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  2. Voter registration data belonging to the entirety of Chicago’s electoral roll—1.8 million records—was found a week ago in an Amazon Web Services bucket. View the full article
  3. As any design company founder will tell you, running a successful studio takes a lot more than design prowess. You need plenty of guts, determination, and the kind of business savvy that may not always come naturally to creative people. Buy Computer Arts issue 270 now! With all of this in mind, the cover story in Computer Arts issue 270 sets out six of the biggest hurdles that are likely to stand in the way of your creative business’ growth, and gives you 36 gems of essential advice to help you leave them in your wake – so you don’t just survive, but thrive. CA 270's cover story reveals how to build a thriving studio, and features 36 pro tipsFor a hit of design inspiration, regular CA contributor Adrian Shaughnessy explores the eclectic world of book cover design, a field in which even the most iconic works of fiction regularly get a creative facelift – an interesting contrast, he points out, with correspondingly seminal works in music or even household-name FMCG brands. Adrian Shaughnessy discusses the art and craft of book cover designMany such brands feature in the shortlist for CA's fourth-annual Brand Impact Awards, and the hotly-anticipated winners will be announced next issue. To whet your appetite, the team took six of the stellar BIA judging panel aside during their deliberations to discuss three hot topics in branding: the need for brands to demonstrate wit and empathy, the importance of taking creative risks, and the most exciting aesthetic and technological trends on the horizon, and how to get the most from them. Six Brand Impact Awards judges share their branding insights in an exclusive video interviewIssue 270 of Computer Arts also kicks off a brand-new series dedicated to the practical skills that junior designers need on a daily basis. First up is colour correction, with the dark art of image manipulation coming in part two. Part one of CA's new junior designer manual series covers colour correctionAlso in Computer Arts issue 270 Inspiring work from around the world in Showcase, including DixonBaxi's rebrand of Storey World Illustration Award winner Aart-Jan Venema shares his tips for illustrating for an event Hansje van Halem discusses her knack for blending type with abstract patternsBuy Issue 270 of Computer Arts today, or subscribe to Computer Arts to save up to 47%. View the full article
  4. Despite yesterday's leak of the Apple iOS Secure Enclave decryption key, experts are urging calm over claims of an immediate threat to user data. View the full article
  5. Earlier this week, we reported that legendary musician Prince had been honoured with his own Pantone colour (a bold shade of purple, of course). But that got us thinking: what Pantone colours might other famous musicians, celebrities and icons be awarded when they pop their clogs? The designer’s guide to using colour in brandingSo, we did it. Using some of their famous songs, nicknames, outfits or just whatever sprang to mind, really (this was not a scientific colour-matching experiment), we've come up with some new celebrity Pantone colours... 01. It ain’t easy being Pantone 2276 C Kermit is more steady than Hulk, so he wins greenCould there be two better contenders for green than Kermit the Frog or The Incredible Hulk? Kermit won for us: we think that after everyone’s favourite amphibious felt thing retires (can a Muppet retire?) he should get his own Pantone green, as a tribute to, well, just being the coolest frog ever. We’ve matched Pantone 2276 C to his skin tone, which we think is a pretty good fit. 02. Pantone Black C Sabbath Batman can't have black; it belongs to SabbathThere could only be one Pantone colour to honour perhaps the greatest heavy metal band of all time. The darkest of darks, the blackest of blacks: Pantone Black C. Whether it’s Ozzy or Iommi, we reckon Pantone should get on this quicker than Mr Osbourne devours a small winged mammal. 03. Pantone 871 C Balls Becks is our king of goldRemember when David Beckham was called Golden Balls? Is he still called Golden Balls? Regardless, one of the world’s best-known footballers and style icons can only have one colour named after him: the trusty Pantone 871 C metallic. 04. We all live in a Pantone 012 C Submarine The Beatles have to claim yellowJohn, Paul, George and Ringo’s psychedelic phase was perhaps best captured by the trippy graphics in The Beatles’ 1968 animated movie Yellow Submarine. So it’s fitting that the fab four get their own Pantone Yellow – 012 C to be precise. Or perhaps we should dedicate the colour to illustrator Heinz Edelmann, the man responsible for the hallucinogenic look of the film (who sadly died in 2009). 05. The Pantone 428 C Knight This grey perfectly suits West's Batman outfit, so it must be hisNow that Christian Bale has hung up his boots as the caped crusader, we thought about honouring him with Pantone 419 C – one of the darkest Pantone colours you can have without actually being black. Alternatively, we could dedicate Pantone 428 C to the TV Batman played by Adam West, who passed away earlier this year. We’ve colour-matched this Pantone to 60s Batman's classic grey suit. 06. Pantone 2347 C Hot Chili Peppers The Red Hot Chili Peppers formed in 1983, and have practically claimed this spicy redAnthony Kiedis, Flea et all deserve a vibrant red in honour of their rocking funk – and we can’t think of anything better than Pantone 2347 C. The American rock band has been sock-wearing for nearly 35 years now – surely for their anniversary next year Pantone can sponsor them and rename the band to Pantone 2347 C Hot Chili Peppers. C’mon, what else is its marketing team doing? 07. The Pantone 877 C Surfer Who could take silver but The Silver Surfer?Norrin Radd, or The Silver Surfer as he’s more commonly known, is a comic book character created by Jack Kirby back in 1966. He searches for planets for Galactus to devour. And his skin? Well, we think he was dipped in a vat of 877 C ink. In the rather terrible Rise of the Silver Surfer movie he saves earth, sacrificing himself. So come on Pantone, give Norrin what he deserves. 08. Pantone 1615 C Sugar, why do you taste so good? We're so sorry the Stones don't get red, but they win this muscovado sugar shade of brownOK, we’re scraping the barrel a little bit now, and Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts are probably not best associated with brown (we could have matched the Rolling Stones' famous lips logo to a red, but that’s already been taken by the Chili Peppers). It just so happens that Brown Sugar is our favourite Stones song, so we're awarding the band with Pantone 1615 C. Thank you, and good night. Related articles: How to pick the perfect colour palette every time The designer’s guide to using colour in branding Colourful 80s-inspired font is an optical workout View the full article
  6. Poster design is a field where artists and designers can really get creative, trying out ideas that would be too flamboyant or over the top for other mediums. Posters sometimes go wrong, as we have seen, but when they go right, poster art can be truly inspiring. Using posters for advertising and promotional purposes began back in the 1870s. Initially they were black and white and heavily text-based, but the introduction of Jules Cheret's three stone lithographic printing process meant artists could soon develop striking, colourful poster designs. Create your own posters with Adobe Creative Cloud We've picked a varied selection of our favourite posters, with examples of both commercial releases and personal projects, iconic posters and more recent masterpieces. The creatives who created these poster designs have experimented with illustration, typography, optical illusion, mixed-media, negative space and more. Let's start with some classics... 100 amazing Adobe Illustrator tutorials01. 1923 Bauhaus Exhibition in Weimar Joost Schmidt’s 1923 Bauhaus Exhibition poster is a classicJoost Schmidt’s now iconic poster for the 1923 Bauhaus Exhibition shows a cross comprised of circles and squares, and includes the Bauhaus logo designed by Oskar Schlemmer. Produced for a competition, the poster had to incorporate the logo, exhibition information, venue details and the date. Schmidt was one of the pioneers of Bauhaus typography, and the original version of this poster was placed in 120 railway stations in Germany. 02. Metropolis One of the surviving copies of Metropolis sold for a record £398,000 in 2005German graphic artist and painter Heinz Schulz-Neudamm designed this art-deco poster for the premiere of Fritz Lang's groundbreaking 1927 sci-fi film Metropolis. Only four known surviving copies of the poster exist, one of which took the record for being the most expensive ever sold, after reaching a record price of £398,000 in London in 2005. 03. Lord Kitchener Wants You Widely known as Britons Wants You, this poster has iconic statusThis hugely influential 1914 advertisement by Alfred Leete – often referred to as 'Britons Wants You' – became an icon of the enlistment frenzy in Britain during WWI. The poster features Lord Kitchener, the British secretary of state for war, above the words “wants you”, and set the tone for hundreds of copycat posters the world over. 04. Books Influential designers like Paula Scher have been inspired by the constructivist movementRussian constructivist Alexander Rodchenko experimented with graphic design after retiring from painting. Books combines photography and graphic design, and Rodchenko’s depiction of immediate communication is characteristic of official Soviet art of the period, which sought the best method of conveying the messages of the Communist state to the masses. 