Truth and Death in Design

Image choices at - front for Getty's Istock Service

Image choices at – front for Getty’s Istock Service

“One illustration or original photo beats 100 stock images.”

This quote turned up in The Year In Design by. L. Jeffrey Zeldman. Sharp guy and a good article. Go read it. It’s short and every bit of it is spot on and relevant.

And some of it definitely falls into the “easier said than done” category. And the above quote was particularly relevant to my experience as a Designer. I work in both Print and Web Design, primarily for small business clients. Turned out to be a sweet spot for me, a market outgrowing what they can do for themselves in MS Word, or Vistaprint, but small enough to not take all their art in-house or go to a big Agency or Design Studio.

Stock Images are one of my big peeves – and most commonly accessed resources. But with small business clients come small budgets. I have absolutely no doubt that original illustrations or photography are superior to stock photos… But good luck trying to get cash strapped clients to spring for a photographer or illustrator for their project. I AM an Illustrator and Photographer adjunct to my Design work, and I’ve done precious little of it professionally – at least that I’ve gotten paid for. Continue reading

Crushing Disappointment & HELL

That Moment... In the process of semi boycotting the Black Friday insanity by staying the hell home and just chilling after a very charming Thanksgiving feast with one of our communities of Spirit. But that leaves me with a semi-day off (as much as freelancers have days off) to do a little more recreational surfing. Which of course will bring on a yet another reason to be irritated by contemporary practices in web design.

I don’t want to go off on a rant here… wait, yes. Yes, I do. Have you ever idly clicked on one of those obvious clickbait headlines, and just been totally pissed off at where you’ve landed? Uh HUH. Me too. It’ll be something vaguely interesting like the “10 Biggest Movie Flops in 2015” or “25 Things You Didn’t Know About Star Wars.”  Now I’m a nerd AND a geek and like movies, so heck, why not?

Then of course comes the crushing disappointment and HELL of these horrid sites…

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Touch Stylus: The Grail Quest

A Collection of Touch Styluses

Styluses Front to back: swag ballpoint/stylus, Targus stylus, Wacom Bamboo Stylus, Hand Stylus, Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus 2. Rear: Wacom Grip Pen

How friggin’ hard could this be?

If you’ve been reading this blog, or following either my personal or the FRS Facebook page, you’re seeing “from IOS” or “from iPad” on a fair number of them. I have an iPad. I like it. It’s a blast to use and it’s a lot of fun. Sometimes the thing is even useful – for work, reading an e-book, research, communications, more.  It’s surprisingly a great tool for teaching drum and chant, where I can bring along the equivalent of a fat binder of teaching materials and notes, and a chunky box of vinyl and CD’s all in the slim slice of the iPad. Paired with a bluetooth speaker, it’s tremendous.

But I am still an Art Guy. And I’d like to do more with the pad that’s directly creative. So to that effect, I loaded a bunch of creative apps on the iPad and have been poking at them. One of the most fun and intriguing is 53’s Paper, and really quite innovative. I’ve also been exploring Art Studio, Wacom’s Bamboo Paper, Pixelmator, and Zen Brush. I recently picked up Astropad, that connects to a PC or Laptop and essentially makes the iPad a mild analog to a Cintiq graphics tablet. I also had for a while some of the Adobe Creative Cloud Mobile Apps, and Autodesk’s Sketchbook, and a couple of others. I discovered something about iOS graphics apps. They’re chunky, and can eat of a LOT of your precious storage. And so do graphics FILES. I’ve got a 32GB iPad and currently have less than a gig free.

Practical limitations? Imagine that. Next iPad will absolutely be a 64 gb or better. A 16gb model iPad is near useless for professional use. However, unlike the iPhone that people tend to replace every 2-3 years, my current one is going strong.

But like I had discovered years ago as a Design Pro on the desktop, drawing with a mouse is, yes, akin to drawing with a bar of soap. So my Wacom tablets have been next to my keyboard for over a decade. They are still superior to the much promoted (actually not too shabby) Apple Magic Trackpad for speed, control and precision. I use both, context depending. Similarly, drawing with my fingertip on the iPad, while better than the mouse, still is coarse and crappy, the worst being, you cant really SEE what you are doing under your fingertip when you’re trying to draw or sketch. Continue reading

Leaving Money on The Table

In Store Pickup? Not so fast...

In Store Pickup? Not so fast…

I haven’t been posting much, free time to blog being consumed with the details and intricacies of relocating my studio and our home from the NYC tri-state region. But regards that, I wanted to include some news about that process the annual message I included in my family’s holiday greeting. So I was holding off on sending to press the card I had already designed back in October. When some setbacks actually loosened up, we were only days away from Christmas.

So instead of ordering four color printing online, I turned to my backup process, overnight color copies at my local Office Depot. I could send them the files, and pick up the finished work in one or two days at my local store. The project was not technically complicated, double sided color copies, on index weight stock with a single fold. Easy peasy and drama free, one might think. Continue reading

Get yo’ iPad On

My Alt self staring back from an iPad

My alt self in the screen of an iPad. Image: PC World. Composite: KG/FRS

This is kind of an experiment, not only am I taking about my experience with a new iPad, but also updating the blog using the WordPress App on iPad, and seeing If a long form article on the iPads touch keyboard actually is sane and/or reasonable. For openers, I do very much miss arrow key from my standard keyboard. But that still falls under “quibbles.”

One thing I swiftly noticed that neither the Facebook or Facebook Pages apps allow you to copy text from within them except while you’re posting. Bummer. I had posted my first thoughts on the FRS Facebook Page. But I was able to get in in Mobile Safari. Live and learn. Remember that early versions of iOS didn’t have copy & Paste at all. But I got it —

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