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5 of the Most Influential Designers

5 of the Most Influential Designers

I was at The Henry Ford in May attending the opening of an exhibit titled The World of Charles and Ray Eames. It was exciting to see so much of their work up close and personal. The exhibit does a great job of leading you through their careers, showing off furniture (including their famous plywood and leather lounge chair and ottoman, 1956), drawings, models, brochures, toys, film, and photos. There are notes and correspondence that are hand written in Ray’s fun calligraphy, and tons of sketches and personal photos that give you a glimpse of what it was like to be a designer in the 40s and 50s. You can learn more about the Eameses work here as they continued to work through the 1970s.

Letterpress: The (Not Quite) Lost Art of Hand Set Type

Letterpress: The (Not Quite) Lost Art of Hand Set Type

Having anything printed using a letterpress with its lead (or wood) letters has always been held in high esteem with designers. The first thing you'll notice are the tell-tale signs of the printing technique—subtle indentations for each letter, and the wonderful feel of the paper. (This is one of those times your paper choice can be as important as your design.)

How Web & Print Designers Should Utilize Color

How Web & Print Designers Should Utilize Color

With so much design done on the web, color is no longer something designers have to work into their budgets. But that doesn’t mean it’s a free-for-all. As designers, we still have to think about color palettes and corporate standards, but sometimes it’s difficult to rein in the creativity. You may think, “What does it matter? It doesn’t cost any more to use 20 colors in my design?” But it does matter; just because you have access to every hex color out there, it doesn’t mean you should go crazy with color.

Best Practices When Designing a Logo (The Black-and-White of It)

Best Practices When Designing a Logo (The Black-and-White of It)

I’m sure designers that began their career using computers approach logo design differently than designers that jot their ideas down with pad and pencil (shout out to all of us who have received the famous “napkins ideas” from the client). But one thing stays true: In order to design a good logo, you must design it in black and white first. All design is a process, and designing a logo is no different. I strongly believe if you start in black and white, you won’t get distracted by color or color placement. And by following this one simple rule, you will get to the end result faster.

4 Tips for New Graphic Designers

4 Tips for New Graphic Designers

Being a good designer is not just about make things look pretty, it’s about solving problems. Whether you design for the web, have your hands in printed marketing materials, or design large scale projects, it’s all the same: You need to know your audience, solve the problem, make it look amazing, and stay within budget. Sounds easy enough, but any one of these can trip you up through the design process.

What's the Difference Between Text & Typography?

What's the Difference Between Text & Typography?

I’ve always been one of those designers that “oohs and ahhs” over typefaces. I can look at a project and be delighted by the fonts and their placement on the page. (A fun read— “Just My Type” by Simon Garfield.) I think typefaces are beautiful, so working with different fonts and type hierarchy is fun for me, a bit like solving a puzzle. It can be a challenge, make you a little crazy (how many levels of indents do I need?), but worth the time. Making your text easy to read and giving it a natural flow is one of the most important things you can do for your reader. It’s great to have photography, illustrations, and infographics to spice up a layout, but good typography is essential.

Convert Images from RGB to CMYK in Adobe Photoshop

Presto! Convert Images from RGB to CMYK in a Snap.

I’m sure you have witnessed just as I have, how many publications and marketing materials that are no longer printed, residing only on the web. And though this is true, I still find myself with those few jobs per year that (thankfully) get printed. Many designers will agree there is something special about print, myself included.

5 Tips to Make Adobe InDesign Easier for You

5 Tips to Make Adobe InDesign Easier for You

Everyone has their own way of doing things. But no matter how long you’ve been using InDesign, it’s fun to learn a few new (or old) tricks. Here’s a few of my favorites.

Top 5 Designer Tools in Adobe Creative Cloud (CC)

Top 5 Designer Tools in Adobe Creative Cloud (CC)

It’s a great time to be a creative type. With Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) the possibilities are endless, and with so many tools at our fingertips, we can get the work done quickly and with precision. I work with Adobe CC daily to produce art for our web sites and as printed marketing materials. I love that all the CC titles work together seamlessly making my work life a bit less hectic.

9 Keyboard Shortcuts for Microsoft Word

9 Keyboard Shortcuts for Microsoft Word

Key commands have always been a part of my work day. I love knowing how to shave off a mere 1 or 2 steps in any process. With everyone wanting everything yesterday, you have to move quickly – get to the finished product without sacrificing design. Keeping up isn’t that difficult when you add some basic key commands to your routine.