Learning Flash the fun way!

It’s a warm evening here at the studio (thank god for air conditioning and ceiling fans).  I was tooling around on a Flash project tonight and had an opportunity to reference a tutorial that I had saved from an excellent online resource for learning Flash so I thought I would take a moment and share it with you all.

Before joining the International Webmasters Association and taking their excellent series of Classes I began my “formal” training in Flash at the website of Jay Dyke, called “Cartoon Smart“. Jay has an amazingly cool site and, even at the point where I am about to begin my Advance Flash ActionScripting class, I still go back to his site to pick up pointers. His downloadable tutorials are very well priced, easily downloaded and extremely fun. His informal style makes you feel as though he is sitting right next to you but the information he provides is very useful.

I highly recommend this site to anyone interested in furthering their Flash skills.



Web Design Psychology

I was doing some investigative research today on an HTML problem I was having when I came by this really nice article on web design psychology. Almost seems like a small bit of required reading for web designers as it hits on some important points regarding basic web design philosophy. Kudos to the people at Stylegala for the excellent information they provide. As web designers, we need to be cognizant of not only of the technical nature of our trade, but also the intangibles; good design flow, artistry and design impact. Well done to Andy Rutledge at NetSuccess on his article.



iStock Photos

Let me start by saying I am a photoshop zealot. I love the program, can’t live without it. Wonderful piece of software.

Having said that, I was browsing around in the Adobe Stock Photo browser the other day looking for photos to use on a website project I am currently working on. I realized after looking through the licensing and pricing areas that the pricing is set up only for larger (minimum of 1 meg) files. Now this is useful for most print projects, however those file sizes are far too large for web use.

Having done some more digging and finding nothing to cater to smaller file sized purchases, I decided to contact my guru of all things Adobe… Mark Barnes.

Mark’s answer was uncharacteristicly short… “Nope, Adobe does not have anything in place for purchasing smaller file sized photos”… “However…” it was then I knew he was going to save me once again. He then mentioned iStockphotos. Let me just say that this site is wonderful! Not only is the interface excellent for browsing photos, their photo quality is excellent and their library is huge! But the best part is their pricing!

$1 for web ready photos

$3 for print ready photos

$5 for full page photos

$10 for full page bleed photos

$20/$40 for double page spread photos

Excellent! A real find that benefits both the designer and client in keeping costs down. I highly recommend a visit to iStockphotos.



Cyber Sea Proposal Kit

My friend Bobbie over at Wild Wolf Webhosting and I have long lamented the lack of really high quality resources for the “business” end of any Creative Business. In a world of $49 point-and-click web building, websites full of ready made “logo templates” and “Johnny’s friend knows this guy who can build you a website” web design, we who are trying to build and run legitimate Creative Studios and hosting businesses need to be on point and professional with our proposals, contracts and business support documents.
Enter the “Proposal Kit” by Cyber Sea. What a find! For only $197 (which is less than you’d pay for one hour with your lawyer!) you can download an entire kit covering estimating spreadsheets, contract templates, proposal samples and templates and a host of other support material all in .doc and .pdf and .xls formats.
I spent the better part of two days just going through all of the documents when I originally ordered it, the wealth of material here is immeasurable to the small business owner. In my rarely-humble opinion, this is a must have for those of us who are serious about our businesses.

Proposal Kit

Well, that’s my find for today.