05. Thor: Ragnaro The new Thor poster was unveiled as part of the San Diego Comic Con festivitiesThe official Thor: Ragnaro poster design was warmly received by designers and fans alike, thanks to its refreshing and sophisticated visuals. A psychedelic Photoshopped masterpiece, the poster harmoniously positions key characters to build a sense of excitement around the film. 06. The Evil Dead Ollie Moss' posters designs have gained a huge followingIllustrator Olly Moss is well known for his clever, minimalistic poster designs. As well as this officially licensed screenprinted poster for a 2010 screening of The Evil Dead, he’s also created posters for the Harry Potter posters, The Jungle Book, Star Wars Trilogy and more. 07. Stranger Things Kyle Lambert's Stranger Things poster is a modern classicOne of 2016's biggest TV events, Stranger Things came out of nowhere and grabbed everyone's attention thanks to its gripping supernatural story and pitch-perfect retro stylings, and Kyle Lambert's stunning poster was a vital part of the whole package. Briefed to create a 1980s-style poster reminiscent of classic, hand-painted movie artwork, he created this using an iPad Pro and Procreate; you can read about his process here. 08. Ford adaptive poster Created by Ogilvy & Mather Istanbul, Ford's clever 'adaptive poster' was used to promote the company's new adaptive lighting technology. Using an optical illusion, the poster was designed to allow people to experience its Adaptive Front Lighting System that reacts to steering input when going round corners. As the viewer moves around the multi-layered poster, the perspective shifts and allows the viewer to 'see' round the corner. It was launched in authorised Ford dealers and certain locations around Europe – and you can see how it was done in the video above. 09. Barack Obama 'Hope' poster The Hope' poster was created in one dayWith his roots in the skateboarding scene, South Carolina-born graphic designer and illustrator Shepard Fairey built a name for himself with his 'Andre the Giant' guerrilla sticker campaigns – but it was his involvement in the 2008 US Presidential election that really catapulted him towards global recognition. Fairey's now-iconic Barack Obama 'Hope' poster, featuring a four-colour portrait of the then-Senator in red, beige, light and dark blue, also came in 'Change' and 'Progress' varieties, and was created in a day. Having started life as a screen-printed poster (which sold out almost immediately), the design spread virally across the United States and the rest of the world as a symbol of what American politics could potentially become. The revelation the following year that Fairey had based the design on a photograph by Associated Press photographer Mannie Garcia without permission – and later admitted to destroying evidence in the ensuing legal battle with AP – led to community service and a hefty fine. Amongst designers, it's now as much a symbol of copyright infringement as it is a piece of political iconography. But whatever the circumstances of its creation, its influence during the election campaign was enormous. 10. IRIS The poster showcases Iris' love of fashion in the backgroundCreated by Gravillis Inc, this poster for the IRIS movie is up there with one of the best ever. Putting Iris herself in black and white whilst showcasing her love of fashion in the background using bold and bright patterns is a clever and wholly original idea. 11. Le Chat Noir Le Chat Noir's iconic poster design has inspired over 100 years of poster designPerhaps one of the most well known posters of all time, this iconic advertisement for the Parisian entertainment establishment, Le Chat Noir, was created by Swiss-born French Art Nouveau painter and printmaker, Théophile Steinlen. It epitimises the Bohemian, Art Nouveau style and Cabaret culture of late nineteenth century Paris that stemmed from the legendary venue, which, in its heyday, served as an artist salon, music hall and busy nightclub. 12. The Look of Silence We love this illustrated effortThis film was made in 2014 but it wasn't released in the cinema until 2015, and was released with a more commercially viable poster – but this illustrated effort is our favourite. Look at that red! 13. We Can Do It! Feminists and others have seized upon the uplifting attitude to remake the image into many different formsPerhaps one of the most iconic images of the 20th Century, American graphic designer, J. Howard Miller's beloved Rosie the Riveter was designed to boost morale in during WW2. This poster is still used today and re-modelled on everything from modern feminist texts to tattoos as well as spawning numerous parodies. His bold, modern illustrative style, mirrors the comic books popular at the time and defined an era of advertising. 14. Maze Runner: Scorch Trials Negative space reigns supreme with this poster designMaze Runner: Scorch Trials was one of 2015's unheralded blockbusters and whilst it did release the usual offerings when it came to posters, this clever design makes use of negative space and we adore it. Putting the character in a test-tube like shape is also a great little inclusion of the plot. 15. Moulin Rouge French artist Toulouse-Lautrec captured Moulin Rouge characters perfectly in this poster designThis poster design for the Moulin Rouge is another by French artist Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. When the cabaret opened, Lautrec was commissioned to create a series of posters, with this design being one of his most well known. The piece features images of Moulin Rouge dancer La Goulue and her partner Valentin le Desosse. Lautrec captured La Goulue's provocative kicks and Valentin's lanky frame perfectly in this design. 16. Luke Drozd for the Green Man Design by Luke Drozd Gig posters are an arena in which graphic designers can really indulge their passion for both art and music. So, it's always a delight to see music festivals and designers coming together to produce something incredibly special; that's exactly what Green Man and the UK Poster Association have done here. "The festival asked us to create a series of limited edition prints for some of the acts playing at the festival," explains designer Luke Drozd. "Eight acts were chosen in total, and they show the diversity of acts that are playing the festival as well as the diversity of talent exhibiting at the UKPA stall. Each poster was created as a limited edition A2 screen print." 17. Vintage Heroes Avid gamer Grégoire Guillemin recreates his favourite superheroesComic book lover and avid gamer Grégoire Guillemin often creates superhero inspired designs and these minimalist vintage posters have hit the right spot when it comes to inspirational graphic design. The likes of Batman, the Green Hornet and the Silver Surfer are all included in the retro re-imaginings. The gorgeous typography teamed with the brilliantly sketched superhero illustrations have had us falling head over heels for the series. 18. TWA Artist David Klein used bright colours and abstract styles in many of his poster designs for TWAAmerican artist David Klein designed and illustrated dozens of posters for Howard Hughes’ Trans World Airlines (TWA) during the 1950s and 1960s. In 1957, this stunning TWA poster of New York City became part of the permanent collection of the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) in NYC. In many of Klein's designs, he used bright colours and shapes in an abstract style to depict famous landmarks and scenes of cities around the world. Best known for his influential work in the field of travel advertising, Klein's iconic images are much imitated. 19. Drive In illustrator Peter Stults' Drive poster, James Dean takes the lead role, replacing Ryan GoslingIllustrator and deisgner Peter Stults published a set of retro poster designs with a twist. His awesome 'What if' series explores what if movies we're all familiar with were made with a different slice of time? Who would be in it and direct it? Our favourite was this Drive poster, with James Dean as the lead male role. Other designs include alternate posters for Pulp Fiction, Groundhog Day, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. 20. Call Me Lucky Jesse Vital created the illustration for this poster designWe love it when illustration is given centre stage with movie posters and this one for 'Call Me Lucky' is an absolute delight to look at. Minimal colours and an intricate execution, the design was conjured up by Vodka Creative, with Jesse Vital taking care of the artwork itself. 21. Harper's This is just one of 75 poster designs Edward Penfield illustrated for Harper's Magazine during the late 1800sIt's impossible to talk about American poster design without mentioning graphic artist Edward Penfield. Often referred to as a master of graphic design, it was during a school exhibition that Penfield's work was first noticed by the art editor of Harper's Magazine, the company that he went go on to create no less than 75 poster designs for. 22. We Are Your Friends Neon colours are used to showcase the film's clubbing storylineWhilst the movie itself didn't exactly receive rave reviews, we adore this poster design from The Refinery. Using neon colours to mimic the film's clubbing and rave culture storyline, the vintage-like illustration of the main character really makes this one pop. 23. The Lobster Artist Vasilis Marmatakis also created the title sequence for DogtoothWho couldn't stop and stare at this one?! Showing the characters embracing empty sillouhettes of each other, the design was courtesy of artist Vasilis Marmatakis. Marmatakis has also crafted the titles for Dogtooth as well as working on a range of other movie posters. 24. Berlin 1936 Olympic Games The imposing nature of the poster is heightened by the historical contextThe 1936 Games was dominated by propoganda, as Hitler grasped the opportunity to promote the Nazi line of Aryan racial superiority. Thankfully, the black athlete Jesse Owens won four gold medals, and made Hitler look pretty stupid. But one thing's for sure: the poster for the event, designed by Franz Würbel, managed to promote the event brilliantly; showcasing one of Berlin's most iconic landmarks and keeping the Führer happy in the process - something 44 of Germany's finest artists had failed before him. 25. Absinthe Robette Belgian posterist Henri Privat-Livemont created this beautiful Art Nouveau print for Absinthe in 1896In the late 19th Century, the popularity of Absinthe coincided with the increase of large lithographic advertising posters as a commercial and artistic medium. Some of the greatest artists of that period created posters for the alcoholic beverage, including Belgian posterist Henri Privat-Livemont, who illustrated this iconic Art Nouveau Absinthe Robette image in 1895. 