Washington Redacted

There's been a lot of talk this summer about renaming the NFL's Washington Redskins. But this week, sports talk radio has discussed that some announcers will be going out of their way to not even say the name "Redskins" during a broadcast. 

If the network truly deems the word to be offensive, they could just bleep out the word "Redskins" with the 7-second delay. Just think...

"Welcome to an epic battle between division rivals. The Dallas Cowboys versus the Washington BLEEEEEP. John, what do you thing about the matchup today? What do the BLEEEEEP need to do to beat the Cowboys."

Awesome, right. Or considering how much the Federal Government loves to redact classified documents, we could just rename them the Washington Redacted. The logo could look like this:

The logo for the Washington Redacted.

The logo for the Washington Redacted.

Same colors. And same number of letters as "Redskins" so die hard fans can pretend the name of their team hasn't changed. Think of the possibilities. You could redact the name of players on their jerseys. Announcers can use all sorts of bad puns. Fans could chant "Redact that kick." Or not.

Washington Redacted, secondary mark.

Washington Redacted, secondary mark.

Of course I'm kidding, but it will be interesting to see what happens with the Redskins name. I'm pretty sure Daniel Synder isn't willing to change it, but who knows, maybe the league or some other outside pressure will force him to change it.

(And by the way, the "official" typeface for the Washington Redacted is Power Grid 2.0, which I released this week. You can buy the entire family for $29.)

InDesign Presentation Mode

InDesign CC 2014 adds a new screen mode: Presentation.

You can enter Presentation mode in a couple of ways. From the menu bar, select View > Screen Mode > Presentation. I often to use the button at the bottom of the Tool Palette to switch screen modes. And if you are a keyboard shortcut person, "shift+W" will do the trick. (Don't worry, pressing "W" by itself still gets you into Preview mode.)

So, what is Presentation mode? It hides the palettes and toolbar and displays only your InDesign document surrounded by black. You can page between them using arrow keys. Or you can click to advance and shift-click to go back. It's very similar to Full Screen Mode in Acrobat.

Presentation mode will be helpful when showing artwork to clients and coworkers. And if you are like me and build "PowerPoint" presentations in InDesign, it will be nice to preview your artwork in full screen mode before you export to PDF.

Could you actually use InDesign to show a presentation? I suppose you could. Although it seems clear to me that isn't Adobe's intention with the feature. Users can add transitions in InDesign that export with a PDF file. Those transitions aren't shown in Presentation mode. If Adobe intended for you to use this mode to show presentations, they would have supported transitions. For building presentations in InDesign, your best bet is still to export a PDF and present in Acrobat.

On Wednesday's, I post quick tips for Adobe apps.

New Fonts: Power Grid 2.0 and Saluda

I'm introducing two new commercial typeface families today: Power Grid 2.0 and Saluda. Both are available now through Creative Market. 

Power Grid 2.0

Power Grid was one of my favorite Fontstruct creations, inspired by lettering I found on some 1920s Russian constructivist posters. A few years ago, I released a free, Opentype version.

My first commercial font, Powerlane, was a heavily reworked version of Power Grid. Completely redrawn from scratch, Powerlane gained new weights, an expanded character set, Opentype small caps and a handful of alternate characters. 

When I released Powerlane over two years ago, I took Power Grid out of my free fonts and disabled download from Fonstruct. But over time, I've decided that Power Grid and Powerlane – while definitely related – are different. Different enough that I've decided to bring Power Grid back. 

Power Grid 2.0 retains the basic look of the original. It's still uppercase only and tightly spaced, but I've reworked some letterforms. The alternate forms that used to live in the lower case have been moved to their proper place in the stylistic sets. The ampersand is much improved and inherited from Powerlane.

intrs-03.png

The big change is that the regular version of Power Grid also picks up some new siblings: Inline, Stencil and Rounded. Each of them adds a little different character to the Power Grid family. And each has a a regular and oblique version. 

For a limited time, I'm offering the entire Power Grid Family – 8 fonts – for $29 at The Creative Market. If you are looking for a tough, industrial typeface, the Power Grid family is a great option. 

Saluda

Saluda is a simple, sans serif design in a single weight. I started work on Saluda after I finished Powerlane. And after building a typeface with 20 fonts and thousands of glyphs, I really wanted to tackle something simple. Saluda has modular underpinnings that are rooted in some of my Fontstruct work, but there's nothing modular about the final design.

