July 31, 2015

Design Double Clicks | July

 

There is no limit to the design and business information out there, and I try to draw as much inspiration to bring to my own work as I can. I thought reflecting monthly would be a great way to make the most of that process - so here are some things I keep clicking back to for inspiration, and a few upcoming projects I have percolating:

| INSPIRATIONS |

 



Maria Popova on Being Interesting, Creating More Time in the Day, and How to Start A Successful Blog.
I have been admiring the captivating wisdom of Maria Popova and her Brain Pickings blog for a while (I highly recommend to add it your list!), but I recently heard her interview on The Tim Ferriss Show this  month. Her thoughts on writing for yourself, how to become the person you want to be, and the creative process are valuable for any designer, blogger or human being.  


Designer Kelli Anderson's recent work
Kelli Anderson's design processes never cease to inspire me - from this flip book project she posted about recently to "This Book is a Planetarium", a popup book due out this fall. Her ability to think outside the normal parameters of design inspires me to strive to do the same. 

| WORKS IN PROGRESS |


I’m happy to get back to work on some personal projects now that I'm settled from moving at the beginning of the month - that means more type sketching, brush markering and anchor point plotting. I have a few new print designs that will hopefully be ready for action in August!
I also just started a Society 6 shop, which was a really straight forward process. I’m still filling in more of my work and figuring out what new designs I might come up with for the different products. 

| DOUBLE CLICKED LINKS |


8 Steps to Set Up Your File for Print.
A really useful guide from Ciera Design on a sometimes overlooked but important part of the design process.

Share your work without the “ick” factor.
Elembee covered some great tips on self promotion - something I still struggle with.

When should I start branding my business?
A great breakdown from Spruce Rd. on when to think about branding.

What have you been inspired about this month? What have you been working on? Let me know in the comments!


(images courtesy of timferriss.com, kellianderson.com and society6.com)



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May 12, 2015

The Favorite Keyboard Shortcuts of 7 Successful Creatives

 

Keyboard shortcuts can change your life... or at least save you a few precious seconds of it on your next project. Shortcuts help you work more seamlessly and efficiently, whether you're designing a rad album cover in Illustrator or balancing a sensible budget in Excel.

A keyboard shortcut is a combination of keys that, when pressed simultaneously, perform some task that ordinarily requires use of a mouse or other input device*. Regardless of your background, you're most likely familiar with the basics: Undo, Copy, Paste, and Control-Alt-Delete. But you may not know that there are hundreds of fancy shortcuts out there that can save you valuable time and energy.

I've found that every artist, designer, and creative has their own unique tricks of the trade and go-to shortcuts. In the interest of uncovering some of these priceless productivity gems, I've asked designers, artists and creatives to share their favorite keyboard shortcuts with us! (Keep in mind, most shortcuts are interchangeable for Mac and PC, just swap ⌘ and Ctrl.)


Kathleen Shannon | Braid Creative

creative branding & blogging goddess
⌘Z - forever and always. I also love shift+⌘+ [ and ] for moving objects above and below each other in InDesign.


Ciera Holzenthal | Ciera Design

graphic designer & meet up maven
I love being able to quickly navigate around the screen, so my favorite keyboard shortcuts are for zooming in and out, ⌘+/- and ⌘0 for “Fit page in window” for when I need a quick view of the full design.



Robert Cornelius | Robert Cornelius Photography

photographer & photoshop powerhouse
In Photoshop: I use ⌘J alllll the time to duplicate my layers. I’m constantly trying something crazy and if I just duplicate my layer before I try it, then I can always delete that layer if I don’t like it, or maybe turn down the opacity a bit. Also ⌘E to merge a layer down to the one below it.



Jamie Starcevich | Spruce Rd. Design

graphic designer & branding buff
Spacebar is the easiest way to navigate to different areas of your artboard! Before using this, I used the navigator tool... which I am not sure they even still have that! I never use it anymore, clearly. I use the guides in illustrator like nobody's business! ⌘; toggles the guides on and off. “V” is probably my most used shortcut! This toggles to the selection tool, and basically just off of whatever previous tool you had selected (shape, transform, etc.)



Sara Cornelius | Cake Over Steak


illustrator & fantastic food blogger
For Photoshop, I love being able to use the brackets [ and ] to change brush size, and you can swap between your foreground and background colors (if you're using a brush tool or whatever) with "x" - knowing shortcuts like these for the Adobe programs is a game-changer in your workflow and speed.



Sarah Moore | Smoorelovin

interactive designer & playlist perfectionist
option + ← or →  = single letter kerning is definitely my favorite, such a HUGE time saver. It allows me to put as much care into letter setting as possible with a little more control.


Chrystina Cappello | Christina Noel

greeting card crafter & bringer-together of bloggers
I don't usually have a mouse attached to my laptop, so I spend most of the day using keyboard shortcuts. Some of my favorites are Ctrl-E to center in Microsoft Word, Ctrl-> and Ctrl-< to make fonts bigger and smaller in Microsoft Word, Ctrl-T to open a new tab in Chrome, Alt-tab to switch between programs, and Ctrl-Z to undo.


BONUS - Me! | brigette i design

graphic designer & hotkey hoarder
For the Mac operating system - if you hit ⌘-spacebar it brings up a “spotlight” search bar in the right hand corner. Start typing and you can open any application or file from there instead of manually going through folders.


Thank you to all of the amazing creatives who shared their keyboard shortcut expertise with us - now go forth and use their gifts of knowledge!

Do you have any must-know shortcuts, or just a favorite? Let us know in the comments! And if you’re looking for a visual reminder to use your hotkeys, check out my "Know Your Hotkeys" series of printables and prints in my etsy shop.


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February 10, 2015

Valentine Printable Treat Tag: You're Unbe-leaf-ably Cool!

 


Everyone knows that the most important thing about Valentine's Day is making the best cheesy puns. Similarly crucial is eating delicious candy, and I suppose appreciating your friends and loved ones is up there as well. These printable candy valentines have you covered on all three!

Keeping with tradition, I designed these treat bag valentines for friends and coworkers this past year, this time with gummy mint leaves candy. Check out the past two designs, "You're a Star" and "You Rock" as well!


To incorporate a more permanent element to the gift after the minty deliciousness is gone, I included a leaf-related graphic and Albert Einstein quote to hang up.


These are super easy and fun to make! You'll need:

  • 4.75" x 3.5" clear treat bags (from your local craft store or amazon)
  • Spearmint Jelly Leaves candy (any grocery should have these, or in bulk at candynation.com)
  • Cardstock or heavyweight printer paper
  • Color printer
  • Scissors or X-acto knife
  • Stapler



  1. Download the printable here! 
  2. Print the pdf double-sided onto your card stock, and trim out each label square on the "unbeleafably cool" side. Fold down the middle evenly.
  3. Fill your treat bag with a helping of candy, and fold the top of the bag over.
  4. Place your label around the folded edge of your treat bag, and staple towards the bottom edge.
  5. BAM - You have a fun and tasty valentine to give the unbeleafably cool people in your life!





You can download the past free printables designs too - click below:


Enjoy!  Brigette



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