Mar
8
2010

Create a Celtic Knot in Nine Easy Steps

This is the original knot JPEG image

This is a totally harmless little Adobe Illustrator exercise. I recently got an e-mail from a former intern, asking for some advice on a celtic knot graphic he was trying to re-create. I told him I was happy to oblige. Maybe you can get something out of this, as well. If you are an average user of Illustrator, I think this is up your alley. Keep it loose and have fun.

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Mar
8
2010

Recently, web developers around the world have pushed hard to end support for Internet Explorer 6.0 (often going toe-to-toe with clients who insist on developing alternate versions of their sites for this small segment of their audience). One glance at Browser Statistics from W3schools.com shows how much IE6 usage has dropped off over the past several years. In February 2010, the percentage of world-wide users on IE6 dropped below 10% for the first time (down from more than 30% just two years earlier). However, our theory is that this number is skewed by an army of developers who are using the browser for development testing. The actual percentage of end-users who are still on IE6 is likely a lot lower.

One creative solution we often recommend to our clients is to feature a warning message to IE6 users and invite them to upgrade their browser. We’ve seen some creative ways to present this warning, but our favorite has to be the blunt message displayed in the footer of Tyler Thompson’s newtoyork.com web blog. With the frank honesty you can only find on a personal soapbox site, Tyler speaks on behalf of all web developers who wish they had the balls to be as direct:

“Hi, if you are coming to this site via Internet Explorer 6, you might not be getting the best experience possible. Honestly, I can’t even begin to think about what your entire experience on the internet must be like? (…probably like riding a bike on the highway while cars blow by you on their way to Costco to get gallons of mayonnaise and 60-inch plasma TV’s). How will you ever be able to use this website?????? You wont. You’re an asshole and your browser is an asshole. So look, I’m going to be honest: I kind of hate you. BUT we c-a-n make this work. Here is what I am going to need you to do: fire up your Toshiba ShitBook© that weighs about 45 pounds, wipe the Cheeto dust off the screen, download Safari, delete Internet Explorer from your computer, punch yourself in the face, and get me a pulled pork sandwich.”

Pulled pork? Perhaps. Pulled punches? Nope.

IE6 compatibility warning

Feb
17
2010

Over the last couple of years we’ve seen an incredible rise in types of social networking. It’s gained such popularity that it’s now almost virtually accepted in media and advertising, as well as interpersonal relationships for which most of it was originally intended. I don’t think anyone argues the impact Twitter had on the Iranian elections this last summer or the sort of national news coverage Facebook received when it changed its privacy policy recently.

As the market for these general mega social networking sites cools down (though new startups are always welcome into the field) more specialized websites will start to filter into the cracks that bigger sites leave in their footprint. These newer sites have the potential to become their own mega networks over the next few years, and the following are a few we’re keeping an eye on.


Daytum

Daytum helps collect and keep track of data
www.daytum.com
— Daytum is a free social network site with a twist: It allows you to collect and share data about anything you’d like (most users record personal information) and graphs it, charts it, and keeps it in many customizable data sets. My first reaction to Daytum when I heard about it a few months ago was that it seemed awfully demanding. It certainly requires logging information regularly but it’s only to the depth that you want it to be.

I started out with just a few small charts and realized, to my complete surprise, at the amount of fun I was actually having. I increased the number of things I recorded and now look forward to my daily updates. I’ll use my own profile as an example, where you can see my general entertainment consumption, food and drink consumption, and how long I spend on my commute and the sorts of cool cars I see while driving it.

Taking a look around the site reveals that some users keep track of how many times people hug them, what sort of movies they’ve recently watched, what celebrities they’ve spotted, and the number of reps from their latest workout. There’s a catch, though: The site allows for no direct communication between users. I would say this is a big hang-up, but I’d be lying. I’m tired of a “comment wall” attached to every social website out there, especially for sites that don’t really need it.

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Feb
9
2010

After my last post on Apple logo wallpapers, I’ve been feeling the itch to create my own. I wanted something that certainly captured the retro feel of the old logo but was clean enough to leave up on my desktop to use as a work space. I sat down this morning before lunch with some ideas in-hand and whipped up something I could use at work. I wanted to write a quick post here to share the wallpaper for your personal use.

Classic Retro Apple Logo Wallpaper

The image above is linked to the 1920 x 1200 resolution, but the 2560 x 1600, 1920 x 1080, and 1280 x 1024 resolution sizes are also available.

Jan
20
2010

With a quick run through the posts here on our blog its obvious we cover a wide…WIDE range of topics. I think that’s actually one of the things I like most about blogs, the opportunity for flexibility that is sometimes missing in traditional web sites. This blog post is really going to go outside the lines & cover the review of a Seattle laundry service.

The back-story, for the first time in my 35+ years I have an apartment without a washer or dryer in the unit. Its true…I have to walk outside, down two short flights of stairs to an on site coin operated machine. All the other pro’s for the apartment made up for this one con. As it turns out doing laundry has been a bigger thorn in my side than I expected. In the past I had tried taking my laundry to a dry cleaner to be done by the pound. It was kind of a hassle to drop-off/pickup & was way too expensive (close to $90).

Back in December I ran across a review on Yelp for a laundry service called Laundry Shark. The reviews were pretty consistent that the service was topnotch, reasonably priced & very fast. The only negative I came across was the confusing online ordering interface.

