To encourage novices in surface design, Spoonflower has published “The Spoonflower Handbook: A DIY Guide to Designing Fabric, Wallpaper, and Gift Wrap.”
Not long ago, few artists ever had the chance to design fabrics and wallpaper because printing even a few yards required a significant financial investment. Today, thanks to digital, print-on-demand printing, anyone with a computer, Internet connection, and idea can upload a file and have their design printed on a yard of fabric, wallpaper, or wrapping paper.
Spoonflower, a North Carolina-based start-up, prints short runs of fabrics, peel-and-stick wallpapers, and wrapping-papers for hundreds of thousands of creative people worldwide. Spoonflower customers then incorporate their printed designs into thousands of creative projects for the home or wardrobe.
For example, the handbook shows you how to use digitally printed materials to make:
A world traveler pillowcase with map designs
A stuffed gnome toy
Pet silhouette hankies
Zippered fabric pouches
Autumn leaf table wrap
Typographic wrapping paper
Food for thought table runner
Photo panel wall art
Damask shower curtain
Family portraits necktie
Coloring wallpaper and desk wrap
Designs on peel-and-stick wallpaper can be used to personalize your laptop, tablet, phone, and other flat surfaces.
Written in easy-to-understand language, this beautifully illustrated, 207-page book covers everything from design equipment and software to working with photos, colors, scans, repeats, and vector files. It talks about sources of inspiration and explains how to source images and use them legally.
The book was written by Spoonflower co-founder Stephen Fraser with Judi Ketteler and Becka Rahn. Jenny Hallengren provided the photographs. It was published by the Steward, Tabori & Chang imprint of Abrams.
According to Fraser, the project ideas and information in the Spoonflower Handbook can help everyone from quilters and crafty parents to professional artists and aspiring fashion designers: “We set out to create the most approachable book possible…This book is about the joy of making something mingled with the challenge of learning new things.”
To gauge how rapidly innovations can revolutionize entire industries and create new opportunities for millions, note that the first version of Photoshop was launched just 25 years ago this month. Who could have imagined how much creative power that program would unleash in designers, photographers, artists, and publishers?
Today, we see imaginative imagery and visual communications everywhere — in smartphone apps, on building-size wall murals, in interactive digital signage, and immersive multimedia displays.
According to a fascinating timeline and an interview published on the Adobe website and Photoshop blog, Adobe shipped its first version of Photoshop on February 19, 1990. The program originated in 1987, when Thomas Knoll developed a pixel-imaging program called Display. It was a simple program to showcase grayscale images on a black-and-white monitor. However, after collaborating with his brother, John Knoll, the two began adding features that made it possible to process digital image files. The program eventually caught the attention of industry influencers, and in 1989, Adobe decided to license it.
“Adobe thought we’d sell about 500 copies of Photoshop a month,” recalls Thomas Knoll, Adobe Fellow and Photoshop co-creator. “Not in my wildest dreams did we think creatives would embrace the product in the numbers and ways they have. It’s inspiring to see the beautiful images our customers create, the careers Photoshop has launched, and the new uses people all over the world find for Photoshop every day.” On YouTube, you can watch a video of Thomas Knoll giving one of his first demonstrations of Photoshop.
“For 25 years, Photoshop has inspired artists and designers to craft images of stunning beauty and reality-bending creativity,” said Shantanu Narayen, Adobe president and chief executive officer. “From desktop publishing, to fashion photography, movie production, website design, mobile app creation, and now 3D printing, Photoshop continues to redefine industries and creative possibilities. And today that Photoshop magic is available to millions of new users, thanks to Adobe Creative Cloud.”
Photoshop’s massive popularity can be attributed to its constantly evolving capabilities and pipeline of deep image science. This steady stream of innovations is now reaching customers faster than ever before. The Photoshop and Lightroom desktop and mobile apps are constantly updated as part of Adobe Creative Cloud.
