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Communications Design Industry Discussion, Inspiration, & Tutorials

May 26, 2011

Create an E-Book with Indesign CS5

By On 15:09
EPub will get your e-books easily viewed on smart phones, tablets and various readers--I dont mean a PDF

Here's part two:

Illustrator CS5 - Terry's 5 Faves

By On 14:44
I think the perspective grid is in my top five too!!

Coming soon--to a blog near you--embarrassing practice vectors using perspective drawing tool!

May 24, 2011

Freelance resources

By On 10:20
Thinking about going it alone—or at least getting started as a freelance designer?? There are hundreds of resources out there to help you get started.

 A favorite of mine is the book “The Business Side of Creativity” by Cameron Foote. This book offers practical advice on getting started, preparing contracts, doing your taxes, and even incorporating yourself. If you’ve never heard of this book, you have now. Pick it up.

Recently, a designer asked me how I approach the copyright issue when approaching a new project. The best advice that I could offer—without scanning and emailing a page from the book above –was to direct her to the AIGA Documents page. AIGA has a huge offering of sample contracts and advice for the freelancer. Members must login!

Graphic Design Forum also has a post that includes one of the most comprehensive list of contracts and documents that you might need.

Speaking of the interweb, Envato notes directed me to an awesome blog that they also produce, http://freelanceswitch.com/. This blog is pretty comprehensive and offers answers to questions that working designers come across all the damn time.

Another great blog –as I ALWAYS say—is Bittbox.com. Jay Hilgert is a designer/developer who spends all his time creating and finding various tools for the graphic designer. I’ve bookmarked him and check in every week to find tutorials and vectors that might help in my design work.

Good luck, y’all!

May 19, 2011

Free Adobe Video Tutorials!!

By On 12:00
For a great library of online training materials, Lynda.com is an excellent resource. As my year membership has recently expired—and I used it mainly for Adobe products—I’ve decided to give Adobe TV a shot. It’s FREE and you get to learn from the pros while you follow along. 

Here's an awesome example- the top 5 Illustrator CS5 Features. Take a look!

May 16, 2011

The new drop-down menu

By On 07:00
Like many designers in my peer group, I loathe conventional drop-down menus. Where once they provided added functionality and a sneak peek at the site map, many companies overuse the poor things. Often drop down menus make simple navigation complicated. At times I yearn for the day of the landing page.

Enter the Mega-Menu:

I saw this, www.eatright.org, the updated website of the American Dietetic Assn.Thank you,  Davis Design Partners  for giving  the dropdown menu back its dignity. This was achieved by creating a hybrid landing page/dropdown; when users roll over an item in the main navigation the content area changes to reveal the MEGA-menu:

  • a section description
  • “featured content” a.k.a your dropdown menu
  • a beautiful user interface.

This is achieved through advanced javascript and incredibly elegant, functional graphic design. Kudos!!

May 10, 2011

Portfolios That Inspire: Davis Design Partners

By On 06:53
This week I've been working on a planned giving campaign--Web ads, print ads, etc-- and I did a search to see what sort of hand and plant images were popular with the non profits. That's when I came across Davis Design Partners.  The design piece pictured is elegant and out-of-the-box! I had to share.

May 6, 2011

Portfolios That Inspire: Cline & Co.

By On 11:38
In my frantic search for creative commons I came across a gorgeous design site. The subtle, clean color scheme and the simple navigation reminded me why I love web design. More specifically why I love portfolio design. Here's a sampling of the design that took my breath away. Cline&CO Graphic Design Studio