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(If you already read newsletter 169, read no further, this is a repeat for those who missed it.)

I've been trying to recall when bezier curves first showed up in vector drawing programs. Fontagrapher, I believe, was first in 1987--but I believe they showed up in FreeHand and Illustrator the following year.

I remember it being a significant breakthrough for those of us using programs which, until then, and required you to create curves using large numbers of points and lines. It was tedious process and the resulting files were very large.

In case you are similarly curious, here's a "tape" of John Warnock, the Adobe CEO and developer of Illustrator introducing the technology seated in front of his Macintosh computer.  Here

It's hard to believe that was just 25 years ago--a half-a-heartbeat in art history. 


Be well, Chuck

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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 


Some of the most interesting, unusual, useful tools (and ideas) in the world

I've been a big fan of and contributor to Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools since the early 2000s. To my delight (and perhaps to your's), he has announced the upcoming release of Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities--a best of Cool Tools in book form.

Already commanding a rank of 1300 in books on Amazon (pretty good for a title that won't released until December), the book is being billed by reviewers as a modern day Whole Earth Catalog.

If you're not as old as X-Acto knives and pasteup, the Whole Earth Catalog was a book that took the publishing world by storm in 1968. Its function was defined in these words:

"The Whole Earth Catalog functions as an evaluation and access device. With it, the user should know better what is worth getting and where and how to do the getting.

An item is listed in the catalog if it is deemed:

1) Useful as a tool, 
2) Relevant to independent education, 
3) High quality or low cost, 
4) Not already common knowledge, 
5) Easily available by mail."

If Cool Tools is even remotely like the Whole Earth Catalog, it's the type of book that redefines the category by introducing you to some of the most interesting, unusual, useful tools (and ideas) in the world. I'm thrilled to have at least one of my articles included.

Browse the book here...  Here


Kevin Kelly explains the idea...  Here 


More about Kelly who, to me, is one of the more interesting people on the planet...  Here


A digital version of the original Whole Earth Catalog...  Here


You can order Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities here...  Here


You'll love this tightly structured, old-school lettering


To me, though he looks like a fairly young guy, Matthew Tapia is an old-school lettering artist. The best way I can think of describing it is, though it has a feeling of being free-form, when you look at it closely, his work is methodically organized.

Example 1...  Here


Example 2...  Here


Example 3...  Here
Tapia's Tumblr page...  Here


And his Dribbble page...   Here 


A few photos of Tapia at work...   Here 


Some excellent thinking on website carousel design


Nielsen Norman Group, the firm made famous by Jakob Nielsen (the usability expert), offers this thoughtful piece on website carousel design. It's my favorite type of design insight: an examination of the details that make a real difference.

An example of a website tour with signposts: Second banner down under, "Explore your Nest"...  Here 


The article: Designing Effective Carousels by Kara Pernice...  Here 


Kara Pernice's Twitter feed...  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.
One of the most used web platforms is one of the least discussed


Something over 20 percent of all websites use WordPress as their content management system (W3Techs)-roughly six times that of the next runner up, Joomla. Yet, until now, I did not know the story behind its development or the names of the people who developed then and contribute to it today.

Lorelle VanFossen's recent The History of WordPress...  Here


The version...  Here 


And a timeline...  Here 


And the WordPress page on Wikipedia...  Here is run by Automattic...  Here


And lots of interesting people work there...  Here


A photographer's unique point of view


I found this collection of photographs very interesting. It's titled 19 Days In Japan and it's a travelog created by photographer and teacher Lena (Akane Kinomoto) and photographer and design engineer Filipe Varela.

What struck me is that, rather than showing us lots of idyllic sights (there are some), they treat us to a kind of behind-the-scenes look at everyday Japanese life - the passengers on a train, the shelves of a grocery store, a cat laying on a porch - the type of subjects that give you a sense of a place.

It's a good example of how talented photographers offers a very specific, unusual point of view. Here's how they describe it:

"We come from a long line of travelers and adventurers and we can not deny our origins: we like to travel, we like to eat and we like to capture moments. 19 Days in Japan is not intended to simply be a website or a blog, but our voice, an expression of our adventures and struggles in a place so far away from home."


19 Days in Japan...  Here


Lena's website...  Here


Filipe Varela's website...  Here


In pursuit of "making the web awesome"


At the risk of hurting your brain (this kind of stuff sometimes hurts mine), I point you to Adobe Web Platform team's blog.

As they explain it, "The Adobe Web Platform team is committed to providing better features for the web by working with the community to develop new standards and make them possible by contributing to Open Source projects such as WebKit and Chromium. We're just one of the several teams working on some amazing Open Web technologies at Adobe."

Adobe explores the future of responsive digital layout with National Geographic content...  Here 


An overview of Adobe's involvement in the web...  Here


And Adobe & HTML...  Here


Click here to learn any software program FREE for one week. I recommend  Here


Where website design is headed


As website designs and apps get simpler looking (the trend), it's more difficult to make your work visually distinctive. Very subtle stuff that requires a very delicate touch.

One way of distinguishing your design from others is how it functions-subtleties like how menus open and text appears. While that certainly isn't a revelation, the tutorials, articles, and the playground at Codrops is.

As they explain it, "Codrops is a web design and development blog that publishes articles and tutorials about the latest web trends, techniques and new possibilities. The team of Codrops is dedicated to provide useful, inspiring and innovative content that is free of charge."

And they're doing it. This is exciting stuff.

Thanks to Chris Miller for pointing us to it.

Example 1: Medium-style page transition...  Here


Example 2: Animated opening type...  Here


Example 3: The slit slider...  Here


The Codrops home page...  Here


About Mary Lou (Manoela Ilic) and Pedro Botelho, the folks behind Codrops...  Here


Everyone (seemingly) dislikes the United States Postal Service. 
But the fact that they will deliver 160,000,000,000 mail pieces to 152,100,000 delivery points in 2013 is pretty impressive.  Here


Support,, and  
I am an affiliate of several services. If you use these links to make purchases, I get a small commission. Thanks in advance for your support. 
A first-class e-commerce platform  Here


Bob Bly 
Copywriting and marketing insights from the author of The Copywriter's Handbook.  Here 
Learn any software program, when you want, for only $25 per month.  Here 
Host websites for AIGA, Adobe, Samsung, Sony, Dribbble, and many more.  Here 
The comprehensive collection of fonts from the world's top type foundries  Here 
Guarantees quality, matches prices, promises delivery, satisfaction guaranteed.  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