Whats happening at Fred Showker's Design & Publishing
Center for the month of April?
April: The Color of Spring
Welcome to spring time!
March's discussion topic and prize puzzle was "Spring
Color." DTG readers were challenged with sharing their
ideas and feedback on "COLOR." We have five
winners who took the time to share their insightful and entertaining
comments with you.
Of course you can see the winners in the Creative
Again we top the record for content and some pretty special
First Richard Lynch helps us unravel the question whether
to buy Photoshop
or Photoshop Elements, and then Ani Phyo shares "Seven
Steps to Return on Web Design" from her latest book.
Finally, Photoshop expert Mark Clarkson steps up to help Photoshop
911 show you how to convert a photo to a line drawing!
Big thanks to Richard, Ani and Mark... as well as New Riders,
Peachpit and Sybex books! Give'em a hand folks.
It's a content-packed agenda -- but that's not all...
Those Designing Women are back, as the March theme overflows
into April: Joyce Evans and Bennie Taylor both make appearances
in Web Design Critiques -- helping web designers with no less
than five critiques! Also, Melissa Mason is back, welcoming
us into her Seattle "semiartist" studios.
Photoshop vs. Elements
We simply got tired of answering the frequent question of
Photoshop vs. Photoshop Elements -- it's one of those questions
that refuses to go away. So, there was only one most logical
professional to ask for help - and we're thrilled that Photoshop
expert, author and practitioner Richard Lynch would come to
the rescue. So folks, herein we put the long-run debate
to rest: Which
is best: Photoshop or Elements??
NOTE: There are three more of these nagging FAQs that we'll
be answering in full-scale pictorial tutorials:
1) Eliminating Backgrounds in placed EPS and TIF graphics
2) Layer Masking and Vector Masking (digital graphics best
3) Smoothing a bad complexion (Giving star-quality airbrushed
Photoshop Pixels to Pencil Drawings
Another frequent question we get is how to convert photos
to art of some form or another. Answering a distress call
from a number of Photoshop 911 readers, we harness the "secrets"
of Mark Clarkson, author of "Photoshop Secrets of the
Pros" to use blending modes and adjustment layers to
convert this photo into a nice Colored
Special thanks to Sybex for providing prizes for this month's
winners... and to Cammie who helped with the preparation of
"Pixels to Pencil Drawings" feature this month!
Seven Steps to Return on Web Design
Quite often these days we her the term ROI - which means "return
on investment." One of the important books to come along
in a while for web designers is Ani Phyo's "Return On
Design." Ani is a Web Designer and founder of SmartMonkey
Media and she brings some serious lessons into focus for web
designers. We are proud to present Ani's
Seven Steps to Return On Design.
Photoshop Assemblage Made Easy
Answering lots of calls about putting images together for
montage, collage and assemblage, we thought we would just
knock out this quick tutorial that illustrates some of the
more easy methods of bringing images into a single file. I've
also get a full tutorial on "Layer Masking" almost
ready for May's issue. Until then, you can enjoy these tips
Easy Photo Montage.
Those Designing Women are back...
You read Melissa Mason's article "Designless In Seattle"
last month -- this month let's take look at some of her outstanding
design work with a
little visit to her studio Semiartist portfolio.
There are three more to be launched and hopefully we'll get
those up before the end of the month.
Thanks TurboPhoto for donating prizes of Stock Photography
(Royalty Free) CD-ROMS for this month's prize winners!
Joyce Evans is back with Sweet Deco
Joyce returns to the Web
critique department with some good news and some bad for
the Sweet Deco of Austria web site. As usual, Joyce does a
superb job pin-pointing aspects on various pages of Sweet
Speaking of Web Site Critiques...
Bennie Taylor is back this month with three all new web site
critiques. She offers her usual style of great tips.
First, she tackles a huge online publication for postal workers
called 9th Street Rag.
Next, she then turns her attention to the Doctors' Support
Net. I chime in asking:
"If you were a Doctor in need of counselling, would you
use this site?"
Finally Bennie visits a site that markets K-9 guard dogs and
this time, even supplies an alternate graphic for the Rolling
Meadow Kennels and Canine Training.
Find all of these in the
Design and Review Critique department.
Feature Web Sites for Review:
There are some interesting sites this month, from standard
business sites to a few you might just call bizarre. Please
look for those with specific questions about their sites --
they're the ones we want to help! Give them a look in the
Folks, I was somewhat disappointed this month with both the
site postings and critiques. Bennie and Joyce are carrying
the load, but that still leaves dozens of web crafters who
wanted help but didn't get it. A number of the submissions
I answer personally, but time doesn't allow publishing all
of those. Take a few minutes won't you, and help out a fellow
Mail Bag: Tips, and Cool Finds...
The "mail bag" has become one of the most anticipated
features of the DTG monthly email newsletter -- so many people
list this column as their favorite. So, let's see what's at
the Design Center post office....
Mail: Please Review My Site
We had more than two dozen requests in our 'contact' form
during March asking for comments on web sites. Folks, we won't
look if you don't use the form
That's why Web Design and Review was invented back in 1994.
