28 November 2005

[zeitgeist] It's Just Another Color-Themed Day

Unlike (apparently) a lot of people, I was a little taken aback to find that the day after Thanksgiving, up until this year called "The-day-after-Thanksgiving", of "The-busiest-shopping-day-of-the-year", has been given the moniker "Black Friday".

Say wha'?

See what happens when I take my eye off the ball for a few days? Sheesh. I miss the old news cycle that closed down at night, but anyway.

For a day that held so much hope for retailers and the economy, "Black Friday" seems a pretty darned sombre name. Not that I could think up a better one; I thought "The-day-after-Thanksgiving" worked pretty well, and you don't mess with success in my world.

Then I saw the Wal-Marts. You know, the ones where people are lining up before dawn in thirty-degree weather to get in? And the appalling behavior in Orlando that hit the national news.

No, when people are lining up in front of Godforsaken Wal-Marts to buy stuff, then, I guess "Black Friday" applies just fine.

Oh, and if anyone's paying attention, please understand the following: There is nothing in a Wal-Mart worth lining up for before it opens. There never has been. THERE NEVER WILL BE!!!

In other words, if you're waiting outside a Wal-Mart before it opens to buy something, brothers and sisters, it's time you looked deep inside yourselves and asked yourself if you really need it all that much.

23 November 2005

[Address_Nerd] History in the Curbstones, Part II

Dig, if you will, this picture:

This is the corner of SE Woodstock Blvd and SE 53rd Avenue, facing WSW, taken late on a recent late Fall afternoon (which, of course, is not all that late, but for the early sunset, which is why the light is so low). SE 53rd Avenue is the small unpaved street in the foreground, and it ends in a dead end about 100 feet or so off to the left. On the right hand, and just out of shot, is Woodstock Blvd, the Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church across the street, and immediately left and out of shot is a small drive-up espresso stand. Less than a block east on the same side of the street is a Plaid Pantry store; the bluish building in the background of the shot is the Mike's Auto Parts store at 52nd and Woodstock.

Recall, a few weeks back, I noted that before the street name rationalization in ca. 1930, the area sout of division and east of 39th out to the city's edge had a different pattern than the rest of the city; numbered avenues ran east-west crossing numbered streets, all suffixed SE and based on our modern baselines of Burnside and the river. In this area, many streetcorner markings in the pavement date from that time, so, if you come to a corner and look down, you can actually see what the streets used to be called.

Woodstock is the 6000 block south of Burnside, so in the old system it would be 60th Avenue, SE; what we today call SE 53rd Avenue would be 53rd Street SE. Let's go to the evidence:

The curbstone picture beneath the sign is the marking you see on the street the sign belongs to. So we see that, as predicted, the curb (on the right) under the SE Woodstock Blvd sign says 60(th) AVE S.E., but the curb on the SE 53rd Avenue side reads, not 53, but 54 ST S.E..

A look at a map suggests that someone, at some time, needed to make a judgement call. Between SE 52nd and SE 57th Avenues on the south side of Woodstock Blvd there are three dead-end stubs. Today they are 53rd, 55th, and 56th. At the time they were made it must have seemed more appropriate to number it 54th; very close by, entering Woodstock from the north, is another part of SE 54th Avenue.

These pavement markings still exist in a great many places in S.E., and though we can't expect them to stay indefinitely, the city doesn't seem to be in a hurry to remove them, so there's still time to find 'em.

[logo_design] The Adventures of Pajamas Media, we mean Open Source Media, no, we mean Pajamas Media after all

This week, a blog network/portal site debuted with the name of Open Source Media. The site, an alliance of blogs and personalities self-described as conservative, chose a fairly slick looking logo: a dark cyan spiral paint stripe emanating from the majuscule O in the OSM, with the rest of the acronym punching through the spiral, the S seeming to be centered on it. The expansion of the acronym, "Open Source Media", lay below the M and aligning with its left stem stroke, was a dialed-back gray so as to inform the viewer of what OSM was supposed to stand for but not to distract from the trigram; it seemed apparent that from this display (as well as the website address – www.osm.org) that the OSM mark was to be the core identity.

It looked pretty slick, and in my opinion it's not a bad logo at all. It's got good eyeflow, divides and encloses the space interestingly, and delivers information.

And it immediately showed the symptoms of a raging case of Quark disease.

