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Archive for November, 2012

Creative Spotlight: Jessica Graza on Adobe Ideas

Be gone the days of lugging around a laptop, the days where confined space would limit your creativity, the days where designing was restricted indoors. Adobe Touch Apps is a game changer when it comes to creating on-the-go, and one user who knows that better than many is Jessica Garza (@jessicamariedesign).

Jessica’s talents were discovered via Twitter. After identifying her as a veteran Touch Apps user, we threw some questions her way to better understand her creative workflow, discuss the creative projects that she is most proud of, as well as get tips for otherTouch Apps users. Check out the full Q&A below and visit our social channels (Facebook and Twitter) to see her work on display.

Adobe: How has the integration from Touch Apps through to the Creative Cloud features changed your creative workflow?
Jessica: Adobe Ideas has allowed me to create on-the-go. I used to create using my Wacom tablet and laptop, which was fine, except in situations where I had limited space. Now, I carry my iPad with me and create with Adobe Ideas. I can design at the park, by the pool, or on a flight – all without having to carry all my equipment.

What are your favorite features in Adobe Ideas?
What really made Ideas essential to my creative workflow was that it exports my art work in vector. I would not have much use for the app if my final product was just a JPEG, as I take what I create and refine it using Illustrator and Photoshop.

Which Adobe Ideas project are you most proud of and why?

I’d have to say the project I am most proud of is my “Gameday Dress” sketches. I created a template in Ideas to show my customers what their “Gameday Dress” would look like with specific colors and designs. Ideas made it easy for me to duplicate my original and edit the template by adding layers.

What tips/suggestions do you have for creative individuals thinking about getting into Adobe Touch Apps?

Do it! You won’t regret it. Ideas will give you the flexibility to create on-the-go. Whether you are sketching or creating complete works of art, Ideas makes it easy for you to do so. Even if you don’t consider yourself a digital artist, you will find a use for Ideas.

For veteran users like yourself, what tips and/or techniques can you offer them to improve their creative workflow?

When I used my sketchpad, I was hesitant to begin drawing until I had an idea of exactly what I was going to do. Now that I use Ideas as my digital sketchpad, I draw out all my ideas and work with new layers to refine the original sketch. My tip for users is to create without hesitation. You can always create a new layer or work on your file in Illustrator/Photoshop to refine it.

Stay up-to-date with all of Jessica’s projects by visiting her design blog. Also, remember to reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook or in the comments below for the chance to be featured. That’s all for now. Until then, keep on creating!

10:25 AM Permalink

Create Now & Photoshop

What’s coming in Photoshop? Check out the video below and see how many new features you can identify. To stay up to date on the latest developments, be sure to join us December 11 for our streamed event on Facebook, Create Now Live. Bookmark it: http://on.fb.me/Sj0YBZ. You won’t want to miss this!

If you’re looking to get your hands on some Create Now schwag, join in on our #CreateNow Sweepstakes.

*Please note that there is no requirement to be a Facebook user to view or access this event application. 

12:09 PM Permalink

Ideas That Changed Graphic Design

Fast Co.Design’s recent piece, “9 Ideas That Changed the Face of Graphic Design,” summarizes the outlet’s favorite ideas that made graphic design what it is today. Inspired by the book, 100 Ideas That Changed Graphic Design, authored by Steven Heller and Véronique Vienne, below is Fast Co.Design’s shortlist.

Body Type

Pictograms

Pointing Fingers

Decorative Logo Types

Metaphoric Lettering

Texts as Images

Supreme Geometry

Dust Jackets

White Space

Here’s a look at some of the inspirational images depicting the 9 ideas above.

Graphic-DesignWhat do you think? Any you’d add to this list?

11:51 AM Permalink

#CreateNow Sweepstakes

create-now-facebook-cover-851x315

The Create Now Live event is coming up on Tuesday, Dec. 11 and we want to have #CreateNow conversations with you well ahead the event. Daily, starting today through Dec. 11, we’ll be spurring conversation around why you create, what inspires you and more from @CreativeCloud – and we hope you’ll join us on Twitter using the hashtag, #CreateNow!

We’ll be randomly drawing 5 lucky winners daily* for those participating the #CreateNow conversation. Up for grabs – a Creative Cloud messenger bag. On event day we’ll have more prizes up for grabs including Creative Cloud Memberships and an Adobe MAX pass.

messenger-bags

We’re looking forward to talking to all of you on Twitter, and don’t forget to join us on the Creative Cloud Facebook page to attend the Create Now event via live stream (you don’t need to sign into Facebook to view content) Register here: http://bit.ly/CreateNow_SM.

