Category: General

The importance of color management

I recently had a conversation with Andy Hatkoff, Vice President of OEM and technology licensing at Pantone, where we discussed the importance of color management in designer’s and photographer’s workflow, and how color management has changed and what tools we can use to get the best results. You can read the importance of color management at Macword’s Creative Notes Blog. There’s a link at the end of the article that I’ve found quite useful in explaining some of the ins-and-outs of color management for Photoshop users.

Digital printing tips

Digital printing is a great way to produce low-quantity, fast turnaround color printing. In the past, digital meant extremely low quality, but these days some of the digital presses can reach near offset quality if you know a few tricks. Here are just a few things to keep in mind when printing digitally.


Gamut is the term used to describe the range of colors that a specific printing device can produce. If you’re coming from CMYK offset printing, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out that digital presses can handle up to a 20% wider color gamut. What this generally means is that you can use redder reds, greener greens and bluer blues. This can be a real plus when designing your marketing materials that have vivid images that traditional printing simply cannot reproduce in the CMYK color space. Now that you understand color gamut, let’s move on to how you can put it to work… (more…)

You’ve heard of the iPod? Introducing the OfficePod!

In the “I’ve seen it all” category, I bring you the OfficePod – the next generation of workplace. The OfficePod claims to improve productivity by providing a work environment that is separate from the disruptions of home life, and also provides employers a cheaper way to provide a workplace for their employees. Maybe they work a little differently in the U.K., but I just don’t see this type of thing going over well in the U.S. Still, it’s a cool looking little “remote office” if you’re entire life is on the computer. As for me, I can only see cramped space, and a vomit-enducing lack of air movement. After you spend what I’m sure is a small fortune on the OfficePod, you’ll have to find yourself a general contractor to run enough power to the thing. That is, after you get the permits.

Dealing with Adobe CS4 “license stopped working” errors

If you own a LEGAL copy of Adobe Acrobat, or any of the other Adobe Creative Suite 4 applications, and have suddenly received a “Licensing for this product has stopped working” error message, uninstalling and reinstalling is not likely to fix the problem. Adobe is apparently aware of the issue, and has posted a KnowledgeBase article covering some possible solutions. The article covers all operating system versions that CS4 will run on, and offers several solutions you can try (in order) to fix the problem.

Inspiration: Beer packaging

Niki over at DesignO’Blog has posted the fourth edition in a series of packaging design posts, this time focusing on some awesomely designed Beer packaging for your inspiration. Niki left off my personal favorite (seen above), but the rest of them look really cool. Check out the visual beerfest, and remember, friends don’t let friends drink and surf!

Hand-made fonts make a splash

I’m not much for gimmicky fonts. Sure, I like them, but I wouldn’t consider using them for anything beyond the family Christmas newsletter. But photo fonts are a different story. If done well, they can be creative, professional, and might be the cure for the creative cold-spell. HandMadeFonts is just what the doctor ordered. The site features over 100 photographic fonts. While some are cheesy at best, many are quite stunning, and might just fit in to your next project. Everything from lego pieces, baloons, and water drops to stitched leather, grass and animal fur. When you purchase these fonts, you’re actually not getting a font, you’re getting PSD files. Single fonts can be purchased using PayPal for as little as $13 each.

Redesign vs. Realign – which do you do?

Like a kid in a candy store, we creatives redesign like it’s the new black. Why do we possess such an insatiable desire to refresh and remake? Why do we thrive on renewal? “Good Designers Redesign, Great Designers Realign,” by Cameron Moll at AListApart, won’t analyze the psychological ambitions of right-brained elites and their innate desire to recreate, it will attempt to describe the difference between redesigning and realigning, as well the advantages of one over the other. While the article is old (published in 2005), I thought it was still quite interesting, and so true. How many times have you redesigned your own logo/identity kit? Hmmmm…

HDR photography tutorial

HDR Tutorial

Photo by Suck In Customs @ Flickr

Stuck In Customs, a unique photo site which features rich HDR images and reviews of photography equipment, has a great tutorial on how the HDR images are produced (such as the one above). While you can simulate HDR photos with nothing but Photoshop, the results are rarely as stunning as the ones produced using the combination of equipment and software in the tutorial. Aside from the tutorial, Stuck In Customs is just a great site to view some beautiful photography work. Also be sure to check out the Stuck In Customs photostream at Flickr.

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Rant: OSX menubar madness

It’s been a while since I’ve gone off on a rant, but I couldn’t hold this one in any longer because it’s driving me absolutely freakin’ crazy! What the hell is with the OSX menubar? Why does it suck so badly?

I have a host of apps that I use on a regular basis, and they offer menubar apps/icons to make it easier to work with. The problem is, the damn things are ugly, and I can’t configure the order in which they appear. Adding to my frustration is the fact that the load order appears to change on a whim every time I log-in or restart. Thus, my menubar madness rant… (more…)

Business card design inspiration

Card Observer is a new site that showcases business card designs for your inspiration. Much like LogoPond, a site that showcases logo designs, Card Observer offers readers the ability to view, comment on, and even submit their own card designs for the world to see.