DTP maker Quark, if you'll recall, recently freshened up its image. Problem: it's redesign looked a heck of a lot like a number of already-existing identities (for back story see Gene Gable's commentary on CreativePro.com here, Pariah S. Burke's on QuarkVsInDesign.com here, Jeff Fisher's Logo Notions commentary at Creative Latitude here, or my own comments on Designorati.com, if you're a glutton for punishment (I also have one on somewhere here on the Times, but I think that'll be enough linkage for one article).

Anyway, it wasn't long before Quarkitis hit. Blogger Jonathan Miller, at this post on his political commentary site Blogoland, wittily and snarkily noted two similar logos – philly.com and Lucent Technologies. Are they similar enough to be plagiarized? Likely not. Are the similar enough to make OSM look unoriginal? Could be. That's kind of in the eye of the beholder – follow the links and judge for yourself.

The biggest conflict isn't the logo, though, it's the name. Open Source Media already seems to be in use: an independent journo who promotes a podcast through his URI http://www.radioopensource.com uses just that name for his site.

A combination of pressures – liability to the already extant Radio Open Source and general humiliation amongst them – have contributed to the site going back to its working title, Pajamas Media, a reference to the oft-forwarded remark that bloggers post news to the world whilst sitting in front of thier computers in thier pj's (the URI, http://www.osm.org, remains unchanged). The illustration at the head of the article is a screenshot of the logo as currently represented on the site's masthead, and is a clever and somewhat self-deprecating way of shifting identity. The new identity is typographical rather than graphic but preserves the colors of the original logo – the dark grey of the letterforms and the dark cyan go to the dots over the minuscule i's.

It's true you just can't check enough, and thorough research is a necessary thing, but one wonders exactly how much happened when a simple Google search could have turned up conflicts.

20 November 2005

[beaver_nation] There's Always Next Year

I give you the 2005 OSU-UO Civil War: living proof that OSU's season, as I thought, ended four games ago.

OSU Football is the only football I listen to on broadcast. This time, got up late, tuned in with three-something minutes left to go, heard the score and about two minutes worth of commentary, and turned that radio right back off, friends.

'Cos that, my babies, is what they call...

(Image borrowed from a site I found Google searching, copyright everyone, Star Trek belongs to Paramount, copyright this that and the other thing, copyright Paramount, please don't sue me Paramount it's only a joke. And tell Spock to stop mind melding with Coach Riley for chrissakes!)

18 November 2005

[pdx_geography] Exits on the Banfield Freeway

An interesting thing I found whilst going about lately satiating my craving for information on the Mount Hood Freeway was a bit about the exits on the Banfield Freeway (I-84) that I'd never noticed before.

Exit numbers, as many are aware, in Oregon are keyed to the freeway mile. The exit from I-5 to Keizer is in freeway mile 260, so the Keizer exit is Exit 260.

On the Banfield eastbound, in the stretch that rounds Rocky Butte to the east, the 82nd Avenue exit is Exit 5; it's in freeway mile 5. The I-205 southbound/Salem exit is Exit 6, the Gateway exit is Exit 7, the I-205 northbound/Airport exit is Exit 8, and the 102nd Avenue offramp is Exit 9.

But the distance between exits 5 and 9 isn't between three and four miles...it's only about 1.2 miles. Strange, but explainable.

It developed that the stretch of Mount Hood freeway from I-5 to I-205 was to be added to the Interstate system as I-80N (or I-84 as we have today), and the stretch of Banfield between city center and I-205 was to be dropped from the Interstate system, simply signed as US 30. The shift of the route, with I-84 and 205 "duplexed" from what is now I-205 and Powell Blvd to the Gateway area, would account for the "lost" mileage. The mileage on I-84 east of I-205 is reckoned as though the Mount Hood freeway was actually built.

This, friends, is serendipity in action.

16 November 2005

[design] Would You Believe...A Sudoku Generator for Adobe InDesign?

Over on Designorati, the inimitable Elisabetta Bruno, DTP doyenne extraordinaire, let us all know about a couple of free plugins from Rorohiko.com.

One is a nifty-sounding thing called "Place-auto-synchronize", which makes live subscription to placed files possible. That's cool enough. But would you believe they make a free plug-in that generates Sudoku puzzles for your layouts?

'Strewth! Go here to see it.

Meanwhile, over on Designorati:Photoshop, PShop expert Jeremy Schutz is producing a series of nifty little how-tos – bite-sized tutorials on little useful things, like how to get that pet-eye reflection out of your photos (a technique that was, per se, developed by one of my other Designorati colleagues, Sara Froehlich).

It's useful stuff, you people! Other people would make you pay for it, but we give it away–how cool is that?