Photoshop 1 was aimed at graphic arts and publishing
In an interview with Russell Brady posted on the Photoshop blog, Thomas Knoll points out that the first version of Photoshop was really ahead of its time: “Photoshop 1.0 and the first several versions weren’t really tools for photography – not only because there wasn’t appropriate hardware available in digital cameras, but more importantly, because there were no digital printers. The only real way to get photographic-quality output from Photoshop back then was to create four-color separations on film and take them to a printing press, where the first copy of your photograph might cost you $2,000…If you wanted to print a roll of 35 millimeter film, you’re talking $35,000 to $40,000. So, Photoshop 1 was primarily aimed at the publishing and graphic arts markets.”
After full-color inkjet printers were introduced, Photoshop users could scan the film, manipulate the images, and print them out. The explosive growth of digital photography in the 1990s further accelerated the widespread adoption of Photoshop.
Photoshop’s success has helped Adobe develop and deliver a wide range of products and services used by tens of millions of creative people worldwide. In addition to Photoshop, applications such as Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Dreamweaver and others have pushed creativity forward, no matter what the media. And today Adobe Creative Cloud services such as Behance and Creative Talent Search are helping a new generation of creatives find a global audience and market for their work .
Adobe is celebrating Photoshop’s milestone in a big way. For example, Adobe is showcasing 25 of the most creative visual artists under 25 who use Photoshop. To be considered, artists upload their projects and use the tag “Ps25Under25.” In the coming months, those selected will take over the Photoshop Instagram handle (@Photoshop) for two weeks and present their work for the world to see. Fredy Santiago, a 24-year old Mexican-American artist and illustrator based in Ventura, California is the first one chosen to display his incredible images.
Adobe has also launched its “Dream On” advertising campaign as a tribute to 25 years of amazing art created In Photoshop. The TV commercial includes incredible work from Photoshop artists and iconic images from major motion pictures that used Photoshop In the making, including Avatar, Gone Girl, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Shrek.
DESIGNERS. ARTISTS. The vPersonalize.com website enables designers to visualize, produce, and deliver small batches of their exclusive designs of apparel and accessories. Or, artists can promote and/or monetize some of their works by converting them into merchandise. You can preview your creations in 3D in the chosen style and size before approving it for manufacturing.
Right now, you can decorate more than 30 products including T-shirts, tunics, shorts, backpacks, dresses, scarves, trousers, and messenger bags. Sell the items through Etsy or on your own website.
“One of the barriers for emerging designers has been access to an easy and affordable manufacturing platform,” says Lee Hagelshaw, co-founder and CFO for vPersonalize.com. With vPersonalize.com, you can produce designs under your own label and have them shipped direct to customers, without having to pay for a larger run from a manufacturer and being stuck with excess inventory.” And like e-books, no design ever goes ‘out of print’ because all products are made on-demand.
“We have continually improved our platform. Features such as advanced error checking point out any problems in visual design. Auto-fit, mirror and clone functions make it much easier for any creative individual to design professional looking products,” says Bala Selvarajan, Co-Founder and Chief Technologist for vPersonalize.com. “We have also added a much requested feature from designers – the ability to select and reorder their older designs.”
As a pioneer in full custom, design-your-own apparel and accessories, vPersonalize’s 3D visualization and automated pattern-generation technologies support custom sizes, full-bleed, all-overprints, custom styles and choice of fabrics.
Ello.co is a simple, ad-free social network created by a small group of artists and designers. It was originally conceived as a private social network where people could be who they want to be and connect with people they love without getting bombarded by boosted posts, data mining, and ad salesmen. But a public version of Ello has recently been built for everyone to use. As a Public Benefit Corporation, Ello has vowed to never serve ads or sell user data to make money. (A Benefit Corporation is a new kind of for-profit company in the USA that exists to produce a benefit for society as a whole — not just to make money for its investors.)
Ello recently teamed up with the Threadless design community and e-commerce site to sell t-shirts featuring the Ello logo reimagined by independent artists.
