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June 07 2013

10:00

Tayasui Sketches – Creative iPad App for the Paper Lover


  
tayasui-sketches-artistry-w550

It's been quite a while since we last published an article in our series of iPad apps for the creative professional. As we all know there is no shortage of apps for the Apple tablet in general. Hundreds of thousands can be downloaded. All in all more than 50 billion apps have been downloaded from the App Store since its inception, which allows us to roughly estimate, that each human being walking this earth must own 8 apps on average. Hey, the numbers never lie. The app we want to introduce to you today is called Tayasui Sketches and at first sight it will remind you of Paper by FiftyThree, closely. At second, too...

July 28 2012

13:00

Paper Prototyping and 5 Analog Tools for Web and Mobile Designers

Designers love analog tools. No wonder. These tools lets us physically interact with interfaces and speed up the design process, like paper prototyping. What takes hours in the digital world can be sketched out in a matter of minutes.

That’s why analog methods of prototyping are especially valuable right at the beginning of projects – when speed matters the most. Working with paper, or perhaps a whiteboard, can accelerate the speed of our learning loops. Sketch, feedback, sketch, feedback, sketch feedback – you can go through dozens of iterations in one day and you’ll set solid foundations for the rest of the work. Consider it kind of premium insurance. Getting rough feedback quickly can save you a lot of work.

No wonder, according to research by Todd Zaki Warfel, paper prototyping is still the most commonly used prototyping method! Yes, while we tend to disagree if we should code prototypes or just use prototyping software, the use of analogue tools in our design process is unquestionable! Honestly, I don’t know any designer who is not going through early stage paper prototyping sessions.

Of course in paper prototyping we pay the price of low-fidelity and while it might not be a problem for your team to discuss lo-fi deliverables, in my experience, it’s always a problem for stakeholders. To avoid misunderstandings and accusations that you’re playing with paper instead of working, just make paper prototyping an internal method for your team.

Analogue methods are supported by User Experience pioneers such as Bill Buxton, author of Sketching User Experience and Carolyn Snyder author of Paper Prototyping. They highly recommend breaking away from the computer once in a while and collaboratively work on the analog side of the design moon. According to them, paper prototyping:

  • keeps all team members motivated (as they can easily participate in paper prototyping sessions)
  • lets designers iterate quickly and gather feedback very soon in the process
  • gives designers freedom since paper has no boundaries

And though many believe that the rise of tablets may end paper prototyping in the next couple of years, I’d disagree. The physical nature of paper prototyping, its speed and straight forward form (understandable by anyone), makes it unbeatable by any digital gadget. Tablet devices are just another medium of digital prototyping (perhaps better than computer, who knows…) than replacement of analog methods.

In recent years we can observe attempts to optimize paper prototyping by the creation of dedicated tools. I tried most of them and I’m addicted to some (UXPin, UI Stencils). They hugely improved my workflow. Dedicated paper prototyping tools gave me speed that exceeds everything that I tried before. I feel more professional with a well crafted notepad in hand than a crumpled piece of paper with messy sketches on it. This confidence helps me discuss my analog work both with teammates and stakeholders. Most of the tools that I present below have been around for couple of years and I guess they’re doing great.

My fingers are crossed for these brave entrepreneurs.

Have fun!

Note: At the end of article I listed some of my favourite printable templates – they are ready to use and FREE!

UXPin – Paper prototyping notepads

Popular paper prototyping notepads with an original idea. User Interface elements are printed on separate sticky notes, which let you quickly create prototypes and iterate by re-sticking parts of the interface. Additionally, notepads are equipped with a sketchbook (with printed browser/iPhone), project kick-off and personas forms, as well as diagramming, gridded, paper. Hard-covered, well-designed and beautifully crafted books are $29.99 with free DHL delivery to USA, Canada and EU, if you buy any 3 of them. Since people from Google, IBM, Microsoft use them – UXPin notepads has sort of become an industry classic.