14 November 2005

[or_roads] Oregon State Highway 1? Why Not?

During my lifetime, I've lived near a great deal of Oregon State Highways. When you live in eastern Marion County, Silverton-Mollalla-Mount Angel-Stayton and the like, State Highways are like the Force (insert lame joke here). They do bind the world together, and since one seems rather distant from an Interstate and even moreso from a US highway (none of those run through Marion or Polk counties), they define existence to a degree (I was born on a bluff overlooking State Highway 213).

One thing that might happen to the native Oregonian and map lover (myself, to be precise) is that one notices the subtle differences in usage and attitudes in the common arena. For instance I noticed, long ago, that surrounding states either called thier signed highways "State Route" (like SR 14 in Washington-I don't hear "Washington Hwy 14" often) or affixed the state name ("Califonia 1"). I also noticed a certain cachet about certain route numbers that migrated into the names of businesses along the route. When I was small, a lot of business along the Coast Highway called themselves "Hwy 101 [this or that]"; an old tavern on Portland Road in Salem just north of the Hazelgreen Rd-Chemawa Rd junction called itself "Flight 99" (even though it was adjacent to the old bed of Lake Labish-no airport in sight); the famous drive-in in Newberg still calls itself the "99w".

I also noticed that there is no signed Oregon State Highway 1.

That was not always the case. The early Oregon highway system not only had a State Highway 1 but also a State Highway 2. Highway 1 was roughly congruent to today's Pacific Highway (99, 99E, 99w) and Highway 2 was, at least in part, the highway west from Portland to Seaside, today's Sunset Highway.

In Oregon, highway numbers have a strange double life. There are two systems of highway numbers in Oregon; the numbers on the signs (what the average Joe Motorist things of as a State Highway number and what ODOT calls a "Route" number) and a so-called "secret" highway number, though I prefer to think of it as an inventory number (kind of like the stock inventory numbers grocery stores use on things they sell). For instance, US 26 and I-84 are still designated Highway 2 in the state inventory. Likewise, signed State Highways 99, 99E, and 99W are inventoried as Highway 1, 1E and 1W respectively.

Latterly, the state is resigning some unsigned state routes to give them state highway signs agreeing with these inventory numbers. For instance, the highway cutoff from the south end of the Boone Bridge in Wilsonville has a new name: State Hwy 551. And not many know this, but the route described by North Marine Drive past the Expo Center and North Portland Road leading to the Fessenden Six Corners in north Portland is a State Hwy: the Swift Hwy (named for the old meat-packing concern), State Hwy 120. When that one will get a shield is anyone's guess.

Anway, my point (and I do have one) is that if we can designate and mark these routes, why not establish the ultimate state highway cachet address: Oregon State Hwy 1.

Highway 1's are cool. Look at US 1, California 1. People remember these routes. It' be very fine indeed to give directions to a place and be fortunate enough to say "I'm just off State Hwy 1".

The only problem I see is choosing which roads to designate. Oregon is a place with great variety. Also changing route numbers is a tricky proposition; people know the current route numbers very well indeed.

I do have a suggestion: Hwy 99E would make a marvelous Hwy 1. We'd still have Hwy 99 (shifted from 99W) which is a cachet designation in itself. South of Junction City it could duplex with Hwy 99 to Eugene, then dance around I-5 through southwestern Oregon. That's just my idea, anyway.

I think it's time we had an Oregon State Hwy 1.

(Credit where it's due: the illustration I've posted is of Highway 213 northbound leaving Silverton (as Oak Street), and was altered by one taken by Chris Elbert and posted at the very find highway sign site at calrog.com)

[pdx_geography, history] The Mount Hood Freeway

A bit of the past, giving a glimpse of the future that could have been.

When the Mount Hood Freeway was being debated in the Portland community, government, and media arena, I was but a neat thing in elementary school in Silverton (motto: Because Salem doesn't have Gresham to look down on). Even then, at that age, I found anything Portland fascinating, and the idea of a freeway leading to Mount Hood just fired me up.

Of course, I didn't understand the difference between naming something after something and actually having it as a destination; when I was that young, I thought the Ross Island Bridge went to Ross Island, and I wanted to go there because I like bridges and I loved islands.

Back to the subject though; at the forums on the SkyscraperPage (http://www.skyscraperpage.com) a heavy regular going by the forum name pdxstreetcar (mad props, if you all please) went to the PSU library and found some old proposal graphics. It's a look back to the time when it was thought the freeway would solve everything, and that a dog of project would squeak by if you just threw a transit station or community center in.

