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October 20 2011

15:00

DNA11 + COLOURlovers Palette Contest: Color Your DNA

Time for a palette contest with a mix of science and art! COLOURlovers has paired up with DNA 11 (dna11.com) to bring you a creative, unique way to further personalize your DNA artwork.

DNA 11 is the original creator of DNA Art Portraits, Fingerprint Portraits, and Kiss Portraits -- the World’s most personalized art on canvas.

Who knew that you could do such beautiful things with your DNA?!

Turn your palette into beautiful personalized art!

The contest will be open and accept entries for the first phase from Thursday, October 20th through Thursday, October 27th, 2011.

Enter the Contest  |  View the Entries  

Color and submit as many DNA Portrait Templates you would like. Only one (1) of your entries will be eligible for prizes.

Prizes!

The top ten (10) most LOVED entries will go on to further voting through DNA 11. One winner and four runners up will come of the final round of voting.

If one of your entries wins, our friends at DNA 11 will send you your very own, palette-customized, 24 x 36” DNA Portrait and add your winning palette to their line of color options for personalized DNA art.

If you are one of the four runners up, you will receive a $250 DNA 11 Gift Certificate and your palette will also be added to the DNA 11 color collection.

DNA 11 will also publish a blog post with links to the top five COLOURlovers DNA artwork winning creations (winners and runners up).

The Rules Summarized:

  • Each entry must be 2-5 colors
  • Top 10 entries with the most LOVES (as voted by the COLOURlovers community) will become finalists. 1 winner and 4 runners up will be voted from this 10 through DNA 11.
  • Unlimited entries, but only 1 of your entries may be eligible for prizes.
  • First prize: 24x36 DNA Portrait (value $500) plus the winner's palette becomes a permanent part of the DNA 11 collection.
  • Secondary prizes: four runners up receive $250 DNA 11 gift certs. Plus their palettes become a permanent part of the DNA 11 collection.
  • Participation prize: everyone gets a $100 DNA 11 gift certificate.

Just for entering, you will receive $100 gift certificate to use at DNA 11. In addition, you may use a 20% off discount at DNA 11 through November 17th, 2011 whether submitting an entry or not (code and gift certificate are not combinable). 20% OFF Code: Color20

You must be a member of COLOURlovers.com to enter the contest. Sign-up for FREE.

September 28 2011

20:21

September 23 2011

16:57

August 30 2011

21:12

August 20 2011

21:34

August 15 2011

19:57

Plywerk - Naturally Display Your Artwork

Introducing...PLYWERK, an eco-conscious photo mounting and art panel company based in Portland Oregon. They work with professional artists, photographers, interior designers, point and shoot photographers, parents, and everyone in between!

Curly_Oak_Grove
Art pieces are a made up of your print adhered to a Plywerk Panel to create a beautifully natural piece of wall art. Gorgeous bamboo or maple are offered for the wood options.

Plywerk Anatomy 101

Bamboo & Maple Plywerk Panels

COLOURlovers has recently become a Pro Partner of PLYWERK. Why is this super notable to mention? Because you're going to get the best, most amazing deals ever when you create an account (which is free). These deals are customized to COLOURlovers Members Only under the Prodeal membership (which is also free). Pretty sweet huh?

COLOURlovers Creations On Your Wall...

You can mount anything photography, graphic design pieces, etc. I'd personally like to see some fantastic patterns from the community mounted on these!

Cabbage_Flowers

 

Amber_wingsAnything

FIRST: Create A New Account on Plywerk.com

NEXT: Sign Up For A New Account.

Make sure you check the box under, "Prodeal Signup?" which will unlock the Pro Partners selectors where you'll be able to enter your COLOURlovers information.

Want to see COLOURlovers work on a Plywerk piece?

I'd love to see your COLOURlovers + Plywerk piece. Plywerk offers a layered PSD file for you to mask your creation. If you want to play around with it, the file link is located on the Prodeal page here (bottom - left).

Let's see what ya got!

August 02 2011

15:49

July 21 2011

17:46

Seamless Studio for Mac/PC ~ Pattern Power!

What we love more than anything is helping people share their ideas & inspirations. A couple years ago we added the ability for members to color in 100 preset pattern templates and we saw your creativity flourish, but we also saw an even greater opportunity... To give you all the power to design your own pattern templates!

