Wacom Unveils The Newest Additions To Its Bamboo Family Of Smartpads: Bamboo Slate and Bamboo Folio

How often have you forgotten that important note or lost it in the clutter? Help is here. Wacom’s Bamboo Slate and Bamboo Folio smartpads help thinkers and doers capture, shape, share and organise ideas on the go.

“Our Bamboo smartpads are made to naturally fit into any workflow, fusing the ease of writing naturally on pen and paper with digital technology to transform thoughts to ideas. The smartpads provide a proactive solution for those that are looking to organise and protect their valuable ideas as they bring them from paper to the cloud – whether that’s at home, at school or at work,” says Mike Gay, Senior Vice President for Wacom’s Consumer Business Unit.

Form meets function for on-the-go note taking and idea generating

Bamboo Slate and Bamboo Folio smartpads allow users to turn their handwritten notes or sketches into digital files with a simple push of a button. The use of Wacom’s Inkspace app and other integrated cloud services, offer easy editing and access from anywhere across the globe. Inkspace is the central hub for all digital ink files in the Wacom cloud providing a search function, helping users to manage their handwritten notes.

They’re ideal for note takers and idea creators – whether it’s the business traveller that needs a professional notepad to capture and organise meeting notes and ideas, students that jot down and pack their notes from class to study sessions to home, or teachers that need to record and protect their valuable lesson plans.

Bamboo Slate is a small version with no cover and a lower price tag, suitable for the at home “hobbyist” whilst the Bamboo Folio provides an added benefit for those looking to easily and safely transport their notes and ideas. The textured cover keeps everything in place and provides stylish protection with extra slots for business cards and other documents.


Stay organised

The Bamboo smartpads provide peace of mind so you never have to worry about losing a good idea again. Store and organise notes in Wacom Inkspace or easily add them to DropBox, Evernote or OneNote from a smartphone. Files can also be saved locally (up to 100 pages) on both Bamboo Folio and Slate.

Once handwritten notes are converted to digital files, users can download the Bamboo Paper app to easily highlight notes to review with classmates or add annotations to a presentation. With a paid subscription to Wacom Inkspace Plus, users can also convert images to vector files and collaborate in real-time mode, so friends and colleagues can watch ideas come to life remotely as they are drawn on paper.


Pricing and availability

Bamboo Slate and Bamboo Folio are available for purchase at Scorptec AU, Noel Leeming NZ, PB Technologies NZ and online via www.buywacom.com.au

Bamboo Slate, small - $189.00   Bamboo Slate, large - $219.00

Bamboo Folio, small - $219.00   Bamboo Folio, large - $289.00

For additional information, view:

Bamboo Slate – https://vimeo.com/216789660

Bamboo Folio – https://vimeo.com/216789601

24 Karat

So what with the U.S. Dow closing at a record-breaking 20k+ yesterday, many Americans are feeling particularly flush.  Are we in for another decade of excess like the 80s?  If so, I'm all for a resurgence of the music (best music ever IMO) though maybe not the big hair (and don't you know hairspray is full of CFCs anyway!).  But I ran across these amazing images on Behance from Marjorie Lapointe-Aubert, an amazing Québécoise photographer, who does gold right.  I love her out of the box images not to mention this is one of my favorite color combos (black and gold).  Her eye for the inspiration in everyday objects is amazing, you can check out all of her amazing work right here.

Type Mix

As a graphic designer, of course I am pretty much obsessed with typography.   Maybe some designers just go along their merry way popping in a Futura Book or Classic Grotesque (or if they really want to splash out, Scriptina, the hands-down most overused script font in the world if you ask me), but I am super picky about type.  I spend hours combing font sites and looking for new fonts, particularly ones that you don't see everywhere, and I love any kind of typography collage or inspiration board.

The new trend these days seems to be handwritten or hand-drawn fonts, which is awesome if you're a true fine artist, but I'm actually not so I'm pretty reliant upon manipulating existing fonts and using Illustrator or Photoshop brushes to get that hand-drawn look that is featured in some of these photos.  I have a huge collection of hand-drawn typography on my Pinterest board here so if you're looking for some inspiration of the edgy boho script type, feel free to check it out, just a few samples above.

{ photo sources: 1 | 2 }

Greenery Reboot

I guess all designers heard that Greenery is the new Pantone Color of the Year.  I have to say I was a little disappointed in this as I feel like Greenery was the color I was using back in 2010, along with greek key and Imperial Trellis patterns.  But, who am I to contradict Pantone?!  Since I'm sort of over this color I created an inspiration board that is really Greenery Rebooted, or 2.0, a more modern, organic interpretation of bright green.  I'd love to hear your thoughts, and if you're looking for more color inspiration please feel free to check out my Pinterest board here.  Happiest of Holidays!

