Photographer Creates Single-Image Art Photography Wallcoverings

In late 2014, celebrity photographer and designer Don Flood launched his first collection of FLIEPAPER art photography wallcoverings produced by Astek Wallcoverings. He followed that with the Palm Springs collection earlier this year.

Graphic and sophisticated, each FLIEPAPER art photography wallcovering is symphony of color, texture, and design with an emphasis on scale. Designs range from immense florals and bold textures to quirky, unexpected found objects. FLIEPAPER designs are digitally printed using an eco-friendly process and can be customized in color and design.

FLIEPAPER by Don Flood (www.fliepaper.com)
FLIEPAPER by Don Flood (www.fliepaper.com)

Flood’s FLIEPAPER designs have appeared in environments as varied as a high-end café in Santa Monica to a private elevator in a Redondo Beach luxury home.

Quartz art wallcovering
FLIEPAPER by Don Flood (www.fliepaper.com)

At the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in May, Flood introduced his newest line of art photography wallcoverings called BIGS. Images in the BIGS collection include amethysts, minerals, crystals, sea coral, abalone, roses, sunflowers and butterflies.

FLIEPAPER art wallcovering
Crystal is part of the new BIGS collection of FLIEPAPER (www.fliepaper.com)

Inspired by the single-image wallcoverings of 1960s and 1970s interiors, Flood devised a proprietary process for shooting each subject in ultra-high-resolution and at very close range. He then had the images printed on a variety of new digitally printable wallcovering materials, including mylar. The results lend themselves to nearly any interior application from residential living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms to commercial environments such as restaurants, office lobbies, and hotel public areas.

art wallcovering
This close-up photo of coral is part of the BIGS collection of FLIEPAPER. (www.fliepaper.com)

“We are very excited by what Don has created in BIGS,” said Aaron Kirsch, founder and CEO of Astek. “FLIEPAPER has proven popular with retail customers, interior designers, art directors and architects. It combines highly artistic, high-resolution images of beautiful things combined with the practical applications allowed by the material itself. We love partnering with Don, and we think BIGS will prove highly successful with both the residential and commercial marketplace.”

“When single image installations were in vogue some decades ago, the subject matter was usually a sunset or treescape, and the resolution was incredibly low,” notes Flood. “Inspired by an interiors shot I came across from the late ‘60s, I began to experiment with various images at extremely high resolution. Given the printing technology and materials available to us today, BIGS became a reality very quickly. I am excited to show how beautifully a high-resolution, single-image wallcovering transforms a space.”

art wallcovering of butterfly wing
This extreme close-up of a butterfly wing can be produced as an art wallcovering through FLIEPAPER (www.fliepaper.com)

3D Color Printing Is Simplified with Stratasys Creative Colors Software

DESIGNERS. Stratasys Ltd. is taking color 3D printing to a new level of realism and accessibility with the release of Stratasys Creative Colors Software, powered by the Adobe 3D Color Print Engine.

Available for use with Stratasys’ Objet Connex3 3D Printing solutions, the Creative Colors Software combines advanced color management with a direct design-to-3D print workflow. Stratasys and Adobe are both working to make 3D printing easier to use while increasing creativity.

Stratasys Creative Colors Software

Because Objet Connex 3 printers can combine a range of materials in every print job, designers can use the printers to make realistic prototypes that don’t require extra assembly and post-processing.

By forming a direct bridge between Adobe Photoshop CC and Objet Connex3, Creative Colors Software enables designers to 3D print their most imaginative creations without cumbersome 3D printing workflows.

1_Typical_3D_Printing_Workflow

2_Streamlined_Design_to_3D_Print_WorkflowStratasys Creative Colors empowers designers to use enhanced color tools such as vibrant gradient color palettes with expanded color spectrums, improved textures and patterns support, and time-saving color previews.

By incorporating multiple gradient colors, patterns, and textures, a model produced on the Objet Connex3 can have the same look and feel as the final intended product, vastly reducing product development times while increasing product quality.

3D color printing speaker model
Speaker model designed with Stratsys Creative Color Software

One company that has tried the Stratasys Creative Colors software is Saflio, a world leader in high-end and luxury eyewear.