And without being able to save your work, import your own custom shapes, work only in grayscale... and with only our simple web version of Seamless, in the past 12 months our awesome members created more than 80,000 original seamless patterns.

So it's with great excitement for the amazing creations that will be shared that we release the more powerful desktop version of Seamless Studio!


 

Special COLOURlovers Member Price

And as a special thank you to all our supportive members here at COLOURlovers, we're giving you a $20 discount on the regular price of $49, just for being a member. Thanks for Sharing the Love!


 

A Showcase of Amazing Seamless Patterns

It truly is magical what you all are able to create using simple shapes and only 5 colors... Check out the Showcase to see some examples of the wonderful patterns being created with Seamless Studio. Or check it out for yourself, Download a FREE 15 Day Trial of Seamless Studio...


 

Beautiful, Easy to Use & Affordable

Existing pattern design tools & software were expensive, hard to use & not much fun to play with. So as part of our mission to make design super easy and accessible to everyone, we made a beautiful, user friendly & affordable vector pattern design app. These are just some of the features we packed into Seamless Studio:

Import Custom Shapes
Open SVGs from other editors to use in your patterns.

Export to Other Formats
Save your pattern as a SVG, PNG, or JPG image.

Layers / Groups
Organize and rearrange shapes simply.

Save / Open
Create projects and come back to them later.

Easy Upload
Upload your patterns straight to COLOURlovers.com.

Line Tool
Create wavy, sawtooth, straight, dashed, and dotted lines.

Infinitely Scalable
Export SVGs that scale beautifully to any resolution.

& More...
 

Start Sharing Your Patterns with the World!

Not only can you publish your patterns right to COLOURlovers.com from the app, you can also export your patterns as high res files to use in your own creative projects. Upload them to Spoonflower to get custom fabric! Print them out and sell them as part of a craft pack on Etsy! Turn a pattern into beautiful wall art with Imagekind! ...Woohoo!

July 15 2011

13:26

July 09 2011

11:00

30 Of The Most Useful Google Products You Should Consider Using Daily

Most of us are using Google and its services everyday. Their search engine, Gmail and Youtube are some the most popular Google products. But how many of you knew that Google has, for example, a tool for creating charts? And if you knew, were you actually using it?

Google has dozens of undiscovered, yet excellent products, people don’t know about. In Google Labs itself you can find plenty of useful tools and products for web designers and developers. Furthermore all Google services are free to use and that makes them appealing alternatives to paid products of a similar nature. For example, Google Docs can be a great alternative for Microsoft Office since it’s free, light and easy to use. This article presents 30 useful, practical and smashing products, tools and services from Google that you should consider using daily.

1. News

News-google-products-didnt-know-about

Google News is a computer-generated news site that aggregates headlines from news sources worldwide, groups similar stories together and displays them according to each reader’s personalized interests. The articles are selected and ranked by computers that evaluate, among other things, how often and on what sites a story appears online.

2. Reader

Reader-google-products-didnt-know-about

Google Reader constantly checks your favorite news sites and blogs for new content. Whether a site updates daily or monthly, you can be sure that you won’t miss a thing. With your Google Reader public page, you can share your favorite items with your friends, simply by sending them to relevant links.

3. Bookmarks

Bookmarks-google-products-didnt-know-about

With Google Bookmarks, you can save shortcuts to your favorite webpages and navigate to them in seconds. Unlike browser bookmarks that are stored on a single computer, Google bookmarks are stored in your Google Account. This means you can access them from any computer with an internet connection.

4. Alerts

Alerts-google-products-didnt-know-about

Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic. Enter the topic you wish to monitor, then click preview to see the type of results you’ll receive.

5. Sites

Sites-google-products-didnt-know-about

Google Sites is a free and easy way to create and share web pages. With Google Sites you can easily create rich web pages, collect all your info in one place and control who can view and edit it. You don’t need any knowledge of HTML and it’s free to use.

