Oliver Jeffers on art, the universe and everything

One of the joys of being a parent is in discovering and sharing books with your child. Both I and my daughter have been consistently charmed and delighted by the work of Oliver Jeffers. His books, including The Day The Crayons Quit, The Great Paper Caper and The Incredible Book Eating Boy, are beautifully illustrated but have a quirky, sideways view of the world which is surreal, amusing  and thought-provoking.

Jeffers has recently become a Dad himself and his new book, Here We Are, is an introduction to Planet Earth for his own child.

Read more about the curious world of Oliver Jeffers at Creative Review (free account required).

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Recent design work October 17

We just updated our Adobe Behance pages with some of our recent design work.

Image of Cover from Northern Lighthouse Board Journal 2017.
Cover from Northern Lighthouse Board Journal 2017.
Image of Sample page from Northern Lighthouse Board Journal 2017.
Sample page from Northern Lighthouse Board Journal 2017.
Image of Sample page from Northern Lighthouse Board Journal 2017.
Sample page from Northern Lighthouse Board Journal 2017.
Picture of Logo for Highland Coffees roastery in Comrie, Perthshire.
Logo for Highland Coffees roastery in Comrie, Perthshire.
Picture of Display flag for Highland Coffees roastery.
Display flag for Highland Coffees roastery in Comrie, Perthshire..
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1500 fonts added to Adobe Typekit

If you’ve been paying attention to your Creative Cloud subscription you’ll know that you have access to an online library of fonts called TypeKit. today Adobe announced a major increase in fonts, adding over 1500 to the sync service meaning they are available for desktop use. There are also 446 fonts completely new to the service. Find out more at the TypeKit blog.

 

Source: The Typekit Blog | Hundreds more fonts in the library and Marketplace, 1,500+ added for sync

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When should I convert images to CMYK?

This is a question we’re asked regularly and it causes some confusion. Images are generally captured using the RGB colour mode but, for printing, they need to be defined as CMYK mode. Think of it as the difference between screen viewing and printing.

Image of screen and printer icons

The initials RGB represent the primary colours of the screen mode – Red, Green and Blue, CMYK represents the primary colours of printing – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (Black being represented as K or the Key colour).

In the early days of desktop publishing, images were converted to CMYK using Photoshop before they were placed into a design application like Illustrator, QuarkXPress or InDesign. This process can be time consuming and creates a variety of inconvenient side-effects. The CMYK colour mode is adapted for specific printing processes and machinery and has a reduced colour range compared to RGB so CMYK images so are not suitable for reuse in many other media. A further benefit from leaving images as RGB is that much of Photoshop only works in RGB mode so, if you convert an image you’ll find a substantial amount of Photoshop’s editing capabilities are disabled.

The good news is, this process is no longer necessary, as long as you are exporting your  document to a PDF using a preset which includes a colour conversion.

Screenshot of Photoshop Convert to CMYK mode

 

Let’s explain that further. The typical way to change colour modes in Photoshop is to manually select Image>Mode>CMYK Color, however,  as all Adobe applications use the same colour engine, you can perform an RGB to CYMK conversion at any point in your workflow using any Adobe application. If you are sending print-ready PDF’s to your print provider, you can automate the conversion by placing RGB images into InDesign or Illustrator and creating a PDF using choosing a preset such as PDF/X-1a2001 or Press Quality. These presets contain a built-in conversion which will convert any images to CMYK automatically. The original pictures will remain untouched, leaving you free to reuse them for output in other media without making duplicates.

Screenshot of InDesign Export to PDF

SCreenshot of second step of InDesign export to PDF process

This does not automate creative processes such as colour correction, retouching or sharpening and these should be carried out in Photoshop in conjunction the various soft proofing tools such as Proof Colours and Gamut Warning.

In cases where you intend to send open InDesign files and links to your print provider this approach is not suitable (unless you’ve agreed that your print provider will perform the conversion). For most people, however,  converting on export to PDF offers a much quicker and more efficient way to ensure images are correctly adjusted for print.

To learn more about working with colour with Creative Cloud, contact us.

 

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The Movable Book of Letterforms

Designer, Kevin Steele has created this spectacular introduction to letterforms. It’s a hand-crafted pop-up book, in an edition of three only, which acts as both an educational tool and a tribute to the craft of paper architecture. I wish there was a mass-production version. See more at Kevin’s web site.

This pop-up book serves as a basic introduction to letterforms, their origins, and unique characteristics. Type plays a fundamental role in the communication process as much through the shapes and styling of the letterforms as the actual words that they join to form. This book also attempts to demonstrate how movable books can be used to educate and create visual impact for audiences of all ages. Interior: digital print on Mohawk Superfine 80lb cover Cover: Laval velour bookcloth debossed with polymer plate All movable parts cut and assembled by hand. 2009 22 pages, 8.25″ x 8.25″ x 2.25″ Edition of 3

Source: The Movable Book of Letterforms

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The designer’s guide to grid theory

I spend a lot of time emphasising the importance of grids both in my commercial training as creativelab and also as a lecturer at the University of Stirling. Creativebloq has posted this useful introduction to grids in design. It;s primarily about screen design but many of the principles are true for print too. Well worth a look.

Source: The designer’s guide to grid theory | Creative Bloq

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Redesigning Penguin classics

London design agency La Boca has created a series of luminous (and just a bit retro) covers for classic titles from Penguin’s Science Fiction list. This interview from Adobe Create offers some interesting insights into their creative and technical processes.

I love the fact that they’ve kept to the spirit of the classic Penguin SF covers I grew up with but have brought a modern sensibility and have created animated versions suitable for the mobile era.

Classic penguin science fiction covers

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