“Safilo has recently improved its prototype development process thanks to the adoption of Stratasys Creative Colors Software,” said Vladimiro Baldin, Chief Product Design and Creation Officer at Safilo. “The ability to print prototypes with the same color and texture as the finished product, has significantly increased our speed in developing new eyeglass frames. Now, we can push the creative boundaries even further, quickly responding to market trends and reducing our prototyping cycle from three days to just three hours.”

Making Design for 3D Printing More Accessible

“Partnering with Adobe, a world leader in creative software products, aligns with Stratasys’ vision to make the color 3D printing experience as simple, powerful and rewarding as possible,” said Dan Yalon, EVP Business Development, Strategy and Vertical Solutions, Stratasys.

Stratasys has also introduced a new direct color workflow from Photoshop CC to the Stratasys Direct Manufacturing parts-on-demand service. Photoshop CC users can send colorful 3D files directly to Stratasys Direct Manufacturing for Objet Connex3 3D printing.

Features such as direct quoting, validation and previewing can help ensure that the printed design won’t exceed your budget.

“Adobe Photoshop CC users can now directly access Stratasys Objet Connex3 3D printers – whether locally or through Stratasys Direct Manufacturing – and easily produce their designs with gorgeous gradient color and fine details,” said Adil Munshi, VP and GM, Print and Publishing Business Unit, Adobe. “The combination of Adobe’s unmatched color expertise with Stratasys’ multi-color, multi-material 3D printing is a true game-changer for the creative design industry,”

Stratasys Creative Colors is now bundled with all new Objet Connex3 3D Printers and can also be purchased for existing Objet Connex3 systems.

 

Visual Design Pros Will Find Inspiration at HOW Design Live

Visual design professionals must keep pace with the multitude of changes in technologies, trends, and ideas that are affecting how we work, shop, and live. Because employers and clients expect designers to continually deliver fresh ideas and solutions, the HOW Design Live Conference for visual design professionals has updated the scope and content of its educational programs.

The 2016 HOW Design Live Conference is scheduled for May 19-23 at the Georgia World Conference Center in Atlanta. The conference program will bring together creators from design, art, culture, tech, and business to share their stories and accomplishments.

HOW Design Live Logo

“How Design Live is a once-in-a-lifetime gathering of inspiring speakers — an unbelievable line-up of luminaries,” said Gary Lynch, HOW Design Group Show Director. “Many have referred to the event as the TED of the design and creative community. It’s the best platform for professionals to gather an incredible amount of design inspiration and creative wisdom ”

Six program tracks enable creatives to discover new ways of thinking about their careers and insights into how design influences business strategies. The six program tracks include:

  • Design and Creativity
  • In-house Management
  • Vision and Leadership
  • Branding and Packaging
  • The Creative Entrepreneur
  • Interactive Design
  • Tools and Resources

Some presentations will give you a glimpse into technologies that can affect your work

Sci-Fi Meets Reality: The Future of Design
In a mind-bending keynote presentation, futurist Amy Webb will show how technology and design will soon begin to intersect in weird and wonderful ways. She will explain how algorithms are being used to design products, communities, and experiences. Webb will challenge designers to think hard about what to do now to prepare.

Other technology-related sessions will cover real-time data-driven design, designing for 3D, design challenges for a global audience, cinematic techniques for user-experience design, principles of motion design, and tools for taming the workflow beast.

Some sessions address the fact that many creative professionals want to do side projects that will may lead to new business opportunities or personal fulfillment.

Excuses Holding Entrepreneurs Back
Mona Patel, author of the bestselling book “Reframe: Shift the Way You Work, Innovate and Think,” will talk about four “excuse personas” that cause people to hesitate from pursuing ideas for new businesses.

Just Shoot It: Photos and Videos for Personal and Professional Creative Projects
In this 2-hour, hands-on workshop, designer and author Jim Krause will show how to use your designer’s eye and creative brain to come up with compelling images. Whether you use a pocket digital camera, a DSLR, or a smartphone camera, you can create images that look good enough for professional assignments or personal projects.

Licensing Know-How: Creative New Revenue Streams from Art + Design
The licensing industry generates $158.8 billion a year in worldwide retail sales. In this class, J’net Smith will detail how licensing works and  provide tips for recognizing  potential opportunities to license your art and designs in the marketplace.

