No longer just for programmers, Google’s APIs are increasingly becoming commonplace for creative mashups—allowing people to “take something cool and make it insanely cool.”
As a part of Advertising Week, Andy Berndt (Managing Director of Google Creative Lab) spoke about the limits being broken in digital media, not by research teams like his, but by users who go beyond the boundaries of the tools being created by companies like Google.
Long before modern icon libraries like Helveticons, designers and sign-makers were forced to use a mishmash of symbols. Until the Helvetica man came along…
By 1974, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) realized the problem of using inconsistent symbols and commissioned the AIGA to produce a standard set for the Interstate Highway System, resulting in Symbol Signs. Sometimes referred to as the ‘Helvetica’ of pictograms (or specifically the Helvetica Man as coined by Ellen Lupton, and interviewed by Designer Observer), the project gave us the most common pictograms we see today.
Forget about decision engines. A new tool is here to revolutionize the way we search, visually. Introducing Spezify.
For most of us Googling is like second nature, but a couple guys in Sweden are trying get away from the endless lists of blue text links and create a more intuitive experience. Spezify searches websites, blogs, images, tweets, even video, arranging the results into a virtual bulletin board. Providing an instant ‘big picture’ overview of your subject.
When we think of finding images online we normally think in keywords. It works. But when we want to find a particular image, trying to think of the right keywords can be tough. A new site, TinEye, is trying to change that by allowing users to search using pictures instead.
Upload an image to TinEye and it will do a pixel-by-pixel search for similar images across the Internet, even images that have been cropped or Photoshopped.
Quickly becoming a favorite among copyright-conscious creatives, it provides an easy way to find unauthorized use of copyrighted work (something that was nearly impossible before). Idée, the company behind TinEye was proud to announce on their blog that TinEye helped photographer Shelia Smart to recover 1,000 Euros after discovering the unlicensed usage of her image on a book cover. Not too bad for a free service.
LiveSurface is a Photoshop template library that allows you to easily place your own designs on a variety of surfaces like billboards, t-shirts, and boxes.
I've known about LiveSurface for a while now, so I thought I'd finally try it out. It looks like the perfect solution for doing client mock-ups and it definitely beats the "old way"—finding images on Google and spending way too long with the Lasso tool.
The images from LiveSurface are high-resolution, multi-layered, and come built-in with 3D planes.
Gridmaker by Paul Holliday is a simple (but extremely brilliant) online tool to create customizeable grids. After creating your perfect grid, download a .png file to Photoshop or use it as a background image in your CSS as you spend hours trying to get everything to line up properly in IE6. Download the Photoshop plugin while you're at it!