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Jul 28, 2018

How to Create Secure Passwords You'll Actually Remember

How to create secure passwords you'll likely remember

Remember that old clubhouse in the vacant lot of your childhood neighborhood that the local kids hand-built from scrap wood and castoff rusted sheet metal, with "KEEP OUT" scrawled in red paint on a sign nailed over the threshold, which you could only cross by whispering the secret phrase of the day?

OK, my childhood never really had that, either. But as this millennium's second decade blazes to a close and the tangible machinery of my life increasingly vanishes into the vapory world of binary code, it feels like several new secret forts pop up every month. Not only does each online account demand its own covert entry key, but with cybercriminals stomping on the gas for data breaches every year, it's becoming more and more important to be able to create unique, hard-to-crack passwords for each one. It's a tall order to balance security with memorability—let's explore how to do it!            

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May 24, 2018

A Primer on Typography for Non-Designers

When I sat down to write about typography this morning, there was so much I wanted to say that the letters on my keyboard actually sat silent for a good few minutes.

We're in a golden age for typography. Gutenberg totally exploded Europe in the 1500's when he dropped the printing-press-with-moveable-type bomb, but even then, for the next 500 years, the spread of ideas and publishing were in the hands of a collection of specialist craftsmen and the people who hired them. (After all, producing physical objects is expensive.) Then, in rolled desktop publishing in the 80's and—combining computer hardware, software that included digital type, and the ability to effectively "print" on-screen and distribute to other screens instantly via the Internet—you've effectively got a second Printing Revolution happening right now, with type squarely in the middle of it.

Typography was once a niche element, but now we're up to our ears in it. As it is with any craft that takes a lifetime to master, thoughtfulness will set you and your message apart. The craft will give back what you put into it. Using typography in design is a lot like using salt in cooking: when it's used well, it contributes to a greater whole but goes largely unnoticed; when typography calls attention to itself, it's typically been used poorly. 

If you've ever been putting together a quick flyer or PowerPoint presentation and wanted to put a little more thought into your font choices, but you feel like you're shooting blindly in the dark because you're not a trained designer, we've put together a quick guide for you.

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Dec 01, 2017

Hey, ManMade Readers: Can You Please Help Me Pick a New Remote Control?

Hi, all. Chris here. I spent a bunch of time trying to research something last night, and I'm still not sure I'm any more informed than I was before I started. So, I thought I might solicit the very smart and helpful ManMade audience, and let the experts weigh in.

My household needs a new remote control. We've been using the stock one that came with our receiver, plus all the individual remotes for our streaming devices. Currently, it requires at least two of them to select a source, start a show or movie, and ride the volume. The main remote, which used to work with most features, has been slowly dying, and now it can't even select a source or change the volume. I tried opening it up and cleaning the contacts, but it didn't really make a difference. So, new remote time. 

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Mar 08, 2016

How to: Make a DIY Leather USB Drive

If you're going to tote something around with you every day, you might as well make it look great and reflect who you are.   

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Aug 17, 2015

The Shape of Things to Come: How an Industrial Designer became Apple’s Greatest Product.

created at: 08/17/2015

Jonathan Ives is perhaps best known as the British man with the soothing voice who's been featured in the Apple ads of the last couple years. He's currently the Chief Design Officer at Apple and one of the most influential designers alive. Steve Jobs called him his "spiritual partner at Apple" and

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Jul 23, 2015

Skill Builder: Getting Started with Google SketchUp for Woodworkers and Makers

created at: 07/23/2015

SketchUp is free, robust, and really helps to bring your projects to life. I stumbled through the basics for way too long, so here are a few steps to get you modeling faster.  

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Apr 13, 2015

How to: Give Your Photos a Vintage Tintype Effect

DIY Tintype Photos
There's a certain cool factor that comes from a grungy, well-worn photograph. Last year, the tintype made a short resurgence when photographer, Victoria Will shot celebrities at the Sundance Film Festival with an antique tintype camera. I have always wanted to have a tintype photo of my wife and I, but unfortunately, I don't own such a contraption. So we're going to have to make do with technology that costs ten times more than the tintype camera ever did. Oh the irony!