Ignite Your Passion Project: A Side-Gig Seminar and Connecting Event
If there’s something you’re burning to create, but feel stuck in getting it started, this evening event might fire up your motivation Conference attendees and presenters will talk about how they have fostered successful side gigs, fulfilled their creative urges, and launched new businesses.

A full list of speakers and sessions can be found at www.howdesignlive.com. Early-bird registration rates are available until April 1, 2016

Expert Contends 3D Printing Will Rock the World

3DPrintingBook-Hornick3D printing is poised to revolutionize manufacturing and product design just as on-demand television has revolutionized the media industry.

In his new book, “3D Printing Will Rock the World,” intellectual property lawyer John Hornick explains why manufacturing on-demand is right around the corner. He believes the 3D printer may be the most powerful machine ever invented, and is on track to radically transform the planet.

“With the industrial revolution, people became buyers, not makers,” says Hornick. “But we are makers at heart. 3D printers enable us to become makers again. 3D printing will enable designers to create products that never existed before, revolutionize products, and democratize manufacturing.

The book discusses existing printing technology and ongoing materials research. It also provides dozens of real-life examples of how the technology will affect industries and consumers. Hornick believes 3D printing is already transforming our world in ways we never thought possible, creating artificial limbs, human tissue, and possibly human hearts.

In the book he explains:

  • how 3D printing will revolutionize product design, blurring the lines between manufacturing and customers
  • why companies will be forced to adapt their business models
  • how 3D printing may make the concept of a “genuine” product meaningless
  • the dark side of 3D printing, including its interplay with laws, crime, and national security

Ultimately Hornick concludes that mass production could be replaced by production by the masses, merging science and nature to create products that look more like they were grown than built.

3D printing will reinvent design because product designs will no longer need to be broken into multiple parts because of manufacturing constraints. As an example, the book notes that “Traditional manufacturing makes us use quarter-inch drills to bore quarter-inch holes, and designers and engineers design products accordingly. In a 3D-printing-enabled world, such constraints no longer exist. Designers simply specify a hole’s location; no tool is needed to drill it.”

“Designers can immerse themselves in the creative process because they can 3D print prototypes immediately,” explains Hornick. “The monotony of mass-produced designs can be replaced with mass-customized and mass-personalized designs.”

“As you read this book, think about the implications of 3D printing for your life, your job, your company, your country, and the world,” says Hornick. “Think about things you may never have dreamed of. Think outside the box.”

About the Author

John Hornick has more than 30 years of experience as a counselor and litigator at the Finnegan IP law firm, one of the largest IP firms in the world. As the founder of Finnegan’s 3D Printing Working Group, Hornick frequently speaks and writes on 3D printing. As the only IP attorney selected by the U.S. Comptroller General Forum on Additive Manufacturing, he is also a juror for the International Additive Manufacturing Award.

Could You Qualify for a Job as a Techcreative?

Semper International, LLC supplies skilled staff members to businesses involved in printing, pre-media, graphic communications, and interactive media. With an eye on the workplace of the future, Semper is encouraging employers to recruit and hire a new type of employee: the techcreative.

Semper defines techcreatives as “the intermediaries between the two worlds of creativity and technology — those with the technical expertise to make your ideas a reality.”

Semper Internationl TechCreative LogoIn a recent Printing Industries of America magazine white paper, “How 3D Printing Will Change Everything,” Semper analysts envision how 3D printing will transform manufacturing, localize businesses, and change the way we all live and work.

As 3D printing evolves from a novelty to a business necessity, the transformation will intensify the need for techcreatives.

According to Semper International, the creative workforce of the future will be “one that marries analytical, tech-driven mindsets with those who can leverage tools for new heights in creativity.”

Meet the Techcreative

To prepare companies to seek and hire techcreatives, Semper has published an e-book entitled “Meet the TechCreative.”

Semper International Techcreative

The e-book describes key attributes and suggests tactics for hiring them: “These valuable workers look to enhance their talents and are always seeking new ways to utilize their skills, rather than handing them to different departments. This balance of hyper-detailed process and creative, long-term vision falls perfectly in line with disruptive tech, such as the advent of 3D printing for multiple applications.”

Although the term “Techcreative,” may be new, the role has been emerging as traditional businesses have been disrupted by digital technologies over the past 20 years.

