mercredi 27 octobre 2010

DIY : DownloadTube Is a One-Click YouTube Conversion and Download Site [YouTube]

If you're looking for a simple, one-click, solution for converting and downloading YouTube videos sans software, DownloadTube is a free tool for web-based YouTube file conversion. More »

Posted via email from Steve Prud'Homme DIY Blog

Prépresse : Transcontinental ferme son usine de Boucherville.

Les changements structurels de l’industrie de l’imprimerie et l’investissement dans les nouvelles technologies sont à l’origine de cette décision. Selon Jacques Grégoire, vice-président principal du Groupe des magazines, des livres et des catalogues pour Transcontinental, ces facteurs se traduisent par une baisse de la demande dans certains créneaux de marché et Transcontinental fait aujourd’hui face à un excédent de capacité de production dans son réseau d’imprimeries spécialisées dans le livre, le catalogue et le magazine. La fermeture de l’usine Transcontinental Boucherville est prévue le 17 décembre. Cette fermeture touche environ 180 employés, qui se verront offrir des indemnités de départ et des services de réaffectation.

Posted via email from Steve Prud'Homme Prepress Blog Collage

Prepress : My CMYK Images Change When I Print or Export PDF!

A color management mystery (with a solution!)

My CMYK Images Change When I Print or Export PDF!

[Note that this article originally appeared in InDesign Magazine, Issue 37. For a free sample issue of InDesign Magazine, or for subscription information, see]

If you are going to use CMYK images from Photoshop in your InDesign documents, there are some things you need to know. Unless you understand the pitfalls, they’ll cause you untold grief sooner or later.

The genesis of this article was a problem posed to me by a production editor at a major book publisher (let’s call her Liz) who was couldn’t figure out a mystery involving a book she was preparing for print: While some CMYK images from Photoshop were showing up in the final PDF files correctly, others–the majority, in fact–were changing. The numbers inside the CMYK image were changing dramatically–for example, a 80-percent black would change into 50-percent black with a bunch of cyan, yellow, and magenta thrown in.

Like an airplane disaster, there is virtually never just one problem in these prepress mysteries–it’s almost always a combination of factors, of misunderstandings, of hidden settings and incorrect assumptions. But by slowly unraveling the issues, we gain a better understanding of InDesign and Photoshop, and we can learn how attack the next unique situation more efficiently.

So here are some lessons learned, and advice I can offer.

CMYK Is Not Bad

Often, creative professionals fall into either a CMYK or RGB camp, each arguing with the other than their color model is the One True Answer. But I’m here to tell you that both models have their pros and cons, and there is no “right answer.” I love RGB workflows as much as anyone–the ability to place an RGB image into InDesign and have it perform the high-quality conversion to CMYK (exactly the same as Photoshop!) when I print or export is miraculous and a huge time-saver. I recommend RGB workflows to almost everyone, but they do have their limitations.

For example, in Liz’s book project (the one that was causing problems), most of the images were computer screen captures. Screen captures tend to work best when converted to CMYK in Photoshop using a “max-K” generation–that is, a custom GCR curve with GCR set to Maximum, which replaces as much cyan, magenta, and yellow with black ink as possible.

You could get InDesign to use a Max-K profile, but there’s no way to tell InDesign to convert photographic images with one kind of profile and screenshots with another. So the best practice is usually to convert screen shots in Photoshop first.

There are other situations where converting to CMYK in Photoshop is preferable, such as when you need to make little tweaks to just the black channel in a photograph. Suffice it to say that CMYK is not bad, and you shouldn’t feel bad if your workflow brings CMYK images into InDesign. (You should, however, feel bad if you have not yet investigated whether using RGB images would be a more efficient workflow.)

By the way, I want to be clear that I’m talking about pixel-based images in this article, not vector images. If you’re creating graphics in Illustrator that will be sent to press, they should almost certainly be CMYK, not RGB.

Embedding Profiles is Problematic

Say you’re saving a CMYK image in Photoshop. You have the Save As dialog box open, and chances are the Embed Color Profile checkbox is selected for you. If you’re like most people, you just click Save and get on with it. If it’s on by default, it must be the correct choice, right? Not necessarily.

Here’s an InDesign secret: By default, InDesign ignores embedded CMYK color profiles, so adding that CMYK profile when saving a file in Photoshop is generally unnecessary. Plus, it fattens files a bit: Embedding the profile can add 750K or even as much as 2 MB.

More dangerous, though, is that InDesign might actually use the embedded CMYK profile. And in those cases, your CMYK values can change, sometimes radically, and not always in the way you expect or want.

For this reason, I generally do not embed profiles in images I’ve converted to CMYK, unless one of the following conditions is true:

  • I know that I do need them color-managed in InDesign (pretty rare); or
  • I will be editing the images again later in Photoshop (or giving them to someone else to edit).

Note that you should always embed profiles in RGB images. It takes up hardly any space and the RGB image is virtually useless without it.

Tip: To remove an embedded profile from a CMYK image, open the file in Photoshop, go to File > Save As, and uncheck Embed Color Profile. Alternatively, you can open the image in Photoshop, choose Edit > Assign Profile, and choose Don’t Color Manage This Document. Click OK and save the file.

The Danger of Cross Rendering

Again, if a profile is embedded, InDesign might use it. That means InDesign might try to color-manage your CMYK images–changing the color values in an effort to make the color better. For example, a solid 50% cyan in your image would end up on press as cyan with yellow, magenta, and perhaps even black mixed in. Gah!

If you’re converting CMYK to RGB (for web graphics, perhaps), this might be welcome. But generally, if you have an image that was already converted to CMYK using one CMYK profile (like SWOP), and you’re printing it to a different CMYK space (like a custom profile from your printer), you’ll probably get yourself in trouble. This is called “cross-rendering” and it’s unadvisable. At best, it probably won’t improve your quality much, and at worst, it ruins your day.

Instead, it’s generally preferable to send the CMYK image you have, as is, to the printer, or–even better–open the original RGB image and re-separate to the new CMYK profile.

When CMYK Gets Altered

As I’ve said, I generally don’t want InDesign to alter my CMYK values–I’d rather pass them through as is. So that takes me back to Liz’s book example. In her case, she had a bunch of images that did have embedded color profiles and the colors were unexpectedly changing. But why?

