Archive for Articles

10 Outstanding Paper Artists

Peter Callesen:

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Funny iPad images doing the rounds

This image somewhat relates to a similar article from The Onion: Frantic Steve Jobs Stays Up All Night Designing Apple Tablet

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5 ways to a Portfolio CMS

Get a D.I.Y Portfolio website. You’ll need a web hosting server and a little bit of tech know how, but the following list is Content Management Software built specifically with artists and designers in mind.



Core CMS (update: discontinued)

Secretary CMS


Let us know if you recommend any others.

Sponsor Link
Here are 14 creative single-page portfolio websites design inspiration.

Hosted Portfolio Roundup

If you’re not tech savvy enough to set up your own web portfolio from scratch, or you just don’t have the time, then using a site designed to host portfolios might be the solution for you. Many have a free version that might be enough for your needs, but also have Pro plans that allow for more functionality. Some have social or networking elements. But all of them allow you to get your work on the web without having to deal with web hosting and set up.

Below is a roundup of 10 websites that should help you decide which hosted portfolio platform is best for you.

Hosted Portfolio Specific Websites

Quite a large following. Simple and robust system.
Cost: Free (In Beta)

Nicely designed choice of existing themes with further customisation possible and ability to use your own domain name.
Cost: To be announce (In Beta)

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Design Folios with Google Maps

Using an application, like CASA’s Image Cutter or the Automatic Tile Cutter, you can create your own map tiles for Google Maps. This means that you can replace image map tiles with any image tiles you like including other maps, or more importantly for designers and artist, replace them with portfolio images!

Here are some 5 examples of design portfolios using Google Maps:

Markus Dressenmicrotyp.jpg

Blaubo Designblaubo.jpg

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Rhett on Twitter

Ok, i don’t know why, but Twitter has been getting some massive exposure over here in Australia for the last few months. I put it down to the incestuous whoring of information between research lacking media channels (That’s an example of a Twitter rant right there). So when I hear it mentioned on breakfast TV it makes me feel like it has jumped the shark but I guess the average person would just see it as hitting the mainstream.

I’ve been on it for over a year now and it’s still a difficult question to answer when someone asks, “So what is Twitter”. There are many sites and videos dedicated to that sole question. But I think, “Twitter in plain english” is by far the best video explanation if you want to know what it is basically about.

Here is my Twitter page if you are interested in following my rants:

Upcoming Redesign Concepts


What is Upcoming?
Upcoming is a community for discovering and sharing events. It can help you find stuff to do, discover what your friends are doing, or let you keep private events online for your own reference.

Project Background
I was first approached to redesign Upcoming by founder Andy Baio (Waxy) back in June 2007. Andy was made aware of my work via a CNN redesign article I had written. Andy’s initial brief to me was concise and informed. He gave me an open brief, to use all the existing content on Upcoming, and redesign the site how I saw fit. Now this is the type of brief I like, because for a client to approach with this attitude means they have an understanding and respect for my design ability (usually demonstrated by past projects). Although this, by no means, means that I do whatever I feel like doing, it means I have a brief which is open enough to do what I believe is best for the website or brand. There is a difference.

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What is RSS?

I’ve been syndicating content on Heavy Backpack for some time now. So I thought it was about time to explain RSS to the uninitiated, so you can keep track of the news and articles added regularly (but not always everyday) to the site.

If you’re a visual person, I’ve included a video explanation made by Common Craft explaining RSS in really simple terms.

If it’s better for you to read it, here’s my written explanation below.

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8 Great Business Web Designs

They are structured. They are professional without being stuffy. They communicate clearly. They are open and approachable. They have a distinct identity. They are 8 great business web designs.



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Top 10 Best Tumblr Designs & Themes

If you’re not exactly sure what a tumblelog is, then check out What is a Tumblr? for a bit of background. But just because it’s a random sequence of thoughts doesn’t mean your tumblelog needs to look like random trash. Here are the top 10 designs and themes that I’ve s(tumbled) across in the past few weeks:

01-tumbl-us.jpg is a tumblelog by Matt McInvery who also maintains a design portfolio and blog at pixelspread

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What is a Tumblr?


