FREE E-Book – 25 Champions of Design December 28th, 2011
The people at CreativePro.com have posted a page with a link to an excellent free Ebook (in PDF format), named 25 Champions of Design. I’m sure my design students of all types will derive some excellent information from this book. And, best of all – it’s FREE!
Awesome HTML 5 Cheatsheets! December 28th, 2011
The hosting company who hosts all my websites (www.inmotionhosting.com) has posted a wonderful set of HTML 5 Cheatsheets! There’s one for Tags, One for Event Handler Attributes, and one for Browser Support.
Now, I know their images are TOO big to view clearly on my layout, so, to download them, go to http://www.inmotionhosting.com/infographics/html5-cheat-sheet/?utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=infographics&utm_medium=InMotionHosting
Fumy 2.0 – a cool little graphics program December 12th, 2011
Here’s a little program I love! I bought a program named Smoke some time ago, at a discounted price. I thought it looked like a cool, fun toy of a program, but it’s so much more! Smoke underwent a name change. It’s new name is Fumy, and the newly released version is Fumy 2.0.
Painting in Fumy is like painting with smoke, or waves, or patterns or light. Version 1, with all it’s point updates was very cool – choose a style and some colors and then paint. You could place the end results into Photoshop documents (or simply create a stand-alone graphic). The only “real” limitation was that the end-result image was opaque. You could use any color background, but you created an opaque image for which you might have to use Blending Modes in Photoshop to influence the result.
Now, with version 2.0, we have layers! This means that not only can we create images with transparent backgrounds, but we also have some limited blending modes inside the program, and we also have the ability to export individual layers of our image.
The names of the controls present a bit of a learning curve: names like “Flow”, “Range”, “Intensity”, “Density”, “Fluency”, “Gravity”, and “Quality” may not make immediate sense, but that’s part of the idea of working in this Fumy. It’s all about experimentation (you all know that’s a BIG teaching point of mine anyway, right?)
Version 2.0 just came out a few days ago, so there’re still a few “issues” to resolve. For example, the tooltip names don’t align and so you have to trust the icon more than the name of the tool. Also, there seems to be a bit of a problem with the function of exporting individual layers, but you should also be aware that the developer is extremely responsive. I’ve had a few questions over the past couple of versions, and I received response emails the same day!
On top of all this coolness and fun, here’s the real kicker – I’d originally bought this program for $6 via Maczot.com. It was also included in a software bundle I’d purchased at MacLegion.com. But I never needed the new version. Every update has been free – and the recent UPGRADE was ALSO FREE! Any developer with such a cool product, who is so responsive, and has such generous upgrade policies should be commended! I encounter so many programs with ridiculous and draconian upgrade costs, I’m especially impressed by this (see Adobe’s new upgrade policies, for example!)
Despite the few bugs in this new version, I highly recommend it – and the developer. If the regular $19.99 seems a bit much, wait… you’ll see it in a bundle, I’m sure. Also, Neatberry (the developer) seems to have a slew of other cool programs. I’m looking forward to checking them out.
Oh, and the image you see in this post was done using a stock image from stock.xchng, and a quick image from Fumy 2.0, created and composited in about 4 minutes using Photoshop.
Check out Fumy 2.0. Let me know what you think!
Wonderful Helvetica Based Logos December 2nd, 2011
Okay – so many of you who have taken my design classes have seen me “pick on” the Helvetica font. As you know, although I consider it a classic, beautiful, clean and highly versatile, I have some issues with it’s built-in kerning at large sizes, so I usually use it for my kerning lessons.
So, today, Graphics.com posted a Facebook link to a great page with 40 great logos designed using Helvetica. Now, I don’t personally agree that all of these do, in fact, use Helvetica (eg: Nestlé, even if it started as Helvetica, didn’t remain Helvetica, IMO), but if you check these out, you’ll gain some great inspiration as to the effects of tracking and kerning, color, use of space, and all things typography and design. Check it out!