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The Uncanny Creativity Blog

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

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.

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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.

 

Monday
Jun202011

How to Edit Out Glare From Glasses Using Photoshop

Picture source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/877183

As you can see in this picture, there is a lot of glare in this boy's glasses. Although it may be tricky, you can remove the glare using Photoshop.

Step One: The Tools

There are a couple of tools that people like to use to remove glare: The clone stamp tool and the healing brush. The shortcut for the clone stamp tool is "S" and the shortcut for the healing brush is "J". For both tools, you need to collect a sample area. Press the ALT key to select a part of the picture that you want to copy over the glare with. Ideally, you want the sample area to be very close to the affected area. That way the same color and texture is being copied over. It's important to take very short strokes and keep selecting new sample areas as you progress.

The clone stamp only fixes the affected area with the source sample. The healing brush takes some of the texture that surrounds the affected area and mixes it with the source sample. That is the only difference between the healing brush and the stone clamp tool. You should experiment with both because not every picture can be cured using the same methods from previous projects.

To effectively remove glare, you want to use these tools in very short strokes and the picture should be zoomed in to work more efficiently.

If an eye was affected by glare, I would copy the other eye to place over the glared eye and touch it up with the healing brush or clone stamp tool. However, both eyes are glare-free, so it is not necessary for me to make copied selections of an eye.

Step Two: The Process

Select the clone stamp tool and make a copied layer of the original. You always want to save your work to protect your project. You want to make the first copied layer to work with. Save the original for reference and backup.

Zoom in until you feel like you have enough canvas to work with. Your canvas should primarily consist of the glare and sample sources you can use to remove the glare. If there is too much glare, you may to select some copies of similar skin textures with the lasso tool to place over the glare. Since there are a lot of sample sources in this picture, I did not need to select copies of skin.

Make sure you zoom out once in a while to see how your work is going. You may need to backtrack and redo some parts. By now, I have used both tools, but I'm primarily sticking with the clone stamp tool. The healing brush is taking texture samples that do not mix well.

Make sure the new skin tone matches other skin tones around it. If it doesn't, the picture won't look authentic. You may want to lower the opacity of the clone stamp tool to help the skin tones blend and match.

Step Three: The Finishing Touches

About midway through it, I made another copied layer. It acted like a "save point." The boy's right eyebrow was the hardest to effectively fix since there was not much sample sources for it.

I used the healing brush for a couple of spots near the frame. For the most part, I just made sure that the skin tones were even.

Removing glare may be a little tricky for beginners, but with enough practice, it is possible. Not every picture can be treated the same way, so it's important to learn different ways to remove glare. One technique I did not use was copying other patches of skin or textures. This can be an effective way to remove glare as well.

Sara Roberts writes for Just Eyewear, a discount eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses online retailer.

Monday
Jun062011

Illustration Ideas Step by Step

Thinking of new ideas for your artwork is certainly tough. Image block when you're on a deadline is tough. It's hard to think of a new, fresh idea with that kind of pressure. Luckily, illustrator Nate Williams was willing to share his secret for tackling the problem on his blog:

"A lot of the time when I create an editorial illustration an idea just pops into my head … but sometimes this does not happen, so I have this little methodology for creating new ideas that has helped me time and time again.

The idea behind this methodology is similar to writing a song. There are only a few musical notes, but by rearranging their order, length and speed you can create an infinite amount of songs."

A methodology for creating new ideas (http://www.n8w.com)