26. It Follows A brilliantly illustrated poster from Akiko StehrenbergerEveryone knows that making a character stare directly at you with a movie poster is bound to get it some attention. Brilliantly illustrated by Akiko Stehrenberger, the artist has crafted posters for a huge range of indie and commercial releases – it's easy to see why. 27. Monaco 75 This beautiful design was created by artist Michael Turner for the 1975 Monaco Grand PrixThis striking design for the 1975 Monaco Grand Prix was created by talented artist Michael Turner. With minimal type, Turner let his illustration do all the talking, using a vibrant and eye-catching colour palette, the car takes centre stage with the beautiful destination of Monaco in the background. 28. The NeverEnding Story Renato Casaro’s poster for The NeverEnding Story captured the film’s magic using tempera and a bit of airbrushing on cardboardToday, it's easy to see photos of the characters being montaged together, much like the posters for The Lord of the Rings films. But where would be the fun in that? Renato Casaro, who painted over 1,500 posters during his career, including those for The NeverEnding Story, believes that without the hand of an artist, today's posters are often devoid of that touch of magic. 29. Air New Zealand The posters provide an excellent history of the developments in aviationWhen Air New Zealand celebrated its 75th birthday, the company dug out some of its best poster designs. The posters provide a history of the developments in aviation, as they move from advertising solent flying boats (which flew a maximum of 36 lucky passengers at a time) to modern 737s. The vibrant Technicolor design provide an interesting contrast with modern advertisement methods – a clear reflection of how things have changed in the last 75 years. 30. 1,462 Days of Trump Use this poster to mark off every day of the Trump era, like you would a prison sentenceDonald Trump is president of the USA and will be in office for the next four years. As Kurt McGhee has calculated, that's 1,462 days, and he's created this poster to ram that fact home and to give you some minimal therapy as you cross off every day that passes. "It may not seem that long until you see that amount of time in days," he says. "No matter who it is, a lot can go wrong in 1462 days." Related articles: 28 inspiring examples of vintage posters 95 top Photoshop tutorials The 60 best free Photoshop brushes View the full article
  7. Mike Mimoso and Tom Spring discuss this week's security news, including a discussion on recent hijacking of popular Chrome extensions and Adobe's decision to end-of-life Flash Player. View the full article
  8. While the style and finish of manga art is relatively minimalist in comparison to other types of comics, this apparent simplicity is deceptive. Every line is a choice made by the artist – the thinking is to never use 10 strokes to depict something if just a single, well-placed one would suffice. This principle of concentrating on the essentials permeates throughout manga art creation. Every panel is an exercise in choice: size, zoom, camera angle, speech bubble positioning, and type of background. Every page works as a whole to control the reader’s experience, particularly in pacing. These 15 tips will help you create an authentic manga comic strip. Let's get started! 01. Pace yourself Aim for fewer panels spread over more pagesWhen you’re writing for manga, remember it flows faster and sparser than other types of comics. It spreads across more pages with fewer panels per page. There is variation between the types of manga; Seinen manga, aimed at adult males, will be more densely packed than Shoujo manga, which is read by young girls. But as a guide, aim for a maximum of three speech bubbles per panel, an average of five panels per page, and around four pages per scene. 02. Consider your reading direction Traditionally, manga is read from the top right to bottom leftManga originates from Japan, and Japanese traditionally reads vertically from top-to-bottom before going right-to-left. So for any manga originally published in Japanese, you start reading from the top right corner and finish in the bottom left. If it’s been translated into English, you’ll often find it remains this way. But if you’re writing in English from the start, there’s no need to do this, so it’s up to you! Decide on your reading direction and stick to it. 03. Group your panels Use gutters to link certain panelsMost manga have panels of different sizes and shapes that change from page to page. There are no arrows or numbering to guide the reader, so you must group the panels clearly to make it obvious they must read one bunch of panels before moving on. Separate one group from another by increasing the space between the panels (the panel gutter). Then make sure that any small panel gutters inside a group don’t line up with any panel gutters in another group. 04. Explore abstract layouts Characters don't need to be confined to their panelsManga doesn’t just stick to traditional boxes in rows. It often employs dynamic panel layouts that stretch across the height or width of the whole page, along with diagonal lines and irregular shapes. Sometimes boxes aren’t even used at all, with hazy patterns used as outlines, or the character breaks out of the panel. Panels can even fade in and out as part of the storytelling. The difficulty is ensuring that regardless of layout, the panel order remains clear. Try reading some manga to find lots more examples to play with. 05. Showcase different viewpoints Showcase different angles and zoom levelsManga is known for its cinematic feel. Every panel is like an action movie, where the camera cuts from a close-up of eyes, to a two-shot profile of a conversation, to a bird’s-eye view of the characters, then a low-to-high angle as a stiletto heel clicks onto the floor. Really make an effort to showcase different camera angles and zooms in your story. 06. Make it dynamic Manga often features blurred limbs and background speedlinesManga is a dynamic form of storytelling; when a character is in a full-blown fight, they really look like as though they’re moving, even flying out of the page. Unlike superhero comics that have fully inked characters and points of impact, manga favours limbs that blur with motion, backgrounds that become speedlines, channelling and enhancing the direction of the motion and highlighting the point of impact with emphasis lines originating from it. Most of this is done through inking, but can be done with screentone, too. 15. Match background to mood These background flowers hint at a budding romanceOne key difference between manga and other types of comic is the use of abstract backgrounds to match the atmosphere and the emotions of the characters. Once the scene has had an establishing shot of the physical surroundings, the backgrounds can be anything: lacework and flowers to signify a budding romance; flames if someone is full of burning rage; black shadows and swirling knots to convey inner turmoil; or cookies and cakes when a character is irresistibly cute! This is particularly popular in Shoujo and Josei manga, which is aimed at girls and women. 07. Don't rely on speech bubble tails Speech bubble placement is used to indicate who is speakingJapanese people traditionally read top-to-bottom and then right-to-left. To accommodate this, manga speech bubbles are much taller than in Western comics. They’re also roomy, with lots of space around the lettering. Another key feature is the tails denoting the speaker – these are either very small or non-existent. Rather than relying on tails, the speech bubbles are positioned near the speaker’s head – use those camera angles wisely! Japanese dialogue also tends to make it clear who’s speaking, due to special verb endings and slang. 08. Get creative with your speech bubbles Don't confine yourself to a bubble shapeSpeech bubbles in manga are a lot more organic than in other types of comics. They’re almost always hand drawn, slightly irregular in shape. Joined speech bubbles are combined rather than linked by a thin line. When one character talks over another, it’s depicted literally, with each speech bubble overlapping. While shouting is depicted with a more conventional spiky outline, thought bubbles aren’t drawn as clouds; more often they’re surrounded by a haze, either drawn or made out of screen tone. 09. Apply screentone Simply screentone on top of your lines and then cut away the excess. Manga uses screentone as its black and white. To do this, start by preparing your line art – it has to be in pure black and white without any greys, so scan at a minimum of 600dpi. Then threshold-to-convert every pixel into either black or white. The same must apply to your desired screentone: each pixel must be black or white/transparent. Copy then paste the screentone on a layer above the line art, enough to cover the lines and more. If your screentone isn’t transparent, for example, on a white background, then set the layer to Multiply so you can see the lines underneath. Finally, remove unwanted areas of the screentone. There are many ways to do this: you can select with a Lasso/Magic Wand tool and cut, use the Eraser in Pencil mode, or use a Layer Mask with a hard-edged brush so that no greys are introduced. 