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30 July 1
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RSA Animate – Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

Under - Art, Design, Illustration, Inspiration, Media, Resources

Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce

This is probably one of the best animated illustrated presentations that I came across online recently. Adapted from Dan Pink’s talk at the RSA, illustrates the hidden truths behind what really motivates people at home and in the workplace.

RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) is a registered charity in England and Wales and has been a cradle of enlightenment thinking and a force for social progress for over 250 years.

Our approach is multi-disciplinary, politically independent and combines cutting edge research and policy development with practical action.

We encourage public discourse and critical debate by providing platforms for leading experts to share new ideas on contemporary issues. Our projects generate new models for tackling the social challenges of today and our work is supported by a 27,000 strong Fellowship – achievers and influencers from every field with a real commitment to progressive social change.

View more enlightening presentations here.

Too good to be GOOD!

Under - Design, Illustration, Media, Resources

But, it is. Good.is is a collaboration of individuals, businesses, and nonprofits pushing the world forward. The site is full of quality material and very well manicured.

GOOD’s mission is to provide content, experiences, and utilities to serve this community.

As a person of visuals, one of my favourite sections on the GOOD is Infographics which is full of interesting statistics and information presented in a very illustrative way that even Joe Quimby can understand.

The Largest Bankruptcies in History

The Largest Bankruptcies in History from Good.is

Since 2006 we’ve been making a magazine, videos, and events for people who give a damn.

I hope mine is counted.

31 January Share your
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One cubic foot of life

Under - Geography, Nature, Photography, Resources
One cubic foot of life / Photographer David Liittschwager

One cubic foot of life / Photographer David Liittschwager

With a 12-inch green metal-framed cube, photographer David Liittschwager surveyed biodiversity in land, water, tropical and temperate environments around the globe. This National Geographic commissioned project was then compiled into an interactive photogallery of more than a thousand organisms.

How much life could you find in one cubic foot? That’s a hunk of ecosystem small enough to fit in your lap. To answer the question, photographer David Liittschwager took a green metal frame, a 12-inch cube, to disparate environments—land and water, tropical and temperate. At each locale he set down the cube and started watching, counting, and photographing with the help of his assistant and many biologists. The goal: to represent the creatures that lived in or moved through that space. The team then sorted through their habitat cubes, coaxing out every inhabitant, down to a size of about a millimeter. Accomplishing that took an average of three weeks at each site.

One cubic foot of life / Photographer David Liittschwager

Red shoulder wrasse (Stethojulis bandanesis) / Moorea, French Polynesia / Photographer David Liittschwager

One cubic foot of life / Photographer David Liittschwager

Jewel scarab (Chrysina resplendens) and Jumping spider (Salticidae) / Monteverde, Costa Rica / Photographer David Liittschwager

You can read the full article by Pulitzer Prize winner Edward O. Wilson at National Geographic Magazine.

27 January 9
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20 this and 10 that … 5 best of this and top 100 of that!

Under - Design, Miscellaneous, My Musings, Resources

Sorry, didn’t have anything to write today so I thought of a cliché post title. I don’t know who exactly started this trend but I started noticing it on MSN few years back on their homepage and Yahoo followed soon after. This kind of articles appeared after logging out from email accounts such as Hotmail and Yahoo when you are automatically redirected to MSN or Yahoo homepages with some attention-grabbing top stories.

Those everyday articles used to be interesting, catchy and somewhat spicy. I bet they helped cutting down bounce rate and increased visitor retention on those sites but, the practice of such an approach within online creative community has now gone beyond acceptable. Smashing Magazine could be called trend setter within the creative industry and sort of sole responsible for the influx of such a nonsense that we have to deal with on everyday bases.

Just look at the article/post titles below that I accumulated from just one design resource:

  • 130+ Awesome Photoshop Tutorials
  • 7 Online Form Creation Solutions
  • 14 Great Posts on jQuery Plugins
  • 75+ Top jQuery Plugins to improve Your HTML Forms
  • 22 Stunning Free Download E-Commerce Icon Sets
  • 10 Amazing Avatar movie Photoshop Tutorials
  • 23 sites where to download free icons
  • Top 31 Most Creative and Interesting Movie Websites Designs
  • 20 Amazing Creature Illustrations by Imaginism
  • 35 Amazing Fantasy Art 3D Wallpapers
  • 10 Tips to Create a Motivating Working Environment at Home
  • 10 Beautiful Video Blogging WordPress Themes
  • 50+ Amazing Creatiive & Original Logos
  • 30 Cutting Edge Examples Of CSS Navigation
  • 60 Extremely Creative Movie Posters
  • 50+ Essential Techniques and Tools for Visualizing your Data
  • 40 Mind Blowing Surreal Photo Manipulations
  • 111 Best Online Web Design Tools
  • 27 hilarious stuff you wish, were Photoshopped
  • 27 Outstanding Car HDR Photos
  • 40 best photoshop tutorials for web layouts

Is there any number or combination of mind boggling words left? There were indeed hundreds of such posts/articles on that particular resource but I only picked a few to give an example here. The good thing about Smashing Magazine articles was that they were original, but the SEO orientated minds soon picked up the hidden benefit in such content and the rest is history now.

