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I got an email from a reputable company recently that said, "Hi Chuck, I'd like to send business your way. If you're interested, simply add yourself to my network below." (With a link.)
Typically, I'd assume it was canned offer, but this was from a reputable, well respected organization and they addressed me with, "Hi Chuck."

So I answered back with: "Thanks, what type of project?" And a representative of the business replied, "This was a little PR attempt in trying to get us noticed. I apologize if it wasn't clear."

As far as I'm concerned, it was clear. This message made an explicit offer, "to send business (my) way," and that was not true. Not a big deal, just a reminder that social networking comes with consequences. If we use meaningful words to make meaningless offers, we diminish communication.

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
Automating processes with Photoshop
Photoshop's Layer Style feature really has changed the world of design in profound ways. It makes it possible to simply copy and apply styles that instantly, fundamentally transform the artwork. It also makes it possible to create new effects by looking at how someone else as constructed a style and taking it a few steps further.

Thanks to my friend Chris Miller for pointing us to Graphic Burger, the home of Romanian designer and illustrator Raul Taciu who offers a growing collection of PSD layer style resources.

Thanks to Raul Taciu for sharing his expertise.

Here's one for generating long shadows...  Here
And there are many more...  Here
An article about the long shadow trend...  Here 
Need host for your website?
In case you are looking for a top-notch hosting service, Media Temple (the long time host of,, and is offering a new, super-fast grid service. AND I get some free hosting if you do it through this link...  Here

I believe most will agree that Media Temple is one of the best web hosting services in the world. Their interface and infrastructure is second to none and their prices are very competitive.  
An excellent source of digital photography know-how
Sean McHugh is an artistic scientist-to my thinking, a rare bird. So when he began offering tutorial and insights into digital photography, it caught on.

He explains the philosophy of his tutorials like this, "Our tutorials typically focus more on concept than procedure, are highly visual and often interactive, and cover each topic thoroughly but concisely. We also try to keep them as independent of the type of camera or software as possible."

Tutorials such as Natural Light in Photography...  Here
Concepts and terminology...  Here
Using camera equipment...  Here
Editing and post-processing...  Here
Color management and printing...  Here
Photography techniques and styles...  Here
A gallery of the author's photographs in and around Cambridge University in the United Kingdom...  Here   
I'm rooting for the Postal Service
It's easy to not like the post office. They've gotten a lot wrong in recent years and some of the derision is deserved.

But some of it isn't. There appear to be a core of folks at the USPS who are trying to bring it up to speed with the new age. I empathize with them because I survived a similar fundamental technological reorder of things in the eighties and nineties. Remember the sea-change called desktop publishing?

It also happens that my grandfather was the assistant Postmaster in a town where he lived-a position of no small amount of influence in the twentieth century. Even today, achieving the rank of Postmaster in a good-sized town is a big accomplishment. (And, to fully disclose my bias, I also have a client with connections to the USPS.)

So I'm rooting for the Postal Service. And I was happy to see that they have rolled out another new campaign for Priority Mail and a new tag line: "Priority: You." I like the line, the ad, and the new packaging (all, I assume, by McCann Erickson Worldwide) and I'm hoping it takes them another step toward turning the massive organization in a new direction.

Remember this: direct mail volume is way down in recent years. But there are still millions of businesses sending billions of mailpieces annually. It still belongs in the mix of many marketing plans.

The new spot for the USPS Priority: You campaign...  Here
A kickoff page...  Here 
About the campaign...  Here
The new packaging...  Here  
If you use this link to buy your type from, you won't pay any more but I'll get a commission. And you know what THAT means: My own island! Or, a paddle for the canoe.  Here 
Extending the brand through the fabrication of...
Sometimes, you don't think of adding something to the marketing mix until you see the source of producing it. For me, such is the case for the fabrication of vehicles and props that are used, in large part, for extending the brand.

These folks have a big, interesting portfolio.

Example 1: A fabrication project for Kemp's Dairy...  Here
The accompanying case study (205KB PDF)...  Here
Example 2: Event elements...  Here
Example 3: A rolling kitchen for SunnyD...  Here
The Craftsmen Industries blog...  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 photograph: From the biggest picture to the tiniest detail
We live in a time when we've got to continually adapt to new, fundamental shifts in what we see and what we understand. It is as interesting and exciting as it is, at times, disconcerting and disruptive.

Here's a 600,000 x 300,000 pixel, 320-gigapixel photograph of Tokyo by Jeffrey Martin produced by stitching together roughly 8000 images (print it out a normal photographic resolution and it would measure 328 x 164 feet).

320-gigapixel photograph of Tokyo by Jeffrey Martin...  Here 
A video that explores the image...  Here 
About making panoramas...  Here 
A second Tokyo image...  Here
More Gigapixel photographs...  Here 
For your inspiration toolbox: Experiemental design by Ruslan Khasanov
Among other things, Ruslan Khasanov dabbles in liquid calligraphy and studies of color. If you wonder where the next frontier of design is, or want to create it, you've got to experiment. I found Ruslan Khasanov's work particularly interesting.

Example 1: Pacific Light, a still frame...  Here
Pacific Light video...  Here
Example 2: Typography for Wired...  Here
The full Wired post...  Here
A recent interview with the designer...  Here 
Khasanov's website...  Here
I purchased Canon EOS Rebel T4i Digital Camera with 18-135mm Lens a few months ago. It's a terrific tool that I recommend heartily.  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