Jamie Clarke on the 8faces blog:
Over four years and across eight issues we interviewed 64 world-renowned designers, including; Erik Spiekermann, Jessica Hische, Michael Bierut, Nina Stössinger, Mark Simonson & Seb Lester, plus owners of respected type foundries such as, Font Smith, Type Together and Process Type.
We’ve counted the number of times each typeface was selected and found consensus with the top 25.
Rich McCormick on The Verge:
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station came a step closer to self-sufficiency yesterday by successfully manufacturing the first 3D-printed part to be produced in space. The printer, installed aboard the ISS last week by NASA commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore, was used to produce a replacement plastic faceplate for its own extruder system using a technique called additive manufacturing. NASA says the project is “paving the way for future long-term space expeditions,” — by demonstrating that replacement parts for repairs could be produced in space, the space agency shows that astronauts may soon not have to wait for supplies to reach them from Earth, potentially allowing them to travel further from our planet’s surface.
Pixel-perfect rendering is a thing of the past on the iPhone platform. Having seen the rather severe results in the worst-case scenario (rendering a regular grid of hairlines), I am actually surprised how little of an issue the automatic downsampling is in practice. As I mentioned, I simply don’t notice anything of the effects I have illustrated here in real life.
A fascinating breakdown of the iPhone 6 Plus’ downsampling.
Anthony Colangelo on A List Apart:
Knowledge is the collection of skills and information a person has acquired through experience. Intelligence is the ability to apply knowledge. Just because someone lacks knowledge of a particular subject doesn’t mean they can’t apply their intelligence to help solve problems.
This is a nice collection of quotes from Jony Ive’s conversation with Deyan Sudjic — the Director of the Design Museum — about the future of design.
My favourite part:
[I]f we are not failing we are not pushing.
It’s interesting to see how much more Jony Ive has been appearing in public recently, especially his interview on Vanity Fair.
Required reading by Stephen Coles on the Font Bureau blog:
We commonly see typographic jargon misapplied in print as well as online, by all kinds of people, including professional designers and journalists. So here are some of the most commonly confused typographic terms that get tossed around, along with simplified definitions.
Two fantastic collections of photos have popped up in my feed in the past couple of days, both space-related.
The first was this 3840×2160 (downsized due to YouTube limitations) time-lapse of the surface of the sun, compiled of over 17,000 4K images taken over 4 days and played at 52.5 minutes per second.
When I first saw it (on Subtraction), I thought it was cool. Then today I started reading this. The first few pages cover the some of the particles that make up our universe. When I re-watched the time-lapse this evening (with a slightly better understanding of what was actually happening), it blew my mind.
The second is this collection of photos of Comet 67P on the New York Times, taken by the European Space Agency Philae probe and the Rosetta spacecraft. A result of 10 years, five months, and four days in space, 6.4 billion kilometres (3.98 billion miles) travelled and five orbits of the sun.
It’s already been 3 weeks since we shipped the latest version of RapidWeaver, version 5 having launched 4 years previously. The launch was a success and Dan (Realmac’s founder) has written up some of the details of what happened pre, during, and post launch that helped make it so.
If you haven’t checked out version 6 yet, you can do so here.
Unlike web designers who work primarily with hex values when it comes to colours, interface designers work mostly with RGB(A). Unluckily for us, whilst Photoshop provides an easy way to copy a shape’s hex value to the clipboard it doesn’t offer an RGB(A) equivalent. If you are unfamiliar with this feature of Photoshop, here’s the quickest way to use it:
- Go to “Edit” then select “Keyboard Shortcuts”.
- Under “Shortcuts for” select “Panel Menus”.
- Toggle “Color”.
- Scroll to “Copy Color’s Hex Code” and assign it a keyboard shortcut.
I’m constantly grabbing colour values from PSDs but after a while, opening the content options of each of the layers whose values I need, then typing out said values manually into an “RGB([red], [green], [blue])” string gets pretty tedious, pretty quickly.
