Free Icons

iconsSketchAtive

A collection of free icons created by “Aegean K” from SketchActive.

360 outline and 360 matching solid vector and bitmap formats. Transparent individual files in 60px & 120px for Coding. JPG files for overview and detail revealing. Sketch files for Editing, fully scalable and adjustable. You can use these icons in tab bar, navigation bar and table row for both iOS and Android apps. Also in web design, branding, stickers, presentations and prints. Anywhere you want.

Very fine icons. Highly recommended.

Esther Honig: A Beautiful Woman?

Esther Honig sent her photo to photographers in 25 countries and asked them to make her beautiful. The amazing photos are on her website. They span the full range of what is considered beautiful internationally and individually.

For those who don’t know Photoshop it will be a lesson on how little you can believe a photograph once it’s met a computer. I am not a Photoshop expert or even advanced user, but if I wanted to be, I would start by studying these photographs.

Infographics from Visual.ly

The graphic design company Visual.ly specializes in  “visual content,” information conveyed using a combination of images and language—infographics, videos, interactives, presentations. They pull together storytellers, number crunchers, designers, and animators.

Their Infographics start at $999 and are worth every penny. They are delightful and elegant and effective—the magic word.

Their front page is a continuous scroll of their work, which is amazing: Visual.ly. I classified this as fabulously beautiful, partly because it is and partly because it is so unexpected and well-done. An inspiration.

The blog entries explain data visualization: Visual.ly Blog.

Three examples   of staff picks:

English Grammar Verbs

Grammar: Verbs at Visually.
A Beginner

The Beginner’s Guide to Wine from  Visual.ly.
All Sci-Fi Spaceships Known to Man

All Sci-Fi Spaceships Known to Man at Visually.

 

Simple Design, Short Names, No Ads

Triple Threat Websites are simple, and becoming simpler. It takes time to learn to leave out what people don’t really need to know, but we’re getting there.

Simplifying the Internet

Today’s examples of simple are from a post by  on the BuzzFeed FWD website. It includes examples of simple design sites and the new attitude: “Welcome To The New Internet: Simple Design, Short Names, No Ads”

These examples are publishing platforms directed at simplifying and redesigning blogs. John Herrman writes:

In recent months, at least four of the most interesting new startups — all either from or backed by people with deep roots in the current internet, including Twitter cofounders and many of the most prominent VCs in Silicon Valley — have been launched to, in some way, replace the internet. Not add to it, or change some part. These sites want to fix the whole thing: to remake comments, content, and updates with little to no encumbrance from the current web.

Simple Blogging Websites

Building a Successful Product

Rachel Andrew
Rachel Andrew

Start Small and Listen is web developer, speaker, and writer Rachel Andrew‘s advice in Smashing Magazine. No matter how many articles I have read on business, I find one more that protects me from another bad idea. This one is on building successful products. She means moneymaking products, and that I haven’t mastered but I still want people to read what I write. A nice article.

Building a Successful Product: Start Small and Listen

John Radoff
John Radoff

“The goal of a startup is to find the sweet-spot where minimum product and viable product meet — get people to fall in love with you. Over time, you listen to your customers, make improvements and raise the bar on what viable means — making it more expensive for competitors to jump in.”

– John Radoff, Entrepreneur, author, and game designer

If You Don’t Have a Million Dollars

Paul Hawkin
Paul Hawkin

Environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist, and author, Paul Hawkin author of Growing a Business has similar advice: “If  you don’t have a million dollars, you can lose a million dollars.”

 

Smashing Magazine

Smashing Magazine LogoSmashing Magazine is simply smashing. Articles on coding, design, graphics, and WordPress and other CMS programs and software.

Beautiful, helpful, indispensable. An essential email newsletter, a library, workshops, job board, etc. More than I can ever remember.

Effective Viewing Distance for Sculpture

During a discussion about placing a sculpture in the small park at Fourth Street NW and Blair Road, referred to as the triangle park, I was sent this diagram of the effective viewing distance for sculpture in relation to its size. It may be from Jan Gehl’s paper “Close Encounters with Buildings.” Apologies if posting it violates any copyrights. Our decision is approaching and this information might be helpful.

Chart of Optimum Viewing Distance for Sculputure

A meter is a bit more than 3 feet. If the sculpture in question is 10 feet tall, it would be  3+ meters. Effective viewing would be about 5 meters or 15+ feet. If it were placed against the Barack building to the south, it could be viewed comfortably from the front of the park or the street. That’s if it’s 10 feet tall and if could be placed there without affecting the one remaining tree which is close to that wall. How close can a heavy object be placed to a tree without damaging the root structure? How will be sculpture be affected by birds in that tree?

