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Creating Annotated Screenshots the Easy Way

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How-to Easily Create Annotated Screenshots for Clients

As a web developer who creates custom content management solutions for clients, it can sometimes be difficult for our clients to remember everything we teach them during website training sessions. Often I receive minor questions after the session via email. If you’ve ever tried to explain step-by-step how to perform a certain task within a computer program through a plain text email, you know how difficult that can be.

Since I do this often for clients, I’ve found a system that is incredibly useful and allows me to show detailed instructions on how to use their web-based content management system software very quickly and easily. To use my method, in addition to having a Mac, you only need three things: read on

Vermont Stained Glass

Everyone hates ice storms. Forget about driving somewhere to run an errand or making it to work. As a skier waking up to a thick coating of ice this weekend, I was pretty disappointed. It did not seem possible that anything good could come out of this day. Who would have thought, then, that my disappointment would be completely erased by the surreal beauty of the candy coated trees reflecting the vivid purples, blues, pinks, and magentas that filled the night’s shadows and the lights of the new Vermont day. And, as if beauty overcame beast, the skiing was better than expected!

The Little People Project

Little People Project

While browsing a small art shop in Chicago I happened across a photo book called “Little People in the City: The Street Art of Slinkachu.” It’s such a unique and clever project, reminding you to pay attention to your environment and really observe life. Sometimes the best ideas stem from looking at everyday things from a new perspective. read on

EPA’s New ghgData Map

EPA's New ghgData Map

There is virtually unanimous agreement in the scientific community that human-caused global warming is real. So it puzzles me why climate change remains a partisan issue in the United States. “The theory remains unproven,” says Rick Perry. “Global warming is a hoax,” according to Michelle Bachmann. “I’m not one who would attribute it to being man-made,” notes Sarah Palin. In 2010, the Senate failed to pass basic legislation that would reduce greenhouse gasses (ghg). Seriously? Doesn’t a healthy planet benefit Democrats and Republicans alike? Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a searchable map that allows users to identify the nation’s major sources of CO2 and other gasses emitted from power plants, refineries, and chemical factories. It’s a wonderful example of dynamic information design based on real-world data. Now you can find out for yourself where greenhouse gasses are coming from—as close as your own backyard—and who are the biggest carbon polluters. Armed with this information, all of us can keep pressure on government and industry to combat global climate change.

You Say You Want a Devolution? Seen in Vanity Fair

When I opened up the January issue of Vanity Fair magazine, I noted with interest an article titled “You Say You Want a Devolution.” “The face of American culture used to change radically every decade or two,” writes Kurt Andersen, “but 1992 and 2012 look disturbingly alike.”  So, in light of Taylor Design’s 20th anniversary, I thought I would investigate. read on

Dots and More Dots

Yayoi Kusama

Man, I wish I could have taken my twin two-year olds to Australia (OK, via teleportation, not the 20 hour flight from NYC to Brisbane) to take part in this art installation at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art.

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama created a large, blank canvas out of a living environment, called The Obliteration Room. Everything—couches, walls, light fixtures, cabinets, plants, and dishes—were painted the whitest of whites. Then, over a two week period, all of the children who visited the museum were given thousands and thousands of colored adhesive dots and invited to transform the space. An eruption of color ensued.

The finished product is now on display for all to see through March 12, 2012 as part of Kusama’s Look Now, See Forever exhibition in the museum.

There’s a fun interactive game for kids (and adults, trust me) on the museum’s website where you can cover your own room with dots and learn more about the artist at a kid-friendly level.

Good Riddance IE6

Over the past two years, I often dream of the day that support would be dropped for Internet Explorer 6. So I was excited to find out that Google and WordPress were ending support for IE6 last year, providing that final push for IT departments to upgrade. I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and I wasn’t alone. The Aten Design Group, for example, held a funeral for IE6 and created ie6funeral.com. Even Microsoft began an advertising campaign directed to users, strongly suggesting they move away from the decade-old browser. When a company that creates a product starts begging its users to change, it’s certainly time. In March, Microsoft launched ie6countdown.com to educate users about the global goal to eliminate the browser that has caused so many headaches for the world’s web developers. Internet Explorer 6 officially reached less than 1% usage in the United States earlier this week. This calls for a huge celebration and Microsoft did just that by baking a “Goodbye IE6” cake.

It’s the Stupid Economy

Over the past few years I have made the transition to non-linear television viewing. Whether it be the internet, Hulu or Netflix, I prefer being in control of the content that I consume. Recently, I have been trending toward documentaries, more specifically, economic history documentaries. One of my favorite speakers of late has been Niall Ferguson, the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University. After viewing The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World, I was hooked. Check out one of his latest shorts on The Daily Beast, a powerful piece with beautifully animated type and illustration.

The Architect and The Painter

Charles and Ray Eames

I’ve been a huge fan of Charles and Ray Eames—the husband and wife dynamic design duo, best remembered for their mid-century modern furniture—since I was first introduced to them on a high school field trip to the Museum of Modern Art. So, I was really excited to see that PBS’ American Masters series was premiering a film about them called “The Architect and The Painter” on December 19th. Unfortunately, life got in the way and I forgot to set the DVR, so I missed it. Luckily, PBS has the full length film available on their website. It’s worth a viewing to learn more about this fascinating pair and their influence on American culture.

Note: This happens to be my second post involving them… See Ice Cube and the Eames.

New York’s Curbside Haiku

Haiku is a short form of Japanese poetry, begun sometime in the 1600’s, that is characterized by three qualities: use of three lines of 17 or fewer syllables; use of a season word; and use of a “cut” to contrast and compare two events, images, or situations. A creative new campaign from the New York City Transportation Department is using haiku to spread messages of safety to areas where a high percentage of accidents have taken place. Developed by artist John Morse, the twelve different signs have been placed in areas near cultural centers and schools in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan.

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