6. Blog Search

Blog-search-google-products-didnt-know-about

Blog Search is Google search technology focused on blogs. Blog Search helps users to explore the blogging universe more effectively, and perhaps inspire many to join the revolution themselves. Whether you’re looking for Harry Potter reviews, political commentary, summer salad recipes or anything else, Blog Search enables you to find out what people are saying on any subject of your choice.

7. Trends

Trends-google-products-didnt-know-about

With Google Trends, you can compare the world’s interest in your favorite topics. Enter up to five topics and see how often they’ve been searched on Google over time. Google Trends also shows how frequently your topics have appeared in Google News stories, and in which geographic regions people have searched for them most.

8. Gmail Labs

Gmail-labs-google-products-didnt-know-about

Gmail Labs is a testing ground for experimental features that aren’t quite ready for primetime. While you may find some awesome stuff there, you have to keep in mind that these features can break at any time or disappear altogether. However they may work so well that they graduate and become regular features.

9. PubSubHubhub

Pub-subhubhub-google-products-didnt-know-about

PubSubHubbub is a simple, open, server-to-server publish/subscribe protocol as an extension to Atom and RSS. Parties speaking the PubSubHubbub protocol can get near-instant notifications via WebHook callbacks when a feed they are interested in is updated.

10. Contacts

Contacts-google-products-didnt-know-about

Google Contacts is a place to import, store and view all of the contact information that’s important to you. You can also create your own groups of contacts to easily email many people at once.

11. Knol

Knol-google-products-didnt-know-about

Knol is a Google project that aims to include user-written articles on a range of topics. Knol allows you to communicate, collaborate and share your knowledge with the world.

12. Moderator

Moderator-google-products-didnt-know-about

Google Moderator is a tool that allows distributed communities to submit and vote on questions for talks, presentations and events. Suggested questions as well as user votes are seen in real-time.

13. Tasks

Tasks-google-products-didnt-know-about

With Google Tasks you can add new tasks, set due dates or add notes, and (most satisfyingly) check them off as you’re done. Your task list stays up to date no matter how you access it. It’s a simple list that’s with you everywhere you go. You can access Google Tasks from your Google Mobile, Gmail, Calendar or iGoogle.

14. Docs

Docs-google-products-didnt-know-about

With Google Docs you can create and share your work online and access your documents from anywhere. Manage documents, spreadsheets, presentations, surveys, and more all in one easy to use productivity suite. What’s handy you can embed your created forms and use them in websites.

15. Checkout

Checkout-google-products-didnt-know-about

Google Checkout allows buyers in over 140 countries to purchase goods and services using a credit or debit card through our fast, secure checkout process. Google Checkout also helps you increase sales with the Google Checkout badge that can be displayed on your AdWords ads and Product Search listings.

16. Fusion Tables

Fusion-tables-google-products-didnt-know-about

Google Fusion Tables is a modern data management and publishing web application that makes it easy to host, manage, collaborate on, visualize, and publish data tables online. There’s also a gadget that that helps you create animated flash charts & graphs for your web pages, blogs & Google Pages.

17. Double Click

Double-click-google-products-didnt-know-about

Google’s DoubleClick products provide ad management and ad serving solutions to companies that buy, create or sell online advertising. The world’s top marketers, publishers, ad networks and agencies use DoubleClick products as the foundation for their online advertising businesses. With deep expertise in ad serving, media planning, search management, rich media, video and mobile, our DoubleClick products help customers execute their digital media strategy more effectively.

18. Art Project

Art-project-google-products-didnt-know-about

With Google Art Project you can explore museums from around the world, discover and view hundreds of artworks at incredible zoom levels, and even create and share your own collection of masterpieces.

19. Shopper

Shopper-google-products-didnt-know-about

Google Shopper helps you find information on millions of products. Google Shopper recognizes products by cover art, barcode, voice and text search. You can find local and online prices, reviews, specifications, videos, and more to help you make the best purchasing decision. With one click you can save items to your shopping list and share with your friends.

20. Voice Actions

Voice-actions-google-products-didnt-know-about

Voice Actions for Android lets you control your phone using your voice. Call contacts and businesses, send messages, browse the web, and complete common tasks. You can do pretty much anything with it –  send simple text messages or get directions.