A few weeks ago I wrote a script that does a fairly good job replicating Photoshop’s native “Copy Color’s Hex Code” except of course, it’s “Copy’s Color’s RGB Code”. It’s been a good time-saving addition to my workflow, despite it’s limitations due to one of Photoshop’s AppleScript restrictions: as far as I can tell from Adobe’s documentation, there’s no way to get any form of colour value from the currently selected layer in Photoshop (although I’m more than happy to be proven wrong if you know of a way). As it doesn’t use the selected layer for the colour, it wouldn’t make sense for it to use the alpha channel value of the currently selected layer either, so if your layer has one you’ll need to add that manually. Hence the use of “RGB” instead of “RGB(A)” above.
What that means is that once setup, the only difference between the native functionality and our scripted one is that you’ll have to use the colour picker to select the colour you want to copy instead of selecting the layer. Whilst not ideal, as I said, it’s still saved me a lot of time.
Ok, now let’s take a look at the script:
-- Convert the current foreground colour in
-- Photoshop to RGB then copy to clipboard
-- by Elliot Jackson | http://elliotekj.com
tell application "Adobe Photoshop CC 2014"
set fgc to convert color foreground color to RGB
set redInt to red of fgc as integer
set greenInt to green of fgc as integer
set blueInt to blue of fgc as integer
set the clipboard to "RGB(" & (redInt) & ", " & (greenInt) & ", " & (blueInt) & ")" as text
And here’s a step-by-step of what it’s actually doing:
- Convert the current foreground colour in Photoshop to red, green and blue values.
- Independently set the values of the red, green and blue channels to the nearest integer.
- Add each value to it’s appropriate slot in the “RGB($red, $green, $blue)” string.
- Copy the whole lot to the clipboard.
Note: The values are put into an RGB() string because of how we have things setup here at Realmac. If you’re interested, here are the macros that we use:
#define RGBA(r, g, b, a) [NSColor colorWithDeviceRed:(r / 255.0) green:(g / 255.0) blue:(b / 255.0) alpha:a]
#define RGB(r, g, b) RGBA(r, g, b, 1.0)
If you are using a version of Photoshop other than CC 2014, you’ll want to change
tell application "Adobe Photoshop CC 2014" to whichever release you have.
Let’s get this setup so you can actually use it. There are two parts to this, adding the script as a Service and then giving it a keyboard shortcut in Photoshop.
Setting the script as a Service
- Launch “Automator.app” from your Applications folder.
- Select “New Document” then “Service”.
- In the search box (top left), type “Run AppleScript”
- You should have 1 result come up, if you don’t then make sure “Library” is selected on the left.
- Drag it over to the main area, delete any code that’s already in the input then paste in the script above.
- File > Save and give it a relevant name, this will be used later.
Triggering it with a Keyboard Shortcut
- Launch “System Preferences” then go to “Keyboard”.
- Go to “Shortcuts” then “Services”
- Scroll down until you see it. It will be named the same as what saved it as in Automator.
- Select it then click “Add Shortcut”. Make sure this doesn’t conflict with any of your existing Photoshop ones.
Restart Photoshop and there we go, you should now be able to use it. If you want to run it manually, go to
Photoshop > Services > [ whatever you named it ] in the menu bar. Granted it takes a few minutes to setup but in the long run, it’s worth it.
Hopefully you’ll find this as useful as I’ve done. If you have any questions or run into any difficulties, please let me know in the comments. If you’d like to keep updated as I post here, check out the RSS or Twitter feed.
It’s nice to see that Ivo has decided to update this for iOS 8 after the version he published last year for iOS 7. It’ll give you a good run through of what you need to know about the guidelines for the new release as well as the new devices.
You should still read through Apple’s official docs of course but this provides a handier reference. While you’re at it, Apple have updated the OS X guidelines for Yosemite as well.
