DIRECT MAIL: Fashion Postcard

Asheville Graphic Design Sample

  • Product Photography
  • Graphic Design
  • Printing
  • Distributing

Asheville Graphic Design for Direct Mail Campaign

The postcard design was created for Ab-Lib Asheville clothing store.

The creative graphic design services for this Asheville business began with product photography. The graphic design with completed by Brian Jones.

Having an experienced designer heading this graphic design project made all the difference. The postcard design was distributed to Asheville neighborhoods.

DIRECT MAIL: Postcard

Asheville Graphic Design Samples

Graphic design for the Asheville Public Access grand opening. That was a fun opening party. Here is a sample of one of the postcard invites that I designed for the opening. The postcard design was also redesigned into a large format poster. The poster design was quite awesome (if anyone has a copy of the poster - please forward a photo).

Prior to URTV going on the air, I headed the Branding Design team. And designed the first URTV LOGO: Asheville Wiki. I also headed the Graphic Design and Programming team for the first URTV website (I do miss the URTV flash navigation I created for the website).

Yes, Cat Williams performed opening night - what a gem for Asheville culture.

Asheville Graphic Design Sample - Postcard Invite for the opening of the Asheville Public Access TV Channel

POSTER DESIGN: Learn

Asheville Graphic Design Poster Sample by IrishGuyGary Crossey

Asheville Poster Design Sample

As a graphic designer, creating a poster design is always a fun project. For me each poster is a new graphic design journey. Especially, for the The Journey of Creativity series. Some of my most memorable moments as a graphic designer involve the thrill of unwrapping large format print jobs. One incorrect fold and that high-gloss photography finish will ruin the impact.

Thankfully, most of my early design years were spent in the darkroom, processing photography. Granted, I learnt all my lessons the hard way. Which is why this graphic design theme of “Learn from Failure” holds true to me.

I am always discovering new aspects of graphic design, videography, and interactive design. Most recently I discovered the value of the creative journey. I reflect on the planning process and production. I review the graphic design and typography. And I appreciate and recognize the different skills that come together to create.

The Journey of Creativity – Learn From Failure Poster and Short Video Animation were designed for the Asheville Adobe Digital Creativity class. The graphic design from the poster was used as part of a short video promotion and a mobile ready website prototype.

Asheville Video Editing Project

BLOG: The Power to Create

Asheville Creativity Blog Resource

Motion Graphic on the Power to be Creative

The 21st century presents us with huge challenges. How can we empower people to be active participants in creating a world we want to live in? Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the RSA, offers a vision for the future - a world where every individual has the freedom and opportunity to develop their unique capabilities to the full.

Motion Graphic on the Power to be Creative

ARTICLE: History Web Design

posted in: Design & Tech Blog | 0

1989 - Tim Berners-Lee Proposed the World Wide Web.
1991 - Text based websites.
1993 - Mosaic Browser is launched.
1994 - The W3C is created.
1994 - Amazon arrive.
1995 - Design with Tables.
1995 - JavaScript brings the Pop-up Window.
1996 - Browser War: Microsoft and Netscape.
1996 - Internet Explorer - Uses CSS and tables.
1996 - Flash - in the pan. The unlimitless website design Flash Era.
1996 - Website Design with Dynamic HTML.
1997 - Macromedia release Dreamweaver website application.
1998 - Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) begin to impact website design.
2003 - WordPress arrives and provides user driven content websites - takes a while to catch on.
2007 - Grids and Framework websites.
2010 - Responsive Website Design - why didn't any website developer think of this solution years before?
2010 - Flat graphics are in vogue for website design. Yes, Apple did it first for the iPad. But rather than a new solution, Apple choice to step back to the early years of website design when graphics file size was a concern.

I was 15 when Tim Berners-Lee proposed the internet. A few years later I was knee deep in design websites with code.  I was the graphic designer in 1995 who understood what an impact TABLES would be! I built websites that were balanced with spacer transparent GIF tiles. Those days were web design wonders.

Upon the arrival of CSS in 1996 - I grasped the potential. However, unlike any other website code CSS is easy. Too easy.

In 1996, Website Design and Development was hard stuff.  The learning curve was so short for CSS, that it took programmers years to adapt to using CSS as the design element for controlling the website design.

You have got to recall that 1996 was also the "Flower Power" year of website design. Yes, we had Flash. I WAS A BIG FLASH FAN & MASTER FLASH DEVELOPER. My first Flash website (www.dagnabit.tv) won first prize from WIRED magazine. I loved working with Flash.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Product

product_photography_samples_asheville_irishguy_labradorite

product_photography_samples_asheville_irishguy_labradorite2

Asheville Product Photography

Asheville is such an interesting town. The local Asheville business community represents a wide diversity of product lines. Which often translates into the photography world as having to shot "A ONE OF A KIND".

My rock collection is mostly all one-of-a-mind. Here are a few product photography samples of the brilliant rock surfaces. What amazing colors to get to work with.

Purse Product Photography

Product Photography

Samples by IrishGuy, Gary Crossey.

Working with local Asheville businesses is always a treat. WIth a wide range of downtown Asheville retail stores. There is a big demand for product photography in Asheville.
Here are a few Asheville product photography samples of designer handbags.

BLOG: Color Trends 2015

posted in: Art Journal | 0

Graphic Design Color Trends for 2015

Graphic Design and Website Design Color Trends for 2015.

We begin the winter season with the color trends for 2015 starting to take effect. The inspiration for 2015 is nature. From the earth tones to the blues and grays of the sky. Bright colors take a backseat for deep hues. Orange plays a strong role to balance the blue hues.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Fashion

Asheville Product Photography / Website Design

Product Photography for Print Marketing and Website Design. A successful website requires content. Without the right content, your website design will fail.

For the Jazzy Asheville web design project the right content was elementary. Ladies high-fashion is an exclusive market. The target market is precise. And the customers want access to the limited collection. People do not visit a website for nothing special. Especially true for a high-fashion websites. Thankfully, unlike other website designers in Asheville or beyond, my skills are not limited to coding. With a minor in photography, I am equally skilled behind a camera or keyboard.

Shooting these beautiful garments was incredible. I have never handled fabrics of such fairness and design. Often the pieces were limited to 1 or 2 items. Using models simply was not a practical approach - we did try. While other web designers, graphic designers, SEO specialists, photographers, and media rich digital developers rely on each other to complete a project - my track record as a leading Asheville visual artists and programmer shows I can deliver - DIRECTLY.

Beginning with a detailed SEO plan to direct the development of website content and design. Without the correct content, website fail. Having the correct photography, graphics, infographics, and backend programming are key to your businesses online success. Do not let creating online content hold your business website back. I understand it is a real challenge for businesses (even creative industries) to create their website content.

Downtown Asheville Product Photography and Website Design Project.

BOOK: Cook Book

posted in: Books, Zillion Projects | 0

Graphic Design, Layout, and Publishing. IrishGuyGraphic Design and Programming Asheville are pleased to announce the launch of our Spring 2015 eBook series.

The first book in the series is the easy-to-follow “Crust, Sauce, & Cream” – the fun survival cookbook for nutritionally rich ingredients.

Asheville eBook Publication – Cookbook

CRUST, SAUCE, & CREAM will me available on Amazon Spring 2015. Featuring original food photography by Asheville based photographer Gary Crossey.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Product Shoot

Rock Photography Asheville

Photography for Enter the Earth Asheville, North Carolina.

The clients liked the blue crystal photo so much, that they requested for me to make it into a seasonal greeting card for their customers in Asheville.

I photographed the product items in my Asheville photo studio. Having a studio in Asheville certainly helps with the ever changing mountain light. The photography from this photo shoot was later used in the company website, online and print catalog, direct mailers, and over 30 different print ads.

Product Photography in Action

The product photography for my client was used for a wide range of branding. 

BOOKS: Published

posted in: Books | 0

Books Titles

Deploying media rich content requires a wealth of tools, knowledge, insight, and experience. The books I have wrote for address how to best use digital media software within an adapting environment.

My focus is always on how to develop and deploy online content seamlessly into complex applications. These books help to address the best practices for deploying online content. With highlights on some of the best tools for building our online environment.

Published Art, Tech, and Web Design Books

Web Design Books by Gary Crossey IrishGuy.

Digital Media

  • The difficult digital media problems often have the most basic solutions.

Solutions

  • While the easiest tasks can often be impossible to complete.

A-B Technical Community College, Asheville NC adopted the "Exploring Multimedia for Designers" book into their Digital Media Program. The book was used as the textbook for DME 140 Audio/Video.

Long gone are the days of launching "Notepad" to write some clean crisp code - web developers have a much larger job to do.
Web Developers and Digital Media Artists have to deliver the content they create with the industry tools they have available. Dreamweaver has the tools needed to built any online environment. The three books that I worked on are an introduction to working with Dreamweaver to build websites.

