Archive for the ‘Tablet’ Category

House Style

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Occasionally, a job presents itself that offers an open and creative brief. The initial brief for this work was to create a monthly web page header illustration for a property website. The illustration is to use “bright pastel” colours and is required to show their stylish new houses. One additional requirement was to add the clients corporate red to the illustration, somewhere. The brief was pretty open.









Initial sketches have been drawn on paper (left) or on the iPad (right) using Adobe Ideas. These have been scanned or opened in Illustrator to act as a drawing template. Once in Adobe Illustrator, the illustrations have been created in ‘layers‘ for greater control. These images can then either be ‘saved for web‘ (jpg, png, gif) or ‘exported‘ out as a layered ‘Photoshop’ file for further work. 

Adobe Illustrator is the best choice, in this case, for simple drawing and transformations (scale, reflect, rotate and shear). I have used the Illustrator ‘create guide‘ and ‘smart guide‘ features in this drawing. Illustrator also offers a remarkable ‘edit colours‘ feature, which has proved very useful when adjusting colours throughout an image (variations shown below).

Adobe Illustrator illustration06-illustration+spot_0306-illustration_grey_03

The creative freedom this brief has allowed, has enabled a ‘house style‘ to evolve. While being non-specific, the illustrations represent new and modern homes in a fresh and clean style.

05 illustration drawn in Adobe Illustratordrawn in Adobe Illustrator

Tablet justified

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

It was a conscience decision to invest in a tablet computer for use with training. I have never felt more compelled to justify such spending, even when it hasn’t been prompted. My shiny new toy guilt has subsided since I’ve started to use it.

My initial reason for purchasing what seemed to be little more than another gadget, was to expand my knowledge of publishing to an array of mobile devices from InDesign CS5.5. It also offered the chance of creative input with Adobe Ideas and Adobe Color Lava, Eazel and Nav for Photoshop CS5.

While the iPad screen is relatively small compared with a laptop, its size means it’s easier to hold, rotate and share. I will want to do all three things as its great design is palpable. Accessibility and convenience mean it is too easy to download apps and publications. I looked for publications that are created from InDesign. Wired is a great one from many designed in InDesign. It is a different experience to reading the paper product. The design has been well thought through and the interactivity is immersive, though barely more effort than turning a page. It is as easy to pass around a group; can’t be rolled up, coffee stained or borrowed without return.I think it has the ability to pull you into its brand. Apart from passive use reading and viewing material, the apps promise productivity.

There are many drawing, painting and image manipulation applications for tablet devices, as an Adobe certified instructor and illustrator, I’d like to initially discuss what Adobe have on offer. Adobe Ideas still seems a little basic in both appearance and functionality. And while the software is inexpensive, ‘Layers’ can be purchased as an add in. I started out using just my digit free flowing over the surface of the iPad. This lacks precision but does give a sense of primeval mark making, and just good basic fun for newcomers to it. I then used a Griffin Stylus; which straight away felt intuitive. This got over my initial fear of only being able to create primitive marks on the page.

I can see a use for this to simply and quickly illustrate a point when I’m training in the classroom. I can easily switch to this, to project it, and now save sketches and diagrams where a conventional whiteboard couldn’t. Equally, anyone wishing to capture a rough idea, quickly, will find this helpful, as the results can be saved and accessed as PDF’s or simply opened in Adobe Illustrator for further work. Apart from drawing from scratch, you can use photos on separate layers to draw over. 
For these illustrations, I capitulated and bought layers to aid the drawing.

Tablet computing hasn’t killed drawing on paper or reading books and magazines, but they now have a truly viable alternative platform. Both paper and digital realms have their own merits. I look forward to the progression of the tablet, while not completely sidelining my moleskine.

Tablet computing

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Man has an inherent need to communicate; whether it’s for posterity, culture or more commonly transactions; we’ve always had this requirement. One of the earliest forms of this was the ‘cuneiform’.  This was a clay tablet that could be inscribed. Basic but functional. The materials changed over time. Several key developments have aided how we capture information and communicate it. The invention of paper. The first printing press with moveable type. The camera, wireless and latterly, computer. Several iterations of the personal computer have come and gone. The latest of which, has now evolved into the tablet computer.

As a tablet computer, Apples iPad has certainly grabbed at lot of attention recently.  It is obvious from its’ looks that it is a tablet computer. What is less obvious, is what you can use it for, and where it fits in with our everyday technology? Apple are happy to sell its’ uses as a web surfing, email, gaming and presentation tool. From the people I’ve talked to, hardly any have yet rushed out to buy this exciting bit of technology. They can’t see a use for it. I think this may be a case of Apple being ahead of its’ customers. It will take more adventurous and creative thinking consumer to slot this into its own niche.

I am not sure anyone wants to spend money on a device that, in some respects, mimics what can already be done with phones and laptops. I am in danger of missing the point of the tablet as I think it is the experience of what it delivers rather than the regular content we are used to, that is its selling point.
With more of a drawing capability, I would use one to coexist with paper notebooks. A lot more use could be gained from it than a more passive reading deviice. It would be quite useful for people to use when they want to surf and check emails more comfortably. I’m currently writing this on my iPhone on a train (with the sound off!); a bigger screen and keyboard would speed this up and totally enhance the experience.
No matter how I may view it, it’s fair to say it’s here to stay, judging by its sales figures.