*Terms & Conditions apply

12:01 AM Permalink

Firewater’s A Little Revolution Music Video – The Making Of with Brian Yap

There’s no denying the fact that Brian Yap is one talented Adobe Touch Apps user. We’ve seen his Touch Apps projectssuch as the Grovemade iPhone/iPad Cases, his demo videos on Adobe TV , and we’re excited to bring you more of his great designs. This time around, Brian has lent his talents to the self-described “world punk” band Firewater for their recent music video titled “A Little Revolution.”

We chatted with Brian to learn how he utilized his favorite app, Adobe Ideas,  CS6 tools, and Creative Cloud in making of the music video. Check out our interview below and pick up some useful tips along the way.

Adobe: How did this opportunity to work on the Firewater music video project come about?
Brian Yap: Paul Griswold contacted me about working together for no reason other than seeing and liking my illustrations on an Adobe TV video – where I was using Adobe Ideas and talking about how it fit my style. We connected and talked a bit about wanting to collaborate on a fun project. Then, earlier this year, a friend of Paul’s and musical hero of mine, Todd A., contacted him in the hopes that he could get help creating a music video on a tight budget. The band was Firewater and the video was created for the first single off their new album.

Live footage was shot in Turkey and was mixed with animation built from illustrations I did on the tablet with Adobe Ideas and then fine-tuned in Illustrator. The pieces were then animated with After Effects, as well as other programs outside of Adobe.  Being able to work remotely made it possible for me to connect with these amazingly talented guys and get in on this project, without ever actually meeting them in person.

Talk us through your creative process. How did you approach this project?
I started by working with the team to come up with a bunch of visual concepts to illustrate. I began collecting references and sketching things out. The process was cool because I would feed Paul Griswold sheets of designs and pieces, and then when the test animations started, it lead to other ideas and concepts.

Usually, whenever someone tells you to just draw cool stuff, the first thing that happens is white paper freeze, but Firewater’s music and the tracks from the new album are so filled with energy and ideas that it was easy to get things flowing and get into it.

Tell us why Adobe Touch Apps, specifically Adobe Ideas, was an ideal tool to use for this task?
I was able to work while traveling with Ideas and the Creative Cloud and keep all the many pieces and designs organized. Being able to draw while traveling for another project, or get out of the office or studio and work on this project really kept me inspired. The vector-based quality of Ideas meant that the process of cleaning up a sketch to make it finished and the way I wanted was super fast and easy so I could explore a lot more pieces quickly and feel okay about not sending everything.

What was the inspiration behind the images you created?
All the inspiration for the work I contributed to the piece was from the song. The tone of the music, the energetic and upbeat sound, and the themes in the lyrics, all helped to lead everything from color to what I was drawing. The video footage shot in Turkey had a “dance number” skew/protest march. It helped inspire me to keep the illustrations meaningful but usable in a way that matched the tone of the song.

Speaking of music, how critical does music play in your creative process? What genre or music gets you in a creative mode?
I’m definitely an aging music nerd. Everything I do is inspired by the music I listen to and when possible, like this project, actually part of the work. Todd A and Firewater’s sound and big catalog were on constant repeat during this project, and I think I made some new fans for them around me because of it. A lot of time it’s hip hop, like Ghostface Killah. When I need to slow it down, like when I’m sketching or playing with concepts, I get into bands with a more songwriting, musical exploration type feel. Lately groups like Manouk, Manchester Orchestra, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and instrumental outfits, like Red Sparowes, are as important to me working as the tools I use to draw.

What tips/suggestions do you have for creative individuals thinking about getting into Adobe Ideas?
The pinch and zoom allows you to work with an almost infinite sized canvas. Drawing on a tablet with a photo layer is an unbelievable way to keep a reference file, sketchbook and finished canvases all in the same place. I always say, just play around with it. Get used to the features and what it does and then make the tool work the way you work.

For veteran users like yourself, what tips and/or techniques can you offer?
I was using Ideas for a year before bothering to play much with opacity. It led me to a whole new way of drawing with Ideas that look like pencil by using a super low opacity and black or grey and just layering strokes. Always keep playing with the app. I think the simplicity makes it easy to use for everyone, but there are some smart guys behind this application and the ways we as artists use it is only fenced in by our imagination and willingness to adapt to a new artistic tool.

For more on the making of the music video, check out the project on Behance.

11:16 AM Permalink

The “Test The Web Forward” Movement: engaging the community to move towards a better Web

What makes a better Web?

Features are certainly important and there are multiple improvements to the web platform in the woks, for example the “SysApps” working group, the Linked Data effort or the new functionality added to CSS (such as CSS Regions and CSS Filter Effects which Adobe is actively contributing to).

However, while features are obviously key to a better, richer web, they are one of several elements which, when combined, deliver an enhanced web experience.