21. Code Search

Code-search-google-products-didnt-know-about

Google Code Search helps you find function definitions and sample code by giving you one place to search publicly accessible source code hosted on the Internet. With Google Code Search, you can use regular expressions to search more precisely, restrict your search by language, license or filename and view the source file with links back to the entire package and the webpage where it came from.

22. Code Labs

Code-labs-google-products-didnt-know-about

In Google Code Labs, you’ll find developer products that are experimental. Some of these will one day graduate out of labs, others may remain experimental or even be shut down. That’s what a lab is for. Likewise, graduating from Google Code Labs is a big step that indicates our long-term commitment to that product.

23. Webmaster Tools

Webmaster-tools-google-products-didnt-know-about

Google Webmaster Tools provides a free and easy way to make your website more Google friendly. With webmaster Tools you can see how Google crawls, indexes and ranks your website, see how many people found your site in search results, and how many people clicked on it and much more.

24. Browser Size

Browser-size-google-products-didnt-know-about

Google Browser Size is a visualization of browser window sizes for people who visit Google. For example, the “90%” contour means that 90% of people visiting Google have their browser window open to at least this size or larger.

25. Page Speed

Page-speed-google-products-didnt-know-about

Page Speed Online analyzes the content of a web page, then generates suggestions to make that page faster. Reducing page load times can reduce bounce rates and increase conversion rates.

26. Web Toolkit

Web-toolkit-google-products-didnt-know-about

Google Web Toolkit (GWT) is a development toolkit for building and optimizing complex browser-based applications. Its goal is to enable productive development of high-performance web applications without the developer having to be an expert in browser quirks, XMLHttpRequest, and JavaScript.

27. reCAPTCHA

Recaptcha-google-products-didnt-know-about

reCAPTCHA is a free CAPTCHA service that protects your site against spam, malicious registrations and other forms of attacks where computers try to disguise themselves as a human; a CAPTCHA is a Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Human Apart. reCAPTCHA comes in the form of a widget that you can easily add to your blog, forum, registration form, etc

28. Web Elements

Web-elements-google-products-didnt-know-about

Google Web Elements allow you to easily add your favorite Google products to your website. It’s a great alternative if you don’t want to create your own search engine, for instance.

29. Installable Web Apps

Installable-web-apps-google-products-didnt-know-about

Installable web apps are a way of making Google Chrome treat certain websites like apps. People can find installable web apps using the Chrome Web Store. Many installable web apps are hosted apps—normal websites with a bit of extra metadata. You can build and deploy hosted apps exactly as you would build and deploy any web app, using any server-side or client-side technologies you like.

30. Dashboard

Dashboard-google-products-didnt-know-about

Google Dashboard is an online tool that allows Google Account holders to view all their personal information Google is storing on their servers. It’s pretty handy to manage all your Google service accounts at one place and keep them up to date.

Discover more

There are actually many more products, especially for you designers and developers. Like I mentioned before, Google has a great number of lesser known, yet powerful, development and coding tools. Listing them all would be useless, however there’s no reason why you shouldn’t check them out yourself. Here are some websites where you can learn about Google products and their features.

Reposted byTheCrimsonIdol TheCrimsonIdol

June 05 2011

18:18

Seamless Studio Beta: Help Us Test It

Very exciting! - We've been working hard on a much-improved desktop version of the Seamless pattern-maker called Seamless Studio. Sponsored members of the community have been helping us test the beta and now we're opening up the beta to everybody else! We'd love your thoughts and feedback on the new app.

Download the Seamless Studio Beta Here:
http://docs.colourlovers.com/seamless-studio/install

Here’s some of the stuff we think you'll love in the new Seamless Studio:
* Save and open your templates as you're working on them
* Build your own custom shape libraries
* Import external shapes
* Upload templates directly to COLOURlovers
* Preview your COLOURlovers template in color
* Create patterns with unlimited colors
* Design on custom canvas sizes

Documentation and help sections for things like "Understanding the Interface", "Document Modes", "Custom Shapes" & more can be found here: Seamless Studio Documentation & Help

Get On The Seamless Notification List: Be the first to know when the full version launches!

 


 

*A Note on Importing Shapes with Seamless Studio*

With how talented our members are, it’s hard to know when they used their amazing talents to create a custom shape.. or when they imported a vector shape from another source.

