It certainly has been a while since I last posted here. Life has a funny way of turning on a dime, and I’ve been busier than ever ! …until my home city started accumulating record snow this season. So now that I am stuck inside for a few days, now’s a good chance to catch up on all things design that have been missed over the past few months.
Below is a collection of articles and tools to boost your design knowledge. Enjoy!
Avocode is a program that imports your Photoshop or Sketch files and let’s you easily prepare them for the web. Some features include:
- Open up PSDs for coding without Photoshop, and without emailing or uploading files.
- Select layers, groups and move around in a design.
- Generate CSS or preprocessor code for elements in your design.
- Get accurate dimension measurements with which to build your layout.
- Copy out text content for easy placement in code.
- Extract color palettes and hexcodes from PSDs.
- Export images, even from multiple layers, without having to deal with the slicing process.
Bjango.com hosts numerous apps that that assist in designing for mobile platforms. My favorite one has to be Skala Preview:
“Skala Preview sends lossless, colour accurate image previews to any iOS or Android device. Previews are pixel perfect. Colours are identical to how the final app or website will look on the device. If you’re using Photoshop CS5, CS6 or CC, Skala Preview can preview your canvas as you edit. No saving, no keyboard shortcuts, just lossless previews in realtime.”
An app that lets you view Photoshop designs in real-time?! If you design for mobile and don’t already own a smartphone (rare, but possible), this app may justify the price to upgrade.
3. Butterick’s Practical Typography eBook
Need a quick refresher on typography? Butterick’s got you covered! This ebook has all the essential info you need to study up on typography: what it is, why it matters, what the rules are, composition and more. Whether you are a seasoned designer or a student, this is a must-read source (and it’s FREE!).
4. Should I Work for Free – Infographic
A funny infographic that takes answers the question: should I work for free? A “sailor mouth” and downloadable JPG version are available!
5. Are Print Designers Doomed?
I personally started designing print, and it’s a personal preference with my own projects (in addition to digital display) – mostly because I enjoy having a tangible object to hold in my hands. But what if you wanted to focus solely on print in your career? This article gives some foresight, and the answers may not be what you expect!
6. Comic Sans Typewriter
A typewritter that uses a specific font? Sounds like something that would make any designer geek out… until you learn that this particular typewriter uses Comic Sans. No matter what you think of Comic Sans, designer Jesse England developed this product, saying:
“While making it, I thought a lot about the Comic Sans typeface and how ridiculed it is. But it is also a mark of sincerity for those who do not have graphic design experience. I’m not particularly enamored with this font, but I don’t think it deserves the flak it gets.”
I think the font has it’s uses (comics, perhaps?), but I’ve seen too many flyers abuse and misuse it to the point where I can’t help but gag when it rears its face.
7. 22 Netflix Movies Every Designer Should Watch
If you’re snowed in like me and have lots of time to kill (and/or have a Netflix account), these 22 movies and documentaries should keep you occupied and deliver a dose of inspiration.
8. Pantone Color of the Year – 2015
I wasn’t even aware of Pantone’s “Color of the Year” until I saw this article. I won’t spoil what the color is if you haven’t seen this either, though I wonder how they came about their decision…
9. FIFA World Cup 2018 Logo Reveal
Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) unveiled their logo for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and it’s pretty sexy – and certainly better than the previous logos from 2014, 2010 and 2006. The article also features a break-down of what parts of the logo represent.
10. Dyslexia Font
Dutch designer Christian Boer created a font for people with dyslexia called Dyslexie:
“‘When they’re reading, people with dyslexia often unconsciously switch, rotate and mirror letters in their minds,’ said Boer, who is dyslexic himself.”
Dyslexia is a neurological disorder that causes a disconnect between language and visual processing making it difficult for the brain to process text, affecting an estimated 10% of the Earth’s population. The article explains how Dyslexie was designed and how it works.
11. Pantone Hotel
In Brussels, capitol city of Belgium, there is a hotel that lets you sleep in a room customized with any one of 7 color palettes of your choice – starting from $223/night.
“The colorful treatment comes down to even the smallest details, such as snaps by photographer Victor Levy that are suitably hued to match the room’s color scheme and Pantone coffee mugs.”
Wait until you see the photos! Time to save for a trip to Brussels…
12. Reddit Design Assets Portal
Reddit.com is a great site to get lost in an information high – but why not use it to access great design assets and tools? This portal does just that – gathering a slew of info, tools, downloads and more from around the web.
13. Infographics by Nicholas Felton
Work with infographics? Need inspiration? Want to get blown away by amazing design? Check out Nicholas Felton’s protfolio! Nicholas was one of the lead designers of Facebook’s timeline feature, as well as creator of iPhone app Reporter that measures aspects of your life via daily surveys. He is also featured in the Wall Street Journal, Good Magazine, WIRED, and is part of the permanent collection in MoMA. Wow!
There’s a lot of ground to cover, but I hope these snippets prove to be interesting and informative to you, dear reader.