The objective of the books is to development the future of Digital Media by creating perfect solutions that are adaptable for customizable web site installations, online applications and Online Multimedia Players. Keeping ahead of the Digital Media trends requires an understanding of the tools of the industry.

NEWS: Wikipedia Editor

posted in: Writings & News | 0

Wikipedia Editor

Like many people, I use Wikipedia as my starting point for all information.

Over the years I have come to depend on Wikipedia. Often using Wikipedia to help build the foundation for my classes. I use Wikipedia so much I first got involved with editing and updating incorrect information. Which was followed by adding new content and having my photography accepted.

Wikipedia Photography

A photograph say a million words. Having Wikipedia accept my photography is a great horror.

Here are some of the images that are being used by Wikipedia.

Wikipedia Pages

The main page which I monitor for corrections and new content.

Animals
Alpine Goats.
Anglo-Nubian Goats.
Locations
Asheville, North Carolina.
People
Billie Ray Martin.

Wikipedia - Alpine Goat

PHOTOGRAPHY: Eggplant Poster

Seasonal Eggplant product photography and poster design for Soapbox Farm, Asheville.

My list of branding project for Asheville small businesses keep increasing. For Soapbox, the brand was developed as a strong ink-block logo - followed with a collection of vegetable and livestock photography. With hope to launch their new line of package design this year.

Asheville Product Photography

Gary Crossey Photography of Eggplant

WEBSITE DESIGN Interior Design

Asheville Interior Design Firm Website

Working with the Greeson & Fast Interior Design team in Asheville has been an incredible experience. Their design work is exquisite, modern, and forward thinking. Creating their online portfolio was a very natural experience. The website remained active during all stages of the redesign, with a focus on SEO and improved usability.

Greeson & Fast have a clear and efficient communication chain – and have always had a definite vision of what they wanted from their website.

“The website has got to be user-friendly, secure, and easy to navigate.”

WEBSITE: www.greesonandfast.com.

Visit the Greeson & Fast Interior Design firms website. www.greesonandfast.com

Continued

PHOTOGRAPHY: Food Styling

Support your farmers

Leicester Farmers market (Asheville) is a small local market. I got their first website up and active - and provided the website with a series of photos. I am glad, that all these years later - many of my photos are still included on the Leicester Farmers Market website.

For these photos I actually did bake the bread. And, yes those eggs and eggplant were grown on our farm.

ARTWORK: Tree of Life

posted in: Painting, Zillion Projects | 0

Early days of digital art.
Tree of Life - Digital Art: Created by Gary Crossey - 1998.
© 1998.

Tree of Life was created in Adobe Photoshop 5.

I pulled from my experience of painting and working in the darkroom. By creating the entire art piece with just three Photoshop tools. Paint Brush, Dodge, and Burn Tools.

By focusing on tools that I understood (in the real world), I quickly grasped the abilities and limitations of working with digital tools. Since then, I have become a Photoshop Master - with a vast knowledge on all of the tools.

asheville_digital_artwork

GRAPHICS: Newspaper Cover

Ten Years On – Asheville Graphic Design Sample

Everyone in Asheville loves the Mountain Xpress newspaper. Creating the cover of the Asheville Mountain Xpress was a great honor.

The graphic design came from the Asheville production of Alice. The Mountain Xpress is a huge supporter of the local arts and the Asheville community. They featured my graphic design work from the “Rose Garden” scene of the production.

 

Here is the Asheville Mountain Xpress cover, design by Gary Crossey.

TRUE STORY: That is a real big ass bug. That sat on my finger while I photographed him.

GRAPHIC: Poster Design

POSTER DESIGN

Barefoot in the Park

There is always something special about creating a poster. First off, I like when 1000's of them arrive and are eager to be hung.

However, working on a poster for a well known production can be difficult. As you want to create something new, or at least a little different. While still remaining true to the production.

How the images were created

While creating the foot image for the poster, I first went to the studio and photographed feet. After many hours of working with the images that I had shot I started over. The second time I reshoot the images in a flatbed scanner. I wanted the feet to look like they were being pressed on. That the bearfoot was altogether goo. The scanner provided a flatness to the toes - that I after. Made the toes slightly wider and more present.

At the same time I began to scan a collection of dry leafs. In Photoshop, the leafs were layered on top of one another.

Photoshop Magic

You gotta love the tools of Photoshop. I wanted to create something that would pull the type design and the strong graphic of the feet. I wanted the image to soft, almost not seen. The leaf was the creation - painted mostly in Photoshop. The leaf was a really fun image to create.

VIDEO: No Brakes

Billie Ray Martin – No Brakes on my Rollerskates

If you have ever heard DJ iGuy spinning, then you mostly likely heard “No Brakes on my Rollerskates” during the set. The Futon Bann Remix has filled many a dancefloor and has become one of DJ iGuy’s most requested song.

No Brakes on my Rollerskates is available directly from Billie Ray Martin’s Bandcamp webpage.

ARTICLE: What does email tell?

posted in: Design & Tech Blog | 0

Email Messages

IMMERSION is an online project that aims to address four precise areas of our email usage. By generating visual reports on your overall email usage. You are first stuck with self-reflection. Is it really possible that I composed (replied) to that many emails?

For most, it is now difficult to think what life was like prior to email. Two decades of internet usage we have witnessed an incredible increase of users. In December 1995, an estimated 16 million people logged onto the world wide web. In March 2014, 2,973 million people accessed the internet. In 20 years almost half (40.7%) of the world population now access the internet. An estimated 204 million emails are sent every minute.  With 1440 minutes in the a day  (204 milion x 1440) ... you can do the math!

Until recently accessing the web for many was to check email. Email was initially used to connect and correspond with family, friends, and businesses. Social Networking channels have transferred a large part of what was considered base email interaction - the simple chit chat.
The next aspect of Immersion, is the Art of connection. Visually the graphics relate how connected you are to one group compared to another. The graphic will also help visualize the connection between groups.

Privacy is perhaps the third reaction to the visualizations. As awesome as this visualization tool is, it is available to everyone. When Google hand over your email records to the FBI (or other agency). This is what they see. WIthout even opening any of your email, it is now easy to build an entire history of your usage in moments. Having access to one email account may not reveal a huge amount of information. However, having access to a vast number of emails, and cross referencing data reports - well, you can figure out that conclusion.

The next aspect of Immersion, is the Art of connection. Visually the graphics relate how connected you are to one group compared to another. The graphic will also help visualize the connection between groups.

The final aspect of using Immersion is for strategy. From my email data reports it is easy to see where most of your email time is spent. Which clients or family members have the most interactions (demands)? I can't say I was surprised to see which one of my clients emails me to most. What I found to be of most interest. The one client I find the hardest to understand via email, is also the person who emails me the most.

But visually seeing how much, or little we connect may have a profound impact on how you view and react to these relationships.

REVIEW: Web Design That Works

Modern Website Design

Over the past 15+ years, the face of the graphical internet has changed. Often most of these online trends go unnoticed, or at least not talked about (considerably). Unless those changes happen on Facebook, then everyone has something to say.

The changes I am talking about are different than when Facebook make an update. Those changes come from one online business. Online trends come from more than one source. The trend may very well start from one source. When Apple updated the iPad to include more “simpler” icons than before – what followed was an online trend.

Why do online trends have an impact?

Everyone that works with a website has a sense of what is cool, and what is out. In internet years – Flash may be but a distant memory, Today, every business runs directly to WordPress for their online solution. With clean, functional, and user-friendly themes.

In 2014 – the modern website was light on design – has thoughtfully written content. Highlighted with photos or graphics. Forget the bells and whistles – we know they have never worked. Clean layout with precise content is king.

Here are the websites that have that curbside appeal (more sites to be added soon).

  • Studio O+A is a San Francisco-based interior design firm.

VIDEO EDITING: Dolly 9 to 5

The Dolly Parton 9 to 5 video was super fun to make. First off, this is an awesome remix, that always gets a great crowd response.

For the video footage, I pulled interview and live footage from the 9to5 Academy Award performance. With the layered dance moves of John Travolta (Urban Cowboy). And then a little Madonna to keep the groove going.

PRODUCTION: Image Editing

Photoshop Production Work

Working with Brunk Auctions is a pleasure. Brunk Auctions publish a monthly catalog - with 100's of items. My role is simple - I remove photo backgrounds. And, I get to dig deep into the Adobe Photoshop Masking Toolkit.

Photoshop Production Work

Masking tools respond best to a strong edges. Not all edges are defined. Glass has unclear edges that are hard to define.

While it may be true that some masks are easy to make.
It is also true that other masks are difficult to create.

Detailed Photoshop Masking

Detailed masking does require skill, time, and knowledge. Understanding the strengths and limitations of Photoshop masking tools is essential to creating quick, clean, and precise masks.

PUBLICATION: Aid Atlanta

Tri-fold Publication

Tri-folds are an effective newsletter method. Creating the trifold for the Atlanta Aid Non-Profit included a registration form and dotted line to cut. Working within the printer guidelines, I created an easy to print tri-fold.

