60 Seconds #329 : 10 Ways to BREAK the Creative Block for designers, illustrators, writers

If you think you've got the creative block, don't think you're alone. We all get it, and we all have to break it. I've been doing this for nearly half a century. During my seminar days, the creative block was one of the most popular questions from attendees. "Fred, how do you get creative ideas?" ... "How can I break writer's block?" Everyone has his or her favorites. These have proven over the years to work... try'em out next time you're stuck for a story, a drawing, and ad concept or anytime you need a creative jumpstart. February 24, 2016

60-Seconds #328 : Why do cybercrime spam cartels keep sending the same, tired old spam?

As many of you already know, I've been a volunteer spam fighter since February 15th, 1999. I had a passion about helping keep the Internet clean since developing forums for GEnie, eWorld and America Online back in the 1980s. Now my work goes on through Knujon.com, Spamcop.net and SafeNetting.com. We've all agreed that one of the real pains of the online world is someone trying to sell you something -- particularly if the solicitation is false, illegal, or damaging in some way. But through the last several years, ugly "sex enhancement" spam solicitation had diminished. Or so I thought. January 20, 2016

60-Seconds #327 : Who establishes the logo design trends for 2016?

Somebody posted their 'logo design trends for 2016' to a LinkedIN design group, so I decided to follow it. Much to my surprise, they talked about design techniques that have always been in use, and never go out of style. Needless to say, I was intriqued. Who really decides what the logo design trends for 2016 really are? I went on the quest. January 13, 2016

Adobe Releases CC2015, Designers share and ask: Why are you still using CS6?

I've been following this thread for a while on LinkedIN, and wanted to share a few selected comments for those of you who have not taken the plunge. There are many out there who really love the Creative Cloud. There are many out there who refuse to jump into the Creative Cloud. August 12, 2015

#326 : Fools Gold - web advertising

So you think you're getting rich with web affiliate schemes, and Google? You're giving away your web space in exchange for a percentage of a sale? From where I'm standing it looks like a huge rip-off to the benefit of the advertiser. If you're paying attention to what's happening, you might think different. July 23, 2015

Creative Tidbits #192: Ask Tog, Site Tweaks, Infographics and Creative inspiration

Fred Showker's Creative tidbits

So here we go into summer's creative jam and designers' vacation! Get creative inspiration from your summer activities -- here are some starters to get your creative juices flowing :

  • First look: two new digital magazines make unusual screenshot and icon choices
  • Positive computing: technology for wellbeing and human potential
  • 15 Practical Design Tweaks For Your Website In 2015
  • 7 Tips for Creating Successful Infographics
  • First Principles of Interaction Design
  • 5 Ways to Find Creative Inspiration
July 11, 2015

60-Seconds #325 : Should graphic designers have social responsibility?

You may remember my 2002 post about Steven Heller's "Citizen Designer." Milton Glaser often says, "Good design is good citizenship." So, we decided to go out on the limb a decade later and ask the same question amongst a cross section of Designers today. The responses we got are somewhat amazing! Is the graphic designer as accountable as the marketing and publicity departments for the propagation of a message or idea? Be careful, don't answer until you've read this. June 16, 2015

60 Seconds #324: Getting a job in the Web Design field takes a little more than an email

Now that so many have graduated from design schools in the past few weeks, it's time to hit the streets looking for a job. I understand job hunting is tough these days, so it is ever amazing to see how many really, really BAD solicitations we receive. It's amazing. Here another example of a really horrible solicitation. June 15, 2015

60-Seconds #323 : Future history - the coming of a Digital Dark Age

I have a friend who recently lost their iPhone. I asked, is there a backup? The answer was chilling. Then I get an email from Karl Volkman who wants to write about the possible reality of a 'Digital Dark Age' asking 'Are Our Priceless Digital Records Safe?' I've preached on this topic in past 60-second windows, and it's time to say it again. May 25, 2015

60-Seconds #322 : I got trapped by Google Adsense & false advertising

Do you remember when Google came out with Penguin, how they would penalize any site with 'false' links? Then all this talk about mobilegeddon, and how Google has become the internet police and the ministry of information -- all about 'honesty' on the web. Google's "honesty" took a big hit when I wanted to contact a Tupperware sales representative in my own town. But, the search results were the last thing I expected -- and certainly the last thing I wanted. April 28, 2015