts, and so on...  Here

The karlssonwilker Reel...  Here

Sagmeister today...  Here

For purchasing fonts...

I use Myfonts.com. The most comprehensive, diverse collection of typefaces and foundries on the web...  Here

Meet illustrator Sean Freeman

I really like the how Sean Freeman makes typography appear to live and breathe.

Example 1...  Here

Example 2...  Here

Example 3...  Here 

Sean Freeman's website...  Here 

Grab this all-in-one cheat sheet for image sizes on all the popular social media networks

Analytics consultant LunaMetrics.com has just updated its comprehensive image sizing cheat sheet for these social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest.

Thanks to my friend Jessica Jones for pointing us to it...

The sheet...  Here
 
Would you want to be surrounded by people who were paid to tell you what you want to hear?

If you don't, I encourage you to take a close look at all of the privacy, security, and search settings of the web applications and search engines you use - because that's exactly what they do.

For those who are unaware, many environments include algorithms that record the fact that you like "A" and assume by it that you'll like "B". And based on that accumulated data, they begin to feed you more and more of what they perceive are your interests to the exclusion of other perfectly valid, useful information. It is what Eli Pariser calls a "filter bubble".

I bring it to your attention because I would seem to mean that we are less likely to stumble across the material we're not looking for - and that those chance encounters, to my way of thinking, serve up some of life's most profound learning experiences.

Don't get me wrong, I want to see content providers compensated for what they provide (I am one) - and for advertisers to reach their audiences. But I don't believe in someone else deciding what I should see, and hear, and read about - and certainly not without it being explained up front and prominently.

In his TED talk, Pariser quotes Eric Schmidt, Google's CEO, as saying, "The power of individual targeting - the technology will be so good it will be very hard for people to watch or consume something that has not in some sense been tailored for them."

Yes, every platform obviously needs to determine what data it chooses to present, but when you show me one thing and the next person something different, that's when I begin to worry. In the interest of transparency I'd like to know, first, that you're doing it, and second, about the assumptions you're making in deciding what to show.

Eli Pariser's TED talk...  Here 

10 Things You Can Do from Pariser's website...  Here

There are mentions of the issue in this recent conversation form the NYT: Are We Becoming Cyborgs?...  Here

The WSJ, Holman Jenkins article from which the Eric Schmidt quote was taken...  Here
 
For learning virtually any software program...

I recommend Lynda.com... A huge library of top-quality, design-oriented tutorials. Click here for a 7-day free trial.  Here

Graphic designers: Discover a new way of making your print projects come alive

Near field communication (NFC) has been around for a while but it is just now becoming into play in a big way because more smartphone now incorporate the technology. (Some are speculating that the next iteration of the iPhone will include NFC capabilities.)

In a nutshell, NFC is a standard the allows two smartphones or similar devices to trade information by bringing them into close proximity of one another (I've read roughly 4 centimeters or 1.5 inches). You've likely seen the technology been touted as a futuristic way to complete a credit card-like financial transaction.

But what is particularly interesting to me is that you can also attach a paper-thin NFC chip to a printed piece or even embed it within printed material. That means you can instantly connect the reader of your business card, poster, brochure, or other collateral piece, to virtually any online source.

If you're not already on board, it's time to start thinking about ways of incorporating this up and coming technology into what we produce.

Here's the idea...  Here

Moo has introduced a business card with an NFC embedded inside...  Here

Case studies form SMARTRAC (a manufacturer of NFC transponders and inlays)...  Here

Volvelles: Examples of early interactive design

I caught sight of a few nice volvelles (wheel charts) recently and decided to do a little research and share it with you. Hope this is not a lost art - the form has been around for many hundreds of years.

Example 1...  Here

Example 2...  Here

Example 3...  Here

More of Kirsten Hively's volvelle collection...  Here
 
Defining the term volvelle [vol-vel]...  Here 

Hooked? You might want a copy of Reinventing the Wheel by Jessica Helfand...  Here 

Or design one of your own...  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 Lynda.com and MyFonts.com -- that means, if you purchase something from them, I get a small commission. Comments? Suggestions? Write me at [email protected] -- Chuck Green