The type of material seen these days on lots of design/creative resources is meaningless. Although some of such posts provide valuable information (a tiny fraction may be) but most of the time their content is nowhere near to whatever claimed in their titles. Such posts are mostly used as fillers. It is also disrespectful and derogatory to senior designers, artists and creative people when their work is labelled and reviewed under 150 websites with beautiful background or something.

Having such content is supposedly one of the easiest ways to grab user attention and to generate content without much effort – and perhaps earning big plus from SEO point of view. I can generate at least five new articles, or may be more, out of the list above just by shuffling their content but is this what we really want to give to our audience or is this what people really want to see all the time?

9 January Share your
thoughts

Vintage ad browser

Under - Advertising, Inspiration, Media, Resources
Colgate's Shaving Lather - 1914

Colgate's Shaving Lather - 1914

Anyone with interest in vintage ads/imagery (like me) can spend hours on this site. A great resource for a snapshot back in time with over 1000,000 vintage advertisements.

1 November 1
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JPG – all about photography

Under - Art, Inspiration, Literature, Photography, Resources

JPG Magazine

JPG Magazine

JPG Magazine has over 224,000 photographers submitting their work online. The magazine then features best voted pictures in their print version. Interesting concept to keep both worlds happy – isn’t it?

Good to see this magazine back on track after a sad shutdown in January 2009 as it couldn’t sustain itself due to extraordinary economic times (why this always has to happen to good projects!). The team at JPG even put all the past issues online then for free download as the site was also going to be closed with a sad note:

We wish we could have found a way to leave the site running for the benefit of the amazing folks who have made JPG what it is, and we have spent sleepless nights trying to figure something out, all to no avail.

With a comeback by some angle investor after four months in May this year, JPG is simply flourishing.

JPG Magazine

JPG Magazine

JPG Magazine

16 August Share your
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Grids, grids and more grids

Under - Design, My Musings, Resources

A while ago I mentioned Grid Designer for web page layouts that I used as Photoshop overlay. I just discovered two more apps that can do the same with some advance features.

Gridmaker

Developed by Paul Holliday, Gridmaker is a free plugin to create grid layers within Photoshop CS4. Gridmaker offers almost the same functionalities as Grid Designer apart from grid export to CSS. With real-time grid formation (online only) and export to a PNG, this utility is quite handy for web layouts.

Gridmaker by Paul Holliday

Gridmaker by Paul Holliday

In my tests the online version appears to be more flexible as Photoshop plugin simply adds a new layer every time you update grid and render it. The best way to work with this tool is to layout grid online and exports it as PNG to use in Photoshop.

Boks

This visual grid editor based on blueprint CSS appears to be the most advance grid solution yet. Built by Quentin T with Adobe Air, the application has a very simple interface to layout grid with PNG and CSS export. You can in fact create a basic HTML structure in Boks and it generates the script for you.

It handles grid configuration, baseline rhythm pimpin’, CSS (with or without compression) and grid.png export, HTML layout and much more goodie-goodie!

Boks by Quentin T

Boks by Quentin T

FF Seria Arabic

Under - Resources, Typography

FF Seria Arabic

Based on Arabic Nasekh style, Fontshop adds their first Arabic typeface FF Seria Arabic to their ever growing collection of fonts called ‘FontFont’. Designed by Martin Majoor and Pascal Zoghbi, FF Seria Arabic is an improved version of Sada.

The best part is:

FF Seria Arabic supports Arabic, Farsi and Urdu Languages and offers the choice between Arabic hanging figures, Indic figures, Farsi figures and Urdu Figures.

Read the interesting article at the Fontfeed.

Grid Designer

Under - Design, Resources

Grid Designer2

Recently came across this excellent handy tool by Rasmus Schultz to setup grid and generate CSS for web page layouts. I like the fact that you can see the grid taking shape in front of you and its flexibility to maximize web page ‘real estate’ use. I haven’t tried it in any of my projects yet but using a grid screenshot as Photoshop overlay in one of my existing web design projects and finding it quite helpful!

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