Color Game

Color Game

Feb 14

Here is one more game created specific for designers: A color matching game, like What The Hex?, Helvetica vs Arial or Kerning.

Many shades of Black

Many shades of Black

Oct 05

The Professional Designer’s Guide to using Black

 

My friend Tom Bojarczuk brought to my attention the article The Professional Designer’s Guide to using Black by Andrew Kelsall, and I think it is a good idea to spread the knowledge since nowadays many people have access to software and wants to make their own things, but do not have the know-how to do it properly, and besides this will make the results look a lot better…

 

Windows 8

Windows 8

Jul 13

Have you seen the Windows 8 logo created by Pentagram?

And here is the evolution of the logo since 1985:

What do you think of this new logo?

Is your browser prepare to use CSS3?

Is your browser prepare to use CSS3?

Jun 22

Every day we hear more about HTML5 and CSS3, but most sites still don’t use them, especially because many of the browsers are not yet ready for those technologies. If you do not believe, just visit the website CSS3 Test and verify that the percent your browser is compatible with the new CSS attributes.

[Test your browser]

KernType Game

KernType Game

May 16

KernType Game

If you love design and types, you’ll love this game! KernType is a game that let’s you set up all the characters to try to get the better kerning for the specific font. Let’s see how good you are at kerning at KernType

PANTONE Unveils 336 New Colors

PANTONE Unveils 336 New Colors

May 02

PANTONE Unveils 336 New Colors

PANTONE has just added 336 new colors to its PANTONE Plus Series, bringing the total to 1, 667 colors.

PANTONE Unveils 336 New Colors

According to PANTONE, the new shades—which ranged from pale pastels to mid-tones, deep hues, neutral and bold—were inspired from the PANTONE Goe System.

Each of the new tone will be permanent fixtures and are availaible in coated and uncoated formats and are printed on text-weight paper to match the print specifications.

Adobe announced CS6

Adobe announced CS6

Apr 24

Adobe officially announced the launch of Creative Suite 6. The release sees new versions of 14 separate applications.

CS6

“Creatives get a ton of innovation across CS6, with milestone releases of all our flagship products,” said David Wadhwani, senior vice president, Digital Media Business, Adobe. “With CS6 and Creative Cloud, we’re also introducing new products, new mobile workflows and advanced publishing capabilities that show we are laser-focused on ensuring design, Web and video pros have everything they need for the delivery of high-impact content and apps.”

As with previous editions of Creative Suite, Adobe is offering the CS6 applications individually, as well as in several different bundles targeting print, web, and video design professionals.

Bundle pricing begins at $1299 for the Design Standard collection, which includes Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and Acrobat X Pro. At an $1899 price point, Adobe offers either the Design & Web Premium collection, which includes Photoshop Extended, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash Professional, Fireworks, Dreamweaver, and Acrobat X Pro, or the Production Premium collection, which includes Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, Flash Professional, Illustrator, Photoshop Extended, Prelude, and SpeedGrade. Finally, Adobe’s Master Collection containing all of the CS6 applications is available for $2599.

Adobe also introduced Creative Cloud, a subscription service offering access to all CS6 applications as well as other cloud services to facilitate the integration of desktop Adobe software with the company’s growing stable of tablet and smartphone applications.

Creative Cloud is priced at $49.99 per month for an annual membership, or $74.99 per month on a month-to-month basis. The service is also being offered at a special introductory rate of $29.99 per month for current users of Adobe’s CS3, CS4, CS5 and CS5.5 software.

All Creative Suite 6 products are available for pre-order now and will begin shipping within 30 days. Adobe will be hosting a streaming launch event at 10:00 AM Pacific Time, highlighting the new developments included in Creative Suite 6 and Creative Cloud.

Sir Jonathan Ive in a Rare Q&A Exchange

Sir Jonathan Ive in a Rare Q&A Exchange

Mar 13

Apple design chief Jony Ive participated in a rare interview with the London Evening Standard, offering his perspective on a number of topics including how the design process works at Apple.

Q: How does a new product come about at Apple?

A: What I love about the creative process, and this may sound naive, is this idea that one day there is no idea, and no solution, but then the next day there is an idea. Where you see the most dramatic shift is when you transition from an abstract idea to a slightly more material conversation. But when you make a 3D model, however crude, you bring form to a nebulous idea and everything changes — the entire process shifts. It galvanises and brings focus from a broad group of people. It’s a remarkable process.

Ive talks more about how deeply prototyping is ingrained in the design process at Apple, and also discusses how Apple’s approach of creating entirely new categories of products rather than simply improving on existing ones “exercises the skills” of Ive and his team.

It’s not a problem you’re aware of, nobody has articulated a need. But you start asking questions: what if we do this, combine it with that, would that be useful? This creates opportunities that could replace entire categories of device rather than tactically responding to an individual problem. That’s the real challenge and very exciting.

By trying to create new classes of products that people don’t even realize they need until they are unveiled, the process results in incredible freedom and excitement, but significant challenges for the designers.

Photoshop Touch app for iPad 2

Photoshop Touch app for iPad 2

Feb 28

Adobe launched its new Photoshop Touch app for $9.99. The app is currently compatible only with the iPad 2 running iOS 5.

Photoshop Touch for iPad 2

This applications can transform and combine images, apply professional effects, share results with friends and family through sites like Facebook, and more – all from the convenience of your iPad.
Adobe Photoshop Touch is the flagship app from a group of six tablet apps that Adobe announced last October.

