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Pixel ConferenceVector Conference If you’re in Chicago this week, we recommend attending the Vector/Pixel conference. At 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 2nd, our very own Extensis Product Training Specialist, Kelly Guimont will present a session titled “Font Management: Best Practices in Mac OS X.”

The session will examine the unique requirements of a creative typography workflow. The use of thousands of fonts in a creative workgroup presents challenges to the creation of a flexible yet controlled computing environment.

We’ve also worked out a deal with these events, so to save $100 off a two-day, three-day or platinum conference pass for either conference, use this code when you register: EXT07PV (code is case sensitive).

The Pixel and Vector Conferences are presented by Barrycon events. For more information on the conference go to: http://www.barrycon.com/conference.php?sid=18&cid=21


Scan-a-licious

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Quick link here, because I love smart design ideas. You know, the fusing of design with function.

Design BarcodeJapan-based Design Barcode has single-handedly started a barcode revolution, turning function into art. So smart, so simple. Someone had to think of it first.

Despite their start-up size, they were the Titanium Winner at the International Advertising Festival this Summer. Check out their online gallery.


Illustrated Genius

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Suitcase Fusion Ad

Congratulations to our contract illustrator, Ryan Etter, for the write up about his work in this month’s DG Magazine.

Most recently Ryan did some work for the launch of Suitcase Fusion. Ryan has a great, sci-fi inspired style that is worthy of the recognition.


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Graffiti

I think it started many years ago with a bus trip through the neighborhoods of Chicago to see the ‘outdoor art’ (that’s the PC term for graffiti, I suppose). I’ve been a fan of graffiti arts ever since. It is one of those unique artistic outlets- like tattooing- that allows no margin for error. No do-overs, no ‘undo’, no eraser tool. It is true art in the moment.

As an extension, I’m also a new fan of graffiti fonts. The latest trend: having graffiti artists design graffiti fonts. Most of these are hand-style, and truly spectacular. Admittedly, these have limited utility for a lot of designers, but they still have a curious appeal. Some of my personal favorites:

Handselecta– One great foundry

Duncan Cumming– One great graffiti site (featuring hand-style)

Eltono– One great group of artists. (Check out their light-projected graffiti and their videos on YouTube to see how it’s done).

I’d love to be introduced to some more. Have a favorite? If so, drop me a line.


Judging a book by its…

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Books- yeah, we've got a few computer books in the houseThe dust jacket has long been an integral part of marketing of a book, and it’s good to see sites devoted to the presentation and discussion of the art that goes into a book cover. Here are a few the sites that dedicate their time to examing this art.

Graphic design firm Fwis has created a worthwhile book cover review site. While the comments might not always indicate an in-depth analysis, the books presented cover a wide range of interesting design concepts.

The Ospresy Design firm specializes in book design. Their blog, Forward, focuses mostly on the success or failure of recently published covers as well as tools commonly used to create them.

The Book Design Review blog, while prolific in it’s cover posting, doesn’t tend to give much more than an “I like it” type of analysis.

Readerville has a page devoted entirely to the “Most Coveted Covers.” On about a monthly basis, DG Strong and Karen Templar post a brief commentary about the cover of a recently published book. The site’s main purpose though is as a dues-based book group forum.

Owing to the power of the cover, Penguin Books launched a campaign where they published books “without covers.” It allowed you to create your own cover for your favorite book. Heck, this might help fabulously fickle high school students design covers that go with their current fashion statement – black for the goths, pastels for the preppies and so forth. I think that I’ll make my own picture of Dorian Gray, thank you very much.

Do you have a favorite book design site?


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100 Years of Illustration and Design blogPaul Giambarba, art director for former imaging powerhouse Polaroid has set up a number of interesting blogs, my favorite of which is 100 Years of Illustration and Design. Paul covers all types of illustration from wood block prints and etchings to pen & ink and paint.

The majority of his writing covers illustrators active in late 1800’s through the mid fifties. My favorite work that he’s covered includes the Madonna and child centered work by Jessie Wilcox Smith, as well as the 50’s Collier’s and Playboy illustrations by John Ruge.


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