DTG News and Else
DT&G:   Vol. 16, Number 1,   January, 2006   ~   The eZine for Design, Typography, & Graphics   (since 1990)  

Welcome to 2006

Welcome to 2006

As always, our January issue features a look at some of the highlights of 2005. That wouldn't be complete without our "Best of 2005" reviews and book awards. Book of the Year: Megg's History of Graphic Design along with an all-star line-up of the very best values in books.
      and, I'm hoping you all have a very healthy and fulfilling 2006. Let's go...

Readers Pick Their Favorites from 2005

This month selected reader posts talk about "favorites" from 2005... from Adobe Creative Suite, to iStock Photos and Cable Modem Help; to Creative Public, GameRange Studio and Wallpaper Sequencer Standard. We always like to discover Reader Favorites

Fred Picks the BEST from '05

It's a very short list -- but it's a good one! First, my favorite computer, then my favorites in gizmos and software. There are many more, but I trimmed the article down to just my very favorites from 2005

Photoshop Madness for a New Year

Well, after a rather dull December we're off to a pretty good start. Our Highlight site this month is by Melissa Clifton, with her wonderful drawing and "Pop Art" tutorials... we'll also do an easy Page-Curl in Photoshop CS2; visit a Textile design; and show you how to make screenshots in Panther, Jaguar, Tiger. Field trips include Gary Young on Smart Objects; Tracing from a Photo; Steve Holmes on Blending Text -- then "How do you make Chrome"? FAQ to wrap up this issue of Photoshop Madness

Everyone needs a little Script

... start your year off right with a new line-up of great scripts including: Cruz Script Set from Ray Cruz; Sweepy from Michael Clark; and Operina Pro from James Grieshaber -- give yourself a little Script

Sure Signs You're Not Getting Paid

Take advantage of this excellent lesson, excerpted from Susan Kirkland's book Start and Run a Creative Services Business. All business people, especially designers should learn the signs are subtle -- don't be a party to denying your instincts learn the signs You're Not Getting Paidsigns You're Not Getting Paid

Web Page in a Day!

Design in Fireworks and build in Dreamweaver - A complete web page from conception to delivery - You can pick up all the books you like on the topic of Fireworks and Dreamweaver -- and learn it yourself... or let Joyce Evans lead you through with Web Page in a Day

Web Critique: The Nanny Finder

In this critique, reviewer Walt Clarke zeros in on a fundamental issue with all sites -- meeting consumer expectation. Winning the hearts of parents will require impeccabe professionalism so parents will feel comfortable trusting The Nanny Finder


DESIGN strategy Our February theme is Design Strategy and we'll be discussing ideas and insights into PLANNING to design. WIN some of our valuable prizes by sharing with DT&G readers: What are the Designer's top priorities for 2006? Did you make any New Year's Resolutions? Are you planning promotions? . Tell us your...
Top Ten Plan Ideas for Designers
Top Ten Promotional Ideas for Designers
Top Ten Marketing Ideas for Designers
Top Ten Studio Ideas for Designers
Tips for planning a design
Place your post at our PRIZE REGISTRATIONS FORM

Mailbag: Design Business support...

A reader in Los Angeles, CA writes to say: "Please inform me about resources I can use to help determine how much to charge for various graphic design projects and how to create an effective work order and invoice form. I'm an experienced graphic designer and hope to establish a freelance business.

My best advice would be to pick up a copy of one of several excellent books on the topic. The problem with sourcing out these kinds of references on the web is that you never know who to trust. You can truly trust either of these:
Graphic Designer's Guide to Pricing, Estimating & Budgeting by Theo Stephan Williams
The Creative Business Guide to Running a Graphic Design Business by Cameron S. Foote

It's about time!

You have to know how much it cost before you can say how much you charge. Good thing we've got Robert Brenner's 2006 DESKTOP PRODUCTION TIME STANDARDS book that covers over 10,000 time points and 106 charts showing time distributions in hours/job, jobs/hour, pages/hour, and hours/site. So, rather than ask "How long?" just look in the book.

Mailbag: What do graphic designers do?

We get dozens of inquiries just like this: J.H. from South San Fransisco writes to ask
      "what do graphic designers do ? what technical innovations improved graphic design ?
While this seems obvious to some, to others it might not be. My answer is: take a look around you. Do you see anything printed, or anything that has images or type on them? Chances are, a graphic designer had something to do with it. Graphic designers have a hand in just about everything we see on a daily basis from web sites to TV commercials to billboards, magazines, books, newspapers, and a lot more. Technical innovations? The computer, of course.