The six apps, which will carry “introductory pricing” of $9.99 each, include:
• Adobe Photoshop Touch: Image editing and transformation.
• Adobe Collage: Photo importing and drawing tools for creating image collages.
• Adobe Debut: Presentation software for Creative Suite files.
• Adobe Ideas: Vector-based drawing tools. (Released for iPad last year and currently priced at $5.99.)
• Adobe Kuler: Color theme generation and exploration.
• Adobe Proto: Prototyping tools for websites and mobile apps.

The company has been taking steps onto the iPad and other tablets with a series of applications, although they have obviously yet to match the capabilities of the desktop versions of the Adobe’s key software products.

Adobe’s initial goal for the iPad was to explore how the device might be used as an auxiliary input for the desktop version, but the company has broadened its scope to now include at least some of the dedicated image editing features from Photoshop in its latest apps.

More: MacStories has a nice early review of the app.

Time For Another Revolution

Time For Another Revolution

Feb 08

The idea to use electronic books instead of a printed one it is not new, but since the iPad you can see a lot more people making the transition, not only for the convinience to carry more than one book but also because of the interactivity available in some of the books.

Now Apple can make even more appealing to choose an eBook, not only for the reader but also for the graphic designer, with the new free Mac program iBooks Author anyone can create interactive books for the iPad.

iBooks Author fits in right alongside the company’s iWork suite. Like most of Apple’s content apps, Author greets you with a template chooser; you can choose one of six styles (Basic, Contemporary, Modern Type, Classic, Editorial, or Craft).

Templates are easily fiddled with—as with iWork, it’s simple to create and save your own styles. Template backgrounds can be unlocked and deleted, new additions made, all with little complication. Designers especially will love the freedom of the WYSIWYG tools: Images can be inline, floating, or anchored, and while Apple suggests you stick to iBooks-included fonts, it’s easy enough to spruce up the book in other ways.

Importing files from Pages and Word seems to work as well as any import tool might, the styling isn’t always retained, and images may shift, but the text ends up more or less laid out as it should be. A good thing, too, since iBooks Author has no versioning or change-tracking to speak of. I imported a Pages document containing one of our iPhone 4S Superguide chapters; while iBooks Author didn’t keep every bold and italic reference, it included links, page breaks, and images, all where they should have been. Unfortunately, like most other ePub solutions out there, iBooks Author continues the export game—you can’t edit an ePub you’ve already created. You can only design new ones using the app’s proprietary .iba format.

Those who have previously attempted to design ePubs in Pages only to have their hopes dashed when discovering features like “break page after paragraph” were unsupported will be especially pleased by iBooks Author. Many familiar word processor styles and features are available and translate to the iPad, and the process feels far less frustrating than pre-Author solutions (such as attempting to tweak CSS files).

Outside of basic images and text, you can also add interactivity and media to your book using the Widget tool. You can pick one of seven Widgets: Gallery, Media, Review, Keynote, Interactive Image, 3D, or HTML. To do a photo gallery, the program allows you to pick several images and add a title and caption. Styling the look of the gallery is also easy enough for anyone familiar with the iWork Inspector: I just had to tab over to the Graphic section and play around with colors and frames until you got it to your liking.

Other widgets will let you add videos, put in end-of-section quizzes, drop in Keynote animations, add images with interactive captions or 3D models, or insert HTML snippets built using Dashcode (Apple’s old Dashboard widget creator).

When doing any sort of intricate design in iBooks Author, the portrait/landscape buttons are your friends: Images and styles you create in landscape mode may not necessarily carry over, so you’ll need to check your orientations on a fairly regular basis. (You can also check a box to force the book to stay in portrait orientation.) You can also tether your iPad to send live previews of your books directly to your device, to ensure everything’s working properly.

Limited format for export: iBooks Author can only export to the iPad-exclusive .ibooks, PDF, and .txt.
The lack of iPhone support may be my biggest complaint with the software after this brief hands-on. The app exports in three formats: .ibooks, which is a wrapped .epub designed specifically for iPads; PDF; and plain text. Out of curiosity, I tried converting the .ibooks file into an .epub by renaming it and running it through Calibre, but the end result was not pretty. To create a book in the iBooks Author for the iPad and iPhone, you would need to build the book in the app, export it, convert it with Calibre, and then reformat what didn’t translate in Sigil. (The process for making Kindle and Nook versions is similarly elaborate.)

While I understand that this first iteration is designed with textbook publishers in mind—and those big books don’t exactly scale well onto the iPhone’s small screen—for others, this tool becomes yet another “extra” way to build ebooks, rather than a definitive solution. With any luck, subsequent iterations will open up these tools to iPhone books; until then, I’ll continue building ePubs in multiple programs.

iPad-exclusivity aside, those willing to work in iBooks Author should be quite pleased. It’s the best WYSIWYG ebook designer I’ve seen on the market so far, and—formatting problems excluded—incredibly easy to work with. If you have iTunes Producer installed, you can even use the Publish button to send your finished book directly to the publishing process; you’ll still need an ISBN and an iBookstore sales account to proceed, but it’s a nice link to unify the process.

We’ll have a full review of iBooks Author soon, so stay tuned. In the meantime, if you have any questions, be sure to sound off in the comments: I’m happy to continue poking around to try and answer them.