DTG News for January, 2012

by Fred Showker

DTG Newsletter ~ Vol. 22, #01 ~ January, 2012

  1. Happy New Year... 2012
  2. Create a Beautiful Frosted Fashion layout
  3. Photoshop New Year Madness
  4. Enlarging JPG files
  5. The Year 2011 in Photos
  6. Top Ten New Year's Resolutions for organizations
  7. Don’t Let the Grinch Ruin Your 2012 Business
  8. Opportunity Knocks for Independent Bookstores
  9. Tangling with CraigsList scam artists
  10. Surface Deformation Software for 3D Artists
  11. New Year for Publishing
  12. Marketing Update : Year End
  13. Creative Tidbits: Kick off a Creative 2012
  14. Web Design : The Affiliate Myth
  15. WANTED : Search Engine Results :
  16. Should we Stay or Fold?
  17. Site of the Month : 5 Years ago today
  18. HUMOR : Do it again. And again
  19. It's Never Too Late

DTG NewsletterHappy New Year... 2012

I'm writing this on December 29th, before closing the shop for the weekend. It was a busy, busy year, and we didn't get everything done we wanted to -- but hey! We're still on this side of the grass, so I'm pleased to report it was a great year! I just hope you'll stay in touch, and help us make this the best year yet for the Design Center!

Create a Beautiful Frosted Fashion layout

This is the perfect time of year for this extensive tutorial from Mickel in Sweeden. Give this fashion photo a wintry look using Adobe Photoshop for a cold and frosty look using cold colors and frost textures.

Photoshop New Year Madness

Hello 2012, bye-bye 2011 ... and Photoshop Madness passes along some free designs and wallpapers ringing in the new year! And, of course we wish every happy Photoshopping for 2012, and safe surfing for Photoshop stuff that won't make you go mad! Photoshop New Year Madness

Enlarging JPG files

You need a digital camera shot to fill an entire wall ... or for vehicle wraps, or exhibit backdrops... what do you do? Here, I've tested yet another JPG enlarging utility and I believe this one might just be the one

The Year 2011 in Photos

So many others are doing "the year in review"... I decided to live by my hard-learned rule : *Don't do it yourself if someone else can do it better!* Amen! So at the risk of spending another perfectly good hour wasting time on the internet, here are some of the best 2011 photo reviews I've seen so far . . .

Top Ten New Year's Resolutions for organizations

As the world continues to shrink, and people continue to migrate away from local organizations and clubs, here are ten things you can do in the coming year to pump some new life into your club... in my 60-Second Windows blog :

Don’t Let the Grinch Ruin Your 2012 Business

The famed children's fable, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, tells the story about the Grinch who attempts to ruin the holidays from the children of Whoville by stealing their gifts and decorations. As in most fables, the Grinch's diabolical plot is foiled. If only it was that simple in the real world.

Opportunity Knocks for Independent Bookstores

First there were the bookstore chains, then Amazon, then digital books, all seeming to threaten the very existence of the brick-and-mortar bookstore. Yet, in the wake of the recent closing of the Borders bookstore chain, a new surge of independent booksellers is rising, seemingly against all odds. Opportunity Knocks for Independent Bookstores

Tangling with CraigsList scam artists

'twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, someone is getting seriously ripped off by an online scammer on Craig's List. Some experts have estimated that millions of dollars will be lost this holiday season because victims didn't immediately recognize they were being scammed. Read along as I have a little fun with this one -- and illustrate how to avoid getting trapped yourself! [Note: as an update, I've received three other scam attempts -- all as funny as this one -- since writing this article!] Another from my blog 60-Second WindowsTangling with CraigsList scam artists

Surface Deformation Software for 3D Artists

Kickstand has launched a campaign to make surface deformation software available to all 3D Artists. This opens the door for 3D developers, programmers and artists to readily integrate advanced Surface Deformation technology into workflow and software programsSurface Deformation Software for 3D Artists

New Year for Publishing

Another year has come to an end, and a new year is about to start -- is your publishing act together? Here's some help including a pice on plagiarism and another on QR codes:
* Amazon adds HTML5 -- and suddenly its ebooks get much better looking
* Marketing research: Social CRM is increasingly important
* Group Says Newspapers Aren’t Dead, They’re Alluring
* Ebooks' popularity is rewriting the sales story
* 4 ways jumbo postcards can help boost business
* In defense of print: 10 great resources
* Publishers find more uses for QR codes
* 10 principles of writing for the Web
* Print media is here to stay
* The Accidental Plagiarist
* Strategy before content
* 5 Day Delivery FAQs
* Beware the Kindle ... and more

Marketing Update : Year End

Let's continue our series of marketing updates to get you off on the right foot for the new year:
* 6 tactics to leverage the influence of social reinforcement
* 8 popular postage tools to save money on business shipping
* 9 criteria for establishing your business' brand essence
* 3 ways that a printer could benefit by using SMS/text
* What's required of the next generation of marketers
* 5 steps to small business public relations success
* What will the future of direct mail look like?... and more

Creative Tidbits: Kick off a Creative 2012

The Creative Tidbits is the column for all creative people, with a shot-in-the-arm to get those creative juices flowing. And you'll need them for the new year! From upcoming young designers to old timers, here are just a few our favorite happenings in the graphic design world.
* The Portfolio Handbook, by the Class of 2012, Industrial Design
* Lahser Sophomore Is Top Winner of 2012 Auto Show Poster Award
* Infographic Of The Day: The Best Design Tools On The Market
* Winners of 2011 Adobe Design Achievement Awards
* Graphic artist takes his designs to the slopes
* An Exhibition of Graphic Design's Cutting Edge
* international moleskine sketchbook exchange
* Company preserves "dying art" of printing
* Children's drawings painted realistically
* Branding for Threshold Furniture
* Natalie Shau bewitching the eye
* Meet the future of consulting
* Making His Own Mark, Once Again
* Good design, for fun and profit
* Art just for shits and giggles
* Paule's Color Palette Harmony
* Embracing '90s typography
* What Is Motion Design
* Girl Guide cookies ... and more creative inspiration!