I'm especially fond of the italic version that adds some simple terminal serifs throughout. Saluda's inspired by the trails and river at a park near my home and is intended for display and identity work. Saluda and Saluda Italic are available as a package at the Creative Market for $10.

Creative Market

Power Grid and Saluda join Valdes Clarendon in the Sketchbook B store on the Creative Market. I've also added Powerlane to the store as well. You can buy Powerlane Complete (20 fonts) for $99 and subset of the family –  Powerlane Select (10 fonts) – for $49. Look for more products from Sketchbook B on the Creative Market coming soon.

Lorem Ipsum in Photoshop CC 2014

lorem_ipsum.png

The newest version of Photoshop includes the ability to paste dummy text into a text layer. Create a text layer and then select Type > Paste Lorem Ipsum. A paragraph will appear with the classic lorem ipsum text. I imagine that web designers will use this feature when building comps. And print designers will continue to yell that you don't do long passages of type in Photoshop.

Every Wednesday (well, ALMOST every Wednesday), I highlight often overlooked features in Adobe apps.

Evernote for Designers

Designers love to look for inspiration and resources. And many of us have really complex ways of keeping track of all of it. Folders, pictures, bookmarks, binders... designers can create some complex methods to organize stuff. And that's why I'm surprised every time I meet a designer that doesn't use Evernote.

Evernote is an online ecosystem that is ideal for designers. Store anything -- designs, pictures, ideas, audio, links, PDFs and more -- in an online app and access it from any device. And I mean any device. Evernote offers desktop versions for Mac and PC, mobile versions for iOS and Android and web version if you are away from your own machine. Evernote has an API that allows developers to interact with the ecosystem, too.

I know a lot of designers that use Pintrest for saving inspiration. But Evernote's more flexible and lets you save different types of material. Plus you can actually save the text of an entire article or web page, not just the link. So if the link is moved or broken, in Evernote, you will still have the original content. In Pintrest, the link is gone.

Evernote allows you store your notes and thoughts in virtual notebooks that you can search and tag. Organize your notes in any structure that makes sense to you. 

If you don't have an Evernote account, sign up for one now. (Using this referral link will get you a free month of Evernote Premium.) 

Free vs Premium accounts

Evernote offers a free account that will likely offer everything you need. But the Premium account does add some great features for only $5 per month. If you really get into Evernote, you may want to upgrade.

Inputing Inspiration

So how do you get your ideas and resources into Evernote? There are lots of options that can work with your own personal workflow.

Evernote Web Clipper. Save anything you find online to your Evernote account. You can save just a bookmark or an entire text. The Web Clipper lets you add notes and a variety of annotations to screenshots, too. One drawback is that the Web Clipper doesn't work with iOS because of current sandboxing rules. Hopefully that might change with iOS 8.

Email. One of my favorite ways to add tweets and links from my iPhone to Evernote is with email. Go into Account Info on the desktop app or Settings > General > Evernote Email Address to set a custom email address. Add it to your address book. Pretty much every app on your phone lets you share links or files via email. Just type Evernote into the email address field and your upload email address will pop up.

TIP: I create a "Notes to be sorted" notebook in Evernote and make that the default notebook. Everything I add via email lands there. Once a week, I sort my notes into proper notebooks.

Skitch. Skitch is an app for your phone or computer that lets you capture images, annotate them and send them to Evernote. It's great for taking reference shots for photo shoots, site notes for signage, screenshots and more.

What do you keep?

I use Evernote to keep everything. A few of the design related things I use Evernote for:

Inspiration. I find inspiration all over the internet... not just articles about design, social media and communication, but also pictures and articles completely unrelated to design. Evernote lets you easily save and organize these treasures so you actually can find them later.

Read later. There's a whole series of online services that help you save articles to read later. But for me, Evernote works great. I save the article link to Evernote and read it later. If I love the article, I tag it and move it into a notebook. If not, I just delete the note.

That great Photoshop tip. Evernote's great for storing tips and techniques for your favorite apps. When you need a tip, it's much easier to find it in Evernote than having to search the web to rediscover it. 

Notes. I'm always thinking about projects, even when I'm away from the office. Got a great idea at lunch? While watching TV? In the middle of a meeting? Just make a note in Evernote and it will sync up with all your devices.

To Do Lists. I use Wunderlist for most of my task management, but Evernote has the ability to create custom and flexible to-do lists. Handy for managing projects.

