Let's Get Technical!

I love technology. It forms lives, shapes them and saves them. We rely on technology all the way from the alarm clock that wakes us up in the morning, to the music apps we listen to throughout the day and the doors we lock at night. Some technologies effect us more than others. Some brands effect us more than others. Today I am going to talk about some sweet accessories to a sweet piece of technology from a sweet brand.

The Apple iPad. I just got one to use as an interview tool (it's been invaluable, get one). How can this sexy piece of metal stand out more? Become more functional? Become more fun to touch and interact with? With these:

BookBook Travel Journal for iPad - $99
By TwelveSouth

This travel journal is great for a day on the town sketching or a long flight. This journal helps the iPad fly solo since you can carry everything you need with you; charger cables, stylus, headphones, credit cards. This baby holds it all. I'll definitely be adding this to my geeklection. Click the photo to go the company website for more info and pictures.

Magnus Air - $39.95
By TenOneDesign

Magnus, you minimal sexy thing you. The beautiful beast of a stand appeals to the modernist. Low profile and light, this stand is perfect for small spaces or carrying bags. Don't let the compact size fool you, this thing is robust and can be used in multiple positions. Click the photo to learn more and see more picture.

JOYSTICK-IT Arcade Stick for iPad - $N/A
By ThinkGeek

Get that touchscreen outta' here! I wanna feel it! These bomb joysticks are the ultimate accessory for us gamers. This combines new school technology with old school feeling. Dig it? Okay so not to be a tease but these sticks aren't currently available/out of stock. I pray that they are just waiting for materials. If these don't come back, we riot! Who's with me?

Tilt iPad Case & Stand - $146
By Hard Graft

You like yoga? This case/stand will give you a run for your money in a flexibility test! Scrolling through the company website I saw anywhere from 6-infinity different ways you could fold, bend and twist this case. Truly, there is no position you could be in that this case couldn't accommodate. Plus, that felt and leather combo my friends...whoot whoot. Click the image to see more bendy felty photos.

Pencil - $49.95 - $59.95
By Fifty Three

One of my personal favorites. I have this little guy, well, big guy. This thing feels like a carpenters pencil and man, how sweet it is. Pencil is meant to be used with their free drawing app "Paper". Ah, Paper, Pencil, I see what you did there 53. Don't worry other drawing app supporters, it will work in other programs too like a regular stylus, you'll just miss a couple features. This digital stylus is sure to become one of your favorite accessories with it's versatility, light weight design and tantalizing tangible wood exterior. Psst, they just released a GOLD version..why are you still here?

Gramaphone for iPad - $299
By Restoration Hardware

Mouth watered when I saw this. Any other vinyl lovers out there feel like combining decades? One thing I completely adore about this is the history. Thomas Edison introduced this horn shape in the 1800's which we then later applied to music to amplify the sound. What does that mean here? No cords! thats right, everything you see in this photo is all you need. The sound travels from your device through a carved internal wood canal and is amplified at 3-4 times through the horn. Restoration Hardware, shut up and take my money. 

Tile - $25
By Tile

Tech Tethering. Thats basically what we have here. This "tiny but mighty" gadget helps you keep track of the things you care about most. Attaching Tile to an object also tethers it to your phone. So let's say you are like me and lose your keys everyday...check your smart phone and figure out right where they are. Mine are always under something I feel like I haven't used in years. "How did my keys get under the treadmill?" Hardy Har. I need to get me a few of these awesome cubes. Learn much more about Tile by clicking the photo.

That's all kiddies. 7 totally awesome sidekicks to your iPad. These were selected from a list of "The 100 Best iPad Accessories" by Daily Tekk. See the rest here.

The Importance of Print Production Design

Designers usually get all the glory in the graphic design industry. Much like on an MLB team, people focus on the players and sometimes don't think about the trainers that got them ready to go out on the field. 

What does print production design mean? Meticulously checking files for accuracy, proper layer order, color correctness, general file setup and proofing. The role of the production designer as it pertains to printed pieces is to keep projects on time, correct and efficient.

When a art file is complete and ready for production, the art is uploaded to a print facility. In a couple days to a couple weeks the printer will provide the agency or firm with printed proofs for review. If the proofs are approved, production begins! However, what happens if the art contains a spelling error? What if the file contains more spot colors than the spec sheet quoted? What happens if the dieline is on the wrong layer, or is just plain incorrect? Production is halted. The art file must be edited by the design team back at the agency and sent back to the printer, the whole process has to start over. This takes time and we all know what time equals. The production designer works to minimize if not eliminate this from happening.
This saves companies money and insures manufacturing dates will be met on time. 

So, while production designers may not be the main key role in the design process, they are definitely needed. As a designer myself, I think it is critical to your design education to be well rounded and understand all aspects of your craft from conception to production. Plus, you get to approve proofs, troubleshoot color with the printer, see finalized products and even go on press checks. 

Illustration in Packaging

I love package design. I have been doing it for about 4 years and I love the process of how it gets from an idea to the customers hand. There are millions of package designs out there. Millions. Today I am going to show off a couple that combine beautiful illustrations with great typography on packaging.

I had a roommate in college who majored in Illustration and I, Graphic Design. We had separate classes, and professors. We really only worked together in those boring classes required to be taken by everyone. Did my school miss the mark on this? Should they have integrated some majors with others and seen how they worked together? I think so. Especially seeing this packaging from Moxie Sozo, an awesome design/branding agency in Boulder CO. 

The stylized look of these packages and the impactful bold choices made by the design team are truly killer. This work shows a range of typography, drawing styles, textures and an overwhelming amount of awesome color combinations.

Okay okay, no more talk. Let’s get this eyegasm going.

And side note: This artwork is owned in its entirety by Moxie Sozo. I take no credit for this work. Just wanted to share with everyone.

Jade Monk

Visit the Moxie Sozo website to get a full glimpse of all their awesome work. Hey, if you are ever in Colorado, stop by and see them. I know I’d be beating down those doors if I was there.