Web2Fabric Connects Digital Designers with Providers of Digital Textile Printing Services

DESIGNERS. Could some of your brand clients benefit from the creative use of custom-designed textiles? If so, check out the new web2fabric app and website created by DPInnovations. They established the online community to link digital designers to print-service providers around the world who are using digital textile printing equipment to print hundreds of thousands of yards of fabric.

web2fabric.com by DPInnovations

web2fabric.com by DPInnovations

DPInnovations has been supplying software solutions to the digital textile industry for more than 10 years. One of their clients, Spoonflower, has proven that a digital textile printing business can be successful by focusing on providing small amounts of fabric to a high number of individuals, using the simplest form of dyes (pigments) for an acceptable color gamut and fastness. While contributing to the revival of U.S. textile manufacturing, Spoonflower has become the heart of a community. Their service brings joy to creative people around the world.

In recent years, digital textile printing equipment technology and inks have advanced to the point where it’s now feasible to reproduce deeper, brighter colors on longer runs of fabrics with better fastness. So, more textile companies now see the opportunity to sell custom-printed textiles directly to digital designers. These companies are experts in their fields, capable of printing different products than Spoonflower.

Web2Fabric doesn’t manufacture, print, or stock fabric. But their MESH technology allows you to set up your job online, and send the print-ready file  directly to one of the digital fabric printing companies that uses software from DPInnovations.

LINKS

Web2Fabric

DPInnovations

 

New York Institute of Art and Design Offers Online Courses in Design and Writing

The variety of on online courses available to self-motivated creative professionals continues to expand.

NYInsituteofArtandDesignThe New York Institute of Art and Design has added three of their most popular courses to their online learning center: The Complete Course in Interior Design, The Complete Course in Wedding and Event Planning, and Jewelry Design: Beading and Wire Working.

Each course is available entirely online to students all over the world. The NYIAD online learning center is accessible via desktop or laptop computer, smartphone or tablet, wherever students have an internet connection. Students can now access everything they need for their online course in one place – lessons, audio clips, video training and tests.

The Interior Design Course is approved by Certified Interior Decorators (CID) International. Students learn design trends, color theory, concepts of scale and proportion, furniture styles, lighting, and fabrics. Alongside their NYIAD mentor, students complete a variety of room designs and develop a portfolio of professional- quality work. By the time they graduate, students have the artistic and the business skills needed to work as an interior designer.

The Wedding Planning Course is accredited by the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC). Students learn how to turn their passion for weddings and events into a career. From pre-planning to execution, the course teaches students how to work with clients and vendors to plan any event. All students who complete the course have a solid foundation in the business of wedding planning; they are ready to work in the field that they love.

The Jewelry Design Course teaches students to create and sell their own unique line of jewelry. Students learn the basics of color theory and composition, patterns, beading, jump rings, spirals, right-angle weaves, and a wide array of other techniques. The course also teaches basic photography and marketing skills so that students can go on to sell their jewelry online and at trunk shows.

“The New York Institute of Art and Design’s mission has always been to provide the highest quality training to anyone interested in advancing their skills,” said NYIAD Education Director Jay Johnson. “And offering our most popular courses online means that students will have access to the best creative education anywhere they go.”

Other courses offered through the online learning center include:

Professional Blogging

Creative Writing: Fiction and Memoir Writing

 Feng Shui Interior Design

The blogging course covers everything from blog design, post length and frequency, to finding and attracting new readers, and earning money with your blog both online and off. The Fiction and Memoir Writing course is enables aspiring writers to improve their skills and get feedback from published authors. Attendees learn how to develop intriguing characters and storylines and publish their work.

About the New York Institute of Art and Design

Founded in 1985, The New York Institute of Art and Design provides online education for creative professionals all over the world. Through a unique combination of personal mentoring and online education, NYIAD students can learn how to master a skill and turn it into a career. The New York Institute of Art and Design is owned and operated by Distance Education Co., LLC, along with sister school, New York Institute of Photography.