Finished prototypes can be auto-converted into digital, HTML, wireframes by UXPin App and this is one of the coolest things I have ever seen in the User Experience Design field.

Phone Doo – Magnetic boards 

Little magnetic, erasable, boards let you quickly sketch your ideas, while keeping proportions of a real iPhone. Dotted grid also provides significant help in drawing interfaces. Whiteboard form makes them really iterative and agile-like. Imagine bringing these little boards to a scrum meeting and presenting your recent design work. People will be amazed! The small size makes them a perfect tool if you like to design while sitting in a cafe. Besides, they look so good. One pack of Phone Doo’s costs $15 + shipping via US Post ($15 for one pack to Europe).

UI Stencils

Precisely cut User Interface stencil help you sketch interfaces in an aesthetic way. Forget about messy sketches and create sketched beauties with straight lines. It really helps to communicate design ideas!

UI Stencils has created steel stencils for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7, Web and also several kind of special notepads with gridded browser, iPhone etc.

UI Stencils cost $26.95 + delivery (USA -> Europe, $6.50-$45 – depends on the delivery option)

Sketchbook – Sketchbook for Web & Mobile Design

Nicely crafted sketchbook with printed browser on every card. A simple, but highly useful tool that you can take with you to any meeting to quickly doodle an interface. It might not be revolutionary, but it’s certainly a “nice to have” tool. UX Sketchbook costs $12.95 + $13.95 shipping fee (USA -> Europe).

Behance Dot Grid Book

Simple notepad with a dotted grid on every page that is supposed to make it easy for us to sketch interfaces. $15 seems a little high for this simple book, but on the other hand it’s quality pays off.

Free printable templates

Kong Graph Paper

MBTI Sketching Paper for Ideation

MBTI A4 Sketching Paper

The tools listed above are more than enough to make your design process at least partially analog. If I can suggest anything, I’d recommend you try a couple of these tools, as well as the free templates, and check where they’re taking you. If you experience an increase in your process speed and a growing understanding of the design within your team, consider using them regularly!

February 10 2012

14:00

February 08 2012

23:55

January 30 2012

15:28

COLOURlovers Interview & Giveaway with Jessica Sprague on The Art of Poster Design

Poster design is a really fun, inexpensive and unique way to explore your creative side. From the 1,000's of fonts, variety of poster sizes, and layouts, sometimes, it's difficult to know where to start!


Once you master your design techniques visit Next Day Flyers for fast poster printing at great prices.

Today we are interviewing Jessica Sprague, design guru and owner of JessicaSprague.com. In February, Jessica is heading off a four week Poster Design course. She is also giving away not one, but TWO seats to this really awesome class! I couldn't be more excited about the class after taking Jessica's Subway Art class. I'm a busy mom, so I don't have a whole lot of time to join in a live class, which is why I love Jessica's classes- they are self-paced and available forever!

Follow Jessica: Twitter & Facebook

Can you tell us about yourself, how long have you been designing? Teaching? Do you have a job outside of JS.com?

In my former life I was a web & user interface designer for a software company, so I've been designing in some form or another for about 14 years. I started teaching digital scrapbooking, Photoshop, and graphic design in 2007 when I opened  JessicaSprague.com. Since then it is my full-time job, and I love it!

What three (or less) singular colors do you most identify with, why?

My favorite color is green - I love it in almost all of its shades from lime to olive. It's the color of growth and regeneration, of calm energy, of prosperity, learning, balance, and harmony.

If you had to describe yourself [currently] as a five color palette, what colors would they be? Could you provide me with HEX codes so I can create a JS palette for you? :)

I feel like I am a blue, two greens, and a red, coupled with a dark grey. Hex: aed835, d9ea65, 81c9c0, a90c19, a90c19

The greens I've already described. The blue is an ocean representing responsibility, stability, trustworthiness. The red represents fire and emotion, and the dark grey brings some gravity, but also represents the dark that balances the lighter, fresher colors.

Jessica_Sprague

If you could be a shape, what shape would you be? (i.e. a polygon = triangle, hexagon etc...)

