Apr 22, 2008

300% Cotton - 100% Inspiration

A good friend of mine, Private Dave McDonald, hooked me up with a gift card to Indigo. I'm not a book guy - at all. But the gift card gave me an opportunity to do something I should have done years ago. I needed to expose myself to some new, fresh and creative design influences.

There's a difference between a designer and a creative designer - and I want to be the later. A designer may know how to pair colors or how to layout a page. They may also know how to pump out lifeless templates and designs. But a creative designer should have the ability to CREATE - hence CREATive. Each creation should be a unique manifestation of the design's purpose and should in turn induce emotion - exactly the same way music does. Although each design may contain a designer's common fingerprint elements, it should, for the most part, be a unique creation. And in order to be creative, you need inspiration.

For me, inspiration has come in the form of this book. I randomly grabbed this book off the shelf (one of many) at Indigo. Hats off to Helen Walters on publishing an excellent collection of graphic art. It's entitled 300% Cotton and features 934 color illustrations from some of the most creative graphic-tee designers from across the globe.

I'm making a commitment to pick up books similar to this on a regular basis. This one book alone has freed my creativity from the dreaded "plateau".

300% Cotton at Indigo.Chapters.ca

Apr 18, 2008

Easy HTML/CSS Color Picker

I was browsing the web for a really simple solution for RGB color selection in a form. But, every example I found seemed to require a ridiculous amount JS. Then I had a genius thought - why not just use CSS and HTML?

So here she is: (as I blog, you'll come to learn that all HTML elements are inherently female)

And here's the code:

Apr 17, 2008

Greatest SQL Manager

SQLManager.net has developed the greatest SQL Manager I've ever used. It kills the SQL IDE's that come with both SQL 2000 and 2005 (Enterprise Manager). One of the biggest features for me is that it lets you connect to both SQL Server 2000 and 2005. Best of all - there is a freeware version available! I'm not sure what features are missing in the freeware version as I'm using the 30 day free trial.

Anyhow - enjoy!

EMS SQL Manager for SQL Server

Apr 16, 2008

Photoshop ICO Plugin

I have no idea where I found this - nor do I think I have permission to distribute it. But - as my youth pastor would always say, "Better to ask forgiveness than permission".

This tool is AWESOME! Its a plugin for Adobe Photoshop that allows you to export ICO files DIRECTLY from Photoshop! No more stupid applications for building ico files. Now, every website can have a favicon!


You can thank Toby Thain <toby@telegraphics.com.au> for this plugin.

Apr 14, 2008

SUBSurface - Pak A

I developed these assets while I was designing a site for a recent client. I was looking for a real good worn, grunge, dirty effect. I came across some great brushes by Jason Gaylor (http://designfruit.com/). After using his brushes for a bit, I decided it was time to develop my own assets.

Here's a link to the web-resolution assets. I'll be making print-resolution assets available for purchase on my site in the next few weeks. The print-resolution assets are a whopping 40MB - contrasted to the 2MB web assets.