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X8 - Small Business Edition Makes Professional Graphic Design More Accessible to SMEs

Corel today announced the release of CorelDRAW® Graphics Suite X8 - Small Business Edition, its professional graphics software for smaller teams. The new three-license pack is an ideal solution for small businesses, whether they're looking to bring their marketing in-house or working in graphics production industries like creative design, signmaking, engraving or printing.

CorelDRAW X8
CorelDRAW X8

"In today's highly visual world, professional-looking graphics aren't just nice to have - they're a must have. All too often, the costs of graphic production can be a stress on the budgets of small business owners," said Gérard Métrailler, Vice-President, Products at Corel. "CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X8 - Small Business Edition is an easy-to-use design package to create professional, eye-catching graphics and marketing materials that will grow your small business while keeping your costs down."

CorelDRAW X8
CorelDRAW X8

Known for its ease of use, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X8 - Small Business Edition makes it easy to begin with a helpful Startup tour, valuable learning resources, and high-quality content to create original designs, logos, annual reports, brochures, social media and web graphics, and more. The new suite enables users to transform their creative ideas into designs that make a lasting impression across any medium.

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X8 - Small Business Edition is a complete suite that offers intuitive tools for layout, design and photo editing:

  • CorelDRAW X8: Intuitive vector-illustration and page-layout application
  • Corel® PHOTO-PAINT® X8: Professional image-editing application
  • Corel Font Manager™: Powerful font management
  • Corel® PowerTRACE® X8: Accurate bitmap-to-vector tracing utility
  • Corel® CONNECT™ X8: Integrated Content Search for local files and Content Exchange
  • Corel® Website Creator™: Easy-to-use website-design application
  • Corel® CAPTURE™ X8: One-click screen capture utility
  • PhotoZoom Pro 4: Plug-in to export and enlarge digital images from Corel PHOTO-PAINT

Adding even more value, the suite also includes 10,000 clipart and digital images; 2,000 high-resolution digital photos; 1,000 OpenType fonts; 350 professionally designed templates; 2,000 vehicle templates; 1000+ fills, frames and patterns; more than five hours of enhanced training videos; and much more.

Pricing and Availability

Available in English, German, Polish, Russian and Czech, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X8 - Small Business Edition can be purchased from www.coreldraw.com/sbe for £779.95 / EUR889 (incl. VAT). Exclusively for small business, one purchase includes three full licenses and offers a savings of more than 50% off regular retail pricing.

Smith & Jones graphic designer wins national typography competition

Smith & Jones’ graphic designer Jessica Lucia will be featured in the Communication Arts magazine after winning their annual typography competition this month. Over 1,800 artists submitted their work to the organization, and only 143 were selected to get published this January and February in special editions.

Her winning piece of artwork, Art on Lark, was inspired by an art festival that takes place in Albany, New York. Jessica designed the poster to raise money to go to the American Institute of Graphic Arts Design (AIGA) Conference in New Orleans.

“The scanned ribbon is featured prominently in the design to create movement and give viewers a feeling of celebration,” Jessica said. “The colors reflect the summer season, which is when the festival is held. They also represent happiness, unity, and harmony. I’m thrilled with the outcome.”

The Communication Arts magazine is a professional journal for everyone involved in visual communications. Each year they hold a typography competition to help emerging artists gain exposure and veteran designers continue to grow in their professions. All the artwork is judged by industry leaders who critique based on "creative excellence" and "quality of execution."

The winning projects will be reproduced in over 30,000 print editions. In addition to a magazine spread, Jessica will also receive a personal award of excellence.

At Smith & Jones, Jessica turns strategic direction into compelling designs for hospital clients. Additionally, she is the EMERGE Coordinator for the Upstate New York Chapter of the AIGA, where she helps designers with 0-5 years of experience network and establish careers. She also volunteers at several graphic design conferences, including the Typographics design festival in New York City.

New Graphic Design Firm Offers Subscription Plans For Small Business

Low cost plans ideal for web businesses, bloggers, and online retailers.

On September 9, PicNinja officially launched. The new company offers graphic design subscription plans, as well as individual projects, at highly affordable rates. They were created to address a deficit in affordable, high-quality graphic design.

PicNinja’s founders, Kelsey Price and Logan Bertram, started the firm to address a shortage of affordable, high-quality graphic design services available to small businesses. Traditional graphic design firms can charge upwards of $90 an hour, and demand minimum commitments which make small projects prohibitively expensive for small businesses. Unlimited design firms have sprung up to address the need for high volume design work, but their plans are often around $400 a month.

