Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's not Spongebob; It's Breakfast

With the highest paid circulation of any printed magazine--6.1 million--Reader's Digest hopes to make a strong entry into the digital domain with its iPad edition, just announced today. The first issue, out in March, will feature automatically-updated online content plus iPad-only content and videos. Reader's Digest joins a growing list of publications that offer content in an all-electronic and predominantly-visual form, signaling a new revolution in the publishing industry whereby content is separated from traditional media.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

If you have a computer with a video camera, try out the TomTom Star Wars Game. Use the Force to lift a plasma TV without touching the mouse or the keyboard! This is an excellent example of a Flash-based game website.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

iPad Coming Soon to Stores, Only Not for Sale

The April 21st online issue of Ad Age predicts an important new use for the Apple iPad--as personal shopping assistant for retail stores. According to the article, "in time, the iPad could be used as a virtual sales assistant, allowing sales staff in the dress department to pull up coordinating accessories from the jewelry or shoe department."

Retailers still would have to work out logistical problems, such as how to keep them from walking out the door, but the benefits to retail sales make the iPad attractive to retailers.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

So You Need a Typeface?

Thanks go to my past MDC student Chelo for sending me this typeface selection chart. Take it with a grain of salt, as there are other choices beside Metro if you don't like Futura. :-)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Visual Lightbox--Two Thumbs-up for Ease of Use

Ever wanted to create a thumbnail gallery of images, but Dreamweaver's rollover behaviors seem a little played-out? Flash's ActionScript is a little too difficult to write? I recently found Visual Lightbox, a tool for effortlessly building beautiful thumbnail galleries with absolutely no coding! Unlike jQuery Lightbox, which requires you to do some HTML coding, VL couldn't be easier! I re-did my web portfolio using VL and it's beautiful! Take a look and tell me what you think.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hot Jobs in a Flash

I just came across this Miami Herald article from last November, but felt it should be included here. Steve Cucinotta, a 27-year-old web designer who works in Hollywood-based web design firm Sapient, talks about his education and job opportunities in the field. Like I always say, pick a career you will enjoy so it won't feel like work, but rather play.

Cucinotta said, "Everyone here is just very warm and welcoming. And that to me is the biggest thing. It feels like I'm going to hang out with my friends and do work while I'm here. I don't see it as a job. I see it as a place to go and learn."

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, February 19, 2010

Converting your Photoshop Website to HTML/CSS

Best practices for modern web site design call for small, easily downloadable files. If you're still using Photoshop to build websites using slices, your sites will not be compliant with WCAG 2.0 standards. Designbeep.com offers today 38 tutorials for converting your Photoshop-created website to HTML/CSS.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Five Reasons to Learn HTML and CSS

Mike Kus posted an informative blog article yesterday. He gives five good reasons to learn HTML and CSS, and I might add ActionScript 3. Among the benefits: more job opportunities will open up for you.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, February 05, 2010

Maxim, GQ and Esquire Publish Digital Editions

I expect that when the iPad is available for sale, more books, magazines and newspapers will begin to publish fully-digital editions. Today's Advertising Age ran an article mentioning that Maxim, GQ and Esquire currently have digital editions for the iPhone, but who wants to see beautiful women on a small 3-inch screen?

Still, choices at the moment are rather limited. Nat Ives wrote, "the magazine industry remains some distance from its current dream of fully stocked and popular digital newsstands."

The iPad brings hope for a revitalized publishing industry, focusing on content, unshackled by financial burdens, as well as offering a greener lifestyle.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Future of Publishing

Last week, Apple announced the iPad, a large, beautiful 9.7-inch touch sensitive reader. In case you're not thinking of buying one, read this article appearing in today's Ad Age.

The Apple iPad and similar technologies will be the future of publishing. Printing on paper consumes the earth's resources and strains publishers' economic resources.

Phil Johnson wrote, "The iPad represents Apple's vote of confidence for the future of books, newspapers and magazines. Apple shows every intention of doing for text-based content what it did for music with iTunes."

As printing and publishing undergo an evolution to the next level, we as graphic designers must keep up with this transformative and empowering technology.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Typographic Errors in Media
Thanks to my FIU student Tatiana for sending me this November 15th article from the New York Times spotlighting various anachronistic errors in typography in media.