View the forum thread here.

[blog] It's Jim, Again!

Jim retired his 'blog a couple of months back, cryptically.

It seems to have returned. Commentless, but Jim without comments is much, much better than no Jim at all.

13 November 2005

[blog, linkage] Tuning in Radio Gretchen

Two reasons to listen in:
  1. Designers are just plain cool.
  2. There are never enough pictures of kitties blissing out on catnip.
I give you Radio Gretchen.

09 November 2005

[logo_design] SprintNextel: The Power of Legacy

By now any Sprint or Nextel cell user is well aware of and dealing with the effects of one of the biggest mergers of recent times. In merging the corportate indentity, Sprint had a dilemma as well; how to graphically signifty the marriage of its organization with Nextel, one of the more liked brands of recent times.

In matters of design, illustration, logos, and communication in general, there is a thing best referred to as 'baggage'. This can be good (think Quaker Oats, with its health and corporate longevity connotations) and bad (think Microsoft and you think "Longhorn", "Long-wait", "Long March"...you get the idea).

Sprint seems to have seen that the challenge in marrying Nextel was to bring forward every good thing they could identify and communicate through the logo, merge the concepts, and let the new identity speak to the market of all the positive things that they want people to perceive them as carrying forward.

A logo carries great communicative power, of course, and since its impact is graphic, most people understand it as a symbol standing for something. Successfully factor in enough of the parts of a merging company's logo design, and one can imagine that the positives inherent in that design may well transfer over.

Given that assumption, take a moment to review the Nextel logo. It's simple and simply colored and designed. Clean black sans serif type on a yellow background. The pre-merger Sprint had a good logo but not one I'd consider great; while the whole assembly of abstract symbol and obliqued type create a dynamic tension that connotes speed and modernity, but it says nothing about what Sprint's business is, and I've always felt it kind of weak.

In creating Sprint's new corporate logo, it seems clear that Sprint wanted to leverage the positive connotations that the Nextel brand was seen to have, preserve a link to the Nextel name (which will continue as a Sprint brand) but reflect the fact that Nextel is subsidiary–the Sprint name is still predominant.

The solution to bringing the Nextel identity in is simple and elegant. By adopting the Nextel corporate colors, particularly portraying black images on a yellow background, the Nextel impression is preserved (and especially by the tagline "Together with NEXTEL", which cements the relation).

Sprint's own image is enhanced by updating its type ot a more modern, technological font as well. But the real genius in that updating is the rendering of a long-time Sprint trademark, the pin dropping (which has been a Sprint signature for as long as there's been a Sprint) into an abstract design that not only brings forward the abstract diamond shape but also clearly speaks of a pin dropping and rebounding from the tabletop, as it has in all those commercials.

I think the Sprint/Nextel identity update is as close to textbook as one can get to how to combine and bring forward corporate identity.

Heck, I wish I'd of done it.

[sundial_life] Favorite T-Shirt Seen at OryCon 27


07 November 2005

[Address_Nerd] The New Sherwood Addresses, By The Numbers

A while back I posted as to how the addresses in Sherwood were being changed.

A quick recap: up until this time, addresses in the older parts of Sherwood (those around Sherwood Blvd, south from the city center to about Sunset Blvd, and a little east and west of there) had an independent grid from the greater Metro metagrid. Pine Street and N and S Sherwood Blvd divided the old town area east from west, and West Villa St, Railroad Avenue, and Oregon Street divided north from south, resulting in a cross defining four familiar sounding directional areas-NW/SW/NE/SE.

Since then the new areas of town (mostly in the old Six Corners, north and west from Pacific Hwy, and south of Sunset Blvd west to the Pacific Hwy junction) have adopted the metagrid and have not extended the city address pattern. Presumably to simplify dispatch of city and county services, Sherwood decided to eliminate its traditional address pattern in favor of normalizing all city address areas to correspond to the county address grid.

That process is well underway. Very recently I got a copy of the new Sherwood address list, and there are a few more changes than merely the house number and the changing of all directional prefixes to SW.

The house numbers, of course, will be changing. A notional address at the corner of what was NW Washington Street and NW 1st Street in Sherwood Old Town would adopt either an address in the 15900 block of SW 1st Street or the 22400 block of SW Washington Street. Addresses that were once on NE Oregon Street, from the address baseline out to the city 1800 block, now run as 15300-14600 SW Oregon Street. N Sherwood Blvd, which ran from the city 300 block out to the city 1100 block at old Six Corners, are now 22300-21500 on SW Sherwood Blvd.

