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Don't go anywhere!!! There's a super fantastic book giveaway after our feature presentation!
Just holding this book makes me go, "ahhh..."
Everyone is raving about the quality of book #2 compared to book #1 (or published media in general). I don't blame them. I almost didn't mention it, because everyone else has, but that was ALSO my initial thought upon receiving my copy of the book. Straight from the box, I instinctively noticed these things in this order:
First, I noticed that I can plop it in my purse, no problem (and I don't carry an overly-large purse!). It's not too heavy or too many square/cubic inches. That's important, because I dread getting a great book, but eyeballing how thick it is sometimes hurts as I rarely have time for reading real books. My arms aren't going to fall off trying to hold it up while I'm laying in bed reading it.
Second, most definitely the quality. Smashing Magazine did not skimp on getting this little ditty published. Quality, stitch-bound, hard cover and hefty pages that produce sharp graphics. It's a nice tight number that you'll probably keep on your desk or prop on a shelf just because it's so pretty.
Third, artwork and graphics, amazing! They seriously couldn't go wrong with using Yiying Lu (yes, forever known as the creator of the famous Fail Whale from Twitter.com). But seriously, who can resist that kind of work, I know my three year old can't! What three year old do you know peruses a web and graphic design book with focus and interest? I will admit mine has a great attention span, but still... I'm caught flipping through the pages simply studying the chapter artwork. I have to laugh at myself.
Fourth and last, the cutest little ribbon bookmark comes attached. What a nice little touch! I bet this is the most talked about ribbon bookmark in the history of books. I suppose I will not be lazily dog-earing my new book.
So hands down on the book construction and makeup. Smashing you get a full applause in that area (I think everyone else would agree, no?)!
My thoughts from reading & perusing...
- #1 The Principles of Great Graphic Deisign
- #2 Visible vs. Invisible Design
- #3 Designing Mobile User Experiences
- #4 Sketching, Wireframing and Prototyping
- #5 Red Flags (Warning Signs) in Web Development
- #6 The Future of Web Typeography
- #7 Applying Game Design Principles to User Experience Design
- #8 When they Click: Psychology of Web Design and User Behavior
- #9 Design Patterns in e-Commerce Websites (Study)
- #10 How to Make a Book (Like this One)
I realize that you can make something look pretty dang great, but fill it with garbage. Not in this case. I might be a bit bias because I am a HUGE fan of Smashing Magazine and the fantastic information they continue to provide to the design and web communities.... I will note, however, that the previous Smashing Book #1 seemed somewhat of a letdown to a "few" folks, which has become more prevailiant with Book #2 being such a positive hit and maybe with more of a comeback in the comparisons being made.
My primary area is Design. Both in print and web. And I will openly admit, I'm not ever going to be in the one of the top designers of the world because of this and that - so a book like this is absolutely PERFECT for me. I think anyone who wants a nice review, more insight
What I enjoyed in the first chapter was the correlation between the two, how different and yet similar they are.
"It stands to reason, then, that the process of design involves making deliberate and appropriate graphical choices in order to best communicate the intended message. This applies as much to designing for the Web as it does to designing for print." - excerpt, page 15
What I most enjoyed about this chapter was it's focus on using design effectively and timelessly. When I was reading through the pages of Timeless Thinking - which included talk about simplicity, adding too much gaudy junk (aka ornaments), minimalism, contrast, space and tension... it really brought me back to the basics in art school and working with drawing techniques. Sometimes I feel that I start a project over-designing and after I get that part about needing to impress the client out of my system and go minimal, it never fails to be the winning pick - this chapter was a kick in the pants refresher.
Then I read on to variations of Type and its effectiveness as well as the role it plays. Overall, a golden chapter to set your path a little straighter or teach you a few things.
"While a good graphic designer works to create an attractive design for the client, a great graphic designer pushes further, striving to understand the crux of the project's objective. The great designer builds on the various concepts ..." - excerpt, page 44
My other favorite, is chapter 7: Applying Game Design Principles to User Experience Design. What I most enjoyed was the play off of understanding the correlation between the two to make an easier way to think about UX Design. My favorite part starting with the section, The Name of the Game which goes through each of the five key attributes of the "game" of online interaction. It became a fun way to think about UX Design.