My favorite is the label of the steam pressure gauge seen in James Cameron's Titanic, which is set in Helvetica, a font that wouldn't have been designed until 45 years later!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Critics Slam Ikea for Catalog Typography
The Associated Press reported Aug. 30th on Ikea's decision to switch their catalog's typography for the first time in 50 years. The Swiss furniture retailer was criticized for their new choice of font, replacing the time-honored Futura with Verdana, a font designed by Microsoft with wide, open letters designed to increase readability on small computer screens. Reactions ranged from, "It's a sad day," to "words can't describe my disgust."

Ikea spokesperson Camilla Meiby said, "Verdana is a simple, cost-effective font that works well in all media." Ikea needed a font that worked well in both digital and print media. Personally, I like Verdana, and I prize its open counters and clear legibility.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Herald Prints Article about SEDT

The Miami Herald
ran an August 2nd article, titled "Learning the Business of Entertainment," about Miami Dade College School of Entertainment & Design Technology as part of a series on educational opportunities in South Florida. My photo appears in the article, which can also be read online. Extra special thanks go to my FIU student Kurt for obtaining a copy of the newspaper for me.

Monday, August 24, 2009

New Media Revolution

When I started college 25 years ago, the graphics industry was beginning to undergo a revolution fueled by new technology. Pre-1984, the pre-press workforce consisted of specialists—designers, typographers, illustrators, layout artists, paste-up artists, graphic arts photographers, and film assembly technicians. With the advent of the Macintosh Plus computer, Apple LaserWriter printers, Adobe PostScript page description language, and Aldus PageMaker page layout software, the specialists needed to become generalists. One person could now do the work of several, and many job descriptions were eliminated. Graphic designers adapted, and for the past quarter-century, they could be successful with only knowledge of print.

Today, the industry is undergoing a new revolution—this one, not fueled by new technology, but by the economy. When one comes to think of it, print is a 19th century technology. Paper has to be harvested from trees, then milled, printed on, assembled, stored in warehouses, and then shipped on trucks, incurring financial expenses as well as drawing upon the Earth's resources. As we are in a verbally literate society, quickly transitioning to a visually literate one, most people prefer to obtain their news from cable or satellite television networks, or from the Web. Large print shops have closed in the Miami area (and all across the country). Newspapers and magazines have announced layoffs and cutbacks.

But it's not all doom and gloom. There are still many opportunities for graphic designers who know print, Web and video. It’s easy to find creative graphic designers for print. It’s also easy to find good video production technicians. It’s not easy to find a creative person who can apply that creativity equally to print, Web and video. Therefore, the successful graphic designer will be fluent in Photoshop, Illustrator and Quark or InDesign, but also in Dreamweaver, Flash, After Effects and maybe even Final Cut.

Print will never totally go away, just like radio hasn’t been completely replaced by television. However, the current trend in communications technology is toward all-electronic, and predominantly visual media. If you’re entering school now, you’re getting in on the ground floor of this media revolution. If you’ve been around for a few years, it would be of benefit to learn the software and technology that drives electronic media, and embrace the changes that will affect visual communications in the 21st century.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Why is the Sky Blue?
Normally, I say thanks to my student for sending me a link, but in this case, my FIU student Sebastian actually produced this video and posted it on YouTube. Thanks, Sebastian!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Two Logos I Admire for their Expressiveness
While watching TV a few nights ago, I saw commercials for TravelAlaska.com and for ShareOurStrength.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating childhood hunger in America. I was impressed by the expressiveness of both logos.

TravelAlaska's logo fortuitously contains three capital A's. The artist replaced the apexes of the A's, already shaped like mountains, with snowcapped peaks. To further express the randomness of the heights of various peaks, the artist changed scale and baseline shift of each letter individually. To create stronger unity with the remaining letters, the artist manipulated the capital K as well as the feet of the outer capital A's to express the Rocky Mountains in Alaska. This logo embodies the Great American Outdoors, while at the same time attracting attention and building interest.

