recent posts related to design

A gallery of 130+ Gimp filters/effects examples alvin May 16, 2018 - 9:49pm

There are times when I work on images a lot with Gimp, and then there are times when I don’t work with Gimp for a month or two. When I don’t work with Gimp a lot, I tend to forget about all of the different things I can do with. Therefore, I have created this page as a “Gimp special effects cheat sheet” page to help remind me of all the cool things I can do with Gimp effects.

More examples of working with Gimp effects (filters) alvin March 19, 2018 - 4:34pm

In a previous article I shared a catalog of examples of Gimp filter effects. In this brief pictorial I’ll share examples of some of my favorite Gimp effects on a favorite image of a favorite dog. I don’t have a particular goal in this work, I just want to try out some different filters and effects and see where they lead.

Here’s a raw image of a Siberian Husky named Zeus that I knew very well:

If there is a beautiful view, don’t spoil it by building huge windows

An interesting theory about designing buildings:

“If there is a beautiful view, don’t spoil it by building huge windows that gape incessantly at it. Instead, put the windows which look onto the view at places of transition – along paths, in hallways, in entry ways, on stairs, between rooms.

If the view window is correctly placed, people will see a glimpse of the distant view as they come up to the window or pass it: but the view is never visible from the places where people stay.”

~ from A Pattern Language, by Christopher Alexander

There's a good story on this concept at this link.

How to make a color transparent in Gimp

I was recently working on some images of a mobile phone, where the mobile phone was surrounded by a solid color that I wanted to make transparent. Unfortunately the phone was black, and that color was dark gray, so when I made the dark gray a transparent color in Gimp using my usual approach — clicking Colors > Color to Alpha, then choosing dark gray — it had the effect of bleeding a lot of color out of the black phone. This was wrong.

Inkscape alvin December 19, 2017 - 12:58pm

I use Gimp to work on images all the time, but I was just reminded of Inkscape as a free tool for drawing and illustrating.

Dieter Rams ten design principles

Dieter Rams Ten Design Principles: Recently I wrote about Jonathan Ive design interview quotes, and if you're familiar with industrial design and Apple design, you know you can't mention Jonathan Ive without also mentioning Dieter Rams, a world famous designer for Braun.

(If you don't know why I say that you can't think of Apple or Jonathan Ive without thinking of Dieter Rams, this Gizmodo article shows the amazing comparisons between Mr. Rams' designs and current Apple products.)

Dieter Rams 10 design principles (commandments)

So, to give Dieter Rams a little honor and credit -- both for his work at Braun and the evolution of his work at Apple — here are the famous "Dieter Rams 10 Design Principles":

  • Good design is innovative
  • Good design makes a product useful
  • Good design is aesthetic
  • Good design makes a product understandable
  • Good design is unobtrusive
  • Good design is honest
  • Good design is long-lasting
  • Good design is thorough down to the last detail
  • Good design is environmentally friendly
  • Good design is as little design as possible

Sir Jonathan Ive design interview quotes (from London Life)

I don't consider myself an Apple fanboy — for instance, I think whoever is designing Apple software these days is making things overly complicated (with OS X 10.7 through 10.12) — but I am a Jonathan Ive hardware design fanboy. I have a great respect for the industrial design work he and his team do. It’s safe to say that if I were in college these days I’d be studying industrial design instead of the aerospace engineering degree I got way back when.