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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Type tools

In Design, Uncategorized on October 28, 2016 at 9:21 am

This is a great site for type inspiration and pairings.

And this one is a good one for identifying fonts


15 Illustrator Add-ons That Will Blow Your Mind by Peter M

In Design, Uncategorized on September 1, 2016 at 2:23 pm

From Creative Market, this is worth checking out:
15 Illustrator Add-ons That Will Blow Your Mind

Here is a preview list:

1. Catalist

Catalist helps you manage your next design project by creating powerful, easy to use lists within your CS applications. Useful if you’ve got a bunch of resources like a client emails, graphics, or web page links that you need to keep in one place. Be sure to check out the video to see how simple it is.


2. Gold Rush For Illustrator

This powerful plugin gives you all the metallic, glitter and foil effects you could ever ask for. It includes 174 swatches for you to use in Adobe Illustrator when you’re after that glittering look.


3. VectorPress: Illustrator Press

After that sought-after vintage look but want to keep your artwork in a vector format? VectorPress for Illustrator lets you apply rough ink, halftone, distressed or gravel looks in seconds.

See the rest at Creative Market

Multi-screen Mania

In Uncategorized on September 8, 2012 at 5:39 am

This is an interesting article about the climate of a multi-device user – which is us and all of our B2B clients. When we are creating programs designing them out this is interesting to keep in mind.

The full article has additional constant which cleverly illustrates the point. Designers should check out the link for business info graphic inspiration.

Multi-screen Mania
How our devices work together

By Ryan Kim
Aug. 29, 2012, 8:04am PT

The reality of our multi-screen world is that consumers are increasingly turning to different devices throughout the day to accomplish tasks. A user might rely on a smartphone to dash off a quick text message or to scan a product in store, then use a tablet to plan trips at home and then turn to a PC to do more heavy research.

But we’re not just tackling discrete jobs with each device. We’re spreading out tasks between devices, starting something on one screen and then completing the task on another machine. That’s the conclusion of new research from Google, which set out to understand how we’re using our network of devices. And that has implications for publishers and marketers, who are trying to understand how to stay in front of consumers as they use more devices.
Google teamed with Sterling Brands and Ipsos and studied the media habits of 1,611 people across the country in the second quarter of this year.

Working between devices
It turns out that 90 percent of people move between devices to accomplish a task, with virtually all of those people completing their task in one day. The most popular starting point is the smartphone, which is used to gather information, shop online and engage in social networking. In most cases, the tasks are continued on a PC though tablets are also becoming a popular option for continuing social networking and watching videos. Shopping, for example, is a popular task, with 67 percent of respondents moving from screen to screen to complete a purchase.
PCs are becoming the workhorse for more complex duties such as planning a trip and managing finances. About 30 percent of those tasks are carried over to smartphones. Tablets have much less penetration but they are most used to conduct trip planning, online shopping and video viewing with carryover usually extending to a PC. Search is often the link for many tasks, helping users pick up where they left off.

Pivoting between screens
It’s not just sequential use, consumers are also spending a lot of time using devices at the same time. For example, 77 percent of the time when consumers are watching TV, they’re also on another device. The most popular screen combination is the TV and smartphone (81 percent), followed by smartphone/PC and PC/TV (both 66 percent). More than three quarters (78 percent) of simultaneous use is multi-tasking, or tackling two different jobs at the same time such as watching TV while emailing. But 22 percent is complementary use, in which a user begins a task based on what they’re seeing on another screen, for instance looking up an ad or an actor seen on TV.

The smartphone is becoming the go-to device for a lot of tasks because it’s often the most readily available device. But it’s also prompting a lot of new tasks that aren’t planned. Google found that 80 percent of smartphone searches were spontaneous, meaning people began a job based on something they encountered or remembered. That’s very different from PCs, where half of the tasks are planned.