Here’s where the discussion starts to get somewhat technical. But take it slowly and you’ll understand where the pitfalls lie.

There are several places in InDesign where you can tell the application to stop ignoring embedded profiles and start using them to cross-render.

Override the Defaults. When you import a CMYK image, you can turn on the Show Import Options checkbox in the Place dialog box. The Color tab of the import options dialog box offers you the chance to choose a color profile (Figure 1). But unfortunately, the interface is quite confusing. The Profile pop-up menu is usually set to Use Document Default, which means ignore any embedded profile! That is, the “document” it refers to is the InDesign document, not the file you’re importing.


Figure 1: The import options dialog box lets you choose to ignore the embedded profile or honor it.

If there is a profile listed above Use Document Default, it means there is one embedded in the image. If you choose that, you’re telling InDesign that you want to honor the embedded profile, not ignore it–you want InDesign to color manage (cross-render) this CMYK image. You would do this only when you’re feeling particularly confident of your color management skills.

The list of profiles below Use Document Default are your typical profiles installed on your computer. It is extremely rare that you would ever choose one in that list. (Chris Murphy, author of Real World Color Management, calls this the “hurt me” option.)

If you have already imported an image, you can find the same options by selecting the image on the page and choosing Object > Image Color Settings. For example, if you think someone chose to honor an embedded profile and you want to tell InDesign to ignore it, you can set the Profile pop-up menu back to Use Document Default.

In the mysterious case that we’re looking at, Liz knew that no one used either of these features to honor the profiles. But still, InDesign was honoring them. So…

Preserve Embedded Profiles. Let’s say you are in a fully color-managed workflow, and you really like CMYK cross-rendering for some bizarre reason, but you have become tired of always choosing the embedded profile in the import options dialog box each time you imported a CMYK image. You can change InDesign’s settings so that it will stop ignoring embedded profiles. To do this, you need to choose Edit > Color Settings and select Preserve Embedded Profiles from the CMYK pop-up menu in the Color Mangement Policies dialog box (Figure 2).


Figure 2: The Color Management Policies section lets you set InDesign's default color profile behavior. For CMYK, Preserve Numbers is safe and sane. Preserve Embedded Profiles is great for RGB, but can be treacherous for CMYK, unless you really know what you're doing.

Again, to be clear, this means you’re telling InDesign that you like cross-rendering. It’s the same as using Image Color Settings to pick the embedded profile for every image you import.

In my opinion, the “Preserve Numbers (Ignore Linked Profiles)” setting is far safer. This tells InDesign to ignore those embedded profiles in CMYK images (unless you override it on a case-by-case basis, as I mentioned above).

When I asked Liz about this possibility, she did the most obvious thing in the world: She opened the document, then chose Edit > Color Settings. She then informed me that she definitely had Preserve Numbers selected.

A ha! “A” for effort, but Fail.

The most important thing you need to know about the Color Settings dialog box is that it does not reflect or affect the currently open document, or any document you have already created. It goes against all intuition and expectation. Instead, this dialog box only shows the defaults for new documents you will create.

To see or change the settings that were in force when a document was made, you need to know a secret trick. I’ll tell you that in a moment, but first I’ll explain one last place in InDesign where you can control whether CMYK values will be cross-rendered.

Preserve Numbers. When you print or export your InDesign document to PDF, you have the option to convert your colors–to color manage them, as it were. In the Export PDF dialog box, this option lives in the Output pane and is called the Color Conversion pop-up menu (Figure 3). The default selection is the sane one: “Convert to Destination (Preserve Numbers)”. That means InDesign should leave CMYK numbers unchanged (pass them through), if:

  • Your image has no embedded profile; or
  • Your image has an embedded profile, and your document’s color settings policy is set to the default setting of Preserve Numbers (Ignore Linked Profiles). As we learned earlier, Preserve Numbers (Ignore Linked Profiles) means InDesign should treat CMYK images as though they don’t have an embedded profile (unless you specifically override that for an image).

Figure 3: The Preserve Numbers option is generally the sane option when exporting a PDF because colored text, objects, and CMYK images tend to be left alone.

However, if you choose Convert to Destination, you’re telling InDesign to convert all CMYK images to the output CMYK destination–you want it to cross-render, changing the CMYK values. In this case, InDesign will either use an image’s embedded profile or the default document CMYK profile (the profile listed in Color Settings when the document was first created). This is dangerous stuff. I can’t think of a single time I’ve ever used Convert to Destination.

Inline Sidebar Note: By the way, I should point out that if the destination (“target”) CMYK profile is exactly the same as the image or document profile, then the numbers won’t change. For example, let’s say an image was converted with the SWOP color profile, had that profile embedded, told InDesign to honor the profile, and then printed using the SWOP profile as the destination. In that case, the color values would not change because there’s no such thing as cross-rendering from SWOP to SWOP. (That’s like saying “translate between French and French.”)

You have the same options in the Print dialog box, but they live in the Color Management pane (Figure 4). The main choice is the Preserve Numbers checkbox. Selecting the checkbox is the same as the Preserve Numbers option described above. Deselecting it is the same as using Convert to Destination.


Figure 4: The Preserve Numbers checkbox is grayed out unless the Destination profile is different than the mysterious and hard-to-discover document CMYK profile.

What’s Your Profile?

Liz was baffled. She could tell that the colors were changing by opening the PDF in Acrobat Pro and looking at the Output Preview panel. (You can get the same feedback by placing the PDF back into InDesign and use the “colorimeter” readings in the Separations Preview panel.) She knew the images had embedded profiles, but she checked and double-checked and she was using Preserve Numbers when making the PDF file. Why was InDesign cross-rendering?

The first clue came when we selected an image and chose Object > Image Color Settings. The embedded profile was selected! If no one did that manually, then how did that happen?

While pondering, I called upon scripting maven Olav Martin Kvern to write a short script that reset all the image color settings to Use Document Default. You can download it here, if you want it. However, Liz wanted to get to the bottom of the problem, not just run a script.

As we learned earlier, if InDesign honors the embedded profiles of all your placed images, then it’s probably your Color Settings Policies. Opening Color Settings won’t tell you what the current document’s policies are, so how do you find out?