LINKS

New York Institute of Art and Design

Adobe Photoshop CC Expands Support for 3D Printing

By radically simplifying the 3D printing process for designers, Adobe is striving to make Photoshop CC the go-to tool for anyone who wants to print a 3D model. 3D printing is becoming an increasingly popular method of making prototypes and finished designs in creative fields such as filmmaking, animation, architecture, and jewelry.

The latest version of Adobe Photoshop CC includes features to make it easier to build, refine, preview, prepare, and print designs for creating 3D models or products. Using familiar Photoshop tools, you can design in 3D from scratch or refine an existing 3D model and produce beautiful, print-ready models. Automated mesh repair and support structure generation ensure models will be produced reliably. Accurate previews allow you to confidently submit print jobs to a connected in-studio device or an online 3D printing service.

The updated software includes built-in access to the Shapeways and Sculpteo online 3D print services and supports the most popular desktop 3D printers, such as the MakerBot Replicator.

Sculpteo Is Onboard

One 3D printing service that is making their printer profiles available through Photoshop CC is Sculpteo, an online 3D printing firm based in San Francisco in Paris. Founded in 2009 by Eric Carreel and Clément Moreau, Sculpteo offers on-demand 3D printing of individual products as well as short-run manufacturing. They have 45 materials, colors, and finishes and their factories use only professional-grade printers. You can preview how your design will print by downloading the profiles of Sculpteo printers and dragging and dropping them in a folder.

Photoshop CC supports the full range of high-quality materials available on Sculpteo, including ceramics, metals, and other additive materials.

SculpteoAdobe-2014-06-19-at-1.53.06-PM-650x384

Maria Yap, senior director of product management, Photoshop at Adobe, called Sculpteo a great fit for the 3D printing capabilities of Photoshop CC: “We’re excited to add Sculpteo as our first European-based 3D print service provider. Their high-quality results and quick turnaround times appeal to creatives.”

LINKS

About 3D Printing in Photoshop CC

Sculpteo Now Integrated with Adobe Photoshop CC

Adobe Photoshop CC

Sculpteo

 

Artwork Archive Helps Artists Track Inventory and Sales

ARTISTS. If you would like to be better organized in managing your art, art sales, and art-world contacts, check out Artwork Archive. It’s a password-protected web-based platform through which you can track all the art you have created, what pieces have been consigned to galleries or entered in competitions, and what works have been sold.

Artwork Archive was the brainchild of John Feustel, the son of a painter who had reached a point in her career where she really needed help keeping track of her gallery and client contacts and when each piece of art was sold.

“The clunky database or large applications she had to install on her computer had more of what she didn’t need than what she did,” recalls John. When his mother asked him to use his computer programming/web app development experience to devise a better approach, he was happy to help. Together, they created the initial version of Artwork Archive.

Artwork Archive-piece_list_artist_with_sales

In the private section of Artwork Archive, you can keep track of which pieces you have created and which ones have been sold.

John Feustel, founder of Artwork Archive

John Feustel, Artwork Archive

Over the past year, the Artwork Archive team has grown and the service has been continually improved with feedback from enthusiastic users. The latest release is a mobile-friendly site that can be accessed via your PC, tablet, or smartphone. It is simple enough for first-time users, but powerful enough to meet the needs of more established artists.

The latest version also includes tools that allow galleries and collectors to track their inventories of art. They can track works by multiple artists, record their appraisal values and other insurance information, and even display their collections to the public

John Feustel recently answered a few questions about how Artwork Archive can help you solve some of the problems you may have experienced with other forms of art-inventory software.

Q. To what extent has Artwork Archive benefitted from your expertise in the latest trends in website development and cloud-based software? 

A. Being a modern, cloud-based solution is critical to what we are doing at Artwork Archive. As computers give way to tablets and mobile phones, people’s expectations of what a piece of software can do are changing. Downloading and installing software on your computer, paying for updates, and having the information reside on your own personal computer are becoming things of the past.

What happens when your computer gets a virus or crashes? What happens when you get a new computer — how do you transfer over all your work? With the growth of web-based applications that can be accessed anywhere from any device, we can provide things like daily backups, data security, and instant updates.

