Tag Archives: Favorite

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 Best iPhone Photo Apps – 10 Images From Downtown Long Beach

While pedaling around Downtown Long Beach on my bike today I pulled out my iPhone 4 to try out a few new photo apps I recently downloaded. Then I got the idea to make a quick series of photos using the different apps… So the following 10 images were all created and edited with different apps on the Apple iPhone 4 within a span of about an hour and a half on the evening of January 18, 2011. Enjoy!

* Images have been scaled down in Photoshop on my computer to upload easier. The Hipstamatic images were accidentally shot using the “low quality” setting. Woops!

Here are the the different iPhone 4 photography apps I use…

Camera – The stock camera on iPhone 4 is really good, and I still use it most often for taking snapshots with the phone.

Hipstamatic – This app is super popular and is kind of a cheater’s way of making a cool image. But I don’t care, call me a cheater… A cool image is a cool image in my book. My favorite lens and film combo is the John S lens with Kodot XGrizzled film.

AutoStitch Panorama – Overall I am really impressed with the AutoStitch app. It makes great panoramic images, but since you have to take several individual photos and “stitch” them together, it doesn’t always produce the results I hope for. I think I’m starting to like 360 Pano a bit better now that I’ve used it more. However, because AutoStitch uses individual photos, the end result is sharper than 360 Pano, so I feel like I have to choose which app to use based off the intended usage of the photo. The cropping tool works great, too.

Pro HDR – This is probably my favorite photo app so far…well worth the $1.99 price tag. It has plenty of manual controls to tweak your photo, and it is super easy to use. I’ve been extremely impressed with the quality of the images it produces and I don’t feel like any other apps give me the the flexibility that this one does. I would recommend this app to everyone that owns an iPhone 4.

– This is a pretty rad app that has really cool results. Some people may love the look, and others may hate it, but I’m into it. However, I haven’t paid for the high-resolution (and ad-free) upgrade, so my image quality hovers around 640 x 479 pixels, which is really small compared to what iPhone 4 is capable of cranking out.

Camera+ – Am I missing something here? Besides being able to set a self timer, I haven’t found a time when this app comes in handy. I never use it.

360 Panorama – With this app you simply wave your phone through the air (slowly and smoothly) for the app to capture what’s in front of it and build a panoramic photo out of the scene. The image is created seamlessly, so there aren’t ever any vertical lines showing where multiple images have been stitched together, but the cropping tool is difficult to use, and the image quality isn’t as sharp as I’d like it to be.

TiltShiftGen – Creating a tilt-shift effect is pretty cool, but even though this app is easy to use and produces good results, I’m either just not a fan of the tilt-shift look, or I simply haven’t found many instances where it is effective. This one is almost more of a novelty app to me as opposed to something with a great function.

iTimeLapse – This app is more for the video side of things, and I haven’t used it enough to figure out if I like it or not.

PS Express – I only keep this app around for basic photo editing—rotating images or adjusting the contrast, saturation, or exposure. It gets the job done.

CameraBag – This app has a bunch of different types of photo filters built in, but I don’t like any of them very much so I rarely use the app.

8mm Vintage Camera – This is another video app, so I won’t go into details here, and although I love this one for Twitter videos, I have never tried it out in any other outlets.