Saturday, July 28, 2012

Gift Ideas for the InDesign Geeks in Your Life

I've been collecting cool gift ideas for InDesign users and I wanted to share them with you. Honestly, these ideas were mainly ideas I gave to my own  family members. But some of these ideas are so great, I think that other InDesigners should know about them as well. While there are plenty of generic-graphic-design-y gifts, these are primarily relating to InDesign.

Custom License Plates: $30-60

My husband got me this for my birthday. I'm still kind of shocked that the plate was even available. I thought for sure another InDesign user in North Carolina would've already snagged it. But lucky for me, they didn't!

InDesign-inspired glass: $15 and up

I found this glass on Etsy. I was looking for a local artist here in Raleigh from whom I could buy something pink.

But if Illustrator, Photoshop, or Acrobat are more your thing, she also has nice designs in orange, blue, and red. Sure, normal people might not know what the colors represent, but your software geek definitely will. I think the red business card holder would be especially appropriate for anyone who makes interactive PDFs.

File Extension Jewelry: $24

How much do I want this necklace? A lot. This artist has a variety of other Creative Suite extensions as well (.psd, .ai, .fla), plus necklaces for Save and Undo. How fun would it be if she also started offering .idml and .icml? Or maybe .indb, .inx, .indl, or .idms?

Pink Pillows: $15

These pillows come in a variety of sizes. The little ones would make great ornaments. The company who makes them used to be backordered for 6 weeks, but they've recently ramped up production and you can get your pillow relatively quickly now. Like any smart business catering to graphic designers, they also have pillows for  all the other Creative Suite applications (even Bridge!). The photos of the large pillows on their home page are CS3 branding. The mini pillows have been upgraded to CS5. I'd be curious to see if they will be doing any new pillow designs for CS6.

Pink Yarn: $84.99

Now, I know that most InDesign users don't knit, but I also know a fair number that do (myself included). This yarn is a sampler pack of fingering weight, 100% wool. I just finished making an afghan using this yarn (worked using #4s, in garter stitch, in case you're interested.) Plus, this yarn is at a truly amazing price! If your software geek is into a different program, they have other colorways as well

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

American Flag Stroke Style

I recently wrote an article on how to use a custom striped stroke style to make the stripes of the American flag. You can find the complete article over at InDesign Secrets.

But I wanted to show you some other cool things you can do with this custom style. Continuing on the patriotic theme that inspired the original design, you can apply this stroke style to a star.

You can apply this stroke style to a circle and make your very own gold record. I copied and pasted some gradients swatches in from Illustrator so I didn't have to recreate the gold gradients in InDesign.

Or you can apply this stroke style to rounded rectangles and stack them on top of each other. For this purple design, I took advantage of a bug in InDesign that automatically expands Live Corners when you try to move the individual anchor points with the direct selection tool.

In case you want to use this stroke style and not have to create it yourself, click here to download a snippet of the waving flag stroke shown at the top of this article. When you place the snippet into InDesign, it will automatically bring in the stroke style and gradients. Enjoy!