Pantone’s Color of the Year Classic Blue

Classic Blue 2020

Classic Blue

In case you missed it, Pantone released it’s color of the year for 2020. Here is the Pantone Textile Cotton Code converted to Pantone Coated Colors, Pantone Uncoated Color, CMYK and RGB classic blue. These are the closest matches I could find in the coated colors, as you can see the conversion is not perfect.

You can download the Adobe .ase file free. I love this color. I think its very versatile and would be great to use for home decor items as well as any type of graphic design project, brochures, packaging etc.

For more palettes created by Pantone using Classic Blue: Pantone Palettes.

Classic Blue 2020

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Urban Color Palette

Urban Color Palette

Subtle and Subdued

This Urban Color Palette was influenced by the Pantone Urban Color palette. Some colors are the same, some are substituted and I added a few more colors to round out the palette. It contains a variety of grays in both warm and cool colors as well as a few taupes and clean blues. The more saturated colors are purples, brown and a teal based blue. The darker shades of blue show professionalism, authority and sincerity as described in the article on Jen Reviews. Jen Miller wrote a great article on the psychology of color, please visit her site to read more.

The files contain and .ase file for use in all of your Adobe Applications, licensing information and low resolution .jpg of the colors for reference. The color palette file contains Pantone Plus Coated Colors only. You can download it for free here:

Urban Color Palette File

Urban Color Palette

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Skillshare-2 FREE Months of Classes

Free 2 Months Skillshare

You’re Invited to Free Classes

Sign up for 2 free months of Premium Membership. If you haven’t checked out Skillshare, what are you waiting for! It’s a really fun way to learn new skills like lettering, watercolor painting, drawing, graphic design, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, business, marketing and more. Each class lasts about an hour or less and has a project for you to complete. I find it totally addicting. Check it out!

Skillshare

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Ads – A new Skillshare class!

Create an Ad

How to Create an Ad

I created a new Skillshare class on how to create an ad in InDesign. It contains layout, typography, Photoshop color modes, production to print or digital and output to pdf as well as packaging your files for the vendor. Here’s the link if you’re interested. It covers the basics of a few InDesign tools, geared mostly for beginning Designs, but an entrepreneur could also use it to produce a simple ad for print or digital use. Materials are provided for practice, but you could also use your own images, copy and logo to produce the ad. If create ads, you might find these charts helpful. One chart converts fractions to decimals and the other converts inches to picas to points.

Create an Ad

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Learning from a Master Designer-Skillshare

Master Designer Paula Scher

Have you heard of Skillshare? It’s an education platform filled with classes. There are over 12,000 Skillshare classes available. They are comprised of short videos and each class walks you through a skill to create a finished project. The classes range from sketching, to painting and how to use Photoshop. You subscribe on a monthly basis. It’s very inexpensive for the great content you can access. There’s a very interesting class by Paula Scher, a partner at Pentagram. She teaches you about brand identity, designing logos and she walks you through her thought process for a project. She talks about her experience and how she got to where she is today. I found it fascinating when she described the Pentagram business model. What a fun place to work! How wonderful to get feedback from her on your project. I highly recommend it.

There are many many other classes to take, you can learn how to set up a WordPress site, how to create hand lettering, drawing, how to use the Adobe Creative Suite tools and much more.

If you use this link Skillshare you can get 3 months for 99 cents a month. Yes, I said 99 cents per month for 3 months. That’s a wealth of information for very little money. If you decide to keep subscribing after 3 months the price goes to $12 per month. Still a bargain if you ask me.

I hope you’ll check it out!

Skillshare

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Photoshop’s New Masking Tool

Photoshop Masking Tool

Photoshop Masking ToolIf you haven’t upgraded to the newest Photoshop Creative Suite 2015.5 (June 2016) version, you’re missing out on a great new masking tool it has to offer. You know how tedious and time consuming it is to outline an image to drop out the background in your photo, well Adobe Photoshop has just taken that job and simplified it tremendously. They’ve created a new workspace similar to the filter workspace with some powerful tools and adjustments for you to outline or mask out anything with a great deal of precision. Even hair! You know how difficult that is! Here’s a link to the video with directions on how to use the new tool.

How to use the Photoshop Masking Tool Video.

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Creative Market-Design Tools

Free Design Tools

Free Design Tools

Creative Market-Design Tools

I’ve recently used some high resolution images, fonts and illustrations from Creative Market. They are beautiful and the files are very high quality. I have been very impressed with the quality of tools I’ve used. I highly recommend Creative Market for any materials you might need to complete a project or to find inspiration. The artwork is top notch. Some of the watercolor illustration is amazing and the prices are very reasonable.

Free Design Tools

Creative Market also provides a bundle of 3 items (illustration, fonts, templates or images) free, every week. Sign up and get access to free goods every week.

Creative Market Free Stuff

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The Anatomy of a Print Advertisement

Anatomy of a Print Ad

Anatomy of a Print Ad

Print Advertising Specs

If you’re new to graphic design you might not understand the elements of print advertising specifications. Hopefully this information on what the specs mean will help you.

<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/13897477/?claim=ae5jdzxhfvj”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

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Pantone Fashion Color Report for Spring 2015

Fashion Colors Spring 2015

I know it’s barely fall, but Pantone has released it’s color report for Spring 2015. I have converted all of the CMYK colors to the closest Pantone Match I could find. To download the Adobe Color Swatch File, click over to my free design tools tab. It contains all of these colors as CMYK and PMS colors.

Fashion Colors Spring 2015

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Keeping Track of Time

SZ Studio Time Sheet

SZ Studio Time Sheet

If you’re a designer, whether you’re a web or print designer or even a web coder, you probably get paid by the hour and you realize how important it is to keep good time sheets. Here’s a sample of the one I created. It has 3 sections per day to track your time in and out of a project. I staple it to the front of my job jacked for each job I’m working on. For larger projects, I just keep stapling copies to the top of each other as they fill up. There’s also space for expense notes, such as stock photography purchased, prints made and domain/hosting services purchased. Then, when it comes time to bill the job, I have all the information I need in 1 place.

Being organized is such a huge part of what we do — anything that helps push the project along, efficiently, is a good thing.

For a FREE, generic version of my time sheet in a pdf format:

Generic Time Sheets

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What the font?

Have you ever seen a font in print and wanted to use it, but couldn’t figure out what it was. Well there are 2 places you can go for identification. You can upload a .jpg to myfonts.com or you can answer a series of questions at identifont. Even though myfonts.com asks for you to keep space between the characters, I’ve used their system for script fonts, it gets pretty close and gives you multiple fonts to compare.

Overall a good tool to use. Not like the old days of thumbing through thousands of pages of fonts to compare serifs and weights.

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Great Photoshop Shortcut!

Photoshop Shortcut

ShortcutsPS

This shortcut will create a new layer, combining all of the visible layers below. You can then make the original layers invisible and resave the file as a .psd. This way you only have 1 file with all the layers for editing, and 1 combined for placement without creating multiple files, thus saving you time and hard drive space. Thank you Creative Techs.

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