Graphic Design News: April 9-22

Here’s a recap of some graphic design news you may have missed:

Navitor Announces Unconference Event

Screen shot 2013-04-25 at 8.02.16 AMWorking without the help of a team can pose some definite challenges. To help “soloprenuers” overcome common obstacles like marketing themselves effectively and pricing for profitability, Navitor, AIGA Minnesota and CoCo Coworking Space have come together to sponsor the Solocamp Unconference for Solopreneurs. The event, which takes place on Saturday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Coco Minneapolis, brings together freelance designers, consultants, writers, developers and other creatives to collaborate with and learn from one another. The unconference will be run by attendees on the fly, and according to the Navitor blog, topics will include:

  • The basics (and not-so basics) of marketing yourself. How and where to tell your story.
  • Using social media to promote your business. Do you really need to tweet? Probably.
  • Online marketing 101.  An overview of what’s possible with SEO, PPC, Re-marketing, Authorship Pages, Video and Conversion Optimization (applicable to yours or your clients’ business).
  • Stop leaving money on the table!  Ideas on how to earn more from your projects and client relationships.
  • Business 101 for freelancers.  Tons of practical advice on incorporation, taxes, banking, insurance, partnerships, positioning, etc.
  • Portfolio sites.  Comparing portfolio platforms, with input from other freelancers.
  • Designer tech.  A review of essential tools.
  • Working alone sucks!  An intro to more collaborative ways of working.

Creative Market Launches New Photoshop Extension

Screen shot 2013-04-25 at 8.01.45 AMThese days, not many designs are perfected without a little Photoshop magic, but when attempting to work with other resources, designers can often end up with a mess of open browser tabs and random zip files. Creative Market understands this dilemma and has created the Creative Market Photoshop Extension to help improve workflow. Now, creatives are able to access the company’s “premium design content” inside Photoshop. It works like this: Download the app and a free panel will be installed right into Photoshop. Whatever content or design tools you downloaded from Creative Market will appear in the panel, which means “no more unzipping downloaded files, manually installing content or restarting Photoshop.” For example, that font you needed for that on-deadline project will be downloaded directly into Photoshop and ready to use right away. Here’s what Creative Market had to say about the extension:

Building our Photoshop extension has been a labor of love for our whole team and we’re really excited to finally share it with you today – but we’re also just getting started. We hope it takes your design workflow to another level, and we’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback in the comments. As always, thanks for your support and happy creating!

Gmund Paper Mill Woos With Three-Part Mailing

Gmund_Cotton_Mailing_0The relationship between paper and letterpress is a delicate one. Gmund Paper Mill puts the love affair on display in a three-part mailing for printing houses, creative agencies and brand-name manufacturers across the globe. In attempts to show off the marriage between Gmund Cotton Paper (aka Ms. Cotton) and letterpress printing (Mr. Letterpress, a remote ancestor of Johannes Gutenberg, we are told), the paper mill created a charming love-at-first-sight story about the couple. The mailing’s three installments go as follows:

Mr. Letterpress experiences his first meeting with the temptingly beautiful Ms. Cotton, whose soft and appealing surface is made from 100% cotton. One soon realizes that one simply must touch Ms. Cotton, so the reader dreamily runs his or her fingertips across hand-painted sketches, which have been reproduced in letterpress printing. The recipients of the second mailing get samples in 110, 300, 600 and 900 g/m², so readers can experiment with letterpress or other printing methods on this soft cottony paper. The liaison between Ms. Cotton and Mr. Letterpress is consummated in third and final mailing, in which printed samples from Armani, Volkswagen and Audi show how impressive this couple can be. Subscription Service Offers Color Trends, Insights And Analysis

image004As an essential component of most successful designs, picking the right color for the right project can be half the battle. Enter, a digital subscription service dedicated to informing creatives about all things color, including “visual inspiration, critical color direction and a global perspective on color from the world’s leading experts.” The array of color-related stories combined with analysis and insights means designers will never make an ill-informed swatch decision, thus avoiding a colorful faux pas when working on the project that can make or break your career. Here’s what Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, had to say:

Color is the single most powerful communication tool, influencing 50–85% of ideas and product purchase decisions. With consumers looking at color more holistically, color has become the catalyst of cross-design thinking and the connector across all areas of design. Offering an affordable digital service like—which will be continually updated with valuable color insights and unique color perspectives across geographies and industries—will enable our users to stay on top of the latest color information and gain the actionable color intelligence they need to make more informed color decisions.

Appleton Coated Helps Designers Go Green

Screen shot 2013-04-25 at 8.47.55 AMSure, most creatives know sustainability is important and strive to be green whenever possible, but asking them to do so at the risk of crafting subpar design work, and the project’s success will likely trump any environmental concerns. With the help of Appleton Coated’s new Utopia Swatchbook, however, designers won’t have to weigh one concern over another. Not only will the guide assist designers in picking the best paper for their projects (photography reproduction work versus high-volume production pieces) but The Utopia GPS – Green Product Selector will also indicate which papers are best for the environment, all things considered. As Ferkó X. Goldinger, Appleton Coated’s marketing manager, puts it:

Combining vivid photography by Patrick Fox and superb printing, our latest swatchbook demonstrates Utopia’s unique attributes, while emphasizing the excellent value and first-class service that comes with every order. Utopia’s complete range of matching text and cover weights, in extra-bright white, blue-white and warm ivory shades, delivers the right solution for every project and budget. It offers reliable, consistent performance and the smoothest, most uniform surface available today. Plus, most grades are manufactured with Green Power renewable energy, and all are acid-free and elemental chlorine-free.

Getty Images’ The Curve Looks At Photo Trends

Screen shot 2013-04-25 at 9.16.36 AMAs with food fads, color trends and the “it” video on YouTube, in-vogue photography can change dramatically over the course of a year. While it may be easy to say that noir photography has had its 15 minutes, Getty Images decided to find out for sure. In the latest issue of The Curve, a collection of “strategy, insights and visual trends,” the company’s explores five key image trends based on the top-selling visual content from the past 12 months. For instance, the first trend is called “Make” and focuses on the handmade trend that is at the forefront of craft sites like Etsy. The article also gives insights into the trend:

Over the past decade the revived Craft Movement has gained momentum, both online on platforms like Etsy and offline in neighborhoods from Brooklyn to London to Berlin. The idea that buying something handmade is better for people and the planet is combining nostalgia and a new appreciation for traditional skills with the profit motives of a digital-age economy. Buying handmade products re-establishes the connection between maker and consumer, which has been lost through global mass-production in consumer culture.

To read about the other four, visit The Curve website.

Love reading about the latest trends? Stay ahead of the curve by signing up for The Trend Report with Patrick McNeil live webinar.

Screen shot 2013-04-25 at 9.27.56 AM