On the front fold, the reader is provided an overview. With more information provided as the user opens the tri-fold publication.

OUTSIDE

INSIDE

Printed in Black & White on an assortment of rainbow colored paper.

NEWS: Adobe Beta Tester

Adobe invited me to join their beta testing team. I said yes. Got approved. And am now part of the Adobe crew. Yes, that's right. I get access to prerelease apps. Giving me a lovely sneak peek.

What does that mean?
Adobe provide me with future apps to test drive. With access to use new tools. Prior to their release as new apps. With the 24/7 Creative Cloud. Adobe is always working on new tools. And I get my hands on them first.

How does that impact you?
With an inside scope. I will provide app insight. What to expect? And the why. There are strict rules to when I may reveal. Adobe will first launch the app, with demos. I then post my findings. Adobe does not medal with what I publish. Only that I publish after app release.

What does that mean to me?
I get access to the beta software of the future. Insight to what is coming next. Upcoming trends. Which I will share on my blog and classes.

Getting the Design Bug

Back in 1998 I entered my first computer lab. Less than a year later I managed the lab. Yes, I got the Photoshop bug. Followed by Illustrator. Premiere. Poser. Director. Dreamweaver. Painter. AutoCAD. I was there for the launch of InDesign. That was my first three months. I am a fast learner!

Fast forward all those years. Back to now. Media has changed. Back then, they still preferred print. The world wide web was a notion. AOL was trendy. No one dared use their real ID. Now with hand-held devices we have access. Right in our pocket. There is no limit. And everyone has their name and birthday posted on Facebook.

My first call to action.

Test drive the new Adobe video apps. Yes Premiere Pro is now a rocket. Adobe video apps have always had a powerhouse of easy to use tools. Tools that have improved. But mostly, tools that work.

Look for my upcoming blog posts on the New Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects features.

EBOOK – Featured Sections

posted in: Design & Tech Blog | 0

Understanding E-Book Limitations

The idea of creating your own e-book can be exciting. That is until you see your own content in an e-book format. Those design ideas - are for the most part not included in the final hand-held device rendering.

Last week, I spent most of the week reading Cooking Books in e-book formats. During the week I jumped between using the Kindle app on my phone, iPad, MacBook Air, and HP laptop - each device presented a different experience with a changing array of tools.

NOTE TO SELF: Drop caps do not work on the Kindle app.

What you can expect from one device to the other:

  • The device determines the best settings for the content.
  • The reader can select:
    • The Font.
    • The size of the font.
    • How wide to make the columns.
    • How many columns to use.
    • How many words to include on each line.
    • How much space to include in the leading (space between lines)
    • What the background color should be: white, black.
    • And what page margins to use.

A few other end-user considerations:

  • Image wrap rarely works well.
  • Images need descriptive captions as images often load onto the device screen alone and out of context.
  • Aligning images with content is different, as break pages can occur unexpectedly.
  • Kindle does not support Drop Caps.

EBOOK – The Parts

posted in: Design & Tech Blog | 0

The parts of an ebook.

While teaching a recent class on building an ebook it became very clear that few students understood the format. The simple truth is that most of the student were also not reading ebooks to have a working knowledge of the format. While the other remaining student who had experience, their knowledge was based on using one device.

The launch of ebooks have many parallels with the early years of web development and design. When web content was restricted by access limitations. Over the years, the web became somewhat standardized, with CSS3 and HTML5 adaptation. As of now the ebook realm does not have clear standard practices that can interpolated content from server to device without some degree of visual compromise. Yes, the line between content and visual integrity are getting closer - while the interactive elements drag behind. When building an ebook - you have got to visualize how the interactive components of the book will be.

The parts of an Ebook that need to built.

When using Adobe InDesign to create your ebook, each of the following pages and features should be included within your InDesign document. Often creating a Master Pages will help maintain the visual integrity of the publication.

  • Color Front Book Cover - PNG format.
  • Color Back Book Cover - PNG format.
  • Book Blurb.
  • Title Page - and author credit.
  • Table of Contents.
  • Dedications.
  • The Book - With Chapter Titles and Sectional Consideration.
  • Include artwork and illustrations.
  • Index of book (optional).
  • Book Extras - Reader Resources (optional).
  • Author Bio and historical background.
  • Link to Author's Website and Newsletter.
  • Promotional Page - other publications, products, and services.
  • Copyright Information.

The Book Blurb

The book blurb is an essential component to a successful ebook. Without a blurb readers have no idea what your book is about. Your blurb should include enough information to connect with your reader and encourage them to download your publication. A poorly written blurb will result in poor downloads.

The Table of Contents

Ebook readers rely on the Table of Contents to navigate the book. Unlike a printed book that the reader is award about being in the middle of a book, compared to being at the end of a book, or within the first few pages. Knowing your placement in a book is determined by the feedback into your hands and eyes. It is easy for the reader of a printed page to see and feel what page they are (within reason). While the ebook reader has limited visual feedback and no feel feedback to determine their placement in a book. The void created by the reduced feedback from an ebook is at this time dealt with the Table of Contents. Permitting the reader to quickly move between chapters without have to flip one electronic page at a time.

ANIMATION Playing Card Effect

Animation Samples

The playing card animation was commissioned by Tersicorps Theatre of Dance – Asheville.

Alice in Wonderland – Chapter Eight – The Queen Croquet Ground. 

Animation created by Asheville Graphic Designer Gary Crossey

What an exciting part of the Alice and Wonderland story. Alice has arrived to the Rose Garden and is now face-to-face with the mighty Queen. The stage is bathe with my playing card animation. A procession of dancers are flooding the stage – with impressions of my animation on their skin and white outfits. Everything and everyone got covered by the animated playing card wash. The visual effect was outstanding.

Graphic Design by Asheville designer Gary CrosseyFrom the opening beating of the simple single rotating hearts – half white, half red. Before launching into the animated playing card parade. The mirrored tunnel effect added to the chaos of the scene to great effect. The heart design began as the photograph of my red jacket reflecting on the metal door. The door had a diamond design that created a strong silver in one panel, while my bright red coat beamed in the adjoining panel. For me the heart was the central design element for Alice in Wonderland – the scene is rich and heavy. With hundreds of little hearts covering the scene – little hearts that were created with my reflection. While the reflection on the heart is only one half of myself – the mirrored placement of the heart creates the whole reflection.

Video Projection – Animation Wash

Parading Playing Cards

Full stage front-projection washing over entire stage and two rear projectors for added 3D effect.

Off with her head

Undoubtedly the quintessential line from Alice – “Off with her head!”. 

As the chaos of the scene grows the dark playing card animation slowly fade over the stage. The music gets darker – the mood changes. On the stage their are 5 men in a web of white rope. Pulling and turning, twisting their bodies into the same knots as the rope. The more entangled the twisted bodies became the heavier the dark animation painted their skin.

Unlike, the earlier lighter animation of white and red – which created an iridescent illumination. The dark animation achieved the opposite effect. The black of the stage literally absorbed the darkness of the animation. The crimson, dark grays, and blood tones created a sinister tension between the dancer and the entangled ropes.

Rear Projector

Alice in Wonderland – Off with her head!

Animation cycle that covered the back wall of the stage. Unlike the front-projection that flooded the stage. The rear projection was onto the high-density screen. The clarity was incredible. The blood red of the animation reflected and painted the dancers skin.

Design Process – Animation Sequence

With every design the design process begins with the objective. For the The Queen’s Croquet Ground scene from Alice the animation was to serve to functions.

  1. Visual Effect.
  2. Lighting.

The scene relied heavily on flooding the stage with animated content. However, the general problem with washing an entire stage with visuals is that everything is covered the visual. Stage lights also serve to wash out projected content. For the scene – lights were lowered – projection increased. To create an awesome balance of visuals, dance, and audio synchronization. Finding this balance did take quite a few revisions – especially during the installation in the Diana Wortham Theater (which can only be expected).

The Playing Card Animation design process begin with simple sketches of playing card design. Before refining the designs in Adobe Illustrator. During the early design stages of the playing cards – I imported the roughs to After Effects – as I worked on refining the card design in Illustrator, the file would update to my After Effects animation. Most of the final animation effect was created prior to the card design being finished or approved.

Having a strong workflow plan completely helped to make this part of the project a huge success. The placeholder content that I had imported to After Effects was easier to animate and experiment with while the individual components were still so light. No delays from graphic card overload – fast and simple.

Once the final artwork was completed. I simply had to do to After Effects and render the animation. Revisions to the color content in relationship to the saturation of stage wash were done in Illustrator, and footage would be again rendered.

Playing_Cards-[Converted]
PLAY CARD GRAPHIC – Each card was created for the animation.

 

DIRECT MAIL: Trifold

Asheville Trifold Newsletter

Asheville Graphic Design Service
The process of converting large amounts of data into a handy trifold, Is nothing short of tech heaven magic.