It’s ok to import shapes from other creators when you have the appropriate permissions to do so. Please do not upload pattern templates that include imported shapes / images that are copyrighted. If you use shapes that are licensed with a creative common license, please link the source in the description. Unattributed pattern templates that include copyrighted content will be removed.
 

*How To Help Us Beta Test*

Once you've had a chance to play with the app, we'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback.

Just copy and paste the text below into a love note to COLOURlover or email to love@colourlovers.com and send it along with your thoughts:

=======================================
Seamless Studio Beta Feedback
=======================================
Your name:

Your occupation:

Operating Systems tested:

Seamless Studio Feedback:
----------------------------
* Describe any problems encountered during installation:

* Describe your initial impressions of Seamless Studio:

* What features/tools, if any, did you find to be confusing or difficult to use?

* What new features do you like most about Seamless Studio?

* What do you think could be improved?

* Describe any problems or bugs encountered while testing Seamless Studio:

* Would you recommend Seamless Studio to a friend? Why or why not?

* What are the first 3 words that pop into your head when you think of Seamless Studio?

* How often do you use Seamless Studio?

* What other software programs do you use on a regular basis?

* Please describe any additional comments regarding Seamless Studio:

May 23 2011

17:19

April 29 2011

19:13

March 22 2011

18:52

Contest & Book Feature: Clients From Hell

Clients From Hell, the perfect follow-up book to our more recent giveaway the Smashing Book #2. For any of you in the design industry be it graphic, print or web - you will truly appreciate the contents of this book with tears of laughter. I do hope they make a desk calendar next, it would make an excellent stocking suffer!

Having worked in the design industry, encompassing all of the above, both in the office and freelancing, I can truly find a place in my heart and a special spot on my desk for this book. I can't put it down actually. It brings back those memories at the office where my boss's most frequent design direction was, "Just make it fabulous!" the sad thing is, I learned how to design around that comment. I learned to put more gold, more frill and use fancy nonsense words in our designs for a cruddy product I didn't truly believe in - at least with the way the company was directing it.

At this point in my career, my brother and I were the website and design team - he was the programmer/coder/tech support guy (as do all small companies swamp their "computer guy") and I was the font-end designer of web, print and graphics. We shared an office and could probably write our own hilarious novel re-capping the many ridiculous meetings we came out of from that place. Yes, we even got the,"I want you guys to create a MySpace, Facebook combination, BUT for sports! This is going to be such a big hit! Google will want to buy it from us!" I believe this is about the time (2006-2007ish) when Google and Yahoo were buying out popular web apps and people were going crazy trying to develop the next big thing... I'm sure my bosses were not the only ones thinking they would have the next big thing.

"We’re going to leave Zuckerberg in the dust and think about how much he makes every year. Are you in or out?" - clientsfromhell.net

So I'm on a tangent with my story, but this book brings back the reality of those days - chocolate covered in laughter and makes me question how I kept my sanity working for those guys. Some of you may have similar memories of the things your bosses or clients may have said. Some of you are probably living it daily or still get those types of clients if you're a freelancer. It's never-ending.

"Isn’t it as simple as putting in a button to select different languages? Just look at Facebook." - clientsfromhell.net

CONTEST: Design a Pattern From Hell

Did I mention that I have THREE (3) books to do with what I please? Yep! I begged for 3 extra copies (not like I'm giving up mine!) to do a contest with. So without further adieu...

To honor all those design veterans and those of you still being tortured by clients and bosses similar to the ones from this book, we are going to do a fun contest! The rules are simple:

1. Design a NEW PATTERN using the COLOURlovers Seamless Pattern Maker (you must be the creator of the pattern).

2. Color it using the Clients From Hell color palette (consisting of red, black and white ONLY).

Clients_From_Hell

3. Submit your entry by copy/pasting your pattern badge in to the comments - code is located on the right side under SHARE THIS PALETTE when you are viewing your pattern (or palette or color swatch). It is REALLY important that you follow this step, as you need votes (aka LOVES) to win and I need to be able to link to your contest entry pattern.

4. Include your own client from hell experience and/or find a favorite from clientsfromhell.net (make sure if you use one from CFH.net that you let us know by linking or mention please).