I would be a 5-pointed star. :)

 

How do you approach incorporating color combinations in poster design? Where do you start on this process?

As with any design process, I always start with a theme or a concept. What is it that we're saying? What emotion do we want to evoke in the reader or viewer of this piece? Having a solid design concept, I move in to blocking shapes and choosing colors - usually designed to play on the overall theme.

Source: Jessica Bills

Personally I'm a font junkie, I'm sure you have a large collection of fonts yourself, how do you organize your collection?

I love fonts. LOVE. I collect them, drool over them, dream about them, find excuses to buy new ones. I have a lot of fonts - probably 1700 - and I use a program called Font Expert to organize my fonts. I need to get even better at organizing, when there's time! But right now I have them divided into categories. My categories include: 3d, Block, Calligraphic, Circus, Condensed, Cute, Decorative, Destroyed, Dingbats, Display, Distressed, Gothic, Handwritten, Modern, Monospaced, Ornaments, Outline, Quirky, Retro, Sans Serif, Script, Serif, Skinny, Stencil, Symbol, Typewriter, Wide, Worn.

How do you approach using fonts in poster design?

The typeface choices make a critical part of the design process - this typically comes as the style and theme of the poster is being fleshed out. I think the typography - especially in a poster where the message tends to be very brief and very LOUD, is especially important, and one of the hallmarks of a really good design vs. a less-effective one. Fonts say things in addition to the actual words they spell - they have personality and that personality needs to be respected and taken advantage of in a design.

Heavily using fonts seems quite trendy, where do you recommend a base knowledge or quick reference about font types and usage?

Mixing fonts is an art and a skill that takes time to develop - I recommend beginning to steep yourself in really good typography, such as the samples over at veer.com as a really good resource for getting a feel for the subtleties.

Source: Jessica Sprague The Art of Poster Design

How do you feel about using patterns in poster design? Something busy, but in the background? Or something simple like a chevron- those seem to be rather popular right now. What are some basic rules you follow when incorporating patterns into poster design?

I think patterns are great in limited ways in a poster - most posters rely on a one-or-two color press that doesn't allow for much multi-color pattern; but this is changing as the price for laser printing in large-scale formats continues to come down.

How would you describe your style when creating posters? Do you like to use big fonts? Do you tend to use the same fonts over and over?

The style of a poster is always dictated by the message and the style called for - but in general I like big bold fonts, large graphics, brushwork, and great details.

Source: Janet Carr, a student from Jessica Sprague's Subway Art class.

What do you think are the most common mistakes people make when designing a poster?

I think the most common mistake is that people are afraid to really fill the space in a poster - I see things centered with plenty of whitespace around the text, no color (even black on white can be a color if used well!), and just general blandness. A poster's purpose is to deliver a message in 10 seconds or less - boldness is the name of the game.

Where are you most likely to find inspiration when you're stuck in the mud?

I have Pinterest. I also have a few books, including The New Masters of Poster Design, which is excellent eye candy for all styles of posters.

How long is the filming process for the poster class from start to finish, including editing?

There will be about 12 hours of finished video for this class, which takes about three weeks to record and edit.

Since I've taken several of your classes, I know throughout the videos you give direction for both Photoshop and Elements users, do you prefer one program over the other?

Great question! In my own work I use Photoshop CS5, but I prefer teaching Photoshop Elements, because I love and adore the Project Bin! LOL. 

Source: Sunday Grennan of itsmesunday.

The Giveaway: Two Lucky COLOURlovers Will Win!

As mentioned above, Jessica has generously offered two seats in the class, a value of $63.99 per class! The giveaway starts today, January 30th, 2012 and ends next Monday, February 6th, 2012.

To Enter: 

Leave a comment telling us what your favorite font is and what theme you would use the font for when creating a poster or project.

The Art of Poster Design starts February 13th and ends March 11th. Jessica Sprague will be leading the class with step-by-step video instruction. This is considered an intermediate class. You can sign-up or get more detailed information here.

