Rethinking the way you take your morning coffee and newspaper

There are few things more single purpose oriented than the coffee cup sleeve. Other than keeping your fingers from getting burned, what purpose does it really serve?

Now the ad agency Y&R Dubai has rethought these little disposable wonders, making them the bearers of both your coffee and morning news. The Canadian coffee chain Tim Horton’s can now serve up coffee with tweets of the latest news as well as a URL or QR code so customers can read the full story.

I’ll be interested to see what the next generation of this idea brings.

Design Taxi article

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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.

Type-based Architecture

Whether you were aware of it at the time or not, you have probably seen representations of typography in architecture. At least when it comes to some sort of promo piece. Dramatic architectural lines can be a great start for a highly-recognizable piece, causing most of us to do a double-take. The Guggenheim poster by Chermayeff & Geismar Associates, which can be found at the AIGA design archives, is a great example of this- offering the information it needs to convey in an instantly recognizable, eye-catching form.

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

lego-thesimpsons-2

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 fastcodesign.com.

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

Image courtesy of: imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of: imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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.

9 Negative Space Wine Logos

The next time you go to a store that sells alcohol, take a little time to stroll down the wine aisle. Without a doubt some of the most creative, precise and edgy logos can be found there. With names like Flat Tire, Barefoot, Lucky Duck, etc., how could you not be easily inspired to do great work?

In this case I thought I’d focus on 9 interesting mock logos which play on their negative space. Wine bottles and glasses have wonderful distinct shapes to play off of and creativity certainly isn’t lost here.

Natural Wine Company
Natural Wine Company
Men's WIne
Men's WIne
Jurassic Wine
Jurassic Wine

Continue reading 9 Negative Space Wine Logos

Rules to Email By: Designing Emailers for the Masses

Image provided by Patchareeya99 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Email campaigns are easy for web designers, right? It’s just streamlining a webpage isn’t it?

Well, yes and no. For the most part graphical emailers are basic HTML sprinkled with sensible graphics. They can have similar visual impact as web pages and sport most of the same code. However there are a few rules that you need to know to create successful emailers.

Continue reading Rules to Email By: Designing Emailers for the Masses

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