How to capitalize on the multi-screen usage
Jason Spero, Google’s head of Global Mobile Sales & Strategy, said the implications for publishers and marketers is that they need to build their strategies around this multi-screen reality. They need to be everywhere that their customers are and they should present a consistent experience between platforms. If they can, they should consider ways to follow users as they move between devices so they can maintain a seamless experience.
“You have to be there when the customer is looking for you and the customer is looking in a new combination of ways,” Spero said. “There are a series of starting points all along the way and if they have a crummy experience somewhere, then you’re not in consideration.”

Of course, this is largely beneficial to Google, which has been pushing advertisers and publishers to gear up for mobile and has been trying to get a TV platform off the ground. And the insights on how search connects multi-screen usage also boosts the
importance of Google’s core product.
But the results are still interesting in painting a picture about how intertwined our device usage is. This may be obvious to some but people these days are really using them all in concert, turning to certain devices when it’s more convenient or more helpful for a specific task. This may present a challenge for marketers and publishers, who have to contend with more screens. But it’s an opportunity as well for companies that understand how to hold on to a user’s attention as it increasingly zips back and forth between devices.

We’ll be talking about smartphones and tablets at GigaOM’s Mobilize Conference on Sept. 20-21.

MediaPost’s EngagedBoomer – The Eyes Have It

In Uncategorized on June 4, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I got this email forwarded to me from Media Post’s Engaged Boomer. Its a handy reference guide for designing for AARP’s membership. I don’t have the link to their article but will add that when I find it. In the meanwhile, here is what they wrote:


The Eyes Have It


According to AIGA, the professional association for design, considerably younger people prepare much of the information intended for older eyes. Typically, younger people base their creative decisions upon how the world looks to them through their younger eyes. The following summary outlines some basic suggestions to improve online communications readability for older populations. 

  • Visual elements of readability that can either facilitate or adversely affect attentionality, comprehension and recall include typeface, font size, white space, color, paragraphing and margins.
  • In comparison to younger people, the difference for light entering an older person’s optical system is as though he or she were wearing medium-density sunglasses in bright light to extremely dark glasses in dim light. 
  • With advanced age, the lens loses water and becomes stiffer, less flexible, slightly cloudy and yellowed. Reduced elasticity in the lens and a tendency for the cornea to scatter light makes it more difficult for older people to focus their eyes, making reading without eyewear problematic, and for many, even with eyewear.
  • As the yellowing increases, the filtering function of the lens absorbs some of the blue and yellow wavelengths, resulting in changes in a person’s perceptions of colors. White objects take on a yellowish cast, blue is harder to detect and may appear to have a greenish tint, blue and green become more difficult to distinguish and dark blues often appear black. In addition, readability scores can either maximize or limit comprehension and recall by older readers.
  • A wide consensus holds that a minimum of 16- to 18-point text should be the norm in communications intended for older visitors.
  • You should avoid the use of all upper-case text because it affects negatively on readability.
  • Information is generally best limited to a few important points communicated simply and explicitly and surrounded by a lot of white space.
  • Concrete terms are easier to cognitively process than abstract terms. 
  • You can generally enhance readability by the use of short lines and indenting paragraphs. 
  • Using metaphorical images to reinforce the message in the text can be effective, although the pictures should also be concrete rather than abstract.
  • Color discrimination declines with aging. Colors appear to be less bright, and contrasts between colors are less noticeable to the elderly person than to a younger person.  
  • Also, as the aging lens becomes more yellow, transparency of short wavelengths decreases. This results in a reduction in discrimination of blue objects, which often appear gray; blue print and blue background typically appear washed out.
  • You should give attention to manipulating color to maximize contrasts to facilitate text discernment. Black on white provides a high level of contrast, while shades of the same color (for example, dark brown on light brown) provide much lower levels of contrast. A virtual universal consensus holds that you should avoid reverse type (e.g., white type over a dark background).
  • The use of bright colors such as red, orange, and yellow are recommended over colors from the short wave length color vocabulary.  
  • Mixing font types and styles on a single page can be problematic. To increase the attention given to the meaning of the content, give less effort into that which goes into word and graphics processing.
  • Italic type is 18% more difficult to read than Roman (upright) letters.
  • When distractions (e.g., a phrase in a different font than the target text) are randomly placed within the text, a marked disruptive effect on reading occurs. This effect is particularly severe in older adults. 

