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Wednesday’s Weekly Reader: Best of the Best

On 07, Jan 2009 | No Comments | In Design Life, Illustration, Inspiration, Typography | By Lorraine

It seems like everyone is doing lists these days, so not to be out-done, here’s a list of my favorite lists! (a bit of a cop-out, I know…but they had to be shared.)

  • The Design Cubicle’s 50 Brilliant Design Articles of 2008
  • TypeOff’s Twelve Memorable Type Occurences of 2008
  • Art Vinyl’s Best Vinyl Cover Art of 2008 (was glad to see Coldplay and Death Cab make the list, which I blogged about here and here; I’ve also been strangely drawn to Metallica’s new album and it gave me a whole list of new music to try)
  • Speaking of music, Linden just blogged her 10 Songs of 2008
  • Noupe just posted 20 iPhone Apps for Bloggers, Designers & Freelancers although I’m not sure I agree that these are geared specifically towards the above three groups of people as I think most everyone would enjoy them…
  • …and if they Were posting for the above three people, they should have definitely included Brushes. Check out the sketches done with it (among other works) by Disney artist, Stef Kardos at his flickr page:
    Courtesy of Stef Kardos 
    The app is on sale right now, so I went ahead and purchased it…my first paid-app, by the way. A great way to get back into the sketchbook habit this year… 


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In Design Life
Think Green

By Lorraine

Currently Loving: iPod Applications

On 07, Dec 2008 | No Comments | In Design Life, Think Green | By Lorraine

When I first got my iPod Touch, I had mixed feelings: guilt over abandoning my (now broken) G2 iPod (that crystalline beauty had an elegance unmatched by any of the click-wheel iPods), feeling frivolous for getting the Touch (even though it was free with my new mactop), and disappointment that it wasn’t the iPhone (I’d just upgraded to a new cell phone right before they were available). But now, 4 months later, I’m in love and can’t imagine life without it.

It’s consantly attached to my hip: mainly because I (finally!) upgraded so that I can install applications on it. So I thought that I would share the applications and bookmarks that are quickly becoming my favorites. I’m sure I’ll be updating this list as more come out, but for now, everything on the list is absolutely free and can be used whether you own an iPhone or iPod Touch.

The Basic:
Both the iPhone and iPod come with a handful of applications already installed that are designed to sync with your computer. These are actually the programs that I use the most, and why (in addition to laziness) I didn’t really feel the need to upgrade until just recently.

  • Mail: Top of the list for sure. It’s so handy at work to have my personal accounts automatically checked for new messages, and I love that I don’t have to sign in to each online portal anymore. Although full synchronization requires a MobileMe subscription, I don’t recommend it…it can be annoying to not have your Mail programs fully sync’ed, but on the other hand, I’m not sure I’d want them to be.
  • Calendar: This has totally eliminated the need for me to carry around a paper planner…and helped me be just one more step towards going Green.
  • Notes: Again helping me think Green by eliminating about half the post-its I’d otherwise use…also a great way to jot down quick blog post ideas.
  • Maps: !! I just tried this out when I had to report for jury duty this past week. The step-by-step driving directions are a life-saver and my new favorite thing.

The Practical:

  • Facebook: I know, right? Facebook, practical? But I’m on it so often, that this helps me cut down on the obsessive-compulsive need to constantly check the newsfeed. The application is so well designed, that it’s effortless to navigate through the various features. And I love that it alerts you when you have unchecked messages or notifications.
  • myLite: This handy flashlight app comes in rather useful.
  • WordPress: Although not fully featured, I love that I can write full posts on my iPod…including uploading photos. This would be even more helpful if I had the iPhone’s camera feature.
  • Pandora: I love that they’ve made Pandora available as an application…and I love that it basically turns my iPod into a radio.

For Fun:

  • Urbanspoon: I have a hard time making decisions anyways…this is just a fun way to decide on lunch. And I like that you can lock in each criteria depending on each meal.
  • Google Earth: I only get on this to have fun looking places up, but it’s great to have in the palm of your hand.
  • Lightsaber: I know, I’m a nerd. But it’s fun to challenge people to duels with! (couldn’t find a direct link, but rather easy to find in the app store)
  • BubbleWrap: A great little game for when you have literally just a minute to kill.
  • Black and White/Reversi: I’m obsessed with Othello anyways, so this can be dangerous to have when I’m procrastinating. (There are several versions out there to try.)
  • MazeFinger: Yet another highly addictive time-killer. I spent half my time at the courthouse breaking my own records while waiting to not get selected for jury duty.

For the Design-Nerd:

  • FontShuffle: Just launched by FontShop this week, I’ve already had fun browsing the various fonts. Works kind of like UrbanSpoon, and allows you to custom-test copy in each font. The custom tests can be saved and uploaded to your computer. Handy!
  • Shadows Never Sleep: The interactive story I wrote about in August is just as beautiful as I had hoped.

And Finally, Bookmark These:

  • GoogleReader: The iPhone version of the site is great and comes in really handy for when I want a quick look at what’s going on out there.
  • GoogleChat: Better than SMS/texting because all of my friends already have it and it’s free.

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Wednesday’s Weekly Reader

Another week’s worth of great stuff on the web, but first an Fantasy Olympics update: it seems that despite a good start, Austria has slipped to the bottom. Alas!

Re-visiting the Orphan Works Bill debate:
I first posted about this issue here and here, and now Etsy’s Storque puts the debate up to their readers. 

Great Resources:

  •  If you’re like me and always hoping to brush up on more webdesign skills, WebChicklet posted a great resource list for learning CSS. (via swissmiss)
  • SpeakUp! just posted an awesome review of the book Dear Lulu. Designed by design students in Germany, the book is essentially a test to see how well the digital on-demand service could print everything from half-tones to colors and how well the piece was trimmed and bound. Sweet idea and well designed:
    via SpeakUp!
  • For those art history nerds like me, check out Nancy Stock-Allen’s well-designed History of Graphic Design site for class notes. (also via swissmiss)  
  • And finally, if you love Sprint’s Speed of Light campaign and want to do your own light drawings, check out Light Doodles for a gallery and how-to. (Thanks, Linden!)

Pure eye-candy:

  • Shadows Never Sleep reinvents the picture book for your iPhone (or iPod Touch!)…via Coudal
    Courtesy of aya natalia karpinska
  • And in honor of my upcoming post series on animation, this gorgeous snippet of a short from Carlos Lascano: A Short Love Story is one of the most beautiful pieces of stop motion in a long time. (also via Coudal)
    Courtesy Carlos Lascano 
I think that about sums it up! I’ll be posting about Wall•E later this week and hope to follow that up with some more animation-related posts.

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