10. Explore screentone effects Screentone is not just for shadingThere are many things you can do with screentone besides just sticking it down for shading. Add white pencil over both lines and screentone for traditional white painted highlights. Try soft, burnished highlights by using an Eraser set to Dissolve. Use screentone just over the lines to give the art a blurry feeling. You can increase the contrast in your shadows by layering different screentones on top of each other, but be careful: you may get moiré if you use different densities or if you align them incorrectly. Next page: 5 more tips for creating an authentic manga comic strip 11. Use Japanese sound effects Onomatopoeia is different (and often more realistic) in JapaneseJapanese sound effects are incredibly diverse, using all manner of consonant and vowel combinations to describe crashes, thumps and slices. Pronunciations often more realistic than in English like 'roar' (GA-O-!) or 'slam' (pa-tan!). What’s unique to Japanese onomatopoeia are sound effects for abstract concepts ('shiiin' for a stare, or silence), facial expressions ('niko' for a smile) or even temperature ('poka poka' for warmth). They are an integral part of the artwork, so are hand-drawn at the point of inking, in an appropriate style. 14. Add visual grammar Background sparks or sweat drops indicate the character's moodMany symbols are used in comics to enhance the viewer’s understanding of what the characters are feeling, like punctuation marks for pictures. Perhaps a love heart to show romantic intentions, or a light bulb when someone has a bright idea. Manga has some unique examples: a drop of sweat for nervousness or embarrassment, a hash mark on the forehead when someone is angry (mimicking raised veins), and little spirit wisps gathering when someone is feeling depressed. 12. Try out chibi Chibi figures are cute, squashed down versions of a characterA chibi is a cute, squishy, mini-version of a person, squished down to just three to four head lengths tall, with a large head and a chubby body. Shoulders are rounded off, hips are wider, hands and feet become stubby. Although these characteristics are childlike, remember that you’re not actually drawing a child! An adult chibi should still look like an adult, just highly stylised. In manga, characters are often portrayed as chibis when the story takes a lighthearted turn, for comic effect. Spot all the examples throughout this article! 13. Emphasise emotion with anthropomorphism Cat-like features indicate this character is being slyAnother popular technique used in manga is ‘kemonomimi’, which literally means animal ears. For instance, if someone is being as sly as a cat, you can draw her with feline features like cat ears and a tail. You can even go further with cat eyes that have slit-pupils, and using the shape of cat’s mouth. Why not draw a disappointed guy as a sad puppy dog? A fierce mother as a dragon? Like chibi, it can be used for effect in specific scenes, but it’s also popular as a character design for fantasy stories. This article originally appeared in ImagineFX issue 149. Buy it here. Read more! How to improve your character drawing Hand-draw a manga character How to create manga with a Wild West twist View the full article
  9. The value of flexible vectors isn't lost on web designers. They know it's one of the most important assets they have for their designs. Create perfect vectors for any project with the help of Super Vectorizer 2. It's on sale now for 68% off the retail price. Super Vectorizer 2 has streamlined the vector-tracing process, taking out the tedious portions of the task and making it a snap to quickly create these valuable assets. This app can automatically convert bitmap, JPEG, GIF, and PNG images to clean and scalable vector graphics like AI, SVG, DXF, and PDF. It makes use of a powerful image-quantisation algorithm and enhanced tracing to make it easy to adapt images into design work. Super Vectorizer 2 usually retails for $60, but you can get it on sale now for just $19 (approx £15). That's a saving of 68% off the retail price for a powerful tool for designers, so grab this deal today! View the full article
  10. Microsoft's newest Surface Pro is undoubtedly a very tempting machine for designers and creative professionals. It’s compact, light, powerful and looks the part. So naturally we wanted to review the Surface Pro for designers and creatives, to find out how it performs as a design tool and whether it can rival Apple's iPad Pro. Get your Adobe Creative Cloud appsSurface Pro overview The Surface Pro has a fantastic pen for sketching, and its dual form factor means you can use it as a laptop or tablet. It’s hugely expensive for the top-end machine, but for sketching work you can get away with a much lower spec. (Although you do have to pay extra for the Surface Pen and Type Cover with all models.) With a 12.3-inch screen, the Surface Pro is a very comfortable size, and when paired with the Type Cover it feels very much like a traditional sketchbook when you carry it around – albeit one that's coated in fabric, like the Surface Laptop. It's also extremely light, at around 770g, and thin at 8.5mm. The Surface Pro's screen itself has a resolution of 2736x1824 pixels at 267ppi. And like all Surface devices, it’s extremely sharp. The Surface Pro's new kickstand enables better sketching anglesThere are a few other tweaks on the new Surface Pro. It’s a little less angular than the Surface Pro 4; and the i5 models are completely fanless, so they operate silently (on the i7 there’s a hybrid cooling system). Battery life is also said to be improved to 13.5 hours, and we got a day’s solid usage out of the Pro after a mix of sketching, watching video, browsing and, indeed, writing this review. But perhaps the most interesting addition is the improved kickstand and hinge. We know, sounds fascinating, right? But now you can lower the kickstand to almost flat – giving you a great angle for sketching work. And sketching with the new Surface Pen feels very natural indeed. Surface Pro with the Surface Pen Microsoft has improved the Surface Pen, giving it 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity – and it feels better all round to draw with. There’s pretty much no lag when using the likes of Photoshop or Illustrator (although we were using the Core i7 model with 16GB RAM and Intel Iris Plus Graphics for this review, which is blazingly fast all round). We just can’t understand, though, why you don’t get a Surface Pen in the box, rather than having to pay an extra £100/US$100. Especially if you’re buying a Surface Pro Core i7 model, which could set you back up to £2,700/US$2,700 for the top model. Buy the Surface Pen (UK) Buy the Surface Pen (US) The Surface Pro's Signature Type Cover turns it into a laptopFor the Surface Pro to be a true hybrid machine, you’ll need a Type Cover (the clip-on keyboard) as well, which will add another £125/US$130 to the overall cost. The Signature Type Cover is very nice though – protecting your Surface Pro in Alcantara fabric (which we’re told is hard-wearing and easy to clean). Buy a Type Cover (UK) Buy a Type Cover (US) Using it as a laptop on your lap isn’t the easiest, though, as you’re relying on the kickstand to rest on your legs. But it’s much more comfortable at a desk. There are also a couple of nice colours available for the Type Cover. We had a nice cobalt Blue and it felt very high quality indeed, with backlit keys, a glass trackpad and a nice action on the mechanical keys. So as well as being nice to sketch on, it’s nice to type on. The Surface Pro is fun to sketch on and to type onThe Surface Pro is also compatible with the Surface Dial – costing another £90/US$100 – which enables you to control specific functionality in different apps (although Adobe apps aren’t supported yet). Buy the Surface Dial (UK) Buy the Surface Dial (US) Surface Pro vs iPad Pro Of course, there are going to be comparisons drawn between the Surface Pro and the iPad Pro. The iPad Pro, when paired with the excellent Apple Pencil, is a phenomenal digital sketchbook. But, although it runs iOS versions of Adobe tools from which your work can be synced back to your desktop Creative Cloud software, it isn’t the same thing as having full versions of Photoshop and Illustrator on the go. Microsoft's Surface Pro runs Windows 10 so you can install your Creative Cloud software – and choose to work with apps in standard or Touch Input modes. The Surface Pro runs Windows 10Surface Pro performance If you’re working on complex illustrations, you’ll need to splash out on a more powerful model than the base £800/US$800 Surface Pro, as this cheapest model only has a Core m3 CPU, 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD. But for concepting and sketching, as we’ve said, the base model will be more than enough. Moving up through the models, you can choose between an i5 (starting at £980/US$1,000 with 4GB RAM/128GB SSD) and i7 (starting at £1,550/US$1,600) with 8GB RAM/256GB SSD). This soon becomes a MacBook Pro-like investment. In fact, for the price of the top-end Surface Pro you could get a 13-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pro and a 12.9-inch 256GB iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. As a result, we can’t really recommend the top-end system for creatives – it just costs too much and doesn’t have enough flexibility in its ports (there’s only one USB, a MicroSD slot and a Mini DisplayPort). The base model, however, is very attractive as a digital sketchbook that can also run all of your desktop apps. Surface Pro for designers We love the Surface range of devices – they represent a significant leap forward for Microsoft and offer a viable alternative to Macs. But, the top-end models are just too expensive for us to recommend. The lower-end models are a much better option – especially if you simply want a portable digital sketchbook that can double as a mid-spec laptop. All-in-all the Surface Pro is a slick machine, and its accessories (although sold separately) make it even more attractive. Related articles: Best laptops for graphic design Review: Microsoft Surface Book Review: Microsoft Surface Laptop The digital artist's guide to switching from Mac to Windows View the full article