The first T-shirt in the collection was created by Chicago-based artist Chuck Anderson (aka NoPattern), a fine artist, illustrator and photographer, also well known for his commercial work. He reimagined the Ello logo with a multi-color, drip-like background. The Ello x Threadless store will also offer black-and-white T-shirts with the original Ello logo for $25.
Anderson will curate the entire Ello x Threadless collection and work with established as well as up-and-coming artists to highlight their unique work.
“What’s truly special about us teaming up with Ello is the incredible commitment to supporting the arts,” noted Jake Nickell, founder and CEO of Threadless. “Both of our companies are rooted in creativity, and together we’re making art accessible to a wider audience.”
The Ello x Threadless online store will release a new limited-edition artist-designed Ello t-shirt bimonthly. An online timer will countdown to the next available design which will appear on the first and fifteenth day of each month. Once a design has been replaced, it will not be available again.
“Ello is about freedom − freedom from advertising, freedom to be who you want to be, and freedom to create. Working with brilliant artists like Chuck is a way we support Ello’s creative community,” said Paul Budnitz, co-founder and CEO of Ello.
“When Ello and Threadless approached me about curating their t-shirt collection, I couldn’t wait to begin our collaboration,” said Anderson. “This project stands out as it allows me to engage with new and established artists and be part of their creative journey.”
Threadless is a creative community that makes, supports, and buys art. Thousands of people worldwide submit their designs online. Then, the community picks their favorites, which get made into t-shirts, bags, wall art, and more. When you buy from Threadless, you directly support the artist who created the design.
Companies may think they’re pushing the envelope when developing new advertising and marketing campaigns, but most of their creative employees would disagree, new research shows.
Seven in 10 (71 percent) of the creative professionals surveyed by The Creative Group (TCG) and AIGA said their firms don’t take enough creative risks with projects. More than one-quarter (28 percent) of respondents said they don’t feel empowered by their managers to take creative risks.
The research is part of the Creative Team of the Future, a joint project between TCG and AIGA that explores key trends shaping the creative profession and how to prepare for challenges and opportunities ahead. It includes a survey of more than 750 creative professionals and insights from leaders in the creative industry.
While 28 percent of creative professionals feel their company takes the right amount of risks, a majority (71 percent) believes their firm plays it too safe. Less than one-quarter (23 percent) of employees feel very empowered by their manager to take creative risks at work; slightly more (28 percent) don’t feel empowered at all.
About half (54 percent) of creative professionals are very comfortable presenting new ideas to their manager or team members; the rest have some qualms.
Just over half (53 percent) of respondents feel their organization is perceived as innovative.
“As the creative industry continues to change rapidly, staying ahead of the curve has grown more important — and more challenging,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group. “Building a culture of smart risk-taking — taking a new approach or creating an edgy campaign, for example — can benefit organizations by empowering staff to come up with new ideas and remain innovative.”
The Creative Group (TCG) 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.
As designers become more influential in helping businesses create strategies related to technology and innovation, expect to see continuing innovations in design education.
The University of Southern California, Condé Nast and WIRED have announced a partnership to create a new online Master’s degree in Integrated Design, Business and Technology. The partnership combines the expertise of the editors, writers, and designers at WIRED with the academic rigor of USC.
USC is a leading research university known for pioneering interdisciplinary programs. For more than 20 years, WIRED has been a source of information and ideas that make sense of a world in transformation. WIRED reaches more than 30 million each month through WIRED.com, the print and digital magazine, social media and live events. The WIRED conversation illuminates how technology is changing every aspect of our lives—from culture and business to science and design. Breakthroughs reported in WIRED lead to new ways of thinking, new connections, and new industries.
The aim of the new 18-24 month Master’s Degree in Integrated Design, Business and Technology is to educate creative thinkers and technologists to better equip them to transform the world of industry and enterprise.
The Dean of the USC Roski School of Art and Design Erica Muhl and WIRED Editor in Chief Scott Dadich announced the new online degree at WIRED By Design, a live magazine event held at Skywalker Ranch in Marin, Calif.
