Monday, January 29, 2007

Free Photoshop Brushes and Patterns

Check out
, a website that provides links to hundreds of free photoshop brushes and patterns. There are a ton of sites out there that provide similar stuff, but brusheezy allows users to vote on the files by ranking them, so the best of the best rise to the top of the ranked list. Good resource!

New Today: Daily Video is an episode of Photoshop Quicktips, Daily Podcast is the InDesign Podcast.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Font Shop interviews type designer Akira Kobayashi

Check out this Font Shop article
about Akira Kobayashi, the type designer who created Clifford as well as many other typefaces. A great interview - especially if you're in Typography this semester.

New Today: Calexico is band of the week, Youtube is part one of a two part video about the installation of a letterpress. Daily video is an InDesign tutorial, Daily podcast is Usedwigs radio #22.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Holy Adobe Designman

Yesterday I posted about the InDesign seminar that I hope to hold in the next week or two. Less than 24 hours later I have 10 responses with interest - the most we can fit in the class is 17, so let me know if you'd like to get in and I'll go ahead an dcontact everyone about a date and time.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

InDesign Seminar - Who wants In?

I'd like to put together a short seminar for students who would like gain some experience and instruction in using Adobe InDesign to design pages. You must be comfortable in Quark Xpress for this training or you will feel lost and get behind. The course will be a non-credit seminar, will last for 5 hours and will cost $50 per student. There must be at least 13 students for the class to make, so email me right away and let me know if you'd like to sign up. Time and date is to be determined based on the availability of those who are interested. If you are interested, email me at and I'll put your name on the list.

Stefan Sagmeister Speaks on Speak Up

Speak Up
interviews Stefan Sagmeister in a discussion about the book that Stefan recently designed titled Worldchanging: A User's Guide to the 21st Century. If you're not familiar with Sagmeister you're not paying attention.

New Today: Typeradio is the Daily Podcast, Daily Video is Creative Intelligence the Movie - whatever that is - haven't watched it yet.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Career Development Opportunities at VWCC

Two emails I've received this week about Career Development:

Greetings to All,

Our students and graduates are entering the work force at a very exciting time. As baby boomers retire, the demand to hire good employees will continue to grow. At this time, there are many good jobs available to our students; these job postings are on our Website. However, job hunting is a huge challenge to most students. According to the feedback I receive from employers and members of the Roanoke Valley Society of Human Resource Managers, our students and students from other colleges and universities need to improve their job hunting skills. Students don't complete applications properly and are often ill prepared for interviews.

In addition to the services our staff provides, two employers in the Valley have volunteered to come to the Career Center throughout the semester to work with our students. They will conduct mock interviews, assist with the application process, and critique resumes. I would envision a Wednesday afternoon session once a month.

I think this opportunity will help our students to compete in the work place. Would you share this opportunity with your students. Students can contact me directly to register to attend one of these sessions. I will email a complete schedule shortly.

Thank you for your support.
Sandra R. McMinnis
Hall Associates Career & Employment Assistance Center
Virginia Western Community College
(540) 857-6379

Career Services is sponsoring three workshops in preparation for Career Premiere, the regional career fair to be held on February 20, at the Wyndham Hotel. General information on career fair etiquette, dressing for success, completing job applications, resume writing, and interviewing will be presented.

The Career Premiere 2007 workshops are scheduled for:
Wednesday, January 31 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. in Whitman Auditorium, or
Thursday, February 1 from 3:15 – 4:45 p.m. in Whitman Auditorium (the first two workshops will include guest community business speakers and will accommodate a large audience since they will be held in the auditorium.)
Wednesday, February 7 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. in D106 (This workshop is part of the Hot Topic series and will be conducted by Rhonda Perdue.)
Please announce this information in your classes, and please share this information with adjunct faculty in your division. For your reference, general information about this career fair which was previously sent is included below.


Gary Adkins
Hall Associates Career & Employment Assistance Center
Student Center, room 202

Career Premiere 2007

Virginia Western is partnering with Averett University, Bridgewater College, Ferrum College, Liberty University, Mary Baldwin College, and Radford University to offer a regional career fair on Tuesday, February 20, 2007. This career fair will be called Career Premiere and will be held at the Wyndham Hotel from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

On the day of the career fair students will be able to:
meet and talk with employers, and interview for current job openings
discuss the possibility of internships with employers
discuss future job possibilities with employers – both within their company and within the occupational field in general
Admission will be limited to students and alumni from the participating colleges. If you would like to attend, please stop by the Hall Associates Career & Employment Assistance Center in S202 to pick up a ticket. The list of participating employers is being updated continuously and is available in the Career Center and on the career fair web site:


Stippled headhots in the Wall Street Journal

Digital Inspiration
discusses the WSJ's process for creating the line art headhots that they use.

