2. December, 2012|Tips and Advise, Uncategorized|No comments
Hey okay then, I’m going to hit you all with a quick but vital guide on some basic point when using text in any project including word processing.
Lets start with size, I never go below 6pt unless its for a reference code, smaller than this is not readable to the average person. For general body text I like to keep it between 9pt and 11pt and do not use display fonts for body text (you know those fancy fonts that look great when used in a nice big heading).
For Headings I use 24pt upwards and as a rule I like to keep headings on two lines and no more, some will disagree but I’m stubborn and you wont change my mind.
Now then, lets look at spacing. Leading is up first, this is the space between each line of text and I like to use 2pts above the font size eg. font is 12pt then I will use leading at 14pt. Once I strat getting to headings I reduce the leading to 0pt or sometimes I will go below. Hey it depends on the font size and typeface I am using. You just have to use you own judgement on this.
Hey next up is Tracking, this is the space between each character. I stick to this rule dont go below -40 and dont go over 40+, but hey I’m talking in InDesign now I’m afraid I havent used Quark in some time and I have forgotten the units and values, hey if anyone out there knows please comment.
Keep your eyes peeled for the next part of this series.
2. December, 2012|Blog Page, Create a design studio on a budget, Uncategorized|No comments
Okay we have done the fun stuff, but I’m afraid it now on to my least favourite subject “Coding”. Not everyone shares my distaste of coding and I admit sometimes I get some satisfaction when I have spent all night on a script and gone through countless test and revisions before finally it works and the results could be deemed very clever indeed. But until but prior to that moment of completion I find coding incredibly painful and at times quite stressful, especially when working with tight deadlines.
Since I first started with web development, I have used dreamweaver from the days of Macromedia to it move over to Adobe. Okay so its got lots of functions and time saving features, but I must admit I never use any of it but the text editor I dont think I have ever used the live view (wysiwyg) view in the 4 years my last recollection of using it was very inaccurate and a wast of time switching between the two.
Speaking to over web developers over the years (windows users), they have a great distaste for Dreamweaver and seem to use the windows standard text editor or notepad. I would agree with them these days and I tend to use the basic open source text editors with code hinting.
My favourite text editor has to be Blue Fish which available for all platforms, this is a simple text edit with lots of added functions. It has editable code hinting, it has lot of shortcuts and my favourite is the tag highlight. Tag highlighting means you click on the opening or closing tag and it will find the corresponding tag and highlight it. Of course there are a lot of other features, but Im not going to list them all, I will it up to you to download have a play and I guarantee you will use this as a standard, rather than that pricey piece of software that really isn’t necessary .
Happy coding to you all. Look forward to my next post… FTP clients.
1. December, 2012|Tips and Advise, Uncategorized|No comments
Welcome one and all to this the first post on the Tips and Advise section. To kick things off I am going to start with my favourite subject “Image Enhancement and Manipulation” and for this first instalment we will start from the beginning and discuss Image resolutions.
Please forgive me if I seem to be stating the obvious, but I am writing this post for all levels of designers. So I am assuming that not everyone knows about screen and print resolutions. Here are the options that I have used over the years, please comment if you use different set ups:-
Screen – Website = 72 dpi (Dots per inch) This is a lo resolution that keeps the image size to a minimum, so downloads quickly when used in a website and still looks good on the screen.
Screen – Presentation = 96 dpi, Lets up the resolution for on screen presentations, the image looks great on the screen at this resolution and we dont have to worry about image file size, as in most cases presentations our loaded from a local source and not over an internet connection.
Print – Newspaper Greyscale = 180 dpi, Okay so we are now going into print resolutions, so we need to increase the dots per inch. I have always used a slightly lower res for greyscale that of colour images. As newspaper has a very course screen we do not need to worry about the quality of the image being as high as a glossy magazine.
Print – Newspaper Colour = 200 dpi ,we have slightly bumped up the resolution for colour images.
Print – Glossy Magazine = 300 dpi, as you would espect glossy magazines have a very fine screen and require a far greater resoltion.
Print – Line art (Camera Ready Artwork) = 800dpi, I don’t know if anyone out there still uses camera ready artwork, but back in the day before email, clients would send in there artwork on fine print or on film. This artwork would then be scanned in. The resolution would need to be very high as the text and logos would need to be as crisp as they would be if they were vector.
I hope this quick guide helps people out there, I think people need to be aware of resolutions before they start any project. Maybe as a beginner you have working a a document for a long time and it looks great on the screen, but then you come to print it out you find that your image resolutions have been to low and all of your photos and graphics have come out pixelated and blurry. This guide should help you overcome any issues like that.
Thank you and good luck
1. December, 2012|Blog Page, Create a design studio on a budget, Uncategorized|No comments
Ok so we now our starting to download our open source software, lets get some image editing software. We want a good solid software package for enhancing our photos and we want to be creating our own graphics. There are loads of open source packages out there for Image Editing, but we want something thats powerful and easy to use.
Gimp offers everything and more in terms of Image Editing and you will see has been heavily influenced by photoshop. It has lots of filters, graphic styles and photo enhancement tools.