Downloadable Photoshop Plugins

These ten Photoshop-compatible plugins bring some pretty special effects and photo retouching powers for the buck. Effects include painterly look (watercolor and dry brush), line halftone (engraving, woodcut, guilloche, TV-screen), metallic effect, misc softening, sharpening, hipass and edge-emphasizing methods. Filters provide unique "wrap around" processing for seamless tiles. Fully compatible with various image editors, from Adobe, Corel and Ulead image editors to freeware like IrfanView or XnView. (Works on Windows) Download now, or check them out at: photoshop.msk.ru

Free Texture Editor

Wood Workshop for Windows is a free seamless texture editor that is useful in the creation of seamless wood textures. Visit the gallery for examples of textures made with the Wood Workshop, or download it now for free! Picture... or Read more...

Decompile any Flash movie ...

convert it to FLA or save SWF resources - from sounds and shapes to ActionScripts - in other formats (as JPEG, MP3, WAV etc). Convert SWF to FLA and restore original FLA file with a simple mouse click. decompiler-swf.com

Small image editor, big results

This advanced little 50-buck image editor is very user-friendly and offers a variety of possibilities in image enhancing, editing, painting, and drawing. You can perform simple and complex tasks, including editing existing images or creating new works from scratch. The software features support for many image file types (including transparent GIF files); single- and multiple-image printing, and for scanners and digital cameras; tabbed workspace; advanced image-enhancing and editing tools; computer graphics tools; rich-text tools; special effects; photo frames; layers and masks; color transitions; patterns and textures; script and batch tools; a batch converter and Web development tools. The software includes FREE step-by-step tutorials and dozens of premade frames, textures, and shapes--all to accelerate your work and make it fun and easy. Download or go to: www.image-editor.net

Print queue messed up?

Every time you use the "Print" function in one of your applications, the information goes to a spool on your hard disk before being sent to the printer. If you are printing several documents, they form a print queue. If something goes wrong with several printing jobs in the queue, then sometimes you've got to cancel them all. Remote Queue Manager is an inexpensive software program that will manage printer jobs and allows you to visually preview documents in the spool. Download it and give it a try, or go to: usefulsoft.com

Acrobat surrogate

So you'd like to make PDF files on your Windows computer and don't have Adobe's expensive Acrobat software? It doesn't matter whether you're a writer or a business professional, whether you're sending documents to Malaysia or to a Macintosh, PDF files are universal and you need to create them at the click of a button. Here's a little $29.95 shareware program that lets you create PDF files from ANY document. Works with Win 98, NT, 2000 and XP, it's called "PDF-Creator" and the free trial version is 100% functional. (Download) or see: myhelphub.com

Racism in Design

Much to my chagrin, last month's "Soap Box" article brought several letters from offended readers who found the cartoons decorating the box to be racist. I've spent the best part of the last two days studying racial images in design while composing my response. In that process, many issues emerged that are important for all designers to be aware of. So please, if you're a graphic designer, stop by this page and read up... Racism in Design

What are you going to do in 2006?

Share some of your experiences with other DTG readers... what are your big plans for 2006? Did you make any graphic design New Years Resolutions?

FEBRUARY: Promotional ideas for the winter and "Black History Month"
MARCH: Illustration & Crafty Art
APRIL: Opening of the 2006 "Designing Women"
MAY: More "Designing Women" and Spring into Spring
and on and on

We'd like to see YOU participate in any of these themes. Show us your portfolio. Share your problems and solutions. Help others with your knowledge and experience. Here's how you can contact me to get started.

Above all, please have a fulfilling and prosperous 2006. From all of us here at the Design & Publishing Center and DTG Magazine, we bid you well.

Thanks for reading...

Fred Showker
Editor / Publisher, DT&G Magazine

Parting words for January...

"Anything that doesn't kill you...
      makes you stronger."


"Problems that go away by themselves,
      come back by themselves."

          - Murphy's Law #3

PS: if you've made it this far, the Loading Dock address for January will be set to "oh6" in celebration of the holidays. Just add the word "oh6" after the last slash in www.graphic-design.com/

WHO IS Fred Showker?

Participate in your Design Center

Lots of fun and information for all... don't forget, any community is only as good as the participation of its members. We invite your tips, tricks, comments, suggestions and camaraderie.
HOW TO ADVERTISE: When you advertise, your small contribution to the Design Center helps us continue the mission... and get's you lots and lots of traffic and visitors to your web site! Just ask us how.