As somebody who has not used camera RAW extensively, this presentation was kind of an eye opener to the amount of stuff you can do with this format. Camera RAW, while large in size, gives you greater control, greater quality, and more options that shooting just JPEGS. All the data in RAW is loss-less so as opposed to JPEGS you don’t lose data just by saving, and a y changes you make don’t effect the original data.
When you open a RAW file in photoshop it opens a “pre-photoshop” RAW editor that alows you to do all the complex loss-less RAW editing before directly taking the photo into photoshop. This editor has similar options to photoshop proper, but is more specialized for the RAW format and has altered functionality for all the extra data that raw format has. I thought it was really cool that the file it’s self had all these options, and specialized tools that you could use even before photoshop, and really makes the case that even at it’s huge size RAW is really the superior format.
This is however something that I feel I would only use for professional purposes. The file size, as well as the breadth of options is something that is not conductive to my personal photography. As a tool for professional work though, this is the very best of the image formats.
After watching all the widget presentations I ended up adoption a couple of them in to everyday use. It was really interesting as well to see the different programs that my class mates use, and the way it effects their work-flow, so even the programs I ended up not using were pretty interesting.
Cyberduck is a cool, and pretty easy, FTP program. FTP is something I have always been interested in but have always found it kind of confusing. I found Cyberduck a little more forgiving for somebody like me who knows next to nothing about maintaining a FTP server.
For somebody as unorganized as me omnifocus is a GODSEND. I have tried literally dozens of “get organized” programs before but Omnifocus is the first that I have actually stuck with. It’s got a fairly simple interface and the free version has more features than the free version of comparable programs. It’s also pretty nice that I can sync it with a variety of other applications, and my iPod, because that’s pretty much the only way that I can stay on top of things!
Firebug is pretty much an ESSENTIAL foe web testing. It is simply the more powerful free html/css debugger around. The ability to call up the html/css from any site, see the applications, exceptions, padding and any other individual function is great! Not to mention the ability to edit and immediately see the effects of the changes. Firebug is a great addition to any designers web browser, and a tool that I now find invaluable.
There were a couple things I learned about the printers from the presentation. The double sided printing is something that I had been doing manually for a while, and to find out that there was a digital way to do it was a relief! It was also good to find out the tech help serial and the safe way clear paper jams, but the double sided printing function is one thing that I have used A LOT now.
Learning how to use the scanner was, for me, the meat of the presentation. I had cursory knowledge of the scanner, but didn’t really deep knowledge of the the functions and the features of the scanner. For one I had been trying to use the buttons on the scanner for some time, so it was kinda funny to find out that they don’t do anything thanks to the Mac OS. Also the ability to use the illumination to the scanner to scan positives and negatives is something that can come in really useful, especially for scanning thumbnails and photos.
Printing on fabric is a fairly ever present process, even with the field of design moving more and more work is being moved to the computer. T-shirts remain a part of virtually any campaign, and the ability to design for and print on fabric is a still a valuable skill.
Screen printing is something that, even though it can be designed digitally, is mostly done analog on screen presses at mostly specialty studios and workshops. The process is done by passing ink through a screened stencil and onto the fabric below. The image quality is dependent on both the screen used and the fabric used so it’s is especially important when working with screen printing to make sure the lines aren’t too thin or complex. It’s also important to conserve colors when screen printing, as each color will need a separate screen.
There are a lot of things to consider when screening on toa shirt. Firstly the color of the shirt DRASTICALLY alter the colors of the ink, so you need to test ahead of time to see that the effect will be. Also the thread count and martial effect the quality of the print, with higher thread counts being preferable to print onto. Also the size of the shirt, and the position are important to the appearance of this shirt. For best effect you might have to change the positioning for different sizes.
Inks & Images
There are a variety of inks you can use for screening ranging from opaque, to translucent, to puffy. When screen printing you need to be careful of the colors you use and how they are going to effect each other. Printing some colors over a dark fabric might look horrible, and printing translucent colors over light fabric might change the color entirely. Another thing to keep in mind when screening is to use as little ink as you can get away with. Heavy ink application can make a heavy, stiff, and flaky shirt.
