DTG News and Else
DT&G:   Vol. 16, Number 2,   February, 2006   ~   The eZine for Design, Typography, & Graphics   (since 1990)  

February: How we love you...

Designer Planning & Black History Month

This month we focus on what designers are planning for the 2006 year, or what designers should be planning in their Design Strategy

We also take another field trip to the very best online resources about African Americans in the arts in honor of Black History Month. Have fun this month and don't forget to that March is "Designing Women" month.

KISSWe love you Celebrate Valentine's Day and do something special for someone you love. Or, for someone else. Or, for multiple people. Here's a hug and a kiss from us... because we love you all.

February: Black History

In honor of Black History Month we take this fun and educational field trip to visit the leading archives and prestigious educational institutions to discover more wonderful visual art works by African American Artists & Designers.
*** This issue dedicated to Coretta Scott King -- wife of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr -- who's passing on January 31, 2006 leaves behind legacy of the everlasting pursuit of justice... In the Creative Networking Department

Form Follows Function... or not?

Gary Dickson is back with another of his thought-provoking articles. This time he's searching for any truth to the new theory that this is no longer the information age and that Function is Dead... Long Live Function

Photoshop Madness for February

Photoshop Madness includes * Become and Alien tutorial * Harry Potter Style Special Effects * Photo Composition * Liquify Filter Warp Tool * Curled Corner Tutorial * Psychology of Color * Photoshop CS2 Smart Objects * Ring of Fire effect * Sharpening Photos Smartly... and we revisit a Feathering article. But seriously folks... it's truly Photoshop Madness

Mail Bag: Photo Retouching

Many, many readers have written wanting to contact one of our authors directly about retouching their photos. Marija Matijasec did write a wonderful tutorial for us, but cannot accept any more inquiries from readers. Enjoy the tutorial, but please don't ask if Marija will do the work for you. Get a good Photoshop book and go to it.

Mail Bag: Easy Padding Press

P.D. from Seattle, Washington writes about our "how to make a professional padding press" article and asks:
      "I don't have 'handyman' skills nor the tools, will you build the padding press for me?
Oddly enough, P.D. is not the first to ask this question. There are many others. The answer is No. However, the padding press plans I provided would be suitable for large scale, ongoing padding. If you just want a small quantity of scratch pads, you don't need the press. Here's the clues...
After you've inserted the chip-board into the stack of pre-printed scratch pad sheets, there are only two key challenges: 1) keeping the backs (spine) of the pads as even and smoothly stacked as possible, and 2) clamping the stack very tightly for painting on the glue to form the spine. Careful stacking must be done by hand -- but it's not that hard. To clamp the stack, carefully place a rigid 'top' on the stack... a scrap of ply-wood, etc. Then put weight on top of that to compress the stack. Bricks? Books? The tighter the stack is compressed, the less glue will creep between the sheets. Once dry, cut'em apart and you've got pads.

Mail Bag: Floppies

J.S. from Delray Beach Florida writes:
      "over the years i managed to hold onto to the original disk set for the ibm pc. I want to convert the floppy discs to cd but cannot open the files. can you help?
Answer: Welcome to the changing world of technology. In an online-CD-DVD world, I've held onto one computer in fine operating condition that will read floppies. Mainly because I have several thousand with client work to be converted to CD. No, I cannot do it for you. You need to find a friend or associate who can read floppies and write CD. Find a user group, and you'll find someone to help. Call your local computer store, or ... To find a good PC group in your area go to: http://www.APCUG.net/ Macs can go to: http://www.apple.com/usergroups/ or www.user-groups.net

Mail Bag: RE: T-Maker Clip Art

For all those who ask, and keep asking over the months -- NO. We do not know where T-Maker went, No, it's no longer available, and No, we cannot send you the CDs of clip art. YES, those of you with functioning T-Maker clip collections, you CAN use the images in your publications without further licensing fees or registrations. To our knowledge T-Maker is no more.

