Category: General

20 creative movie posters designs

CoffeeandCelluloid takes a look at 20 amazing movies posters in the last year or so. What I love about this visual list is the diverse styles used in poster designs. Because movie posters have to appeal to a wide audience, many times they tend to be somewhat, well, boring and predictable. These 20 posters toss aside the norm, and dare to be different. Special thanks to long-time reader, Robert, for sending me the link!

Quickly convert your .eps or .ai files to PDF without Illustrator

PreviewIf you need to send a copy of your Adobe Illustrator .eps logo to a client or someone without the ability to use .eps files, you probably want to send them a PDF. Don’t waste time firing-up Adobe Illustrator, Apple has made it easy with Preview (check your application folder). Preview is obscenely fast at opening PDFs, .jpgs, .eps and even .ai files. Open your .eps or .ai file in Preview and save the file. Preview will automatically choose PDF as the file format. The great thing about doing this is that the resulting PDF file can still be opened and edited in Adobe Illustrator.

History of the World Wide Web

With all the technology improvements to the Web over the last several years, it’s hard to believe that the Web is still in its infancy. Despite popular belief, Mosaic (later changed to Netscape Navigator) was not the first Web browser. Mosaic was released in 1993 and was simply the first popular one used by the general public. The first Web browser, known as WorldWideWeb (see screenshot below), was invented by Tim Berners-Lee in February 1991, the same guy who invented HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol) in 1989. WorldWideWeb, later renamed Nexus, ran on the NeXTSTEP platform, which of course was formed by Apple’s Steve Jobs. Berners-Lee developed the software on his NeXTcube while working for CERN. The original code still resides on that NeXTcube in the CERN museum. Unfortunately, we’ll never get to see that code, because the computer is a historical artifact. While we were still using technology like Gopher, FTP, Usenet and various text-based BBS systems to access the Web (prior to the WWW), large corporations jumped on the bandwagon early. The oldest registered domain name was SYMBOLICS.com, registered in March of 1985. It didn’t take long for other companies to catch on. In 1986, Xerox became the 7th domain registered, followed by HP (#9), IBM & Sun (#11), Intel (#13), AT&T (#15), Boeing (#26), Adobe (#42), Tandy (#50), and Unisys (#50). On February 19, 1987, Apple Computer registered Apple.com (#64). As is typical, Microsoft followed the leader and finally registered Microsoft.com in May of 1991. For a list of the 100 oldest registered .com domain names, click here.

Adobe releases Creative Suite 4

Adobe officially released Creative Suite 4 today. Adobe Creative Suite 4 delivers tightly integrated software and services that measurably improve productivity and enable you to produce richly expressive work in print, web, interactive, video, audio, and mobile.

Creative Suite 4 pricing is as follows:

Design Premium InDesign, Photoshop Extended, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Acrobat, Bridge, Device Central, Version Cue

  • $1,799 full
  • $599 upgrade

Design Standard InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, Bridge, Device Central, Version Cue

  • $1,399 full
  • $499 upgrade

Web Premium Photoshop Extended, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Acrobat, Soundbooth, Contribute, Bridge, Device Central, Version Cue

  • $1,699 full
  • $599 upgrade

Web Standard Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Contribute, Bridge, Device Central, Version Cue

  • $999 full
  • $399 upgrade

Production Premium After Effects, Premiere, Photoshop Extended, Flash, Illustrator, Soundbooth, OnLocation, Encore, Bridge, Device Central, Dynamic Link

  • $1,699 full
  • $599 upgrade

Master Collection InDesign, Photoshop Extended, Illustrator, Acrobat, Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Contribute, After Effects, Premiere, Soundbooth, OnLocation, Encore, Bridge, Device Central, Dynamic Link, Version Cue

  • $2,499 full
  • $899 upgrade

Full Creative Suites, as well as individual applications can be purchased directly from Adobe’s Web store, or through authorized Adobe dealers. Downloadable demo versions of Creative Suite software will be available soon.