Book recommendations. People recommend books to me all the time. But sometimes, I have to remember those recommendations months later when I'm looking for something new to read. Evernote is perfect for saving those recommendations.

Vendors and partners. I come across talented photographers and illustrators that I'd love to work with, but often, I don't have a project for them right then. Store their contacts and work samples in a notebook and easily find them when you need someone.

In addition, there are lots of non-design reasons to use Evernote. Travel ideas, gift ideas, confirmation emails, fitness plans and more. And you can organize these things right along side your work notes.

Finding stuff

The first level of organization in Evernote is how you sort and organize your notebooks. But that's not the only way you can find and organize things.

Of course, Evernote allows you to easily search across all your notebooks for any content you've saved. And you can even enable a feature that allows your saved notes to show up when you do a Google search.

Evernote allows you to tag your posts. So you can build a tag structure on top of your notebook structure. Basically, Evernote is flexible enough to allow you to organize and find your stuff in the way that works best for you.

Sharing your inspiration

Evernote is not just a place for storing ideas. It's also a powerful tool for sharing ideas.

Social media. Evernote makes it easy to share links via Facebook, Linked In and Twitter.

Sharing a notebook. You can share a notebook with another Evernote user and both of you can view and modify it. You can also create a public URL to the note if you are sharing with a group that doesn't use Evernote.

TIP: Upgrading to Premium adds some more flexibility with how you control sharing and collaboration. So if you are planning to share notes with a small workgroup, you may want to invest in Premium.

Presentation Mode. Evernote Premium also adds a presentation mode that lets you convert your inspiration into full screen, Keynote-esque visuals. Great if you're trying to share ideas with your team around your laptop or with a projector.

Give it a try

If you haven't given Evernote a try, sign up for a free account now and see if it will work for you. (If you opened up an account a while back and forgot about it, give it a try again.) It's key strength is really the flexibility to build a archival structure that works best for you. For designers that love to find and keep inspirational resources, it's tough to find a tool better than Evernote.

 

Teleport Photoshop Layers

The Wednesday Quick Tip is back with a simple Photoshop tip. I use a lot of layers in Photoshop. And so I frequently duplicate layers by selecting one or more layers and selecting "Duplicate Layer..." from the flyout menu on the Layers palette.

But Photoshop also lets you duplicate layers to other destinations. By default, the destination for your duplicate layer is set to the current file that you are in:

But you can change the destination to any other open file or even create a new document with the layer:

You're not just duplicating the layer... you're kind of teleporting it to a different file. It's especially helpful when you want to copy an adjustment layer to a similar photo or combine a few images into a new document. 

It's a simple feature that many people don't even notice.

Every Wednesday, I post a quick tip on an Adobe app.

Vacation

Next week, I'll start with back with my Wednesday Quick Tips.

Below are a few shots from my trip to Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. All were taken with my iPhone and all have been processed with Flare. I've posted a new Flare preset, Arco, for download.

Grouping Colors in InDesign CC 2014

The new versions of Creative Cloud are out, and InDesign has picked up a few new features. One of the minor tweaks will be really welcomed by obsessive compulsive designs.

InDesign CC (2014) now lets you group your colors into folders. Just click the folder icon at the bottom of the Swatches palette to make a new color group.

While it's a small thing, having the ability to group colors will be helpful or large and complex documents.

Every Wednesday, I post a tip for an Adobe app.

Not everyone upgrades right away

Adobe introduced some new versions of Creative Cloud today. And since not everyone upgrades right away, it's a great time to remind you how to save an InDesign file so it can be opened in an older version of InDesign.

Simply go to File > Export and choose "InDesign Markup Language (IDML)" at the bottom of the dialog box. The resulting file will be have an .idml extension and should open up in older versions of InDesign.

Of course you'll still need to package your images and fonts if you are transferring the file to another computer. Just collect the job by selecting File > Package... and selecting your options. Then save an IDML file, too.

Every Wednesday, I post a tip on an Adobe app.

 

Typekit integration

At the top of the Type menu in Adobe InDesign CC is a new addition: Add Fonts from Typekit...

Selecting it will open Typekit in a browser window and you can choose typefaces that you would like to install.

Pick which versions and weights you want to use and sync them to your computer. There are lots of tools to help you discover new type, allowing you to search for type styles, thicknesses and weights. Creative Cloud automatically downloads and installs the fonts for you. 

A large selection of type, including Mark Simonson's excellent Proxima Nova, are available as part of your Creative Cloud subscription. I'm surprised at how many folks have no idea that this is part of your monthly subscription cost. And the type can be used in any app.

