// New discovery: Path

12 12 2010

This morning I managed to stumble across Path when browsing the iPhone app store.

It’s described as “The best way to capture and share photos of your life with close friends and family”. As it stands, I have no friends or family following my Path (Username: ka-pow), but I’m currently loving the wonderful Path for iPhone interface irrespective of the fact nobody is aware I’m posting!

There were some negative comments within the reviews about the fact that Path now allows you to browse to your iPhone library to import older photos, rather than simply forcing you to use a photo taken through the app in the exact moment, but I have to disagree; I’ve enjoyed importing photos from the past couple of months (and it labels them as older photos, so there’s no confusion as to what’s current and what isn’t), and I also fully support the fact that this allows you to include photos taken through third party apps such as Hipstamatic, which as you all know, I’m a huge fan of!

Anyway, to give you a little look at the interface I’ve raved about, I’ve taken some screengrabs of my own path in action…

The idea is to upload photographs as “moments” on your path, which other users can follow. When you upload an image you have the option to assign tags for People, Places and Things, and this is how it labels your photograph! For example, in the aeroplane image above, “Easyjet” is the Thing, and “Gatwick Airport” is the place.

I love how you can see a snippet of your photos in a scrollable list, it shows you the tags and also how old the image is within the timeline. When you click into the image you can see where the photo was taken on a map, or (I presume) see which of your friends and family have viewed your picture. It seems like such a cool little tool, and potentially the next thing in the Photo Blogging world.


// Presco Print Finishing Supplies

24 04 2010

I just wanted to take the opportunity to post a quick review.

As a designer, who is getting married in August, it seemed only natural that I would embark upon the challenge of designing my own wedding invites, and my, what a challenge it was. I’d never fully appreciated before how difficult it can be designing for yourself – but now I know! Repeatedly hearing “You don’t need to change it – it looks fine” from my fiancé was not enough; apparently I’m a perfectionist at heart, and I spent hours making sure it was (in my eyes anyway) perfect.

From the beginning, I knew I wanted to create something a) in a booklet format and b) a little bit different, so I discarded the standard binding of ribbon and decided to go with some binding screws. I knew of the concept, but it was one of my Directors who told me what they were called (so simple…!) before recommending Presco to me – and I’m so glad he did, as the customer service was fantastic.

Delivery was anticipated to be 3-4 business days, however payment was taken at 2pm and they arrived before 11am the following day. Not only this, but when I was so anal to count the parts (I wouldn’t normally, but I needed exact numbers!) I emailed their sales department, receiving a very prompt response saying some extras would be dispatched – which I received the day after. I am one very happy customer! Thanks Presco (and in particular James Nunn who dealt with my enquiry).

The invites look pretty amazing, if you’re curious!

// Nike Plus

1 02 2010

At the weekend, my fiancé and I made what I would class as an ‘investment’. We bought a new pair of Nike running shoes (you can see mine here), and a Nike+ sportband each. Naturally I got the white & pink one (pictured), and he went all manly and got the grey and yellow one. Technically they are grey & pink / black & yellow, and whilst mine might be very light grey instead of white, there’s no way on earth the grey is black!

For those of you who aren’t in the know, the wristband comes with a sensor which you slot into the sole of your left shoe (underneath the insole) and you sync the two pieces of kit together. The sensor in the shoe transmits details of your distance, pace and calories burnt to your wristband, which you can plug into your computer (via USB!) and upload to the Nike website to track your progress!

Sounds pretty fantastic, doesn’t it? I’ve only used it twice so far, but I’m already impressed, and plan to use it regularly for the foreseeable future!

From a design point of view, the wristband is sleek and attractive, and the incorporation of a removable USB device to share your runs is ingenious. The sensor is a design marvel in itself, from the way it slots into the sole of the shoe, to the fact it’s cleanly branded with Nike & Apple making it not only a nifty tool, but visually pleasing too (considering it’s not on show!).

Furthermore, I’m loving the infographics on the website; it shows your runs according to the date, and each individual run in graph format based on speed and distance, with icons to map how you were feeling, the terrain upon which you ran, and also a route for the run. I’m looking forward to getting some more information logged over the next few days so I can start seeing my progress!

// PDF to Word

17 07 2009

Further to my blog entry the other day on The Rejection of PDF’s, I’ve stumbled across a website which claims to be the Most Accurate PDF-to-Word Converter.

Given the problems I mentioned, with some job sites only accepting Word docs instead of the more stable PDF format, I thought I’d give it a try…I heard mixed reviews, from those saying it worked perfectly, to those for whom it failed spectacularly.

I personally was neither impressed nor unimpressed. Sure, it did it. Not appallingly, but not outstandingly either. One of my main issues is that on my CV I was using fonts that aren’t available on all systems (another reason why PDF wins as a file type) and this application has converted my headings from Adobe Garamond Pro to Times New Roman. Sigh.

Needs must though, if you’re going to use a Word document. As for the body text, it’s there, but there are some huge issues with my kerning for some reason. And I’m not even sure if kerning can be adjusted in MS Word. That’s a problem for another day, as so far I’ve been able to work around the non-PDF friendly sites, finding the same job vacancy posted on a site that does accept PDF’s.

Try it yourself here, and let me know if you have any more or less success than I did.

// Samples

6 06 2009

I ordered some card samples the other day from GF Smith (Fuchsia Pink Colorplan, 270 & 350gsm if you get as excited by paper as I do) for a freelance wedding invitation project I was working on.

Having spent about ten minutes on the phone discussing sheets cut to A6 (36 per sheet I’m told), imagine my surprise when the following day I was summoned to the front door of my apartment building to sign for what I thought was my samples…It transpired to be a whole sheet of each weight! I’m sensing a slight miscommunication…!

I first used GF Smith at University after a company associate came and gave a talk and left some samples (this could actually be what started my ‘fetish’ for beautiful paper and card stock, laminations, embossings etc), and have used them since – and I’ll continue to use them in the future.

As far as paper merchants go, I do really like GF Smith. The selection is excellent, fast delivery and reasonable prices. The only negative to an otherwise outstanding company is their minimum order policy.