Yes there is an art in the graphic design and typesetting to create a monthly newsletter. There is also a mastery for content development and management needed. Along with a solid project workflow.

The project workflow that I created for Charlotte Street Computers greatly reduced the cost and turn around time. Labor time was great reduced. While printing costs were reduced by 85%. Simply by printing the trifold in Black and White, and on an cheaper recycled paper.

The trifold was an important element to the success of the Asheville computer training classes. Students feedback indicated that the trifold was their first go-to for class information.

Irishguy Gary Crossey created trifold for Asheville business Charlotte Street Computers.

Technology Aided Graphic Design

Creating a Google App to extract Google Calendar data to a Spreadsheet was the biggest time saver. The app saved hours of data entry labor - and greatly reduced user error input. Computer Training Classes, and updates were entered directly into Google Calendar.

I then had Google Calendar automatically update all the related material for instructors, support staff, students, graphic design projects, website content, and newsletter content. No more double entering content - or having to email updates to the other team members and students. 

Asheville Graphic Design Samples

Included below are three samples of the monthly trifold newsletter. Each month while the graphic design style remained the same. Fine adjustments to layout and typesetting were made to highlight and organize classes.

 

The Workflow for Creating a TriFold

  • Google Calendar
    • Enter class time, description, location, cost, class files, enrollment instructions. 
    • Embed Public Google Calendar in website - in agenda format.
      • Provides support staff up-to-date class details. 
      • New classes automatically appears on calendar followers. 
        • All students are shown how to (and encouraged) to follow the Public Google Calendar.  
      • Google Calendar events are searchable and can rank. 
  • Google Spreadsheet 
    • Run Google App to extract 30 days of data from Google Calendar. 
    • Sync Google Calendar with Google Spreadsheet. 
    • Sort / Organize data as you need.
  • Adobe Illustrator  
    • Create graphics for Trifold. 
  • Adobe InDesign
    • Import Google Spreadsheet to InDesign. 
      • During import automatically apply InDesign styles to data. 
    • Place graphics. 
    • Sync Adobe InDesign with Google Spreadsheet. 
      • Typo and copy rewrites are added at the spreadsheet or calendar level. NO EDITS are completed in InDesign. 
    • Typeset Adobe InDesign document. 
    • Export to PDF for printer. 

WEBSITE BANNER: PBS Banner

National Ads Created in Asheville

Made In Honduras published in the New York Times and The Washington Post.

If you don believe in online marketing, you might want to track how many clicks these banners got – it was huge!

Using Adobe Flash, I created the Motion Graphics from still photography. Due to the size requirements for Banner ads, I had to reduce these ads to a 27K file size. Creating a banner ad is certainly one skill, having that banner come in under 27 K is quite another skill altogether. Data file reduction is a skill that I excel in.


[kml_flashembed publishmethod=”static” fversion=”8.0.0″ movie=”http://fastfwd.info/ALH_Banner/Doors.swf” width=”500″ height=”500″ targetclass=”flashmovie”] Get Adobe Flash player [/kml_flashembed]

ADVERTISING: Illustration

Drawing Digitally

Digitally Drawing by Gary Crossey. Created on the iPad 2 using Adobe Ideas.

Creating digital art with something other than the 'mouse' sounds ideal. However, after 15 years of learning how to draw with the mouse, I did find working with Adobe Ideas to be slow. It was fun. Somewhat steamless with Adobe Illustrator. For production work I would use Adobe Ideas for outline work. Complete the painting in Adobe Illustrator.

Was an AWESOME App - however, as of Fall 2014 Adobe have disconnected the support of Adobe Ideas.

Asheville Artwork for Print Ad

Print Ad Asheville creatd by Gary Crossey

WEBSITE DESIGN: Mitchell Lonas – Artist

Clean, Fresh Website Design

The work of Mitchell Lonas, Asheville is outstanding. When created the gallery thumbnail layout did serve well to deliver the content (may be due for a wee update). The website was built under the close direction from the artist. It is was very important to Mitchell that his artwork show well. As a web designer it is critical for me to understand my clients aesthetics. Especially when that website showcases the work of an artist, photographer, or designer.

Mitchell first request was that his website should be, "user friendly, and easy to get around." Due the heavy traffic that Mitchell's website recieves since his work was featured in The Twilight Series (2012) and Architectural Digest (2014). As well as being the featured artists for numerous charity events.

Much of Mitchell work ranges within the earth tones. The website color palette is directly influenced from the earth tones that Mitchell used in his work. The darker screen for the viewer greatly reduces the brightness (similar to reading a Kindle in night vision). I found that the details in Mitchell's work showed better with a darker palette - which created an awesome balance between Mitchell's visual aesthetics and my values of usability and utility from the website were met.

While working with my clients it is imperative that we are collaborative. A successful website needs that a driving focus behind it to maintain success.

Visit Website:mitchelllonas.com.

The difference between Browsing and Browsers

posted in: Tutorials | 0

Irish Guy - Links to 20 tips of browser and browsing

Internet Browsing & Internet Browsing

20 Things you should know about browsers and browsing the internet.

  1. What is the Internet?
  2. Cloud Computering
  3. Web Apps
  4. HTML, JavaScripts, CSS and more
  5. HTML5
  6. 3D in the browser
  7. A Browser Madrigal
  8. Plug-Ins
  9. Browser Extensions
  10. Synchronizing the Browser
  11. Browser Cookies
  12. Browser and Privacy
  13. Malware, Phishing, and Security Risks
  14. How modern browsers help protect you from Malware and Phishing
  15. Using Web Address to Stay Safe
  16. IP Addresses and DNS
  17. Validating Identities Online
  18. Evolving to a Faster Web
  19. Open Source and Browsers
  20. Internet Coming Soon…

GRAPHIC: Digital Lines

LINES - Created by Gary Crossey (Irish Guy)

IPad Artwork

Creating artwork on the iPad feels good. After 15 years of becoming a master of drawing with a mouse, I find myself back at the beginning. Drawing was my first desire.

Working within this 10 x 10 grid system - the outer blocks begin with nine strokes within each block, reducing down to one stroke by the center four blocks. The objective was not so much keeping within the lines, but rather how the hand to device was to translate.  I like when the lines extend beyond the blocks. The spacing between the lines, changes. The light to dark, dark to light is easily controlled.

LETTERHEAD: Redline

Modern Letterhead Design

REDLINE wanted to keep their branding simple and clean. While aiming of a modern letterhead design. Bringing the same style to their letterhead the client wanted a letterhead that could serve many functions .

Reducing the cost of printing Letterhead

The graphic design solution I create saved Redline with printing costs. I created a blank letterhead to use in the Redline offices. The address, contact information, or special offices got printed in the office.

To ensure the easy use of the Redline letterhead I created Word Templates that included the important information for each office.

Modern Letterhead Design for Asheville Redline Firm

Know when to keep graphic design clean and simple

The RedLine letterhead was greatly received. I did outsource the letterhead printing. A large amount of consideration to determine which selection would provide the highest quality print job.

WEBSITE BANNER: National Web Site Banner Ad

Asheville Website Design Banner Ad

The sample animation has been converted to an animated gif. The original project was package as a Flash banner ad.

Storyboard your project

The importance of creating a true to form storyboard is the key to keeping any design project on budget. I love making storyboards. I like to arrive to a video shot, or begin an animation - and know that what I am creating has been approved.

People who are new to digital media often underestimate the value of a true storyboard. Those who enter into a motion design project without a storyboard are a bit crazy, or rich. Ah, to have clients who are that rich to waste production time on non-complete design ideas. The storyboard (even in the smallest of projects), outlines the main action of the design piece. From a well developed storyboard a client can gain a clear sense of composition and timing.

Always request a storyboard.

*Special Note: Yes, there are those designers, that take the time to create a storyboard - then go on a creative leap of faith - that's not the person that you want doing your digital media projects.

WEBSITE BANNERS: National Ad – Honduras

Web Site National Banner Ad

Animated banner ads created to publish on New York Times and Washington Post. Believe me, I never saw so much travel before. These banners were not only loaded up millions of times an hour, 1000's of people were click on the follow-through message.

Storyboard for Banner Ad

Motion Graphics take a long time to create. Having a precise storyboard is a great method to visualize the end result prior to starting.

GRAPHIC: Website Graphics

Website Graphics

Four WordPress graphics created for the Charlotte Street Computers website to promotion their array of highly successful WordPress classes. The basic elements from the four target designs were later used to create target marketing messages.

WEBSITE GRAPHIC: For SEO Blog

Google recently made changes to their Authority ranking. Allowing for online tends to position sources as the voice of authority.

SEO Action Plan

Read the blog :"SEO changes you can plan for"

WEBSITE GRAPHICS

Create discount coupon for Charlotte Street Computers (Asheville NC) end of year sale on Computer Training Classes. The campaign involved establishing an online service that could handle the coupon discount.

Discount graphic was placed seamlessly into Charlotte Street Computers (which then had a black background).