The single greatest thing that it gives us is the ability to respond instantly to feedback from artists. If we hear that something is confusing or a certain feature would be useful, we can sometimes get that change live on the site the very same day. It has really allowed us to respond and grow based on user feedback and helped us create the product that we have today.

Q. Do artists appreciate the simplicity of your solution?

A. Based on all the feedback we’ve gotten, they certainly do. While some artists are very tech savvy, many would rather be working in the studio than learning a new software system or dealing with complex database programs. From the beginning we wanted the site to be incredibly easy to use. Instead of extensive documentation, we built the site to walk you through the process of uploading your first piece, filling out your bio, and setting up locations and galleries.

Everything has a very consistent and elegant way of doing things so once you upload your first piece, you basically know how to upload gallery information, add contacts, and create sales. We wanted everything to be self-explanatory and our artists have really recognized how fun and easy the site is to use.

Q. What feature do they seem to like best?

A. It’s really different for each artist. I think the fact that you can generate consignment reports, invoices, and gallery labels at the click of a button has really helped many of our artists advance their careers and approach things in a much more professional manner.

We’ve gotten feedback from gallery owners who love that their artists are using Artwork Archive. Getting consistent and proper documentation and reports helps everyone.

Artwork Archive - piece_show_sold_artist2

You can keep track of which pieces have been sold, entered in competitions, or published as limited edition prints.

We also have a section called “Insights” that our Artists love. This allows them to see their progress of creation and sales over time, get a heat-map of where all their artwork is located, and helps them visualize their inventory value and location in a number of ways. It’s like business insights for artists and can really help you make data driven decisions about your career.

Recently, a number of artists have started embracing our new Public Profile Page. This allows artists to choose which pieces and info to share publicly and gives them their own public page on Artwork Archive to share and show their work. I think it was best described as a professional looking electronic “calling card”. Some artists are even using this in place of their own website and the feedback has been very positive.

Public Profile Page on Artwork Archive

Public Profile Page on Artwork Archive

Q. How long does it take to get an inventory of art uploaded? Is it time-consuming to keep it updated? 

A. The time it takes really depends on the artist and the body of work. You can have a piece uploaded in only a few seconds. But we often recommend that artists take the time to fill out as much information as possible and write a nice description for each piece. We are also working on a “bulk upload” feature that will allow artists to quickly get a lot of their work in the system, which they can go back and update over time.

It often surprises me how well our artists (my Mom included) keep their inventory, sales, and gallery data updated. They genuinely love tracking their inventory on the site and don’t feel like a piece is complete until it’s been uploaded to Artwork Archive.

Some artists log in very often just to browse around and look at their inventory. I’ve heard that it can be an inspiring process to get that visual overview of your entire body of work and see how you are progressing and adding to it over time.

Q. Has the feedback you have received from other artists reflected the same types of issues that your Mom was struggling with?

A. The initial experience that my Mom had while trying to find an inventory program was very frustrating. The software was outdated, confusing, and didn’t fit into this modern, multi-device world.

From what I’ve seen this is a near universal experience with artists. We have often been described as a “breath of fresh air” after trying out other systems. Artwork Archive seems to “just work” no matter what you are trying to do.

Q. As a new generation of collectors begins to get established, do they recognize the benefits of keeping track of their collections online? 

A. I think so. So much of our lives are becoming data driven. We want to track what we eat, how we exercise, how we work, etc. Collectors are no different. Whether it’s a hobby or your life’s passion, being able to record and track your collection for insurance or home inventory purposes is a benefit that both old and new collectors universally agree on.

Recent natural disasters have caused people to think about how they are protecting their art assets and what kind of inventory and documentation they are keeping.

Q. Does the Collector side of Artwork Archive have tools for recording the story behind the art? 

A. We have the ability to track the “stories behind the art” through visual and textual means and have really noticed that being a big part of the collector experience. At the time we don’t have support for video or audio but the Collector version of the product is still very new. As we did with the artists, we will adapt and grow the site based on feedback and suggestions from collectors. I can certainly see this being something we add in the future.

