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.
Everyone likes a nice motivational quote with a fine adventurous backdrop and some nice typography that reminds us to get outside.
It's nearing Valentine's Day, and though my sweetheart and I don't usually do gifts, I wanted to make her something special. We're not big on the whole Hobby Lobby, scrapbook-y, shrine to ourselves approach to artwork, but I did want to incorporate a personal element. I recalled the custom DNA portraits I'd seen, and when searching, found the fingerprint prints offered by the same company. While I wouldn't even begin to understand how to go about visualizing DNA, I figured the custom fingerprint approach was probably pretty achievable.
I even figured out a way to make it seem a bit more handmade than the cold, tech-ier versions offered by the online companies. And, it only ended up costing me $6.00 USD. (I'm so thankful I've got someone who would be proud of me for creating an inexpensive DIY route, rather than impressed by how much I spent.)
Ever wish there were a better way to lay claim to the books in your library than just scribbling your name on the inside cover? Which, let's admit it, ends up being so non-descript that it doesn't even register to loanee, who will inevitably just shelve the book as his own.
What you need is an custom Ex Libris stamp they'll forever recognize. Like, with a bear on it.
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!
Editor's Note: this post kicks off our 2015 partnership with Adobe Photoshop Elements. We're excited to be working with them again (remember our rustic wooden ornaments?) , because creating digital images is a part of our daily routine. We'll be sharing tips, tricks, and full-blown DIY projects for the next few months, so make sure to follow along!
They say a dog is a man's best friend. Like most pet owners, I have an unhealthy fondness for my hound, a full-blooded beagle. Is there anything better than a man and his dog? How about a cool, rustic-framed print of said dog? To do it, I dusted off my Art 101 skills and tried my hand again at block printing. Here's how I used Photoshop Elements 13 to turn my photo of Bailey into a timeless piece of art.
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
Artist Bob Staake snagged a collection of vintage children's books, then scanned the artwork, fired up Photoshop, and gave them plenty of new, but very, very not child-friendly covers and titles.
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.
Stock image site Shutterstock offers a helpful and in-depth tutorial for creating a realistic letter press effect on your digital images using Photoshop. I've seen several of these over the past few years, and this is, by far, the most effective and paper-texture like tutorial yet. It even has a technique for making embossed, non-inked designs, one of the hallmarks of great letterpress prints.
With Instagram and Hipstamic and infinite other smartphone apps, it's quite easy to run a snapshot through a filter or four, and come out with something that with deeply saturated colors, vignette-y borders, selective focus, and all the other trappings of film and old cameras.
In her Venus project, Italian artist Anna Utopia Giordano asks, "What would have happened if the aesthetic standard of our society had belonged to the collective unconscious of the great artists of the past?"
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A few week's ago, AMC released an advertising campaign in New York City's subway system to promote the latest season of its beloved Mad Men. Keeping with the show's minimalist intro, the art contains a giant white canvas with a falling silhoutted man, with the words "March 25"
That's right. A giant white piece of paper inside subway stations. You can imagine what comes next.
The 2012 Oscar nominations have been announced going on two weeks now, and the general reaction from the public continues to be sorta...meh.
To address the hype, or lack thereof, TheShiznit has adapted this season's nominated films' posters to, as they say, 'tell the truth.' "In the interests of transparency, we've shopped the posters for this awards season's biggest movies so they're a little more honest about their content."
Artists Jean-Marie Delbes Hatim El Hihi have created their latest project: Live! I See Dead People, a collection of album cover photographs with the no-longer-living band members digitially removed.
The technique is outstanding, and the effect quite poignant.
Whenever I'm aiming tocreate an illustration or a graphic, I go straight to Adobe Illustrator. It is, hands down, my favorite program to design in. The only problem with Illustrator, however, is that the vector graphics you create sometimes look too clean and flat. Personally, I like a little bit of texture in my designs. Computers are great, but there's no reason no to mimic the amazing feel and appeal of paper or fabric.
So today I'll be showing you some basic tips on how to add textures to vector graphics or text using Photoshop. The thing about Photoshop, as you may know, is that there are 100 different ways to achieve the same effect. Some people may use completely different techniques to create textures, and that's just fine. My process isn't necessarily the best, but it's what I like to do.
Artist and writer Austin Kleon has a new project in which he adapts his visual poetry to a new format: road and street signs. He dubs them De-signs (get it), and defines them as:
de-Signs = iPhone photos of signs with some of the words erased.
Simple enough. And amazing.
Quebec City-based photographer and designer has created a photo series dubbed Genetic Portraits, which explores how much family members really do resemble each other. He photographs combinations of siblings and/or their parents, and then meld their split faces together to create a spectrum of portraits that span the eerily normal to the eerily shocking.
Michael Guppy, a recent design school graduate, has created "Selected," a series of reinterpretations of famous paintings.