DTG News and Else
DT&G: Vol. 15, Number 1, January, 2005 ~ The eZine for Design, Typography, & Graphics   (since 1990)  

January: Design Holidays

January starts a new year...

This month we look at some of the best of everything for digital designers and publishers! From software to gadgets, to best articles in DTG, here they are. We'll reminisce past visits and even see at one thing that hasn't changed since 1995...

Choice comments on the BEST of 2004

During December, DTG readers were asked to submit their favorite shareware, freeware or commercial software discoveries... and we have a great line-up including: PowerPro Win-only FREEWARE; Digital Juice Drops; Fractal Design Print Pro; Nikon & Canon cameras and Converting True Type Fonts! So here are the top posts from December's winning designers on BEST STUFF ...

BEST Awards for 2004

Here's where we look at the best books from the past year. There are some real stand-outs here so take a stroll through the Designers' Bookshelf

Good-bye Gutenberg

Valerie Kirschenbaum has authored, designed and published a milestone book that is really more than just a book - it's a cultural heirloom for the whole family. It's about design, publishing, printing ... and saying Good-bye Gutenberg

Now you can simulate Nature in Photoshop

New Photoshop plug-in. Eye Candy 5: Nature includes 10 filters that beautifully render organic phenomena. The second of a three-part upgrade to Eye Candy 4000, Nature simulates fire, smoke, rust, and more. Nature includes four new filters, six totally revamped Eye Candy classics, and hundreds of one-click special effects presets. Eye Candy 5: Nature, and ... Eye Candy 5: Textures!

Euphoria... plug-ins

Here's one of the BEST for 2004 - plug-ins from DigiEffects ... that easily and effectively create the most sought-after effects in the business... Web Euphoria

Field Trip: The Racing Artist

David F. Kyte is a graphic designer and artist from Detroit Michigan who was published in DTG in the mid-90s. Today he shares some of his remarkable works and we catch up with him in the Design Center Gallery. David F. Kyte is the Racing Artist

Field Trip: Amy after 10 Years

The Gallery revisits Amy Wasserman and her wonderful Photoshop art, after nearly ten years since her first showing in DTG. Amy sent a fantastic demo disk full of goodies back in '96 -- yes, good stuff was being produced back then too... with a smile! Amy Wasserman

Favorite DTG Articles from 2004

following is a list of our most popular articles from the past year. Well, at least some of them. These are the ones that topped a quarter-million readers.

60-Seconds: TEN Years Later, still lonely

Email from a disgruntled reader sends Fred back ten years to learn that the internet is still a lonely place. Herein he suggests one all-important tidbit of advice for anyone wanting to be found on the web. Yes, it's still lonely, ten Years Later!

Readers Critique Web Sites

This month readers look at the Georgetown College Parent's Site; Estate agents in Berkshire (both commented by Gareth Sketty; and a visit to the Urban Arts of Indianapolis with R.J. Rakowski. See these Critique Briefs sent in by readers

Share your 2005 plan and WIN:

In January, many people think about planning their year. Do you have plans? Have you made New Year's resolutions about your professional life? We would certainly like to share plans amongst DTG readers... who knows? You might just give some of your fellows some good ideas! Post your punchlist on our PRIZE REGISTRATION PAGE and you could get your comments published and be a lucky prize winner!

TOP TEN New Year's Resolutions for Designers:

10: Throw away anything in your studio over 10 years old
9: Delete any software you haven't used in the past four years
8: Look for better color printing for less money
7: Buy more memory
6: Get to the gym at least once a month (or Bowflex, whatever)
5: Eat less chocolate
4: Drink less wine
3: Learn that new software you bought last summer
2: Back up the hard drive
1: Write an article for DTG! ... and when you do ... send it to us!

Mailbag: DTG Confusing

D.McNal, a desktop publishing professional from Laguna Niguel, CA writes:
      This site is wonderful - but confusing. The sales pitches and the actual tutorials merge together smoother than kahlua and creme. Why 25 words? Why not a jolt thought and say... 27 words or what about 32 and a half? Anyway - keep up the mysteriously intriguing educational site!
* We thank you for your compliment! However, "sales pitches"??? I didn't realize there were sales pitches here. Well, maybe a few. But blending with content? We try to avoid that. And 25 words? Well, we found most of the other web sites suggest "25 words" as a good number for your comments. Actually we would like more. We'll change our forms!

Mailbag: Font as Signature

S.G. from Quebec City, Quebec writes:
      Am curious... what font did you use for your signature? It is quite interesting... was looking to download "Harrington" font and can't find a download site but found you through your signature... I liked it, thank you
* Well, S.G., that is actually not my signature (you knew that) which I do have as an accurate scan-to-vector/eps file. However, I don't use it on the web sites. First, the real signature didn't really work very well in gif format and the font reads much better. It's called "Brightsky" and was one of the nice scripts in the Great American Font Works collection from Silver Fonts which the Design Center used to sell. They seem to be out of business now. Too bad. (See it on the 'news' page) Harrington is found in the Publishers' Warehouse. Just look in the fonts index.

