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The great dichotomy: 

People want to work, use their cognitive skills, and need to exercise--much of modern science is devoted to eliminating work, developing artificial intelligence, and minimizing physical effort.

It's a weird world.

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

A bright room: The controversy over the use of optics by early painters

Chris Miller recently sent me an email to tell me there was a new "camera lucida" device, a NeoLucida, available from (they had previously sold out when they were initially offered through The name was familiar, I used a Lucigraph for years to size and trace various elements of illustrations-the same basic idea. But I had not heard of the NeoLucida.

As I looked into it, what caught my ear was mention of the controversy created by the book Secret Knowledge written by British artist David Hockney. His thesis is that, beginning in the early 1400s there was a rather dramatic rise in the quality of realism in paintings. He poses that a number of artists came onto the scene whose work was almost photographic in nature. They were reproducing patterns, reflections, the folds in fabric, focal length and so on, in ways previously unknown or rarely seen.

It's a very interesting, understandably controversial story.

The thesis...  Here

A BBC program that addresses the issue indepth: David Hockney's Secret Knowledge, Part 1...  Here

David Hockney's Secret Knowledge, Part 2...  Here

About the Camera Lucida...  Here

The NeoLucida website...  Here

You can buy the rudimentary NeoLucida, a 21st century camera ludida here...  Here

Another version for sale...  Here

More about the thesis (via Wikipedia)...  Here

Refuting the theory...  Here

About David Hockney...  Here

As I said, I owned and used a Goodkin Lucigraph for many years. You would place the subject (typically a Polaroid or other reference photograph) on the plate below the bellows and a sheet of tracing paper on the glass above. The cranks on the left and right were used to focus the image being projected on the paper.

Goodkin Lucigraph...  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 

For media buyers:

I believe television programmers do advertisers a disservice my repeating spots in close succession. If you're anything like me, seeing the same spot repeated on each break or every other break, makes me more annoyed with the advertiser than I am drawn to its products, services, or ideas.

You'd think by now programers would have figured out ways of mixing it up. And I doubt the executives at the advertising agencies or the client marketing management folks are hearing from enough of the viewers to see this as an issue. Who, after all, is going to spend the time to seek them out for the mere annoyance of watching the same ad over and over again.

But, I do wonder if it's possible, over time, for this subtle problem to do some real damage to a brand.

Meet illustrator David Plunkert

David Plunkert is a guy who likes to mix it up. Unlike most illustrators, I'd be hard-pressed to guess that one illustrator created all three of the examples I'll point you to. Yet he seems to have perfected each medium.

Example 1...  Here

Example 2...  Here

Example 3...  Here

Plunkert's website home page...  Here

Amit Agarwal offers a unique, interesting mix of how-to insight

Amit Agarwal writes how-to guides about web apps, software, and gadgets. I think you'll find his site, Digital Inspiration, offers a very unique mix of useful and interesting information.

Digital Inspiration Amit Agarwal...  Here

Example 1: The Most Useful Email Addresses That You Should Save in your Address Book...  Here

Example 2: Awesome Things You Can Do With Google Scripts...  Here

Example 3: How I Make Software Demos using Animated GIFs...  Here

About Amit Agarwal from Wikipedia...  Here

What is the ideal RAW to TIF or JPG printing workflow?

I had last week with a photographer friend who wanted to know if I knew how much of a difference there was between saving a RAW file (out of Photoshop) as a JPG or a TIFF file. As I researched it, I realized it was more complicated than I thought.

In short, there are lots of "buts" and "ifs." I can tell you this: A RAW, a JPG, and a TIF can all be saved as either 8-bit or 16-bit files. This workflow seems to make the most sense: adjust the image in RAW and save it as 16-bit RGB file, edit it in Photoshop, and then convert it to CMYK and save it as and 8-bit TIFF or (some say) JPG file. The point being, if you knock a 16-bit file down to 8-bit before you edit it, you will likely remove necessary information from the original that could result in a less than optimal reproduction.

As with most color workflows, you're best off asking the commercial printer that will reproduce the finished project, the workflow they are most qualified to tell you exactly what type of files will work best within their workflow and how to configure the associated settings.


A good overview: The Benefits Of Working With 16-Bit Images In Photoshop by Steve Patterson...  Here

A short blurb about color settings for RAW conversion from Tim Grey and  Here

I recommend 

A huge library of top-quality, design-oriented tutorials. Click here for a 7-day free trial.  Here

THE new art

This article attributes the introduction of Art Nouveau to the Exposition Universelle 1900 (the Paris World's Fair. (Dr. Perry [my art history professor in college] would give me a well-deserved tongue lashing if she knew how little art history I can recount.)