Q. What’s next for Artwork Archive? Will you focus on expanding the artist community first or the collector side?

A. It’s really all the same approach to us. We certainly started with the artists and will always have a passion for them. But there is so much intersection between artist, collector and gallery. It really makes sense to work with everyone.

The tools we provide to artists help the collectors and galleries, and vice-versa for the collectors. As they see who and what they are collecting, and keep accurate record of all their contacts, they might be more likely to reach out and acquire more work from the individual artists. We really feel like we can help on both sides of the transaction.

Q. Do artists appreciate the fact that you will be reaching out to aspiring and established collectors and building a community of collectors?

A. It’s still early but I think everyone will start seeing the benefits of having both collectors and artists as part of the Artwork Archive community. At the moment we’re really focused on making the best product for artists and the best product for collectors. Over time we will start to see more and more overlap.

The public profile page is just the first step of that. We have Artists sharing their public page with collectors, galleries and potential clients and seeing very positive feedback from that. This whole world starts with the Artist and the Artwork, but without Collectors, Buyers and Galleries, none of it would be possible.

LINKS

Artwork Archive

Artwork Archive Public Profile Page

Visitors to your Public Profile page on Artwork Archive can read more details about piece including the story behind your art.

 

Survey Shows Ad Agencies and Marketers Easing Up on Hiring Freezes

TCG-LogoAccording to new research by The Creative Group, 12 percent of advertising and marketing executives interviewed said they will expand their creative teams in the second half of 2014. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) said their organizations plan to maintain current staff levels (up 16 points from six months ago). And 12 percent said they project hiring freezes (down 10 points from the first half of 2014). Only 3 percent of executives expect to reduce the size of their staff.

The national survey was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service for interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals, and conducted by an independent research firm.

Key Findings

  • The fact that companies are lifting hiring freezes could be a sign of their growing confidence in in business prospects and an improving economy.
  • Nearly one-quarter (24 percent) of marketing and advertising executives said it’s challenging to find skilled creative professionals today.
  • Midsize agencies (50-99 employees) are expected to see the most hiring activity, with 26 percent of advertising executives reporting they plan to add staff. However, they also report the greatest difficulty finding the talent they seek, with 40 percent of respondents saying it is somewhat or very challenging.
  • Account services, brand/product management and media services are the top areas executives plan to hire for during the second half of 2014.

“Companies are investing more in marketing and advertising initiatives and are often turning to outside vendors for help. As a result, agencies are hiring full-time and project staff to keep up with expanding client needs,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group. “While professionals with digital expertise continue to be in demand, agencies also are actively looking to fill traditional roles, like account directors and account managers.”

Marketing and Advertising Specialties in Demand

When executives were asked in which areas they plan to add staff in the second half of 2014, account services topped the list (24 percent), followed by brand/product management (21 percent) and media services (19 percent).

Marketing and advertising executives were asked, “In which of the following areas do you expect to hire in the second half of 2014?” Their responses:

  • Account services 24%
  • Brand/product management 21%
  • Media services 19%
  • Social media 17%
  • Mobile development 16%
  • Creative/art direction 13%
  • Web design/production 13%
  • Public relations 12%
  • Interactive media 12%
  • Copywriting 11%
  • Print design/production 10%
  • Marketing research 10%
  • Content marketing 9%

About the Survey

The national study was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on more than 400 telephone interviews — approximately 200 with marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 200 with advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.

About The Creative Group

The Creative Group specializes in placing a range of highly skilled interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals with a variety of firms on a project and full-time basis. More resources, including online job- hunting services, candidate portfolios and TCG’s blog, can be found at creativegroup.com.

LINKS

The Creative Group

Hiring and Salary Trends in the Creative and Marketing Fields

TCG_0614_Hiring-Climate

 

Adobe Announces 14 New Versions of Creative Cloud Apps

Adobe_2014_CC_Release[1]One of the most compelling reasons to subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud is that it provides continuing access to new features and apps. This is more important than ever, now that so many creatives are expected to be proficient in more than one discipline.

