Rapid Icons

Justin | design,tips | Friday, March 21st, 2008

custom icons

A little while back I was looking for a way to quickly create icons to differentiate my project folders and speed-up my workflow a bit. I found exactly what I was looking for in Pic2Icon. It’s a droplet application for Mac OSX that turns an image’s content into its icon. It works with transparency and even layered Photoshop files (CS3 included). Once the icon has been applied to the image file, you get run a get info (cmd + i) on the image and the file you’d like to apply the icon to. Click on the image’s icon in the upper left of the get info window and copy it (cmd + c), then click on the target file’s get info icon and paste (cmd + v). Voilà!

Selling Extensibility

Justin | ActionScript,articles,design,tips | Saturday, December 22nd, 2007


(from Wikipedia)

… is a system design principle where the implementation takes into consideration future growth…

…the design includes all of the hooks and mechanisms for expanding/enhancing the system with new capabilities without having to make major changes to the system infrastructure….A good architecture provides the design principles to ensure this—a roadmap for that portion of the road yet to be built…These excess capabilities are not frills, but are necessary for maintainability and for avoiding early obsolescence.

…can also mean that a software system’s behavior is modifiable at runtime, without recompiling or changing the original source code.


This idea is useful when building projects that have iterations or phases. Sometimes the client knows they’re going to want multiple versions of a given project. Realistically though, this happens all the time, even when one is working with little outside influence. An idea doesn’t usually look the same on the screen as it does in our minds or in a script. It needs tweaking and fine-tuning. As designers, we often go through myriad iterations before reaching the final product. Over time, I’ve come to realize ways to save myself future hassle by taking time upfront, at the start of a project, and planning what pieces might change how I can design them to be more flexible and more economic. This ‘brain-time’ early on reduces the ‘oh crap’ time later.


How to deal with stubborn fonts

Justin | design,tips | Saturday, December 22nd, 2007

Ever have trouble installing a font with FontBook (or Windows’ non-existent font management software) and don’t want to fork over the money for Suitcase?

Linotype Font Explorer. It’s free for OS X and a Windows version is on its way. It’s gotten me out of two font jams thus far.


Beautifully Designed, Free Fonts

Justin | design,Misc | Sunday, July 15th, 2007


Carpool Creative Co-op

Justin | design,Misc | Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

Some of my co-workers from Iowa recently asked me to take part in a creative co-op. ‘What is a creative co-op?’ you might ask. Well, the short answer is that we’re essentially a design studio without a roof. We’re each sharing freelance projects based on the specific skills required. It’s a the sum of the whole is greater than the parts kind of thing. And it’s a fantastic opportunity to work even more with people I enjoy and admire (even if it is from a long distance).

As of the time that I’m writing this entry only our temporary site is available at carpoolcreative.com, but there are links to two of the other designers involved, Eric Kome and Jason Price, both exceptional talents. We’ll have a site available soon that includes information about the other members of the co-op including the very able Laura Abel, project manager extraordinaire, and the fantastic copywriter and CreativePro veteran Eric Stone (who also happens to be the funniest man on the planet, which also makes him one of the smartest). We’ll likely be partnering with some sales-types/account executives and some back-end developers to round it all out. Expect great things…

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