WEBSITE & PRINT GRAPHIC – Classes in Asheville

Graphic created for the front of a monthly tri-fold for over 60 classes.

The graphic features the icons from the upcoming classes. The class icons could be swapped out each month.

WEBSITE GRAPHIC – Computer Classes in Asheville

The "Need A Computer Class?" graphic has seen many different version over the years.

How to make marketing material from free clipart. The office clip art came directly from the Adobe Illustrator shape library . The chair  - yes that too came from Adobe Illustrator, only this time the resides in the Symbols library. The Adobe Illustrator Shape & Symbols libraries are great resources for designers to help keep budget low with free clip art.

MOTION GRAPHICS – Dog Walk

Some people say it is difficult to work with animals. I know that anytime a client requests that I work with my animals – I jump on it!

Motion Graphics created by Gary Crossey

Meet Miss Sandy Mush – our Carolina Dog. She is super smart, a real leader and fun to work with.

Photo of Sandy that was used to create the animation

The animation was created as a vector graphic in Adobe Flash (oh we do miss the creativity that we had with Flash, but they are long gone). As are the days of Director.

BOOK: Facebook for Business

posted in: Books, Zillion Projects | 0

Facebook for Business Book

Writing the book Facebook for Business was an essential to the success of my class. I first developed the Facebook for Business class as an online class. Offered directly from my website. I later developed the the class into a six hour presentation, which I taught at Asheville–Buncombe Technical Community College. I later moved the Facebook for Business class to Charlotte Street Computers.

Reducing the Facebook for Business class to 3 hours made the class length more practical for business owners. And adding the Facebook for Business book for future use. The students could access the Facebook for Business book for one year after the class.

For many people this was the first time that they were working with a living document. Given how often Facebook is updated and changes, my book would update too. Providing my students with the most current solutions available.

WEBSITE BANNER: Website Banners Designs

Facebook Banner

CSC Store - Asheville

Facebook profile banner - help your Facebook visitor connect with your social message quickly.

Website Banner

Club Hairspray - Asheville

Used for the business Facebook profile image.

Website Banner

Less Impact - Asheville

Website Banners can be to the point. No stock images here, we even grew the vegetables.

Website Banner Ad

Betterday Productions - Asheville

Banner ad created for the Asheville production of Bent.

DESIGN STUDIO In the Woods

posted in: Zillion Projects | 0

Designing the Tee-House Design Studio begin life as a 3D Google Sketchup plan. I worked with design in 3D for quite some time – fine tuning the design elements. Figuring out how to incorporate transparent walls into the design.

The design concept began while spending time in the woods (located beside my home). And, how during the summer the woods are much cooler. As a graphic designer in Asheville, I create many creative solutions. For an extensive collection of projects. And standing in the woods in the summer of 2012 my creative mind began wondering what it would be like to have my Graphic Design Studio in the woods.

At the time the one thing I did not ask was if the project could be possible. I simply began with the 3D floorplan. And from the 3D floorplan, we had the platform installed. Framework added. Walls, roof, windows, and doors fitted.

Exterior of Design studio.

The Design Studio is taking shape. The roof and walls are in place. The front door and windows both work. The light is amazing – with more than two full transparent walls.

Asheville Design Studio

 

Interior of Design Studio.

Asheville Design Studio

Creativity in the woods.

GRAPHIC: Marketing Series

How to make image text searchable

Example of how to layer searchable text over your website graphic. A great method to keep your graphics up-to-date. While improving your SEO ranking.

Sample of series of marketing graphics created to promote computer classes.

What made this project interesting was how I coded the graphics into the website.

We know that Search Engines do not read text in graphics. Having searchable text is one of the most important elements for any website. I created a practical custom CSS solution. That is visually pleasing to the website visitor, while capturing interest of the search engines.

NOTICE: you can not select the text from the top part of the graphics, but you can select the red notice text. My method makes the graphic content completely optimized for the search engines. Continued

CSS: Retrieves posts from another website

Cross-Pollinate information

With CSS - cross-populate information Many successful website have more than one domain. Often to attract a larger share of the market. A great way to cross pollinate visitors is to share information.

The images shows how a  live feed from one WordPress website to another looks.

I created code that retrieves the feed from another website. To improve the function, I also created a few filters. Continued

Adobe FormsCentral

posted in: Adobe Creative Suite | 0

Why use Adobe FormsCentral?

Does your business need another form solution?

If it were 1995, Adobe would have stolen the show – game, set and match. Today, if you are like me, you already have an Online Cloud Solutions (OCS) integrated into your workflow – and it’s free!  Adobe FormsCentral wants you to pay for their service, roughly $200 a year – in one simple payment (each year).



What should you expect to get for $200?

Anticipate the standard form features; buttons, text boxes and multiple choice, as well as the online collaboration and analytical tools, that we have come to expect. Adobe have the basics covered, plus a few neat surprises like Page Skip Logic that advances users to their next question, depending on their previous  answer, making it easy to generate meaningful data.

Five years from now, we might very well be looking to Adobe for all our online business solutions. Presently however, the technical aspects of Adobe FormsCentral are comparable to most online form solutions. What Adobe does bring to what is typically a dull format, is design.

For our Google Form creators; that wish they could create custom branding, graphics and color options, to engage their audience, you may want to switch over to Adobe FormsCentral as they include all of these design features. For your simple forms, stick with Google Forms. If collecting valuable data is important to your business, you better have an engaging form – that is both user-friendly and attractive.

Adobe FormsCentral subcription includes over 70 easy to customize web forms or survey templates:

  • Registration templates
  • Education templates
  • Survey templates
  • HR templates
  • Marketing templates
  • Membership templates
  • Non-profit templates
  • Application templates
  • Sales templates
  • Feedback templates

Join me at the Asheville Adobe User Group for an Adobe FormsCentral demo, Wednesday March 21st 2012, 4-6pm – Charlotte Street Computers, Asheville .

Please RSVP admin@irishguy.us (sign-up form to follow)

LOGO DESIGN: Asheville E-CycleUs

GRAPHIC DESIGN: Logo Design – Asheville

I loved creating the brand for a green Asheville business . I billed the client two Blueberry bushes. I have since earned interest every year.

I created the three-dimensional logo by building semi-transparent gradients in Adobe Illustrator. The vector gradients seamless blend and create depth to the logo design. The logo design tested up to seven fax copies (in black and white) and still held up. A local artist was commissioned with the logo render (looks good).

Receipt tracker that works

posted in: Tutorials | 1

One ReceiptTax season again, and time to locate, sort and total those business receipts.

With OneReceipt, the task of tracking your receipts just got easier. With your smartphone you can take a photo of your receipt and email it to your private OneReceipt account.

When you are on the road, have your expenses submitted automatically to your team with OneReceipt.

OneReceipt connects with your gmail or yahoo account to track and capture receipt information. Collect totals and payment information to your OneReceipt account.

Special Features

Some of the other great features that are included with OneReceipt that I look forward to using are Monthly spending reports – a simple tool for tracking spending patterns and discover better ways to spend your money.

Need help recalling how much longer you have to return an item? OneReceipt will track that.

Shipping, OneReceipt tracks expected shipping dates – crazy, right!

Installation is easy to do, expect a confirmation email and a few easy steps for connecting with your gmail account. The sync for with your gmail account may take some time.

https://www.onereceipt.com

 

App Review OpenLabel

posted in: Tutorials | 0

Okay to be honest – I give the Scandipity OpenLabel app a 5 Star Rating for having the right objective. “Converts the barcode on every product in the world into a digital label which is open to public comments”

One reviewer on the iTune’s store commented about how OpenLabel would have impacted her mum; if the app were available in 1972. And how no parent can go without having this app. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about saving the world for the children. And, in having resources and apps that will benefit the upcoming children. But, this app is for everyone – of all ages. Sure go ahead and scan for the children. But, while you are at it, scan for yourself and the other adults you provide for.

You will want a SmartPhone or Tablet to download the OpenLabel App. Once downloaded and installed – the OpenLabel will request Login information. OpenLabel are suggesting that you simply log in with your Facebook or Twitter accounts. Or, you can opt out and sign into the service directly.

ACCESS VIA FACEBOOK

I went with logging in via my Facebook account (seems easier). You will have to accept permission for OpenLabel to have access to basic Facebook profile and list of friends (I had to press the accept button twice – before getting a confirmation Facebook page).

Once you are in Facebook, Press OK.

First time around – I had a failed login.

OpenLabel APP REVIEW

Not quite sure what I was expecting to see once I had launched the app. Everything looks quite plain. There is a feed – of all the most common food movement resources, with the ability to follow them. Not quite sure why I would use OpenLabel to follow food resources that I already follow elsewhere (bit disappointed with the “Featured Users To Follow”)

Search for Facebook Friends on OpenLabel

None quite sure why the Search for Facebook Friends on OpenLabel feature is here. First of all, it is VERY slow. Second, what does it matter? Scanning food labels and Facebook connections.

