Maps of cities

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I’m inspirited by this Chinese Illustrator – Jing Zhang. Her current project is about the cities. I am following her as what she said City has its own colour palette, flavour, sound, and personality. The difference between our culture is what makes our cities so wonderful. Love it! More about her and her projects https://www.behance.net/mazakii http://www.mazakii.com

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Farmers Weekly Awards 2018 photography – My Family and Other Animals

A farmer and a dog

“Never work with children or animals”, or so the saying goes. But every year, our team of photographers covering the Farmers Weekly Awards finalists ignore this advice and bravely go out to the far corners of the UK to photograph the farmers at work, which often involves their animals and their families. While we’re only approaching the […]

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Design Heroes: Don Norman

Glass doors with handles on both sides.

Have you ever tried to push a door that says PULL? Or vice versa? Known in the design community as Norman Doors, this is one common example of everyday bad design where the signifiers on the door, eg the handles and signs, do not effectively communicate how it should be operated. Even tech giant Apple, known for its sleek designs […]

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Find your originality

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With so many people with cameras, computers and social media – is there such thing as an original idea? This video from Oliver Kmia shows just how visually repetitive our travel photos have become. It is worth reading this article from Kmia about how he came up for the idea for the article (ironically it was […]

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Working in colour

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Colour is one of the keystones of design theory. I think it is a mistake to think of it as the easiest to master – no matter how much you think you know, there are always surprises. Sometimes going back to the basics helps reset our preconceptions and aids discussions about colour with clients. A […]

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Design heroes: William Morris

A portrait of William Morris

According to Wikipedia: “William Morris (24 March 1834 – 3 October 1896) was an English textile designer, poet, novelist, translator, and socialist activist.” But even that seemingly incongruous list of roles barely covers the depth and breadth of influence Morris had in both the arts and politics of Victorian Britain and beyond. Morris’s design work and business (Morris and Co) are closely associated […]

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Photoshop training video library

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Here is a selection of videos from youtube with some Photoshop skills: Basic cut-out Cut out hair/fur – brush tool Colour correction Reducing harsh shadows Unsharp mask (sharpens soft images) Remove reflection or glare from glasses using the clone tool Remove Red eye/ Green eye Using masks Text on a photo Select and change colours using […]

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Sketchbook inspiration

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Do you keep a sketchbook? I mostly carry one when I’m travelling and sketching scenes and writing diary entries has lead to lots of fun interactions with people. My messy attempts at recording my surroundings pale in comparison to those of José Naranja, a former aerospace engineer at Airbus. His detailed sketches in notebooks that he has […]

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Presenting data

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A short guide to presenting data, especially useful for Infogram users Download paper: Presenting_Data_People_Wont_Ignore_Ebook

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How GDPR Will Change The Way You Develop

Good simple article about GDPR and developing websites

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Design heroes: Andreas Gursky

People walking past the Gursky exhibition at the Hayward Gallery

This weekend, I spent a thought-provoking afternoon on London’s Southbank at the recently re-opened Hayward Gallery. The exhibition was a retrospective of one of my favourite art photographers – Andreas Gursky. Gurksy is a German photographer closely associated with Dusseldorf where he studied with the iconic conceptual artists Bernd and Hilla Becher and where he continues to live […]

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What does a picture editor do?

© Caroline Morley

  Despite being a keen photographer, I had never heard of the role of picture researcher or photo editor until I was in my first job as a journalist. Our small title did not have a picture editor but designer and the news editor had both worked on bigger publications in the past and it […]

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How to… create a Gif animation

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A Gif (Graphics Interchange Format) file format has a limited palette and lossless compression. This means that, in comparison to a Jpeg file, the colours in a gif image will be flattened but the overall image will not be degraded when it is saved. A gif can also support transparency. A gif can be used for a number of […]

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The importance of breaks

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  If you’re looking to improve your productivity and creativity it might be tempting to work non-stop until you burn out. Here are a few articles showing that rest, daydreaming and boredom all feed into your creativity: What Boredom Does to You: The science of the wandering mind. On the importance of boredom and how […]

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Smashing Conference 2018 – speakers videos (London)

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Some really interesting talks from industry leaders – well worth watching

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How to combat bias in design

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As humans beings, we’re inherently biased. Natural biases serve a critical social function—they allow us to use previous experiences to navigate personal interactions and interpret non-verbal cues. To assess every person and situation from scratch would be exhausting.

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UI motion design

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More and more frequently, designers are acknowledging the importance of motion design in the context of user experience. Motion is no longer merely a way to delight the people using our products, but a functional tool that makes experiences easy and fun. Most of us have heard the time-old (and still true) saying that good […]

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Smartphone data tracking

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Smartphones rule our lives. Having information at our fingertips is the height of convenience. They tell us all sorts of things, but the information we see and receive on our smartphones is just a fraction of the data they generate. By tracking and monitoring our behaviour and activities, smartphones build a digital profile of shockingly […]

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Sponsored/branded content for RBI?

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A trend that has become a business model for advertisers and brands – some interesting case studies.

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Predicting the future

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The future of people’s tastes and personal preferences might be hard to predict but it doesn’t stop various bodies giving it a go. While fortunetellers may have used crystal balls and tea leaves in the past, these days it’s all about combing search data on websites. Here are links to a few Top Trends for 2018 […]

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How to Survive the Robot Takeover

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This article discusses the fusion of skills necessary for media companies to succeed in the digital age — which focuses largely on the Washington Post’s reinvention. With Dom Norman from Design lab and Joey Marburger from the Post.

