DTG News and Else
DT&G: Vol. 14, Number 12, December, 2004 ~ The eZine for Design, Typography, & Graphics   (since 1990)  

December: Design Holidays

December: Designing Holidays

In November we asked Design CAFE subscribers to comment on their favorite holiday promotions, folding cards, and creative ideas. We didn't get many, but the ones we got were quite nice. Some of their work is under the "Fantastic Folds" topic (below) and comments are in this month's winners' circle:

Design Cafe Logo Critique

What happens when the Design Cafe decides to have a logo contest and let listees propose a new logo? Lots of ideas and fun. Many submitted and these 16 finalists get the once over by other Cafe listees and two rather special graphic design celebrities. But it's not over. More to come next month. Cafe Logo Critique

Designing Logos

Gary reflects on designing logos, dispels some myths and shares anecdotes on what a logo really is; how some clients never learn, and what Paul Rand had to say about them. (When you read this one, notice which ads appear in the Google column to the right! LOL) Gary says Logos are magic, but there's Nothing Up My Sleeve

Fantastic Folds: Part Two

Now we take a look at designers' unique expressions of creativity in folding for greeting cards. The first two show some savvy design -- and extraordinary inventiveness in "Designing Cards"

Chuck Green: Graphic Workshop

Chuck Green is back with a major blockbuster -- his Design-it-yourself GRAPHIC WORKSHOP is a delightful instruction manual for non-designers, and a healthy shot of creative energy for the pros... don't miss it! This month's Editor's Choice

Feature: The Classics come to P22

You've heard of such names as Frederick W. Goudy, Monotype, Caslon, Giambattista Bodoni, Jensen, and Gerald Giampa? Well P22 has acquired The Lanston Type Foundry, originally under the design direction of Frederick W. Goudy, to revive a remarkable tradition in classic type styles. Enjoy just a brief sampling, and the story of Gerald Giampa's return with The Lanston Type Foundry

MSN Search Engine: How Good Is It?

Rusbiz.com's Nowshade Kabir takes us on a field trip to MSN's new search engine... "consider all the new features of MSN that Google does not have yet, its ability to cover natural language queries, quality level and relevance of results, ability to refine searches, you may want to consider the MSN Search Engine".

Laptops vs. Desktops? Which to buy?

I love my new 15" Aluminum Powerbook G4! But while getting used to it I'm having to learn some new manners! I'm discovering lots of things I like about it, and lots of things I really liked about my Wall Street PowerBook. This Old Mouse is a column I write over in the User Group Network web site and I thought it would benefit many DTG readers. This Old Mouse: G4 PowerBooks

2004 BEST Contest:

Did you find a great shareware program during 2004? Read any good books? Discover any cool hardware or software? Submit your votes for the BEST PRODUCTS OF 2004 on our PRIZE REGISTRATION PAGE and you could get your comments published and be a lucky prize winner! What's your BEST for 2004?

60-Seconds #170 We The Media

... OR, who's to blame for Kerry's defeat? Just listen to the media and you'll hear all kinds of opinions on why Kerry lost the campaign. But if you take the designer's approach to branding a candidate, you'll agree the media had more to do with it than they're letting on... 60-Second Windows

Alien Skin's new Eye Candy "Nature"

Unfortunately, Alien Skin's latest Eye Candy plug-in collection for Photoshop arrived just yesterday -- too late for this month's issue -- but I just have to mention it here. The new addition to the Eye Candy series is called "Nature" and delivers 10 plug-in filters for Adobe Photoshop 7, CS and other image editing programs, complete with fire, smoke, rust, icicles and more. Nature delivers four brand new filters and six totally revamped classics. Nature is compatible with Windows 2000/XP and all versions of Macintosh OS X.
      Just in time for a "winter wonderland" check out two awesome new filters: the fabulous SNOW filter (Picture), and believe it or not, Icicles! Others include Fire, Drips, Corona, and an all time favorite -- the best Water Drops filter you'll see anywhere. It's all at Alien Skin

Mail Bag: 2nd Education

This reader is interested in learning web design and writes: > Dear D&P, I need information on how I can get the best training to become a web designer. I am mid-life, need to do this online. I have experience and training (writing, teaching, print ad sales, and print publication layout) and creative ability, but don't know the first thing about web design."
That's a tough one, since the writer also needs to cram it all into a year and keep the cost down. My advice would be to do an intensive at-home study regimine for maybe six months and then ask if you really need enrollment in an institution. If you discipline yourself to three or four two-hour learning sessions a week you'll be well versed on the mechanics in that six months. Select your chosen software (I'm partial to BBEdit text coding, to learn CSS and HTML right!) then pick any of the top ranked text books available and take their lessons religiously. Once you have a basis of mechanics, your design knowledge will kick in. A good starting place would be our education series