  11. The makers of UXPin have released a free Material Design UI kit: a set of 140 handcrafted UI elements and 35 hi-fidelity screens. The kit also includes Material icons, layered files, and Google fonts. The library includes everything from headers and footers to contacts, galleries, calendars and more, all neatly organised into folders for ease of use. Everything is available in three formats – Photoshop, Sketch and Illustrator – making it simple to slot into your design workflow. The pro's guide to UI design All elements come in 3x resolution and can be used with Photoshop, Sketch or IllustratorAll UI elements are available at 3x resolution and are Guideline-compatible. Of course, the kit is also available for use in UXPin, a full-stack UX design platform for prototyping, design systems, and automatic documentation. Material Design is Google's unified design language, based around cards, grid-based layout, responsive animations and clever use of depth effects. Since its release in 2014, the system has boomed in popularity. Download the UI kit here. Read more: Free Flash alternative is here Build a static site with Material Design Lite Build a Material Design app with Angular 2 View the full article
  12. Given that UX is all about simple usability and accessibility, it’s not surprising UX designers often opt for minimal, monochrome designs when it comes to business cards. The problem is, the simple approach runs the risk of just looking boring when applied to a business card. And given that most people don’t really have room in their wallets anyway, why give them another reason to ditch your card the moment you’re out of sight? Instead, these UX designers have all designed business cards that potential clients and collaborators are very likely to hang on to... 01. Masanori Mitsuhashi Mitsuhashi has turned a simple doodle into an elegant business card designMasanori Mitsuhashi is a UX designer based in Tokyo, Japan. He currently works for Goodpatch, a global UI design company with studios in Tokyo and Berlin. Here, Mitsuhashi has used an elegant yet fun doodle to bring his design to life, and it works a treat. Printed on a traditional Japanese paper known as Washi, this is a delightful business card you’d be loathe to get rid of, however full your wallet was. 02. Sarah Nohe The ‘user survey’ on Nohe’s business card is beautifully tongue-in-cheekSarah Nohe is UX designer currently working for Nebular in Florida. She used to be an anthropologist, and when she moved to her current profession, she obviously needed new business cards. Given that her new calling was focused on considering the user, she decided to put that principle into practice when designing them. As she recounts in this blog post, she decided she’d try to generate some ‘user feedback’ by including a tongue-in-cheek user survey on the back of the cards. In a field where people often take themselves very seriously, this clever and humorous business card is a welcome breath of fresh air. 03. Lo Min Ming Min Ming’s business card is rocking the denim lookBased in California, Lo Min Ming is a designer and engineer at Dropbox, and the co-founder of Pixelapse, a visual version control platform. He’s all about combining the functionality of UX with aesthetic appeal, and this denim themed business card certainly fits into that mould. It’s not actually made of denim, though, but was printed on textured paper. “I arranged the letters (especially the 'G') in such a way that it would still be strong enough after the die-cut,” he explains. 04. Ueno Ueno offers this colourful and quirky card to its clientsUeno is a global digital agency offering web and UX design to clients including Airbnb, Medium, Cisco, Lonely Planet, Google, Reuters, Fitbit and Dropbox. These original and attractive business cards are bright, colourful and nicely convey the agency's quirky sense of humour. 05. Gustavo Youngberg Youngberg’s cards show how a simple design can go a long wayGustavo Youngberg is a graphic and web designer in the San Francisco Bay area specialising in brand identity, web design, and UX design. He’s currently working as a senior digital specialist at real estate consultants Cushman & Wakefield. These cool business cards show how you don’t need to spend a lot of time and money on extravagant printing techniques, just a good, solid design. Youngberg got these cards printed by Moo‎ using it Luxe Business service. “Love the quality and workmanship of their paper products and packaging,” he says. “The colours pop and their black is true. Love it.” 06. Adnan Puzic Even from across the room, you won’t miss these bright and colourful business cardsAdrian Puzic is a UI/UX designer based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. New for 2017, his latest business cards are beautifully clean, bright and bold, and feature embossed elements. We particularly like the signature-style script lettering, which helps to distinguish these designs in an arena where bland and functional typography is the norm. 07. Marcelo Graciolli Marcelo Graciolli is a Brazilian UI/UX designer with 12 years’ experience in the web industry. Now based in London, he specialises in email marketing. In the gallery above you can see the front and back of his new business cards, which use colourful graphics to display what it is he does simply and delightfully. He’s clearly keen to get you to visit his Instagram page, and we love how the eye-drawing device on the front side gets the message across. 08. Max De Mooij These business cards are about the recipient as wellMax de Mooij is based in Amsterdam, where he works for software company Recognize. As a UX designer, he wanted his business cards to leave a positive experience (what he calls “a delighter”) on the person he hands them out to. “So I left some space on the back where I can write someone's name on,” he explains. “The card's back then says: "Great to meet you, John!". That way, my business card is more personal, and not just about me. It emphasises the connection between you and me.” View the full article
  13. http://thehackernews.com/2017/08/two-critical-zero-day-flaws-disclosed.html … View the full article
  14. Yesterday
  15. Cisco patched two high-severity vulnerabilities in its Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) that could allow an attacker to elevate privileges on the host machine. View the full article
  16. A critical flaw in Drupal CMS platform could allow unwanted access to the platform allowing a third-party to view, create, update or delete entities. View the full article
  17. IBM researchers have demonstrated a filesystem-level version of the Rowhammer attack against MLC NAND flash memory. View the full article
  18. Putting people in the creative industries to work in an office, during set hours, has never felt right. Why don't more full-time employed creatives work remotely? Like some kind of Industrial Revolution hangover, working in offices can feel restrictive and uncomfortable, as if employers are saying to staff: “You don’t enjoy working, so I’m going to make you. And to make sure I can make you, I’m going to make you come to this same place at this same time every day”. But having an aversion to work has never applied to creative people. Creatives enjoy the challenges thrown at them, enjoy solving problems, enjoy crafting a design. They enjoy their work and resent being made to feel like they don’t. Conversely, if people are made to feel enabled and trusted to succeed, they are far more likely to. Remote working can give individuals the freedom to work in ways that suit them. The more balanced, rounded, inspired and experienced we all are, the better we’ll be at our work. Remote working can also allow people the prospect of working alongside the best design practitioners in the world, not just the best in the office. Work more creatively Brown&co says it's a new kind of agencyThis is why nine months ago, Dave Brown, David Bicknell (Bic) and I decided to start a branding agency, Brown & Co, using an outsource model. The agency is based on the principle that if people can operate in ways individually tailored to them, if they feel encouraged to achieve a healthy work-balance, if they are able to work without distraction at home (while joined up online) then they will ultimately do better work, more efficiently. To further fly in the face of industry convention, Brown & Co also only measures collaborators on output, rather than hours, and clients pay for the same (shock and horror), without the overheads of a large full-time staff in an office. Save more time for life Working at any time, from anywhere, enables more creativityA fit-for-purpose, built-on-demand team of specialists allows for maximum output with agility and flexibility, so we can all work more easily toward extremely challenging deadlines and at a lower price point. Productivity (defined simply as ‘inspiration with discipline’) is high at the minute. The collaborators are working more often in places and ways that inspire them, while not being subject to a ‘distraction factory’ (as the founders like to call the modern office environment). This has resulted in great work being produced, while creatives feel happier, healthier and freer than in years. One collaborator is even fulfilling her dreams of travelling while earning. It’s an exciting opportunity to connect with different cultures, broadening experiences, deepening her empathy, and potentially encouraging her to think more openly about brand challenges and solutions. Opportunities like this leave collaborators feeling more balanced, more in touch and more productive – but does it translate into better work? Get creative results It's no great surprise that happier people produce better designsIt’s been six months since Brown & Co opened its metaphorical doors, and with large projects on two major international brands, this great experiment is working well. We’ve already been told on more than one occasion by different multinational clients that ours is "some of the best work we’ve ever seen", and done in "miraculous timeframes". It seems the work we are producing is living up to its promise, and that can only really be as the result of working differently and attracting better people by working differently – in ways that people work best, and in ways they enjoy. Of course, this challenges the old school thinkers who say if you leave people to their own devices nothing ever gets done, and that you can’t do good creative work unless you’re all sitting physically together in the same room. Related articles: Why you should make time for creative side projects Following this creativity cycle could save you from burnout 5 top tips for creating a productive home office View the full article
