Nice work Adobe

Posted By Design Corps / January, 22, 2014 / 0 comments

Shout it from the rooftops, tell your family and friends, corner fillets are finally in Illustrator! Well, perhaps don’t go that far…but it is pretty exciting to have this feature properly implemented at last.

Easily editable corner fillets have been in 3DS Max for years and it always struck me as odd that Max had it and illustrator didn’t. The drawing tools in Max are fine but I would always choose Illustrator for doing anything beyond very basic shapes as it is simply a lot more capable in that department (no big surprise really as that is what it was designed for) but when it came to round corners Max, bizarrely, had the upper hand on Illustrator.

Sure there was a round corners effect, but it was just a visual effect, the underlying path didn’t change which, more often than not, made it useless to me. There was also a script you could get called ‘round any corner’ which was better than nothing but was a bit clunky to use and, as there was no ‘preview’ option, there was a lot of back and forth with guesswork. Then of course there was always the option of just drawing everything, a bit time consuming but definitely a possibility. So, as you probably gathered from the opening line, I was extremely pleased to read at the start of the week that the new CC updates had a feature called ‘live corners’ for Illustrator which seemed to be the answer to my corner rounding prayers.

By sheer coincidence I’ve been working on a series of infographics this week that feature a lot of very precise curving lines that form together and flow around each other. A perfect opportunity to get a lot of live corner use straight away then; so is it any good?

Basically, yes. It is incredibly simple to use, gives you instant feedback (as the ‘live’ title would imply) and, best of all, is non-destructive so you can just keep tweaking the corner values as much as you like and always have the option of going back to the initial point/corner. Using live corners to work on that infographic project has saved me at least half a day of annoying faffery (yeah, it’s a word) trying to get all the curves looking right; I would either have been using the round any corners script (and a lot of guesswork) or plotting loads of guides to help me draw everything by hand…either way would have been a pain and would probably have made me look at other, less curvy, options.

So yeah, nice work Adobe!

The cost of bad design

Posted By Design Corps / July, 24, 2013 / 0 comments

I got this infographic through from Autodesk recently highlighting some good points about the use of 3D Design Software in product development, it is presumably based on US data but I’m sure the same things happen worldwide…and across different industries for that matter.


Just goes to show the value of good design; and the cost of bad design (9 billion dollars…ouch!). Click on the image to view a bigger version, or view the original page over at Autodesk here.


Logo Design

Posted By Design Corps / May, 5, 2010 / 0 comments

This month’s issue of Creative Review had a couple of interesting articles about logo design that got me thinking about the design process and the way I have always approached branding projects.

Let’s start by stating the obvious in that I love a clever logo; the opportunity to come up with a visual representation of what a company offers and make it clever yet simple is one to relish. I think many logos are too fussy, complicated and reliant on colour or images (the point, in fact, of one of the articles about ‘receptacle logos’) for me a logo should be just as effective in mono as it is in all of it’s full colour glory.

That’s why I always start the logo design process in single colour, I find that by giving yourself that restriction you focus on the form and the idea without distraction. Of course you always give the client options in colour, I’m not for one moment suggesting that all logos should be rendered in black or white! But adding colour to a strong identity will only make it stronger; removing colour from an identity reliant upon it will have the opposite effect.

There were a few good points in the articles (by CR editor Patrick Burgoyne and Pentagram designer Paula Scher) and it’s certainly well worth a read.