Here’s the secret trick:

  1. Choose Edit > Color Settings and turn on the “Profile Mismatches: Ask When Opening” checkbox. Also, make sure that the CMYK policy is set to Preserve Numbers (Ignore Linked Profiles).
  2. If the document you want to check is open, close it. Now open it.
  3. If the built-in document policies are different than the current setup in Color Settings, you’ll get a mismatch dialog box. The first dialog box you’ll see reflects the RGB mismatch. Leave it set to “Leave the document as is” and click OK.
  4. Now InDesign displays the CMYK mismatch (Figure 5). This is the only place where you can see the document’s built-in policy and profile. In Liz’s case, she could finally see that the CMYK policy had been set to Preserve Embedded Profiles! Mystery solved.
  5. To alter this policy, choose “Adjust the document to match current color settings”. And, to force InDesign to ignore all those embedded image profiles, choose Disable All Profiles from the Placed Content pop-up menu.

Figure 5: The Policy Mismatch dialog box is the only place InDesign where you can look inside and find the hidden profiles and policies attached to your document.

When you click OK, InDesign reconfigures the document. For Liz, that meant all those images stopped cross-rendering and she could get on with business.

Extenuating Circumstances

To be honest, I simplified Liz’s situation a bit, for the sake of teaching these topics. Every publication bound for press poses its own particular set of issues, often based on the (often bizarre) requirements of the printer. This case was no different. The book contained a combination of color photographic and screencapture images. It had to be sent to the printer as a PDF file, but the PDF had to be created by running a PostScript file (which used a custom Print preset and a custom PPD file) through Adobe Distiller (using a custom .joboptions file). The whole thing gave me a headache just considering it.

However, no matter what the extenuating circumstances of a job, you always have to keep coming back to the basics. Understanding how, why, and when color management settings, policies, and overrides apply is the key to solving color mysteries and saving the day.

Posted via email from Steve Prud'Homme Prepress Blog Collage

Prepress : Learn EPUB from InDesign in These Two Great Webinars by Liz Castro

You know you need to learn EPUB... now you can do it at two great upcoming webinars!

You know you need to learn EPUB. It’s the number one eBook format in the world! Or perhaps you’ve been experimenting with InDesign’s EPUB export, but you want to know more about it. Help is on the way!

Liz Castro, author of the acclaimed book EPUB: Straight to the Point: Creating ebooks for the Apple iPad and other ereaders is presenting two webinars explaining the how, why, where, and what-to-do of EPUB:

You can attend one or both webinars, live or recorded (if you sign up, you can watch the recording up to a month after the event, as many times as you want).

Because these are webinars (or eseminars), you can watch them in your own Web browser, wherever you are, and listen over your computer’s speakers.

Both webinars will include Q&A segments, so you can ask questions of the “mistress of epub” herself! Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity. Sign up today for Part 1 and Part 2! Note that there is an early bird registration discount, so sign up soon!

About the Presenter

Liz Castro is the author of books about computer languages, blogging, EPUBS and web design. She’s on a mission to provide step-by-step instructions for the creation of technology’s challenging and popular tasks. Her most popular book, HTML, XHTML, and CSS, Sixth Edition: Visual QuickStart Guide has sold more than a million copies. Liz is the founder of Cookwood Press. She blogs about technology and her other passions at Pigs Gourds and Wikis.

Posted via email from Steve Prud'Homme Prepress Blog

mardi 26 octobre 2010

DIY: Joliprint Bookmarklet Turns Any Google Reader Item into a PDF [Bookmarklets]

While previously mentioned Readability is great for making printer-friendly versions of pages, the Joliprint bookmarklet will send any article right from Google Reader to your desktop in PDF format. More »

Posted via email from Steve Prud'Homme DIY Blog

Prepress : New InDesign-to-eBook Resources

For those who are beginning to create eBooks from InDesign, there are some new resources available to help you.

Many of us are now beginning to create eBooks from InDesign—either for ourselves or for our clients. It feels a little like a being on a new frontier. We’re feeling our way along, trying things, living by our wits, gaining tips and hints where we can.

You’ll be happy to know that there are some new resources available on creating eBooks from InDesign—published or presented by scouts who have gone ahead and are bringing back information on this new territory. For example, there are two new eBooks (one also a printed book) you should definitely know about.

Rufus Deuchler eBook

Rufus Deuchler eBook

Rufus Deuchler’s How to Create an eBook with Adobe InDesign

Rufus Deuchler is a world-class designer who was recruited to be a Senior Worldwide Evangelist for Creative Solutions by Adobe. Now working independently, he has published this eBook available for Kindle from ($8) which just became available a couple days ago. (If you don’t have a Kindle, you can read this on Kindle for Mac, Kindle for Windows, or Kindle on the iPhone or iPad!)

Rufus brings to the task a designer’s perspective and a deep knowledge of InDesign. So it’s strongest on how to use InDesign’s features to prepare a document for eBook publishing. For example, he has strong sections on creating hyperlinks and cross-references, how (and when) to use XML tagging to determine export order, graphic export formats, and what’s new in InDesign CS5 (the main focus of the book). He recommends an open source application called Sigil for editing the resulting ePub files. The eBook is very up-to-date and covers InDesign CS5 7.0.3. It discusses only InDesign, and not other ways of creating eBooks.

Elizabeth Castro eBook

Elizabeth Castro eBook

Elizabeth Castro’s EPUB: Straight to the Point. Creating ebooks for the Apple iPad and other ereaders.

Elizabeth Castro is an author of computer books on HTML, XHTML & CSS and other computer languages. She published an eBook in August available from her website (ePub, $20) and also as in Kindle format ($9.99) or paperback from Peachpit Press ($19.99) available from and other sources.

The strengths of Elizabeth’s eBook/book are that it provides a great deal of information about the CSS and XHTML which is exported by InDesign, and also how these can be modified. She provides sample InDesign and ePub files on her website which are helpful for viewing to see how she accomplishes various formatting tasks. She covers working in Microsoft Word as well as InDesign. She has a bias toward preparing ePub files for the iPad and the iBook application, and provides technical information about their requirements not available elsewhere. She gives instructions on using the Macintosh Terminal application for rezipping ePub files after modification.