Anyway, after getting bored with the welcome page, I pressed the DONE button in the top right hand corner. First of, the button says DONE. Done with what? I think the OpenLabel app developers already realize the the “Grow Community” interface isn’t working, by saying when you are DONE with this feed – hit DONE. Which results in launching the food labeling scanner app and device camera (not what you might expect from a DONE button). Eggs are done – scanning labels is doing!

Like I said, I love these guys for the objective of the app… I am so willing to see this app develop into what Scandipity hope; a consumer based database of barcoded products.

To make the bar scanner large, you may want to tap the screen of your device. You can either scan the barcode or enter in barcode manually. Tap screen to scan – you might see a FAST red light.

I scanned Andrew & Everett butter. Which resulted in zero recommendations or avoids.

As the end user I have the ability to suggest that I Recommend people use this product or that people should Avoid this product. With an included comment and profile photo (from Facebook). However, as the end user, I don’t actually know anything about the Andrew & Everett butter that I scanned with OpenLabel.

What i do know is. I pay more this the Andrew & Everett butter because the product label says the product is free of antibiotics, animal by-product etc. The point being, I buy this product because I think it may be better than the other butter options – however, I do not know anything about the product, or the company. To include anything, other than I think this product serves my needs (as far as I do not know), seems kind of pointless for an app.

Given that my first product produced only the ability for me to provide a customer review on a product line I know nothing about. I wonder how OpenLabel are going to manage their Wiki format? Are product line companies going to be able to post their own reviews? Is there any type of filtering in place?

Like I said at the start – I love the concept of OpenLabel – not quite sure if the concept has arrived directly to the app yet. They do have a useful newsfeed.

HOWEVER: if this is a sample of OpenLables

User News Feed – then I may delete the app rather quickly. Asheville App Review

 

CLASS iPad for Business

posted in: Classes | 0

Summer Classes

iPad for Business

Not quite sure what role the iPad may have in your business? Let us help you visualize with our overview of the top business iPad apps in action.

Professional Development Class hosted at Charlotte Street Computers, Asheville NC. 

How to create an animated WordPress header with After Effects

OK we know it all started with a dancing hamster 15 years later – Animated GIF’s can actually deliver the CONTENT used to with Flash (SWF) files.

After Effects has included as export to Animated GIF format before – with mostly undesirable results – BUT WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO RENDER TO GIF? During the time of FLASH (animated GIF were stupid cute animated Hamsters) – today with Apple’s forceful resistance to the the Flash platform (for whatever reason) – designers can again get CLEVER with animated GIF’s.

To overcome some of the limitations of rendering animated GIF’s from After Effects, it is a good idea to render your After Effects content as

Photoshop Extended offers more control for creating animated GIF movies. Create your animation in After Effects, render and export to an intermediate format (such as a QuickTime movie), open the movie in Photoshop Extended, and export to animated GIF using Save For Web & Devices.

 

Adobe Muse

posted in: Adobe Creative Suite | 3

Adobe Muse Logo New method for design web sites

Yesterday, Adobe release Muse (code name), and in one step has transformed how we can now build our web sites. Muse generates clean code, that follows all web standards, is easy to work with and loads in every browser or device, like a charm.

Adobe Muse is free until the end of 2011 – be sure to download your copy at Adobe Muse – and let me know what you think.

Transcript from video

Transcript from video may content typos –
I have just installed the new software Muse from Adobe. At the moment you can download a free copy of the software. As I said, I just installed it a few moments ago. If you are used to working with Dreamweaver in the past you are certainly going to find this application different. First of all it’s very clean.

I just love the really easy instructions on what I want to do here. I what to create a new site let’s see what happens.

I haven’t looked at this before so I’m just simply going though this for the first time but I do like that we’ve got page sizes, with heights (you know that’s certainly something new for web design. Prefect, I’m going to do three columns. We’ve also got gutters; it is going to be interesting to see what happens here.

I’m going to go ahead and press OK. So I have my home page setup here.

Well that’s pretty nice; we can go ahead and make a really simple sitemap. As you can see I’m just clicking around. I’m not really sure what I’m doing to be honest but I am just clicking around and seeing  that Adobe Muse is creating a really nice sitemap here for me. I would assume I can just rename the pages.

All I am doing is simply double checking. I am going to make up some general pages that most basic web sites might have.

Now, I’m assuming here that this Master A is kind of probably some type of template that you can work with. Oh there we go; at the bottom of the page, we have the master template. That’s going to provide us with navigational menus on master pages. Set header and footer guides too. Oh that’s pretty cool.

Guys, I think we’re going to love this Adobe Muse software.

Adobe Muse feels very much like InDesign and this is definitely an InDesign 5 feature. You can round these corners off. Really can give them (corners) a really nice treatment unlike before where we could change the corners to round corners you can now control each corner independently. That’s something that we’ve always wanted to do for a long time.

I’m going to make a header something like so I’m going to keep it straight on one side here. I am looking for a filled color. You know what? I can probably just click here? I’ve got my color picker over here that’s kind of cool. You got some swatches here already programmed in. I’m really like that idea able to work with color in the same way you would with InDesign or Illustrator.

We can hyperlink to any page. All of those pages that we set up in the sitemap now already have preset hyperlinks to jump to. So I’m just going to actually adjust this rectangle that I just made there, and I’m going to say that go to the home page.

Held the ALT key here; and for people who don’t understand what that ALT key does in Adobe look at the cursor you see the way it has a double arrow now that’s an automated duplication tool.

As soon as I press ALT on the first square it’s going to go ahead and duplicate that for me. The other thing I’ve noticed here that it’s given me a precise management of the distance between each one of these objects. This is also in InDesign trait that we’ve really got used to and the publishing world. I just love that the ALT shortcut key is showing up here.

Now if my guess is right, we can probably go ahead and reprogram each one of these just pretty quickly. This is going to be something that people really gravitate towards.

Now everything has been distributed, the Master buttons have all been distributed to every one of the pages I’m going to double click on the home button. We’ve got our entire font styles that we are really accustomed to. We’ve got our indent to first line. Indent the whole paragraph. Most of the type setting tools that the majority of type designers are used to working with.

Adobe Muse also has export type as images. So, my entire font is now able to go out as an image.

With the preview mode on we are able to test to see if the buttons are working. As you saw from the earlier example, I didn’t do any type of programming. But, there we are, our buttons are all in place. We can go back to the design mode we can add our text fields directly in Web Site Create with Adobe Muse.

We also have other features. Menus, so we can insert a horizontal menu. Let’s go ahead and do a quick preview to see what type of mess I just made. Now look at that for a menu.

So, if I want to jump to resources, I can quickly do that. That we can just pop that menu in anywhere we like. If you notice, it’s just a simple rollover, a little buggy, but still seems pretty cool.

Again that is jumping from the previous plan that we did in the plan mode before jumping into the design mode. I am just thinking those designers are going to just really enjoyed this.

Let’s go ahead and I’m going to grab a photograph. Okay, so I have a loaded image, and this is something that I’ve seen in InDesign before. That’s pretty nice. Now I’m not sure if Adobe Muse wants me to drag or drop so I’m going to try it first. I dropped the image. Way too big, that’s not going to work. I am simply going to undo, and simply place that image where I want it to be. Well you know what, that seems pretty easy to me. You can also float that image; you can see its giving me a little bit of guidance here.

Also able to add a custom menu, not very pretty but works really well. I am able to go back to the plan area. I can duplicate the master plan. And make a new master plan. The one feature that I really do like here though is placing an image. I’m going to go ahead and do Place image which you’ll notice has the same shortcut as place in InDesign. I’m going grab this photograph of one of our goats in Adobe Muse. I’m bringing in an enormous image that I’m able to click and drag and add to my web site. You can notice here when I make the image larger than the described page size is. The web site goes ahead and extends the page height and adds additional columns in there for me and provides the space that I need to add that image directly into the composition.

I’m going to go back to the home page. I’m going to jump to a deep page from here. Now I’ve got my new layout without buttons to the side. I did use Master 1 to at least setup the header. It’s got the same columns, it’s got the footer, just modified the color. But, you can see the potential here very quickly.

CS5 Unofficial Blog

posted in: Adobe Creative Suite | 0

It might be the Unofficial Adobe CS5 Blog, but they have rounded up some really interesting time saving tips and tech information for us everyday users of Adobe Creative Suite 5 & 5.5.

The Unofficial Adobe CS5 Blog is heavy with follow along video tutorials – and with 22 different categories running from the A of Acrobat to the P of Photoshop there is certainly something there for you, as long as you time a little time to dig around the web site a bit.

WWW.CS5.ORG

Web Design Trends 2011

posted in: Tutorials | 0

What is important for today’s web site?

Today’s web sites are about function. Designers are finally walking away from Adobe Flash and abandoning ActionScript (in whatever reincarnation) and adopting web site systems that render well on all platforms and with any device. The modern web site is functionality with form.