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New York Times’ illustrations of 2017

What Not to Eat: “The Case Against Sugar”
Artist: Hudson Christie

Every issue the New York Times commissions illustrators from around the world to create artwork to enhance their articles. Here is a list of the most memorable illustrations from 2017 as selected by the team of art directors. This one is my favourite. Each artist has their own style using a range and a combination […]

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GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)

To prepare for the coming General Data Protection Regulation, publishers have a new important role: data protection officers.

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Colour Trends 2019+

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“Carsten Nicolai: Parallax” Exhibition Catalog”

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Catalog design for the Carsten Nicolai: Parallax Exhibition. This design utilized a piece that visualized sound called a spectrogram as the cover image. In order to give the impression of light from a monitor, this design was printed on iridescent paper, and the changing appearance depending on the angle expresses the parallax concept. https://www.ndc.co.jp/en/works/carsten-nicolai-parallax_201711/

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Covers with special font design

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Font design is important and could be very attractive.

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Napleon’s Russian battle map – a history

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I really like this use of narrative and visualization

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How you draw a circle

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New data show that the way you draw a circle holds clues about where you come from.

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Words of Wisdom from Seth Godin

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Seth Godin is a former dot com entrepreneur but these days is better know for his blog offering bite-sized pieces of advice and insights to people working the creative sector. Among wide-ranging topics, he often writes on business, inspiration and kindness. His full blog is worth checking regularly but it I thought you might like this recent […]

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Photographing the Northern Lights

The Aurora borealis in Iceland © Caroline Morley

On a recent trip to Iceland, I saw the Northern Lights. Like all low-light photography, taking a picture involves patience, even in the freezing midnight cold. There are plenty of online guides for photographing the Northern Lights and I think much of their advice is transferable to photographing other night scenes like cityscapes. Here is how I […]

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Infogram data viz checklist

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It’s our one-page guide to mastering visualizations that make an impact, full of helpful tips and friendly reminders. Download here  

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Saving lives with graphic design

Anti-smoking campaign poster from India in 1972 by Biman Mullick, Cleanair

Whether it’s helping patients navigate hospital corridors or trying to influence the public to adopt certain behaviours, graphic designers have a key role in shaping our lives and wellbeing. I recently visited The Wellcome Collection‘s current temporary exhibition – “Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?”. It explores the role of visual communication in our health services. The exhibition includes […]

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How to … create your own original lettering

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In recent years there has been a huge increase in the number of typefaces and fonts available to designers. Perhaps as a reaction to the stark and predictable digital fonts, watercolour fonts and handlettering are big trends in design this year. To get you started, here is a guide to handlettering. Or if you prefer to work […]

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The Economist – A Content Monetization Journey

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The Economist has long known that a paying readership is better than a bigger one. As media companies shift their focus from reach to revenue, learn how The Economist has partnered wit Piano to identify loyal readers, increase engagement and drive digital subscriptions.   Watch the video

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AJAR digital publishing guide whitepaper

A test for colour blindness of orange and green spots

Digital Publishing Technology Guide

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12 Alternatives to WordPress (And Why You Might Want to Use One)

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Well worth a read… 12 Alternatives to WordPress (And Why You Might Want to Use One)

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Thoughts on paper

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There are some truly talent artists out there working on paper. There are others that work with paper as their medium. Here are some examples. Peter Rahmen – Pop Up sculptures Nguyen Hung Cuong – Origami   Tiffany Turner – paper flowers Patrick Cabral – Paper cuts Other artists work digitally but apply paper filters and shadows to add an illusion of […]

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The Eiffel Tower at night – a copyright quirk

Image by MrCarlisLopiazTierleang/CC-BY-SA-4.0

  Copyright is a sticky issue. One of the most famous quirks of the copyright laws in France means that photographs of the Eiffel Tower at night (but not during the day) are in breach of the copyright of the designers of the light show on the tower. There is an EU law which said that photos […]

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Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

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I have a confession – I love statistics and how they can make sense of a seemingly chaotic world. You may have already guessed this from my fangirl post on Florence Nightingale and my geeky post on a company building 3D graphs. On the flip side of this is a hatred of misused and misunderstood statistics. […]

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New try with Tableau path map

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It was a good practice to add different icons in several spots. Thinking we need more chemical relevant icons. Also the first time to create a path map on Tableau combining the icon map.                    

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Farmers in Focus – FW Awards 2017 photography

© Jim Wileman

Organising forty-five portrait shoots all over the UK using seven different photographers can be quite challenging but also very rewarding. Farmers Weekly Awards 2017 is my third year in charge of this project and has proved a success again. The aim of the Awards is to showcase the best of British Farming so my brief is […]

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Bad Design, Good Design

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Good design is everywhere. Many everyday objects are so perfectly suited to their task that we don’t appreciate their simple design. That is until we compare good design with bad design. In her project The Uncomfortable, Athens-based architect Katerina Kamprani has deliberately created everyday objects that, with just a small change, are no longer fit for purpose. She originally used 3D rendering to create […]

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Creating a bold identity with 3D graphs

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I love work in 3D as you might remember from my blog post on Irma Gruenholz’s modelled illustrations and Wellcome Collection’s 3D type. And I enjoyed the post last year by Scarlett on the 3D printed infographics by Belgian design studio Soon. Those infographics (see above) were created for the 2015 annual report of pharmaceutical company Ablynx. Well […]

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WordPress javascript tutorials

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In Matt Mullenweg’s 2015 State of the Word address, he gave the entire WordPress community a homework assignment – “Learn JavaScript, Deeply.” That focus, along with developments like Calypso and the REST API, is why Elegant themes just published a basic JavaScript tutorial post for beginners to get started with JavaScript.

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