Model Release Madness
Stockxpert has been criticized by some contributors for being "unfairly" strict on model release requirements. The common complaint is usually that because other microstock sites accept these images, then Stockxpert should too or else it won't be competitive.
The law basically states that permission must be granted by identifiable people who are subjects of images used for commercial purposes. The idea is that human subjects of commercial photographs have a say in whether or not they want to be associated with a product or service.
The question then is what's considered identifiable?
The 10 Year $275 Million Branding Campaign
Over the past few weeks millions of baseball fans in the tri-state area and beyond have been following negotiations between two of the most recognizable brands in the US, the New York Yankees and regular-season superstar, Alex Rodriguez (a.k.a A-Rod).
During the World Series A-Rod announced he was opting out of his contract with the Yankees to persue the free-agent market, but once he saw that no one else could really afford him (or was big enough for him), he went back to the Yankees sans agent to work out a deal. There was much debate among the fans and press as to whether or not the Yankees should take him back or who needed whom more.
In my mind there was no debate, the Yankees were definitely going to take him back because they needed him just as much as he needed them, which is more than they need a World Series championship.
Hitting The Microstock Jackpot?
Lately news has been trickling in from the microstock sites about single image sales in the thousands of dollars. Dreamstime last month sold rights to one if its images for $5,100, and Stockxpert only a couple weeks ago had a $10,000 sale.
On the surface, news of this nature is good for energizing microstock contributors, but what can these sales tell us about the microstock industry overall?
Quality Home Design for the Masses
As boring big-box McMansions continue to litter the landscape, it's refreshing to read about architects who have started organizations to retard this trend.
A recent article in the New Haven Register spotlights Madison-CT architect Duo Dickinson who with two colleagues founded the Congress of Residential Architecture (CORA), an organziation whose mission is to educate home buyers on home design and construction and donate time to social causes in an effort to improve their communities.
Mutate or DIE
Mutate or Die. These words of wisdom were spray painted in yellow across the big blue dumpster behind the biology building at my alma mater, the University of Connecticut. I'd pass it every day on my way to class from my dorm (aptly nicknamed The Jungle), but it wasn't until I graduated did I understand the meaning of these words in a business context.
Over the past 10 years, I've been constantly reminded of my frequent encounter with the large trash receptacle thanks to our friend the Internet as well as the people who continue to resist the change it brings, most recently in the field of commercial photography.
New Design-Related Contests
The AbleStock.com Design Brief at graphics.com
With the supplied images, create a design based on the (hypothetical) monthly design brief. Each month three winners will receive three months access to Ablestock.com.
Stockxpert Monthly Image Contests
Open to all contributors, upload your photos, illustrations, or 3D renderings that communicate the monthly theme. First place winner will receive 80 GB iPod. Second place winner will receive a 30 GB iPod. Third place winner will receive a copy of CorelDRAW X3 Graphics Suite.
Dynamic Graphics Magazine's Re:Design Contest
Submit examples of your own before and after projects for a chance to appear in Dynamic Graphics' December/January 2008 issue. One grand prize winner will receive a one-year subscription of multimedia resolution images to JupiterImages Unlimited.
Where Have All The Banners Gone?
It's always a treat to discover unique businesses people create out of their passions. In the following case, a couple's love of design, art, and the environment has kept over 15 tons of vinyl out of landfills.
The Spring 2007 issue of Subaru's Drive magazine spotlights Subaru owners Nora and Nicolas Weiser of Denver, CO. The couple is founder of BetterWall, a company that rescues and sells museum exhibit street banners.
At no cost to the museums, the Weisers take exhibit banners and sell them to the public. A portion of the revenue then goes back to the museums from where the banners came.
And who buys these banners? According to Nicolas in the article, people use these banners as display pieces in the their homes.
You can read the full story at Subaru's Drive magazine website.
Notes from a Photoshop World Exhibitor
As most of you know by now I've moved over to the images side of the business doing community development for our micropayment stock site, Stockxpert.com.
This week Stockxpert exhibited at its first tradeshow—Photoshop World in Boston. This was also my first time as an exhibitor, and what a great experience it was!
From Around the Design-o-Sphere XXIV
Dynamic Graphics magazine has just launched its 2007 webcast series. These are free, one-hour online seminars on important graphic design topics. Each live webacast is followed by a question-and-answer period. Topics, registration info, and dates and times are available on the DG webcast page.
Think becoming some famous designer means not having to face client rejection anymore? If so, don't tell that to design great Chip Kidd. To Adrian over at BeADesignGroup, this is both encouraging and discouraging.
MyFonts.com has published its Best Fonts from the top ten font design styles of 2006. Winners were chosen based on 2006 sales figures.
Bruce Nussbaum's list of best and not-so-obvious innovation and design books of 2006.
The Iconography of the Saxophone
Many parellels exist between music and visual design, whether it be in the area of theory, process, history, or even performance. There are, however, times when the two disciplines intersect.
After reading the book "The Devil's Horn", in which author Michael Segell chronicles the dynamic history of the saxophone, I can understand why the instrument has become a ubiquitous visual icon in print advertising and branding across Western Europe over the past 50 years.
STEP Design 100 Readers Choice Poll Now Open
The STEP Design 100 competition and annual is highly regarded within the graphic design industry. Thousands of entries are received and judged by a panel of five designers, and the top 100 are featured in the over-sized March/April issue.
Now that STEP is part of the graphics.com network, however, we wanted to offer the larger graphics community an opportunity to participate in the selection process.
What the heck is “»” anyway?
You see it all over the graphics.com network, and if you surf other Jupitermedia sites, you'll see it there too. We've been using the symbol for quite a while now, but—I'm slightly embarrassed to say—it wasn't until it popped up on other sites (including one of the preeminent design blogs) did I wonder what the heck it is?
Don't Look Back; Just Keep Shooting!
Emotions ran high, tears shed, laughter ensued. We all hugged and patted each other on the back; thanked all the volunteers, of course. The candidate whose campaign my wife and I helped manage won her re-election bid for CT state representative, and it was time to party. A reporter and photojournalist showed up to cover the event.
Of course, being a student of photography myself, I almost always had my eye, at least peripherally, on the young budding photojournalist hired to capture the mood of the evening. Unfortunately, I knew she missed much of the occasion.
From Around the Design-o-Sphere XXIII
Adrian Shaughnessy explains why illustration and graphic design are growing farther and farther apart.
Illustration Today: A Symposium on the State of the Art will be held on November 11, 2006, in The New School's Tishman Auditorium in NYC. The day-long symposium will bring together three generations of illustrators, animators, toy designers, writers, artists and producers.
Some of the most creative ads you'll ever see from around the world ...
Understanding color in 3-D form is key to its practical application. Designers and professors John T. Drew and Sarah Meyer explain in "Color Legibility: Designing With Warm and Cool Colors".
From Around the Design-o-Sphere XXII
The results are predictable when packaging for a brand of cleanser more than resembles the packaging for a popular sports drink.
Some colors are practically synonymous with a brand. You hear the word UPS and the color brown immediately pops to mind. The same holds true for Target and red. A few colors even take on almost magical qualities. So why do some shades form a strong connection with consumers? Michelle Taute explains.
Can you create a Halloween-themed image using supplied stock photos? Enter this month's graphics.com Photos.com Challenge for a chance to win a 3-month subscription to Photos.com.