  19. Getting your research right is key to logo design successResearch in any area of design is essential, none more so than logo design. Research allows you to fully understand the problem at hand, which in turn enables you to design a solution that can be presented with confidence, having the knowledge needed to back up your decisions. A well-researched project is one that's very likely to be agreed by the client quickly (if not first time), and one that's likely to succeed in the real world. In comparison, a poorly researched project is likely to be rejected because the designer has failed to understand the problems faced. You can't just guess the logo that a client requires. Research is your opportunity to discover what you need to design, why you need to design it, and how it will be used. It also makes it easier to discover a solution, as the knowledge learned should inevitably steer the direction of the design. There's no such thing as having too much information, especially if you're designing a logo for a product or service you're not familiar with. You need to ask questions, but don't simply rely on what the client tells you – be prepared to dig deeper, reading industry blogs and information to gain a true understanding of the product and service. But what topics should you research? Here are five key questions and areas to focus preliminary research on before designing a logo. 01. Why does the company need a new logo? Before designing the logo it's essential you understand the real reason you're designing the logo. If it's a new company the answer to this question is self-evident. But if the logo is a redesign, this is a whole different story. If the company is young it may have designed the logo in-house or had it designed on the cheap and now it simply needs a refresh. A more established business will, however, redesign its identity to signify change. Get the reasons behind the design fixed in advanceChange can come in many forms: new ownership, new management, new product or service, or a new ethos. Be it a merger, a change to the way things are done, or a new brand statement, ensure you understand all you can about the current situation and the goals of the business moving forward. This will decide if you need to simply evolve the current design, or take it in a whole different direction altogether. 02. What does the company do? It's somewhat obvious, but you need to know what the company does and why. Find out the history of the company, the products or services it offers, and the problem(s) it solves. Look to understand the company's values. What message is the client trying to communicate with its target audience, and how does it want customers to feel when they engage with the brand? This will often heavily influence the attitude of the design. 03. Who are the target audience? You must know the audience the business will be targeting so that you can design a logo that will attract them. You must research the target market for your logoSome companies will be able to describe their exact audience, while some smaller companies will not be sure, or may ask to target everyone. In these cases, ask the client to describe its ideal customer. Understand the demographics of the audience: their age, gender, location, income level, lifestyle and behaviour. Understand their needs and the problems they are experiencing to require the products or services of the company you're designing for. 04. What are the company's long-term goals? A logo should stand the test of time, so expect the logo you're designing to still be in use in five to 10 years' time. For that reason you must understand not only where the company is today, but what its long-term goals and ambitions are. For example, if a company currently offers only one service, but plans to extend its offering at a later date, it's essential you are aware of this so that you can factor this into your design. A valuable exercise is to ask the client to describe where it sees itself in five years' time. This will allow you to get a realistic picture of it foreseeable plans and long-term ambitions. 05. Who is the competition? Knowing about the competition is valuable, as you can learn what identities the audience will already be familiar with in the sector. This information will also ensure you avoid unintentionally mimicking an already known brand. Pinpointing competitors isn't always an easy task. Sometimes the client will tell you who it believes it's in competition with, but its own assessment may be way off. Combine the information it provides with your own research. Look at the identities of direct competitors (those that offer the same product or service to the same audience) as well as indirect (those that offer a similar product or service). Your goal is to design a logo that separates the company from its competition rather than to replicate an existing design. It's a valuable exercise to keep a visual record of both the competitor's logos and identities to reference your designs against at a later date. Research is a powerful tool, which will make you a better designer and a more knowledgeable person. More of our great design posts: The 25 best places to find free vector art online 11 brilliant resources for logo designers 10 best logos ever View the full article
  20. Adobe has unveiled a new series of weekly video tutorials featuring top artists from around the world. The Art Makers: How Did They Do That? collection sees artists guide viewers through their workflows in Photoshop, Illustrator and Animate, giving key insights into how they produce their unique styles. The initial collection of videos features Dutch artist Lois van Baarle (aka 'Loish') creating a portrait called Red, beginning by making rough sketches from a stylus and tablet and building the piece using different Photoshop brushes. She does all of her digital painting on one layer, despite changing brush shapes, brush thickness and colour. Loish's video tutorial is accompanied by written steps on the Adobe site. Loish's finished Red portrait Adobe hopes the videos will inspire creatives to give new techniques and tools a try. It says: "Feed your (inspiration) with this series that profiles art makers from around the world. See how they sweat the details, applying their own techniques to create images, illustrations, and animations using common and not-so-common features in Adobe Creative Cloud apps." Another of the videos features Egyptian artist Amr Elshamy creating his Round Things artwork, which you might recognise from the latest Photoshop CC splash screen. Elshamy used Photoshop CC's Polar Coordinates distortion filter to turn a photograph of a mountain range into his unique finished image. Elsewhere, Italian artist Daniele De Nigris creates geometric tile patterns in Illustrator, creating the image that was used for the Adobe Animate CC 2017 splash screen. Plus American designer and illustrator Molly Scannell makes a powerful sliced collage in Photoshop; Turkish photographer and designer Şakir Yildirim makes a surreal image in Photoshop; and French-born Toronto-based illustrator and animator Emilie Muszczak makes a colourful animated self-portrait in Photoshop and Animate. Emilie Muszczak's animated self-portraitThe series is featured online on Adobe’s Create Magazine, and on Adobe's Art Makers YouTube playlist, which it says will be updated weekly with new content. Related articles: 95 top Photoshop tutorials The 23 best Illustrator brushes 20 digital artists to follow on Behance View the full article
  21. Microsoft's Surface Laptop is perhaps the least exciting of the Surface range for creative professionals. It’s virtually a direct competitor to the Apple MacBook; offering very similar specs, but with the addition of a touchscreen – which can of course be used with the (sold separately) Surface Pen. Buy the Surface Pen (UK) Buy the Surface Pen (US) Before you open it up, the Surface Laptop feels very much like the Surface Book, only slimmer, a little more tapered and a bit lighter. Its edges are relatively angular, but it feels like a great piece of industrial design. Open it up, though, and you’re presented with something a little different. The entire keyboard area is made of fabric. Admittedly, it’s not any old fabric – it isn't like working on a laptop covered in your grandma’s pyjamas. This is Alcantara fabric: the same kind of strokable, stain-resistant covering used on luxury car seats. The best way to describe it is ‘faux suede’. It does feel a little odd at first, but it's strangely pleasing and tactile. Using it for long periods of time is comfortable, as it’s softer than the metal on the Surface Book and MacBook. The fabric layer tapers off slightly towards the edge of the laptop, adding to the ergonomics when your palms are rested on it. The keyboard has another trick up its sleeve – it’s also the speaker. To save space for grilles and make the Surface Laptop as thin and lightweight as possible, ‘Omnisonic’ speakers are below the keyboard. And the Surface Laptop sounds brilliant. We were impressed by its audio quality. It wasn’t at all muffled, as we half-expected. The Surface Laptop is touchscreen, as mentioned, but unlike the Surface Pro or Surface Book, isn’t a hybrid – you can’t remove the screen to use it as a tablet. Sure, you can still sketch on the screen using the Surface Pen (£100 extra) in any creative app, or take notes in Windows Ink, but the traditional laptop form factor doesn’t exactly lend itself to this way of working for longer amounts of time. Surface Laptop specs The specs of the Surface Laptop aren’t too shabby across the board. But like all of Microsoft’s Surface machines, price rises dramatically when you start getting into what a creative pro needs for daily design work. The Core i7 with 16GB RAM, a 512GB SSD and Intel Iris graphics comes in at £2,150. That's a considerable amount of cash – just £200 less than a 15-inch (the Surface Laptop has a 13.5-inch screen) MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (Core i7 with a smaller SSD but with Thunderbolt 3 ports). The mid-range Surface Laptop competes directly with the same-priced MacBook (£1249), although