Every Wednesday, I post a tip on an Adobe product.

Measure twice...

InDesign has a built-in ruler – the Measurement tool that hides behind the Eyedropper. You can use it in a couple of ways.

Select the Measurement tool and draw a line to measure something. The Info palette should open. Your measurement results will appear in the Info palette.

Below, measuring the left side of the magenta box, you can see the length (D1) and the angle. Also note that the width and height of the shape, the coordinates and the colors are also shown in the Info palette. And once you've drawn a measurement line, you can move it around to compare to other shapes.

Distance and angle is easy to find.

Distance and angle is easy to find.

But that's not all. You may need to measure the angle between two lines. If I want to measure the angle between the pink and black boxes, InDesign has a hidden "protractor" measurement mode. Draw your first line. Then, holding down the option key, draw a second line that starts at the endpoint of the first line. Your cursor should change into a protractor that looks suspiciously like a compass. When you draw both lines, your measurements for the first line (D1), second line (D2) and the angle between them is shown.

Protractor measurement mode in action.

Protractor measurement mode in action.

Oddly, this ruler is more capable than the one in Illustrator where I would use it more often. The Illustrator measurement tool lacks a protractor mode. Seems like it would be an easy addition for them. (And if Adobe really wanted to improve the ruler in their apps, they should take some tips from the type design app, Glyphs, which has an amazingly functional measurement tool.)

Every Wednesday, I post a quick tip on an Adobe app.

InDesign's hidden distraction-free writing mode

I’m a big fan of distraction-free writing environments that strip away all of the formatting and let you focus on the words. (I normally use Byword for iOS and Mac.) What does this have to do with today’s quick tip? Adobe InDesign has a built-in, distraction-free editing mode.

It’s called Story Editor and it’s helpful when you are trying to edit text without the formatting. To activate it, select a text box and go to Edit > Edit in Story Editor. A simple window will open that looks like this:

The default Story Editor in InDesign.

The default Story Editor in InDesign.

Any text changes you make in the Story Editor are also made in the InDesign layout. It's just a different view of your story.

To the left you have the Paragraph style and a ruler showing how many inches of text you’ve written. The ruler takes into account the type style and width of column to give you an accurate estimate of how long your text is. If you don’t find them helpful, you can disable them by going to View > Story Editor and hiding them.

Also, I’m not a big fan of the type settings. Thankfully, you can change the appearence in InDesign > Preferences > Story Editor Display... Change the typeface, size, background colors line spacing and more.

With some tweaks to the interface, the Story Editor now looks like this:

Slightly customized Story Editor.

Slightly customized Story Editor.

In a perfect world, Adobe would include some other options. Personally, I'd like to be able to adjust the width of the side margins so can take the window full screen width and still have an easily readable line length. As you can see from the shot above, the text goes all the way to the edge of the window.

It's not going to replace Byword for me, but it is a nice option when editing text in InDesign and really helpful with complex documents.

Every Wednesday, I post a quick tip on an Adobe app.

Selective Select

I've been working on a project this week that has a bunch of layered objects.  And it reminded me of today's tip, which I do instinctively, but that not everyone knows.

In InDesign and Illustrator, hold down the command key when you select objects that are stacked. Each time you click, it will cycle through the objects underneath that click point. 

For example, you have a stack of three objects. You command-click on the stack. The first click selects the top object. The second click selects the middle object. The third click selects the bottom object. The fourth object selects the top object again and the cycle continues. (Bonus tip: If you command-option-click, it reverses the cycle order.)

It's really helpful when you have a complicated document.

Every Wednesday, I post a quick tip for an Adobe app.

Customizing a better umbrella

Designer Khoi Vinh has a great post on how to build a better umbrella. Which got me thinking about umbrellas, too.

Up until about a year ago, I never really worried about an umbrella. My driveway is close to my front door. And at work, I parked reasonably close to the office. Unless it was a downpour, no umbrella was needed.

But all that changed when I started working at the University. My car is about four blocks from my office. I have meetings all over campus. So now, I need an umbrella. I had a nice umbrella, but my lovely wife has stolen it for her car. I have another umbrella that stays at the office. And a compact umbrella that stays in my Timbuk2 bag. 

So Khoi's thoughts on umbrellas all resonated with me. But today, as I headed to meetings in a steady rain, I started to think about how expensive an umbrella like this would be – with electric trackers and custom handles. Would I pay a premium for an umbrella like this?