In conclusion, I like that the end of each chapter will sum up with a number of useful resources, about the author, some history from that section and even a nice extra Reading List for more in-depth study on a subject if interested - actually, I would have liked more reading resources at the ends of more chapters. I thought that was very helpful and resourceful to place in one area, instead of having to dig back through my dog-eared and highlighted pages and notes to locate a good resource I just know I marked.
I do find that this book is something I will be keeping on my desk for some time to reference and re-reference when my mind is fogged or fighting to go a direction my gut knows I shouldn't.
Are you tired of hearing me blab blab blab about the book? Are you just dying to get your hands on your own copy? Well here's your chance, we have 3 copies in our giveaway!
Contest Rules are simple. This will be a random drawing of three lucky commenters who provide the following information in their comment:
Please provide what your specialty is be it Design Warlord, Freelance Web Designer or Couch Potato... but seriously, I would like to know what you do for money or fun in the relationship to wanting the book in your grubby little paws.
The contest will run from March 10th, 2011 through March 18th, 2011 - Winners will be announced the following week, Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011. Winners will also be emailed via Love Notes on COLOURlovers.com so make sure you turn your notifications ON for both in-site and email so that I can collect your address and get your prize out ASAP. Contest is for COLOURlovers.com users only, so if you aren't a member, get signed up and get commenting!
update: Did I forget to mention you can of course buy the book here (at SmashingMagazine.com) as well as preview a sample from the book and get other details. Pop on over and check it out!
But wait there's MORE! Apparently there was just too much good stuff to go to print, so Smashing Magazine is GIVING you a FREE eBOOK called The Lost Files (free eBook).
*********SUBMISSION TO THE CONTEST IS CLOSED*********
Results will be posted Tuesday, March 22nd (unless they magically appear on Monday the 21st. ;) Have a great weekend everyone!
One of our Woman’s History Month spotlights has fallen on Angélica Lanzini Xavier (COLOURlovers user: angelicallxx), an Influential Woman of Today who lives and teaches in the Guarapuava, State of Paraná, Brazil. She is a graduate of music with a post graduate degree in Teaching Methodology of Art. Now a teacher of the State Education Network, she is leading the next generation toward a more colourful future with her innovative teaching methods and passion for art in all its forms.
The details are out about the latest book from ALARM PRESS, and i'm thrilled to be sharing them with all you color lovers, but to insure this book makes it to print we need to show a little love before April 8th, 2011 and pre-order or select one of the other support options on the project's KICKSTARTER page.
At nearly 400 pages of full-color artwork and editorial, Chromatic: The Crossroads of Color and Music, is a dynamic print presentation of independent musicians and artists who are using or exploring color in unorthodox ways. Packed with vibrant images and colorful perspectives, the book includes content on: musical synesthesia, audible color: the proposed mathematical correlation between color and pitch, psychedelic color and music, timbre, blue notes, the chromatic scale, concept albums based on color, performers who use color to add to their stage presence, polychromatic cover art, bands photographed in their favorite colors, wild illustrations of musical notes translated into hues to create elaborate geometric works of art, and if that wasn't enough, there is a chapter with guest editors Seripop, the eccentric Montreal based printing and design duo. What filters through, with the help of the high aesthetic standards of ALARM PRESS, is the line where color, music, art and design meet, and ultimately how the experience of color and music is unique for each of us.
Sneak Peak | Chromatic: The Crossroads of Color and Music
Istanbul is in the middle of everything. A symbol of how exchange, migration, condivision and connections are the base of evolution. Blurring the flag-colors of all the countries that have had long relations in Istanbul, The Flags of Istanbul is a project about globalization, nationality, geopolitics, borders and connections, and celebrates the diversity and reflects on the history of one of the greatest cities in the world. The performance and documentation of the project coincided with the celebration of the Turkish Independence day, October 29th, 2010.
In every sense of the word, Tears of the Black Tiger (Fah talai jone) very well could be the most colorful film ever created.
With its loud acting style, exuberant sets and stunning shots in pastel colours, this Thai cult film is as much a parody as an homage to the Western and the romantic tearjerker.
The fearless, color obsessed folks at Hair Crazy display their love for color conspicuously on top of their heads, and are leading the way for color expression on the fringe.