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Jan
4
2010

I love AMC’s series Madmen. It goes back to a golden yet seedy time in the history of advertising. Overall it may be accurate to say it goes back to a golden yet seedy time in American culture. Having worked in Advertising & at a creative firm for a number of years relating to the show is fun however I get funny looks when I light up in my office or hit the scotch at 10 am. The only thing I dislike about the show is how short the season is. It seems like its over far too quickly.

Thanks to NETFLIX I got a great Madmen fix by watching Lover Come Back (1961). It starred Rock Hudson, Doris Day & Tony Randal. The movie included all the great elements of Madmen as well as a ton of the seedy ones…

Top ten highlights (or low lights) of working in the advertising/creative business during the 1960’s as witnessed on Madmen and Lover Come Back:

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Dec
29
2009

We have a lot of Apple computers in the office, but I’m very likely the only “Apple snob” here; though I should note that with full disclaimer I only have one iBook from 2002 at home. We know I can’t be a true Mac fanboy then, right? Sure. But that doesn’t stop me from slapping the little Apple sticker I got with my Sixth Gen iPod Classic (White) to my car’s rear quarter-panel window.

As such, one of my favorite things to do is dress up my desktop each month with a different Apple logo-themed desktop wallpaper. I’ve come across many over the last few years, but I sat down and finally came up with a list of my favorites. Below are 40 wallpapers that you may have encountered before, but I’m hoping many are new to you. I’ve attempted to hunt down and credit each one to its original author (I really hate internet thievery), so each thumbnail below will take you to the download location for that wallpaper. Keep an eye out for “view full size” and “download” links.

Behind the scenes Apple wallpaper

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Dec
22
2009

It’s time for my annual list where I review the Top 10 Bullseye Blog posts and rank them in order of how much they appeal to me. Here goes:

#10: “Happy Holidays, from Bullseye” by Heather B. This one is ranked dead last simply because it makes my jawline look like Howdy Doody when I’m clearly more of a Charlie McCarthy type.

#9: “spacious thought” by Peter N. It just freaked me out. Who is this Tom Waits guy and why has he invaded my nightmares?

#8: “Office Art” by Jamie M. It doesn’t work. I’ve stared at this thing for hours now (I know, right?) and all I occasionally see is a slice of pie and a Twinkie. Maybe I shouldn’t be reading blogs on an empty stomach.

#7: “Pumpkin Carving” by Rick P. This one didn’t make me look too bad, but that’s only because it DIDN’T EVEN INCLUDE ME. Jeez! I swear, do I even work at this place? (sometimes I wonder).

#6: “iPhone Dragon Diction Review” by Travis K. I didn’t actually read this one. And based on the low number of comments, neither did anyone else.

#5 (tie): “Social Media Magic” by Jamie M. and “Customer Persona Development” by Travis K. These are both good stuff, but they are basically thinly veiled advertisements for Bullseye. So, to play “impartial judge” I placed both of these squarely in the middle of the pack.

#4: “iPhone Task Management App Review” by Travis K. A solid review, and most of the words are spelled correctly.

#3: “My Life in Technicolor, Photoshop Tutorial” by Rick P. It’s a long blog entry, so I haven’t read it. But I hear it’s good. [editor's note: this post was removed since it actually sucked. I finally read it and found it offensive and distasteful.]

#2: “Decade in Review: Zeitgeist Art” by Rick P. This is pretty amazing. Although, I was never sure what Rick was working on all of those hours, I now see it’s a really cool summary of the past decade, one which no one will actually read (I only made it to 2003 before I started to just scan the rest).

#1: “Top 10 Bullseye Blog Posts of 2009″ by Peter K. Pure brilliance. Total originality. When was the last time you read a Top 10 list on a blog? And at this time of year, no less.

Dec
22
2009

Travis claims, if you stare hard enough at his artwork on the whiteboard…you can see a sailboat? Genius!

Travis Sailboat

Dec
17
2009

Disclaimer: I received this app free of charge. However everyone can do the same, the app currently retails for free. (Possibly only for a limited time)

When I downloaded the Dragon dictation app I didn’t have very high expectations but the price was right…FREE. At best I was hoping for about a 75% accuracy and I figured I’d play around with it a bit then delete it. The user interface is clean and simple, the app doesn’t try to do too much.

With my first try I spoke 12 words and it got 11 out of 12 correct. The word that was dictated wrong was easy to correct with a drop down menu or opening the keyboard. My next test was to include some, well how should I put this…adult language. Dragon handled it like a champ and got 100% accuracy while included one “*” in each word. These tests were done in my (somewhat quiet) office, I figured the real test was while driving home. I was impressed that in a noisier environment the dictation was surprisingly accurate missing only 1 out of 10 words.

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Dec
16
2009

a friend pointed me to this video and I had to share it here. visually awesome. tom waits has a scary voice.

great job by fluorescent hill on the video.

Dec
14
2009

Why Social Media?

Remember when you didn’t know what a former co-worker thought of the big game or made for dinner tonight? I do. But today, I can tell you when people are stuck at the airport or their kids painted their faces with lipstick (pictures to prove it).

Social Media and updating everyone on daily activities (sometimes hourly activities) is here to stay. Now it’s just getting through the filter and making sure you are using these opportunities to the fullest for your company. Marketing through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media avenues is a very tricky process. When people feel like it’s a marketing message, you have lost their attention. But if you can creatively entice people to believe that you are part of this social scene, you’re golden.

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