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By Von Glitschka | Monday, August 17, 2015

Conquering a Hand-Lettering Challenge—Fearlessly

Embracing_Fear

Over the last three years I’ve branded the local TEDx event here in my hometown of Salem, Oregon. This year’s theme was “Fearless,” which made me think a lot about my own fear of failure in the context of design and creativity.

The logos I had designed for the previous two TEDx Salem events were what I’d call aesthetically “clean” and they were appropriate—but clean just didn’t seem fearless to me.

So I decided to try something I’d never done before and to ignore any fear of failure. I wasn’t sure it would work, but I wouldn’t let fear stop me.

By Anne-Marie Concepción | Thursday, August 13, 2015

Sharing Custom Workspaces in InDesign

sharing custom workspaces in indesign

Custom workspaces are one of the best features in InDesign. But how do you share them?

While workspaces aren’t as easy to share as swatches or styles, it’s really not that hard—once you know the secret location where InDesign stores the workspace files.

And you don’t have to dig through your hard drive to find them.

By Lauren Nilsson | Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Achieving Real Pointillism with the Photoshop Pointillize Filter

Photoshop Pointillize Filter

The Photoshop Pointillize filter is not considered one of its more impressive effects, usually because the results are a disappointing mesh of dots on a flat white background.

But you can achieve a more credible pointillism effect with three passes of the filter using white, black, and grey color swatches and some well-chosen blending modes. While this technique won’t make you an Impressionist master á la George Seurat, it takes just a few minutes to pull off—as Deke shows in this week’s free episode of Deke’s Techniques.

By John Roshell | Friday, August 07, 2015

Create a Font — Out of Your Own Handwriting

handwritingfont00

When people find out I’ve created hundreds of fonts for the comic book and video game industries over the last 20 years, one of the first things they ask is, “Can you make a font of my handwriting?”

The answer is “of course!” But even better, you can create a font out of your handwriting!

It’s actually not too hard to get a basic font up and running using your smartphone camera, Adobe Illustrator, and Glyphs Mini, a low-cost but remarkably powerful little font editing app. You can buy a license for Glyphs mini from the Apple App Store or the Glyphs site for $49, or try it free for 30 days.

Trust me: Typing out words in a font you’ve created is a thrill. So let me show you how to make a handwriting font.

By David Blatner | Thursday, August 06, 2015

Formatting 'Drop Words' in an InDesign Document

2015_08_06_IDSecrets

You may know how to make a drop cap style for one or more characters at the beginning of a paragraph, but here I have a different kind of text treatment: an entire drop word, which is still totally editable.

How did I do it? Well, the truth is “drop words” are not a feature in InDesign, but you can convincingly fake it with a combination of character styles, paragraph styles, and an empty text frame.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, August 04, 2015

An Optical Illusion in Illustrator — with Deke's Techniques

optical illusion in illustrator

Which way is up?!

When you see the orthogonal pattern in this week’s episode of Deke’s Techniques, you might not be able to provide an answer.

Because of an interesting optical effect (a combination of a repeating tile pattern and some clever shading), it appears as if any given row in the design is simultaneously coming toward you and receding away.

By Claudia McCue | Monday, August 03, 2015

PDFs to Go: Reduce PDF Size for Email

2015_08_04_SmallerPDFs

We’ve all been there: You want to attach a PDF to an email, but the file is too large to send—the recipient’s service provider won’t accept it.

You’ve got options, of course. You can use a file transfer service, such as Hightail.com or WeTransfer.com. Acrobat Pro DC offers some tools for reducing file size. And there are third-party utilities that may be able to further reduce the size of a document.

But your best shot is to address the problem when you’re creating the PDF in the first place.

Here are a few ways to make your PDFs smaller from the get-go.

By Anne-Marie Concepción | Thursday, July 30, 2015

Preview InDesign Files with Bridge

2015_07_30_IDS

I often find myself looking through my hard drive for a particular InDesign layout, jumping from folder to folder, and getting totally frustrated.

I may not always be able to recognize the file I want from the name, and I might not remember which version I want without reviewing the layout itself.

Well, Bridge is here to the rescue! Bridge lets you preview InDesign files without opening them.

The trick is to set up InDesign to make sure the previews are set up the way you want.

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