Today, Adobe announced 14 new versions of CC desktop applications, including Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Illustrator CC, Adobe Dreamweaver CC and Adobe Premiere Pro CC. The biggest Adobe software release since CS6, it also includes four new mobile apps, the immediate availability of creative hardware, updates to Creative Cloud services and new offerings for enterprise, education and photography customers.

Adobe-CCDesktopApps[1]

Yesterday, Adobe announced that there are now over 2.3million Creative Cloud subscriptions. This far exceeds original projections when Adobe unveiled Creative Cloud two years ago.

“Our shift to Creative Cloud has given us a broad canvas on which to innovate like never before,” said David Wadhwani, senior vice president, Digital Media, Adobe. “We’ve taken bold steps with this milestone release, fast-tracking new features to industry-defining tools like Photoshop and InDesign, while introducing mobile apps that turn tablets into indispensable creative tools.”

The release serves a creative industry that is changing at a staggering pace. According to a new report “The New Creatives,” three in four creative professionals believe the industry has changed more in the past five years than the previous 50. About two thirds believe their role will significantly change in the next three years. Creatives cited new technologies as the top driving force behind the rapid change.

Mobile Apps Extend CC Desktop Workflows

Adobe launched three new mobile apps for iPad – Adobe Sketch, Adobe Line, and Adobe Photoshop Mix. They also began shipping new creative hardware called Adobe Ink, a new digital pen, and Adobe Slide, a new digital ruler. The mobile apps were developed using a new Adobe Creative SDK that unlocks over 30 years of Adobe innovation and makes it available on mobile devices for the first time.

These new apps are professional- grade quality but easy enough for anyone to use, similar to the recently launched Lightroom mobile for photographers and Adobe’s new animated video app for storytelling, Adobe Voice, which were also updated with this release. These powerful, yet easy-to-use apps add significant mobile capabilities to Creative Cloud, integrate workflows with the CC desktop apps and bring tablets into serious creative workflows for the first time.
New Versions of CC Desktop Apps

Beyond mobile innovation, the 2014 release of Creative Cloud includes dozens of new features in CC’s 14 desktop apps. (See the press release for specific details.)

The new CC desktop apps, mobile apps, and hardware are tightly integrated through Creative Cloud services. This integration helps liberate the creative process by enabling users to access and manage everything that makes up their creative profile – their files, photos, fonts, colors, community and more – from wherever they work.

Also introduced today is the new Creative Cloud app for iPhone and iPad that allows users to access and manage their files, assets, and more from their mobile device.

New CC Offerings For Enterprises, Educational Institutions, and Photographers

Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise is an offering designed specifically for large-scale software deployments that works with other Adobe enterprise offerings such as Adobe Marketing Cloud, Acrobat, Adobe Anywhere, and Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. Updates include more services with collaboration and file storage, expanded options for deployment, and a new dashboard for managing users and entitlements.

For education, Adobe now has a device-based licensing offer for classrooms and labs, which allows multiple users to access software on a single device rather than tying it to an individual with an Adobe ID. This is critical in an environment where students come and go.

And for photography customers, Adobe has introduced a new Creative Cloud Photography Plan for $9.99 per month. Designed for anyone interested in photography, the new plan brings together Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5, as well as Lightroom’s mobile apps on the iPad and iPhone.

AdobeLightroomforTablet

Pricing and Availability

Today’s updates to CC desktop tools are immediately available for download by Creative Cloud members as part of their membership at no additional cost. The new mobile apps are free to everyone.

To join Creative Cloud, special promotional pricing is available to existing customers who own Adobe Creative Suite 3 or later. Membership plans are available for individuals, students, teams,educational institutions, government agencies and enterprises.

LINKS

Press Release: Adobe Announces All New 2014 Release of Creative Cloud

Free trials of CC desktop apps

Pricing

Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan

RELATED POST

Adobe Releases Report on “The New Creatives”

 

Adobe Releases Report on The New Creatives

TheNewCreativesLogo-pixAdobe’s report on “The New Creatives” is filled with interesting statistics about how creative professionals view their work and their future. Unveiled at the Cannes Lions festival for creative communications professionals, the report is based on a U.S. survey of more than 1,000 creative professionals and 500 students in creative disciplines. The survey included insights into the attitudes and beliefs of graphic designers, web designers, photographers, illustrators, videographers and other creatives who are employed full-time, self-employed.

