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My biggest challenge, as a designer, is overcoming my fear of committing to a specific solution.

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 

Does lighting (or a lack of it) influence your creative abilities?

Apparently so. A new study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology seems to lend some statistical validity to the idea that darkness promotes creativity.

The highlights...

* Dim illumination and priming darkness improve creative performance.

* Perceived freedom and a creativity-supportive processing style explain the effect.

* Light setting and the stage of the innovation process limit the effect's emergence.

For me, I think there's some truth to it. Darkness, to me, generally minimizes distractions and light within darkness allows me to focus on what I choose to light up.

Interesting stuff.

The abstract of Freedom from constraints: Darkness and dim illumination promote creativity...  Here

An analysis...  Here

Haha... Robert Klein says, "A squirrel is a rat with good public relations." Ahh, the power of marketing...

Announcing the next generation "CC" desktop applications from Adobe

I guess we've been talking about this for a decade now-that there would come a time when you would no longer buy boxed software but use it as a service. If you subscribe to Adobe's Creative Cloud, you know that time has arrived.

With this new way of working, you log in one morning (as I did this morning) and a new set of features is available and if you choose to, you can download and begin using them on the spot.

Today, I find a whole new set of desktop applications labeled "CC." They are the new Creative Cloud versions of Adobe's software suite-products such as InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator.

And that, for all intents and purposes, marks the end of an era for Adobe. Now, if you want the next best thing, you'll have to sign onto the Creative Cloud solution. And, for what it costs, I don't see why you wouldn't.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I have signed on as an Adobe Affiliate. That means, if you are kind enough to use one of the links below to sign up for the service, I get a small commission. I can already smell the salted air of the beach house those commissions will buy... in the year 2185.)

Adobe's Creative Cloud story...  Here

Here, for example, is the new Creative Cloud version of Photoshop-Photoshop CC...  Here 

The press release announcing the next generation of "CC" desktop applications...  Here

You may recall we discussed the fact that Adobe was switching to the Creative Cloud exclusively back in May...  Here

Here's the drop down menu that awaited me this morning...  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

Hats off to the client that pays you to remind its customers its product could kill them

Julian Frost, the animator of this wonderful little piece, said: "What an odd thing it is for a company to pay us to joyfully remind you that their products may kill you. I read somewhere that train accidents have gone down since the video. I hope that's true!" quotes Chloe Alsop, marketing manager of Metro Trains, as saying: "This campaign is designed to draw people to the safety message, rather than frighten them away."

It works.

"The Dumb Ways to Die: devised by John Mescall and Pat Baron of McCann Melbourne, lyrics by John Mescall, music by Ollie McGill, vocals by Emily Lubitz, and characters and animation by Julian Frost...  Here

A discussion of the piece on, an Australian media website...  Here

The Dumb Ways to Die website...  Here

A heads-up for new users of LinkedIn...

LinkedIn is not Facebook. Connecting on LinkedIn is about sharing professional contacts with other people who share your interests and network.

If two or more of these apply, I think twice about a connection request...

1. The person doesn't include a picture of themselves.

2. We seem to have none of the same interests.

3. They use the default message, "I'd like to add you to my professional network."

4. They have less than 25 connections.

5. I can't find email correspondance from them.

6. There's no first party connection listed under, "How You're Connected."

I know other folks who have much more stringent requirements. How about you?

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

The fascinating, quirky field of broadcast news design

I was watching a news program the other day and it occurred to me how one-dimensional news set design seems to be. By that I mean there seem to be very few sets that don't look like the flight deck of the Star Ship Enterprise.

And that got me to looking. Here are some sources that will get you started at looking into this fascinating field. Whether it's the graphics used to represent specific stories or the design of the sets themselves, it would seem to be a burgeoning field for graphic designers.

It is certainly one close to my heart. I started my design career working at WTTG in Washington, DC creating the graphics for the 10 0'Clock News. It was, in those days, an exciting place to be. Not only because I was designing on the fly for the evening's newscast, but because I part of a newsroom team of dedicated writers, technicians, and talent that focussed on getting a one-hour program on the air every night-as you can imagine there was rarely a dull moment.

That said, the FX Design Group does some great work. Here are some of their set designs...  Here

And here is a recent showreel for Giant Octopus, the motion graphics division of FX...  Here

More examples from Renderon Broadcast Design...  Here

If you're interested in the subject, another source, Newcast Studio...  Here 

What was it like for me? This article on Television New Graphics from a 1978 issue of Broadcast Programming & Production discussed the Vizmo rear projection system we used to present graphics in prehistoric times.

See page 12 for the article titled, Television News Graphics (4MB PDF)...  Here

Argh, I whacked a bumblebee: an exploration of all things onomatopoetic

Saw this post today by Brad Huffman, "When I laugh at stuff on the Internet, I don't really laugh out loud. I just blow more air out of my nose than usual. So it's not like LOL, it's more like BMAOOMNTU."

It reminded me that whenever I want to use an onomatopoeia (I think he has coined a new one here), I end up having to look it up to see what the popular spelling is-"atishoo" is a good example.

Here are some resources...

A big dictionary of mostly light onomatopoeias:  Here

Oliver Steele's Aargh page plots the number of times variants of the term "aargh" show up in Google (argh is, by far, the most popular use case)...  Here

More on "sound symbolism" on  Here

A good list of expressive interjections from  Here

(The image is by Roy Lichtenstein)...  Here

A marketing 101 mistake...

This is the kind of disastrous mistake you make when you don't view your message from the reader's angle.

Though I found this message while searching for a specialty printing source, the writer was addressing a problem they likely have with existing customers (that they lose them to other online providers) not potential clients who find them using a search.

As you'll see, they make the case for NOT using an online service which is exactly what they are.  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