Posted via email from Steve Prud'Homme Prepress Blog

Prepress : PR: Adobe Announces New Digital Publishing Suite

PR: Adobe Announces New Digital Publishing Suite

InDesign to iPad and Tablet is Getting Easier Everyday

[Editor's note: This involves the Digital Magazine Publishing Solution (called DMP or DMS at different times recently) that we've been talking about recently, and which publishers have been using to create iPad apps such as Wired, the New Yorker, InDesign Mag, and many others. It's pretty cool technology, but has been relatively challenging to use in the early beta stage and Adobe's introductory pricing clearly limits the number of publishers who can participate at this time.]

LOS ANGELES — At MAX, Adobe’s annual worldwide conference, Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced the Adobe® Digital Publishing Suite, providing publishers a set of turnkey hosted services and viewer technology to create, publish, optimize and sell digital content direct to consumers, through content retailers or leading mobile marketplaces. Built on the foundation of Adobe Creative Suite® and Adobe InDesign® CS5 software, the Digital Publishing Suite enables the design and delivery of innovative publisher-branded reading experiences, paired with flexible commerce models and support for deep analytics reporting.

“Adobe was attuned to our needs as designers, editors and content creators and was able to meet those needs in a way that not only distinguishes our forthcoming digital issue of Martha Stewart Living, but will benefit all magazine publishers.”

Using InDesign CS5, PDF, HTML5 and the Digital Publishing Suite, publishers will be able to efficiently author both fixed and adaptive layouts, natively build new levels of interactivity directly in InDesign, distribute and monetize their digital editions, and optimize their editorial and advertising content for a complete end-to-end digital publishing workflow.

“The publishing industry is reinventing itself and a new era of editorial and advertising innovation is upon us as publishers target new mobile hardware platforms,” said David Wadhwani, senior vice president and general manager for Creative and Interactive Solutions, Adobe. “By leveraging the InDesign CS5 workflow and the services of the Digital Publishing Suite, professional publishers can design and commercialize a new class of innovative digital magazines to create a richer and more dynamic reading experience that will attract high-value subscribers and advertisers.”

Chief Technology Officer Kevin Lynch will officially unveil the Digital Publishing Suite during his Adobe MAX 2010 keynote today at 9:30 a.m. PT. Sign up for live streaming of the keynotes on the MAX 2010 website at>

The Digital Publishing Suite includes enterprise-level services and viewer technology:

  • The Digital Publishing Suite will support the Adobe Content Viewer for Adobe AIR® and iOS that can be fully publisher-branded to support immersive reading experiences on tablet devices, such as the Blackberry PlayBook, Samsung Galaxy, Apple iPad and the many Android-based devices expected to come to market soon. Minimal chrome, innovative navigation features such as the zoomed out “browse mode” and dual-axis navigation allow readers to engage with content in new and exciting ways.
  • Production Service: Upload articles directly from InDesign CS5 into an intuitive hosted service in which publishers can collaborate on design, assemble final content in the correct order, add issue and article metadata and preview the complete issue as it will appear in final published form on the desktop and tablet devices. The Production Service will support a range of file formats, including PDF and HTML5.
  • Distribution Service: Securely store, host and distribute digital content across leading tablet devices and desktops for broad reach and audience access. Publishers can manage content available for fulfillment from within a library content dashboard, including publication metadata and archival as well as seamlessly notify readers within the Content Viewer when a new magazine issue is available for purchase or download.
  • E-commerce Service: Leverage flexible payment and merchandising models with the ability to monetize content directly, through retailer platforms or leading mobile marketplaces such as the Blackberry App World, Android Market, Google Apps Marketplace or Apple App Store. Publishers can create high-value merchandising programs such as print and digital content bundles and enable readers to seamlessly purchase content directly from within the magazine application on their device. Direct publisher e-commerce support for interoperability will allow readers to purchase content once and read it on their desktop or tablet devices.
  • Analytics Service: Gain valuable customer insights to better optimize editorial content and drive higher advertising monetization using best?of?class online analytics from Adobe SiteCatalyst®, powered by Omniture. Publishers can access prebuilt dashboards directly from within the hosted publishing workflow to view key advertising and subscriber data including total ad views, issue download and purchase metrics and engagement with interactive content such as video. Valuable viewer-profile analytics can supplement traditional offline point-of?sale (POS) data to build a more comprehensive understanding of an individual subscriber. Drill-down reporting and analytics are available through a separate Adobe SiteCatalyst subscription. Additional dashboard and reports can be custom tailored to meet a publisher’s unique business goals.

Adobe is already working with the largest publishers in the world such as Condé Nast and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. to create and monetize dynamic digital magazines.

“Our pioneering work with WIRED and The New Yorker has enabled Adobe to deliver a set of workflows and tools that will leverage emerging hardware platforms and make our magazines stand out in the digital format that will attract advertisers and keep readers engaged in new ways,” said Joe Simon, chief technology officer, Condé Nast. “I can’t think of a more exciting time to be involved in the publishing business.”

Gael Towey, Chief Creative and Editorial Director of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, stated: “Adobe was attuned to our needs as designers, editors and content creators and was able to meet those needs in a way that not only distinguishes our forthcoming digital issue of Martha Stewart Living, but will benefit all magazine publishers.”

Additional information about the Digital Publishing Suite is available at and on the Digital Publishing blog at Follow the team on Twitter at

Pricing and Availability

The Digital Publishing Suite is expected to be available in Q2 2011 and offers both a Professional and Enterprise Edition. Pricing for the Professional Edition is expected to be US$699 per month plus a per-issue fee, which scales with publisher volume. The Professional Edition price allows publishers to access the Digital Publishing Suite and create applications for all of their titles and publications. The Enterprise Edition is a custom, multi-year platform agreement that includes access to APIs for integration of back-end publishing services such as subscription management, print fulfillment and e-commerce. Adobe also offers professional services to support enterprise level custom engagements.

Professional publishers that would like to deploy and sell commercial applications prior to general availability of the Digital Publishing Suite are invited to join the Adobe Digital Magazine Publishing Prerelease Program at

A preview release of the add-on digital publishing technologies for InDesign CS5 is available on Adobe Labs at

About Adobe Systems Incorporated

Adobe is changing the world through digital experiences. For more information, visit

© 2010 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved. Adobe, the Adobe logo, Creative Suite, InDesign, AIR and SiteCatalyst are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Posted via email from Steve Prud'Homme Prepress Blog

Prepress : InDesign CS5 7.0.3 Update Available

An update for InDesign CS5 now fixes issues with Document handling, Export Graphics, Text, UI, PDF Export, and Architecture.

