Category Archives: General

General creative topics

Upgrades: Alien Skin & Extensis

Extensis has upgraded Universal Type Server, the latest version of the professional-grade font server which helps organizations manage, organize, and distribute their font libraries. Universal Type Server 4 delivers brand new auto-activation plug-ins for Adobe Creative Cloud applications, including InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and InCopy. If you work in small groups or at a large agency, you’ll find UTS a great server-side font manager.

Alien Skin has announced the upcoming release of Snap Art version 4. Snap Art is their natural media application for photographers and artists. It works with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, Apple Aperture, and is also a stand-alone application. Snap Art 4 will cost $99, with upgrades for $69.

Skin your iPhone earbuds for better sound, fit and style

EarSkinz

As any iPhone user can tell you, the Apple-supplied EarPods (or earbuds if you have an iPod Touch) absolutely suck as far as fitting. Though they’ve improved greatly with each hardware update, I still can’t find anyone who doesn’t say they fall out of their ear constantly because they simply don’t fit right.

Enter EarSkinz. For $11 you can get these covers that slip on the supplied EarPods/earbuds that claim to not only fit better and add comfort, but improve the sound quality as well. And of course, the 11 color options allow you to choose one that best fits your style.

Quickly find the CMYK equivalent of a Pantone color in Photoshop or Illustrator

Many times you are asked to find the CMYK equivalent of a particular Pantone color. If you don’t have a ridiculously overpriced Pantone to Process conversion guide available, you can use Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.

There are a lot of theories out there as to how you can get the most accurate CMYK values (some area quite complex, such as first converting to LAB color before converting to process colors, etc.). But if you’re a pro you already realize that no Pantone color is going to match 100% in process printing anyway and the Pantone Color Bridge guide is the best and most accurate conversion method.

The Pantone Color Bridge Guide is expensive, so these are the fastest ways that I’ve come across that give the best results. Continue reading

Design is about communication. It is about helping clients to realize their goals through a design solution geared toward their questions, concerns, wants, and needs.

Skeuomorphic vs. Flat design is the subject of the article, but in reading it, I found that the arguments made apply to design in general.

Vecte: OS X application switcher replacement

Vecte

Vecte replaces Mac OS X’s built-in application switcher

Vecte is a simple Mac OS X application switcher replacement. All the standard keyboard shortcuts still work, the only difference is how it looks and feels. Vecte moves the application switcher overlay you get by hitting Command + Tab from the center of the screen to the top left corner of the screen. Vecte also switches apps instantly rather than waiting around until you let go of the command key. Finally, Vecte does not re-order the apps every time you switch to a new app. If you missed the app you were aiming for, it’s still in the same spot.

I used Vecte for a few weeks and found it to work quite well. And it’s a great way to customize OS X to your liking. Ultimately though, I prefer the built-in switcher. Given that Vecte is free, you have nothing to lose by checking it out. You can download Vecte here.