For those of us who are art challenged, a reintroduction to the "new art" of the late 19th and early 20th century.

How the Paris World's Fair brought Art Nouveau to the Masses in 1900...  Here

1900 Palace of Electricity...  Here

Paris Exposition lantern slides from the Brooklyn Museum...  Here

From the BBC: The Allure of Art Nouveau...  Here

Art Nouveau architecture: Doorway at place Etienne Pernet, 24 (via Wikipedia)...  Here

Art Nouveau painting: Zodiac by Alphonse Mucha (via Wikipedia)...  Here

The Grand Palais with its magnificent ironwork...  Here

Dr. Regenia Perry, my art history professor in college (a fine one), gave me a tongue lashing for all my other errant behavior, why not this?  Here

While the images are fresh in your memory, I'd like to visit the colorization issue again (I hear you, "Enough already!"). You undoubtably noticed that many of the images of the 1900 fair are hand-painted (with a very heavy hand). That, seemingly, was the practice.

Here, in an homage to the beauty and clarity of black and white is my before and after, UN-colorizing of the Grand Palais...

Before...  Here

After...  Here

Images: Brooklyn Museum Archives. Goodyear Archival Collection.

More about lantern slides...  Here

Find a broken link or some other problem with a website?

Do the owner and its developer a favor and contact them with a quick note that points out the problem. Even when we test, it's virtually impossible to find all potential problems. 

I haven't found anyone yet who wasn't thankful for a heads-up...

About small business branding

There are countless paths to mastering the arts of marketing and graphic design-I know of at least three: via the classroom, through a mentor, and on-the-job.

In the classroom, a teacher uses their knowledge of the subject, a curriculum, and supporting materials to lead you through theories and explain practices. Ultimately, you find a job and use what you are taught as a foundation for figuring what works and what doesn't and building your own mix of practices.

You learn from a mentor by going to work for a design studio, an advertising agency, or some other entity. The individual or the group that leads it, presumably, has already built a repertoire of practices that you ultimately amend and adopt as your own.

Perhaps the most challenging way to learn about marketing and design is on-the-job (to work on the engine while it's running). In this case, you are thrust into real marketing situations and invent solutions in response to the problems you are presented with. Ultimately, through trial and error, you cobble together what works for you and your clients. It's a tough, long-way-around learning process, but the fact that your ideas are proven by experience gives you the confidence that comes with that type of certainty.

Today I want to point you to a book and website produced by a designer who learned his craft that last way, on-the-job. His name is Dan Antonelli and the name of his book is Building a Big Small Business Brand. I point you to it for two reasons. First, because it offers a thoughtful look at small business branding, and second, because he provides an excellent model for promoting and selling marketing and design services.

First, the book.

As I said, Antonelli learned his craft on-the-job and Building a Big Small Business Brand is a blueprint for what, he found, works for real clients in the real world. His primary message is this: In small business branding, the logo is the hub around which all marketing revolves. The book presents a smart, clearly explained approach to branding that should be required reading for anyone planning to open a small business (or turn around a failing one).

"Most businesses make a critical error," he explains. "They never really consider a brand or logo for their business, they don't understand how important it is, so they opt for the expensive way to move forward. They've exhausted most of their funding on equipment, rent, furniture, etc. Ironically, they've spent all their money on getting into business, and they have little left to actually market their business."

The book lays out broad, foundational ideas, discusses specific approaches to naming, logo design, and branding, cites real-world marketing case studies, and explains how and where to get help.

Secondly, and what I think other graphic designers and marketers will find particularly interesting, is how Antonelli's uses the book and his website to promote his studio's design and marketing services.

The book presents the studio's philosophies, reveals its process, and shows examples of its work-and the web site fills in the details (displaying the book prominently throughout). I'm not suggesting that every designer or marketer need write a book, but when you view it as a package, you'll see the value of how the book and the website are used together to establish credibility and attract new business.

A free preview of the book...  Here

The Graphic D-Signs website...  Here

You can purchase the book here: Building a Big Small Business Brand...  Here

Looking at art and design in the context of society and science

Rama Hoetzlein is a Media Artist. I stumbled on his timeline of 20th century art and new media recently and I thought it was particularly interesting. He shows us various movements in the arts and media against the backdrop of time, technology, event, population, and so on.

I point you to it for both the information and his technique of presenting it.

Art in the 20th century...  Here

Timeline of 20th century art and new media...  Here

Subjective Media: A Historic Context for New Media in Art by Rama C. Hoetzlein, (452KB PDF)...  Here

Another interesting idea: A portfolio of his work as a timeline...  Here

What is new media art?...  Here

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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