Mail Bag: Help create a photo effect

> We often get these kinds of requests from readers wanting this or that effect. We can help, but we can't help much if you don't send an example. Don't ask permission. Find an example of the technique you're curious about and refer us to it. With something to go on, the results will be much more satisfying. Write a brief description of what you need, and then paste a link to the "example" into our inquiry page or visitphotoshop911.com

Mail Bag: Zombies Spoofing DTG

This reader 'thinks' we sent spam selling illegal software. Spam is deceiving people with forged sender addresses. The reader writes:
      I noticed your advertising for OEM software are you aware that these software packages are illegal? Here is the article. So what do you think about this?
      We think it's disgusting, dishonest and illegal. However this is the result of Windows computers becoming infected with a virus-like program called a "zombie" -- it sits in wait until the spammer sends the key which initiates sending spam to everyone in the victim's address book. Worse yet, the zombie forges the "sender" address using those same addresses. We get literally dozens each day, some of it sent to us -- from us. Look at the headers and you'll see it was NOT sent from graphic-design.com. All such spam should be reported to the SpamCop who in turn reports it to the manufacturer of the OEM software being pirated. See:SpamCop Full Circle

Picture to Text Revisited

Following our Picture-to-Text piece last month, Kathy writes from Deer Island, OR, USA to tip us on three others which generate ascii text from an image:
* Text to image online: an Italian site with the source code: pic2text.divxmania.it
* text-image.com with a similar software package: www.text-image.com, and
* TOOGLE, a Text version of Googles Image Search that creates images out of the very term that was used to fetch those images. We searched for "Santa"
See our column ART TEXT

The View Pod for Reviewers Online

Ria Romano from Boca Raton, FL tips us on "The View-Pod Image Reviewer System" for reviewing, proofing, and approving text and graphics files online. The company was formed by solar architects who were frustrated that their project approval times were taking too long. The View-Pod was designed to expedite project approval time from days to just seconds for architects, engineers, publishers, editors, sales and marketing professionals as well as graphic designers. Please, someone check it out and write a review of View-Pod

Stock Photos again...

Each month, we get at least one new start-up site selling stock images. Most interesting this month is a new, royalty free stock imagery website called StockVisuals. They feature selected artist's work, some of which is actually quite nice. See Kristina's portfolio

Font Diner is Back...

I got a nice note from Stuart Sandler last week and it was good to hear that the Font Diner is back and newly updated with new stuff. See their new "County Fair Picnic Font Set" (retro ) and their new sister company called Mister Retro. They also have a series of Photoshop filters called "Machine Wash Image Filters" ... nice stuff Stuart! Give the filters a test drive!

Web Site Reviews Actually Work

Quite often we get letters from web owners who had their sites reviewed in WebDesign and Review. The site owner of Aromatherapy of Rome Candles web site sent a nice note to say:
      "You reviewed our site and we have updated the site, added in new copy, a few more pictures, and some other items you mentioned on your critique. Thanks for the help! Chris"
Nice job, Chris! See our critique, and see the updated Candles Site.
Remember: you can really help someone by sharing your views and comments on their web site. Pick a reader's site, and go give it a review! Find the ones where the author asks for help! WebDesign and Review

Just for You...

SEASONAL GREETINGS AND BEST WISHES FOR 2005
      Don't forget, the Holidays Jumpstation and Holidays Loading Dock are open with lots of new and old stuff for you to discover. Gifts, puzzles, clip art, fonts, images, and too many ideas to list -- our gift to you this holiday season. The link is below.
      And, as we wrap up another year, let's agree to set our sights on doing the very best we can in 2005 -- for others! Donate your time to your family, and to the needy of your community. Donate some money too.
      My holiday gift to the community was to take the children to see the Polar Express movie. I made the arrangements with the local Regal Cinemas, booking two full theaters last Saturday so that the Boys & Girls Clubs of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County could bring all their children to the movie! Each child got a "goodie bag" with popcorn, candy and a drink -- but best of all, I provided each family with a brand new copy of the original Caldecott award winning POLAR EXPRESS book as they left the theater! It was a wonderful event to see those children -- some of which had never even been to a movie -- enjoy themselves so much! I encourage you to find some little corner of your world that you can make better by donating your time and money to those less fortunate than yourself. You'll agree it's the most wonderful thing you can do!

Don't forget to enter your own resources so we can include them in the next issue.
      Come on in and enjoy.

Thanks for reading... Love and best wishes to you all...

Fred Showker
Editor / Publisher, DT&G Magazine

Parting words...

"The excellence of a gift
      lies in its appropriateness
          rather than in its value."

            Charles Dudley Warner

Publishers' Warehouse keyword is "celebrate" (after the URL slash!)

WHO IS Fred Showker?

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