As printing, publishing, and marketing communications firms have evolved from reliance on printed communications to an integrated mix of digital printing and online platforms, creative professionals have played key roles is easing the transition.

For example, some of the first techcreatives were involved in adjusting Quark or InDesign files to allow for predictable and consistent output on everything from traditional offset printing presses to large-format digital printers.  In marketing, techcreatives are currently involved with cross-channel customer engagement strategies, analytics, graphic design, and video production.

When interviewing applicants for techcreative assignments, Semper International advises employers to look for loyal, detail-oriented professionals with problem-solving skills and a strong work ethic.

To successfully translate a concept from a client into a finished product or process, the techcreative should have a clear passion for at least one technology sector and the processes involved. Some technology expertise is essential, as well an understanding of the potential to scale technology-related processes and services.

The e-book emphasizes that, “Techcreative teams must maintain a thirst for knowledge, as technology is always rapidly advancing around us.”

To learn more about what employers seek in a Techcreative, visit techcreative.com . The Semper International website lists jobs currently available for techcreatives.

 

Freelancing Guide Helps Newcomers Navigate the Universe of Opportunities

The creative people at FreshBooks’ cloud accounting service for freelancers and small businesses have developed “The Freelancer’s Guide to the Galaxy.”   Because I have been freelancing for a long time and use FreshBooks’ services, I accepted their invitation to comment on the guide.

FreshBooks_GuideGalaxyHeadlineThe infographic (published below) points out that the freelance universe can be complex place to navigate on your own. The guide highlights 9 places new voyagers can expect to encounter. Here is a quick recap of the 9 zones and what I have learned traveling through them.

CLIENT STAR FIELD: Potential clients abound but they can be elusive if you take the wrong approach.

My experience: This is true. The right approach matters because competition also abounds. You will also discover that not all clients and opportunities are right for you. At some point, seeking new clients becomes like perpetual online dating or job hunting. Eventually you may prefer to settle down with a few clients who value your work and treat you like part of the team.

LAND OF PEAKS AND PITS: Some months you’ll have to trek through mountains of work from multiple clients. Other months you’ll have to slog through a desert of dry spells.

My experience: Mountains of work are fraught with peril (e.g., missed deadlines, neglected marketing projects, overlooked accounting tasks).  The deserts can be unnerving because you never know when the dry spell will end. But slowdowns in paying assignments are great opportunities to pursue personal projects that refresh your skills and enthusiasm. Dry spells can also give you time to streamline your workflows, update your skills, or connect with clients who can give you a predictable flow of steady work.

ISOLATION ZONE: Sometimes the life of a work-at-home freelancer gets a bit lonely. Stay connected to professional peers at networking events or informal get-togethers.

My experience: I am more productive and creative working in isolation than in an open-space office environment. But staying connected to the outside world is essential. Traveling to trade shows and educational conferences can expand your universe of contacts, opportunities, and ideas for new projects.

TIME WASTER’S BLACK HOLE: Online (and offline) distractions can be a powerful force.

My experience: You can’t afford to fall into the black hole of wasted time. As a freelancer, your time is your most valuable asset. Ultimately, your earning potential depends on how many hours you spend on income-generating projects.

GRAY AREA: The boundaries between work and home become especially blurry when working from home.

My experience: This was particularly true when my children were little. But children grow up and move out faster than you imagine.  So, I have never regretted the times I let my own work slow down to spend more time with them. Still, I have always appreciated my separate home office space. I close the door and leave work behind at the end of a busy day.

PLANET YOU: You are responsible for your own success.

My experience: Like other freelancers, I was shocked by how little time is spent doing work I truly love. Instead of “being your own boss,” you must adapt to the diverse work styles and expectations of multiple bosses. Plus, in addition to marketing yourself, there will be times when you must be your own IT person, accountant, and training expert.

Continuous training is especially important because it can help you differentiate yourself from competitors and become indispensable to your clients. Freelancers with leading-edge skills or unique expertise can command higher rates.

ACCOUNTING ALLEY: The land of taxes, deductions, and accounts payable can seem like entering a whole new universe.

My experience: In addition to exploring the brave new world of accounting, you may encounter clients who require specific types of business insurance and licenses. If you approach freelancing as a business instead of a sideline, you will be better prepared to handle the realities of taxes, local home-business regulations, and insurance.