The sculpture may also be on a base when it is installed. Sculptures are often put on bases not to make them taller and more impressive but to protect them from casual vandalism. A three-foot base would mean an effective viewing distance of an additional three feet of viewing space. We could be up to 20 feet. Anyone sitting or standing in the park would not have the most effective view of the Hand.

Retaining Human Scale and Honoring the Sculpture

If the goal is to eventually have a park in which a variety of people can sit and enjoy the flowers and, hopefully, new Cherry Trees, the Hand could be a pretty overbearing presence. The Hand would also not be well served by being hidden behind Cherry Trees. An oasis of green at that corner isn’t compatible with that size sculpture. It and the neighborhood would be better served with a placement in front of the Takoma Recreation Center.

Golden Ratio Typography Calculator

The Golden Ratio Typography Calculator addresses one of the most difficult aspects of designing a text: to layout type in such a way that it is most readable and attractive. Most typographers and graphic designers have had years of visual experience that allows them to choose the most attractive and readable font sizes, widths, and line lengths intuitively. Even with comparable experience, however, doing this on the web can be a challenge. Chris Pearson of Pearsonified has designed a calculator that produces several optimal sizes and proportions given your preferences or the requirement of a specific project.

Calculating Sizes, Heights, and Widths

The calculator will (1) calculate the appropriate font size, line height, content width, and characters per line, and paragraph spacing; and (2) allow you to choose a font that is set to these numbers in a block of text. It will show you the optimum settings for a given content width, number of characters per line, for your chosen font and size, etc.

For 16pt type, for example, in Hoefler Text the optimum settings are:

Font Size: 16, Line Height: 25, Content Width: 600, Approx.92, Characters Per Line: 85.

In Verdana, these settings are:

Font Size: 16, Line Height: 25, Content Width: 600, Approx. CPL: 74

If you click on the font size, a box will open giving you the optimum settings for headline and primary and secondary text sizes.

You may not agree with the settings Chris finds optimal, but it is an excellent place to start.

Crochet (& Knitting) With Wire

A beautiful and inspiring little book that is useful as well. Jewelry, boxes, baskets, and a purse crocheted with wire. Techniques would work with knitting as well. Clear instructions, even if you have never crocheted before and a list of sources for supplies. Clear, illustrated technique instructions, precise photographs of projects, explains and names jewelry-making equipment and parts like fasteners, and even includes a bibliography and index. An excellent gift book.

I’ve looked at these projects for years and never understood exactly how to get the beads on the wire or where to find the wire. Or what size wire one would use. First Tip: You put the beads on the wire, or yarn, first. Then you pull them up or push them further down as you work. Never occurred to me. Second Tip: The wire comes in numbered gauges, the smaller the number, the larger the wire; the larger the number the finer the wire. 26 is stiff but workable; 34, the size of a hair. The author prefers 28-30.

Wire also comes in more than copper and nameless grey metals — gold, silver, brass, and many wonderful shades of green, blue, red, etc. See Artistic Wire.

Crochet with Wire by Nancie M Wiseman. Loveland, CO: Interweave Press, 2005. At Amazon

Choosing Colors: Color Schemer

 

Color Schemer Application Start Page
Color Schemer Start Page

If you love choosing colors or you hate it because you never get it right,  I highly recommend an inexpensive software program called Color Schemer.  It is both useful and captivating. It recommends and allows you to create color samples and save them in palettes, collections of colors—without wasting any paint.

Sample and Match Colors

Color Schemer Sampler Tool measuring the color of an orange lily.
Color Schemer Sampler Tool

You can also sample and match color with any photograph or other image on the screen. Love the colors in that landscape by Vincent van Gogh or that Martha Stewart Living interior? Choose Tools > Color Screen Picker and save the color. You can sample a whole photograph to create a full palette of colors based on a field of wild flowers.

Even more fabulous is the quality of color. On a computer, screen color is instant and luminous. It doesn’t take hours of mixing and 45 coats of thin glazes to get a rich pale blue.

Automatically Generate Palettes

ColorSchemer Sample Palettes
ColorSchemer Sample Palettes

The program will also create analogous splits, angled accents, complements, smooth gradients, shades, soft blends, rectangle shades, semi-circle blends, mono comps, and tetrad blends. I have not a clue what an angled accent or tetrad blend is but my original palette was transformed into 20 or so radiant prisms of perfectly calibrated colors. Fabulous.