Posted via email from Steve Prud'Homme Prepress Blog

Teaching : Take Advantage of Presenter View to Create Powerful PowerPoint Slides [Video]

Start using Presenter View in PowerPoint to ditch cluttered catch-all slides and free up the space for punchy and powerful slides that supplement your delivery. More »

Posted via email from passionfp

lundi 25 octobre 2010

Graphic Design : Understanding Your Brain for Better Design: Left vs. Right | Webdesigner Depot

The concept of the left and right brain only lately popped up in the late 1960’s, but since has become a well-known part of human psychology.

While we all use both sides of the brain, each of us has a dominant side, and this dominant side makes up for a huge part of our personalities.

Each individual thinks a certain way, has more interest in certain areas, and above and beyond all — is most effective in certain ways. An accurate understanding of the left and right brain can help one to become more productive, efficient, and creative.

This article will cover a basic understanding of what the left and right brains are, and each of their traits. We’ll also go into how we, as creative people, can harness this understanding of the left and right brain to be more creative, as well as succeed in other work-related tasks.

What They Are, and Their Difference

Some may have heard of this, others may have not. Before we get too into specific examples to aid in our benefit, let’s go over exactly what the left and right brain are, and their associated characteristics.

Left Brain Right Brain

Our brain is divided into two halves, as most of us know: the left and right side. Each side processes information very differently than the other, and the biggest difference is the visual aspect.

The right side of the brain looks at visual reference as a whole, whether it be a landscape, object, or piece of artwork, and then works its way into noticing finer details.

The left side on the other hand, first sees the details and puts them together to form the bigger picture.

Our brains use both of these sides, mixing and matching each side’s abilities for a fully-functional human brain. However, each of us has a dominant side that leans more towards the behaviors of that respected side.

There are a number of characteristics, many of which could be considered personality traits, that a person with either type of dominate side has:

Right Brain

Those with a right-side dominant brain depend more on visual references for understanding and are often times visual learners.

They are more emotional, swayed by feelings, and are able to better understand and reflect on these feelings. Furthermore, right-brained thinkers are very intuitive and curious about the world.

Finally, as a down side, they tend to be disorganized, lacking in time-management, and unable to prioritize well.

Left Brain

The left brain is the side that handles organization and logic.

Because of this, those that have a dominant left side are also very organized; they prefer schedules and deadlines, and love rules and regulations. They are more auditory learners, and are better at using words to remember things rather than visual aids.

They process ideas in a step-by-step, algorithmic way, and are therefore less prone to error.

Their Relation to Art, Design, and Creativity

As one may have probably already guessed, those with dominance in the right brain may be more naturally creative.

It’s easy to assume this because for one, right-brained thinkers are less common than left, so it seems as though one would be seeing the world differently from everyone else.

Also, the natural heightened visual nature and curiosity tend to make the mind never stop thinking of the alternative — as well as how it can be applied visually.

Those with a dominant left brain are far more common, and far more analytical. They may feel at disadvantage for not having that ‘natural’ creativity. Realistically, though, left-brained people can be just as creative; they just come about it in a different way.

To better understand the artistic nature of both sides, let’s take a look at a few examples of artwork.

Abstraction = Right Brain

Right brained people may lean more towards abstract art, because of its lack of order and disorganization. Abstraction also gives no boundaries, so it can be considered more ‘outside-the-box’, or creative.

Abstract art is also known to portray emotion, even with no hard visual evidence. A right brained person may more easily be able to pick up on an abstract piece’s deeper meaning.


Orderly Art = Left Brain

In contrast to abstraction, left brained people may be more attracted to a more ‘orderly’ form of art — either photo-realistic, or otherwise. As long as it is artwork with guidelines, form, and sense, it works.

Below is a painting, with plenty of creativity — but also with little abstraction.

Photo Realistic

Find Your Dominant Side

Before discovering how to harness one’s own creativity, one must find which side of the brain is dominant. As we know ourselves best, we may already have a good guess based on the definitions above. However, for more accurate results, there are a number of quizzes one can take online:

  • Right Brain/ Left Brain Quiz for Artists
    This quiz is targeted at artists, with the questions concerning painting. Even if you do not paint for your practice, you can relate them to similar practices. For example, if you are a web designer, apply the questions to your digital workspace, and your online tools to your painting supplies, etc.
  • Right Brain vs Left Brain Creativity Test
    This is a more generalized test and may be more helpful to a wider audience. Furthermore, upon completion, this test gives you very detailed, highly accurate results, as well as further information.

Take the quizzes above and read through some more information. It may be surprising what you find, and you will probably already begin to brainstorm ways of making your work better based off of the results.

Benefit Your Work

Let’s now look into some further ideas of how we can specifically better our work by understanding our own psychology.

After taking the tests above, you may have found out that we are not either 100% right brained, or 100% left brained. We are a mix of them both, while some traits may lean far to the opposite side, and other may not.

Also, in certain traits, we may only be a certain percentage right/left brained, while the remainder of the percentage leads the opposite way.

We each have such unique characteristics, and an in-depth analysis of each (second test listed above) can help. Let’s now look over a few strategies that can help anyone with any combination of traits:

Understand Your Style

As shown above in this article, right brained people tend more towards abstraction while left-brained people tend more towards realism. If we have mixed characteristics, we may tend towards mixes in these forms of art as well.

Find your style, and your preferred mix of abstraction and realism. Adding more form may be for those with stronger left sides, but with hints of right-brained thinking.

Abstraction with a hint of form may be for those who lean right, but have a bit of left-brained thinking. It’s really a gentle balance, with an associated art/design style to go with that balance.


View a number of different types of art, and make note of which interest you the best. Save them in a collection, and review them later to find out their similarities, to test for their amount of abstraction, and to analyze how they relate to your own way of thinking. Then, reflect on that in your own work.

Abide by Your Brain

If you like organization, then use it in your art. Don’t feel the need to be more creative by being more quirky, different, or strange.

One can be just as original by using measurements, form, pattern, and rules. For left-brained people try this trick: create one rule to abide by for an entire design, and then come up with varying ways of altering that rule throughout the design to bring more variety.