Web Design : The Affiliate Myth

TRUE or FALSE : You're getting rich off affiliate programs? Send me the answer to this question, and let me send you some new software, books or other goodies from the Design Center Gift Shop!

Once upon a time, when the internet was populated by mostly honorable, honest folk, a new company appeared that was selling books. It was called "Amazon" and they allowed a guy with a web page to review a book and make a few bucks by sending potential buyers. Amazon gave us a special link and if the reader purchased, we got a few pennies. It was all good, and 'webmasters' everywhere began offering books. The Design center was one of the first to jump on board! In the first few years it was thrilling to average $200 to $400 per pay period just by selling books. Then, a few years later, along came Google who said "Let's make tons of money for nothing by launching AdSense," and suddenly the web became riddled with AdSense ads, making billions for Google, and pennies for the rest of us.

The rest of this story gets too sordid, messy and ugly to ruin your day. But if you've got a web site or blog, and you participate in any of the hundreds of "affiliate" programs out there, or AdSense, PLEASE share your experience. I've come to the conclusion that it's all a myth to burn up your time and bandwidth making someone else rich.

WANTED : Search Engine Results :

Can you do me a big favor? We're doing a little research project and article on search engines and search results, and you can be a BIG help. Just type Shenandoah.org into the search window at Google -- THEN -- copy the first page results and paste it into the comments window at http://www.graphic-design.com/contact.html

Should we Stay or Fold?

At some point we have to ask ourselves if it's worth the trouble to continue something when there are no returns. The Design Center returns very little, but we love to keep it going because so many thousands of readers benefit from our content each day. Graphic-Design.com is in the top 100K sites online.
      However, the forums are not making anyone happy (that we know of) except the spammers, black-hat SEO operatives, and low-life opportunists. We're hammered each and every day by hundreds of fake posters and spam robots wanting to get their links seen in the forums. It has become a real mess trying to identify and keep the one or two good folks out of hundreds of new subscribers each day. It's sad.
      These forums began life in 1994 as an adjunct to the Design Center, first as listservs, then as a MoveableType forum, and currently as a vBulletin forum at http://www.DTG-forums.com/
      As I write this article, the server is sending a friendly email to all 7,055 registered users asking if they want to keep the forums. I'll ask you the SAME.
      Should we keep'em, or fold'em? If we fold one, we'll fold'em all.... that's the Photoshop 911 emergency room, the Web-Design Reviews and the Design Cafe. It's a simple Yes or No question, but we'd love to know your reason for responding.
      Our decision will be based on reader feedback, and we'll let you know the decision in the February newsletter.

Site of the Month : 5 Years ago today

Our site of the month, five years ago, was MUELLER DESIGN in Oakland, CA ... we invite you to visit them again -- totally expanded with lots of great new stuff! It's comforting to know that when 80% of the links have gone DEAD from past sites, some of the good ones remain ... alive and well, today! BRAVO Kyle Mueller!

HUMOR : Do it again. And again

I have a client exactly like this. Do You? A Designer's Christmas

It's Never Too Late

I have no idea what this message actually says, it's all in German, but the video is so visually clear that anyone in the universe should GET THIS MESSAGE : That it's never too late to help someone get back on the right track. And wish that message, we wish you a very wonderful new year!


How can you participate in 2012 ... here are just a few, and we share these editorial themes with you NOW, so you can prepare in time so you won't be left out ...

March and April are "Designing Women" months
... when we celebrate International Women's Month. Help us find extraordinary designing women, or register your own portfolio to be featured:
GO http://www.graphic-design.com/Gallery/designing_women/

April and May are all about COLOR
... it's spring and everything is new ... including your fresh new color ideas, share them:
GO http://www.graphic-design.com/design/color/

June and July are all about Photography
... taking photos, digital cameras, photography, and travel. They all seem to go together, and you are invited to share your best tips, tricks, and portfolio samples with DTG readers: Portfolio posts here:
GO http://www.graphic-design.com/folio_submission.html
Articles, tips, reflections, etc post here
GO http://www.graphic-design.com/submit.html

Go ahead. Give it a try. You'll be so pleased when your content is published to all DTG readers!

Please have a wonderful, fulfilling and prosperous 2012. From all of us here at the Design & Publishing Center and DTG Magazine, we bid you well.

Thanks for reading...

Fred Showker
      Editor / Publisher, DT&G Magazine

Parting words for a new year ...

"An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in.
      A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.?
          Bill Vaughn

And : "Planking"

What did you miss last month?

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27th Anniversary for DTG Magazine