For many, blogging is hard work. Maybe not for those of you who love to talk or have ideas bubbling over every hour of the day. But for many small businesses owners and busy managers, it’s very difficult to write something that will be of value to customers and clients. There is no shortage of ideas and words, but there always seems to be a lack of time.

So I’m trying a new experiment this month.

I really enjoy reading. I read books, journals, blogs, newsfeed, email newsletters, and more. Every day. Usually, I read them, and then delete them (or save them for that elusive spare moment), and move on to my daily tasks. But what if I could pass on just a few tidbits every 2 weeks or even once a month?

I have settled on four main categories that I think will be useful to print creative and marketing managers, especially those who produce print-based materials. My hope is that in the midst of information overload, you will be able to find one or two useful pieces of information.

So here goes.

Awesome Adobe Resources

One of the things I love about InDesign is how easy Adobe makes it to create cool looking tables very quickly. Here’s a quick tutorial to show how easy it is to manipulate rows and columns: How to move rows and columns

If you need to create some cool text effects, Adobe Illustrator is an excellent tool for adding anything from those little extra flourishes to very complex one-of-a-kind logo designs. Here’s a great collection of effects.

Cool Packaging Concepts

This article, Vegan brand emphasizes healthy ingredients, is an interesting case study done recently in Packworld. It outlines reasons for a packaging design makeover, and why particular design elements were chosen. I like the clean typefaces and the simple yet bold colors. Good isolated photos, too. The brand is Nates Meatless.

When you have the marketing clout (not to mention dollars!) that Coca-Cola has, you can afford to do unique labelling promotions, like the “Stay Extraordinary” campaign in Israel, where they created over 2 million totally unique label design. If you’re a designer, do you fear being replaced by machines? In this Graphic Monthly post, you’ll learn how Coke created an “algorithm” that gave the digital press (HP Indigo) “the ability to think like a designer and create the exclusive patterns.” Is graphic design going automated?

Design for Print Resources

If you are a brand manager or designer, you will find these Fast Company videos quite interesting – just be ready to read quickly! Many of these brand stories are well-known, but I found the one on “How Christmas Went Commercial” particularly interesting. Advertising often latches on to pop culture trends and runs with them, and Christmas is certainly a classic example.

If you design high-end logos for clients, here’s a great template for showing off your amazing designs – including some great ways of presenting branding guidelines. 10 Brand Book Templates from ZippyPixels

Kiaro! Label Printers – I’ve always wanted my own label printer, but I could never justify buying one. Sigh. Maybe some day. Should you have your own label printer? Maybe you have a product you are testing, or perhaps you own a coffee shop and want to label your own custom roasts, or perhaps you simply cannot wait for the printer to get them back in time for your trade show event. This PDF suggests 10 Benefits of Printing Your Own Labels

Productivity Tips and Tools

Here’s 6 Ideas from Creative Thinkers to Shake up Your Work Routine collected from some awesome TED talks. You might find these very simple, but there’s a reason for that. We often stray from the basics, trying to find better ways of doing more.

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