Share Our Strength's logo is truly special. Designed by SS+K, a New York-based strategic communications agency, the logo symbolizes people working together to stamp out the dreadful condition of childhood hunger in America. The positive shape represents an apple core, signifying food, the substance that will eliminate hunger, while the negative shapes are the profile of an adult and a child, the people who will work together to solve this social problem. The more one looks at this logo, the more one is drawn to how well it expresses all aspects of the organization's mission.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Calendar Website Inspires Artists
Thanks go out to my MDC student Danny for sending me this link to the Publikum Calendar website, a non-profit project originated during wartime Serbia in 1993. Its mission is to facilitate meaningful dialogue between artists and to inspire the exchange of ideas between diverse cultures.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Periodic Table of Typefaces and Typography Sites
A big "Thank You" goes out to my MDC student Norberto for sending me these typography-related links: Fantastic Typography Blogs, and 40 Most Inspiring 3D Type Designs.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Incredible Illustrations Created Using Typographic Characters
Special thanks go to my MDC student Rick for sending me these incredible illustrations advertising a Brazilian newspaper. The work was accomplished by using only type characters. In case you're too young to remember who these actors were, I've linked their images to their Wikipedia entries.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Beautiful Type-Only Commercial from Starbucks and Product(RED)
Thanks to my FIU student Aaron for sending this in. In a continued effort to reinforce its commitment to the communities that grow its coffee beans, and to continue being a responsible global company, Starbucks will donate five cents to Product(RED) from Nov. 27 to Jan. 2 with each purchase of a (STARBUCKS)Exclusive coffee drink: Peppermint Mocha Twist, Gingersnap Latte and Espresso Truffle. On the 20th anniversary of World AIDS day on Dec. 1st, Starbucks will donate five cents for every coffee drink sold. To read more, visit this press release at the Starbucks website.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

This Would be Funny, if it Weren't So True...
Thanks go out to my past MDC student Robin for sending me this video, parodying an experience that a graphic designer might have while working with clients.

A professional graphic designer's job is to be a partner and consultant in the ultimate success of the project, which will be of mutual benefit to both the client and the designer. Here, the designer is presented as a lackey, following all the obviously bad suggestions of the graphically-uninformed clients.

Educated graphic designers understand that they are more than just software operators. They are experts in visual communication, understanding how to create clear and attractive messages. To be effective, a graphic designer must guide the client through the creation of the work, explaining why a certain design approach might have been selected, and why certain ideas just won't work. Graphic design should facilitate communication, and is never just decoration.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Paul Rand Talks about Graphic Design
Thanks go to my FIU student Andrea for posting this YouTube video in which Paul Rand talks about that career we all love.
25+ Sites That Use Only Typography as a Design Element
Thanks to my FIU student Elizabeth for posting this blog, which lists about 37 sites that use typography as their only design element. See? It can be done. That's why having strong type skills is important.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

IDW Presents Graphic Biographies McCain and Obama
IDW Publishing has just released on October 8th a pair of graphic novel biographies of John McCain and Barack Obama. Use the link to preview the comics and to find a local comic book shop selling the comics.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Eight Steps to Drive a Graphic Designer Crazy
Thanks to my past MDC student Robin for sending me the link to this funny blog article. It's in Spanish, so I'll translate and synopsize the posting below.

1. Send your graphic designer files created in Microsoft Publisher. Where the heck's the kerning and tracking controls in Publisher, anyway?
2. Ask your designer to set your ad in Comic Sans. Yuck!
3. Ask your graphic designer to fill up all that negative space. Go for that BrandsMart look!
4. Send your graphic designer your logo via fax, so that he or she always has to rebuild it.
5. Use subjective descriptors when communicating to your graphic designer: "I want a super-cool design." Very specific, yeah right. ;-)
6. Tell your graphic designer to use your favorite colors: pink, green, brown and  silver. Hoo boy!
7. Give your graphic designer the assignment one day before the deadline. We like working under pressure. Not!
8. After the previous seven steps have been performed, be sure to complain to your graphic designer about the ugly design he or she has done! :-P

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

MDC Productions Summer Camp
Over the summer, I participated in a week-long workshop introducing a group of middle-school students to the graphics industry (particularly working with Photoshop). Linked up below, I have a 5-minute video from WPBT in Miami, in which I make a brief appearance. (I can't believe I've gained so much weight over the summer; I've lost a few pounds since then!)

Monday, June 30, 2008

fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too

Thanks go out to my FIU student Mirsad for sending me this interesting item. Read the paragraph below:

Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can. i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it

Monday, June 02, 2008

Dove Video Shows Why We Have a Distorted Perception of Beauty

Thanks to my FIU student Lina for sending me this video from Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty, which shows how models are retouched in Photoshop to enhance their features. Such retouching reinforces a distorted view of physical ideals.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Radiohead's All I Need Brings to Light Human Exploitation

Thanks to my FIU student Camila for sending me this link to Radiohead's All I Need video as an example of using strong messages in advertising, a topic of class discussion. The Radiohead video presents two parallel stories of a young boy in the West, enjoying a comfortable lifestyle, and a young boy in the East, forced into slave labor. The ending is quite jolting. The director, Steve Rogers, weaves his story using compelling cinematography by John Seale, and shakes viewers out of their complacency by bringing awareness to our own practices that affect human beings overseas.