I've recently created a digital crafting group on COLOURlovers, feel free to join, and share your works of art, palettes, patterns, and chat with people who have the same interests! 

January 17 2012

14:54

Paper from GF Smith

The postman delivered a nice surprise this morning.

GF Smith paper samples

GF Smith paper samples

GF Smith paper samples

GF Smith paper samples

“The design of our latest selector reflects the different ways in which people select our papers. In some instances, colour is the primary concern, before material type, texture or weight. However, these priorities are often reversed, making style the key point of reference. So now we give you three modes of paper selection: Select Colour, Select Black+White or Select Range.”

GF Smith paper samples

GF Smith paper samples

GF Smith paper samples

Beautifully designed by London-based SEA, request yours from paper-specialist GF Smith.

Published on David Airey, graphic designer

Logo Design Love, the book

Related posts on David Airey dot com

00:03

December 20 2011

11:25

March 29 2011

10:55

Design Inspiration: Paper Textures in Web Design

Paper textures are a common design element in websites, as well as in other types of graphic design. As you’ll see in this post, paper textures can serve as a major design element or as a subtle texture that adds to the design without dominating it.

Here you’ll find more than 25 examples of designs that make use of paper textures. We hope that this provides you with some ideas and inspiration that can be used in your own work.

Sprocket House

Sprocket House

vSplash

vSplash

Snap, Share and Win

Snap, Share and Win

Viget Labs

Viget Labs

IDEO Labs

IDEO Labs

Church on the Rock

Church on the Rock

Team Green Adventures

Team Green Adventures

Revolution Driving Tuition

Revolution Driving Tuition

Web Smarty

Web Smarty

Dog House Cards

Dog House Cards

The Ernest Hemingway Collection

The Ernest Hemingway Collection

Shawn Johnston

Shawn Johnston

Mom & Popcorn

Mom & Popcorn

Team Fannypack

Team Fannypack

Tennessee Vacation

Tennessee Vacation

Think Up

Think Up

Tennessee Education

Tennessee Education

Clever Craft

Clever Craft

ftdesigner

ftdesigner

Noel Design

Noel Design

The Literary Bohemian

The Literary Bohemian

enviRenew

enviRenew

Games for Her by You

Games for Her by You

Visit Idaho

Visit Idaho

Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell

Missing Pages

Missing Pages

I’m Uraz

I'm Uraz

Art Attack

Art Attack

Paper Textures and Brushes Bundle

At Vandelay Premier we have a bundle of textures and Photoshop brushes that will make it easy to add paper textures to your work. The bundle includes 83 textures and 31 brushes for $19, but we’ve set up a discount code for our blog readers. If you’d like to save $5 please add the bundle to your cart and enter the discount code “readerssave” to get the bundle for just $14. See the Paper Textures & Brushes Bundle.

For more design inspiration please see:

High Resolution Textures

March 09 2011

21:47

Universal wrapping paper

Here’s an idea I thought was worth sharing — universal wrapping paper.

universal wrapping paper

universal wrapping paper

universal wrapping paper

universal wrapping paper

universal wrapping paper

Brilliant.

Designed by Fabio Milito and Francesca Guidotti. Found on The Dieline.

Published on David Airey, graphic designer

Logo Design Love, the book

Related posts on David Airey dot com

August 19 2010

08:19

Amazing Examples of Paper Art

When most people think of art involving paper, they think of drawing, sketching, or maybe painting. However, there are very talented people out there that create art from paper in more unusual ways. I’m talking about paper art that involves creative forms of cutting, folding, and carving. Materials for this type of art can vary, ranging from ordinary paper to whole books. To inspire you and let you see what other things artists are doing with paper, we’ve collected some pretty amazing works for you to enjoy.