One is proper implementation of the web standards. For the web platform to be reliable, it is very important that implementations follow the various standards properly and reliably. The specifications define what browsers and other web components should do, but we need to make sure that implementations stick to the specification, from the most common features and down to the most obscure corner cases.
Tightly related to proper implementation is interoperability. It is possible, and this has happened many times in the past, to have standards, pretty solid implementations but poor interoperability because of various interpretation of the specifications by implementors. For example, in the early days of the Web, there were a lot of discrepancies between implementations of the Cascading Stylesheets specification. Interoperability issues are the plague of web developers as it either neuters the use of features (because the feature is not guaranteed to work in a consistent way across browsers for example) or weakens its appeal (because it will only be available to a fraction of the end-users).

Testing is the key to insure proper implementation and address interoperability issues. And great testing is the recipe for great implementations and awesome interoperability.  In the realm of web standards, testing comes in the form of specification test suite which are used to validate that a specification is implementable.

The testing challenge

Unfortunately, writing tests is fraught with difficulties. It requires dedication, expertise, persistence and careful attention to details. In addition, it is important to have the widest test coverage as possible to ensure testing depth and the desired implementation quality and interoperability. Historically, it has sometimes been difficult for implementors of particular specifications and working groups defining specifications to create test suites that are as deep as they would like. This issue has been at the root of implementation, interoperability and adoption difficulties for new standards.

Test the Web Forward

Move the Web Forward” is a grass roots movement that engages the community and challenges those passionate about the web to act on their desire for a better web. “Test the Web Forward” is exactly in that spirit: there are implementation or interoperability issues which the community of developers is painfully aware of, let’s try to enable developers to do something about this and contribute to better test suites which are an excellent way to improve the web.

Following that train of thought, Adobe and others in the community such as Microsoft, Mozilla, Google, W3C and Facebook have started to engage the community to contribute to web standards tests with a series of events call “Test the Web Forward”. To date, three events have been held: one in San Francisco (in June), one in Beijing (in October) and one in Paris (also in October). So far, about 700 new tests have been created that will be contributed towards web standards test suites. The events are typically held over a day and a half. During the first half day, experts from the standards working group (such as the CSS or SVG working groups in W3C) give short presentations about standards testing frameworks, browser bug filing and other topics related to reporting issues, isolating problems or ready a specification carefully to identify testable portions. The full day that follows is dedicated to ‘hacking tests’ in groups where the web developers work with the experts to write new tests, convert tests that may need reformatting or review existing tests so that they can be integrated into official test suites.

The following blog posts relate the events as they happened in San Francisco, Beijing  and Paris and this video gives a good description of what the events are about, how they foster interest in testing the web, generate good discussions, suggestions and produce concrete results.

Next Steps

While the Test the Web Forward events are fun, there is a desire to find ways to keep engaging between events and at the recent W3C Technical Plenary meeting in Lyon, France, Adobe suggested concrete ways for interested web developers to keep contributing. There are also very interesting discussions about how the “Test The Web Forward” movement relates to the Web Platform Docs effort and a lot of suggestions that the two efforts should be closely related.

It is very encouraging and exciting to see the web community interested in contributing to a better web and offer time and expertise in efforts such as TestTWF. Our team at Adobe will continue working on this effort and with our partners to help it grow and further demonstrate its efficacy to help build a better web.

So if you and your team are passionate about the web, want to help move it forward please follow #TestTWF on Twitter and visit http://testthewebforward.org to learn about upcoming events and new developments around this initiative!

9:49 AM Permalink

The "Test The Web Forward" Movement: engaging the community to move towards a better Web

What makes a better Web?

Features are certainly important and there are multiple improvements to the web platform in the woks, for example the “SysApps” working group, the Linked Data effort or the new functionality added to CSS (such as CSS Regions and CSS Filter Effects which Adobe is actively contributing to).

However, while features are obviously key to a better, richer web, they are one of several elements which, when combined, deliver an enhanced web experience.

One is proper implementation of the web standards. For the web platform to be reliable, it is very important that implementations follow the various standards properly and reliably. The specifications define what browsers and other web components should do, but we need to make sure that implementations stick to the specification, from the most common features and down to the most obscure corner cases.
Tightly related to proper implementation is interoperability. It is possible, and this has happened many times in the past, to have standards, pretty solid implementations but poor interoperability because of various interpretation of the specifications by implementors. For example, in the early days of the Web, there were a lot of discrepancies between implementations of the Cascading Stylesheets specification. Interoperability issues are the plague of web developers as it either neuters the use of features (because the feature is not guaranteed to work in a consistent way across browsers for example) or weakens its appeal (because it will only be available to a fraction of the end-users).

Testing is the key to insure proper implementation and address interoperability issues. And great testing is the recipe for great implementations and awesome interoperability.  In the realm of web standards, testing comes in the form of specification test suite which are used to validate that a specification is implementable.

