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Picture 1.pngThey can’t be Moo and not expect people to indulge their inner Dr Seuss.

Anyway, As you have seen here, Moo dot com makes adorable cards and stickers and postcards and such. They are currently having a design contest for their Holiday Store, where you can submit your own designs and maybe yours will be chosen to sell in the Holiday Store. If you’re picked you get $2000 along with your design in the shop. How cool is that?

What I love about Moo printed things is that they are completely your own, and that they make it VERY easy to get your images “just so”. So go enter the contest, and if you do let us know so we can think good thoughts for you!

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I recently received an email from my graphic designer friend, with the subject line commanding me to “VOTE!”. Assuming that it would have something to do with politics, I was rather surprised to find a link to the Threadless website, featuring pictures of my friend’s latest design project.

Threadless is a website that allows visitors to rate and provide feedback on t-shirt designs from creatively-inclined individuals. Designs that receive the best ratings win money, notoriety and the chance to have their shirt produced and sold on the Threadless website.

Be sure to check out the Typetees. These tees feature slogans submitted by Threadless users and set in a typeface provided by foundries and typographers from around the world. My personal favorites include:

shkspeare.jpg dance.jpg

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Adobe Magazine volume 3

The newest issue of Adobe’s design magazine has just been published. They always include a number of interesting articles, but for me the most interesting part is seeing all that can be done in the PDF format. I’m still not entirely convinced that a stable rich PDF can be easily developed and debugged quickly, yet it’s always fun to see how far mothership pushes the envelope.

Download the most recent issue here. And to subscribe to get future ones via email, click here.

Happy Birthday Google!

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You know you’ve made it when your brand becomes a “generic” name for what you make (see: Kleenex, Bandaid, Xerox).

On the tubes, you know you’ve made it when you become a verb, like Google has. You’ll notice nobody says they’ll “Yahoo” something, or “I really need to Amazon this.” And not only do people say it, but when they do, other people know what it means. My personal adoption check: If you say it to my mom and she knows what you are talking about, then it is officially EVERYWHERE, and my mom uses “Google” in sentences all the time.

I had a friend of mine tell me in 1999, “Check out this You need it, it’s way faster than Yahoo! and you get results you are actually looking for.”

Well, I never went back. So when those Google guys started inviting folks to use their email service, I signed up as fast as I could, and as cool as my Gmail was when I got it, it just keeps getting cooler. Then they added documents and a calendar and so on, and all of it works really well.

As I heard in a presentation a couple of years ago, “In 40 years we’ll all be getting in our Google to go to the Google to get some more Google.” Which gets more and more likely as time goes on.

They seem to be a really cool company that hasn’t lost their coolness just yet, even though they keep getting bigger (they have even expanded into Oregon!), and in Internet time ten “people” years equates to the rise and fall of an entire civilization!

Happy Birthday, Google. I’m going to presume you have the cake thing covered, and suggest that you get a doodle whipped up for such a momentous occasion.

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Procrastination hits all of us from time to time. When the creative spark doesn’t seem so bright, there are a great number of places that I like to visit on the internet. You could call it “wasting time,” but I think that I’d rather call it “recharging my spark.” Here are the top internet locales that I use to get that boost.


The Veer folks from Calgary and have really pulled their stuff together. Their site always presents reams of creative ideas and resources for projects — fonts, images, graphics and more. It’s all good stuff and always presented in a fun interactive way. Their blog rocks too.



Forums can be a great source of troubleshooting information, and also a great place to generate a community around specific topics. It’s through those community connections that I often find new ways of solving a problem, new creative techniques, and even sometimes an idea for a new project. There are many quality forums out there, here are a few to get you started:

Also be sure to check our our larger list on the Forums page of this blog.

Desktop Publishing Forum


This site contains thumbnailed screen shots of websites. You can click on one, rate it, and even leave a comment for the designer. Use it as a source of website design inspiration, or as just a fun way to randomly browse the net.


Continue Reading »

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cut-and-paste2.jpgIt is such a cool idea I can hardly believe I’ve never heard of it. A creative tournmanent. No, not a competition where you get all the time in the world to perfect your submission. Nope. You better move fast and have a brain that can keep up.

Cut & Paste 2007 combines art and sport into a cutural event. 8 contenstants are chosen in each city and are subjected to several 15-minute rounds of thematic projects. Then the local judges pick a winner. There are crowds, advance tickets, hoopla, and yes, even some local bands. The audience is encouraged to participate at open workstations, where their submissions will also be judged. This year’s audience theme is “survival of the fittest.”

cut-and-paste1.jpgThe tournament kicked off this past weekend in Boston. Next stop is right here in Portland (our home base) on September 21st. Other cities include: San Fran, LA, Chicago, New York, London, Berlin, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Sydney.