Even if you're not all about alternative, extreme, unnatural hair colors, and you're not about to walk into the office with Napalm Orange hair, the community provides information about all sorts of hair dyeing matters, such as: application techniques, styling guides, informational how-to's, as well as product (hair dye) reviews, and various other tips & tricks. Information any hair chameleon, natural or not, might find useful. Of course, if you are ready to make the eccentric leap to 'super colorful', then this is definitely the place to visit. You people might want to start with the member photo timelines or the gallery organized by color to find inspiration of the possibilities, devour the beginner guides then order yourself some hair dye.
You can check out the community's boldest and brightest hair colors and palettes in their hair color hall of fame, and keep up with the founder, Jude, as she works her way through every color combination she can think of on her willing test subject Adam.
Finally, for those who are perfectly happy with their natural brunette hair and wouldn't think of becoming a 'bluenette', the community offers plenty of old fashioned color inspiration for other applications. Here are few images from Adam's adventures and the most recent roundup of hair color hall of famers for color inspiration.
Would a pink bathroom make you happy? Well that is what the New York Times article quoted Nancy Burns as saying about her vintage pink bathroom that she spared while renovating her 1959 split level home. So how did this mid-century love, and subsequent design trend, for pink house fixtures come about you may ask? The answer is simply the late former first lady Mamie Eisenhower.
“Mamie Pink” or “First Lady Pink”, as it became known, was a popular color trend in the 1950ʼs amongst bathroom and kitchen fixtures as well as other notable post war era colours such as turquoise, chartreuse and candy apple red. The influx of colour into the home was said to show the exuberance of the time, and demonstrate support to the return of women to the home after WWII and their complete remaking of the American domestic landscape. Little did they know that times would be a changinʼ again with the 1960ʼs around the corner!
Unfortunately, as trends come and go- so did the love for colorful bathrooms. We thus now resort to renovating those beloved post-war bathroom gems into, most likely, solid white with a splash of colour. However, Pam Kueber (of Retro Renovation) has a different idea in mind. About a year ago Pam developed a website dedicated to the preservation of pink bathrooms called SaveThePinkBathrooms, or as her mantra states:
World of Warcraft, the uber-popular 'massively multiplayer online role-playing game', has been mesmerizing people since its release in 2004, maybe even longer: the Warcraft world has been around since 1994. With over 12 million users reported in October 2010, and with those users logging an amount of hours of game play that would frighten and intrigue any social scientist, we're beginning to think there is more going on than just a series of never-ending quests, maybe people are there simply to enjoy and take in the scenery of the virtual landscapes and each zone's unique color palette.
So, recommended by one of our members who "especially likes the pastels of "Skywall", as well as the teal and tan of "Thousand Needles""--and supported by many, I suspect, we're exploring the colorful world of the latest expansion, Cataclysm, for inspiration. If you're looking for more, check out where all these screenshots came from, MMO Champion or on WoW wiki.
Post your World of Warcraft inspired palettes, colors and patterns in the comments.
You know, the computer screen just doesn't do any of this work justice, but that's certainly not going to stop me from gushing. And this year there's a number of innovative twists on this old-timey medium which always makes for compelling work. So, here you are, best of the best (at least from my seat) printed pieces of 2010.
This poster is most memorable for it's darling childish hand and classic message. A father & son collaboration, by Studio on Fire and Koen (age 6), the doodles were assembled digitally and letterpressed 14x20" with yellow and gold ink. $30 for sale here.
Brought up here in the COLOURlovers forum, the PersonalDNA site allows you to decode your personality into a color palette. Who wants to make buttons? If we were to all wear our personal color codes just think how quickly we could recognize like minded people. Or maybe some things are better left personal.
PersonalDNA is "an innovative new personality test that combines thorough scientific analysis with novel questions and response techniques. The result is a fun test that provides accurate, detailed feedback. Are you an "attentive thinker"? A "free-wheeling artist"? Find out which one of our 256 personality types matches you, and get details that go beyond those categories, plus suggestions on how to be different—no two results are alike. Then compare your results to your friends' personalities, and see how well you know each other with our psych you/psych me feature."
Find out your color DNA. Are you a____?
(hover over any color to reveal the name)