Once you have a palette of colors you like, you can name it and save it. As a graphic or website designer this is fabulously helpful because you can save by project. if you are doing website design, you can print out the html # codes for each color. You can also check your color to see how they work for those who are color blind.

Share Color Palettes & Get Ideas

Color Schemer Themed Palette
Color Schemer Themed Palette

Color Schemer also has a website where people upload their palettes so you can scan through tens of thousands of examples, and even rate them. They are all named: A Rose, A Walk in the Park, Angel in the Moonlight. Even Baby Poop and Windows XP. Wedding names are common and get a lot of stars: Winter Wedding, My Wedding, Silver Wedding, Tiffany’s Berry Wedding, Sunny Wedding Day. You get the idea.remixed colors, you have to mix them every time you want to use them. With Color Schemer, you just enter the color number or drag and drop to your new palette or graphics program. Some artists keep records of 2 drops this and 4 drops that, but many painters and designers are intuitives. Intuitives think differently—we do it the hard way and recreate.

And avoid Taxes

I spend hours there, particularly instead of doing my taxes, like today when I’ve received my last deferral and have four days to finish them. I have a whole folder of palettes, my own and others. Totally useless. Complete waste of time. So I recommend Color Schemer if you care about color, or even if you don’t. You might grow to love it since you don’t even have to mix the paint.

Color Schemer Website

This entry  is Part II of a two part post on Color. In case you didn’t take my advice the first time, you  may enjoy  Part I: Colorist Painting that might contribute to your appreciation of color and thus of this program.

Color Schemer

This entry on a computer software application, Color Schemer, is Part II of a two-part entry on Color. Part I: Colorist Painting may contribute to your appreciation of color and thus of this program.

Color Schemer Application Start PageIf you love color, and especially if you hate it because you never get it right,  I highly recommend an inexpensive software program called Color Schemer.  It is both useful and captivating. It allows you to create color samples and save them in palettes or collections of colors—without wasting any paint.

Sample and Match Colors

You can also sample and match color with any photograph or other image on the screen. Love the colors in that landscape by Vincent van Gogh or that Martha Stewart Living interior? Choose Tools > Color Screen Picker and save the color. You can sample a whole photograph to create a full palette of colors based on a field of wild flowers.Color Schemer Sampler Tool

Even more fabulous is the quality of color. On a computer, screen color is instant and luminous. It doesn’t take hours of mixing and 45 coats of thin glazes to get a rich pale blue.

Automatically Generate Palettes

ColorSchemer Sampel Palettes

The program will also create analogous splits, angled accents, complements, smooth gradients, shades, soft blends, rectangle shades, semi-circle blends, mono comps, and tetrad blends. I have not a clue what an angled accent or tetrad blend is but my original palette was transformed into 20 or so radiant prisms of perfectly calibrated colors. Fabulous.

Once you have a palette of colors you like, you can name it and save it. As a graphic or website designer this is fabulously helpful because you can save by project. if you are doing website design, you can print out the html # codes for each color. You can also check your color to see how they work for those who are color blind.

Share Color Palettes & Get Ideas

Color Schemer Themed Palette

Color Schemer also has a website where people upload their palettes so you can scan through tens of thousands of examples, and even rate them. They are all named: A Rose, A Walk in the Park, Angel in the Moonlight. Even Baby Poop and Windows XP. Wedding names are common and get a lot of stars: Winter Wedding, My Wedding, Silver Wedding, Tiffany’s Berry Wedding, Sunny Wedding Day. You get the idea.remixed colors, you have to mix them every time you want to use them. With Color Schemer, you just enter the color number or drag and drop to your new palette or graphics program. Some artists keep records of 2 drops this and 4 drops that, but many painters and designers are intuitives. Intuitives think differently—we do it the hard way and recreate.

And Avoid Taxes

I spend hours there, particularly instead of doing my taxes, like today when I’ve received my last deferral and have four days to finish them. I have a whole folder of palettes, my own and others. Totally useless. Complete waste of time. So I recommend Color Schemer if you care about color, or even if you don’t. You might grow to love it since you don’t even have to mix the paint.

Color Schemer Website

This entry  is Part II of a two-part post on Color. In case you didn’t take my advice the first time, you  may enjoy  Part I: Colorist Painting that might contribute to your appreciation of color and thus of this program.