Seriously I have been using Photoshop since the start of my career, when I worked for my local newspaper publisher as an digital image operator, I worked in a dark room with my Macintosh Quadra an image grabber, an Agfa scanner and a copy of Photoshop 2.5 (Im talking pre Creative Suite days). I loved working with photoshop I would spend my free time creating artwork and manipulating images. You would imagine it would be difficult to move over to another application after using something for such a long time, but I quickly got to grips with the User Interface and a lot of the tools are in the same place with the same quick keys.
As I like to to put theory into practise, This website will be maintained using the tools that I have been talking about. So the next tool we will be looking at will be a Text Editor for our Website coding. So look fort blog that will look at open source text editors for Linux, my favourite being Blue Fish.
30. November, 2012|Blog Page, Create a design studio on a budget|No comments
Now we have a desktop PC with a working Operating System we can now start downloading applications. Our first application is the open source drawing package called Inkscape. I have been using this application some time as a replacement for Adobe Illustrator. You will find the same drawing tools and features found in Illustrator, you just have to look for them.
The package can also save files in an Illustrator compatible format, so you can edit the drawings later in Illustrator.
The Application can be downloaded from the Ubuntu Software store or downloaded from the following website:-
29. November, 2012|Blog Page, Create a design studio on a budget|No comments
Hello again and welcome to the 2nd part of the blog series ‘A Design Studio on a budget’, in this follow up post we are going to take a look at Ubuntu the free linux operating system.
Now that we have our custom built desktop PC, we want to install an operating system. As we are on a budget we are going to use a well support open source Operating System called Ubuntu. The system offers a huge amount of functionality that in my opinion rivals that of Apple and Microsoft.
The system is very simple to use and has a clean and elegant style. It comes with lots of preinstalled programs to get you started Music Box; thunder bird (email client); Firefox; ubuntu store; and lots more. It can also be personalised by adding wallpapers and themes. A great added feature is Ubuntu One, this is a cloud based service which you can upload your files to synchronise between your devices, if I remember correctly it comes with 5gb standard.
To install the operating system you can download the image file from http://www.ubuntu.com/, you can then follow the instructions on the site to complete the installation.
Now you have an operating system you are ready to install some open source software to start your design work.
29. November, 2012|Blog Page, Create a design studio on a budget|No comments
As you may have noticed my website has been completely redesign, and to kick things off I will be writing a series of posts to help my fellow designers set up a studio on a budget. The studio will include hardware and software from custom built desktop PC’s to the latest in open source software.
So lets begin with Hardware
Like most graphic designers, I have fairly well spec’d studio which consists of Apple hardware and Adobe software. This aside I have been building custom PC’s for several years now and have done some dabbling in linux based operating systems. I have often given advise to friends and colleagues whom want to create their own web site or printed documents but dont have the money to spend on high end Apple products and expensive software which they will not be utilising. So to be begin with we start with hardware, instead of forking out money for a brand new Apple Mac we are going to build a custom PC that is tailored to meet out our requirements.
Where to start
First we need to spec our machine, what functions will we be carrying out on the PC: Gaming; Design; Word Processing; Coding or maybe 3d modelling. To keep in line with the post series, we are going to spec for a PC that can run the latest open source software needed for Graphic Design and Website development.
To keep things cheap I am going to use a second hand motherboard with intel dou core chip already installed, I have pick this up from ebay for £40 and includes 2gb of ram and the bios installed.
Next I will need a nice desktop case, I have purchased an micro ATX case from ebay for £40 and it includes a 500w Power Supply and fans.
We are now ready to install an hard drive, I have picked up a 250gb SATA drive for £30, you will need to check your motherboard to see if it will fit SATA if not then SAS then look for a standar IDE connected hard drive. Im not going to wast money on a CD/DVD drive, these days I can download the applications I tend to stream media these days rather than watch a DVD.
For the graphics card I have purchased a budget HD card with VGA, DVi and HDMI outputs, Im not doing any gaming or modelling on this machine so I have gone for a 1gb Asus HD card.
I have picked up a snassy wireless keyboard and mouse from ebay for £25, 2nd hand 19″ monitor for £40 and a nice Logitech sounds system with subwoofer from PC world £25.
And they we have it a completed desktop on a budget…
In the next post we are going to install an open source operating system, the awesome Ubuntu.
|Ben Davis Designer|
- A guide to Image Enhancement and Manipulation – Part 1. http://t.co/tlX9IxO9
- A Design Studio on a Budget Part 5 – Text Editor (Coding) Software http://t.co/WmRTbnVF
- A Design Studio on a Budget Part 3 – Illustration Software http://t.co/LtCQ6h2p
- A Design Studio on a Budget Part 2 – Operating System http://t.co/n9vKlYpi
- A Design Studio on a Budget Part 1 – Hardware http://t.co/M77YocMF
- Get more twitter followers, facebook likes, youtube views/subscribers and website visits! http://t.co/XVjJGTno
- General Advise on type setting http://t.co/nzIG3sR3
- A Design Studio on a Budget Part 5 – Text Editor (Coding) Software http://t.co/9WR6Dpw1 via @sharethis
- A Design Studio on a Budget Part 5 – Text Editor (Coding) Software http://t.co/nM7G7bm2
- A guide to Image Enhancement and Manipulation – Part 1. http://t.co/RltLT1Ag via @sharethis