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Communications Design Industry Discussion, Inspiration, & Tutorials

Sep 21, 2012

Need a Web Development Refresher?

By On 10:30
In a recent conversation with fellow Pub Design grads, a friend posed the following question:

"I'm about to cross the line from full-on print designer to (teaching myself) web design. I know basic code but not much else. I plan on getting practice by creating a blog - can anyone fill me in on the most important things I should know? I've heard jQuery a ton of times--and any free tutorial sites that will be helpful in this ridiculously scary endeavor..."
This request prompted me to dig around for resources for the self-tutoring designers of the world. Here are links and mini descriptions. I hope this helps.

First, let's be clear, you should have at least basic knowledge of HTML and CSS, and Java Script before delving into the more complex resources below.

Codeacademy boasts that it's the easiest way to learn code. A group of my peers are currently using this resource to bone up on current skills. Check it out...

NetTuts+ This Envato offering has a comprehensive PSD to HTML tutorial. It gives you the tools needed to build a set of site designs. Check it out...

Tuts+Premium 30 Days to Learn jQuery. I'm taking this course now and the bite-sized lessons are great for someone with a short attention span. Check it out...

If you're ready to pay for it, grab a 1 month membership to Lynda.com and use every resource that's available.

Sep 19, 2012

It's Time--again--for a Good Purge

By On 06:43
Binge & Purge (clothing swap) is back and I want to talk about it.

The original idea behind B&P was that I had a ton of super-fly gear from the now defunct shop "Funk in the Trunk"--a vintage clothing store in Baltimore, owned by Travis, Chris and me. The gorgeous garments, stunning shoes, bitchin' belts, and bodacious baubles cluttered up my life and apartment for years after we closed. My original plan was that I'd sell the goods online or on consignment. Seriously, I'm way too lazy for that.

The idea of clothing swap allowed me to get rid of these items and lots of others from my own wardrobe. AND I decided to donate left-over gear to a local women's services organization. Anyway, swap day came and went off without a hitch, by the end of the event I was approached by a local friend and neighbor who offered to take all of the donatable items and ship them to Nigeria--for the benefit of needy families there. I jumped at the chance. In my view, helping others is helping others, period.

In subsequent swaps I have kept the donations to local social service organizations. This September I'm looking forward to driving a truckload of goods to drop off at House of Ruth, My Sister's Place, and Dress for Success.

Regarding the logo and typography, I've made similar design decisions in creating this web banner as in previous years. Check them out...
See B&P1
See B&P2
See B&P3

Binge& Purge Clothing Swap: Sunday, September 23, 2pm-6pm at the Metro Gallery in Baltimore
1700 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

Sep 4, 2012

Tutorial: Simple Photoshop Vignette

By On 10:41
Here is an easy-peasy way to vignette a photo by darkening it's corners using a simple mask. For this tutorial, I'm using a photo of two of my friends--both MICA grads--who attended the 2012 MICA graduation carrying inspirational signs to encourage the new grads.

Open your image in photoshop. In the layers panel double-click the image to unlock it

Select the Elliptical Marquee Tool and drag a marquee from the upper-left to the lower-right of your image. This will select most of the image except for the 4 corners

From top menu choose Select > Inverse to choose the outer corners of your image
Press “Q” or click on the Select the Edit in Standard Mode mask from your tools panel

Go to Filters for your top menu and select Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set your radius to between  50 and 60px (57px used here). Hit OK

Press “Q” again
Select Image  > Adjustments  > Levels and with your RGB channel selected, use the light Output to create the darkened edges on your photo.

Here’s what I finished with:

thanks Zach and Street