Finding the perfect color combo

Looking for color combinations for your next Web project? There are plenty of these Web-based color combo sites out there, with my personal favorite being Adobe’s Kuler. Kuler is great in that it allows you to work with CMYK values, and upon completion, download an Adobe Swatch Exchange document you can import into all your Adobe Creative Suite applications. All the Creative Suite 4 applications have integrated Kuler into the program, so this option will most likely be the default for designers using Adobe products. Perhaps the king of color combo sites is Colourlovers, where there are countless color palettes already built, or you can create your own. You can also click a link next to each color to find photos using that color from iStockphoto. ColorBlender is a fairly straight-forward color combo site which allows you to create and share color palettes, and download files containing your colors for use with other design applications. A unique feature to ColorBlender (though I couldn’t get it to work) is the ability to match the color you create on screen to the closest Pantone color match. ColorCombos has yet another Web-based color combo exploration tool. Simply add a Hex color value into an input box and select the complimentary colors option. Simple! Virtually all color combo sites allow you to create and share your custom color palettes, so whichever one you choose, you probably can’t go wrong.

Extensis Universal Type Server: font management for large groups

Dealing with lots of fonts is no small task. This is especially true in ad agency, design firm and pre-press environments. Not only does everyone need to have the same fonts, but companies tend to want to make sure all the fonts are of high-quality, and legally owned. This is where font server management applications come into play. Where desktop font managers control fonts on an individual user’s machine, a server-based font manager handles it for many users over the network. Extensis Universal Type Server (UTS) is just the tool for the job. UTS picks-up where Suitcase Fusion leaves off, by managing large collections of fonts from a server, and quickly deploying them to users as needed. (more…)

12 realities of pricing design services

I’ve posted articles in the past that point freelancers in the right direction on how much to charge for design services. Today, I have yet another helpful link to help you along the way. For most designers pricing services is not something that is the highlight of the job. Still, it is something that you’ll have to deal with if you’re freelancing or working for a small firm. Vandaley Design lists 12 realities of pricing design services:

  1. There’s no exact formula.
  2. Both hourly pricing and project-based pricing have pros and cons.
  3. Pricing is a necessary part of freelancing.
  4. Mistakes are a part of the process.
  5. Your prices will affect your own outlook on your services and it will also impact your client’s opinion of your services.
  6. Uncertainty is Common.
  7. The variety of prices is as wide as the variety of talent levels.
  8. Losing a job isn’t always a bad thing.
  9. Pricing can be a good way to weed out the tire kickers.
  10. Some potential clients will think your prices are high no matter what you charge.
  11. Charging more than you quoted may be necessary.
  12. Starting out you’ll probably have to charge less than you’d like.

The articles goes in-depth on each topic, and is well worth the read. If you’re in the process of deciding how much to charge, you definitely want to check this article out.

Rant: Definition of beta, and other software development terms

There was a time, “back then,” when a piece of software that was in Beta meant that the application was feature complete, and the developer was simply releasing the software to a small group of users in order to fix any remaining bugs before releasing the app to the general public. Google changed all that a few years ago when it released GMail to the general public as a beta. To this day, it’s still a beta – even though there are millions of users. That being said, I thought it would be nice to take a look at the definition of some typical software development terms, and what they meant “back then,” and what they really mean “now.” Read on for the definitions. (more…)

Understanding camera lens terminology on your digital camera

If you’re not heavily into photography, the controls on your digital camera are probably a mystery to you, and the terms used in photography are likely a foreign language. One such confusing term is aperture. Here’s a helpful tip on what aperture settings mean, and how it affects your photos. Note: This assumes that you have a DSLR camera, not a fixed-lens point & shoot camera. The aperture of a lens refers to the amount of light a lens lets in when you take a photo. The aperture size is commonly referred to as the F-Stop or F-#. Confusingly enough, a smaller F-# means a larger aperture size, which allows more light in, and creates a narrower depth of field. This means that when taking a portrait photo, the subject will be in focus, and the background will remain out of focus, or blurry. A higher F-# will keep the entire frame in focus.

F-# Aperture Size Shutter Speed Depth of Field
Higher # Smaller Slower Wider
Lower # Larger Faster Narrower

Lens aperture settings are displayed as 1:X or f/X.X. So a lens with the largest aperture would be 1:1.0 or f/1.0. Because these larger aperture lenses are so desirable, they typically cost much more than a lens with a smaller aperture. Why are they desirable? Because they let more light in! That means if you typically do a lot of indoor photography and rely on your flash, these lenses will produce a much more evenly-lit image, rather than your subject being brightly lit and the background nearly blacked-out completely. For more information about camera lenses, I recommend taking a look at this excellent article at Cambridgeincolour.