Radiohead's Thom Yorke in an Apr. 30th MTV press release:

It's an interesting thing, because if you are in the West, it's a luxury to be able to talk about the importance of human rights for everybody, but yet in the East or the poorer countries where slave labor is going on, if you talk to certain companies,...somehow the rights of the workers are secondary to economic growth.

In contrast to Benneton ads, discussed in class, the Radiohead video presents its message purposefully to try to affect change in this important social issue. Benneton has been criticized for presenting strong, sometimes shocking, images solely for the purpose of promoting its clothing brand, oftentimes disregarding the pain and suffering of others.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Typographic Stylings of the Barack Obama Campaign
Thanks go out to Angelica, my FIU student, for sending me this link to an Apr. 2nd N.Y. Times blog posting by Steven Heller and Brian Collins on typography and branding in the Barack Obama campaign. Collins praises the campaign's art directors for their consistent application of design across a wide variety of media, and by thousands of volunteers from state to state. Collins also discusses the aesthetic and emotive qualities of the typeface Gotham, as used in the Obama campaign:

It has a blunt, geometric simplicity, which usually makes words feel cold and analytical...but it also feels warm. It’s substantial yet friendly. Up-to-date yet familiar...And Gotham has another quality that makes it succeed: it just looks matter-of-fact.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Island of San Serriffe
It sure has been a long time since my last posting; you can be sure I've been quite busy with all my classes, but now with the summer lull, I hope to resume regular postings. First off, Jeff, a past student from MDC, sent me the following article for April Fool's Day, from the Museum of Hoaxes.
Publishers of
The Guardian, a UK newspaper, often ran special reports, focusing on an obscure country or new technology, designed to attract related advertising. Tired of the parade of little countries no one had ever heard of, Philip Davies conceived the island of San Serriffe, as a hoax for the April 1, 1977 edition of the paper, which ran a seven-page article dedicated to the fictitious island, complete with fake maps, history and advertisements--all built around typographic references. The island is shaped like a semicolon, the capital is Bodoni, and its dictator is General Pica. The hoax proved to be extremely popular and is well-known to this day.
Thanks also to Robin, another past MDC student, who sent me this link to San Serriffe from WikiTravel.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Graffiti: High Art or Contemporary Urban Folk Practice?
In a Dec. 11th article in AIGA Voice, Steven Grody discusses the merits of grafitti art. He says that while graffiti artists might not use common art terms, they do understand, and obsessively arrange visual weight, in their compositions. In the end, there is really very little difference philosophically between the art inside the gallery and that spray-painted on its exterior walls. Grody writes, "While some would recognize a Matisse, would they also understand the radical aspects of his art?"
Be on the Lookout for E&G Subs Coupons
From the Jan. 10th Creativity Online email newsletter. Minneapolis ad agency Colle+McVoy has designed a guerilla marketing campaign involving stickers attached to phone booths. Curious people who lift the sticker are treated to a free Erbert & Gerbert's Sub sandwich. Very unusual. Do you think it will work?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Why Drop Shadows Don't (Always) Work.
Graphic design is not decoration; rather it is the facilitation of clear visual communications. Often, your first instinct might be to add a drop shadow to a headline, thinking the design would look too plain without it. The fact is drop shadows rarely improve a headline's appearance.

Consider the design's figure/ground color contrast relationship. Black is the darkest color, and white is the lightest color. The example below (left) already exhibits a strong color contrast between the display type and its background. Adding a gray drop shadow (right) reduces contrast thereby reducing legibility, making the headline harder to read.

That's not to say you should never use drop shadows. Given a low-contrast situation (as in yellow type on a green background), adding a slight shadow might actually improve contrast and legibility.

Which of the black and white examples above do you find easier to read, and which of the color samples below are more legible? See what I mean?


The next time you feel inclined to add a drop shadow onto your display type, consider its effect on the figure/ground color contrast. You might be surprised to discover the design works better without the drop shadow.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Psycho Shower Scene Controversy
Let's continue our Saul Bass kick for one more posting. The well-known graphic designer famous for the AT&T logo and the opening title sequences of several of Alfred Hitchcock's films (and a lot more--too much to list here!), created the storyboard art for Hitchcock's Psycho shower scene.