And the winner...needs to get the most LOVES!

A winner will be picked with the most LOVES on their pattern. So make a really super cool pattern, make all of your friends and family cookies (if you need bribery) and tweet, facebook or whatever you need to about your pattern. Get some love!! Hey you could even paste it on your fellow lovers profiles to ask for loves... just saying.

The contest will run 7 days - Tuesday to Tuesday. That would be Today, Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011 - midnight Tuesday, March 29th, 2011. Results should be posted no later than Wednesday, March 30th. You must be a user to play, make sure your email notifications are on as I will need to contact you to collect your address to send you your book. Feel free to send me a love note if you have any specific questions on using the Seamless Pattern maker, etc.


If you must have this book now, you can also order it on Amazon.com here (available in both print and on the kindle)...annnnd if having the book just isn't enough, there are a few other funnies you can get from the CHF store here.


And just because I can't get enough of these...

"I’m not trying to be cheap, I just don’t have that much money." - clientsfromhell.net

“I want the visitors to have a fresh experience each time they visit. So, I want you to design atleast 25 different websites so that every time they visit they will get a new experience.” clientsfromhell.net

“In the interests of working together, I would appreciate it if you could do this free of charge.” clientsfromhell.net

March 11 2011

23:41

March 10 2011

10:54

Review & Giveaway: The Smashing Book #2

Don't go anywhere!!! There's a super fantastic book giveaway after our feature presentation!


The_Smashing_Book_2

Just holding this book makes me go, "ahhh..."

Everyone is raving about the quality of book #2 compared to book #1 (or published media in general). I don't blame them. I almost didn't mention it, because everyone else has, but that was ALSO my initial thought upon receiving my copy of the book. Straight from the box, I instinctively noticed these things in this order:

First, I noticed that I can plop it in my purse, no problem (and I don't carry an overly-large purse!). It's not too heavy or too many square/cubic inches. That's important, because I dread getting a great book, but eyeballing how thick it is sometimes hurts as I rarely have time for reading real books. My arms aren't going to fall off trying to hold it up while I'm laying in bed reading it.

Second, most definitely the quality. Smashing Magazine did not skimp on getting this little ditty published. Quality, stitch-bound, hard cover and hefty pages that produce sharp graphics. It's a nice tight number that you'll probably keep on your desk or prop on a shelf just because it's so pretty.

Third, artwork and graphics, amazing! They seriously couldn't go wrong with using Yiying Lu (yes, forever known as the creator of the famous Fail Whale from Twitter.com). But seriously, who can resist that kind of work, I know my three year old can't! What three year old do you know peruses a web and graphic design book with focus and interest? I will admit mine has a great attention span, but still... I'm caught flipping through the pages simply studying the chapter artwork. I have to laugh at myself.

Fourth and last, the cutest little ribbon bookmark comes attached. What a nice little touch! I bet this is the most talked about ribbon bookmark in the history of books. I suppose I will not be lazily dog-earing my new book.

So hands down on the book construction and makeup. Smashing you get a full applause in that area (I think everyone else would agree, no?)!

My thoughts from reading & perusing...

Chapters include:

  1. #1 The Principles of Great Graphic Deisign
  2. #2 Visible vs. Invisible Design
  3. #3 Designing Mobile User Experiences
  4. #4 Sketching, Wireframing and Prototyping
  5. #5 Red Flags (Warning Signs) in Web Development
  6. #6 The Future of Web Typeography
  7. #7 Applying Game Design Principles to User Experience Design
  8. #8 When they Click: Psychology of Web Design and User Behavior
  9. #9 Design Patterns in e-Commerce Websites (Study)
  10. #10 How to Make a Book (Like this One)

 

I realize that you can make something look pretty dang great, but fill it with garbage. Not in this case. I might be a bit bias because I am a HUGE fan of Smashing Magazine and the fantastic information they continue to provide to the design and web communities.... I will note, however, that the previous Smashing Book #1 seemed somewhat of a letdown to a "few" folks, which has become more prevailiant with Book #2 being such a positive hit and maybe with more of a comeback in the comparisons being made.