The testing challenge

Unfortunately, writing tests is fraught with difficulties. It requires dedication, expertise, persistence and careful attention to details. In addition, it is important to have the widest test coverage as possible to ensure testing depth and the desired implementation quality and interoperability. Historically, it has sometimes been difficult for implementors of particular specifications and working groups defining specifications to create test suites that are as deep as they would like. This issue has been at the root of implementation, interoperability and adoption difficulties for new standards.

Test the Web Forward

Move the Web Forward” is a grass roots movement that engages the community and challenges those passionate about the web to act on their desire for a better web. “Test the Web Forward” is exactly in that spirit: there are implementation or interoperability issues which the community of developers is painfully aware of, let’s try to enable developers to do something about this and contribute to better test suites which are an excellent way to improve the web.

Following that train of thought, Adobe and others in the community such as Microsoft, Mozilla, Google, W3C and Facebook have started to engage the community to contribute to web standards tests with a series of events call “Test the Web Forward”. To date, three events have been held: one in San Francisco (in June), one in Beijing (in October) and one in Paris (also in October). So far, about 700 new tests have been created that will be contributed towards web standards test suites. The events are typically held over a day and a half. During the first half day, experts from the standards working group (such as the CSS or SVG working groups in W3C) give short presentations about standards testing frameworks, browser bug filing and other topics related to reporting issues, isolating problems or ready a specification carefully to identify testable portions. The full day that follows is dedicated to ‘hacking tests’ in groups where the web developers work with the experts to write new tests, convert tests that may need reformatting or review existing tests so that they can be integrated into official test suites.

The following blog posts relate the events as they happened in San Francisco, Beijing  and Paris and this video gives a good description of what the events are about, how they foster interest in testing the web, generate good discussions, suggestions and produce concrete results.

Next Steps

While the Test the Web Forward events are fun, there is a desire to find ways to keep engaging between events and at the recent W3C Technical Plenary meeting in Lyon, France, Adobe suggested concrete ways for interested web developers to keep contributing. There are also very interesting discussions about how the “Test The Web Forward” movement relates to the Web Platform Docs effort and a lot of suggestions that the two efforts should be closely related.

It is very encouraging and exciting to see the web community interested in contributing to a better web and offer time and expertise in efforts such as TestTWF. Our team at Adobe will continue working on this effort and with our partners to help it grow and further demonstrate its efficacy to help build a better web.

So if you and your team are passionate about the web, want to help move it forward please follow #TestTWF on Twitter and visit http://testthewebforward.org to learn about upcoming events and new developments around this initiative!

9:49 AM Permalink

Great Designs from United States Presidential Election 2012

The 2012 Presidential Election has now concluded and all the campaigning can finally be put to rest. Since we’re four years away from the next wave of campaign art, we wanted to reflect on some pieces that caught our eye during this year’s U.S. Presidential Election. So take it in, savor it, and use it for inspiration – we’ll be looking forward to your designs come 2016!

Infographic: How Both Presidential Candidates Grossly Outspent Their Predecessors

Infographic-DesignCo

 

Randy-Hensley

Infographic: The 507 Different Paths To Presidential Victory

Infographic-Presidential-Victory 

Image created by Matt Stevens

Image created by Matt Stevens

 

Image created by Simeon Elson

Image created by Simeon Elson

Get even more in Design, Development & the Elections?.

12:15 PM Permalink

Creative Spotlight: Isaiah Bela on Adobe Touch Apps

Depending on his mood and where inspiration may strike him, you might find Adobe Touch Apps user Isaiah Bela (@BelaTheBoy) creating in the bedroom, a park or in the back seat of a car. We connected with this Los Angeles-based creative after coming across his “Fluttershy” project, which he shared with the Adobe Ideas Facebook Fan Page. Impressed with his work, we reached out to find out more about his work and creative process.

Being the vector-art fanatic that he is, Isaiah discussed the simplicity of creating on-the-go with Adobe Ideas and further refining his work in Illustrator CS6 through the use of the Creative Cloud. Additionally, he provided us with useful tips for all Touch Apps users, from newbie to veteran, and much more! Check out the full Q&A below, the photo album of his creations we’ve included directly below and his work displayed on our Touch Apps Twitter and Facebook channels. You can also see more of his creations on Deviantart.

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12:54 PM Permalink

Creative Spotlight: Imagine Dragons Album Cover Art by Louis Lander Deacon

Traveller-¬Louis-Lander-Deacon-300x300

Does the photograph above look familiar to you?  If you guessed that this was used as an album cover for the indie band, Imagine Dragons, you’d be spot on. While many may focus on the music from the Imagine Dragons’ Continued Silence EP album, we wanted to delve into the making of the album art and uncover who was behind the concept and design.

Meet the man responsible for this fascinating image, 19-year-old Louis Lander Deacon– a photography student whose photo has become synonymous with the Imagine Dragons’ brand. Check out more of this photographer’s work and our conversation with him about his creative process.

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1:50 PM Permalink