Mood Board

Mood Board 150 150 admin

I’ve mentioned that I’m working on a new brand launch coming up in a few months. With any new project I collect tons of visual inspiration from around the web, and this personal project is no different. Usually those files just sit in a folder though. This time I was inspired by Proper Measures to make a mood board out of my inspiration. Check it out and let me know what you think!

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Custom Fields for Shopp Products

Custom Fields for Shopp Products 150 150 admin

I’ve been using the Shopp plugin for WordPress on a site I’m developing. There are a lot of great things about Shopp; I’m planning a post in the coming weeks comparing Shopp and WP-ecommerce.

The latest problem I’ve been working out is how to add custom form fields for each product. Rickrackbaby.com offers custom monogramming, so I need a place for visitors to type in their custom text. To make it trickier, I actually need two custom fields for each product.

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Creative Math

Creative Math 150 150 admin

Last week I had the chance to speak to 6-8th graders at Prince of Peace in Hoover about how I use math in my job. One of my great friends is the math teacher, and has had several speakers over the course of the semester. She was particularly interested in showing the kids that even creative careers involve math on a daily basis.

So, inspired by Dick Hardt’s Identity 2.0 presentation I put together this little group of slides. If you haven’t seen the video of that presentation it is very much worth a watch. At any rate, the final product has little in common with Mr. Hardt’s presentation, but it was fun to throw together at midnight the night before and the kids got a kick out of it.

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Stop Telling People What To Do

Stop Telling People What To Do 150 150 admin

Jared Spool over at Johnny Holland Magazine has an article out this week about why making design recommendations is a bad thing. It’s true that critiquing a client’s existing materials, be it print or web, is a touchy situation. I for one am slow to judge another designer’s work. For all I know, he could be dealing with an owner telling him he MUST use purple if he wants to keep his job. Sometimes you do what you gotta do.

But when someone asks your expert opinion, you gotta say something, right?

Jared suggests a different approach.

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How I Got Things Done in ’09

How I Got Things Done in ’09 150 150 admin

Is it too late for ’09 lists? Yes? Well, tough noogies.

Here are some resources that became indispensable to me over the last year. Not necessarily all design related, and not necessarily new in the grand scheme. But things I have come to depend on in my quest to create badassedry.

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Washed out colors in Photoshop

Washed out colors in Photoshop 150 150 admin

Man, I have been trying to figure this out for ages and stumbled across it tonight.

When saving for web, I’ve always had trouble with my images being lighter and more washed out once saved than they are in Photoshop. Well here’s the solution:

View > Proof Setup > Macintosh RGB

Simple, right? This means you’ll actually viewing your files in RGB originally, so no color variation when you save them as such.

Rock on with your web designing self.

NextGen Gallery Tag Cloud Update

NextGen Gallery Tag Cloud Update 150 150 admin

Awhile back I came up with a helter-skelter way to show a list of tags for the NextGen Gallery, a feature that is oddly not built in. Then they went and updated the plugin, and it stopped working.

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ISO WP Support Ticket Plugin

ISO WP Support Ticket Plugin 150 150 admin

I’m on the hunt for a plugin that will allow existing clients to request and approve a job quote. If there’s a support ticket plugin out there, it could probably be modified to suit my needs. read more

The Logo Design Process

The Logo Design Process 150 150 admin

For me at least, logo design is one of the most time and thought-intensive things I do. I’ve got to represent an organization with one mark that is both visually strong and technically flexible, as well as sell the client on the rationale.  This article on Freelance Switch is a great look into how a logo is designed, especially if you’re the client. My process is extremely similar, including the part about how I usually start off with WAY more logos than the client actually sees. The thing is, just because there are hundreds of variations I COULD create for a company, they’re not all going to be the best. My job is to weed out the weaklings and give the client several strong options to choose from. If you’ve ever wondered why a professional, unique logo design costs what it does, here’s your answer.

Designers and Recessions

Designers and Recessions 150 150 admin

Great article at Design Observer about what happens to creative business during a recession, and what you can do about it. As a freelancer with very little overhead I’ve been fortunate so far; but there’s no telling what ’09 will bring.

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