When the new year is still fresh, I like to explore and experiment with new things around the web. My discovery and pick for the biggest web app growth this year would have to be Tumblr. Although Tumblr has been released for a little while, and the concept of keeping tumbelogs is not totally new, there’s a few reasons I wanted to give it an overview.
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CNN Web Redesign Alternative

To the uninitiated, the current CNN home page is cluttered and overpopulated to say the least. So when I saw that CNN was launching a beta site with a redesign I was very interested to see the new direction. I have been aware of the issues on the CNN home page for some time now, and thought a new design was in order, and well overdue.

The blog reviews I have read about the new beta design have been mixed, but for mine I would say that, although not fantastic, it is a step in the right direction.


I can say this because I’ve already considered the design direction in which CNN should be headed. Here’s one I prepared earlier. Literally. Over 4 months ago I took some time to redesign the CNN homepage addressing some design and layout issues.

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What value do you put on your work? No spec and free pitching?

Generally referred to as No-Spec jobs or Free Pitching, this letter following is something that is spreading quickly around the design webisphere that may help to explain the practice. The text below was originally posted on Craigslist (and quickly removed by admins) in response to the ridiculous job offers soliciting creative services for free (or for very little money).

But continually the written letter is repeatedly being posted on craigslist. At the bottom of the article is “Please copy and repost daily so that our profession may be respected.” So someone posts it, it gets taken off, then reposted again.

NOTE: The following was posted anonymously on Craigslist.

Every day, there are more and more Craigs List posts seeking “artists” for everything from auto graphics to comic books to corporate logo designs. More people are finding themselves in need of some form of illustrative service.

But what they’re NOT doing, unfortunately, is realizing how rare someone with these particular talents can be.

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10 ways to get your client to love you

1. The first step to having a good relationship (in business of course) with your client is to take on good clients in the first place. Don’t feel obliged to chase down every client that sends flirting glances in your direction. You could be ‘jumping into bed’ with a client that others knew not to touch.

2. Some clients just aren’t right for you. It’s not you, it’s them. (a) Some clients are too big. You’ll be lured by the big bucks, but when they should decide to leave, remaining will be a gaping hole in the heart of your business. (b) Some clients are too small. If possible, check to see if they pay their bills (or request some upfront payment on larger invoices), and that you won’t be spending all your time and effort educating them on ‘the process’ of working together. Find the client that is just right, to avoid a painful divorce.

3. Anyone can compete on price, but not everyone will compete on service. To give yourself a more valuable position in the relationship you need to make the transition from being just a vendor with services to being a strategic partner with their business interests at heart. Make yourself indispensable from your clients selling process. The more valuable you are to the client, the more love will be returned back to you.

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Make way for a great idea

While in a toy store a young girl spotted some play jewelry that caught her eye, a beautiful pearl necklace. She asked her mother to buy it for her, her mother said no, but said if she earned the two dollars that it cost, she would be able to buy it herself. So the following days the girl proceeded to find chores that could earn her some money.

She help her auntie with the cleaning, she got fifty cents. She helped her mum with cooking and got one dollar. Her brother helped her out with the final fifty cents as she helped him clean his bedroom. She eventually went back to the store to buy the plastic pearl necklace which she took home and cherished. It was her pride and joy. Many months passed as she treasured her favorite item, and apart from when taking a bath, she never removed them from her neck.

One evening her father was tucking her into bed and asked her if she loved him. She replied ‘yes’. Her father then asked if he could have her pearl necklace. She hesitated and said, ‘but I love my necklace so much, you can have my teddy bear if you want.’ Her father said okay, and left. The following week the father again asked her if she loved him, she said, ‘yes very much’. He then asked again if he could have her necklace. She clasped her necklace with concern, and said that he could have her doll collection. He said that was fine and left. Again the following week the father approached the girl. She replied, ‘yes I love you daddy’. He asked ‘Do you love me enough to give me your necklace?’, holding her necklace she shook her head ‘not my necklace daddy’.

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