Ben Thompson on Stratechery:
If carriers didn’t like Apple’s insistence on creating the best possible user experience, well, consumers who valued said experience were more than happy to take their business elsewhere. In effect, Apple builds incredible user experiences, which gains them loyal customers who collectively have massive market power, which Apple can then effectively wield to get its way – a way that involves maximizing the user experience.
This is an interesting piece by Karla Urbina documenting the evolution of the Title Bar and it’s buttons, from the Xerox Star in 1981 to Windows XP in 2001.
It’s worth checking out just to skim through 20 years worth of OS iterations packaged neatly into a few GIFs.
Mike Davidson on the Twitter blog:
Earlier this year, we collaborated with our friends at @Iconfactory on a set of 872 beautiful emojis so Tweets containing emoji characters would look as sharp on the web as they do in mobile apps. Now we’re pleased to announce that these emoji are available as an open source library to the developer community at large.
Yet another fantastic set of icons from the guys at The Iconfactory. If you need an emoji pack, look no further.
As a typeface designer who cares deeply about the industry in which I work, I have watched Monotype not merely survive, but grow and prosper. They have become respected experts in the business and the technology of type. Having my typefaces become part of the Monotype foundry will make sure that they, as well as the other FontFonts, will benefit from Monotype’s strengths. The industry-at-large will be stronger once FontShop adds its creative prowess to Monotype’s business.
The $13 million deal (approximate) includes FontShop International GmbH as well as FontShop International Inc., FontShop’s FontFont library, FontShop AG of Berlin and 13 typeface families.
I’m going to teach you some secrets of Sketch power users, including how to customize and combine basic shapes into your own illustrations, letterforms, or icons; how to address technical issues that can be totally bewildering even to professional designers; and how to leverage several tips and best practices for your workflow.
This great guide by Peter Nowell gives a comprehensive explanation of Sketch’s vector tools. It covers both basic and advanced techniques as well as explaining how to work around common problems that you may have come across.
With the arrival of iBeacons in iOS 7, Apple was clearly moving into retail and public spaces in a whole new way. […] With this new technology in-hand, it wasn’t too long before I put together a brand new office In/Out tracker called PunchClock. It uses a combination of a geo-fence and iBeacon tracking, plus a simple Sinatra backend hosted at Heroku.
The guys at Panic have been experimenting with iBeacons and have open-sourced the result, an internal app that tracks who is and isn’t at the office (although, as they put it, “it’s not for the faint of heart”).
There was a great CocoaRadio episode about iBeacons a few weeks ago as well.
Using SVG inline provides total access to the graphic for complete customization and control over its output. This is especially handy when creating shapes by hand in the browser, or making edits to an existing graphic.
If you haven’t worked with SVG strokes before, this article by Joni Trythall is a great place to get started. It covers the related attributes and as well as the basics of animating them, all with code examples.
Codrops also published an article a while ago showing off some of the things that can be achieved with SVG strokes.
If you have a web app, intro.js by Afshin Mehrabani looks like a great way to improve your users’ onboarding experience. It has good compatibility with anything above IE8, is fairly lightweight and as an added bonus supports keyboard navigation.
There are a few demos available as well as a far more in-depth look at it’s capabilities on GitHub.
This is your chance to do something you actually care about it. Regardless of how impractical it may be. If you’re super into underwater basket weaving, underwater basket weave like everyone is watching. If you do something just because it has mass appeal and other designers will probably like it, that’s a flimsy motivation. Eventually, your preference for other things in life that you actually care about is going to win out.
Justin shares some solid advice in this article. If you want to work on a side project but aren’t sure where to start (or even if you’re already working on one at the moment for that matter), this is definitely worth a read. TL;DR?
Make something worth a damn about something you give a damn about.
As a beginner, understanding how the different languages you learn interact with each other can be confusing. I thought we could pair up a variety of languages to see where they intersect and communicate.