We have moved!

aiganhvt-screenshot

AIGA NH/VT has moved our Blog to http://www.aiganhvt.org. In addition to getting our own domain name we have upgraded from the free WordPress.com Blog to a WordPress.org server. We are very excited about the new features and possibilities made possible by this upgrade. Please update your bookmarks with the new URL and visit us often!

-Mark

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March 13, 2009 at 10:40 pm

Fresh Squeezed? – Arnell Talks

As an add on to the last post… here’s Peter Arnell Explaining Failed Tropicana Package Design… I fell asleep at 1:38, then woke up, and started rolling my eyes at 2:26.

March 3, 2009 at 9:14 pm

Fresh Squeezed

Tropicana fresh branding

Tropicana's fresh branding

This week Pepsico announced it was reverting to the old Tropicana packaging design after the re-design “created confusion in the grocery aisle and put off loyal customers.” The re-design was done by Peter Arnell, the same designer who created the new Pepsi logo and packaging.

Have you seen the re-designed Tropicana packaging? What did you think? Are they giving up on the design too soon?

Leave your comments here.

February 27, 2009 at 7:17 pm 1 comment

Article Review: How Must AIGA Adapt for the Future?

aiga_screenshotI just read a fantastic article on the AIGA Website titled “How Must AIGA Adapt for the Future?” by Richard Grefe. The timing for this article could not be better since the turn in the economy has many of us wondering the same thing. In addition to that, it’s a good thought process to do every so often, especially in times of economic and social change.

Many of the strategic choices listed deal with choosing between immediate and tangible benefits for your membership fee or “raising respect for the value of design” and other less tangible benefits. Personally I would lean towards more tangible benefits, especially when you have to justify the expense to your employer or you are trying to cut your own bills.

One of the strategic choice that caught my interest is

“Publishing an annual featuring works from AIGA’s juried competitions ORshifting away from the competitions toward establishing a member gallery and a weekly on-line publication, with commentary on selections by guest curators.”

I like the idea of a member gallery, weekly on-line publication and commentary from curators better than competitions. I would not mind if they put less resources into printing and mailing me stuff and more into on-line content and other resources I can use to be a better designer.

The comments by readers are worth reading becuase some good observations and suggestions are made. I noticed the very first one suggested a lower price for the membership. That would sure make the choice to renew your membership easier, especially if you pay for it yourself. Other comments addressed the Website content and ways to add value to the membership experience.

What do you think about these choices and direction for the future?

Mark Karl

February 20, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Digital Arts and Humanities Lecture Series at Dartmouth

Those in the upper valley design community may be interested in some of the topics in the Digital Arts and Humanities Lecture Series at Dartmouth. Dartmouth is bringing humanists, technologists, and artists to campus who focus on the interplay of digital technology, culture, games, art, and science.

The next lecture in the series is tonight, Tuesday February 3, 2009 at 4:30pm
“Communities of Play: Emergent Cultures in Multiplayer Games and Virtual Worlds”

Celia Pearce, Director of the Experimental Game Lab at Georgia Tech
Dartmouth Campus, Silsby 028
Visit the website for more information on upcoming lectures in the series.

February 3, 2009 at 1:43 pm

Understanding DPI

DPI is a seemingly simple concept, but there is widespread misconception on what it actually is, and where and how it matters. This is an old topic, but people keep getting it wrong. It’s never bad to revisit things like this and extend our understanding.

DPI vs. PPI

Designers know that DPI (Dots Per Inch) is a measure of how many ink dots a printer is capable of placing along a one inch line. Many designers incorrectly believe that DPI is also a measure of how many image pixels will be placed along a one inch line. There’s a separate term for this: PPI (Pixels Per Inch). Pixels per inch is also used in scanning, where a physical item is converted into a pixel grid.

dpi-vs-ppi.png

This is a real easy one to remember: If it’s an output device like a printer, the correct term is DPI. If it’s digital media where pixels are used, (like a digital photo or scan,) it’s PPI.

The confusion is widespread. Many stock photo sites sell images at various DPI values. As of this writing, even Wikipedia discusses digital images in the DPI section. But, take a look a Photoshop’s “Image Size” window. It clearly states “Pixels/Inch” under “Resolution”.

PPI doesn’t matter on the web

Try this: Create a new photoshop document at 300x300px, and set the resolution to 100 PPI. Now, create a second image at 300x300px, this time set the resolution to 200 PPI. Fill both with a solid color. View both on your computer at 100%. They’re the same size on screen: They each use 300×300 pixels on the screen. Now, print both from photoshop at 100%. You’ll notice that on paper, their size differs considerably.

pixel-data-comparison.png

When an image is displayed on the web, it is done so as if it were being viewed at 100%. The PPI value only applies when an image is being printed.

PPI is not a measure of image quality

If you saved the images from the example above and looked at their file sizes, they would be identical. A lower PPI value does not necessarily have less information. The only measure of how much digital information is contained in an image is the number of pixels.

pixel-vs-resolution-comparison.png

A smaller image at a higher PPI value may contain less information than a larger image at a lower PPI value. It’s easy to figure out which image has more information: multiply the dimensions by the PPI value, and compare the pixel count.

Photoshop allows you to change the PPI value without touching the pixel information. To do this, uncheck “Resample Image” in the “Image Size” dialog. Any changes you make in this way will affect neither how large your image is displayed on screen, nor how large your image is displayed on the web, nor the size of the file when you save it. The only thing you are changing is how large it will print. Any image can be adjusted to print at any size or resolution without changing the pixel data.

PPI cannot exist alone

Since the PPI value can be changed without changing any pixel data, it’s not possible to know how much information is contained in an image if all you have is a PPI value.

ppi-comparison-with-same-pixels.png
Occasionally, stock agencies will sell different image sizes by offering the images at various “DPI” dimensions. There’s very critical information missing here. When the agency does not provide pixel dimensions (or physical dimensions) in addition to PPI, then it’s possible that the agency can sell you the exact same pixel data for all of these image sizes. Most importantly, you have no idea how large and at what quality you are actually able to use the image until after you’ve bought it.

When a client sends you an image, remember: you can always change the PPI value if it’s wrong, but if you don’t have enough pixel data, you’re out of luck.

-Michael Niggel

January 23, 2009 at 5:01 pm

New Free Font for you! Rovetti Print…

Man, I can't stop with the free stuff!

Man, I can't stop with the free stuff!

Yeah, here it is in all of it’s glory… my first foray into the world of type!  Criticisms and all the rest are welcome…  so go and download it… it over here at:

http://rovettidesign.com/2009/01/rovetti-print-a-new-free-font-for-you/

Let me know what you think, and whether you use it in anything cool?  Want a cool tool?  Want to know how to make them?  Ask me, and I’ll blog about it (that is, if I have any idea how to do it). Anything from making custom brushes, displacement maps, custom gradients, styles, actions… you name it.  I’m ready for questions!  Just contact me here, or at http://www.rovettidesign.com.  Ok, that’s it from your rusty, trusty, and loving web chair for now.  Now go get that font and do something with it!!  Boo yaah!

January 20, 2009 at 9:06 pm 3 comments

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