I would if I could completely customize it.

What if Timbuk2 made umbrellas? Awesome custom umbrellas to match their awesome custom bags. Pick the size, color and style of fabric, handle style and features. Options like electronic trackers and buckle straps. All with a warranty similar to what they offer on their bags. Eventually, you could offer a line of umbrellas from small compact models to large golf umbrellas.

I'd pay a premium for an umbrella that is exactly what I want. Just like I paid a premium for my Timbuk2 bag that I love so much.

Timbuk2 is probably too disciplined to enter the umbrella market. It would be a completely different market for them. But if someone could replicate the wonderful buying experience that Timbuk2 offers, I think there would be enough of a market for them to be successful.

Find anything. Change anything.

The Find/Change feature of InDesign is ridiculously powerful. Most people only use a fraction of its capabilities. There are four types of searches: Text, GREP, Glyph and Object.

The text find/change dialog is the only thing most people see, but there is more power lurking underneath those other tabs.

The text find/change dialog is the only thing most people see, but there is more power lurking underneath those other tabs.

A Text search is most common. Find a certain word or phrase and replace it with another. But by using the boxes at the bottom of the screen, you can also search by how the word is formatted and replace with a different format.

The GREP find/change in much more complex. It searches for patterns. So if you want to find all phone numbers in a document and format them the same way, GREP search is for you.

A Glyph find/change lets you isolate a specific character. Helpful for locating or altering of random bullets.

Using the Object tab in the Find/Change dialog box, you can restyle an entire document quickly.

Using the Object tab in the Find/Change dialog box, you can restyle an entire document quickly.

But the Object tab is the one that gets the least attention and it's the most powerful. Find and change the formatting on shapes, lines, text boxes and more. Find all boxes with a 1 pt. line and replace with a 2 pt. line. Find all shapes with a drop shadow and remove them. Powerful stuff, and most people have no idea it's available to them.

If you are working with long documents, Find/Change will save you a ton of time. 

Every Wednesday, I post a quick tip for an Adobe app.

Sketchbook B now on Creative Market

So far, I've only offered my fonts for sale at MyFonts. Today, I've added another distribution channel. You can now buy Valdes Clarendon at my shop on Creative Market.

Creative Market is a new marketplace that sells fonts, images, templates, themes and more. I'm excited to be a part of it. I also like the idea that I can sell more than just type. (As for what those products will be... well... I've got some ideas...)

For now, Powerlane will remain a MyFonts exclusive. I'm not sure it's right for Creative Market. But my plan going forward is to offer all my fonts through Creative Market and MyFonts.

Museum-caliber modular type

Last week, Stefan Sagmeister unleashed the most high-profile modular typeface design since Wim Crouwel's New Alphabet.

The redesign for the Jewish Museum in New York features two modular typefaces. You can get all the details over at Brand New. It's a complicated and massive identity. I like what Sagmeister has done and the whole system works well. But those modular type designs stood out to me — especially the primary "script" type.

As a fan of modular type and the work of Crouwel in the 60's and 70's, it's really nice to see a high-profile, modern designer embrace a modular aesthetic.

(If you want to play around with modular type, head over to Fontstruct and build something awesome.)

Better spacing or fewer hyphens

Hyphenation can be critical when you're trying to justify text. Below is a passage with three hyphens:

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 9.39.24 PM.png

Lots of people hate hyphens and might ask you to turn off hyphenation. That's a bad idea because then it will look like this:

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 9.40.55 PM.png

That's some bad spacing. Thankfully, InDesign offers a better way to control hyphenation. Go to the flyout menu on the Paragraph palette and choose "Hyphenation..." A dialog box will pop up:

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 9.41.50 PM.png

InDesign checks the entire paragraph and decides the best locations for hyphenation based on your settings. Look for the slider at the bottom of the box. On one side, you have "Better Spacing" and on the other "Fewer Hyphens." Choosing the "Fewer Hyphens" side will only leave the hyphens that InDesign needs for proper spacing. Below is the same passage with "Fewer Hyphens" selected.

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 9.41.57 PM.png

InDesign eliminated one hyphen and changed the hyphenation on "coordinate" to maintain good spacing. I usually adjust the settings with the "Preview" box checked so I can see the changes as I move the slider. 

Just know that you have more hyphenation options than "on" and "off." 

Every Wednesday, I post a tip on an Adobe app.