Photoshop etiquette for agency designers

Photoshop Etiquette

Photoshop Etiquette is a site dedicated to offering some best practices for web designers using Adobe Photoshop. Of course, many of the tips are applicable for print designers as well.

Naming layers and using folders to group appropriate layers is a pet peeve of mine. There’s nothing worse than opening a PSD file with 75 layers all named “Layer Copy 1 Copy” and set in no particular order.

Got any tips not listed that makes life easier when using Photoshop? Share in the comments below.

Vecte: OS X application switcher replacement


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.

How to design direct mail so nobody opens it

Direct mail is still one of the more popular and successful methods of marketing for many companies. It puts your product or service in the hands of consumers where, hopefully, they read it and keep it on the kitchen table for a while—increasing the chance that the consumer acts on it.

With so much competition in the consumer’s mailbox, you have to design the piece for clear readability and quick communication of your message. Tell the reader too much and you risk them not reading the entire piece. Don’t tell them enough and they lose interest and toss it in the bin.

Rather than go into all the best practices of designing direct mail, I thought I would share my thoughts on a direct mail piece I received recently.

Bad direct mail

Printing absolute page numbers in your Adobe InDesign document

I know. You’re probably thinking “just type the page number in the Print dialog box.” But that only works when your pages are numbered in the default method where page one is actually the first page in the document. This isn’t always the case. Many times, you’ll have a multi-page document where you’ve used the Numbering & Section Options in the Pages panel and the page numbering doesn’t start until (for example) page six—to accommodate a cover page, table of contents and intro pages.

So if page one is actually the sixth page in your Adobe InDesign document, and that’s the page you want to print, you can’t just print page one, because that would actually print the first page of the document—which in this case is the cover page.

Absolute page numbering

To print the specific page that is numbered page one (the sixth page in this example), you have to print the Absolute Page Number. To do this, simply add a + (Plus) symbol to the absolute page number in your document (in this case, 6) as seen in the image above.