the Surface has a 1.5-inch larger screen, a USB port and a Mini DisplayPort (rather than just a USB-C). Get Adobe Creative Cloud So it’s a little tricky to decipher who the Surface Laptop is for. Is it a student machine? Is it a daily laptop? Is it a creative machine? Well, depending on the configuration, it could be any of these. For £980 the base spec machine seems like excellent value – and you get a laptop that looks ace and will perform well. But for over £2000 for a top-end model, we’ll take a Surface Book with Performance Base and NVIDIA graphics. All day long. And we’d definitely take the i5/128GB SSD/8GB RAM Surface Book at £1,449 over the £1,249 Surface Laptop with a larger 256GB SSD (but lesser screen – see below) at the same price – simply due to the fact you can detach the screen on the Surface Book and use as a digital sketchpad. Excellent screen So the Surface Laptop screen. Like the rest of the Surface range, it's excellent – bright, sharp and, as a touchscreen, very responsive. At 2256x1504 pixels at 201ppi, it’s a little behind the stunning screen of the Surface Book (3000x2000 pixels at 267ppi) and that of the 12.3-inch Surface Pro (2736x1824 at 267ppi). The ppi isn’t noticeable in daily use – you’re never going to make out a pixel on these screens. But those after more real estate will favour the larger resolution of both the Surface Book and Pro. Microsoft quotes the Surface Laptop at 14.5-hours battery life. And like with the Surface Pro, we got a whole day out of the Laptop, with a combination of video, browsing, a bit of sketching, some tweeting and a bit of layout work in InDesign. The Surface Laptop comes with Windows 10 S – meaning you can only install apps from the Windows Store (essentially to increase security). Obviously this is a major consideration for creative pros when Adobe’s products are not on there. You can, until March 2018, easily upgrade to the full version of Windows 10 for free. There’s nothing at all wrong with the Surface Laptop. It’s a slim, very light (1.25kg), great-looking, well-built machine with a lovely tactile keyboard and a great screen. And we love the four different colours it comes in – the Cobalt Blue is particularly nice. But if you're looking for versatility, the hybrid Surface Pro and Surface Book offer more for creative professionals. View the full article
  22. https://www.cnet.com/news/father-of-passwords-bill-burr-regrets-the-advice-he-gave/ … View the full article
  23. For a professional web developer, code is a form of art. If you want to be able to write a line of code that feels like a brushstroke on a canvas, then you need to check out the Ultimate Front End Developer Bundle. You can get it now for just $39 (approx £30). The Ultimate Front End Developer Bundle is the perfect starting place for aspiring web developers. This collection of courses will teach you how to work with the most important languages in web development. Pick up essential skills and learn how to work with JavaScript to HTML5, CSS3 and more to bring your dream designs to life. There are eight courses with 48 hours of actionable lessons that you won’t want to miss. You can get the Ultimate Front End Developer Bundle on sale for just $39 (approx £30), which is 96% off the retail price! That’s a massive saving on a course that could set you down a new career path, so grab this deal today! View the full article
  24. The notion of accessibility in digital designs may bring to mind ideas of screen readers and voice control, but it's about much more. Some impairments, for example, often go unnoticed. Take colour blindness: one in 12 suffer from the condition, so a design that uses only colour to convey information is useless to a large number of users. Then there are those who aren't technically blind but do have some level of visual impairment. Designing with these users in mind not only helps them, but makes your work easier on everyone's eyes. The fact that most people can read grey text on a white background doesn't mean it's enjoyable to do so. With websites, some users will have some kind of cognitive impairment. It might be permanent, such as a learning disability, or it may be a temporary impairment such as drunkenness (imagine designing for a taxi service, say) or even shock (think materials for a hospital). Designing for these people means minimising clutter, using smart, simple copy and making user journeys easy to understand. These attributes are something that everyone appreciates. Find out more about accessibility at Generate London, where Léonie Watson will look at accessibility mechanics in the browser Accessibility as an extension of UX design Expert in accessibility Heydon Pickering advises that you think of accessibility as an extension of UX design. "Imagine how people with different disabilities experience the same content. It's part of the design process, not something you 'bolt on' later." Think about how screen reader users will experience your page as you write your markup: the order is important. "If your navigation menu is positioned at the top of the page visually, but located at the bottom of the HTML document, then the experience for keyboard users will be frustratingly different to those who can point-and-click. They will have to tab-key through all the page content just to access the menu." If you're a print designer and you haven't done much web work, it can be painful to realise that your attention to detail is lost when your designs can't be implemented on the web exactly as you made them. "Don't be a slave to the tyranny of 'pixel perfection'," Pickering advises. "In print design, you can be exacting, but on the web it's pointless to attempt it. Design interactions, not approximations. Users are not gallery visitors, they are participants." Keep designs simple Above all, try to keep things as simple as possible. "The biggest enemy of accessibility is complexity," says Pickering. "Complexity makes interfaces inaccessible to anyone, but especially those who have content announced procedurally by assistive technologies." Complexity also makes things harder for those with cognitive differences, such as autism, dyslexia or ADHD. Jamie Knight, senior accessibility specialist at the BBC, breaks down the cognitive process required to do something into three parts: receiving information, processing information, and then taking actions. He then assesses how well a website enables someone to do each part. Keep designs clear and simple'Receiving information' covers whether a person can take in the information that's there and spot things that they can use to achieve a task, such as buttons, menus and text areas. 'Processing information' covers whether a person can filter out the things they don't need to make a decision, such as adverts, links to other areas of the site and so on. The more irrelevant items there are, the harder it is to filter and decide. 'Actioning' refers to whether someone can form and complete a plan of action based on the decision they made in the previous step. Knight asks: "Can the user perceive the information and figure out what can be done? Can they filter the information in order to reach a decision? Can they then plan an action and complete it?" Knight is autistic himself and in this post he explains how he uses a zoom tool to exclude adverts and other clutter from his screen to help him focus, and also a screen reader for the same reason. Colour contrast Colour contrast is one of the most important factors determining legibility of text. Accessibility was a priority for web design agency Domain7 when it redesigned the website for Imperial College London. Design team lead Tracey Falk explains: "While sticking with black type on white is always the safest (and recommended for primary body copy), using an online tool that will test type colour against background colours for contrast is key. You'd be surprised at what fails these contrast tests." Contrast also needs to be accounted for when using type overlayed on top of images. Miriam Thomas, UX designer and front-end development lead at Domain7, told us: "This continues to be a huge web trend and we're surprised by how often readability is overlooked in this design pattern." "Often the solution is to neutralise and desaturate images with a dark or light overlay so text can be read. Imperial, however, had a huge library of bright imagery, so we chose to colour block backgrounds behind text on top of images to keep that vibrancy intact." Inaccessible branding But what if the brand colours don't pass contrast tests? Geri Coady, author of A Pocket Guide to Colour Accessibility, explains: "If brand colours have already been chosen and are unfortunately not accessible for whatever reason, try to find alternate ways to implement them," is her advice. "A logo with insufficient contrast can be supplemented with descriptive alternate text, but for text elements like body copy and headlines, try introducing a darker, contrast-compliant shade of the same colour to add to your brand palette." "If this creates pushback from your client, don't be afraid to bring up the potential risk of lawsuits and lost customers from an inaccessible website. Money talks." (Disney faced an accessibility lawsuit in 2011.) Coady recommends Lea Verou's contrast checker for ensuring your palette is legible, and there's some more detail in her article on contrast checks. See also the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. All of the experts we spoke to agree that testing is key to making your work accessible and ironing out any problems. Test at regular intervals and include in your testing group people with cognitive differences such as Autism Spectrum or ADHD as well as those with visual and motor impairments. The full version of this article first appeared inside Computer Arts issue 242, a typography special issue. Illustrations by Becca Allen. At Generate London on 22 September, Léonie Watson will help you understand accessibility mechanics in the browser to avoid unexpected consequences. The conference will feature 15 more presentations covering web performance, animations, UX strategy, prototyping, adaptive interfaces, responsive CSS components, and loads more. Reserve your spot today! Related articles: Léonie Watson on making accessibility integral to web design process The rules of responsive web typography Aaron Gustafson: The future of adaptive user interfaces is inclusive View the full article
