It's here...the iPad, is it rad or is it a fad.

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I don’t see the iPad being a replacement for your main computer, at least not for the present. While some may see the iPad as nothing more than an oversized iPod, I see it more as a casual internet-browsing appliance.
I see it more for those who lightly browse the internet as opposed to those who create professional content. It’s for people who really don’t need a full computer, but still want to be on the internet.
The lack of any professional-level creative software for the iPhone and iPod Touch is a good indication that most creative types will not be using this to work digitally, but that doesn’t preclude the possibility that with the larger screen size we might see a new breed of apps developed for iPad. Still, the size in general is going to limit your workspace and I doubt it will be much more than a companion tool — if even that.

Digital Sketchbook
There are a few solid sketching apps available already, including Sketchbook Mobile, Layers, and Brushes — all of which support multiple brushes, layers and some even export as a .psd file. Pair any one of these up with a Pogo Stylus, and now you have a digital sketchpad.
This is something I can see myself using, and I am sure we’ll see each of these apps introduce new iPad-specific features once the gadget is shipping. And I’m sure we’ll see some new apps coming in to compete.
Adobe seems to have kept their offerings to the basic Photoshop.com Mobile app, which primarily offers basic photography tweaks. No word yet as to whether Adobe has anything planned for iPad.
The sketchpad aspect is compelling, but serious creators will need a much more powerful device. And I don’t think Apple had any intentions of replacing your desktop computer for illustration, design or web development.

ipadsteve

Flashless
Speaking of Adobe, one of the sticking points for some on both the iPhone and now the iPad is the lack of support for the Flash plugin for the web browser. For all you web designers & developers out there, if the iPad becomes a success it may sway the decision to use Flash or to at least offer an alternative depending on the users browser setup. I suppose it all depends on your audience.
There has been a recent push by some pretty major players to use HTML5 and H264 video, which delivers pretty much the same streaming video as Flash enables, but without a proprietary plugin. If you’re using Google Chrome, Apple Safari or another web browser that supports HTML5, you can opt-in to the HTML5 beta over at YouTube. I’ve done so and the experience has been excellent.
Of course this doesn’t account for the more interactive elements of other Flash creations such as mini games, interactive websites and the like. In my opinion, all websites should offer alternatives to Flash content regardless of the iPhone or iPad. Better to be safe than sorry, you never know the technical level of people visiting your website.

iBooks
One interesting aspect of the iPad is the introduction of iBooks, which are basically digital books you can read on the iPad similar to Amazon’s Kindle e-reader device. In this arena, I can see a potential boon for designers as that full-color screen is just aching for quality design. Think: magazines, comics and graphic novels, children’s books and the like. This is a device designed to simplify things for the casual user, and these people are your potential customers.
I think there is a lot of potential here for digital content that almost demands a high-quality experience. And I can’t imagine how beneficial this will be for illustrators, creators of comic books and graphic novels. Sure, there will be print customers, but now you have an opportunity to reach a whole new group of new fans.

Sound Off
In general, I think the iPad is more of and end-user device, and while it may not affect how we create content, it may indeed affect what we create content for. There may be untold millions of people who don’t have a laptop or a computer, but would jump at the chance to have an iPad to do the basics. These people are a whole new slew of customers who will want well-designed, graphical content outside of just webpages.
So we want to hear from you: what are your thoughts on the iPad for your creative workflow? Know of any good apps that might transfer well to the iPad? What are your thoughts on the lack of Flash support?

…p.s check the ad parodies, they’re popping up daily…

ipadtiger


2010 New Business Card & Foil Finishing

Foils… not in the hair and not an ol’ $20 tinny… these ones are for printing, a fan favorite and one of the finishing processes used in our latest CDL business card called foil stamping. Due to the elegance and high visual impact that it can provide, foil stamping (also called hot stamping, dry stamping, foil imprinting, leaf stamping, plain old foiling, or my favorite the magpies shimmer sheen) can be used to add that extra swagger to products like business cards, book covers, gift cards, office folders the list goes on. Instead of using plates or inks to print words and shapes, foil stamping uses dies, or sculpted metal stamps. The creative options are endless, and after going quite minimal last year with the CDL cards, we’ve mixed it with up with other processes as well. We’ve integrated the foiling with UV Spot, CMYK print, and brought in an overlapping sticker for our individual details. The card has already has had the heads turning when we pop it out of the wallet, ‘two miles an hour so everybody sees you.’

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How it’s done.

The heated dies seal a thin layer of metallic leaf/foil onto a surface. The foil comes in a wide roll, large enough for several passes, backed by mylar. The hot die works similarly to a letterpress. Once it’s heated, the die presses the foil against the substrate material with enough pressure that the foil sticks only in the intended places, leaving a slight imprint.

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Foil leaf is available in every imaginable color and pattern. Rarer types of leaf come in matte, pearlescent, holographic, opalescent, or glossy finish. There are also semi-transparent foils that allow an under color to show through. Not only does it provide a uniquely vibrant image with depth, but foil stamping can be applied to a much more diverse selection of substrates when compared to ink. Businesses typically use foil stamping to identify folders, cards, signs, and magnets with their logo. The reflective and unusual treatment looks awesome, pops out and will no doubt catch the eye of your next potential customer like a shiny lure to a South Island trout.