Adobe Bridge is something that I have had on my computer forever, and never really knew what it was for until now. Bridge is a great way to organize your files and build a better work flow for other adobe products. Instead of digging through folders and sub files in the finder, Bridge lets you tag items, brows folders, see information, and generally provide a better way to view your working files. You can also launch any of your documents straight out of Bridge which is a great time saver.
The tagging option is one that I am really glad about learning! I can now tag all my images and files to the specific project, or class I need them for and save me A LOT of time when trying to working on projects. Bridge is definatly something I will using a lot more often as our projects ramp up.
We recently learned about the new Pantone color system: Goe. Goe is not replacing the traditional Pantone system, but was developed to be a extensible alternative available if designers need it. There a a bunch of great new features about Goe that made it interesting to me. For one the number system is arranged so that it can be updated and extended easily, as opposed to the original Pantone system that needed increasingly complex numeration. Also nice is the way that the Goe system is arranged by spectrum, making navigating it more intuitive than the original system.
It’s yet to be seen if the new system will catch on with designer and printers, and frankly it’s not looking so good as the original system is heavily ingrained. Regardless I think it’s an interesting system and one that I would like to someday work with, so hopfully it catches on.
Kristi Samuels recently payed us a visit in order to give is a refresher on paper specification, designer/vendor relations, and other important paper topics. The presentation was in many ways, a reiteration of what we learned in Junior year, but at the same time it was great to hear it from a paper professional, and also to be able to feild some questions. She went over several important things that I forgot about, such as paper grain, and why it’s important, and the steps that can be taken to avoid mottling.
Another interesting fact, from my perspective, was the fact that 80% of their stock was white paper. It was kind a good reminder, that designers are a minority in this field and the paper business does not cater exclusively to us. It made me really appreciate even more the variety of papers the companies DO stock for us even more, especially at a time when more and more things are going digital.
One main thing that I got out of the presentation was the importance of a paper vendor. There are simply so many things to consider when working with print that it is defiantly nice to have someone at phones reach who can help. Her experience and knowledge of the specifics is something that I would never be able to fully replace. Before she came in I defiantly though of paper vendors as the “middle man”, but now I have a greater value for the service that they provide and I’m glad there is someone there t do it.
On a side note though, I was kind of sad to see that the field of print is shrinking. Large print pieces are something of a luxury now, and it makes me wonder what the field will be like when I’m in the job market.
While we were in Chicago we had the opportunity to check out the various specialty, and niche, shops as research for our own specialty shop development. I paid special attention to the branding, and “attitude” of the shops as these factors are essential to the strength of a small niche shop.
I started the search at the Nordstrom’s before our group split up to go on our various agency tours.
The Lego Store
The lego store was perfect example of maintain brand consistency in a specialty store. From the floor to the ceiling everything was lego related. The circle elements from the tops of lego blocks, were a frequently used motif in the store which I though was a clever way to bring “lego” elements to the space. In addition to the spacial elements the store also used creative displays to bring the creative, constructive attitude of Lego to the store.
The Cigar Shop
The cigar shop at the Nordstom’s mall was VASTLY different from the lego store, and obviously catered to a different demographic. The first thing that I noticed upon entering was how obviously uncomfortable Trevor was. Everything cigar related was for sale and the aesthetic was one of class and refinement, as opposed to the lego store’s fun and creativity. This store ended up greatly influencing the development of my own specialty shop, as I felt the demographic for cigars and briefcases were very similar. Both of them are symbols of urban masculinity, both indicative of competence, and luxury. This bourgeoisie “honor” was something that I really wanted to represent in my shop.
Here are all the functioning parts of a reply mailer.
Today in class we learned both about the “new” Goe color system, and how to create duotones. This here is a duotone of my good friend Tom made with Goe Natural Black and Goe 103-1-7 U.