Advance tickets are available through the Cut& Paste site. So show up and prepare to have your idea of design turned on it’s head.

The Art of Microsoft Office

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The words “art” and “Microsoft Office” aren’t often used in the same sentence. Microsoft Word wouldn’t be my first choice of tool when when starting my next creative project, unless it was to sketch out an outline or to write a little bit of content.

Well, not to be stopped, the Microsoft Mac Business Unit just launched a new site devoted entirely to the creative endeavors tackled in the somewhat non-traditional creative tools of Microsoft Office. They have been able to obtain submissions from a few big names, including most notably Mark Mothersbaugh. So it’s worth taking a quick gander.

From the entries that I have viewed, a few of the entries look like they were the primary creative tool. Most of the office documents seem to be mere containers for the creative work therein. Kinda like celebrating the frame of a canvas instead of instead of the artwork itself.

Though, I must say that I am quite fond of the Pac Man pie chart.

Percentage chart of Pac Man

Of course, you’ll need Office installed to view the source files offered for download. We’ll see where it goes from here. Perhaps I’ll be surprised with what can be done with Word’s simple drawing tools. My skills, while self-centered, are clearly not up to snuff.

Yes, the Word world really does revolve around me

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Adobe CS3 Creative License ConferenceThere are six remaining stops on the Adobe Creative License tour, with the next one happening at the Adobe mothership in San Jose this Thursday.

In addition to the slew of information about CS3, Adobe has added a number of cool freebies that you get for attending the conference.

  • A free 1-month subscription to training
  • $200 off admission to the Adobe MAX conference in September
  • $400 worth of onOne software

Sounds like they’re also giving away some other prizes at the event, but I’m not privy to the full details (some premium-level CS3 licenses perhaps? Oh, if only we were so lucky.)

Adobe is also hosting a number of lunchtime roundtable discussions on topics of “special interest.” As I understand, these topics can be anything of your choosing, so if you have a topic that you’d like to submit for consideration, shoot off an email to with the details with your ideas.

Here’s a quick list of the remaining dates.

Two-day Conferences

  • Los Angeles, Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, June 19-20, 2007
  • New York, The Waldorf-Astoria, June 25-26, 2007

One-Day Conferences

  • San Jose, Adobe Corporate Headquarters, May 31, 2007
  • Toronto, The Carlu, June 4, 2007
  • Boston, Hynes Convention Center, June 12, 2007
  • Seattle, Adobe Systems Incorporated, June 14, 2007

For registration, more info and such, check out the following:

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Body Type BookChoosing the appropriate typeface for a project can be an important or frivolous decision. Yet, since most of our printed and digital projects are destined to have fairly short lifespans, the decisions we make for these projects pale in comparison to that of tattoos. Ina Saltz explores these all-important typeface choices in Body Type, Intimate Messages Etched in Flesh.

The book is a great introduction into the world of tattoos as well as typography. If you’re looking for a great conversation starter, this coffee table book will surely hit the mark.

If you’re in Baltimore on May 31st, be sure to stop by the Baltimore Tattoo Museum where the author will be giving a presentation and signing copies of the book.

Thanks to Extensis engineer Jock Murphy for the heads-up on this one.

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The winners of’s alternate icon contest for Adobe CS3 were announced today.

As you may remember, when the new CS3 icons were announced by Adobe, it caused much consternation in the design world. While great in high concept, the periodic table of application icons fell rather flat with users who were accustomed to beautifully rendered butterflies, flowers and so forth.

So, the editors of whipped up a little contest to create alternate icons. We provided some font management software as prize incentives for the contest, and true to form, the design community came through in spades.

Many of the entries offered improvements on the periodic table/color wheel actual icons. I have to say that my favorites are the entries by Vito Zgonik (coincidentally, he won a copy of Suitcase Fusion for his efforts) and Danny Dioguardi, as well as the icons created by Adam Betts.

Quark vs. InDesign's CS3 alternate icon contest - Vito Zgonik's entry
Vito Zgonik’s icon entry won third place

Quark vs. InDesign's CS3 alternate icon contest - Adam Betts'  creation
Adam Betts alternate icons, while not entered into the contest, are super cool.

You can download all of the winning icons from the Quark vs. InDesign site.

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