Those are mere examples, but reproducing the entire list is a bit much for the scope of a 'blog entry. But there are changes in city street names that can be listed and definitely bear mentioning. These follow.

SE G&T Drive will now be called SW Brickyard Dr.
This is, to me, an unhappy thing. G&T Drive is such a very cool name, and I'm sad that they feel as though they have to ashcan it. New addresses run from 14700 block to 14900 block.

SE Roy St. becomes two new streets: SW Upper Roy St and SW Lower Roy St.
With the disappointment that is losing "G&T Drive", at least we have this little nifty bit of local character. SE Roy St jogs at SE Willamette St, creating a discontinuity. The new plan recognizes this by making the north part (old addresses from the base to the 200 block, new addresses 22100 to 22480) SW Lower Roy St, and the south part (old addresses 400-1800, new addresses 22600-22900) SW Upper Roy St. Willamette Street still forms the division between the two.

South Sherwood Blvd to be renamed to SW Main Street.
South Sherwood Blvd was the logical (if not physical) extension of the main n-s road through the old part of town. On the map it appaears as though the old downtown grid interrupts Sherwood Blvd. Physically, South Sherwood Blvd acted as an extension of old NW Main Street into the south portion of town. This change applies the Main Street name onto the road that extends out of the old downtown core. New addresses range from 22400 to 23400.

NE and SE Oregon Street now SW Oregon Street along its entire length.
Not an unexpected change, but a welcome one, eliminating a rather silly confusion.

SW Park Row now known as SW Park Row Ave.
Apparently they're allergic to any but the standard street types. New addresses in the 22800 and 22900 block, formerly 500 and 600 blocks.

West Villa St (Rd) renamed to SW Villa Rd.

Old addresses in the 400-999 range, now in the 16200-16699 range.

And that's it! Enjoy your new addresses, you Sherwood people, and be prepared to give directions to cab drivers.

[design] Updating My Portfolio, 2005-11-07

As busy as it's been around here, I've been able to make the time to update my online portfolio with the lastest bestest stuff I got. This update includes:
  • A new and newly redesigned rĂ©sume
  • The logo I designed for Designorati:Cartography
  • The logo I designed for Designorati:Graphic Design
Surf on over and check 'em out.

[design] Local Designers: Philip Obermarck

A designer you may not be aware of who deserves more notice is Philip R. Obermarck.

He's been doing his thing for quite a long time now, designs fabulous album covers, and gets to be married to this righteous Celt babe (go to her website and you can see his designs on her albums). He's also a darned nice fellow.

I'm sure Phil doesn't need my help to get known, but you know how you feel about someone who just knowing them makes you feel good–you want to tell other people about them. Phil's that kinda guy.

Click here to go to Four Paws Graphics & Web Design.

[design] GD:USA-Free Periodical for Design Pros

Now that I've skipped over to Jeff Fisher's blog, I note he's referenced a publication, Graphic Design:USA, that comes free to design pros.

After looking over the web page, I can see there's quite a bit of good stuff there that more than justifies the price (did I mention it's free?).

Design periodicals keep us connected to trends and to what's important. Also, they're just plain fun to read. Surf on over to GD:USA and grab you a free sub if you're kickin' it pro-style. Go!

[blog] Jeff Fisher's bLog-oMotives

I was extremely pumped to find that one my my heroes, Jeff Fisher, he of Logo-Motives, has not only established a 'blog of his own, but linked to this very own humble 'blog of meselfs!

The blog is bLogo-Motives. The name alone means you should be following it. Seriously. Bookmark it, people. Goes in my links list, of course.

[sundial_life] OryCon 27

Another year, another OryCon...at the Marriott on the waterfront.

Me and The Wife™ did Orycon 27 which, as of this release, was no longer at its longtime home, known variously as the Thunderbird Jantzen Beach, then the Red Lion Columbia River, then the Doubletree Columbia River, then the Thunderbird Hotel again, before being abruptly closed last April.

You may not have noticed it except in small bits in the Business section of the Big O. It was quite sudden. The hotel was almost literally cut out from under the OryCon Convention Committee (ConCom); the holding company told no clients or even employees. Everyone with any relationship with the hotel found out in the paper.

The idea, as was publicized, was to do some sort of renovation or rebuilding of the old facility into some sort of boutique-y, resort-y unit. More on that in a moment. What this is really about is the absolute triumph of the ConCom.

