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I'm frustrated. 
Everyone wants me to log into everything using my Facebook, Google, or Twitter account so they can "customize" the experience for me.

Hogwash. They couldn't care less about me. They want to aggregate my online behaviors so they can show me what they think I want to see. That's not convenience, that's not a better user experience, that--plain and simple--is manipulation.

If I had their ear I'd tell them this, "I warn you folks, people are not going to put up with it. You are driving away your customers, clients, and readers."

Thanks for listening,

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

What is your motive for work?


"In professional interactions, it turns out that most people operate as either takers, matchers, or givers. Whereas takers strive to get as much as possible from others and matchers aim to trade evenly, givers are the rare breed of people who contribute to others without expecting anything in return." That's an overview from the publisher of Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam M. Grant Ph.D.

I point you to it because I know lots of designers fall into the givers category and I think you'll want to read the insights about how you can operate without being exploited.

Thanks to Brain Pickings and Maria Popova for pointing us to it.

A Wharton interview with Adam Grant...  Here

For the Harvard Business Review: In the Company of Givers and Takers by Adam Grant...  Here

Grant's Wharton bio...  Here

Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam M. Grant Ph.D...  Here

A website dedicated to the book...  Here

Are you a taker, a matcher, or a giver? Find out here...  Here

The art, design, and science of medical illustration

To paraphrase Woody Allen: I am not a hypochondriac - what I am is an alarmist. Hence, I don't typically spend a lot of time looking a medical illustrations.

But there is no escaping it, medical illustration is a fascinating segment of the illustration and graphic design professions.

I received an email recently from Karen Clark, the studio manager
at the AXS Biomedical Animation Studio in Toronto, Canada - she pointed to their work and I wanted to share it with you.

Which lead me, of course, to dig deeper...

Watch for the AXS Studio's 3D Brain 13 seconds in...  Here

A great, funny animation piece from the AXS Studio...  Here

The AXS website...  Here

From The Association of Medical Illustrators: The 25th Edition of the Medical Illustration Sourcebook...  Here

If you care to brave it, a History of Medical Illustration by Benjamin Mandel, MD...  Here

About the profession from the American Medical Association (67KB PDF)...  Here

While where at it, Hypochondria: An Inside Look by Woody Allen...  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

Proofreaders and copyeditors: One or two spaces after a period?

I heart proofreaders and copyeditors. They have a tough, mostly thankless job - the very nature of which is to demonstrate, at best, how careless and inattentive their client is, and, at worst, how downright illiterate.

So, when I get a solicitation from a proofreader, my radar goes up and I scan it for any possible problems in the hope I might find something to point out. Not to be helpful, but to get some gut-level payback for all the times an editor or proofreader has made me feel like Cro-Magnon man.

It was the receipt of an email message from a proofreader last week that got me started. Horrors, I thought, they are using two spaces after each period! I dashed off an immediate reply, "Two spaces after a period? I exclaimed, "I thought those of us who have abandoned typewriters were using one?"

"It's just a style choice," replied the proofreader, "not actually incorrect."

"I understand," I said, "but it is clearly considered a mistake if you include it in text for publication. That would seem to be an important issue for a proofreader."

"As a designer," I explained, "if I had you proofread a document and you allowed double spaces, I would have to correct them myself or be corrected by an editor down the road."

If you doubt the near-universal application of the rule (and, god forbid, if you use two spaces yourself), you have only to look at any top selling publication from a major publisher. In a quick look, I couldn't find a single contemporary book or magazine with double spacing following a full stop.

Is this minutia? Yes, but it (momentarily) made me feel superior to someone who is doubtlessly more intelligent than myself. Of course now I will suffer the countless corrections of my grammar, punctuation, and veracity that are sure to follow.

Here, for you minutia men (and women), is some further discussion...

The Chicago Manual of Style...  Here

The Modern Language Association...  Here

Mignon Fogarty...  Here

For the broad view...  Here

Interested in the topic? Get The McGraw-Hill Desk Reference for Editors, Writers, and Proofreaders ...  Here

What happens to your digital estate and online holdings when you die?

This is the first time I've read anything that addresses how you might bequeath your online assets. A very interesting, new world subject.

Thanks for bringing it to our attention Fred.

Fred Showker: What happens to your digital estate and online holdings when you die?...  Here

The New York Times: Cyberspace When You're Dead...  Here is a think tank for digital death and legacy issues...  Here

In case you missed it, an earlier post about Fred Showker and The Design & Publishing Center...  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

Learn to "create time stacks" using Photoshop

Tim Girvin points us to the ethereal images of photographer Matt Molloy. As I understand it he uses Photoshop to combine large numbers of still images to create what he calls "time stacks."

Example 1...  Here

Example 2...  Here

Example 3...  Here

Molloy's Time Stacks Flickr set...  Here 

About the technique...  Here

More on time stacks from Molloy...  Here

An earlier post about Tim Girvin...  Here

All about the "flat design" trend

Late last year we discussed the decline of the skeuomorphic interface. This year we're looking at it from the opposite angle: flat design.

That's the term given to the trend of simple, (for the most part) shadowless imagery that seems to proliferate so much recent UI design.

Thanks to Jeff Fisher for pointing us to the catalyst for this post, a recent article in The New York Times titled "The Flattening of Design."

An example of flat design by Haraldur Thorleifsson...  Here

"The Flattening of Design" by Nick Bilton from The New York Times...  Here

"The World Is Flat: The Flat Design Trend" from the Apartment Therapy website...  Here

Examples from  Here

And, for a look at the mobile side: the Flat UI Design page on  Here

The Re-imagining of Microsoft with Albert Shum from the Windows Phone team and Todd Simmons of Wolff Olins... Here

Here's where you'll find designer Jeff Fisher...  Here

My earlier post about the decline of the skeuomorphic interface...  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