The creativity and productivity podcast helping you be your most creative self.

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TriviaToy is a new trivia ecosystem for Android. Designed and developed by Brian E. Young, the goal is to have a great user interface and fun user generated content. Maybe learn something in the process! Try it out and let me know what your think!

The Uncanny Creativity Blog

Ideas, resources and tips to help you unlock your imagination.

Thursday
Mar082012

Android App Design for Web Developers

Mobile apps are shiny, new and still exciting for users and developers. As it turns out, designers can easily tap into all of this.

Somehow, over the past month or so I've dived fully into Android app development.  I'm a print designer normally. I focus on magazines and occassional collateral. I've done some infographic design which felt like a natural extension of print.  Sure, I was part of the web page club in high school. A few years ago, I knew table based web design. Then I moved to learning css.  This time, I thought I'd study some Javascript.  When I learned that Phonegap could package a website on to Android phones as apps, it seemed like a great way to learn Javascript. Give myself a simple task of making an app and learn from there.

From Google's documentation: "There are essentially two ways to deliver an application on Android: as a client-side application (developed using the Android SDK and installed on user devices as an .apk) or as a web application (developed using web standards and accessed through a web browser—there's nothing to install on user devices)."

Phonegap (Apache Cordova)

Phonegap, soon to be renamed Apache Cordova, is an open-source mobile development framework developed by Adobe Systems. It allows web based development with all of it's visual and technical advantages and disadvantages. It also allows you to access native featurs such as the camera, gps and accelerometer.

In theory, you can develop cross platform apps with a single codebase. "Build your app once with web-standardsBased on HTML5, PhoneGap leverages web technologies developers already know best... HTML and JavaScript. Wrap it with PhoneGap using the free open source framework or PhoneGap build you can get access to native APIs. Deploy to multiple platforms! PhoneGap uses standards-based web technologies to bridge web applications and mobile devices." I haven’t fully tested this, but reports are that the differences in various browsers quickly can come into play.

Be sure to try out one of my trivia apps in the Android Market. Let me know what you think I can improve.

Saturday
Aug062011

Tutorial: Painting from your Imagination

If you're interested in painting at all, you'll love my tutorial on acrylic painting from your imagination at WideCraft.

This tutorial is the first part of a two part tutorial. The first part goes through the basics. The second post will focus on painting from a concept drawing. Let me know if you have questions!

Saturday
Jul022011

Music piracy is stealing, isn't it? (Infographic)

The debate over music piracy has raged on. The metaphor we've been told to believe is that it's theft. That musicians, producers, songwriters and middle men are having their bank accounts drained by online hackers who steal torrential amounts of their data. Maybe that's all true? Take a look at this infographic/illustration and discuss.

Embed this graphic on your site:

Thursday
Jun302011

Let Your Personality Type Choose the Right Design Career For You

Many people look at a group of designers and assume that every designer performs the same job, has the same passions, and will have the same lifestyle. This could not be further from the truth. Graphic design and web design are some of the most wide-open career fields in the job market. There are some jobs that suit some people better than others. If you have earned or are earning a design degree, you should consider what type of personality you have before committing to a job. Here are some jobs that are the best fits for certain people.

Larry the Leader

In every group there are chiefs and there are indians. If you are a chief, you naturally rise to leadership positions and have a knack for directing people. You might fit in well as a creative director. Creative directors are in charge of creative teams that produce artwork for various media and entertainment outlets. They make sure that all team members complete their work on time and at a high level of quality. Directors have the final say on products and services performed by their team. If you would enjoy an administrative position and can handle responsibility, this area of work might be right up your alley.

Tina Technology

For those who feel more comfortable in front of a computer screen than a sketch pad, design jobs requiring technology are growing more rapidly than ever. Web design has become an indisposible part of most companies. Web designers handle the layout, graphics, and continuity of websites. Their work is sometimes seen by thousands of people each day. The latest trend is the use of Flash, a multimedia graphics program from Macromedia. It is used to create interactive and animated websites, and is being used by nearly everyone. So for the designer looking to unleash the computer geek within, there is plenty of demand for designers in the tech industry.

