Category Archives: Links

What They Don’t Teach You About Identity Design in Design Schools

Today’s post doesn’t feature any flashy methods for creating graphics or cool design ideas. This one takes us back to reality with a good healthy dose of what a designer really does.  This one is important for design students, recent graduates or anyone who isn’t quite sure what their job as a designer is really about. It’s a fairly short read which gets right to the meat of things. Check it out at Identity Forum.


Lego Cartoon Minimalism: Believe It Or Not, This Is A Thing


I’ll confess, I’m an adult Legomaniac. A few years ago I passed my five gallon lego bin on to my grandson and he has tripled the size of “our” collection. After many hours of complex builds, including my own eight hour Nanoblock ship-in-a-bottle project, it’s refreshing to see a return to minimalism. As minimalistic as they are, every one is easily recognizable. Gotta love it!

Check out the post about them at

Bad Hair Day? 3 Good Ways To Cut Out Hair In Photoshop

Image courtesy of: imagerymajestic /
Image courtesy of: imagerymajestic /

Here it comes, the project all graphic designers dread… Cutting out hair. Sure it’s pretty easy to just use the pen tool to go around the general shape of the head and snip off all those pesky stray hairs, but other than adding another head, there really isn’t anything more unnatural looking. Lets face it, you can’t individually trace around every hair and still have a productive work day.

So what is the best solution for the problem? Well, there isn’t one perfect solution. Since every photo is going to have it’s own set of variables, the real solution is to know a few good methods for solving the problem. Here are the three I use most often.

1. Selecting & Extracting Hair – Masking Tutorial – Extraction Tips

This is one I like when there is a fair amount of contrast between the subjects hair and the background, but has many stray hairs as part of the composition. It has a few too many steps for me to use real often, but it does a great job under certain circumstances.

Also, recognize this is actually a Photoshop Elements tutorial. There are some differences between Elements and Photoshop Pro, but if you know anything at all about Photoshop then it’s pretty easy to figure out ways around it.

2. New Techniques for Cutting Out Hair in Photoshop CS5

This is my favorite of the three. It uses the Refine Edge palette which is still fairly new. My only issue with it is that photos with certain highlights will sometimes loose their opacity in those areas. There are of course ways to work around this, but if this is going to be an issue you might want to try one of the other two techniques instead.

3. Select Hair by Using Channels

Here’s an oldie but goodie. The method is a bit oversimplified in this particular tutorial so it might not be perfect for your particular situation, but it gives the basics of using Channels. Personally this is about the only time I touch Channels so I’m not very well versed with all of their possibilities. I do know people who swear by them and can use them for what seem to be just about any situation.

Hopefully these three will do the trick if you’re having a bad hair day.

The Story Behind Paul Rand’s NeXT logo


All designers are familiar with the work of Paul Rand. Most know that among his most notable logos (which include Westinghouse, IBM & Cummins) is the NeXT computers logo. It’s planned simplicity suggests nothing about the actual depth that went into the creation of this logo. Put simply, its as much a work of art as any of the great minimalist masterpieces. Continue reading The Story Behind Paul Rand’s NeXT logo

Motion Graphic: 29 Ways To Stay Creative

Motion Graphics seem to be an up and coming way of conveying data. Who wants a boring old PowerPoint presentation when you can have creative, entertaining AND informative motion graphics?

A good example of this is 29 Ways To Stay Creative. It has strong, clean composition with enough of an entertaining factor to hold your attention.


Freelancing Tips From Lifehacker

I’ve been a follower of for a while now. They have excellent reviews and posts on just about everything.

This past week they covered freelancing, which I know is the ultimate goal of many of my former students. Here are a couple of links to posts they covered in their Podcast. I would definitely suggest subscribing to their Podcast, it’s usually only a few minutes long but packed full of great information and links.

How To Start Freelancing (Without Quitting Your Job)

Top 10 Tips and Tools For Freelancers


World Without Photoshop

What would the world be without Photoshop? Sadly, many of us can remember… Those lengthy clipping sessions followed by manual paste up, process cameras and, sometimes days later, the final slightly disappointing result.

This video gives a satiric look at how things might have been in 1990, before Photoshop existed.

Vintage Posters for New Movies

Vintage Posters of Newer Movies

The past reaches out to the present, and what better to touch upon than the modern movie poster! These examples of classy treatments of newer movies just beg to be framed. Feel like getting your hands on one? Many are available for purchase. Go to the bottom of the page and click the name of the movie for the link. Or you can go straight to the source for many of these by looking for Monster Gallery on Etsy.

Vintage Posters