My primary area is Design. Both in print and web. And I will openly admit, I'm not ever going to be in the one of the top designers of the world because of this and that - so a book like this is absolutely PERFECT for me. I think anyone who wants a nice review, more insight

What I enjoyed in the first chapter was the correlation between the two, how different and yet similar they are.

"It stands to reason, then, that the process of design involves making deliberate and appropriate graphical choices in order to best communicate the intended message. This applies as much to designing for the Web as it does to designing for print." - excerpt, page 15

What I most enjoyed about this chapter was it's focus on using design effectively and timelessly. When I was reading through the pages of Timeless Thinking - which included talk about simplicity, adding too much gaudy junk (aka ornaments), minimalism, contrast, space and tension... it really brought me back to the basics in art school and working with drawing techniques. Sometimes I feel that I start a project over-designing and after I get that part about needing to impress the client out of my system and go minimal, it never fails to be the winning pick - this chapter was a kick in the pants refresher.

Then I read on to variations of  Type and its effectiveness as well as the role it plays. Overall, a golden chapter to set your path a little straighter or teach you a few things.

"While a good graphic designer works to create an attractive design for the client, a great graphic designer pushes further, striving to understand the  crux of the project's objective. The great designer builds on the various concepts ..." - excerpt, page 44

My other favorite, is chapter 7: Applying Game Design Principles to User Experience Design. What I most enjoyed was the play off of understanding the correlation between the two to make an easier way to think about UX Design. My favorite part starting with the section, The Name of the Game which goes through each of the five key attributes of the "game" of online interaction. It became a fun way to think about UX Design.

 

In conclusion, I like that the end of each chapter will sum up with a number of useful resources, about the author, some history from that section and even a nice extra Reading List for more in-depth study on a subject if interested - actually, I would have liked more reading resources at the ends of more chapters. I thought that was very helpful and resourceful to place in one area, instead of having to dig back through my dog-eared and highlighted pages and notes to locate a good resource I just know I marked.

I do find that this book is something I will be keeping on my desk for some time to reference and re-reference when my mind is fogged or fighting to go a direction my gut knows I shouldn't.


THE GIVEAWAY!

Are you tired of hearing me blab blab blab about the book? Are you just dying to get your hands on your own copy? Well here's your chance, we have 3 copies in our giveaway!

 

Contest Rules are simple. This will be a random drawing of three lucky commenters who provide the following information in their comment:

Please provide what your specialty is be it Design Warlord, Freelance Web Designer or Couch Potato... but seriously, I would like to know what you do for money or fun in the relationship to wanting the book in your grubby little paws.

The contest will run from March 10th, 2011 through March 18th, 2011 - Winners will be announced the following week, Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011. Winners will also be emailed via Love Notes on COLOURlovers.com so make sure you turn your notifications ON for both in-site and email so that I can collect your address and get your prize out ASAP. Contest is for COLOURlovers.com users only, so if you aren't a member, get signed up and get commenting!

 

March 04 2011

05:42

The Hotlist – Edition 6

PRODUCT

iPad 2

iPad2Apple rocked the world yesterday with it’s new iPad announcement. It’s a really slick device now. It received some awesome upgrades. It’s thinner, faster, has new apps and a lot of other stuff packed in. But, who I am kidding… You probably streamed the keynote live on your second display and know more than I do.

Once you pick up iPad 2, it’ll be hard to put down. That’s the idea behind the all-new design. It’s 33 percent thinner and up to 15 percent lighter, so it feels even more comfortable in your hands.2 And it makes surfing the web, checking email, watching movies, and reading books so natural, you might forget there’s incredible technology under your fingers.

INSPIRATION

A Matchbook Made in Heaven – Studio On Fire

0011_StudioOnFire_letterpress_matchbook_wedding_full_suite-600x450

We designed this wedding invitation for the lucky couple that won our giveaway with Martha Stewart. It’s only too fitting that the couple we chose to work with will be jumping fires on their wedding night. Besides complimenting our studio name, their scheduled wedding night activities (get your mind out of the gutter) lends perfectly to the orange and white color palette featured by Martha Stewart.

Apple iPad: Year One

There’s never been anything like iPad. It changes the way students learn and teachers teach. It transforms how businesses do business. It helps doctors take better care of patients. And it’s a whole new way to see the world.