Photo Phil

While some designers enjoy creating their artistic masterpieces from nothing, other prefer finding the beauty in things in the world around them. Photographers take a simple image and turn it into their work of art using equipment such as lights, lenses, and especially their creative vision. As we progress through the digital age, photography is evolving due to technology. Many people make careers as photo editors, especially through the use of Photoshop. Photoshop gurus manipulate photos to add even more  artistic value to them. If you are handy with a camera, you could end up in one of these professions.

Artistic Amy

Some designers are purists and just want to focus on the heart of the matter: the art. Illustrators transform ideas and stories into images that are used in printed materials as well as commercial products, such as greeting cards and stationery. Technical illustrators primarily use digital media to create illustrations. 

Brian the Businessman

There are some people that enjoy being part of large companies with widespread recognition and influence. These corporations need designers, too. Brand identities and logos are the products of graphic designers. These products must be constantly evolving to remain on the cutting edge. If you prefer settling into a single job, especially with a large company, you might fit well into this category.

These are just a few of the jobs that are available to graphic and web designers. Many designers are independent or freelance, so people who enjoy frequent change can find their niche as well. Now you can evaluate yourself and decide which kind of career is right for you.

About the Author

Chris Faires is a writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers helps people determine if an online education is right for them and helps them search for online degrees that can help them reach their goals.

 

Monday
Jun272011

How Yesterday’s Type Has Inspired Todays Styles

In todays modern world the term 'typography' is used very loosly and you could argue that, since the digital age, typogrophy is no longer a specialized occupation. Furthermore, it is performed by anyone who arranges type such as comic book designers, graffiti artists, art directors, clerical workers and graphic designers. There are many instances where the modern typography we use today was inspired by old styles. In this article we will take a look at how yesterdays type has inspired todays styles.

Initial

The large letter that is often seen at the beginning of a chapter or paragraph in printed publications such as novels and newspapers is referred to as the 'Initial'. The name initial comes from the latin initialis which means 'standing at the beginning'.

Going back to the very early history of printing the initial would be added to a manuscript or text by a scribe or minature painter annd not by the typesetter; The typesetters just left the necessary space so the Initial could be added later.

There are several different types of Initial, the first type is the one you will normally see on a computer, sat on the baseline and flush with the left margin. The other type of Initial you might see in html is in the left margin with the text to the right and indented.

The last, and probably the most common, type of initial seen in newspapers, magazines and novels is the drop cap, where it runs several lines deep with the text wrapped around so the left and top margins are all flush.

Old Style Typefaces

Often reffered to as Humanist, the 'old style' typefaces are inspired by the hand lettering of scribes before the modern typefaces we're introduced; The very first old style fonts we're produced in the early 1500's.

The thick to thin transitions that can be seen in the old style typefaces highlights its relation to calligraphy and they look very much like they have been drawn with pen and ink. If you we're to draw a line between the thinnest parts of the character you can see that 'the stress' is always diagonal and the serifs on old style fonts are very angled.

Old style fonts are generally best suited to pages with lots of body text on as they are very easy on the eye and are often found in magazines, newspapers and books. One of the most common used sans-serif old style fonts used in the web today is 'Times New Roman'.

Modern Style Typefaces

The modern style typefacesare often referred to as 'Didone' and despite the name 'modern' it is not a new typeface. Going back to the eighteenth century when new advanced printing methods came to to light and when the paper qualkity drastically improved there we're changes in how typefaces we're created.

Compared to the old style typefaces the Didone have thin and very long horrizontal serifs, the stress is vertical rather than diagonal and the thick and thin transitions syle is much more clear cut and a dramatic difference compared with old style typefaces.

These fonts can be very eye catching when used in large sizes and are not suited to pages with lots of body text due to their thick lines becoming too powerful and the thin parts been nion impossible to see. The modern style fonts are best suited to titles, headings and sub-headings and common ones you will see on the web today are Didot, Onyx and Times Bold.

This article was produced on behalf of PrinterInks - suppliers of printer cartridges, toners and stationary services throughout the UK and Europe.

 

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