I’m Chanpory, and this is my site on how to live and work better as a designer.

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Entries about designhacks

Oct 16, 2006

Give and get direct feedback with Photoshop Notes

After slaving away creating beautiful design comps or prototypes in Photoshop, you’ll most likely have to show them to a client, colleague, or creative director to get feedback. Often, this process generates some confusion as emails and verbal exchanges go back and forth. To reduce uncertainty and mix-ups, use Photoshop’s Notes tool to place comments […]

Sep 21, 2006

How to choose an easy-to-read typeface

Imagine yourself picking a typeface for your next resumé, book, newsletter, or other text-heavy project. With the dizzying array of typefaces in the world, how do you choose when you simply want one that’s clear and readable? Thankfully, Before & After magazine’s short tutorial, What’s the Right Typeface for Text?, can help you make this […]

Aug 31, 2006

A styleguide for people who don’t like styleguides

Most major corporations have strict guidelines detailing how their logos should be used. Some can be cumbersome, espousing rules for everything from minimum size requirements to how it should look on the back of a gas guzzling 4×4. The GE styleguide, for example, is a tome at over 300 pages. Imagine my shock, when I […]

Aug 23, 2006

I heart Flickr: my new source for joy and design inspiration

My friend Winston recently showed me a Flickr set of Spanish pharmaceutical posters from the 60s. The design work was just beautiful, putting the contemporary staid look of today’s pharmaceutical companies to shame. I never realized Flickr’s potential as a source for both joy and design inspiration until I saw this eye-pleasuring collection. In the […]

Aug 15, 2006

Data visualizations keep spreadsheets sexy

The Michelle Pfeiffer of software, Microsoft Excel manages to remain sexy despite its age. The blog at Juice Analytics is ripe with clever ways to keep those spreadsheets looking good. Several tips spread across three posts reveal clever ways to visualize data within spreadsheet cells. The first post covers showing bar graphs within cells. A […]

Jul 13, 2006

How to design grid systems in 5 simple steps

The brief, vague introduction to grid systems I received in school left me puzzled. These invisible “underlying structures” seemed more like arcane runes than rational design tools. Thirsty for understanding, I googled and found Mark Boulton’s fantastic series of articles on the basics of grid systems. I had always thought that things looked nicer and […]

Jul 12, 2006

Talent isn’t everything: 7 habits of highly effective junior designers

Here’s a common myth: to be a successful creative person, all you need is talent. It’s a nice myth to believe in, because “talent” suggests a divine or evolutionary genetic gift. So if you have talented DNA, you’re special and can be a cool creative person. If not, you’re destined to be an accountant. After […]

Jul 11, 2006

Bind your own professional-looking book

Comic book artist, Toby Craig has an excellent tutorial on do-it-yourself bookbinding. The process requires some sewing and gluing, but his instructions are thorough and comes with lots and lots of pictures (which we like). The materials and tools he used should also all be available at your local arts and crafts store. For artists, […]

Jul 5, 2006

Strengthen your love of screenshots by adding a little control

For as long as I can remember, I have been in love with Command+Shift+3, the Macintosh keyboard shortcut for capturing a screen to a file. While this love is enduring, I must admit some dalliances with Command+Shift+4 (capture selected area of a screen to a file) and Command+Shift then Spacebar (capture a specific window, widget, […]

Jun 28, 2006

A world of brands at your fingertips

Brandsoftheworld.com collects downloadable logo artwork (usually in .eps format) of major companies world-wide. They also have a large section of corporate identity guidelines and manuals (.pdf format). The site’s especially handy for: Finding logos to use in design prototypes and presentations when clients are slow to send their own artwork Analyzing competitors when designing a […]