I believe that many organizations would have taken this as a sucker punch. In the short space of half-a-year, ConCom went from a body blow to mounting a successful Con in a new facility. That's not to say that there weren't moving pains-the elevators proved to be a bit of a bottleneck, and there was no obvious way to get from the Marriott's Restaurant level to the 3rd floor, where the hospitality suite was localted and just below the start of the guest room floors.

The buzzword here is 'vertical convention'. The spaces on LL1 and LL2 were made into wonderfully apt science fiction convention spaces but instead of a site that sprawled horizontally everything was up and down, and that was a bit disorienting for the seasoned OryConner. But everything worked out very well, the hotel staff was routinely cited as bending over backwards to accomodate the Con-goers, and by the end of the event, people were starting to feel comfortable in the new space and many were of the opinion that they wouldn't mind coming back next year.

The biggest liability is the lack of free parking, but there are Smart Park garages at hand (1st and Jefferson, particularly) which offer reasonably priced weekend parking ($12 for the weekend, just no in-and-out. We adapted).

Hopefully this will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

And the old hotel? Word is that they wanted to build an eight-or-nine-floor boutique hotel on the site but, for some reason, nobody checked the zoning (I thought they had legal staffs devoted to this) and it now lays fallow. They have to chase off trespassers, I hear.

If we ever have a natural disaster hereabouts, the hell with FEMA. Just put OryCon ComCon in charge.

04 November 2005

[pdx_media, design] KPAM Shows Signs Of Life

So, I'm surfing over to check out the slow death that is KPAM radio–a shadow of its debut self, and a sad thing to see–and what do I see, but a new look and a new face!

The outfit may have something to say yet.

Regrettably, they still broadcast that thug Hannity and that bizarre bit of illogic Elder. However, they have debuted a show by a long-missed Portland radio legend...but I get a little ahead of myself.

The redesign of the website was welcome and needed. For what it's worth, I am still limited to 56K dialup. This means if your website is sufficently graphics-rich, it's not a matter of if my connection will dive, but when. KPAM's was a site that routinely made me reconnect and reload multiple times. The new webpage sports a cleaner, less complex (but still visually interesting...it can be pulled off, people) look, with a revision of the logo, which has a bit more punch and interest than the old one did. The concentric circles around the yellow disk hark back to the old logo, but the overall effect really does freshen the brand up.

The page features 'photos of the personalities' which are voice sound signatures, which is actually rather a clever joke.

The new face would be an old and missed one...Tom Parker. I remember Tom back from the days when KXL-AM 750 was still listenable, he was in the time slot that KEX had Rush Limbaugh in. Predictably, he was eventually gone. He's back, and it's welcome that KPAM would put a local voice on in afternoon drive-which is fairly competitive. In as much as he's competing with Mark & Dave on KEX, Portland's most remarkable afternoon team in many a year, he's got his work cut out for him. KPAM must feel that he has what it takes, however.

Unfortunately, despite the pull of Parker (and morning stalwart Bob Miller) KPAM still has the feeling of a cut-rate Fox News outlet with Hannity and Elder. But the willingness of KPAM to put Parker on in the afternoons suggests that perhaps they will be worth keeping an eye on. Maybe more changes are in the offing.

I'm certainly hoping so.

01 November 2005

[design] Shortcut to Photoshop Tutorials

Between creating content for Designorati, keeping my eye on the ball for upcoming freelance opportunities (yes, me! whodathot) and resting up from 10 hour stints at The Job Which Must Not Be Named, I don't get a lot of time to practice Photoshop. That's why I turn to tutorials.

I've used tutorials to make glassy, OS X-style buttons, make a cool microphone, and more. Scott Kelby's Photoshop books are dead necessary items in the toolbox. But sometimes you want to surf out to a site that'll tell you how to do this or that little effect, or just play around with teh hotness that is Photoshop.

Recently a query was posted in the Yahoo! Graphic Designers Resource Group asking for tutorial websites. User "Char" responded with a list that I thought was quite good.

Here it is, offered without warranty; where-is-as-is, guys.
Now, as I said, I can't guarantee thier quality; I've only visited a few. The myJanee.com site is a very friendly and sweet site, and very cheerful. Team Photoshop is great, as is Planet Photoshop. Additionally, if you want to hone your newfound gurutude, some sites–myJanee.com I am aware does this–hold Photoshopping competitions for bragging rights. Sort of like Fark.com without the gutter humor. No cash prizes but great opportunities to flex your PShop muscles.