Category: General

Extensis announces Universal Type Server 3

Extensis Universal Type Server 3

Extensis Universal Type Server 3 makes font license compliance easy

Extensis has announced Universal Type Server 3, their industry-leading font server, which helps makes managing fonts and font licenses in multi-user environments easy. It’s like having a hired gun to enforce your font laws! (more…)

The Graphic Mac Link Box #1

The Graphic Mac Link BoxA collection of interesting or otherwise helpful links I’ve come across recently that you may not have seen:

You can’t replace email if you require email

You can’t replace pants with shorts when your definition of shorts is: everyone buy pants and cut the legs off . That’s the premise behind this article which points out the shortcomings of current web services.

iMac (early 2011) benchmark results

Macworld published benchmarks of the new iMacs shortly after they were released, using Speedmark test results. Though they were impressive, Primate Labs released their own test results based on Geekbench testing and found the new iMacs to be even more impressive than we thought. You can also download a copy of Geekbench for free to test your current Mac and compare the results.

OS X and the death of the scrollbar

GigaOm mourns the death of the scrollbar in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. Flipping your scrollwheel down to move up may take some getting used to when Lion ships later this summer. Thankfully Apple has offered an option to switch it back to the way Macs currently work. But is this change to the OS a sign of things to come?

Listen to Mac OS X Lion’s amazing new text-to-speech voices

MacOSXDaily has posted a few samples of the new voices that will appear in Lion when it ships. For those who live in the UK, you’ll appreciate Serena’s British accent. The quality of the voices is a huge improvement over the current Snow Leopard voices offered.

100 Principles for designing logos

Who would have thought that there were at least 100 different things to consider when building a brand? Apparently there are. I’m not sure anyone considers all of these when designing a logo, but it does give you a lot to think about, and perhaps helps guide your decision-making process.

Web browser choices have never been better for Mac users

Popular Mac Browsers

Some of the most popular browsers from Mozilla, Google, Apple, and others

When Apple first released Mac OS X a decade ago, Mac users had little choice in web browsers. There was Microsoft Explorer, and Netscape Navigator, and… well, that was it. Soon after we were treated to a few more options, but nothing like we have today.

With Safari shipping on every Mac, and the world-wide popularity of Mozilla’s Firefox, you would think there wouldn’t be much room for competition in the web browser market. But the options have actually never been better for Mac users. (more…)

Free Freehand group files antitrust lawsuit against Adobe

FreehandThere was a time when the battle for vector creation dominance was a heated battle between Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia Freehand. Illustrator was the dominant player, but not by much. Freehand users were extremely loyal, and the application offered many features that are still absent in Illustrator to this day. All of that changed in 2005 when Adobe acquired Macromedia and discontinued Freehand completely.

Freehand users were absolutely furious. To this day, Illustrator faces no real competition in the professional vector art creation world.

Out of nowhere (for me anyway), a group called Free Freehand has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Adobe Systems, Inc., alleging that Adobe has violated federal and state antitrust laws by abusing its dominant position in the professional vector graphic illustration software market.

I suspect that the group is seeking to have the code for Freehand sold to another party for active development, or donated to the open source community. At this stage of the game, I’m not sure if anyone could resurrect Freehands popularity among professional designers. Illustrator is a great program, and as part of the Adobe Creative Suite it is a staple product for every professional designer; a group that doesn’t take well to drastic change. But it will certainly be interesting to follow the lawsuit.

New Microsoft product leaked

Microsoft TV Dinner

Leaked Microsoft TV Dinner box shot

Details are sketchy, but we got our hands on one copy of the new Microsoft TV Dinner, expected to ship any day now. An unboxing video isn’t available, but the only thing inside beside the dinner was an instruction sheet containing the following: (more…)

Advanced CSS3 training in plain English

The Book of CSS3CSS3 is the technology behind most of the eye-catching visuals on the Web today, but the official documentation can be dry and hard to follow. Luckily, The Book of CSS3 distills the heady technical language of the CSS3 specification into plain English, so you can get started on your next project right away.

With real-world examples and a focus on results, The Book of CSS3 shows you how to transform ordinary text into stunning, richly detailed web pages fit for any browser. You’ll master the latest cutting-edge CSS features, like multi-column layouts, borders and box effects, and new color and opacity settings. You’ll also learn how to:

  • Stylize text with fully customizable outlines, drop shadows, and other effects
  • Create, position, and resize unlimited background images on the fly
  • Spice up static web pages with event-driven transitions and animations
  • Apply 2D and 3D transformations to text and images
  • Use linear and radial gradients to create smooth color transitions
  • Tailor a website’s appearance to smartphones and other devices

“The Book of CSS3 doesn’t waste time teaching the basics,” said Author, Peter Gasston. “It’s for experienced developers who want to build on their existing knowledge. It gets right to the good stuff, so you can put it to work on your own sites today. And the companion website offers up-to-date browser compatibility charts and live CSS3 samples for you to explore, so you can actually see the book’s examples in action as you read.”

NoStarch Press is offering a free copy of the Ebook version when you buy the print copy for just $34.95. The Ebook only version can be had for $27.95. You can also purchase a copy of the book from O’Reilly, but it does not come with a free copy of the Ebook.

AIGA Design Contract

AIGA Design Contract

The official AIGA Design Contract - customizable to suit your needs

The AIGA Standard Form of Agreement allows you to create customized terms and conditions for different types of design engagements. The contract (PDF) is modular to meet the needs of a growing design community involved in various disciplines. You can use different portions appropriate to the scope of work you’re performing. Having a contract before you begin work can go a long way in making sure you get paid for the work you do.

“F#ck You. Pay Me.” – An education video for graphic designers

Mike Monteiro, Design Director, and co-founder of Mule Design Studio gave an awesome lecture titled “F#ck You. Pay Me.” to a bunch of web designers that covers legal contracts and the design business. This is a 30+ minute video that should be mandatory material at any design school.

Tutorial: Enhance your vector image with Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop enhanced vector art

Enhancing vector art in Photoshop takes your image to the next level

The greatest value in any tutorial you come across on the web is not the actual image you create following the tutorial, but being exposed to the techniques used to create them.

Vector art ready for enhancementVectorTuts has a great tutorial on enhancing your vector art with Photoshop. The image to the right is a piece of vector art created in Adobe Illustrator. It’s flat and boring, and you could use many filters and techniques to enhance it in Illustrator, but exporting the vector file as a layered Photoshop file offers you the opportunity to learn some really useful techniques. The end result can be seen in the image at the top of this post.

As with any tutorial, I encourage you to play with the settings illustrated in the tutorial to suit your taste. The tut makes heavy use of layer effects and gradients. While the tutorial is what I would call intermediate level, it will probably take you about a half an hour to go through.