Tag Archives: design

The 51 Coolest Side Projects We’ve Ever Seen

We talk a lot about inspiring careers here. But what often gets neglected as we’re talking about all the cool things people are doing during their day jobs is all the cool things they’re doing outside of the 9-to-5. So today, we’re fixing that in a big way.

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I was pretty excited to read this article, and there are a lot of blogs I have bookmarked to read later. But before this post got any further out of date, I wanted to share it here– on one of my side projects! Much like these enterprising people, I found some satisfaction in sharing what I do outside of my office…namely during my commute and lunch hour. 

LA’s Proposed Parking Signs Are Brilliantly Simple

Ken Husting was circling downtown Los Angeles one day in 2013 trying to find parking when, all of a sudden—Hallelujah!— he found a spot. Then he looked up to see six signs attached to pole telling him that he maybe, possibly could park there.

from Pocket http://www.wired.com/2015/04/las-proposed-parking-signs-brilliantly-simple/

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There’s no arguing that a lot of municipal signage could use a dose of additional clarity. The adage a picture’s worth a thousand words must never have occurred to the original sign designers – or maybe it wasn’t as important as simplicity, visibility, or cost. Still the current signs are not clear and are usually compounded with additional signs that are in effect at other times. The proposed sign removes a lot of ambiguity and introduces a more universal set of symbols. It uses a lot of design sense, and in a world that’s becoming more aesthetic, design sense is good sense.

So, Print Is Dying? Don’t Tell the Megazine

Like chocolate bars and Arctic ice caps, printed periodicals have shrunk over the last decade. The Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, The New York Times and dozens more have reduced their physical dimensions to maintain fiscal fitness.

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My good friend Marilyn sent this article to me. If only I could write a post just about people who you meet and make the world feel smaller, it would probably include a lot of our conversations…but this is about the Megazine. The periodical that is measured in stride with TVs, instead of mobile devices. The Megazine is a big magazine with big subjects in mind. It is as much a piece of art as the photographs it holds. Both current issues are on exhibit in Japan, complete with human page-turners wearing shirts extolling the virtues: “bigger” and “better.”


You’ve heard of the Cult of Apple. But did you know about the Sacred Order of Photoshop? “At Adobe we are all about our customers—they’re filmmakers, illustrators, designers, photographers,” says AJ Joseph, the executive creative director at Adobe who spearheaded the “Dream On” video.

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Happy 25th birthday to Adobe’s Photoshop! I’m happy to be able to count myself as a user for around half of that. Cheers to layers and layers of learning for (more than) a few more years to come!

Make sure you check out the “Dream On” video, it’s definitely worth a look.

The power of gamification in your marketing strategy

Photo from Unsplash


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So, gamification…it’s one of the things that I have kept in my periphery. I work in education and in media production and education has been one of the first industries to test the waters. Not much more recently, but in a much bigger way, gamification has hit advertisements and marketing. This article argues that it would be a bad idea to ignore it.

Historically, it’s a good idea. Supermarket sweepstakes have encouraged people to shop for ages. MacDonalds’ Monopoly never fails to drive sales. It’s a matter of making it work in today’s ever-changing landscape of mobile devices and user accounts and passwords and making it worth the investment.

What’s The Difference Between A Logo And A Symbol?

And does the distinction even matter? Experts Michael Bierut of Pentagram and Brett Wickens of Ammunition weigh in. The misuse of the word “logo” is one of those things that gets many design-minded people practically purple-faced with anger (a sibling to debate over “fonts” v. “typefaces”).

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I did not expect this topic to be quite as nuanced as it ended up being, but that’s kind of why the article appealed to me.

Since designing the logo for 6th Floor Studios and the symbol for LilMarauder Productions is a recent memory, I was struck by the different classifications. I used nearly identical processes and created similar looks, but one is a logo, and one is a symbol, because of the presence of text. It’s a worthwhile thing to keep in mind especially because of the points listed in the article, like recognition, international appeal, and clarity.

The Story Behind the Storyboard

I’m a media person. That’s what I do, both for fun and for work. I know storyboards and I’ve made them for nearly ten years. What is a storyboard though? It’s a bunch of sketches or drawings tied together with dialogue in a way that illustrates the visual flow of some piece of audiovisual work that changes over time.

The value of the storyboard is in that proof-of-concept, seeing is believing nature of it. Any time your linking two things that can’t be co-demonstrated, a storyboard component could help. Audio and video are just the most obvious example, but wireframes and interactivity are also becoming more prevalent.


Filmmakers on Location. Photo by Jonathan Kos-Read.
Filmmakers on Location. Photo by Jonathan Kos-Read.

Film Before the Storyboard
Surprisingly enough, the storyboard comes long after the beginnings of film studios. Even though film is rather costly and can’t be reused, there was no standard practice to produce a visual proof-of-concept before starting to roll. Continue reading The Story Behind the Storyboard

Photoshop CS5 filters…all in one animation

Photoshop Cs5 Filters Animation from Device on Vimeo.

Alma’s to-go box:
Where has this been all my life? After the number of times I have scrolled from filter to filter to filter to find that one that I can never remember the name of, you would think that I’d have papered the walls with examples of them. I’m glad that I’m not alone in that seemingly endless hunt, and I’m glad that someone else was creative enough to animate it (there’s a tumblr blog listed in the video description too).