Mailbag: Recommend a book

J.M. from Omaha, NE writes:
      I just purchased Adobe Creative Suite 1.0, and I need some design books for teaching how to create complete layouts using InDesign and GoLive. I like your Website, but in reading over some of the books you are selling, I did not know what software the authors were using in their books. As an example, there would be no point in me purchasing a book that uses QuarkExpress to design with, when I have the Adobe Suite, and want to learn how to use it to design. Thank you.
* Hello, J.M., the book I'll recommend is Deke McClelland's Adobe InDesign CS. Now, you must remember that Deke teaches very well but his designs leave a great deal to be desired. Books don't make designers. If you're a designer, then you can design no matter what software you use -- or no software for that matter. So read Deke's book to learn how to use the software but NOT how to design. Learning design and learning software are two very different things. Deke McClelland's Adobe InDesign CS

Mailbag: Don't Copy (Pass this along)

J.S. from Harrisonburg VA wrote in to suggest...
      "... this web page is a non-threatening link to teach plagiarism with. It also contains information on copyright that is succinct and usable.
Bravo. Bookmark that one ... www.lightshinedesigns.com

Mailbag: Going for IT Certification?

Sunita Singh writes in to pass along a heads up for anyone who is getting ready to take IT certification exams. Exam Directory is a search directory, where a user can find all the information regarding IT Certification Exams of every leading vendor. The list of vendors includes Microsoft, Oracle, Sun, Cisco, CompTIA, IBM and other leading vendors. The Directory provides links to exam preparation tools like Practice tests, Study material, Online tests, Quizzes, Articles etc. at a centralized location for the benefit of the users ... examdirectory.com

Mailbag: Cheap Logos

C.S. from Columbus, OH asks:
      Fred- I enjoyed the article by Gary Dickson, regarding the true value of good logo design. So why, I must ask, is there ads along the right side of the page advertising cheap $49 logo design? It seems very much like the email spam and junk that you so strongly oppose! I don't understand!
* LOL... that's the first comment Gary made when he proofed the page. "Well Fred, see what I'm talking about? Right next to the article are 25-buck logos!" Quite ironic -- Google ads promoting what Gary is bashing. Go back and read the article again. Ignore the ads -- or, click one and see what you get.

Tip: Webmaster Color Picker

If you've ever tried to select a color scheme for your website, you know it can be difficult. Not only do you have to choose matching colors, but you have to convert them into different representations like HEX or RGB to use them. Now you can use this Photoshop-like color picker to help choose colors for your web sites, programs or office applications. It displays HTML, RGB, VB and Decimal color codes for each selected color. You can see the last 18 colors you have selected in order to pick the colors that match best! (See picture - : Direct Download or get the full story ... www.RebrandSoftware.com

Tip: MacMentor helps PCers Switch

Before asking me if you should get a Mac, visit MacMentor.org -- a web site dedicated to helping PC users who are switching to Mac. Take a look at the latest version of the site at: http://www.macmentor.org ... while you're there, enjoy a restful tour through the winning submissions in the Mac Mentor Photo Contest where FIRST PLACE prize went to "The Right Track" photographed by Michael Eldredge (see it: Picture) or ... see them all!

Good-bye 2004, hello 2005

Well, as Click & Clack would say "You've just wasted another perfectly good hour" ... except in our case it would be a year -- but seriously: 2004 will be one of those years not soon forgotten. I learned some hard lessons I didn't want to learn -- what it's like to be a landlord, how to lose a loved one, how to run their estate, how lonely it is when your children are far, far away. But every cloud has a silver lining and last year I also had lots of fun, and learned lots of good things. I particularly enjoyed and appreciated meeting you, and being able to share mutual interests together. I thank you for that. If it weren't for you DTG readers, I'd throw in the towel and head for the beach. But you keep on reading and you keep on appreciating everything we try to accomplish here in the Design & Publishing Center. So I'll stick right here with you!
      Don't forget the Publishers' Warehouse is once again updated with lots of goodies -- and keep in mind, our May and April issues feature "Designing Women." If you're a woman in the design field and have an excellent "show & tell" to share with fellow DTG readers, then let us know! In fact, we invite and encourage you all to get active and share your thoughts, successes and failures with your fellow readers. We'll all get just a little closer together.
      So, here at 9 am, December 31, I say adieu to 2004 and welcome in 2005.

Thanks for reading... Love and happy new year to you all...

Fred Showker
Editor / Publisher, DT&G Magazine

Parting words...

"True friendship is like sound health,
      the value of it is seldom known
          until it be lost."

                  Charles Caleb Colton

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

WHO IS Fred Showker?

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