To learn more about each work and the artist, just click on the image.

paper art

paper art

paper art

paper art

paper art

paper art

paper art

paper art

paper art

paper art

paper art

paper art

paper art

paper art

paper art

paper art

paper art

paper art

paper art

paper art

paper art

paper art

paper art

paper art

paper art

paper art

paper art

paper art

paper art

May 29 2010

12:32

The Beauty of Paper Art

Smashing-magazine-advertisement in The Beauty of Paper Art
 in The Beauty of Paper Art  in The Beauty of Paper Art  in The Beauty of Paper Art

The times when paper was considered to be the primary medium for artistic expression is long gone. Many writers and designers use digital media to improvise and develop their ideas. However, there is something particuliar in this “physical” canvas — something that keeps us getting back to paper when we want to brainstorm ideas in a notebook, doodle around in a sketchbook, collect inspiration in a scrapbook or just draw some sketches for the next project.

In fact, paper is even more powerful than that. It is a very flexible medium. You can use it paper only for giving your ideas and feelings forms, but also as an expressive medium for creative artworks formed out of paper. You can create a sharp-edged paper plane or ship, but also form twisted curves of nature or complicated geometrical shapes. In this weekend’s post we present a showcase of paper art; you wil find many beautiful carved, folded, cut out paper objects and realistic 3D paper sculptures, all using paper, cardboxes or even books as materials. Please make sure to follow the links to explore further works of the artists presented below.

You may be interested in the following related posts:

[By the way: The network tab (on the top of the page) is updated several times a day. It features selected articles from the best web design blogs!]

The Beauty of Paper Art

Apples

PaperArt100 in The Beauty of Paper Art

Buscando a la serpiente

PaperArt44 in The Beauty of Paper Art

Paper Tunnel by Jen Stark

PaperArt98 in The Beauty of Paper Art

Flat Globe Cutting Book Series “AKIRA CLUB”

PaperArt83 in The Beauty of Paper Art

Golden Swan

PaperArt120 in The Beauty of Paper Art

Paper flowers

PaperArt69 in The Beauty of Paper Art

Face

PaperArt108 in The Beauty of Paper Art

Bijoux

PaperArt134 in The Beauty of Paper Art

Artists who make pieces, Artists who do books (detail)

PaperArt82 in The Beauty of Paper Art

Paper art 3 from Jen Stark

PaperArt02 in The Beauty of Paper Art

Lost At E Minor

PaperArt104 in The Beauty of Paper Art

Icosahedron

PaperArt128 in The Beauty of Paper Art

World Books

PaperArt90 in The Beauty of Paper Art

Custom topography of St. Thomas

PaperArt09 in The Beauty of Paper Art

Paper Latern

PaperArt48 in The Beauty of Paper Art

Deep Sea Tango

PaperArt29 in The Beauty of Paper Art

Sunflower

PaperArt30 in The Beauty of Paper Art

Flock

PaperArt34 in The Beauty of Paper Art

Holding on to myself

PaperArt97 in The Beauty of Paper Art

Helen Musselwhite: Romany Caravan

PaperArt63 in The Beauty of Paper Art

Paper Drummer

PaperArt38 in The Beauty of Paper Art

Charles Clary 4

PaperArt73 in The Beauty of Paper Art

Indian Tree

PaperArt117 in The Beauty of Paper Art

O Ero He`ll Fight (Detail)

PaperArt87 in The Beauty of Paper Art

Typography

PaperArt99 in The Beauty of Paper Art

My Modern Metropolis

PaperArt112 in The Beauty of Paper Art

My Modern Metropolis 2

PaperArt113 in The Beauty of Paper Art

Paper Mask

PaperArt102 in The Beauty of Paper Art

Last Click

Wataru Itou
This paper model looks very impressive with all the little lights illuminating it. Be sure to hit up the link for more pictures of this masterpiece.

Paper Craft Castle 6 in The Beauty of Paper Art

Related Posts

You may be interested in the following related posts:


© Smashing Editorial for Smashing Magazine, 2010. | Permalink | 6 comments | Add to del.icio.us | Digg this | Stumble on StumbleUpon! | Tweet it! | Submit to Reddit | Forum Smashing Magazine
Post tags: paper, photos

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