These are just a couple of experiments using the blend tool in Adobe Illustrator to manipulate type. It never occurred to me to try that before, but I think it creates some interesting effects. Not sure when I’d use them, but I’m glad to know more about that tool in general now.

FYI, you can toss the blend on a path by selecting the blend and the path and then Object -> Blend -> Replace spine.

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I recently guest-wrote a blog post where I talked about some uses for Evernote, this web the free note-taking software that can be synced to multiple computers and mobile devices. While that post was geared towards more general use, cardiology I thought I’d list five uses for Evernote for graphic designers and illustrators to consider.

  1. Evernote as an inspiration stash. Evernote lets you store text and images which is made even easier when you use the Firefox or Safari plugin. You can grab snippets off the internet or shoot a photo with your phone and store it as you navigate the world around you. You can tag everything, bronchi so your store of inspiration can be easily sorted and searched. It will even process the images and make any text searchable!
  2. Store technical information. As I mentioned in my other post, Evernote is a great place to store information that you use often, but don’t always have at the front of your brain. Things like printer specifications, client contacts, software serial numbers or key commands in Illustrator can all be stored in an easy-to-find location.
  3. Pieces of code. This is more useful for web designers, but the idea could be applied across all disciplines. As you surf the web and come across interesting web techniques, tutorials, or pieces of code, you can toss them in your code notebook for use on future sites!
  4. Shared notebooks. If you’re doing a collaborative project, you can have shared notebook that syncs to everyone’s account so you can have drafts, writings, and other notes available to all involved.
  5. Small achievement notebook. I got this awesome idea from Heather Parlato, a great designer out of Los Angeles. She keeps a notebook that contains a list of small (and big) accomplishments she’s made each month. It provides a great way to quickly look back and assess the work you’ve done. I thought this could also be done using a digital notebook as well and so far, I really like the snapshot it gives me of my successes, no matter how small. (I do kind of miss the sound of pencil on paper, though!)

There is more information on how to use Evernote on their website and blog, but I’ve found it to be a very useful tool for keeping myself organized!

I’ll also point out that there are other applications that do somewhat similar things (though I’ve not used them) such as LittleSnapper and Simplenote which can be used with Notational Velocity.

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I recently did a poster for the University of Georgia that centered around a musical piece called The Here and Now by Christopher Theofanidis. The work is based on selected poems by the Persian poet Rumi and uses the powerful and mysterious qualities of band and choir. They wanted it to have a decidedly Middle Eastern/Turkish feel to it and so I thought it would be the perfect chance to try doing some hand-drawn calligraphy.

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This is a poster I did for the 2010 KU Jazz Festival, capsule taking place on March 5-6. This year’s festival will feature Kenny Garrett (one of my favorite alto players) and his quartet. Here are a couple of older videos (like this little tune called Giant Steps) that I think explains it all. If you’re a music fan, definitely head down for both nights of the festival!

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Photo from Flickr

In a very loose connection to St. Patrick’s Day, tooth I wanted to point out an interesting marketing effort by General Mills in which they are bringing back the old school cereal boxes of days past. The Kix box is something else!

Happy St. Patrick’s day everyone and have a wonderful time!

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Vahalla Studios

Just wanted to mention another great art opening happening this week. On Friday, noun December 5th, 2008, Tad Carpenter and Dan Padavic are showcasing some of their new paintings, art prints, clothing, stationery, and gig posters at 1800 Baltimore (formerly Habitat Shoe Boutique) in the Kansas City Crossroads Arts District from about 6-9 p.m.

I’ve known Tad for a few years now and his stuff is amazing. I definitely recommend checking out this show and even if you can’t make it this Friday, the work will be up until December 28th, so don’t miss it!

Also, while you’re down there, you might check out the University of Kansas Art Department’s new Red Door Art Gallery, a gallery designed to showcase work created by current and former KU students and faculty.

Above image courtesy of Tad Carpenter

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