  25. http://thehackernews.com/2017/08/netsarang-server-management.html … View the full article
  26. Poor old Flash was a lot of fun in its youth, but then it became old, slow and susceptible to infections. It was doomed from the moment that Apple decided not to support it on the iPhone, and yet we all kind of miss it a bit, right? Well now there's a new open-source editor called Wick that looks like the Flash alternative we've all been waiting for. Created by Zach Rispoli and Luca Damasco, Wick is a free web tool for creating games, animation and everything in between for the internet, and it's entirely browser-based. Wick is a free and easy-to-use alternative to FlashYour creations will work on any device with a web browser, without the need to download any extra software. Inspired by tools such as Flash, HyperCard and Scratch, Wick is a hybrid of an animation tool and IDE, and first came about when Rispoli's eight-year-old sister started to outgrow Scratch and needed a more sophisticated tool. What started as a simple prototype has since been refined into a more polished tool, and it's ready for you to play with now. Building animation and interactive elements such as buttons is nice and simpleIt's easy to get started with Wick: follow these simple tutorials and you can quickly make an animation by simply drawing a few frames (or importing your own images) and exporting them as a .GIF. Beyond that you can add motion tweening and start scripting events, and you can even import JavaScript libraries for more complex projects. Wick is free software that you can run, distribute, change, and redistribute as you wish, and it's open-source so you can view the codebase and even help improve it over on GitHub. As Rispoli explains, "We hope that the web as a community can come together and help build Wick and bring the spirit of Flash to the next generation of online creatives." You can find out more about Wick here, or simply hit the Wick editor and start playing! Some creatives have already started, and are sharing how they got on. Related articles: Create and animate SVG polygons 21 top examples of JavaScript 50 free web tools View the full article
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  28. Few times have there been technologies so reviled and celebrated at the same time as Adobe Flash. Since its introduction as Macromedia Flash Player in the mid-’90s, the technology has helped shape what the web has become today. At the same time, few internet technologies have united so many wanting to kick it to the curb. In 2020, in collaboration with Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla, Adobe will retire the much maligned Flash Player. A large part of the problem, experts say, despite progress in hardening its attack surface, is that it’s not secure enough. Flash continues to be a massive attack target that needs to go, they said. Since 2005, it has amassed 1,033 unique CVE entries, above, more than Microsoft’s Windows XP or Internet Explorer, according to CVEDetails.com. “Given the sheer amount of time I’ve focused on Flash, I might get a little teary eyed when it’s finally gone,” said Jasiel Spelman, a senior vulnerability researcher with Zero Day Initiative. Replacing it will be open standards such as HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly. “These browser-based alternatives to Flash offer the same capabilities and functionalities. The trend is less helper apps and modern browsers with built-in capabilities that match those plugins of yesteryear,” Spelman said. Gateway to Exploits, Malware For more than a decade, the ubiquitous Flash Player has been a favorite target for attacks that attempted to trick users via a browser pop-up to install and run a bogus Flash Player that actually installed malware. Flash has been also abused by hackers who exploit vulnerabilities in the legitimate Flash Player to run malware. Its appeal has been that a single Flash exploit could target multiple browsers, since most of them were running the program. Adobe Flash Player has offered hackers endless fertile ground for use in exploit kits, phishing schemes, zero-day attacks and backdoor programs, said Steve McGregory, research director at security firm Ixia. Most of those attacks lead to remote code execution because of a litany of vulnerabilities in legacy code leading to buffer overflows, or memory corruption issues. Its trail of carnage has included terabytes of lost intellectual property and industrial secrets, along with stolen passwords and credit card numbers. For those reasons, technology leaders such as Alex Stamos, chief security officer for Facebook, declared in a 2015 tweet that has since been deleted: “It is time for Adobe to announce the end-of-life date for Flash and to ask the browsers to set killbits on the same day.” Add to that Steve Jobs’ famous trashing of Flash in a longwinded 2010 manifesto explaining why Apple wouldn’t support it and arguing it should cease to exist. “Adobe Flash has been heavily leveraged in advertising, media and eLearning spaces, but unfortunately Adobe has not kept pace with the necessary security updates in order to outweigh the benefits of using the product,” said Mark Butler, CISO for Qualys. “If Flash wasn’t good enough for Steve Jobs to include in iOS software, it definitely shouldn’t be OK for us to use now. Flash has only increased in vulnerabilities since that time, and its patching cycles have lengthened,” he said. Transition Challenge Today, Adobe Flash security holes still dominate the threat landscape. So far this year there have been 60 unique CVEs associated with Flash, 53 rated high-severity allowing attackers to remotely execute code. Earlier this month Adobe patched a serious a local sandbox escape bug in its Flash Player after researchers failed to fix the bug completely in a previous patch. However, despite indicators pointing to a swift death and depreciation of Flash over the next three years, the transition could present challenges for companies. Experts say dependence on Adobe Flash will create legacy issues similar to those of Windows XP. “This is just the first step, once Flash is retired, we will all be facing the reality of older versions of Flash installed and being used without any security update support similar to what we have with Microsoft Windows XP. We all still have more work to do to make the retirement not just effective but safe,” said Christopher Budd, senior threat communications manager, Unit 42, Palo Alto Networks. Percentage of users who have encountered at least one page w/ Flash Player content in a day. Courtesy Chromium.org Three years ago, 80 percent of desktop Chrome users visited a site with Flash each day. Today usage is only 17 percent and continues to decline, according to Chromium, the open-source web browser project founded by Google. Budd said the biggest issue with Flash after 2020 is the risk of security vulnerabilities affecting Flash with no patches available for those issues. Zero Day Initiative’s Spelman says about 75 percent of the enterprise companies he works with are still dependent on Flash in some way. “We tell everyone that currently hosts Flash content that they should heed the guidance from Adobe and look to migrate to supported solutions. However, a number of those organizations have legacy Flash applications that can’t be disabled immediately because of dependency issues,” he said. Enterprises’ Flash Problems Won’t Subside There are no hard numbers on Flash usage inside and outside the enterprise. But, security experts say there are many firms that are using custom-built Flash applications that will be expensive to replace after the 2020 depreciation deadline. “Similar to Windows XP end-of-life, there is going to be a time when there are Flash ‘forever day’ [vulnerabilities] that will be known, but just never patched by Adobe,” Spelman said. Those companies are going to have to redevelop those apps from scratch. “It’s going to take time and convincing them that finding a Flash replacement is a cheaper alternative to a security breach.” For its part, Adobe stated in July it will “continue to support Flash on a number of major OSes and browsers that currently support Flash content through the planned EOL (end of life). This will include issuing regular security patches, maintaining OS and browser compatibility and adding features and capabilities as needed.” In 2015, Adobe began the process when it announced that it had renamed Flash Professional CC to Animate CC and deemed it Adobe’s preferred tool for developing HTML5 content. In the meantime, developer Juha Lindstedt reacted to Adobe’s end of life verdict for Flash and turned to GitHub to petition users there to save Adobe Flash. His goal is to convince Adobe to turnover its Flash code to the open-source community. In his petition, Lindstedt calls Flash “an important piece of internet history and killing Flash means future generations can’t access the past. Games, experiments and websites would be forgotten.” The petition has received mixed reviews within the software development and security communities. While some see Flash as bloated insecure code that needs to go away fast, others see handing it over to the open source community as a way to make it more secure and ensure that any legacy instances of Flash—after it sunsets—can be addressed with an emergency patch. So far Lindstedt’s petition has garnered 6,650 digital signatures. “I think it would be a great idea. Flash is already partially open source,” Spelman said. “From a preservation point of view, I think it would be important to save a snapshot of what the internet looked like when Flash was around.” Adobe declined to comment for this story with the exception of stating it had no intention to make Adobe Flash open source. “I can tell you we don’t have any plans to do that at this time,” according to an Adobe spokesperson.
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