"More than anyone, small business owners need to be able to market themselves effectively, and one of the most expensive parts of a successful marketing strategy is often the design work. We decided pretty early on, that we wanted PicNinja to help small businesses by offering graphic design options they could afford," Logan stated.

For $35 a month, PicNinja’s smallest plan promises five finished graphics and 72 hour turnaround. They offer larger plans to accommodate businesses of all types and sizes.

Headquartered in Ridgeland, SC, PicNinja is one of the South Carolina Lowcountry’s most exciting new companies.  Learn more at https://thepicninja.com or http://facebook.com/thepicninja.


Spicy Samba Sauce

Project Showcase: Spicy Samba Sauce

Shaun Mulhern, a junior graphic designer who is currently studying graphic design at the University of Bedfordshire, created a project for the Rio Olympics in 2016 called Spicy Samba Sauce.

Spicy Samba Sauce

Spicy Samba Sauce was a 2nd year FMP (final major project) packaged product which is dedicated to supporting & promoting the Rio 2016 Olympic games. As a massive fan of sport it only felt right for Shaun to work on a project for Rio 2016. The project brought together his creative artworking skills (illustration, painting) with some digital design (Photoshop, Illustrator) to create a colourful, spicy product to support the massive samba party in Rio. A social media campaign was also created to promote the product.

The project was inspired by Samba the Brazilian music genre and dance style. It also took inspiration from Jackson Pollock and Brazilian Street Art which were the two artistic areas which inspired the design progress for this project.

The Spicy Samba Sauce bottles each feature an illustrated Brazilian landmark (Sugarloaf Mountain, Christ the Redeemer, Copacabana Beach) and three different spicy Brazilian flavours which are Maracana Marinara, Barra BBQ and Copacabana Chili. Each Flavour also features a area of Rio which is holding the games.

The Product itself was a strong FMP which helped Shaun achieve a 2:1 in his second year at University, designing sport products has always been an aspiration of Shaun's and aspires to be involved in the industry in the near future. If you liked Spicy Samba Sauce be sure to check out Shaun's website http://shaunmulhern.wixsite.com/graphicdesigner

Spicy Samba Sauce Logo

Thirty5 Design

We recently spoke to the owner of Thirty5 design, a T-Shirt design company that is heavily influenced by Graffiti and Skateboarding culture.

bonehead t-shirt mockup

"I started drawing from a very young age, I always had some sort of drawing tool to hand. I would draw on any scrap of paper i could get my hands on. As the years went on I developed my style. Graffiti and skateboarding were massive influences on my style and still are today. Although I no longer do any illegal graffiti I do take on the odd commission now and then. I like to design t-shirts as i feel this is a great way to get my work out to a wider audience and I love t-shirts.

anchor tee

Recently my style has leaned toward old school sailor tattoos mixed up with graffiti. I love to hand draw all my work first and then take them to the mac, I feel this gives them my unique twist as my style is individual,. Just using the mac to design takes away the soul of the design as its not been physically drawn by human, but thats just me. I don’t really have much more to say, I’m not a big talker  i prefer to let my illustrations do the talking. I hope you enjoy them and check out my links.

bonehead bottle spraycan anchor 
These will be available to buy soon through my depop shop or directly through me."

Depop       @thirty5design


Has QuarkXpress 2016 changed the game?

Once upon a time QuarkXpress was the go-to software for print layouts. In the early 2000's however, partly due to Quark's repeated failings to make OS X-native versions of XPress, the software fell by the wayside in favour of Adobe InDesign - the exciting new kid on the block.

Jump to 2016 and a newly revitalised Quark have confidently released the latest instalment of Xpress with a range of groundbreaking new features.

The interface itself for the most part is identical to the previous version of Quark, albeit with a few minor tweaks. The big changes aren't right there on the surface, but Quark 2016 boasts the ability to convert imported PDF, EPS, and Adobe Illustrator files to native editable QuarkXPress objects. Even allowing conversion of objects and entire pages from Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft Office (including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) and other apps.

Time you would have spent extrapolating data from an excel document and formatting into a table within quark can now be reduced by a simple copy and paste. The same goes for Illustrator shapes which seamlessly become native quark shapes, retaining all of their original anchor points for use with Quark's own pen tool.

It takes literally seconds for Quark to convert all of the objects in a PDF, and more importantly it keeps related text together in one text box. When you compare this to converting the file in Adobe Illustrator, which often breaks the text into single-word text boxes (often requiring the designer to recreate the artwork from scratch), it's an incredibly useful tool which could save hours of work!

These additions alone really throw QuarkXpress back into the ring in a big way, check out the full range of new features for yourself here.