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Are you an encouragment to other designers?

A thought: Think of a designer you admire and send them message telling them, specifically, why you appreciate their work -- make it real, make it personal. Whether it's a colleague or an absolute stranger, it's a gesture they will not soon forget.

What have you got to lose?

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 

How do you market and design for a commodity product

Do you or your client have a commodity product? Something that has no real, distinctive advantage over its competitor?

Then you drop the product into a story. You present it in a way that gives people a reason to take notice of it.

Here is a smart, real-life example of how it's done.

The Commodity Challenge...  Here

The Redgate Design Website...  Here

Graphic design and conspiracy theories

In Vietnam, plastic model manufacturer Tamiya enlisted the help of Ogilvy to create a campaign reintroducing it to the next generation Vietnamese. Jay Furby and Todd McCracken of Ogilvy in Ho Chi Minh City contracted with Cirkus animation house to produce 3D digital representations of model parts for a ficticious line of products - five famous conspiracy theories and they called it "Put it together."

I like the idea of using a product in such an unexpected way.

The Moon Landing...  Here
Roswell...  Here
Marilyn Monroe...  Here
JFK...  Here
Elvis...  Here
The Cirkus website...  Here
Attention people who would be interested in a Popeye surface-to-air launcher crayon set...

I thought it would be good to qualify this post as not to tie up the folks who aren't interested in such trivia. What is Popeye surface-to-air launcher crayon set? It's a set of crayons produced during World War II that is now part of the collection of crayon aficionado, Ed Welter - one of thousands of sets he has found, rescued, and documented for his one-of-a-kind collection.

As a graphic designer, this stuff fascinates me on two levels. First, I was a crayon user. I don't remember how many sets I burned through as a kid, but it was the ultimate creative tool - a way of getting ideas on paper fast. And second, I love ephemera and old crayon sets (particularly their packaging), offer an interesting look at the designs and styles of the hundreds of years since crayons were first invented - Wikipedia tell us "The word "crayon" dates to 1644, coming from (chalk) and the Latin word creta (earth)."

If you're curious, here's enough to get you started.

This video piece by Patrick Rosenkranz offers a good introduction to Welter and his collection...  Here

This is Ed Welter's website. There are some broken image links but all of the content can be access through this table of contents...  Here 

The "crayon" page from  Here

An article about Welter from The Oregonian...  Here
If you use this link to buy your type from
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

A dramatic web design experience

The Shard - as in shard of glass - is a 72-storey skyscraper in London that opened to the public in February.

Today, I want to point you to a website designed by Francesca Panetta for The Guardian (the British national daily newspaper). It features a 360-degree, augmented-reality panorama of London, which not only presents the spectacular view but also points to places of interest and plays sounds from the city.

Nicely designed website. An experience not to be missed.

The view...  Here
An article about The Shard...  Here
An interview with the architect...  Here
The building's website...  Here

The architect is Renzo Piano. On his website, they call the building the "London Bridge Tower"...  Here

How to design amazing photographic, motion street scenes

Teehan+Lax - a design company in Toronto, Canada - is at it again. A couple of years ago I posted about their generosity in supplying Photoshop PSD files of the iPhone and iPad GUI.

Their latest contribution to the design community is a wonderful tool for creating hyper-lapse image sequences called Google Street View Hyperlapse.

It is a tool that uses data from Google's Street View API to help you define, capture, and create camera moves on Street View sequences.

First, a demonstration...  Here

And the details...  Here

If you want to custom code it you'll find it on GitHub...  Here

Don't say I didn't warn you - get started looking a these hyper-lapse videos and you're going to get stuck for at least an hour...  Here 

How is it done outside of Street Views? With cameras, dollies, and imagination. Here's one example...  Here

Here's the device used in the video above - I want one...  Here

Learn virtually any software program...

I recommend A huge library of top-quality, design-oriented tutorials. Click here for a 7-day free trial.  Here
One of the most intriguing collections of imagery I've ever seen

The Good Web Guide quotes the creator of this website, Chris Wild, as describing himself as a "retronaut" - someone who "goes back in time using just perception;" we travel in time he says in "that tiny, tiny moment, just before we grasp the fact that our beliefs are wrong."

I love the idea, but I love more. Wild serves up what is, perhaps, the most intreguing collections of imagery I've seen on the web.

Thanks to Bonnie Larner for pointing us to it.

Example 1: Artforms of nature...  Here

Example 2:The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover shoot...  Here   
Example 3: Interior of the Public Library of Cincinnati...  Here
The website - note that the image displayed is often just the first of, in many cases, an entire collection...  Here 

An article about Wild from The Good Web Guide...  Here
The concept and the piece from The Good Web Guide led me to a wealth of film ephemera on YouTube. I found this ride through San Francisco in 1900 particularly haunting...  Here

But this is closest to what I think Wild describes as a "retronaut" experience - a wonderfully enhanced piece from England during the Edwardian era...  Here

If, for some odd reason, you are unfamiliar with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, buy this immediately...  Here
Meet illustrator Jing Zhang

I like how Zhang uses layering and shadows to offset simple vector shapes. Nice color palettes too.

Example 1...  Here
Example 2...  Here
Example 3...  Here
Jing Zhang's website...  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