For example, use only one shape and turn it into a large picture, use only one color in different shades, or try isometric artwork (below).


If you don’t like form, and would rather try out extreme abstraction, then go for it.

Don’t hold yourself to limits because you feel that artwork needs organization — it doesn’t. It can, but doesn’t have to. Right brained people should try experimenting with different colors, patterns, textures, and whatever else, all while keeping the big picture in mind.

Because right dominance means seeing the big picture and then the details, imagine the outcome first, and then detail along the way. (For right-brained web designers, this is one more reason as to why wireframing is so important.)

Work Around Your Faults

Because we can now better understand our positive traits, we can also better understand our faults. Identify them, and think of ways to build upon them.

Instead of fighting disorganization everyday (both in artwork and business/life), use tools and resources to make it easier, and try to make certain organization habitual.

If one has trouble finding creativity because they are overly analytical, like above, don’t fight your natural instinct of order. Instead explore new methods for harnessing creativity and practice new techniques.

Remember, nobody’s graphic design or artistic talents are perfect at first — no matter what their natural traits may be. Both sides must work at it, and must be better able to accept their faults and work on them to better themselves.

Wrapping Up

Understanding the right and left sides of the brain is a great way to better your work, and to obtain a better understanding of who you are as an individual. Often times, the path to better creativity lies in science and logic — in this case, psychology.

As we can better understand ourselves at this deeper level, we can better understand what we are naturally good at and what we should put our focus on.

In contrast, we can also better identify where we’re lacking, and think of smarter solutions for combating our faults.

Written exclusively for WDD by Kayla Knight.

Feel free to share your thoughts on this matter, as well as any recommendations to fulfill our natural faults, or strive in our natural talents.

Share this story

Posted via email from Steve Prud'Homme Graphic Design Blog

Prepress : Minervity: A Pop-Up Book To Treasure: Creative Inspiration -

Minervity: A Pop-Up Book To Treasure: Creative Inspiration -

Posted via email from Steve Prud'Homme Prepress Blog

Graphic Design : Illustration Inspiration by David Mascha | Abduzeedo | Graphic Design Inspiration and Photoshop Tutorials

We have featured David Mascha a few times and also published a full post about him last February, the article was called The Stylish Work of David Mascha, however David has recently updated his portfolio with some new work and of course it is our duty to keep you guys updated as well.

For those of you who have never heard about David, he is a Vienna based designer and illustrator. Since 2005, he has been working for several design studios in Vienna as well as developing projects for international clients, fashion and design labels, magazines and books. David Mascha had his work participating in exhibitions around Europe and Asia. He is also part of the DEPTHCORE collective.

For more information about David, visit his website at Also there is a great interview that David did for the DEPTHCORE collective, check it out.

Lost Paradise

Part of the "Freestyles" series created between 2009-2010. Featured in Depthcore's "Mythic" chapter.

Graphic Design and Illustration Inspiration by David Mascha


Part of the "Freestyles" series created between 2009-2010. Featured in Depthcore's "Eve" chapter.

Graphic Design and Illustration Inspiration by David Mascha

Graphic Design and Illustration Inspiration by David Mascha


Illustrations for the limited edition cover for Hennessy's popular VS Flask. The final design is a single silicone mold that comes in over 20popular colors. Commissioned by the KDU.

Graphic Design and Illustration Inspiration by David Mascha

Graphic Design and Illustration Inspiration by David Mascha

IBM Power your planet

I was approached by Ogilvy Ny to create illustrations of a powerful planet for the international "Power your planet" campaign by IBM, including ad's in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Graphic Design and Illustration Inspiration by David Mascha

See the animated commercial ad here

IBM System Z

Visualizations of the System Z. Illustrates the idea of '93all things coming together under one server platform.

Graphic Design and Illustration Inspiration by David Mascha

Graphic Design and Illustration Inspiration by David Mascha

You are we

Illustrations for the "You are We" Project by the KDU.

Graphic Design and Illustration Inspiration by David Mascha

About the author

My name is Fabio Sasso, I'm a graphic/web designer from Porto Alegre, Brazil and I'm the founder of Abduzeedo. I hope we can share lots of information, tips, and ideas through Abduzeedo. Also you can follow me on Twitter or my personal site at

Sponsored Links:

Posted via email from Steve Prud'Homme Graphic Design Blog

samedi 23 octobre 2010

Graphic Design : have your say in helvetica

I remember when Helvetica came out in 2007 and every graphic designer I knew went bananas. Each email I received read some variation of “OMG have you seen Helvetica? What? You haven’t? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?” So when I saw these new cross stitch kits, I thought to myself, “Well, I know what I’m giving those designers for the holidays.” These new cross stitch kits from Tamara Maynes come in three color combinations and let you say whatever you want (using an A to Z letter chart) in Helvetica. Just pick your letters and stitch them into your fabric to create a custom wall plaque, pillow front or anything else you can imagine. Click here to check out the full kits and order online ($30). xo, grace

Posted via email from Steve Prud'Homme Graphic Design Blog

Prepress (Process colour images) : Use an 18% Gray Card for Better Color Balance in Your Photos [Photography]

If you've ever relied on your camera's white balancing algorithms you know how imperfect they can be, but you're not out of luck. Getting accurate color balance with just about any camera is pretty easy with an 18% gray card. More »




Use an 18% Gray Card for Better Color Balance in Your Photos If you've ever relied on your camera's white balancing algorithms you know how imperfect they can be, but you're not out of luck. Getting accurate color balance with just about any camera is pretty easy with an 18% gray card.

A Gray Card for Staged Photos

You might think it makes more sense to balance the white in your images, given that the term we use most often is "white balance," but since we're looking for all-around color accuracy the best balancer is gray. Why? It's the average tone and it's neutral. If you're sampling the white for color balance you're just sampling the high end of the spectrum (or pure white, if your photo is overexposed). In fact, when your camera is white balancing it's (generally) looking for a neutral gray area. The use of the 18% gray card is basically to tell your camera, "look, the neutral gray is over here!" Technology blog Tested explains how to use a gray card for a portrait photo:

Use an 18% Gray Card for Better Color Balance in Your Photos

Place the gray card where the subject will be, so the light hitting the gray card is the same as the light hitting the subject. If shooting a portrait, have the subject hold the gray card in front of their face for a test shot. When you process your photos later in Photoshop, look at the test shot. Enter the Image > Adjustments > Levels menu, and click on the middle eyedrop icon. Save the level adjustment, and then load it in every other photo under those lighting conditions. You've just color corrected your shots with a gray card.

