Category Archives: Design

My Top 5 Favorite Graphic Design Books

Inspiration can come from anywhere and at any time, but when I’m starting a new design project I typically look through a bunch of books to get those creative juices flowing. Since I don’t do a lot of graphic design on a regular basis these days I don’t add new design books to my collection very often, but I still have a handful that I really find useful and enjoy from time to time. Here are my top five favorite graphic design books from my bookshelf…

My Top 5 Favorite Graphic Design Books

Graphic Design America Two: The Work Of Many Of The Best And Brightest Design Firms From Across The United States
I’m pretty sure I got this book as a random gift from my parents at some point, and as the title suggests it showcases some incredible works of graphic design. This is definitely one of the books I look through most often when I begin a design project to help me get some initial ideas out on paper. There is usually one small part of a one a design from this book that inspires an idea that I can build off of.

Pantone Guide To Communicating with Color
This is a great book to look through when you start thinking about the type of color pallet you want to use to communicate certain feelings, emotions, or themes through design. It has a ton of great examples to help jump start your imagination and even has specific Pantone swatch numbers on a good handful of color combinations in case you want to copy pallets directly from the book.

Communication Arts Design Annual 45
This is another book that is filled with great designs that help inspire ideas. I used to have a huge pile of Communication Arts magazines, but over the years I ended up throwing them all away except for two or three. After all, you don’t need to look through mounds of magazines in order to get those creative brain waves pumping, you just need a little stimulation.

Print’s Best Logos & Symbols 4: Winning Designs From Print Magazine’s National Competition
This is another inspiration book that is great to look at, specifically when designing a logo. This book helps me to remember to keep the mark simple and to the point by showing examples of some of the most effective branding ever created.

tellmewhy: The First 24 Months of a New York Design Company
I don’t necessarily look through this book often, but I first read it back in college and did a report on it for an art history class. I’m a sucker for success stories, so it was really interesting to read how a graphic design firm (karlssonwilker) started from nothing and became successful. The layout uses what became one of my favorite fonts (FF DIN) and has a lot of really cool elements worked into the design of the book.

My Top 5 Favorite Typefaces

Over the years I studied and practiced graphic design I managed to fall in love with typography and letterforms. In this blog post I’m will share a few of my favorite typefaces and font designers.

Click here to download my favorite fonts for free. (*Mac only.)
(For demonstration purposes only. Please respect the copy write laws of these fonts.)

Here are my top five favorite typefaces in no particular order…

Garamond (Serif)

I use Garamond on my personal business cards, invoices, and letterheads.

Helvetica (Sans Serif)

Helvetica poster via Google Images.

FF DIN (Sans Serif)

I used a slightly altered version of FF DIN on the navigation bar of Terry Adams' Web site.

Mason (Decorative)

Example of Mason via Google Images.

Cézanee (Handwritten)

Example of Cézanee via Google Images.

Other Favorite Typeface Designers

Misprinted Type (Distressed)

I used various Misprinted Type typefaces when designing the 2006 Savage South clothing catalog.

House Industries (Decorative)

I used a House Industries typeface when designing the Ramp Age Ramp Park branding and logo.

Click here to download my favorite fonts for free. (*Mac only.)
(For demonstration purposes only. Please respect the copy write laws of these fonts.)

Check back next week to see a post about my top five favorite graphic design books…

My Favorite BMX Media Gurus – Photographers, Videographers, & Hustlers

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the hustle. I love the business side of BMX and photography just as much as I love riding my bike and shooting photos. When people ask me who my favorite photographers are, or which other BMX photographers inspire me, my answers are often based off much more than the photos the people take or videos they produce.

I’m friends and acquaintances with several dozen BMX photographers, videographers, media gurus, and hustlers from all around the world, and although I enjoy and respect all of their work, a few people really stick out to me for different reasons. Here’s a list (in no particular order) of who I’m into right now and why. Each of these guys is incredibly talented, but I’ll spare you the obvious and simply list a brief description of what makes them a stand out in my mind.

BMX Media Guru

Illustration of BMX media guru by Broc Raiford.

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Your Questions Answered – Topics From My Readers

People email me with random questions about photography, BMX, and other topics on a regular basis so I figured I’d open up a little discussion with my friends and readers here on the blog. A few weeks ago I made a post asking for your questions, and a handful of really good ones came through. From photography, to bike racks, to cars, and back to photography, I answered them all… Thanks for sending them in!

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Terry Adams Web Site Updates

After originally designing and launching professional BMX rider Terry Adams’ Web site in June of 2008, this past weekend I did a big overhaul on it with lots of new updates, additions, and improvements.

One of the main changes was updating the WordPress blog to the latest version, customizing it, and adding in the Facebook and Twitter sidebars. Go check it out, and be sure to add Terry to your social networks!

terryadamsbmx.com

While I’m on the subject of Web design, I also built Terry’s wife a site a few months ago. Vanessa is a model in Southern Louisiana, and the site has already been very successful in landing her some great gigs!

vanessaadamsmodeling.com

If you are new to this blog and haven’t checked out some of my other graphic design work, be sure to visit my portfolio and click scroll it.

An Introduction To My New Blog

As if I didn’t have enough things taking up my time on the Internet these days, I decided to start a personal blog to go along with my Web site…

Why did I do it? And what can you expect? Glad you asked. Read on young grasshopper.

Ridebmx.com is still my full-time job and number one priority. And it is still the place for BMX videos, news, event coverage, and so on. And Facebook and Twitter are still the place for my random thoughts, iPhone photos, and rants of all sorts. And my portfolio site is still the place to see a selection of my work. So this blog is the place where I can share things that I have going on behind the scenes in my working world, and where I can post things to help out other people in their working world.

I get questions emailed to me all the time from people seeking help in the realm of BMX and photography, and I have a huge passion for both of them. I also have a passion for the business behind both BMX and photography. And it just so happens that I even have a passion for helping others and teaching the things I have learned along the way.

I have a lot of ideas brewing up for blog posts that I feel can benefit some people in the area of BMX, photography, (and the business behind both of them), travel, finance, personal growth and development, and more.

The look, layout, and function of the blog is a work in progress, but the groundwork is here, and the first few posts aren’t far behind, so please update your RSS reader with my feed or bookmark this page and check back often to see what I have going on.

Thanks!
-Fat

Greetings from Maasai Mara, Kenya, where I was photographing hippos last week. Photo by Lindsay Matush.