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A question for you...

What makes graphic design in your country, region, or city different than everyone else's?

Are there bloggers, professional organizations, studios, advertising agencies, and so on - that you refer to to keep up with design trends in your part of the world.

To be clear, I'm not looking for international resources -- the stuff we all find through a typical search of the web -- my hope, instead, is to get an idea of what distinguishes, if anything, the graphic design business in your spot from everywhere else.

There might be differences regarding technical details, measurements, religious or political influences, language and typography, legal restrictions on professional practices, pervasive color palettes, trends in design styles, particularly influential individuals or organizations, and so on.

I'd like to learn what those differences might be.

The reason I ask is I'd like to write an article examining this issue. Please send you answers to chuckgreen(a)ideabook.com and use the "Subject:" "Design by region."

Thanks in advance for anything you're willing to share.

Be well,
Chuck

Join me on Facebook... Here


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


Were they this sophisticated at theatrical mechanics in the 1600s?


I happened to see a scene from the film Vatel recently and was fascinated by the elaborate, mechanical set designs. The film's set designer, Françoise Benoît-Fresco and art director, Jean Rabasse received an Oscar nomination for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration in 2001.

I'm curious if this type of mechanical display was an invention of the filmmakers or if such displays were common in the 1600s. If so, is there a term for the craft?

One of the set designs... Here 

A still of another set from Vatel... Here


Quick takes...


Wow, they're still making Rubylith! There was a time when every graphic designer had a roll of it (or Amberlith) sitting within reach. Now, I bet there are plenty of graphic designers who never heard the word. (Lucky you.)  Here

Some beautiful typographic sculpture... Here

I don't think people/organizations should call themselves innovative should they? It seems like a term someone else needs to convey -- yes?


Humor and graphic design


I picked up some good ideas from these pieces on writing humor. Humor and graphic design? Absolutely.

I think we shouldn't shy away from the possibility of using humor, comedy, jokes, cartoons and such, to communicate idea. They are, afterall, well understood ways of seeing, understanding, and relating to ideas. Plus they offer the potential for producing something that is refreshing and out of the ordinary.

"Graphic design is the paradise of individuality, eccentricity, heresy, abnormality, hobbies and humors." George Santayana

In no particular order...

10 ways to improve your writing while thinking like a comedy writer by Leigh Anne Jasheway... Here

How to Write Like a Cartoonist by Scott Adams... Here

Dave Barry On Humor... Here


A HUGE collection of photographs with "no known copyright restrictions"


It's called The Commons and it is a colaboration between many large institutions - libraries, archives, museums, and so on - and Flickr, the photo management and sharing application.

As they explain it, "The key goals of The Commons on Flickr are to firstly show you hidden treasures in the world's public photography archives, and secondly to show how your input and knowledge can help make these collections even richer."

And, regarding the Rights Statement, "Participating institutions may have various reasons for determining that 'no known copyright restrictions' exist..."

As always, it is your resposibility to read the small print and to determine what you can actually use and what situations you can use it in.

Example 1... Here

Example 2... Here
 
Example 3... Here

Example 4... Here

Example 5... Here
 
Example 6... Here
 
Example 7... Here 

Example 8... Here 

The Commons home page... Here 

About usage plus a list of participating institutions... Here 


Learn 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 
 

Meet designer Walter Hansen


I like how many of Hansen's illustrations allow the typography to dominate.

Example 1... Here   

Example 2... Here   

Example 3... Here  

Hansen's website... Here 


If you use this link to buy your type from MyFonts.com, you won't pay any more but I'll get a kickback and will be one step closer to getting that English manor house. 
Here 


The next generation of presentation software 

 
Have you heard about Prezi? I hadn't. It's a next generation presentation tool - certainly an alternative to PowerPoint - but a very different type of tool.

The idea with Prezi is you create a big poster-like layout, populate it with all the parts of your presentation, and then using the software features to animate the telling of your story by zooming in and out of various parts to reveal as may levels of detail as you want to build into it.

To present it, it appears you can then either click through the finished program as you would a convention presentation (with the added interest of all types of effects, pans, and zooms of your layout), or you can, using other production tools, output it to video complete with a soundtrack.

It's pretty cool. I'm sure purists probably think it is gimmicky, but I think, it has potential. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts.

In another life, one of my jobs was to create corporate presentations and multi-projector slide shows. Compared to today's software, creating a multi-projector slide show was amaziningly complex process and many times more expensive.

One thing I am certain of is this: The key to any type of presentation is - video, audio, and static images - you'll never have a good presentation until you have a compelling idea, an interesting script, and a clear understanding of timing and visual storytelling. You can do all the cool moves in the world and but without the goods you're just going to end up with Waterworld.

A bit of slide show trivia. 78 percent of all multi-projector slide shows created in the between 1970 and 1990 used one of two themes for their soundtrack: 2001: A Space Odyssey or Chariots of Fire. (I'm just making that up but if you can rememeber that far back, you'll probably agree.)

Thanks much to Gregory Duchesne (and his daughter) for pointing us to Prezi.

Introduction... Here 

This is how it works...
 Here 

Example 1... Here  

Example 2... Here    

Example 3... Here    

Prezi.com is software as a service (SAAS), meaning it is hosted on the cloud. Here's the website... Here 

Lisa Larson-Kelley will help you learn to create your presentation on Lynda.com through this new course: Up and Running with Prezi. (Note: All lynda.com courses have a few clips marked in green that you can preview for free. And, if it looks good, you can get a free week of full access to all Lynda.com tutorials by signing up using the banner below.) 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