Paul Martin Lester writes in Visual Communications: Images with Messages that Hitchcock invited Bass to direct the famous Psycho shower scene (p. 154). Imagine that! The scene that epitomizes the Master of Suspense's sixty-year career; the sequence synonymous with the name "Hitch;" one of the greatest scenes in movie history, directed by someone else--albeit one of the most well-known graphic designers in history. I believed it; after all, graphic design is more than simply putting images on paper. On a deeper level, it involves "visual thinking," translating communications into graphic media. The shower sequence conveys a strong sense of terror and shock, without showing gore, as most of today's movies do.

I recently found this web page created by Dr. Glen Johnson, English professor and Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences at Catholic University of America. Johnson notes that Bass had made the assertion that he directed the famous shower scene after Hitchcock's death. Both actor Janet Leigh and assistant director Hilton Green refute Bass's assertion. A comparison of Bass's storyboards with the completed scene reveals a few differences, indicating Bass did not direct the sequence.

This, of course, takes nothing away from my personal admiration of Bass's work, but the Psycho shower scene could only have been directed by the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More Movie Title Sequences
Feeling a bit disappointed that the website in the previous posting didn't showcase any movie opening titles by the great Saul Bass, I've linked to some of his opening sequences that I found posted on YouTube, instead. I've included Casino, thanks to Francis's suggestion. And who could forget the work of Maurice Binder, renowned for his opening title sequences of all the pre-Brosnan 007 movies.

Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho by Saul Bass
Otto Preminger's Anatomy of a Murder by Saul Bass
Ocean's Eleven by Saul Bass
Martin Scorsese's Casino by Elaine and Saul Bass
Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo by Saul Bass
Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can by Kuntzel Deygas
Dr. No by Maurice Binder

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Forget the Film, Check Out the Titles
Check out this cool website devoted to celebrating the creativity of movie opening titles. Saul Bass should have a lot of great stuff in there.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Platform Green
AIGA Miami is back in action for 2007-08. Join them at Grass Lounge to kick off the season in consciously green fashion. Go and see the latest and greatest issue of Platform--their charter publication--that puts the focus on environmental and sustainable issues that surround our community. Members receive their free issue, which will be available for sale to non-members.

Listen to Marc Alt, co-chair of AIGA's Center for Sustainable Design, talk about their mission and what designers can do to incorporate green thinking and sustainable practices into their professional lives.

Thursday, September 20, from 7-10 pm
Grass Lounge, 28 NE 40th Street, Miami Design District. 305-573-3355
Typeface Designers Mix Art, Engineering
For all you type geeks out there, this fascinating article appeared on Earthlink.net News September 16th. Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones, partners at a New York type foundry that bears their names, discuss the finer points of type design including x-heights, swashes, corners and terminals.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Should Graphic Designers be More Involved in Social Causes?
Bruce Nussbaum comments on the level of social involvement typically (perhaps stereotypically) attributed to graphic designers. His September 10th article appearing in BusinessWeek.com points to the recent nervous response by Miss Teen USA contestant Caitlin Upton to a question about geography posed during the competition. Upton plans to go to Appalachian State University to study graphic design.

Nussbaum generalizes that graphic designers, unlike industrial designers and architects, are not interested in using their design skills to help people in, say, rural Africa or Asian villages. But is he right? Graphic design can be a powerful force in capturing people's attentions and making them aware of important social issues. "With great power comes great responsibility," says the adage about superhero powers. Graphic design can be just as powerful, and graphic designers can be just as heroic when they are involved.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Ellen Lupton Discusses Success
In an August 28th journal article appearing on AIGA Voice, Ellen Lupton writes that success means more than just getting a job or earning money (true, those things are important). True success is a deep personal satisfaction in doing what you love--and it's independent from money. It's an interesting article; have a look!

Monday, September 03, 2007

LogoDesign.com Reviews Presidential Logos
The blog website LogoDesign.com reviewed campaign banners for the candidates of the 2008 Presidential Elections. Take a look and vote for your favorite.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Communications 'Professionals' a Disgrace to Our Language
A very humorous and informative article about communication professionals mangling the English language. Keep in mind that as communicators, our job is to do so clearly, so enjoy this article by Eric Webber, posted May 25th on the Advertising Age website.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Global Warming is Coming!
DraftFCB/Toronto's new billboard campaign for the World Wildlife Fund creatively conveys its message by employing a cast shadow that expresses rising water as the sun travels across the sky. The article, appearing in the May 24th issue of AdCritic.com's Print and Design email newsletter, states the billboard campaign will be up in Toronto through June, after which the billboard will no longer be situated in the sun's path.

