Monday, December 31, 2012

Resolution Time Again

Every year we start with the renewed hope that we can better ourselves. Last year I made goals to exercise, take more photos, and take breaks. I did take my first vacation this year, but otherwise have failed miserably in my goals. What can you do expect take a step forward and try again. Trying is better than not taking action because you are afraid of failing.

EXERCISE: I make the same resolutions that millions of others are making at this time of year: to exercise, to live a healthier lifestyle, and to not live behind a computer screen. Spening a minimum of 9 hours a day behind a computer screen and never getting up creates bad habits to fall into.

ILLUSTRATIONS: last year I tried to focus on photography, and it didn't work out too well. I will try again to stir my creative juices with practing my illustration skills. I will try to post my activities on my dribble profile, so be sure to follow me.  As a sort of 2b option I will tack on that I should create one painting. I used to make lots of paintings but I did not create single new one last year. I would like to complete one painting this year.

DISCONNECTED: These days bewteen my new iPad, my smartphone, the mutple computers I have access to, I am overly connected. I would like to think that I can "disconnect" completely at least once a month, but I think it will be harder than that. Hopefully this will happen a few times during the year, and maybe I can get my husband to join in so that we can reconnect with the people in our lives and not the devices.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Best Apps for Designers (at least for me)

My husband pulled a big surprise on me this Christmas...he got me an ipad. I have spent just a short time exploring the App Store, but I still have discovered some favorites. Of course there are all of the adobe apps I would love to to get my fingertips on, $9.99 per app adds up quickly, so I will be waiting for some iTunes gift cards for Adobe Photoshop Touch, Adobe Ideas, Adobe Collage, and Adobe Proto for quick design on the go.

Two apps that I did buy and love:

IFontMaker: this app does just what it sounds like, you can make your own fonts! This is really awesome if you are geeky like me. I enjoy being able to customize the brush to enhance the letterforms, and I think I will find greater control once I buy a stylus. $6.99

LetterMpress: this my favorite app ever! It is also the app that made me want an iPad (...since I discovered that this app was exclusive to iPad my husband had been secretly saving up to get me one...isn't he sweet?!) The imagery, texture, paper ink, even the sounds remind me of my days in the letterpress room. It can never replace the joy of running a press, but it is a lot of fun to layer your prints and share them. $4.99

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Responsive Web Design

Responsive web design is where we are headed right now. With all of the devices that users can interact with your site it makes sense to create a responsive site from the get-go. Size is becoming something we just can't/shouldn't control any more otherwise it will limit the capabilities of users to interact. It is difficult to incorporate response from an existing site, and is typically easier to keep the variety of screen sizes in-mind when you begin designing a site.

With these type of sites you need to use media queries to allow pages to auto adjust to screen size or float down to the next line. A transition being made to fluid grids and using percentages and EMs rather than pixels and points to adjust type and images.  There even needs to simplification in mind that when you get to a mobile phone size screen that parts of the information you see on a desktop or tablet go away complete so that users can focus on the most pertinent information. The extra code to help you pages adapt to screen sizes means that you should have a single set of code rather than multiple sets that respond to various devices (iPad, android phone, or ect...)

This field of responsive design is spreading like wild fire, because of its usefulness across the many ways we choose to access websites today.

Check out Hyrdant's adaptive website.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Inspired by Vintage

Getting inspired for the holidays with this vintage postcard from the 1960s. The vibrant simple hues of this porstcard really draw me in. They are great colors for the season! Image. (I also kinda like the presents that look somewhat like they could be presents from Target.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Type of the Season

'Tis the season the for decorative and script typefaces. This is year I definitely have a favorite, Black Jack, designed by type designer Ronna Penner. It's not a traditional script and has some whimsy to it, which makes it perfect for me. It looks more like a natural hand written type than the calligraphic type of Shelley or Kuenstler. So add some whimsy to your holiday season this year.

Happy 12/12/12!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

White Space

I am sure I have mentioned the importance of white space before, but as the holiday seasons approach clients want to fill their ad spaces with holiday specials and other information, and most of the time you can send a better message if you just cut the


Keep your customer's attention by focuses it on one or two promotions (depends on ad dimensions). Verbal vomit and plethora of holiday graphics will not make your ad stand out in the sea of other ads doing the exact same thing. Simply by allowing dramatic white space and bring you more attention then LARGE ALL-CAP LETTERS IN RED and flanked in holly, especially when all the other ads look the exact same. Readers/customers will just pass it over.  

It can be hard to hold back when you have so many great things that you want to share with clients, but rather than over cluttered ads, utilize the different mediums available for advertising today: print, online ads, tv, and social media. In fact using different (but similar) promotions on different mediums might help you discover if the location of advertising is working the way you want it to. This also allows for greater saturation in the market.

This is a good lesson year-round, not just during the holidays. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Be Nice

Santa is not the only one looking to mark you naughty or nice, and in business it never hurts to be nice. It can be easy to put on the nice face for clients, customers, and bosses; since they are recognized income. It can be harder to be nice with coworkers, employees, secretaries, and sales representatives (especially when you have had a bad day).

Some say you need to be a shark to get ahead, but I find that being kind has better results. The advertising world in a mid-sized city is a small market, and eventually you will need something that another agency, former employee, or ect. If you played nice people often happily will find a way to fulfill your request, rather than avoid your calls or flatly refuse to help you at all.

Coworkers and employees need you to be nice because you spend at least 8 to 9 hours, 5 days a week with these people (that is more time than I spend with my spouse). The more positive work place that you create for yourself means happier employees and working environment. When you are happy with your work environment it increases your happiness and stress level in your home life as well. Coworker bonding is essential for keeping the workplace happy, productive, and enduring. a bad work environment typically leads to high turnover and hurt feelings (with someone you will most likely work with sometime down the road).

So say a kind word, ask about their life, and give praise when someone has done a good job!