Wednesday, February 28, 2007

How to add proofing messages to PDFs

How to add proofing messages to PDFs
Creative Techs
discusses the benefits and risks of using PDFs for proofs to clients, and shows you how to ad a "Proof Stamp" to your digital PDF Proofs. I have run into the problem a number of times where a client who has received a number of low-res proof files from me finally receives one that looks good enough to print, and rather than asking for a print-ready file - sends the low-res version off to the printer, which never, ever ends well. This is the kind of technique that can keep that from happening. Definitely a must read, especially for folks who are or are considering freelancing.

New Today to Mr. A.: You just can't get any better than the Daily Video and Podcasts today. They need no introduction - just get your lazy mouse over there and click on them.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Pig Brains and Jello in San Francisco?

Liz Hicock photographs Jello Mold of San Francisco
Liz Hicock
sculpted and photographed San Francisco out of Jello. My uncle says a jello mold reminds him of a treat that my grandfather made out of the brains and other leftovers from the most recent pig he'd slaughtered. Fortunately the San Francisco mold doesn't look like that must have.. ick..

New Today: Daily Podcast is an episode of InDesign Secrets, Daily Video is the last Pixel Perfect with Bert Monroy for a while.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The varieties of Garamond

Read French? This blog post
discusses the differences in three different versions of Garamond type - should be interesting to those of you who have been tracing type in typography class. Also should highlight one of the reasons you can't count on any typeface but the one on your machine when you are providing files to a printer.

New Today: You Tube this week is a good example of the power of Photoshop retouching, Band of the Week is Beat Box of the week this week. Daily Video and Podcast are a couple of the standards: Digital Photography Show, and Bert Monroy Schoolin' some photoshop.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Check out this Wacked Planet Photo

This is a flickr set of "planet" photos
that are created using a panoramic photo, along with a number of different software applications that wrap the panorama into a planet. I've posted about this before when Photojojo featured the photoshop technique for this. This flickr set shows a number of examples of the result of the technique along with links to a number of different applications that you can use to create it. This will be an assignment in the Electronic Darkroom course in the near future.

New today on Mr. A: Check out the daily video.. a scene from Pulp Fiction rendered completely with type. Design Matters for the Daily Podcast is always great.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Veerle explains how to choose color combinations

Veerle strikes again
with a great post (as usual) about the mechanics of choosing color palettes for your design work - even if you feel quite comfortable with your control over the color wheel and color theory - reading a post like this is a great chance to refresh yourself and to be reminded about the fundamentals of color.

New Today on Mr. A: More Daily Video from Bert Monroy - his tutorials are always educational and it's just fun to watch him work on that awesome tablet monitor. More InDesign secrets for the Daily Podcast. Get your podcast on!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Portfolio and Resume Review coming Up.

On March 24th at Roanoke College, the area's top creative professionals will gather to review portfolios and resumes of students in Southwestern Virginia at Ad2 Roanoke's Annual Resume & Portfolio Review.

Like the event last year, the Review offers you guys the opportunity to meet area professionals and receive expert opinions and advice on their work. You will enjoy the benefits of workshops, networking, and one-on-one critiques. The sessions are set up like an interview but without the pressure. Internships and scholarships will be available as well. Students are encouraged to sign up early (RSVP by Friday, March 16th). Online registration will be available shortly and I'll notify you when it is up and running. For early registration email me or Sara Guerry (

This is the kind of experience and opportunity that does not come along very often.

If you have any questions about theReview, please don't hesitate to write or call me at 540-312-4510.


Chris Dodd
Ad2 Roanoke - Vice President

New to Mr. A Today: More of the great Pixel Perfect Photoshop tutorials with Bert Monroy for the daily video, More Typeradio for the Daily Podcast.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

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!

Awesome Blurring Billboard for Ford

This crazy cool billboard
for Ford Mustang blurs the scene behind it - too cool - makes it look like you're flying by... Pretty slick...

Monday, February 19, 2007

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Great tools for college students

Lifehacker is a great blog devoted to finding the best software resources to help you hack your life, or to use the technology available today to make your life easier, more organized or more productive. Recently they've linked to a few college student specific groups of information - This one is a group of software for "starving students" - free top quality software for both the Mac and the PC to help you get your work done without having to go without dinner. The second is a group of web apps that - while most can be used for any number of things - can also be used by students to help keep track of schoolwork and other resources. If you feel like you don't have the tools you need to succeed, or that you need help using them in a successful way, check out those links above.

New to MisterA Today: The Weekly Update brings Dispatch as Band of the Week - Don't know how I never heard of them before - but they rock! More Letterpress action for the YouTube this week. Daily Video and Daily Podcast are both software tip goodness - one for Photoshop and the other for Clipping Paths in InDesign - tons of good stuff on the blog for you guys today - take advantage!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Pen Tool Basics Tutorial

Real World Illustrator
links to an old intro-to-the-pen-tool template for Adobe Illustrator. This is a good, quick, simple step-by-step walkthrough for the basics of the pen tool if you haven't used it before, or are having trouble figuring it out.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Career Development Opportunities at VWCC

Representatives from Clear Channel Radio, Fastenal Company, Gray’s Family Department Store, Inc., Radio Shack, United Rentals, and WSET-TV will be at the Career Premiere job fair next Tuesday (2/20) and have indicated they are interested in hiring Advertising, and Communications majors for full-time positions and summer internships. In addition, several other employers have indicated an interest in graduates of all majors and many employers have not specified a desired major.

Please share this information with adjunct faculty in your division and make sure that your students know about and take advantage of this once a year opportunity. As of today 78 employers are registered to attend the job fair.

For your reference, general information about this career fair that 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 is 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:

Monday, February 12, 2007

Mock Interviews On Campus

Donna Tatum from Express Personnel and Manisha Shukla from Adecco have volunteered to come to the Career Center to work with our students on a "one-on-one" basis. In addition to the assistance students receive from the Career Center staff, students can benefit from other guest presenters. Students can receive help with applications, resumes, interviews, thank-you letters, and business attire. As members of the Society of Human Resource Managers, these ladies bring a lot of talent and experience to the table. There is a link to this information on the Career Center Website under Events. Students can call the Career Center at 857-7298 or 857-6379 to register or to get more information.

The sessions will be held on five Wednesday afternoons from 1:30 -- 3:30 on Feb. 28, March 15, March 15, April 11, and April 25. From the feedback I receive from employers, all job seekers need this help. Please encourage your students to take advantage of these free workshops.

Test your web design in multiple browsers

The Creativetechs website
links to a number of services that help you test your web designs on multiple browsers. This is especially useful if you live in an all mac household like I do, where it can be very difficult to design for the rest of the world without being able to see how your design will appear on a machine running microsoft products. This is a good resource for anyone who is learning to code for the web, but firsthand use of a range of browsers is even better.

New Today: Daily Video is a great animation for a Nike ad, Daily Podcast is typeradio.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Film Graphics Slide Show

This Slide Show
at the International Herald Tribune discusses and gives examples of a small selection of new film titles.

New Today: The Digital Photography Podcast #30 for the Daily Podcast, Adobe Creative Suite InDesign Tutorial on Resizing Objects for Daily Video.