The new master’s degree will offer specially designed coursework from the Roski School, the USC Marshall School of Business, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and other leading programs at the university. The program is scheduled to begin in the 2015-2016 academic year.
“The pace of technology development requires higher education to continue to respond with programs that are flexible and adaptable, and that meet the needs of future cultural and business leaders,” said Dean Muhl.
“We’ve been thinking for years about what a university curriculum with WIRED would look like, and now we have a chance to build it with a terrific partner,” said Dadich. “Taking the best from USC and WIRED, we can teach discipline and disruption, business fundamentals, and the very latest innovation models from Silicon Valley.”
USC’s online graduate education model builds upon the historic role of the traditional university while incorporating advances of the digital age. USC currently offers more than 80 programs online to approximately 8,000 graduate and executive education students.
In addition to offering a unique curriculum, the format of the new Master’s Degree program will offer distinctive opportunities to its participants, including: residencies at WIRED headquarters, exclusive audiences with WIRED leaders and conference speakers, and access to WIRED’s highly respected editors and writers, as well as leading industry icons.
Students in the program will be immersed in the culture of WIRED’s award-winning edit and design team, learning how they report, interpret and anticipate the next big breakthroughs in business, science, technology, design, and culture.
“WIRED is recognized as a source for up-to-the-minute ideas, analysis and perspective,” said Robert A. Sauerberg Jr, President of Condé Nast, which publishes WIRED. “Today we’re announcing the first of several partnerships we plan to create that will merge the knowledge and expertise of Condé Nast’s brands with distinguished academic programs to develop the next generation of talent. Given its reputation as an innovator, it makes perfect sense that WIRED is the first.”
USC’s program development and build out will be powered by higher education partners Synergis Education and Qubed Education. Synergis helps colleges and universities design and launch programs of distinction by creating unique learning environments and supporting recruitment, retention and student services. Qubed establishes new partnerships between top-tier universities and leading media organizations and brands to create high-quality innovations in world-class higher education institutions.
The digital media training organization Future Media Concepts will be conducting the Creative Cloud Masters Conference in conjunction with the Graph Expo 14 graphic-arts conference and exhibition, September 28 through October 1 at the McCormack Place South convention center in Chicago.
The Creative Cloud Masters Conference provides advanced training for print, web and video designers in Adobe’s Creative Cloud.
Courses are taught by Adobe-certified instructors and master trainers. The Creative Cloud Masters Conference will offer courses geared for graphic designers, prepress professionals, web designers, videographers, and artists pursuing motion graphics and video. Courses will cover such diverse topics as:
integrating print and online workflows
advanced color conversion techniques
HTML and CSS styles for e-publishing
video production for beginners
animation and interactive design
The co-location of the Creative Cloud Masters Conference reflects Graph Expo’s continuing expansion into integrated media technologies. The Graph Expo 14 Conference and Show attracts thousands of attendees from a wide range of printing enterprises, including commercial printing, large-format graphics printing, photo imaging, package printing, in-plant printing, and industrial printing. Many of these businesses offer a mix of marketing and printing services.
“Adding the new Creative Masters Conference is the perfect complement, delivering huge value for attendees,” said Christopher Price, vice president of the Graphic Arts Show Company that produces Graph Expo. All attendees of the Creative Cloud Masters Conference will receive complimentary admission to the Graph Expo exhibit hall where they can see what’s possible with state-of-the-art digital presses, wide-format inkjet printers, software and workflow solutions, and sophisticated finishing solutions..
“We’re confident agency, print shop and design professionals will find new inspiration at this year’s show,” said Price.
About Future Media Concepts
Established in 1994, Future Media Concepts (FMC) is one of the nation’s premier digital media training organizations. They provide manufacturer-authorized training in digital video and film editing, motion graphics, Web design and development, sound design, 3D animation, desktop publishing, architectural and mechanical design, Mac IT and mobile Apps development.
FMC provides in-class, on-site and online training options for IT professionals, app developers and digital media professionals engaged in the creation, management and delivery of digital entertainment and media content.