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Thanks for subscribing. (If you already read Design Briefing 213, read no further, this  is a repeat sent on a different day in the hope of reaching those who missed it.) 

I hope your 2015 was challenging and fruitful. And that 2016 is your best year yet.

Happy New Year!

Chuck

Have you seen my InDesign Ideabook?

315 template files in 19 different categories -- Everything from brochures, newsletters, and direct mail to packaging, calendars, and books (one CD works with both Mac and PC). Use two or three files and you'll pay for the entire book and disc...

For Adobe InDesign
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Material Design: Google's opinion about how to design stuff

This creeps me out a little-take a look at this video and tell me what you think.

Apple and now Google are in the business of interface design. Is that good? Maybe. There is a clear advantage to the adoption of recognizable, universal user interfaces, but (I believe) there is some danger in allowing the elephant in the room to sit in the same chair with you.

Yes Google has the resources to bring together a group of smart folks who come up with a consensus opinion about how a their version of a good user interface should look and function. But that, I hope, will remain just one institutional opinion.

Should we simply say thank you and step aside or should we be a little paranoid about an institution as powerful as Google grabbing the reins?

What is Google's Material Design?...
The details...
Is it too late to improve your handwriting?

Haha... for me, yes-I'm a lost cause. I took a mechanical drawing class in school that converted me from a handwriter to a printer. Are we losing something significant as handwriting "fades"? IS handwriting fading?

Some interesting ideas, examples, and a look at the old way of doing things...

Hill's Manual of Social and Business Forms : A guide to correct writing...
Old school handwriting characters...
Theory of Spencerian Penmanship...

From the New York Times: What's Lost as Handwriting Fades by Maria Konnikova...
From The Atlantic: How The Ballpoint Pen Killed Cursive by Josh Giesbrecht...
Then there's Jake Weidmann...
A set of powerful, free tools for prototyping websites and apps

Here's a wonderful set of tools for prototyping websites and apps. You can take any set of images (.psd, .sketch, .pdf, .png, .jpg, .gif), and link them together in sophisticated ways that simulate a user interface then share with others you want to collaborate with or test your design.

If you ever present website or app ideas-be sure to see this.

Thanks to Rob Green for pointing us to it

Here's a brief introduction...
And the InVision homepage...
How a few customers use it...
Some inside baseball: The InVision Dribbble board...
Designer Derek Torsani shared one of his InVision prototypes on Dribbble.com...
Derek Torsani Dribbble board...
A source of free-to-use for anything images

I'm not a lawyer but the license sounds as it you can use Unsplash images for just about any purpose without a fee. (I suggest, of course, that you read the Unsplash license, their FAQ, and ask questions if you plan to use the images.)

That said, there is some excellent material in the collection-well worth a look.

The Unsplash website...
The Unsplash license...
The Unsplash FAQ...
The Unsplash Book...
The Creative Commons "Zero" license...
Examples of projects created using Unsplash images...
Supply your email address and you'll get 10 hi-res photos delivered to your inbox every 10 days...
Unsplash was created by the folks at crew.co...
Is assistant-as-app the next big UI design trend?

Nir Eyal recently wrote a couple of provocative posts that wonder if an assistant-as-app interface is the next big UI design trend. The idea is to have human intervention (or artificial intelligence intervention) to help users navigate systems and processes. He shared this list of situations-those he thinks would be best suited for the idea...

"When a user wants to accomplish a singular goal but has too many options.
When a user does not enjoy browsing through the options.
When data entry is easy but processing and analysis is hard.
When the traditional screen interface is too complicated or small.
When a trusted relationship helps.
When a request does not have to be completed immediately."

Like many great ideas, it seems obvious. But if you're in the business of communicating ideas to people, you might want to watch Nir Eyal and Tony Aube kick around the possibility.

Thanks to Lee Garvey for pointing us to it.

Why 'assistant-as-app' might be the next big tech trend by Nir Eyal...
Human + A.I. = Your digital future by Nir Eyal...
No UI is the new UI by Tony Aube...
Designers: Welcome to the world of small manufacturing

Virtually anyone can open a small business, but manufacturing has typically been big business territory. Until recently anyway. We're now seeing machines capable of cutting, engraving, 3D printing, carving, even assembling, available for not much more than the cost of a 1990s laser printer.

Here is a new laser cutter/engraver that is worth your attention. Thanks to Fred Showker for pointing us to it.

Glowforge...
The Glowforge website...
Another mini-manufacturing idea: Makerarm...
How Posters Work

How Posters Work is an exhibition at Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum which shows, "How dozens of different designers--from prominent pioneers like Herbert Matter, Paul Rand, Philippe Apeloig and M/M (Paris), to lesser-known makers-have mobilized principles of composition, perception and storytelling to convey ideas and construct experiences."

If you're in New York before January 24, 2016 you can catch it at the museum. Or you can explore the exhibition using the links below.

Example 1: "Light/Years," 1999 by Michael Bierut...
Example 2: "Him" at The Public Theater, 1994 by Paula Scher...
Example 3: "ADDO-X," 1958 by Ladislav Sutnar...
Explore the exhibition...
The exhibition website...
The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum is at 2 E 91st St, New York, NY 10128...
You can also take advantage of a Skillshare session: Demystifying Graphic Design: How Posters Work presented by Ellen Lupton, who curated the exhibit...

About this newsletter

I try to remain as objective as possible about the information I share here. Unless I tell you otherwise, I receive no compensation from the organizations and people mentioned except for occasional product samples. I am an affiliate of Lynda.com and MyFonts.com -- that means, if you purchase something from them, I get a small commission. Comments? Suggestions? Write me at chuckgreen@ideabook.com -- Chuck Green