First, let’s look at the key findings that Adobe highlighted in their press release. Then, let’s call attention to some other noteworthy stats in the full Slideshare presentation below.

From the press release 

Seventy-four percent of creative professionals view mobile technology as transforming the face of creativity and design, with seven in 10 reporting they create specifically for mobile devices,

An overwhelming majority (77%) of creatives believe change within the industry is happening rapidly, with two-thirds expecting their role will be significantly different within three years.

New technologies such as mobile are driving this change: A strong majority (87%) of those who create mobile content believe doing so has had a positive impact on their work.

While creatives still rely on pen and paper for ideation (28%) and brainstorming (36%), nearly half use their mobile devices to capture inspiration on- the-go and 42 percent say they use mobile to create content anywhere. Thirty percent of creatives also expressed a desire to create more on tablets, surpassing desktop computers.

Creatives identified app development and 3D modeling as the skills that will be most in-demand over the next 12 months.

“Creatives are going mobile, and this means a sea change for the creative process,” said David Wadhwani, senior vice president and general manager, Digital Media, Adobe. “The study shows that creatives are very interested in using mobile for idea generation and suggests we will see mobile use in the creation process significantly increase in the years ahead. This underscores that mobile devices can be an important part of the creative process when integrated with existing desktop workflows.”

Creatives are feeling optimistic and highly valued. Ninety-six percent of creative professionals are happy in their careers and 88 percent believe their best days are ahead of them. Eighty-eight percent believe they have a strong influence on their organizations and clients, and 46 percent say they have significantly more impact than they did two years ago. A striking 93 percent believe the value of their contributions is recognized by their companies or clients.

Despite their optimism, creatives have worries, pointing to the need to “create more, at a faster speed than ever” as their top concern.

Creatives also recognize the need to diversify their skills. Eighty percent of respondents believe they must learn new tools and techniques and three quarters say that creatives are increasingly working across multiple mediums and disciplines.

When asked what motivates them most, creatives ranked doing great work (54%) and learning new things (52%) higher than financial rewards (37%).

The survey also exposed new insight into where creatives get their sparks of inspiration. Twice as many view digital sources such as social media (36%) as well as websites and online advertising (33%) as the most influential sources of inspiration over more traditional influences such as fashion and architecture. Creatives are also turning to professional online communities, noting inspiration and collaboration and sharing as the top reasons for participating.

While still mostly trusting their gut (79%) to make decisions, creatives view the impact of technology and digital analytics positively: 75 percent note that technology gives them more control over their professional destiny, and 70 percent feel empowered by analytics.

Creative students share similar views to pros. Students majoring in creative disciplines echoed many of the same trends as professional creatives. Ninety-six percent of students have a positive outlook on their choice of a future creative career, and they recognize that new technologies (31%) and the impact of social media (23%) are some of the driving forces changing the industry. They have also embraced mobile: 79 percent of students have created mobile content. Students’ top interests in online creative communities are job prospecting (30%) and learning new skills (21%).


Other Statistics Worth Noting
Here are a few of the statistics that caught my eye as I read through the report:

  • 70% of creatives believe they need to become skilled in more than discipline.
  • 84% said being passionate about their work mattered. 53% said it was extremely important; 31% said it was very important.

More than 70% of respondents also said it was important to

  • have complete creative freedom
  • stay true to my creative vision despite pressures
  • be proficient in multiple disciplines
  • be able to create from anywhere
  • collaborate effectively with others

About The New Creatives Report

The data points referenced above come from a study commissioned by Adobe, produced by research firm Edelman Berland and conducted as an online survey among a total of 1,048 US creative professionals and 535 students of creative disciplines. Data was collected May 12-21, 2014 by Edelman Berland. The margin of error at the 95% confidence level for the Pro sample is +/- 3.1% and +/- 4.2% for the student sample.

LINKS

Adobe: The New Creatives Report

Adobe: The New Creatives Report-Student Findings