CORPORATE TEMPTRESSES: Guaranteed health coverage and 401k contributions could lure you back into the life of a salaried employee.

My experience: Weaving between the worlds of freelancing and full-time work can be a good thing. I worked at home when my children were toddlers, and happily accepted a part-time job when the kids went off to school. When the part-time job morphed into full-time work, I forged valuable connections that guaranteed steady work when I opted to return to freelancing. In today’s world of “contingent workforces,” a full-time job isn’t necessarily more secure than freelancing.

RETIREMENT NEVERLAND: Don’t neglect the need to plan for your financial future.

My experience: Yes, it’s critical to plan for secure financial future. But if you reach the point  in your business where you can do more of the work you love, you may not want to retire. At some point during your freelance career, consider diversifying your work so that not all of your income comes from paying clients. Creative professionals today are discovering dozens of new ways to create and sell their own products.

FreshBooks_GuideToTheGalaxy600pix-

Final Words of Advice

With the rise of the gig economy and contingency work teams, dozens of new services have been developed to make life easier for independent workers.

I started using FreshBooks several years ago, when I learned about it during a virtual conference on International Freelancer’s Day. The founder of FreshBooks was a freelance designer who learned the hard way that general-office tools for creating documents and spreadsheets aren’t sufficient for the needs of independent business owners.

At first, I used FreshBooks primarily for time tracking, invoicing, and preparing 1099 forms for independent contractors I managed for a major project. Today, I also use FreshBooks to track and categorize tax-deductible expenses. I can access FreshBooks on my iPhone, iPad and PC.

FreshBooks-ProductFamily

Today, companies that hire freelancers may ask you to provide specialized services that you don’t yet offer. FreshBooks’ partnership with Elance makes it easy to connect with a vast pool of other freelancers who could help deliver additional services a client might want.

The FreshBooks partnership with PayPal makes it easy for to give clients several options for how they want to pay (including credit cards).

Many other apps and services exist make it easier for freelancers today to find new clients, submit proposals, and provide a wider range of services.  I will share some of the services that have worked well for me in future posts.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

FreshBooks

 

Surface Imaging Blends Art, Technology, Entrepreneurship

The rapid adoption of digital printing technologies and the rise of Internet of Things are creating exciting opportunities for entrepreneurial designers.

The increased use of all forms of digital printing is creating a demand for short runs of custom-designed wallcoverings, textiles, ceramics, and glassware. Plus, the ability to “print” electronics and sensors on thin, flexible films has made it possible to design interactive fashion, sportswear, wallpaper, and window films.

Once you learn more about the technologies and huge range of materials used in “surface imaging,” you will quickly see that the possibilities for creative new products and designs are limited only by your imagination.

Investors in digital printing equipment are looking for well-trained and creative designers to help them get the most from their equipment.

To get involved in this burgeoning field, check out the graduate-level Surface Imaging program at Philadelphia University. The University is currently accepting new degree candidates for a one-year program that begins in May, 2016.

The Surface Imaging program at Philadelphia University is a unique graduate program for designers and artists who want to bring their creativity to life through state-of-art digital printing technologies.

Surface Imaging at PhilaU from Philadelphia University on Vimeo.

Working in the Center for Excellence in Surface Imaging, you will learn how to apply your painting, drawing, photography and printmaking skills to fabrication projects that involve state-of-the-art digital printing and additive material deposition and subtraction-printing technologies.

The curriculum includes courses in surface imaging design, printing technology,  and material and polymer science. To find the best opportunities within the fast-growing digital-printing industry, you will also study entrepreneurship and develop a business plan that integrates design, applied engineering, and innovative business models.

The Center for Excellence of Surface Imaging has been supported by international imaging industries, including printer manufacturers, ink formulators, and software developers.

Upon graduation, you will be prepared for a leadership role in developing new products for the architecture, interior design, textile manufacturing, fashion apparel, and home industries.

To apply, act quickly. According to Hitoshi Ujiie of the Center for Excellence in Surface Imaging, “While we have a rolling enrollment system, our preferred deadline for applications is February 1, 2016.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION

MS Surface Imaging, Philadelphia University

Application Requirements