This Week in Design: March 7, 2014

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This week it seems like the world is screaming “creativity!” All of my social media channels have been filled with new and fun products, tools and apps and advice on how to be more creative. So that’s the main topic this week in design: Creativity, creative tools and creative thought.

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at

Creative People Do Things Differently

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I don’t know about you, but I am fascinated by the lists of things certain types of people do in order to be successful. These lists seem to be everywhere these days. This week, the Huffington Post published “18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently.”

I was hooked on to every word. I could check off things that I do from the list that people both love about me … and are completely annoyed by. But it was a fun lesson (and comparison) that gave me a little extra insight about my own creative thought patterns and the work habits of other creative workers around me.

Here’s the list of 18 traits. (Read even more about the science and logic behind each in the piece written by Carolyn Gregoire.) Which ones apply to you?

  1. Daydream
  2. Observe the world
  3. Work odd hours or hours that work for you
  4. Make time for yourself – alone
  5. Make the most of life’s obstacles
  6. Seek new experiences
  7. ”Fail up”
  8. Ask big questions
  9. People watch
  10. Take risks
  11. View life as a chance for self-expression
  12. Follow your passion
  13. Get out of your own head
  14. Lose track of time
  15. Surround yourself with beauty
  16. Connect the dots
  17. Shake things up
  18. Make time for mindfulness

This article really did make me stop and think about myself and I love what I learned while thinking about these habits and how they relate to me and my work life. What do you think? Do you see these traits in yourself? Let us know in the comments.

Great Tutorial: How to Create Engraved Type

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Vintage type is a huge design trend. It is appearing on everything from websites to business cards to package design. And creating this effect is a little more complicated than just downloading an “old looking” typeface.

Creative Market has an excellent new tutorial detailing how to create an engraved type effect using Adobe Illustrator. If you have a working knowledge of the software and 20 minutes to spare, you will be able to follow this tutorial by Beth Rufener and create a simple and stunning type effect.

The tutorial helps you create a type visual that has a little more personality and detail than something you can download free, and allows you to create the effect with a typeface of your choice. (Both major bonuses.)

Pictual App Marries Text and Images

week in design

Have you ever wanted to send a text or tweet that contained more than words? The new Pictual app allows you to do just that by taking your words and adding nice visuals to them before you hit “send.”

The result is a cool and fun little “designed” message that can be used in a variety of ways. Pictual contains a pretty massive library of images with new ones being added all the time (or you can use your own). Plus the app features some very nice typography that makes messages stand out just a little but more.

According to the company, Pictual “is a beautiful, intelligent and simple picture-messaging app that uses design-magic to transform your words into pictures that encapsulate your mood, personality and emotion. Within seconds, Pictual will give your words a creative point-of-view that is distinctly yours.”

The free app is a lot of fun to play with and look at all of the text and image combinations possible. In addition to creating a different style of message, you could also use the app to help spur a little creative thought.

The app is only available for iPhone right now, but an Android version is in the works.

Founder of Information Architects Shares Story of His Career

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Oliver Reichenstein is one of the better-known names in the design world. As founder of Information Architects (iA), his observations and ideas have become a common part of design history. In an article published by net magazine and Creative Bloq, he spoke to Martin Cooper about design and himself.

While Reichenstein may seem larger than life for some young designers, the interview proved he has worked his way to where he is today. And can be described in a way many designers may talk about themselves: Hard to pin down.

It’s a must-read for anyone in a creative field or looking for a little everyday inspiration. And now I am itching to cross paths with Reichenstein and hear one of his design conference talks.

What’s New in Creative VIP?

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The discounts and goodies just keep adding up for Creative VIP members, an exclusive subscription-based network of deals, design resources, discounts and even goodie bags for creative professionals. Here are five great deals members are taking advantage of right now:

  • $ 25 discount code to FontDeck, where you can buy fonts to use in website projects.
  • $ 10 coupon to use on a purchase from Sticker Mule.
  • Free UI Kit from PixelKit and 10% off purchases.
  • 20% off PDFpen, a powerful PDF editing tool for Mac.
  • 30% off all books from No Starch Press.

Membership plans start at $ 5.99 per month. You can join today.

For Your Viewing Pleasure

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Typography-themed desks. Yes, it is a real thing. Fast Company highlighted a project by Benoit Challand for Fold Yard, where every desk is shaped like a specific letter.

The best part? You can’t even really tell unless you are looking at the office furniture from above. This fun, yet functional design shows creativity is everywhere. Even in something as simple as where you might sit to work.

Image Source: Dell.

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