Tag Archive: graphic design


There is no argument that Adobe stepped up their game with CS6 release of design tools.  InDesign, in particular has received some great updates and tweaks.  With Liquid Layout, you can quickly change the size of a current design to fit a new device or layout type.

Adaptive Design helps you link content and create alternate layouts from the start of a design.  It allows the designer to adapt for any contingency up front and save design time later.  Both of these tools can save pain and time when working to meet publishing deadlines in the graphic design world.  And working quickly and painlessly is one of Techsnoop’s favorite things.

Grab a Coke or coffee cup and take a quick look.

Here is a great way to create a 3D space background in Adobe After Effects.  Backgrounds are the glue that holds scenes together when creating videos and effects.  If your background is fantastic, your entire project looks better.

Happy Wednesday

InDesign is a great tool for Graphic Designers, making it possible to create great projects for digital and print projects.  Adobe has spiced up the latest version of Creative Suite software with great new features.

Now with InDesign you can create PDF forms without switching to Acrobat.  Your form fields are created directly in InDesign and exported to a usable PDF form.  Additionally there is a new Content Collector feature that allows you to quickly reuse all the content in an InDesign document on other pages or in completely different documents.  The content can be linked or not to automatically update when the original is changed or keep original formatting.  You can even create groupings of content that can be reused together as a group.

Grab a cup of coffee or Coke and take a look.

Don’t just veg out on Saturday, learn something new!  Techsnoop has gathered some awesome tutorials to help you keep your design skills on the cutting edge.  Make a digital comic, or try out Adobe Creative Suite 6 with new javascript integration in Dreamweaver or make mobile designs or mobile apps.  CS6 has a host of powerful features designed to serve up mobile content.  And, in a nod to mobile platforms that are not Flash-friendly, Flash can now output to HTML animation instead of SWF.

So get your favorite energy boost (yay Coke!) and learn something new to wow your friends and co-workers with next week.

Happy Sunday, everyone.  DKemp Designs has launched their Animation Studio and the first demo is available on the dkempdesigns YouTube channel.  First look is below.  Please let us know what you think in the comments.

Happy Thursday!  Techsnoop doesn’t want you to get rusty so we have gathered up some great tutorials to help you in moving to responsive site building and creating mobile apps.  And, if you need an extra hand, here is a great tutorial on creating a clone of yourself!

Making Responsive CSS for your sites.

Creating Mobile Apps with Adobe CS6

Make Your Own Clone

Freelancers need all the help they can get to be as productive as possible.  Tablets are a great tool to keep track of ideas on the fly or impromptu meetings with potential clients.  Here are a couple of items to maximize your tablet investment.

Adobe Photoshop Touch, available for Android and iPad is a great way to mock up ideas with teams or clients on the go, without breaking out the lumbering laptop.  At only $9.99, its also affordable for even budget freelancers.

Highlights include;

  • Available for iPad 2 or later and Android.
  • Work with core Photoshop tools designed for tablets.
  • Use your tablet camera to fill area on a layer.
  • Select part of image to extract by scribbling.
  • Perform Google searches and share images on Facebook right in the app.
  • Sync files to Adobe Creative Cloud and open in Photoshop.

Autodesk’s Sketchbook Pro app is for creating original images on the fly and makes your tablet into a digital sketch book.  Best of all, it comes in a free version (without the full set of features).  Check out the video;

Happy Designing!  DKemp Designs

Techsnoop is a comic geek among other things.  Justice League, Superman, Iron Man and Avengers are among my very favorites.  So, you may imagine that this is a bonzai summer for me and other comic, sci-fi, and action geeks.  With the advent of Avengers, Prometheus, Battleship, Spiderman, Batman, and MIB3, this will be one busy box office season.  Techsnoop cautions to go easy on the popcorn, pop and nachos so as not to end the summer with “movie gut”.