To get peer reviews of your sites. Take advantage of it.
You can also join the CAFE
where there's lots of help available.
Mail: Which Program for Desktop Publishing?
Lisa from Madison, Florida writes in to ask: "Can you
recommend the best Adobe program(s) for a graphic designer
just starting out creating newsletters, brochures and advertisements.
When I graduated college, I learned PageMaker. There seem
to be many more programs now though.... I'm just looking for
the best. And, can you recommend the best tutorial book to
Lisa, If you own PageMaker and know it, then you will be well
served to stay with it for a while. PageMaker is a totally
(Regardless of what some might say.) I've seen hundreds of
national and international design awards go to projects that
were created in PageMaker. You should have Illustrator. Version
10 or CS would be ideal. If you can pick up a cheap version
of 9, you'll be just as well off. If you can afford it, get
Photoshop, but don't worry if you don't. For $89 you can get
Elements which will do most of what you need anyway. (See
this month's feature article)
and for books...
Mail: ISO Aging Photos
Marg from Australia is in search of:
"I am trying to find a computer program that is used
to age people in photos"
Don't ask. There are none.
Read my full response to this post at Photoshop
Tip: Logos Fonts & Lettering
I was thrilled when Leslie Cabarga gave us a tip to check
out her new book the "Logos
Fonts & Lettering" book. WOW, this is without
a doubt one of THE most exciting books I've seen in some time.
Seriously, I took it to pass around in my Typography class
at JMU and my students went bonkers. Don't wait for the review...
go get it right now!
Letters: Jeff Duz Icons
Jeff from New York, NY wrote in to say:
"I found your site after clicking through links for hours
in a search for a particular item of clip art. Your
description of the hours I spent searching was dead on.
From there, I read more about the Design Center and I'd like
to become part of it."
But then Jeff told us about his thing -- which is making
desktop icons for the Windows platform! Cool. We checked out
his lead and found a whole eye full of visual candy. Jeff
also has some good tutorials and content there so check out:
Special Thanks this month to Babel
Color... Babel Color will be providing full working copies
of Babel Color (Windows and Mac) to our prize winners for
May. They are also contributing a white paper on analyzing
color. Stay tuned.
Mail: Low price computer recommendation
Carlos from Ontario writes:
"I am looking to buy a new computer. I've spent the last
year working at screen printing company where pcs and corel
rule the work environment. In college I always enjoyed and
preferred macs. I don't have a lot of money and buying a pc
would obviously be more affordable, should I invest in a mac
and get my home studio off to a better start, and if so what
should I get. I plan on using a lot of photoshop and illustrator."
Carlos, if you asked that question four years ago I'd have
to say 100% Mac. However, Adobe products are so close between
platforms it's hardly worth an argument these days. But you
might want to check some of the refurb outlets and shop around
for some deals. A friend just bought a dual G4 with
a gig of ram on eBay for around $500, complete. That toasts
any PC deal you can find. You also have some really good Mac
user groups in Ontario, and members get deep discounts
at the Mug store.
Tip: Veenix: Design & Type Tools
Lindsay Rockland from Brooklyn, NY sent us a heads up to check
Group Software's new product "Veenix: Design &
Type Tools" -- we were impressed and you will be too.
Particularly at the low, low price. I've got a pictorial
review in the works but while you wait check'em out.
Got Photoshop Questions? Who do you call?
Last month we opened the doors of Photoshop
911's new blog, and of course it was well received. Traffic
exceeded our predictions, and a lot more people got help than
the month before. It continues to grow, so join in if
National Poetry Month 2004 Poster Designed By Milton Glaser
Each April, the Academy
of American Poets creates and distributes--for free--175,000
copies of the National Poetry Month poster to U.S. schools,
libraries, bookstores, and community centers to help promote
the month-long celebration and to increase poetry awareness.
Wonder why virus gets by the spam filters?
Virus writers are turning to .zip compression files to sneak
their malware past virus filters. Microsoft's Windows XP offers
native support for .zip files, making them easy targets. .zip
files are also important business tools, making it problematic
to filter them. They can also speed up the spread of mass-mailer
worms by shrinking the payload. Some attackers are compressing
gigabytes of data into .zip files, which can crash a machine
when it decompresses the file. No easy technological solution
exist ... beyond education.
Getting Ready for May & Creative Thinking
I wish to thank everyone for participating in this month's
issue, the more creative input we get, the more benefits everyone
will get out of it!
In May our topic will be "CREATIVE BEGINNINGS" where
we'll all share ideas for getting creative inspiration. Don't
forget to share your "creative" thoughts, and register
for the May Prize Giveaways... Think about it first, then
share your thoughts.
Happy April... go forth and be creative
Your lowly editor at DT&G Magazine
Editor / Publisher, DT&G Magazine
Parting words: on the subject of CREATIVITY...
"The uncreative mind can spot the wrong answer, but it
takes a creative mind to spot the wrong question." Anthony
us send you a gift of thanks...
Please become a Friend, Patron or Partner of the Design &
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