Sign up for AdCritic.com's free Print and Design newsletter by clicking this link: adcritic.com/design/signup/

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Design Can Change
Design Can Change is a cool website/initiative about being a little "greener" in our careers... designers, artists, printers, suppliers... We all can help just by taking the environmental impact into consideration when we set to create or to produce printed materials, besides just remembering to turn off the lights whenever we're not using a room or reusing printed paper or the other side for sketches... ; )

Check it out here:

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

V-me Launches with a Creative Campaign
V-me, a Spanish-language network that debuted in March, owes its amazing visual design style to New York's CA Square Design Studio. In an interview appearing in the April 19th issue of AdCritic.com's Print and Design email newsletter, John Begert, V-me's chief marketing and branding officer said, "the brand had to express quality, warmth and positive energy in a modern way that would resonate with our viewers, while avoiding the stereotypes of traditional Hispanic marketing."

V-me, pronounced in Spanish, sounds like "veme" or "see me." The network is a partnership with PBS, and produces programming in four main areas: kids, lifestyle, current affairs and movies. For more information, visit v-me.tv.

Sign up for AdCritic.com's free Print and Design newsletter by clicking this link: adcritic.com/design/signup/

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Bus Ads in New Zealand Match Up for Unusual Campaign
Draft New Zealand, an ad agency in Auckland, is running an unusual campaign promoting New Zealand's premier dating website NZDating.com. This story appeared in the October 19th issue of AdCritic.com's Print and Design email newsletter. Creative Director Chris Hunter says "[The two busses] run on a tight loop circuit, so they're quite often together. I can’t be exact about the figure, but it's certainly often enough to make it worthwhile. Most locals will see both buses within a short space of time, so they'll get the message even if they don’t see the buses side by side." And even if they see only a somewhat confusing half-message, "it adds to 'talkability' and word of mouth," he believes.

Sign up for AdCritic.com's free Print and Design newsletter by clicking this link: adcritic.com/design/signup/
Apple Launches a New Revolution in Mobile Phone Technology
On January 9th, Apple introduced iPhone, combining three products — a revolutionary mobile phone, a widescreen iPod with touch controls, and a breakthrough Internet communications device with desktop-class email, web browsing, searching, and maps — into one small and lightweight handheld device. iPhone also introduces an entirely new user interface based on a large multi-touch display and pioneering new software.

iPhone is a widescreen iPod with touch controls for playing music, audiobooks, videos, TV shows, and movies — on a 3.5-inch widescreen display.

iPhone is a revolutionary new mobile phone that allows you to make a call by simply pointing your finger at a name or number in your address book, a favorites list, or a call log.

iPhone features a rich HTML email client and Safari — the most advanced web browser ever on a portable device — which automatically syncs bookmarks from your PC or Mac. Safari also includes built-in Google and Yahoo! search.

iPhone will be available in the US in June 2007 in a 4GB model for $499 (US) and an 8GB model for $599 (US). Cingular, the largest wireless carrier in the U.S., will be Apple’s exclusive U.S. carrier partner for Apple’s revolutionary iPhone.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Barry University Graphic Design Students to Design Christmas Card
In a first time event, students from ART 445-01, “Advertising Design & Production,” had the opportunity to participate in designing this year’s Barry University Christmas card. Sister Linda Bevilacqua, OP, PhD visited the class yesterday to recognize the students and announce which design had been chosen.

Although the holiday card goes out every year, this is the first year students have had the opportunity to design it.

“Sister Linda approached Steve Althouse after noticing the student graphic design work being utilized around the campus,” said associate professor of Graphic Arts, Tom Rockwell.

All 15 students in the class participated in the assignment, which asked students to draw on a word or image of “Peace.” The students, most of whom are graphic design majors, approached the job individually – beginning with ideas in their sketchbooks and then transferring these to computer designs.

Sister Linda chose Adriana Rullan’s design, an image that features a dove and a message reading, “Peace & Joy.”

