Posts Tagged ‘resource’

Widgets for Design

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

I’m always looking for ways to improve my work flow as a designer, and I’ve found a few Dashboard Widgets for my Mac that have proven themselves time and again.

Lorem Ipsum Widget

The Lorem Ipsum Widget from has been invaluable for my work in print and web. Often for client mock ups I’m in need of some quick placement text, and within a few keystrokes I’ve got just what I need. Try it for yourself >>
If your not a Mac user try:

Entities Lookup Widget

LeftLogic’s HTML Entity Character Lookup is a fantastic way to avoid scanning through the list of entity codes. With over 250 character entities this time saver is quite useful for those moments when you can’t remember the valid way to present quotations or bullet points. Try it for yourself >>
If your not a Mac user, don’t worry LeftLogic has other plugins on their site:

I do wish I could have a third widget on here to round out my collection, but I am still searching for the cure-all to my color woes. Adobe’s Kuler has a nice interface but I don’t enjoy the reliance on an Internet connection without a color picker. I have also attempted to use Color Theory by Jumis Inc., but it needs better integration with the OS. For now I will continue to use ColorZilla for my web needs, and the built in color picker in Adobe’s programs when working on print design.

Begining Web Designer Resources

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

I am often asked how I learned the skills needed for website design when my background is in print.  The very basics of HTML using Tables and Flash I learned at my alma mater, Marietta College.  Everything else I discovered and learned through the web, with a few books.

Helpful online sources of information on web design/coding:

Web Design from

Opera Web Standards Curriculum

Google’s SEO Starter Guide – PHP

More advanced information:

A List Apart

456 Berea Street

Books I have found useful:

CSS Mastery

Rockstar WordPress Designer

In general, my best advice when learning to develop websites, just Google it, you will end up seeing some inspiring sites, finding some interesting mentors and finding a host of resources at your fingertips.

Free Fonts and Squirrels

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

I am always looking for a good resource of well made, commercial-use avaialble fonts.  And it seems that I have found just what I have been dreaming of:

Some of these I already had found in my adventures on the Internet, but now they are all in one place.  If you are looking for some to try out, but don’t want to shuffle through the 300+ collection, I suggest the following:

Anivers – A nice sans with some flair
MEgalopolis-Extra – A good chunky face with some special character alternates
Birra – Another thick retro face, with some quirky appeal

Texture Heaven

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

I’m an avid photographer of textures since I never know when I am going to have a project and think, “I should have snapped a photo of that interesting crumbling wall I saw on my drive the other day.”
So I happened upon a lovely little resource for designers like myself,
The focus of the site is more on texture brushes for Photoshop, but what I found most useful is Jay’s textures and texture resources. I know where I’m going next time I need to devise some look involving antiqued paper, which happens more often than one would think.

Trusty Tutorials

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

So sometimes I think it is rough keeping up with this blogging business, but I often am shooting emails off to people that are filled with little notes on design related things that I could easily blog about. I still have to collect my thoughts on Thailand, so that is forthcoming, but for now I want to express my gratitude for several tutorial websites.

I never really thought  much about tutorials, well actually I despised them. Why would I want to have a final product identical to the 20 other kids in my class where the professor already worked out the kinks?  Where was the exploration and serendipitous discovery?  Thanks to Google Reader, I’ve been rabidly devouring feeds from what will soon be 100+ blogs some of which have mentioned tutorials at other sites, which held only a passing interest.

However, today while I was brainstorming how to add some visual interest to a website for work, I had a vague recollection of a post at PSDTUTS that could be useful for visualizing the abstract concept of communication. By using the tutorial as a general guide, I was able to avoid the cookie cutter syndrome I so loathed in the past.  So with this new discovery of the world of online design tutorials my summer evenings will be a bit more educational.

The result of my first tutorial use:


Other useful sites worth a note:

NETTUTS – Almost exactly like PSDTUTS, except for web development

Veerle’s Blog – Recommended to me by my friend Jon Bolden for her web tips, but also quite useful when it comes to doing more with Adobe programs

Every Stock Photo – Mentioned in one of the PSDTUTS tutorials, it is essentially a search engine of free stock images from Stock.XCHNG, Flickr Creative Commons, MorgueFile and other similar imaging sites

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