FONTS

Type Specimen for iPad

Screen shot 2011-03-03 at 3.09.55 PMType Specimen is the first font viewer for iPad, revolutionizing the way digital fonts are presented today. It’s an ideal tool for people who need to select fonts for projects – be it magazine design, corporate identity design, web applications, or book typesetting. Type Specimen is a quick and easy way to navigate the type foundry, containing over two hundred original font styles. Type Specimen allows you to categorize individual fonts, make comparisons, or see details of specific glyphs. All of this for free of course.

MUST READ

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Screen shot 2011-03-03 at 3.56.19 PM

For me, the only way to heal is to use the moments that knock us down in the same way as the moments that build us up. Whether it be death or life, it seems to take me in the same direction. It seems to end at the same place- the desire to create. It’s the way I choose to face each of them head on. Some artists look for inspiration in movies, books, etc.. and they are all good ways to achieve the end goal.

KICKSTARTER

Blimpus, an inflatable character

Screen shot 2011-03-03 at 4.25.47 PMAs designers we pretty much want to put graphics on EVERYTHING. We’ve done t-shirts, posters, skateboards, and anything flat and easy to print on. But now we want to explore beyond flatland and into the round, bulbous world of inflatable characters as custom, collectible art. What we’ve created is a blank, inflatable canvas with a big silly head to paint on and feet to stand on. They’re a bit over two feet tall, with stubby legs and they’re made of an ink-receptive PVC vinyl.

WORKSPACE

MFA Studio

Screen shot 2011-03-04 at 12.39.28 AM

HAVE A TIP?

Feel free to send us a tip if you think you’ve got the hot stuff. ‘hotlist@fuelyourcreativity.com

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The Hotlist – Edition 6

March 02 2011

15:33

Apple is announcing 2nd Iteration of iPad 2 Today? Rumours and Specifications

Apple is holding an invite-only media event today and it is rumoured that they are going to announce the rival to latest Dual Core tablets like Motorolla Xoom and Galaxy S Tab 2.  We will keep you posted about all the updates as soon as the event starts. If you are wondering why 1wd is covering gadgets and technology news, we thought it might be cool to cover Apple because many people in creative circles use their products. However, this is an experiment and we are open for feedback and suggestions.

Read on to see whats coming next in the 2nd iteration of tablet’s world Giant iPad.


Apple's Invite sent to Media outlets (Showing the iPad screen in background)

 

Some expected updates for new Apple iPad 2 are:

1. The iPad 2 is expected to be slimmer and airier as compared to its predecessor, also with larger speakers and an “improved display”, which will provide better experience in vivid sunlight. But Retina display is not expected as it won’t be economical provided the display screen size but we are not certain of it as there are so much rumors about display of to be announced iPad..

2. It is expected to have both front and back-facing cameras for FaceTime and Photo Both. Not having a front facing camera was a super let down in the original iPad. We are sure Apple wont let iCustomers down this time.

3. Some sources are also expecting iPad 2 to have Verizon support. So there will be a Verizon iPad along with the original AT&T iPad. Three versions of iPad 2 are probable. One will be Wi-Fi only, other will feature Wi-Fi and UMTS, the 3G technology utilized by AT&T and the third model will support Wi-Fi and CDMA, used by Verizon, reported by DigiTimes.

4. DigitalDaily reported that “iPad 2 will likely run on a 1.2GHz, dual-core, ARM Cortex-A9 chip and Imagination’s SGX543 GPU architecture–a big improvement over the SGX535 Apple uses today. And it will have double the RAM–512MB, same as the iPhone 4. ”

An iPad 2 listing has been briefly spotted at Amazon Germany, potentially revealing the technical specifications of Apple’s next-generation tablet via Softpedia

Along with iPad 2, it is believed that new iOS5 will get its preview at the start of the show, which is expected to present new voice navigation features, certainly new map applications and probably Cloud/MobileMe/iWork/iLife integration. And notifications have to be getting updated.

We will be posting news after the event but if you want to see the live stream of show, you can head to Apple’s official website (For Mac and iOS users). In case you don’t have one, you can always stop by Engadget’s live blog here.

Conference will start  at 10 a.m. PT!

February 20 2011

16:17

February 12 2011

13:44
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