31 August 2011

Inkling by Wacom

This may just change how we work! Inkling by Wacom is a new system that lets you draw with a "magic" ink pen then download you images to your computer at a later time in vector or bitmap formats. You have to click on the video to experience what it will be able to do. The expected retail price is around $199 and if it works like it shows will be well worth the investment.

25 August 2011

Andrew Zuckerman - Wisdom

Andrew Zuckerman, photographer and filmmaker, does a wonderful presentation at the 99% Conference titled, "On Curiosity, Rigor and Learning As You Go". There are many informative ideas that he expresses and he showcases some of his wonderful work.

23 August 2011

Art of the Menu

The good folks at UnderConsideration have launched a new website, "Art of the Menu". The site features menus from establishments that you can review for design and layout. The site is just getting up and running but already has some great examples of good menu design. Check out this great new resource and be sure to submit great menus you have collected or created over the years.

17 August 2011

Random Internet - Drew Carey's X-Ray

What is found on the internet daily still amazes me. This image is an x-ray of Drew Carey's separated clavicle. Thanks for sharing the image Drew. You can follow Drew on Twitter @TPIRhost. Drew, Heal up quickly and keep up the great job on TPIR.

Typography Video - Off Book - PBS

PBS has produced this video as part of its series Off Book. From the PBS site comes this description:
Type is everywhere. Every print publication, website, movie, advertisement and public message involves the creation or selection of a fitting typeface. Online, a rich and artistic typographical culture exists, where typefaces are created and graphic design seeps in to every image.

In episode 2 of Off Book, typeface designers Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones outline the importance of selecting the right font to convey a particular feeling. Graphic designer Paula Scher talks about building identity in messaging, while Eddie Opara uses texture to create reaction. Infographic designers Julia Vakser and Deroy Peraza map complicated data sets into digestible imagery, mixing color, graphics and type.

16 August 2011

Spending TIme (Off)

It seems like Benjamin Franklin got it a little wrong when he stated, "'In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." I think we have to add to that "work". Work seems to consume us and tends to over take our lives. Luck for most of us, we are in a profession called design that we enjoy and well at times seems more like "play". But even though we enjoy designing 24/7 we need to spend time for us. Stefan Sagmeister, who I know truly loves to design, took time off for a year to charge his batteries and his skills to become a better designer. Now I know taking time off for a year would be wonderful but impossible for most. So how to you spend your time to become a better person along with becoming a better designer?

For one, turn off that computer and get out. Our off time is precious for most of us and I know the office will still be there when you get back. Turning off and refreshing can be for a day or several or more. Most of those emails can wait but if you have to answer a few don't let it take away from your mission, to enjoy life.

One way I have found over the years to revive that passion for design, family and life is travel-
Travel always comes to the top of my list. I make it a point to get "out of town" several times a year. These getaways range from a day at the zoo or art museum to a weekend to several weeks and from close to home to more distance road trips or flights abroad. One thing I have learned, if you don't plan it, it will not happen.

One of the places I have found that brings it all back into focus for me is our National Parks. A visit to someplace like Yosemite National Park will amaze your mind's eye and bring creative passion to your soul. A morning hike or a refreshing sit by a stream will work wonders. The vast history that your can explore in our parks will also amaze and put it all into perspective. You can also take advantage to observe one of the most successful design systems in our National Parks, the Unigrid System, originally designed by Massimo Vignelli.
John Muir wrote "Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul."
You can find a National or State park nearby at this link to Oh, Ranger!

Go explore a city near or far. Plan a visit to their local art museum. Wonder around town and look at the architecture and signage. Explore a ride on Mass Transit (San Francisco's Cable Cars and a NYC subway ride are musts for everyone to put on your list). Explore new restaurants and let your taste buds be amazed by the local luscious eats. Remember to take in a show or music event to easy away the cares. Take creative photos that inspire and that you can use for your next projects. Need a new set of background textures for your stock, click away, and you will save a dollar instead of having to buy stock images.

Once you return refreshed, with plans already in progress for you next adventure, put your images together and self publish a book or decorate your walls at work. Share your experiences with friends and family. Everyone loves a great story. Reliving that adventure will go along way when the pressure is on.

I would love to hear what inspires you on your time off. Remember, spend time both wisely and carefree. In the end, its all about the roads you take in your life's adventure.

09 August 2011

How Polaroid Film is Made

This past weekend I shot a ton of digital photos in San Francisco so it got me thinking of how it would have worked if I was using a Polaroid. How times have changed with digital but also how they have stayed the same. The Impossible Project decided to take on the responsibility of providing instant Polaroid film lovers their ‘must-have’ once Polaroid stopped making film and the process is explained in the above film.

(Via DesignTaxi)
Photo from San Francisco visit digitally processed to give it that vintage look.

The Lower Case A Adventure

The Lower Case A That Went on An Adventure by Conor O'Toole is a short that explain typography for the younger design crowd.