Tony-AvengersAvengers not only set some box office milestones, but one of the lead characters has proven to be a great story of rising from the ashes.  Mr. Downey is a classic case of learning life lessons from comic characters.  Robert Downey, Jr. was once an unemployable has been.  But due to hard work and taking necessary small steps toward success, he became not only a superstar, but a great ensemble actor.  He works well alone and in teams.

How many designers and developers can say that?  Achieving such versatility brings success in any field and requires the incorporation of many “soft” skills that technical experts often do not value.  Teamwork (Justice League, Avengers), attention to detail (Batman) and ability to meet deadlines are critical skills for entrepreneurs.  Being able to network and describe in non-tech language (Spiderman) what you can bring to a client is what brings in cash for your business.  Techsnoop is convinced that the great effects and artwork achieved in Avengers movie did not happen with designers and techs coming in “whenever” and zoning out in meetings.

Design is hard work and continuous education on the latest technology and techniques.  One small image can take days to create with the right mood, lighting and effects to fit the scope of the project.  This is not done by slackers.  Designers may be creatives, but we are creatives on a deadline and with tight budgets.  The trade off for flexible hours and working in jeans is being able to deliver high-quality product on demand and in budget.

Anyone who doesn’t take designers seriously should take a moment and try to create just one of the thousands of images from any hit movie.  Let me know how easy that is for you.

Designers and comic geeks unite, our superheros have taught us well so let’s “Assemble”.

Smutty WorksResponsive, HTML5, CSS3, mobile-optimized.  If these terms mean nothing to you, you must not be a web designer.  If you are a web designer today is a fantastic day to start logging resources.

If you have not bookmarked the Unstoppable Robot Ninja, go do it now!  Brilliant, easy reading details for getting your sites optimized for responsive design.  Another great resource is Web Designer Wall.  This site provides freebies and great tutorials to get you kick-started in leveling up your designs.  And here is a Smutty approved site; Cats Who Code.  This is a must read for anyone who dreams of being a designer or developer.

And the ultimate must-have for responsive design; a FREE responsive slider.  Many thanks to Smashing Mag for coming through as usual.

Need to create a WordPress site, but don’t know how?  Visit ThemePURE, a great site with low cost templates for WordPress designs.

Once you have your responsive design created, test it out at responsive px.  Make sizing adjustments accordingly and publish!

Network with great people like my Cybermap.  And if you need inspiration on starting a freelance design business, click here.  The story will inspire you to get up and get started now.  If not now, when?

Techsnoop wishes you great design.

design hangoverI love designing. The colors, type, shapes, patterns. Linking them together in a way that makes sense and solves problems for the client is great fun.

But, I am worn out by design that screams at me. 16 fonts on a 4 x 6 card and 5 colors is too much. Please, stop screaming your message at me. I tend to throw away any card or flyer that shouts or is cluttered.  I know it’s hard to get marketing into the hands of customers.  But if your customer throws out your message, you just wasted money.

Great design creates interest, not apathy and encourages, not screams.  The day of the hard sell is over.  Social media platforms and DVR has made it all too easy for your audience to tune you out if you annoy them.  The best design has great typography, and is set against complimentary colors and subtle patterns.

The best thing any designer can do is to limit themselves to 3-4 features in any project.  Just because you can do 20 different effects, doesn’t mean you should.  This is hard for designers.  There are multiple tools and brushes and unlimited colors to choose from.  Further, clients often want all the latest bells and whistles for their project.

At this point, the designer must explain the pros and cons of each effect on the desired outcome of the project.  If the end result is not achieved, the design is a failure no matter how beautiful it is.  This guide is true for print and screen design.  We as designers are the guardians of good taste and arbiters of what will work.

Best of all, if you can present ideas that lead to profits, your customers will value you more and send you referrals.

So don’t be afraid to say no to the customer, just be prepared to back up your statements with documentation that shows you care about the customer’s bottom line.

Pass the mochaccino.