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Jan 23, 2015

The DIY Ethos: Learning to Code 101 for Non-Programmers

created at: 01/19/2015If you're a living person in the workforce today you've probably considered the use of learning to code at some point. This article takes a look at the why's, where's, and how's of getting started with a new coding language.    

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Nov 24, 2014

Quick and Easy DIY Project: Make a Faux Wood Grain Mouse Pad

created at: 11/24/2014

A super simple office project, requiring but two ingredients and ten minutes of work? We'll take it.    

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Nov 10, 2014

Make a Facebook "Like" Light for Your Office

Make your own Facebook Like Light

When you own a new, small business, checking your Facebook page for Likes has a drug-like draw to it. Checking your phone every 10 minutes for an update is a quick way to kill your battery, and perhaps your nerves. Enter this brilliant invention from RedPepper, a lamp that lights up every time someone likes your page!    

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Jul 21, 2014

How to: Take Bright and Sharp Photos with Your Smartphone

They say the best camera is always the one you have on you...meaning that it's better to be able to take a picture in the first place to capture the moment, rather than worrying about which gear you should use.

For most of these days, that camera has become our smartphone, with lenses and megapixels and editing options that have dwarfed the digital point-and-shoots from only a few years ago.   

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Dec 11, 2013
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Jun 18, 2013

Intention: There Are a Thousand No's For Every Yes

Intention - Designed by Apple [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpZmIiIXuZ0&feature=player_embedded]

Forgo your stance on technology and brands, and take note of the message in this video by Apple California.

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May 07, 2013

From Digital to Analog: Turn Your Vine Videos into Flipbooks

created at: 04/23/2013

A few months ago Vine took over the short-video scene with its social platform that allows users to create mini clips of pretty much anything; cats, recipes, incessant harlem shakes, even fashion shows. Great, so "what's next?" you might ask. Well, now you can turn your videos into flipbooks!

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Jan 30, 2013

A Woodworking Robot that Carves Furniture with a Chainsaw

For Passagen 2013 (Interior Design Week in Cologne), Berlin-based company Echtwald has teamed up wit Kkaarrlls to create this: a robot who cuts stackable stools from tree trunks with a chainsaw.

Is there more that needs to be said? Well, yeah, actually...   

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Nov 01, 2012

15 Natural Wood Grain Gadgets

Many (most?) guys appreciate the utility and drool-factor of modern technology and gadgets (smartphones, tablets, and the like) but prefer a bit of the "old school" analog vibe to warm them up a bit.

These wood grain gadgets and accessories make the best of both worlds: the latest technology, with classic styling.    

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Oct 17, 2012

Where the Internet Lives: The First-Ever Look Inside Google's Data Centers

This week, for the first time ever, Google shared their insides. The company allowed photographer Connie Zhou to capture the tubes and boxes and servers and wires that make up a whole heap of the internet.    

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Oct 17, 2012

The Basic Principles of Design: An Introduction

Art and inspiration blog Fuel Your Creativity argues,

For the masses, the internet is both a valuable resource, and possibly the source of a design epidemic. People have flooded the internet looking for design content, and while you might not need to learn the basics before attempting a stellar gradient in Photoshop, there will come a point where this style is left behind and a new style reaches popularity. The fact is, the fundamentals of design will never change. They are the glue that holds the design industry together and to reach success, we need to learn these from the very beginning.

And with that, they offer a minimalist introduction to those basic fundamentals: The Lost Principles of Design  

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Aug 27, 2012

How to: Add Texture to Vector Illustrations to Make Them Pop

Digital design and drawing tools are amazing, but the fact that they're created inside a computer and not created from physical media can leave them a little...flat.  

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Jul 19, 2012

Behind the Scenes at ManMade: My Top Ten Tools and Tech

created at: 07/19/2012

This week, my pal Gregory, tech editor at the always amazing Apartment Therapy, invited me to participate in their My Tech Top Ten, where writers, artists, designers, and other creatives share the gear and tools that help them do their work and stay organized.  

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