Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fantastic free tool for creating Illustrator patterns

Warning: This is so much fun you could waste hours or weeks playing with it!

Check out MadPattern, a set of free downloadable templates for Illustrator CS4/CS5 for "rapidly prototyping patterns". Watch the short video demo, download the templates, open one of the templates and follow the instructions on the pasteboard. Very easy and addicting!

See the MadPattern Gallery for some great examples of patterns created with the templates.

This Wikipedia entry explains the type of patterns that can be created with the MadPattern templates.

The emphasis in MadPattern is on exporting the finished patterns as bitmaps for Web use. But of course, the patterns being generated in Illustrator are vector, and with some ingenuity they could be used as elements in Illustrator vector projects.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Magazine publishing on the iPad

I've been heavily involved in the upcoming Adobe Digital Publishing Suite as a beta tester. I'm working directly with a couple of clients to help them repurpose their magazine content for iPad versions. One of the best ways to learn what is possible and what works well (and not so well) in this exciting new content channel is to look at lots and lots of examples of what others are doing.

The following is a compilation of the titles that I've found to be particularly interesting examples of iPad magazines and rich-content books. As you preview these be sure to view them in both landscape and portrait mode, as different content and layouts are often displayed depending on the rotation of the iPad.

These titles were all created with prerelease versions of the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite:

Wander Magazine: German hiking magazine, free
Credit Suisse Bulletin: Customer magazine from Credit Suisse, free
Wired Magazine: from Conde Nast Digital, $3.99/issue
Sabado Bicentenario: Chilean Saturday Magazine, free
Future Magazine: Customer magazine from Semcon, free
The New Yorker Magazine: from Conde Nast Digital, $4.99/issue
InDesign Magazine: A sampler issue of InDesign Magazine, free
DI Magazine: A PS & LR mag., Issue 1 free, subsequent issues $5.99
The World Without Photoshop: an interactive Photoshop book, free
Early Jamestown: an interactive textbook example, free
JFK - 50 Days: An interactive companion to the book of the same name, $6.99
You can find a list of more publications created with the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite here.

These titles were created with WoodWing's Digital Magazine Tools:

Time Magazine: from Time Inc., $4.99/issue
Sports Illustrated: from Time Inc., $4.99/issue
Project: from Virgin Digital Publishing, $2.99/issue
The Sunday Times: iPad version of the UK Sunday Times, free preview issue
You can find a list of more publications created with the WoodWing solution here.

These titles were created with other tools and systems:

Marines Magazine: The official US Marine Corps magazine, free
Audi Magazine: free
Design & Architecture: free
The Atlantic: created with RareWire, $4.99/issue
Design New England, created with Texterity, free
National Geographic Magazine, created with Zinio