Racism in Design

We wish to thank everyone who responded to our article about racism in design last month. The response was so overwhelming we haven't been able to read all the email. Sorry. However, I am working on a follow-up which will be published here at some point. I think it's an important issue and needs further investigation amongst designers. Stand by. (Here's the previous article)

Disturbing Designs

While reading all this email from the 'racism' article it's become very clear that there are a number of design looks that people find disturbing other than racism.
      I would like to develop an article that addresses disturbing designs, why they disturb you, and if intentional use of disturbing graphic design is -- in fact -- a valid and useful design theory. I'll need your help: If there are images, fonts, layouts, or specific instances of graphic design that disturbs you, we'd like to know. Perhaps it's a magazine ad, web site, brochure, packaging, billboard, TV commercial or others. Tell us what it is, what about it is disturbing to you, and whether you feel the design accomplished its goals. You can use our "Contact" form for first contact -- and remember -- we'll keep all comments confidential and will not use your name or email address in any resulting articles. The most useful contributions will win selections from www.design-bookshelf.com. Here's that contact address

Web Critique: India Gift Services

Jason Ronca takes a look at an international gift site that may be too cluttered for its own good... continue reading

Gallo Heraldic Symbols Fonts

Presenting three new symbol fonts from Gallo including Heraldic Symbols, creatures, griffins, Heraldic Shields, and more

Web Critique: Tightline Design

Reviewer HLM takes a look at this designer's web site and provides a good and friendly critique... Fred isn't quite as easy on Tightline Design dot com

Adobe InDesign CS2 Speed Tricks

Secrets of the Quick Apply command, and A highlighting pen effect for type ... continue reading

60-Seconds: Stocks and Software Scams

So you want to make a fast buck? Be careful if you play the stock market... beware of spam, Pump & Dump Stock Scams ... then read our UPDATE with even more to look out for!

Argue for a bigger budget

Joe Walsh provides us with another of his award-winning articles -- primarily IT network managers needing to Argue for a bigger budget

Upcoming in March: DESIGNING WOMEN

Our March theme is Women's History Month... and DESIGNING WOMEN! We'll be discovering famous accomplishments by women, and we'll be visiting studios of women in the visual arts, design, illustration and communications industry. WIN some of our valuable prizes by sharing with DT&G readers. Designing women should register, and others can share their favorite Designing Women Sign up NOW

Adobe supporting INTEL Macs...

This PDF from Adobe answers questions about the company's transition to Intel-- speculation from several news sources say not until deep into '06 if not until January '07. Wait and see ... Here are comments from Adobe in PDF format.

$79 Upgrade path to Quark XPress 7

Quark has launched a promotion that enables customers to purchase QuarkXPress 7 for far less ... continue reading

Contest for Outstanding Design Students

OGT's Winning Concepts Contest 2005-2006 Edition is open to full-time college and university students of age 18 or older, registered in a graphic or web design program ... continue reading

The Million Pixel Image

Here's a plan for creative artists and designers to build a pixel into a world-wide mosiac and enhance their Google rankings at the same time... continue reading

Proven Web Success Factor: Scan-ability

Scan-ability is a measured, objective, scientifically proven criterion of successful written web content... and can yield stunning improvements.

Advantages of Accelerated Learning

This article by Alexa K. Apallas fills you in on the advantages of Accelerated Online Learning Accelerated Online Learning

$50 OFF Flash Forward Conference

Love Flash? So do we. The Flashfoward Conference and Film Festival in Seattle (February 27-March 2) -- Peachpit is offering an additional discount of $50! Enter discount code EXH06SEA at: www.flashforwardconference.com

&Else News & Views:

Too many to include in this newsletter...
* Flash Photo Albums
* New Drive Power: TechTool Protege
* PDF-FORUM for Print Production
* New Tiger Training Books
* Got Pictures? Sell on Fotolia Fotolia
* Allume's CheckIt Repair
* Computer Theft - Will you be the next victim?
* IRS Alert: Tax Fraud... See "&Else News

February... love the way to March

Hope February is good to you. Hope February is good to me.
Next month we've got some stunning photography and illustration and design work coming your way with the first round of "Designing Women" ... each year, we get more than enough, so it rolls over into April as well.
MARCH: Opening of the 2006 "Designing Women"
APRIL: More "Designing Women" and Spring into Spring
MAY: Summer Design Starts, Graduation
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.

And, as for this month, well, you've already wasted a perfectly good hour reading the DTG newsletter. Hopefully all is not wasted and you've gained at least one helpful tidbit of info.

Thanks for reading...

Fred Showker
Editor / Publisher, DT&G Magazine

Parting words for February...

  "And, if you can't love the one you love...
        Love the one you're with!

          - Stephen Stills

"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 February will be set to "kiss" in celebration of the Valentine's . Just add the word "kiss" 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.