New Today: Daily Podcast is the Digital Photography Show - Daily Video is a Photoshop Tutorial containing some general photoshop tips.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Movie Titles - cool cool cool

Submarine Channel
is building a web collection of the opening credits for movies in a number of different categories - Very cool stuff.

New Today: The Tragic Death of Helvetica on Typeradio for the daily podcast. A Photoshop Selections tutroial for the Daily Video.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Awesome Photo-Illustrations

Check this great portfolio of Illustration work

New Today: Rookie Designer for the Daily Podcast, More InDesign for the Daily Video

Tech Squared Web Hosting - where are you?

For more than a couple of months now I have been working on a web site redesign for on of the major tourist destinations in Roanoke, a complete overhaul of their site including the introduction of a gift shop for online shopping. The web site is to be hosted by a local web hosting provider, Tech Squared. Or at least that's what they say they are going to do. The site is completely developed, completed by myself and a partner and with the help and cooperation of the entire staff at the tourist destination - however Tech Squared has stalled the whole project. The Shop aspect of the site requires software to be installed on the server at Tech Squared - and for more than three weeks now they have failed to respond to emails, phone calls from myself and the client, and all-in-all completely failed to provide the type of support that one would expect from a company who provides this service. This will be the last web site that I work with that is hosted on their servers - and I'll have a compelling and straightforward story to share with clients in the future who might choose to use Tech Squared for their hosting. There are far too many options for hosting out there to settle for the kind of service I have received from Tech Squared. Be warned!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Steve stole the iPhone screen from this guy..

That's the next iMac.. please?

New Today: Rodrigo Y Gabriela for Band of the Week, a slick little letterpress business card maker on Youtube, and good InDesign stuff for both the daily video and the daily podcast.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Why Web Pages Suck

Check out this post on Web Pages that Suck about the biggest mistakes in web page design. This is a good post on a good site that helps point out the mistakes that are so easily and commonly made in the medium that anyone with a computer and a telephone line can work in.

New Today: Daily Podcast is another episode of Typeradio, Daily Video is a Photoshop Tutorial for slimming down the holiday photos.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

More fruit from Jason Gaylor

Here is another set of brushes for photoshop
created and graciously given away for free by Jason Gaylor on his designfruit blog. This is a great example of a way that you can use Illustrator to enhance your Photoshop work: by creating vector shapes that you then load as brushes in Photoshop for use later on.

New Today: FX Guide Podcast for the Daily Podcast, a new Photoshop quicktip for the daily video.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Is Retouching Fake?

Visit this link
to read an interesting post on Netdiver about whether or not retouching a photograph makes it fake, with must-see links to some terrific examples of before and after retouching.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Don't try this at home.. or anywhere else...

Three guys tell a really hard-to-stop-reading story
about their stealthy descent into an abandoned power generation station that is behind Niagra Falls.. This is straight out of some James Bond movie or something...

The evolution of a web design

Watch the screencaps above to see a css based web design in action from start to finish.

New Today: Daily podcast: Chip Kidd speaks at AIGA, from Be A Design Group. Daily Video is Photoshop Quicktips episode 10 - "painting" your photograph onto a background. Band of the week is Mixel Pixel - check out their unique projection system.. YouTube this week is a demo of a revolutionary new product from Apple.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Welcome to Spring 2007

Welcome to the Spring Semester. They call it the Spring Semester because we won't be having winter anymore. That's good if you like to fish or ride motorcycles, but not so good if you like to ski or throw snowballs.

This web site was created and is updated daily completely for your benefit as a student. The information that I post here is generally information that I believe will make you a better graphic designer or artist. It is a broad range of information, but I believe that all of it is valuable, or I wouldn't be posting it. This blog is part of the required reading for your course, so you need to visit it at least once a week and read the new material posted.

The area where this text is posted is the main blog portion of the site, however there are many resources on the right hand side of the page that give you access to more information. A quick rundown:
  • Daily Podcast - this is a daily updated podcast related to graphic design or photography.
  • Daily Video - a daily updated video, usually some sort of video tutorial, or some sort of design related goodness.
  • Feedback - a spot where you can post or send me feedback about your classes or about the website
  • Recent Links - bookmarks of interest - click Explore More Links to be redirected to all of my design related bookmarks, with tons of resources and tutorials.
  • Design Blogs - hundreds of frequently updated blogs devoted to design, illustration and other related fields - most recently updated blogs appear at the top of the list.
  • The rest of the sidebar content to the right is for your entertainment or information - check them out when you can.

You will find that viewing this site on Internet Explorer is unusual. That's because Internet Explorer blows chunks. I hope that you enjoy and benefit greatly your classes this semester. Good luck!

Here's one example of the kind of work you can do in Illustrator