Well, 2017 is almost over and what an interesting year it has been. So much has happened. I can't wait to see what exciting things are to come in 2018. Hopefully this is the year I stay on track with my health goals. Wink, wink. Time to set those goals for next year folks. What are you looking forward to in 2018?
Design Life! Whoop! Whoop!
Well it's that time again for designers and digital artists to update their Adobe software to the latest 2018 versions. This year we see some great improvements in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Enough to make any modern artist get excited to learn and play with the new features. I've been exploring some of the new features in Photoshop recently. Adobe added a way to organize your brushes into folders and subfolders which makes it so much easier to find the brush I need. The new Curvature Pen is just amazing. Now you can quickly draw and edit vector paths without leaving Photoshop by directly dragging around the segments instead of the tedious old way of editing bezier handles. Theres even some ease in working with brush strokes where it smoothes them out in real time. No more shaky hands when outlining and fine details. Then theres Illustrator. Where to even start with the amazing new features. Like the Puppet Warp feature. It allows you to modify your vector creations while maintaining the integrity of the original form. Like making a "puppet" look up and then down. That's the best way I can describe it. You'll have to try it out for yourself. Then, something new called SVG Color Fonts which allows us to work with fonts that contain gradients, transparencies and a few others. I haven't tried this feature yet, but it sounds neat. Finally Idesign sees some nice improvements. The general interface has been streamlined to make it easier to work and see your project more clearly. Always helpful to have workflow improvements in this software. There are way too many features to list out in this post so check in with Adobe.com for the latest list of new feature and tutorials. What's your favorite new feature(s)? Let me in the comments. Until next time, Bark! Bark!
Navigating Social Media
Navigating social media can be a daunting task. There are so many options to choose from. It seems like you'd want to use them all to connect with your existing customers and potential new clients. It's FREE everyone says. Well sort of. Yes, it's free to set up an account and make posts. However, reaching new clients and customers with targeted advertisements still requires some marketing dollars spent on the various platforms. It's only free to a certain point and is limited in how large of an audience sees your posts without coughing up some of your budget. Which platform(s) to use depends on your target audience. The age of your customers is a great jumping off point for social media marketing. The three top choices are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Facebook has a much more well rounded age group audience and can be used for most online needs. Twitter is a more mature audience while Instagram tends to attract a younger group. Using age profile is the best way to decide where to spend your social media marketing budget. — Let me know in the comments what you think is the best practice for social media marketing. It's an ever-changing platform so we can all learn new tricks from each other. Until Next time, Bark! Bark!
I decided to take some time off and enjoy the mountains for a few days at the end of March. Part of my time was spent in my new favorite mountain biking location (besides Moab, Utah), Fruita, CO. Just a little west of Grand Junction, CO sits the small town of Fruita. Back a few years ago some of the surrounding areas were developed with mountain bike trails. You can find just about everything you'd ride in Moab right here in Colorado. Slick rock, big step-ups and drops, rock gardens and amazing 360˚views along with a wonderful desert climate. Once in Fruita there are two main locations to ride, the Bookcliffs or Kokopelli's Trail system which goes all the way to Moab in a multi-day adventure. For this trip we stuck to the local Kokopelli's Trail system and had loads smiles both days. I did take one little tumble on day one. Luckily I was wearing my knee pads. We were wiped out by the end of the trip. The local breweries on Main St. are a good way to relax at the end of the day. Don't forget to stop by the local bike shop Over The Edge Sports for expert advice on where to ride when you get into town. For dinner we had a hard time finding any vegetarian/vegan menu items anywhere in the area besides Mexican or Chinese (which is OK, but just not as fun as pub food). Boohoo, O well. I had such an amazing time that I'm already trying to plan another trip out there as soon as possible. Have you ever been to Fruita or the Western Slope of the Rockies in Colorado? let me know in the comments what you're favorite places are in Colorado and the fun to be had. I'm always looking for new and exciting destinations to visit. It's almost peach season in the mountains and I can't wait. Yum. Well until next time... Bark, Bark!
Well it's time for me to do a review of the Wacom Cintiq Companion 2. I've had this gem of a device for about 9 months and really enjoy working on it. Drawing on this tablet is fun and semi-realistic thanks to the etched glass screen giving the pen some texture to drag across. Most tablets like the Surface Pro and iPad Pro have slick glass screens making illustrating feel weird. The pen that came with it is the standard Wacom pen that works on my Intruos Pro as well. The tablet runs Microsoft Windows so I'm able to run the full Adobe Creative Could software and anything else I would run on a desktop machine. Therefore, I'm able to work anywhere I want for several hours at a time without plugging into a power source. There's nothing quite like sitting in the park, enjoying the day and designing at the same time. As with most Wacom tablets, there are some programable buttons along the side which is very useful when I'm drawing in Adobe Photoshop so I don't have to use a keyboard. I purchased the Bluetooth keyboard, but there is a built in digital keyboard that pops up when ever you want to type something out or use keyboard shortcuts. This is very useful for ease of use when I'm sitting at a desk or table. I highly recommend this tablet to anyone who wishes they could work outside or away from their desk. The screen is large enough to see clearly, but small enough so you can actually hold it in your lap. Also, Wacom has recently introduced another full computer tablet called the MobileStudio Pro which comes in a larger 16 inch screen. If you have been thinking about a tablet look no further than Wacom for your needs. Even the Surface Pro PC is no match. The iPad Pro (which doesn't run Adobe Creative Cloud software) is weak in comparison for professional designers. What do you think about tablets? What's your opinion? Let me in the comments. Until next time... Bark, Bark!
Queen City Sound Logo Work
I recently finished some logos for a new recording studio in Denver, CO called Queen City Sound. Awesome guys over there doing great work with vintage analog gear and newer technologies. The collaboration between designer and client made the final outcome something everyone is proud of. A main logo, horizontal space logo and stamp were created. Some iconic silhouetted Denver buildings were used in place of the normal queens crown. Simple shapes were added to symbolize the obvious headphones. Finally the typography has been warped in such a way as to give depth and form a human head and face. A horizontal logo was created for long, skinnier, horizontal spaces. The stamp is for very small spaces and can also be used as an alternative main logo when no typography is desired. Click this post to check out Queen City Sound for more information on what they're up to. When it comes to logos everyone seems to have an opinion on what they should look like and how they should function. I think the most important is to have a simple, obvious and instantly recognizable message. If people have to ask themselves what a particular element in the logo is then it's a fail in my book. Every part needs to have purpose otherwise it hinders the overall message. What do you think? Reply in the comments section below. Until next time, Bark! Bark!
2017 Happy New Year
Happy new year! I hope 2017 turns out to be just as exciting and productive as 2016. I plan to try and get outdoors a lot and also create loads of artwork this year, I want to find more time to go mountain biking, and of course this is the year I get healthier with my eating habits (hopefully). Leave a comment below about what you're looking forward to in 2017? Hopefully more mountain biking... just kidding. Until next time, Bark! Bark!