Expect more HTML 5 and advanced CS3 methods for creating compelling web site content and interactive design. But let us not fool ourselves by thinking that the slick designs of a decade ago are on the return, because they are not.

Check out the top ten trends in the article – Web site Trends

Web site Examples

Other Resources

Web Trends 2010 – good comparison article.

CS5 Unofficial Blog

It might be the Unofficial Adobe CS5 Blog, but they have rounded up some really interesting time saving tips and tech information for us everyday users of Adobe Creative Suite 5 & 5.5.

The Unofficial Adobe CS5 Blog is heavy with follow along video tutorials – and with 22 different categories running from the A of Acrobat to the P of Photoshop there is certainly something there for you, as long as you time a little time to dig around the web site a bit.

WWW.CS5.ORG

LOGO DESIGN: The first step of Branding

A logo is not a magic wand. A well-managed brand can do much to create a loyal customer base. However, a logo can not take a bad product and make it good.  A logo can not change how a corporation, group, or organization is run.

A logo can represent a good business repetition. A well-designed logo joined with strong customer support and reliable products – creates a strong logo.

The standard practice of having a business logo got momentum in 1862 when Guinness included the symbol of a harp on its bottle. From this moment forward the concept of creating a household brand was adopted.
With every new brand being differentiated by a visual symbol.

LOGO DESIGN Asheville Dental Care

LOGO DESIGN: Web Design

BRANDING: Asheville

  • Asheville Salon
  • Asheville Dental Care
  • Asheville Holistic Dentist
  • Underground Weaver
  • URTV
  • Redline
  • Soapbox Farm
  • Unilever – Rexona
  • Chromedome’s
  • Exxotic Boa Clothing
  • Explorerpups.com
  • Hands on Health
  • E-CycleUs
  • Asheville Adobe User Group
  • Irish Guy Productions
  • Beach Mountain
  • Less Impact
  • Dog Day News
  • Sweet Carolina Labradoodle

Continued

Make Facebook Useful

posted in: Tutorials | 0

The average Facebook Business page has 4,596 fans, with each fan having an average of 130 friends. With the correct message your business could possibly reach a large pool of new customers.The average Facebook Business page has 4,596 fans, with each fan having an average of 130 friends. With the correct message your business could possibly reach a large pool of new customers.

What makes a business popular online?

GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE

One aspect of business that a small business can often deliver better is honest customer service. Having a Facebook Business page can help improve your customer service. Unlike responding to email or phone inquiries, when you respond to a question on Facebook you are providing information to your collective. You are showing that you are available, reachable and responsive.

Don’t forget to reference your social media answers with links back to more in-depth information on your Business Blog or Website.

Facebook for Business Class

Discover how to best connect to your target market with my one-day fast paced Improved Facebook for Business seminar.

What to say on Facebook?

posted in: Tutorials | 2

Suggests for what a business might say on Facebook

For many businesses setting up their Facebook account is the easy part. What to say next is the challenge.

Social Networking may be a new technology – but connecting with your client is not.

Creating a Facebook Business Page is simply creating an interactive online newsletter. Companies have developed newsletters, catalogues, brochures, fliers and postcards for decades. Facebook Business Page is now your paperless version, which can reach over 500 million Facebook members.

I would suggest that before you start posting photos, adding links and stock piling fans*, first consider the social message that you wish to create. Facebook certainly has some amazing tools for developing your message – as long as you have one to share.

Never forget content is key. Keep the content interesting and valuable – create a complete message and picture beyond posting an online catalog. Give your fans the inside scope. Here are a few suggestions.

BUSINESS NEWS

Use Facebook to report new business news.
• Articles about your company – including Press Releases and news coverage
• Feature Team member profiles and special interests and achievements
• Share your products/services with Facebook Galleries
• Include client related reviews, comments or complaints (and solutions)
• Industry News – be the voice of reason
• New product development/release
• Promotions/Giveaways

PEOPLE

Consider the different people who are a part of your business. Staff members, vendors, clients, target markets and interest groups, all with compiling stories and insights. What can you share about each of these different people that would help to form your Social Message?

  • Certifications
  • Awards
  • Recognitions
  • Special Promotions
  • Associations

EVENTS

Facebook comes with a terrific Events planner and invite service – if used correctly.
First off, do not assume that because you created an event on Facebook and invited everyone and their uncle that anyone will confirm to attend your event. Often, you have to simply get on the phone, email, text message, get on a bike, whatever it takes to get that confirmation.
Beyond the Events feature, there is also the opportunity to share news of events. When posting status updates let your fans know about all the small details.

  • Upcoming Events – meetings, conferences, trade shows, openings, workshops, open house, company picnic – any event that is news worthy
  • Preparation for events – talk about locations, color choices, food selections (gluten free, veggie), guest speakers and presenters, entertainment etc.
  • Other business events that your fans would appreciate – be supportive.

When hosting your own events be sure to have a photographer photographing the event and the guests. Considering establishing a fun photo booth to create new Facebook Profile shots with product placement and business branding – it is a good idea to get permission prior to publishing photos of people on Facebook – which could be as easy as having a clip board with your statement of purpose and signatures of permission.

FACEBOOK PHOTO POLICY -When you do post photo to Facebook “you grant us (Facebook) a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any Intellectual Property content that you post on Facebook. This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it”.

OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION

Your Facebook Business page can be an effective educational tool. Share articles, case studies, Surveys, Time Saving Tips, or How to do’s, New Approaches that would appeal to your Facebook fans.
Permit your company to be a little lighted hearted (at times), your news does not have to be all serious – but do resist posting every funny YouTube video you see (not funny).

WHAT’S NEXT?

Once you have your message together, then consider how to best. share that content on Facebook.
• Simple Status Update.
• Link to Website.
• Video Post.
• Photo or Photo Gallery.
• Blog Post.
• Event Posting.
• Group Discussion.
• Business Email.

Fan vs. Like

* The term Fan was once used to describe a person who selected to follow your Business Page. The term has since been changed to LIKE – I prefer using the term Fan.

Join Gary Crossey for Facebook for Business class

Reasonable NoClone

posted in: Tutorials | 1

Clean up your computer with Irish Guy Computer Tip - NoClone With the arrival of the crocuses and the daffodils comes the beginning of spring and time to shake off those winter time cobwebs and seasonal blues with a spring fever computer clean.

When I clean my computer, there are a number of different areas I wish to impact. First off, I want to make sure that my computer is receiving an adequate air supply. With dogs and cats, you can rest assured that the vents on my computer always have some type of amalgamated animal hair and dense dust balls.

Occasionally, I open the entire tower and “carefully” use a small vacuum cleaner to remove dust from around the fans and off the motherboard; I would not recommend using a vacuum cleaner, unless you really know what you are doing. Be sure to earth the vacuum cleaner and yourself prior to you poking around the inside of your computer, or have the machine professional cleaned in your local computer repair store. The computer will run faster and generate less heat and noise.

The second area I want to clean is the computer data files. I work on many different types of projects that involve working with a large assortment of digital media files. Often I am jumping between different computers that are not networked, which results in files being emailed and transferred with Flash key or CD. Any which way, the result is duplicate digital files.

Spending the time to figure out which files are duplicate files is a daunting task, and quite impossible, unless you have the very convenient tool – NoClone 2010– an easy to use software package that will analyze your computer files and determine which ones are duplicates.  The software can be modified for different search criteria, including duplicate Outlook email messages and comparing folders.

The compare folder feature one that I especially appreciate. I often carry project folders on my Flash Key and for speed reasons I tend to grab the entire project folder and pull it onto the computer desktop to access the files quickly, certainly beyond the USB 2.0 connection that would be obtainable via the Flash Key. This workflow is not ideal as you quickly end up with copies of copies of copies, and that is where NoClone 2010 jumps in to help by first identifying the duplicate files – quickly and effectively.

NoClone 2010 found more than 200 duplicate files
After scanning my music library, NoClone 2010 found over 200 duplicate files that were taking up over a gig of storage space on my hard drive.

To download a free test copy of NoClone 2010 please visit http://noclone.net

 

Windows ReadyBoost

posted in: Tutorials | 0

Increase the speed of your computer by using a ReadyBoost ready Flash Drive.

Not all Flash drives are the same – be sure to check for a Windows label and match your drive to the RAM on your computer. Only one ReadyBoost for each computer.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Product Photography – Shoes

Asheville Product Photography

I do enjoy to work with other small businesses in Asheville. Like the digital media service that I offer to the Asheville market. Many of my Asheville clients have a special product line to offer.

For my clients having a fast turnaround on product photography is essential for the product lines online success. There is no time for high-fashion seasonal items to sit around. Due to the limited selection of these shoes, I choose to photograph the shoes in the store. Reducing the turnaround time to posting the shoes to the Asheville website. Creating a shopping cart that can deal with items that are limited is difficult enough, without dragging on the product photography.

Product Photography

Product Photography in Ashville by Irish Guy; Gary Crossey.