Monday, November 13, 2006

Guess The Logo Game
Think you can tell Amazon, YouTube, IMDB, Yahoo, Google, Netflix and other well-known Internet logos from some pretty cheap imitations? Try this fun game and see!
"Speaks English and Spinach"
That little typo, slippery and sly, that makes its way past your proofreading, could cost you your next job opportunity. A New York Daily News article, dated today, describes the importance of error-free resumes and cover letters. Although true of any profession, the fields of graphic design, web design, marketing, advertising, journalism and public relations, require employees with exacting skills in spelling, punctuation and grammar. Before posting that next resume, get a friend to help you proofread it.

A third of the hiring execs in a new survey said the most common mistakes they see on job seekers' résumés and cover letters are typos or grammar errors. For many of them, those tiny mistakes are big red flags that disqualify you instantly.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Running a Design Business in your SOHO
The field of graphic design enables talented artists easy entry. With the small investment of a computer, scanner and printer as well as graphics software, it's possible to run a successful graphic design business from your studio or home office (SOHO).

Students, take advantage of special pricing offered by software manufacturers such as Academic Superstore, Diskovery and JourneyEd. For training, Miami Dade College offers classes in graphic design and many popular graphics software applications. For training beyond the classroom, or if you're a self-learner, visit the graphic design books section of Barnes & Nobles or Borders; have a coffee while you're there. Two helpful books to look for:

Your Perfect Home-Based Studio offers several case studies from freelance professionals working out of their SOHOs. The Graphic Artist Guild Handbook is a long-running book on what to charge clients and how to avoid getting taken advantage of. In an October 18th, 2005 article for WebProNews.com, Katrina Rauch reported on how to build a successful graphic design business, including how to minimize expenses by using email extensively and holding client meetings at coffee shops.
North Carolina Design Firm's Posters Spotlight Women's Achievements
Flywheel Designs, a Graphic Design Firm in Durham, NC, completed a series of 25 large-format posters for NC Mutual Life Insurance Company. As reported today in an article appearing in Carolina Newswire, the posters highlight contributions women have made to the company over the last century. Visit Flywheel's website where you'll be treated to the firm's creative online portfolio.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Ugly Barcode Gets a Makeover
A new graphic design firm in Tokyo, Japan called Design Barcode is creating innovative designs for barcodes used on product packages. According to a Cannes Lions Live 2006 Titanium Lions Competition web page, Design Barcode has created some 200 different barcode designs, which are showcased in their new book, also called Design Barcode, and one of its designs has already hit the Japanese marketplace. Check out their video while you're there.

Students, barcodes are not design elements. Don't feel compelled to insert one into your portfolio project. However, if you must, please take a hint from Design Barcode's creative barcode treatments.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Hillman Curtis Videos of Famous Graphic Designers
Check Out Hillman Curtis's short documentaries on Milton Glaser, Paula Scher, Stefan Sagmaister, David Carson, James Victore and Pentagram.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Kissimmee Utility Authority Honored for Multimedia Annual Report
In a September 1st press release, PRWeb announced Graphic Design: USA Magazine awarded Kissimmee Utility Authority a 2006 American Graphic Design Award of Excellence for its multimedia annual report. The presentation features a '50s-vernacular film reel spotlighting the Florida utility's 104 years of service.
The Birth of Superman
Here's the original June 1938 Action Comics No. 1 introducing Superman to the world for the very first time! A collector scanned and uploaded all the pages of this rare and valuable item for our edification and enjoyment! It's not exactly in mint condition, though, but very enjoyable nonetheless.

Superman didn't exactly fly in this strip, he could only run fast and jump far. The verbal interchange with Lois is enjoyable and reminiscent of Chris Reeves' performance in Superman The Movie--a real treat!

Surprisingly, comics were 64 pages long in those days--and only two of those pages were ads! The ad on the back cover is familiar to me as it was still being published in the '70s when I was a kid.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Helvetica turns 50, and to Celebrate...

Swiss type designer Max Miedinger created Helvetica in 1956 for the Haas Typefoundry. Fifty years later, it has become one of the most popular typefaces of all time. To celebrate Helvetica's silver anniversary, film director Gary Hustwit has produced a documentary on the popular font, simply titled Helvetica. Typographica reported on August 6th that the film will spotlight some of the biggest names in typographic design today: Erik Spiekermann, Matthew Carter, Michael Bierut, Hermann Zapf, Stefan Sagmeister, Jonathan Hoefler, and Tobias Frere-Jones, among others.