Highlights from this month’s collection of print creative tips and resources.

This month features a great video archive for Photoshop, some snack food packaging inspiration, the importance of print graphics, and some tips for working from a home office.

Awesome Adobe Resources

Most designers are now using Adobe Creative Cloud, which means that there is no excuse not to have the latest tools at your fingertips. While many tasks could be done using your choice of programs (eg. you can create a label in Illustrator, Photoshop, or InDesign), this article is a good reminder to use the best tool for the job – not your favourite.

Photoshop has to be my all-time favourite program. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t find myself standing up and wanting to shout, “I love Photoshop!” Even so, I use only a FRACTION of what Photoshop is capable of, so I’m always interested in new learning tools. Some of the best video tutorials can be found on the Photoshop Playbook, which you can find on YouTube.

Cool Packaging Concepts

Designing packaging for chocolate requires real innovation. Ask any marketing person who has tried to sell in the chocolate market and they will tell you how difficult it is. Perhaps that is why there are so many specialty/natural/organic options on the shelf now – too hard to compete with the big players. Here’s a bold concept for Leon Restaurants in the UK, nice and simple, but I’m sure they stand out on the shelf.

7-Eleven’s “7-Select” line has some nice designs…for a convenience store. These new Go!Smart wrappers have nice photography and a nice large window to see the product – perfect for the competitive snack bar market.

Design for Print Resources

Out of the bazillion typefaces out there, here are some of the top fonts to watch this year (expired link)

Print media is not only alive and well, it is still very important. In this well-written article, Roberto Blake discusses the vital relationship between print and digital and concludes, “Print gives a customer the opportunity to physically engage with a product, service or brand and learn where to access it digitally.” That tactile experience is very important in a digital society.

Productivity Tips and Tools

There are many tips online for working from home, but this one recently stood out to me: Pro tips for working from home. I especially like seeing what other people do for desks. It makes me feel slightly better about my humble space, but some of these are quite inspiring.

Social media is easier for some people (the naturally social ones), but to make it really work for your business, it requires a certain mindset and a lot of commitment. In Social Media as a Business Tool (expired link) you will learn some important tips, like thinking of social media as a “customer service tool” rather than just another marketing tool. And only share things that you REALLY think will be valuable for YOUR customers.

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