Following the suggestions above will help to increase the visitor’s pleasure quotient and reduce the frustration quotient of your site.

Post your response to the public Engage:Boomers blog.

See what others are saying on the Engage:Boomers blog.


Jim Gilmartin is president of Chicago based Coming of Age, Interactive Baby Boomer & Senior Marketing,”.

Pizza Box redesign

In Cool Treatment/Idea, Uncategorized on September 28, 2010 at 9:47 pm

I don’t know if there has been any I change in the pizza box in the :::ahem::: number of years that I’ve been around. But I stumbled onto this new, smarter pizza box. Why didn’t someone invent this earlier, and why aren’t all the pizza joints using them?

It just makes all kinds of sense. Kudos to the designer – clever.

Read the article here:

The Humble Pizza Box: Masterfully Redesigned


And check out the photos here:

Beware of advertising

In Advertising, Online/Interactive, Uncategorized on May 11, 2010 at 11:16 am

Just thought this was interesting: 

The government set up this online game for kids to learn about advertising and not be fooled into thinking something is edit when it’s actually advertising.  I guess this is a sign that the line has officially been crossed.

Cellphone Payments Offer Alternative to Cash

In Marketing, Mobile, Online/Interactive, Uncategorized on April 30, 2010 at 9:23 am

You win a bet, but the loser does not have enough cash on him to settle it. If he has a credit card, and most people usually do, there is finally a solution. A number of big and small companies — including eBay’s PayPal unit, Intuit, VeriFone and Square — are creating innovative ways for individuals to avoid cash and checks and settle all debts, public and private, using their cellphones. (read the article)

Firefly project

In Uncategorized on February 20, 2010 at 11:12 pm

This has no marketing implications whatsoever, but its amazing. If you think of the possibilities, its sorta mind blowing. Imagine sitting a stadium, and the art/graphics light up all around you, set to music, pulsing, moving, bigger than 3D art, sight, sound and motion…like light, coming to life.

Click here to view the YouTube video from Firefly Project

Flyfire, a project initiated by the SENSEable City Laboratory in collaboration with ARES Lab (Aerospace Robotics and Embedded Systems Laboratory) aims to transform any ordinary space into a highly immersive and interactive display environment.

In its first implementation, the Flyfire project sets out to explore the capabilities of this display system by using a large number of self-organizing micro helicopters. Each helicopter contains small LEDs and acts as a smart pixel. Through precisely controlled movements, the helicopters perform elaborate and synchronized motions and form an elastic display surface for any desired scenario.

With the self-stabilizing and precise controlling technology from the ARES Lab, the motion of the pixels is adaptable in real time. The Flyfire canvas can transform itself from one shape to another or morph a two-dimensional photographic image into an articulated shape. The pixels are physically engaged in transitioning images from one state to another, which allows the Flyfire canvas to demonstrate a spatially animated viewing experience.

Flyfire serves as an initial step to explore and imagine the possibilities of this free-form display: a swarm of pixels in a space.

For more information, please contact:

Rory Sutherland – Life Lessons from an ad man

In Advertising, Marketing, Mindsets, Uncategorized on February 4, 2010 at 5:41 pm

This is a TED talk from Rory Sutherland Executive Creative Director and Vice-Chairman, OgilvyOne London and Vice-Chairman, Ogilvy Group UK – he’s very bright and terribly funny!

Rory Sutherland @ TED

Rory Sutherland @ TED

25+ Astounding Typography Tutorials

In Uncategorized on February 3, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Here is a resource from Tutorial Lounge. They do this ‘list’ of items every so often. This one was on Typography. As any designer knows, learning all the elements of typography can be a full time job in itself.

It shows how to do effects in different programs such as Photoshop, InDesign, etc.