A Gray Card for Everyday Photos

Use an 18% Gray Card for Better Color Balance in Your Photos While it's always best to have a reference shot with the gray card in your photos if you want to edit them later, a gray card can help you out for your everyday shots as well. If you're staying in one general location, say for a family barbecue or someone's birthday party, you can use a gray card to manually set the white balance of your camera. How this will work will vary from camera to camera, but generally you'll find this option wherever you'll find white balance settings. From there, all you really have to do is make sure the card fills up most of the frame as you tell your camera to white balance based on what it's currently looking at.

If lighting conditions stay generally the same during the day, manually setting your camera's white balance with a gray card should get you better, more accurate color for all your shots. Just remember you'll need to rebalance every time you move locations, or turn automatic white balancing back on if you're feeling lazy.

Making a Gray Card

Use an 18% Gray Card for Better Color Balance in Your Photos While you can pick up an 18% gray card at most photography supply stores, you're basically buying a piece of gray board. The benefit of buying a card is that you know you're getting exactly 18% gray. If your photos aren't going on the cover of a magazine and you just want better accuracy in general, you can print out a gray card from your computer. If you just pick a middle-of-the-road gray and print it out, it'll be a good start. Here's an easy way to do this:

  1. An easy way to do this is open up Photoshop (or any image editor that can handle layers) and make a new document that's sized at 8.5" x 11" and has a white background.
  2. Make a new layer and fill it with black.
  3. Reduce the opacity of that layer to 50%.
  4. Print.

If your printer has a color profile, you may want to switch to that before printing for more accurate results. I did this with a cheap laser printer, however, and it worked really well. My gray card was uneven and pretty horrible in general, but I still ended up with better and more accurate color than the camera's automatic white balance. A proper gray card is definitely better, but when you need something quick you can get by with even this fairly inaccurate method.

Of course, if you want to make a really accurate gray card you should go for it. There's a great explanation of finding 18% gray on the forums that'll help you get there.

For other great color tips, check out our guide to getting the best color out of your photos.

If you feel like giving this a shot, let us know how it goes in the comments (especially with before and after photos).

Send an email to Adam Dachis, the author of this post, at

Posted via email from Steve Prud'Homme Prepress Blog

Prepress : PDF Rider Extracts, Merges, and Decrypts PDF Files [Downloads]

PDF Rider Extracts, Merges, and Decrypts PDF Files [Downloads]

Windows: PDF Rider is a simple but effective tool for merging and splitting PDF files, extracting and inserting pages, and performing other PDF manipulations. More »

Posted via email from Steve Prud'Homme Prepress Blog

DIY : How to Download Your Information from Facebook [Video]

One feature strangely absent form Facebook has always been the ability to back up your pictures, videos, messages, and other information to your hard drive. Today, Facebook begins rolling out this feature to all users. More »

Posted via email from Steve Prud'Homme DIY Blog

DIY : audiobooks for iOS Lets You Listen to Audiobooks for Free [Downloads]

iOS: Audiobooks are great but they're generally pretty expensive. Fortunately there are a ton of free audiobook recordings in the public domain, and now you can easily download them to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. More »

Posted via email from Steve Prud'Homme Open Source Blog

Graphic Design : biz ladies: designing business cards + free card contest!

Today’s Biz Ladies post comes from Rebecca Kutys of Moontree Letterpress in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Together with Breck Hostetter of Sesame Letterpress, Rebecca began a joint venture called “Brooklyn Social Cards” to create letterpress business cards for clients. In this post, Rebecca offers some do’s and don’ts to business card design. From the appropriate information, to the placement of text, Rebecca shares some helpful advice to creating a memorable card!  Thanks Rebecca for this great post! — Stephanie

**Rebecca was kind enough to donate business cards to one lucky reader! If you’d like to throw your hat in the ring to win 250 custom one-color business cards from Brooklyn Social Cards (they made Grace’s cards!), leave a comment below describing a situation in which you wished you’d had a business card with you and why you’d like a set now. Comments will close tomorrow at 9am EST**

CLICK HERE for the full post after the jump!


Posted via email from Steve Prud'Homme Graphic Design Blog

DIY : Gb4less Finds the Lowest Per-Gigabyte Storage and Memory Deals [Deals]

If you've just found your backup religion, or you're always in need of ever more storage, gb4less is an interesting place to start looking. The shopping filter finds the best dollar-per-gigabyte deals on NewEgg that have at least a four-star rating. More »

Posted via email from Steve Prud'Homme DIY Blog

vendredi 22 octobre 2010

Graphic Design : Ultimate Web Font Resource Roundup: 50 Awesome Sites | Design Shack

Ultimate Web Font Resource Roundup: 50 Awesome Sites

Written by Joshua Johnson, On 21st October 2010.
Filed in Typography.


The idea that web designers ignore typography is officially dead. In recent years countless tools and services have sprung up to meet the need of making the web a more type-friendly place, and they’re succeeding.

Today we bring you a huge list of awesome websites for all things related to web fonts. You’ll find sites offering free fonts, web font services, font building tools, previewing utilities, and a lot more!

Free Fonts

The League of Moveable Type

We’re done with the tired old fontstacks of yesteryear. Enough with the limitations of the web, we won’t have it. It’s time to raise our standards. Here, you’ll find only the most well-made, free & open-source, @font-face ready fonts.


Archive of freely downloadable fonts. Browse by alphabetical listing, by style, by author or by popularity.


Font Squirrel

Handpicked free fonts for graphic designers with commercial-use licenses. Also check their @font-face kits for effortless font embedding!


1001 Free Fonts

1001 Free Fonts offers a huge selection of free fonts. Download free fonts for Windows and Macintosh. License fonts for commercial use.


Urban Fonts

See our amazing collection of free fonts and free dingbats.