Asheville Photography Usage

Images were used in postcards, web site and print ads, as well as the online store.

Photography Asheville

For this shoe collection - I went to the store to capture the catalog. Even then, some of the shoes were already sold by the time they made the shopping cart.

Adobe InDesign Shortcut Key

posted in: Adobe Creative Suite | 0

Character / Paragraph Formatting Control Panel

It is no secret that using shortcuts keys within Adobe InDesign is essential for a productive workflow. However, after ten years, there are some truly smart shortcut keys that are not clearly listed within Adobe InDesign.

The Adobe toolbars have always included the practical facility to roll over a tool icon to access the name of the tool and the shortcut key, even when those shortcut keys were more than one letter, the shortcut keys are always listed. However, with the arrival of the Creative Suite came the control panel.

The Control Panel is the central control system for accessing the most popular features for your active tool. The control panel is basically the same as access the tool panel from the Windows menu. In most cases, the control panel is a great time saver, with the one exception being the most popular Character / Paragraph formatting control panel within Adobe InDesign.

Roll your mouse over the tool icons and their name will appear, however, none of the shortcuts are included. Being able to toggle between the Character and Paragraph panels without having to click either icon is a great time saver for me.

Adobe InDesign Character and Paragraph Panel Shortcut Key

Shortcut Key: CTRL ATL 7

GRAPHICS: Signage

Enter the Earth – Asheville

Outdoor Signage

Outdoor signage is the graphic design task that separates mice from men. The large Enter the Earth banner was printed on a durable waterproof roll. My objective was to provide my client with signage for his traveling booth. The signage needed to show well, and travel well. I selected a rubber finish that added years to the usage of the signage.

Adobe Connection

posted in: Adobe Creative Suite | 0

Great way to share Adobe project ideas and files, without having to leave your desk. Troubleshoot and talk about your projects in private or as an active group.

If video sample does not load – watch video directly on Adobe

Connection prices are charged by the amount of users you have accessing.

Why update to Dreamweaver CS5

posted in: Adobe Creative Suite | 2

Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 – 4 New Features for CMS Development that you can not do without.

Adobe Dreamweaver CS5

With the release of Dreamweaver CS5, Adobe has addressed many of the difficult aspects of designing and developing for Content Management Systems by including the following four new features:

  1. Live Preview (no browser)
  2. File Relationship (filters)
  3. Live Code
  4. Code Hints (specific)

I do have to omit that I am a big fan of Dreamweaver, since the 1997 release, I have found the software to be easy to use and reliable. Other than a few interface changes, and improvements with software stability and workflow, Dreamweaver has not changed much over the years. While deploying internet content has completely changed.

Many web designers/developers have found their roles disappear as clients move toward popular and dependable user controlled content management systems and Social Network sites.

WordPress, Joomla and Drupal offer solid, steady framework web sites that integrate User Privileges, Social Networking, Blog Posting, Google Webmaster Tools, Shopping Carts, CSS capabilities and successful SEO integration. While Social Networking web sites like Facebook and Twitter provides cost effective communication tools.

Clients can now easily post/share content, create advanced online galleries, upload video and deploy endless amounts of content without any help from a web designer or developer. The only noticeable difference by removing the developer and designer is that the web sites look the same, which is generally clean, uninteresting and dull.

For advanced web developers who already had a familiarity with FTP servers transfers, Local Hosting, CSS, PHP, HTML, JavaScript and function based commands, then using Dreamweaver still remained a strong web development tool within their web developers arsenal.

For the advanced web designer, adapting to CMS Framework web sites was more difficult, if almost impossible.

CMS (Content Management Web sites) are dynamic web sites that populate content during runtime, meaning that web site content is generating in real-time for a particular user or request. Unlike static web sites that present the same content to all users, CMS produce content based on the assigned role for a specific user. For a web site like Amazon identifying and producing relatable content to the user is an essential component to their success. However, beyond deploying independent content, the sidebar, header, footer and pages can be adapted to coincide with user permissions.

The problem that many web designers have had for the past five years, is that the resulting web site is difficult or impossible to see and complex to update in Dreamweaver.

With the release of Adobe Creative Suite – Dreamweaver (CS5) the role of the developer and design is back. With new integrated CMS Framework tools, developers/designers can test and author WordPress, Joomla or Drupal web sites all within the Adobe Dreamweaver environment.  With the Dreamweaver interface now having the ability to view and edit CMS Framework in real time.

Live Preview (no browser)

All users to Dreamweaver will instantly enjoy the new Live Preview feature. No more having to press F12 to view your webpage in an external browser, and no more of those aggravating activate now warning generated by Internet Explorer 8.   With Live Preview you have a real time preview of your web site right in Dreamweaver, with the extra bonus of being able to preview your content via any popular browser.

Live Preview works by creating a private proxy web site on the Adobe server and relayed back to the Dreamweaver interface.  Giving designers and developers a precise picture of how the web site will appear to your site visitors, making Live Preview feature a huge timesaver.

Adobe BrowserLab > Give access to Domain

File Relationship with filters

There are two very useful aspects to File Relationships with Filters. That can possibly reduce hours if not days from their workflow. From first file relationship aspect, gives you the big picture, the filtering ability provides the results to have access to precise functions or tools included deep within your web site.

Understanding how dynamic web site deploys content can be difficult enough to comprehend, but locating the correct line of code that controls the exact function, format or purpose of the content can be the quintessential needle in a haystack.

Forget about spending hours searching PHP, HTML, CSS, XML and JavaScript documents that content thousands of lines of valuable functional code. Dreamweaver CS5 expands on the build-in file relationship feature by including all files used in any capacity in that particular page. With earlier releases of Dreamweaver that included the file relationship tab, active pages no longer have to be include as local files. Dreamweaver will actually scan the server and compile the relationship based on the live active files, rather than the local copy of files residing on the computer hard drive.

One element that I think developers and designers will really appreciate is being able to see how different PHP, CSS and JavaScript documents relate to one another when used to create dynamic content. A basic WordPress page might use many different elements that share hundreds of live file relationships, making the active live File Relationship panel a little overwhelming. Dreamweaver developers have considered how vast source files can become and have included a clever filter feature. Making it easy and quick for developer or designer to access and edit any aspects of a web site.

Having the filter gives you the ability to search the web site for a particular feature; Header, footer, sidebar or DIV tag – and only show file relate files that include the particular element included for the search.

LiveView

The LiveView is doing to dynamic web site, what Dreamweaver did ten years ago for static web pages. LiveView provides the developer/designer the ability to browse throughout the web site without leaving Dreamweaver. All of the web site functions are active in the preview – however, the big difference is now any component is editable within Dreamweaver, and fast to access. Simply click the item you need to alter and the corresponding line of code that controls the item will be presented and editable.

For the ultimate experience, combine LiveView with Live Preview.

Code Hints (specific)

New Code Hints Specific is that missing tool for CMS developers.

Writing code in Notepad is not a productive method for generating code. To be a productive web developer or designer it is important to become accustomed with viewing, editing and publishing code within the Dreamweaver environment.

Dreamweaver Code Hints is a fast method for writing clean, good and functional code. Dreamweaver has included code hint as a feature as far back as I recall. Early versions of Dreamweaver had code bloating problems that was later resolved to create a coding platform that produces web standard clean precise code. That is color coded and formatted for easy proofing and trouble shooting.

Building content and writing code of a content management system is different for each platform. For many developers it is easier to select one platform and only develop for that CMS. Dreamweaver is breaking that habit, by giving developers / programmers the ability to write CMS specific code based on the particular CMS updated, with Code Hints relating only to that one specific CMS.

Top Menu Bar: Site > Site-Specific Code Hints

Currently Dreamweaver has build in presets for Joomla, Drupal and WordPress and any Custom Framework or custom set of class that are used on any dynamitic web site.  The best part about the Code Hint feature is when used on a custom web site (not one of the top three), Dreamweaver will actually scan the entire server, locating all the web site functions, variables, CSS, HTML and PHP creating a code hint based upon those source files.  Now you can certainly brag about that Dreamweaver tool.

Other Dreamweaver and WordPress Resources

Adobe Blog – http://cs5.org/?p=1373

Article written by Irish Guy – Gary Crossey

WEBSITE DESIGN National Brand

Rexona Crystal Brand Website Design

International Logo Design Getting to refine to the Unilever International Management Training Website was an excellent project of coding tricky.

The Rexona Crystal Training Website is a stellar example of ActionScript showmanship at it’s finest.  Inspired by Superman, and his Crystal home. The website was not built for the public – but rather was a special training tool – most used accessed the data via a DVD and private online network. Given the controlled environment for deployment – we were able to deliver media rich content to the viewers in a way that a conventional could not be trusted to do.

While it is not possible to share the website content – it is fair to say that much of the content was solid information of compounding data. Creating a visual environment that could transfer the data-heavy content into an engaging training opportunity.

Web Design Asheville IrishGuy Graphics

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