Download 13990 free truetype and opentype fonts for Windows and Mac.

screenshot Themed Fonts Download Free Movie and Music Fonts

The Web’s BIGGEST Typography Resource. Over 6000 free fonts for you to download.


exljbris Font Foundry

Welcome to Jos Buivenga’s exljbris Font Foundry. Here you can find my [free] fonts: Delicious, Fontin, Fontin Sans, Tallys, Fertigo Pro, Diavlo, Anivers, Museo, Museo Sans, Museo Slab, Calluna & Geotica.


Search Free Fonts

Search Free Fonts has largest Free Fonts selection on the web. Over 13000 free fonts for Windows and Mac available to download.



The free fonts site.



Fawnt is a font resource for designers, developers, and anyone that appreciates the web’s highest quality fonts.


Fonts 500

The web’s top 500 free fonts, calculated based on download counts from some of the biggest free font archives.


Web Font Solutions

cufón – fonts for the people

Fast text replacement with canvas and VML – no Flash or images required.



Add a line of code to your pages and choose from hundreds of fonts. Simple, bulletproof, standards compliant, accessible, and totally legal.


Google Font Directory

The Google Font Directory lets you browse all the fonts available via the Google Font API. All fonts in the directory are available for use on your website under an open source license and are served by Google servers.

screenshot Web Fonts

Add great looking fonts to your website in a few easy steps.


Fontdeck webfonts: Real fonts for your website

Fontdeck is the professional webfonts solution. You only pay for the fonts you need, when you need them. Get up and running in under 60 seconds.



Web Fonts. Delivered. Your browser doesn’t support @font-face, so Kernest probably won’t look very interesting.



The Typotheque Webfont Service enables you to use custom fonts in your website using the @font-face rule in CSS. Just add a line of code to your page and get it working in minutes. Simple, fast and standards-compliant.


Fonts Live

Expertly crafted, premium quality web fonts for designers and web developers. FontsLive delivers real fonts for CSS @font-face.



99.9% of our fonts can be purchased with @font-face licenses. Get the fonts you want on your site.


WebINK Web Fonts

WebINK is where you’ll find high-quality fonts for your websites. Easily use professional type from trusted foundries in the sites you design. And we deliver them for you—quick as a WINK.



Webtype provides fonts for the highest quality online typography, including typefaces which were designed from scratch specifically for onscreen reading.


Font Creation

FontStruct | Build, Share, Download Fonts

FontStruct lets you quickly and easily create fonts constructed out of geometrical shapes, which are arranged in a grid pattern, like tiles or bricks.


Font Generator – Make Your Own Handwriting Font is an online font generator that allows you to create your own OpenType fonts within a couple of minutes. Go make your own handwriting as a font!


Fontifier – Your own handwriting on your computer!

Fontifier lets you use your own handwriting for the text you write on your computer. It turns a scanned sample of your handwriting into a handwriting font that you can use in your word processor or graphics program, just like regular fonts such as Helvetica.


FontEditor BitfontMaker

Build custom fonts online (a bit like a scaled-down version of FontStruct).


Font Identification


Submit an image to WhatTheFont to find the closest matches in our database. Or, let cloak-draped font enthusiasts lend a hand in the WhatTheFont Forum.


What Font is

Using What Font is you can identify the font you are looking for!


Identifont – Fonts by Appearance

Identify a font by answering a series of simple questions about its appearance.



An interactive, visual font search system. This system is unique in that you can identify fonts by memory alone.


Preview and Manage Fonts

Typetester – Compare fonts for the screen

The Typetester is an online application for comparison of the fonts for the screen. Its primary role is to make web designer’s life easier.


CSS Type Set

CSS Type Set is a hands-on typography tool allowing designers and developers to interactively test and learn how to style their web content.


flipping typical

flipping typical. check out how different words look in all the popular fonts on your computer.


Typechart – Browse Web Type, Grab CSS.

Typechart lets you flip through, preview and compare web typography while retrieving the css.


STC :: fontBROWSER ::

See previews for the fonts installed on your machine.


Font Viewer –

myFontbook is a nifty new tool for viewing your font collection from your web browser. The font viewer allows you to easily review and catalog all of your installed fonts. Runs in your browser. Nothing to install.


Font Preview – Google Font Directory

Lets you choose a font from the Google Font directory with a few text styling options, and preview them.


CSS Font and Text Style Wizard

Use this wizard to experiment with font and text styles and generate sample CSS style source code. This wizard uses dynamic HTML to change the style of the table in-situ, without loading another page. It is cross-browser compatible with Firefox, Netscape, Internet Explorer, and other modern browsers.


Typograph – Scale & Rhythm

This page is both an essay and a tool. It sets out to explore how two, intertwined concepts, often playful but sometimes cheeky, can be encouraged to dance in web pages. Drag the colored boxes along the scale to throw these words anew. For the most part, this text is just a libretto for the performance you are about to play upon it.


Web Font Specimen

Web Font Specimen is a handy, free resource web designers and type designers can use to see how typefaces will look on the web. Debuted in a special issue of A List Apart, Web Font Specimen is now in its second iteration.


Conversion and Calculation

Em Calculator

Em Calculator is a small JavaScript tool which helps making scalable and accessible CSS design. It converts size in pixels to relative em units, which are based on a text size.


PX to EM conversion: Daunting, but not quite lions, tigers, and bears thanks to


Online Font Converter

The Online Font Converter converts fonts to/from: .dfont .eot .otf .pfb .tfm .pfm .suit .svg .ttf .pfa .bin .pt3 .ps .t42 .cff .afm .ttc .woff & .pd.



Easily copy and paste special characters either directly or as HTML.


Typedia: A Shared Encyclopedia of Typefaces

Typedia is a resource to classify, categorize, and connect typefaces.



Try Web FontFonts on any website.


Awesome Fontstacks

Easily create bundles of beautifully matching, free web fonts, with failsafe font stacks to back them up. Including ready-to-go CSS code!


Bulletproof @font-face syntax « Paul Irish

The most widely accepted cross-browser syntax for using @font-face to embed custom fonts on the web.


The Essential Guide to @font-face

This guide will teach you how to implement @font-face with cross-browser compatibility and will also look at a number of the supporting services that have arisen, making it even easier to use custom fonts in your web designs.


What Did We Miss?

The sites above should be enough to get you well on your way to web type bliss, but this merely scratches the surface of what’s available. Leave a comment below and tell us what awesome sites you use for implementing beautiful web typography.

Posted via email from Steve Prud'Homme Graphic Design Blog