| |I was cruising through the blogosphere last week when I came across a wonderful post about one of my favorite surface pattern designers: Vera Neumann. I love all things mid-century modern so it should be no surprise that I found the Vera piece on Retro Renovation, an amazing resource for vintage-loving DIYers.
In the blog post, Kate B gives us a brief overview of Vera Neumann's life and work. I learned a few things—did you know Vera painted many of her designs with a sumi brush? It's what helps give her work that brushy, whimsical look. Cool. And, at her peak, she was producing 500 paintings per year! That's truly inspirational.
The real gems in Kate's post are the links. They include the fabulous Vera flickr pool, two videos about Vera, a web page featuring a 1958 LIFE magazine story about Vera and her wallpaper designs, a list of places where you can buy newly produced items with vintage Vera designs, and a link to the Vera Company's website, which is still going as strongly as ever!If that's not enough for your Vera fix, you'll also want to get a copy of the book Vera: The Art and Life of an Icon.Kiera
Image from Amazon.com
| |The Surface Pattern Design Guild is excited to announce that representatives from P&B Textiles will be speaking at our August meeting! P&B Textiles has produced some of the most popular cotton fabrics in the quilting, crafts, and home decor markets for over 30 years. Additionally, P&B Textiles sells to manufacturers that make bedding, children's clothes, medical scrubs, decorative ribbons, and more.
If you have been wanting the chance to talk directly with a company that uses surface designs for these markets, our August meeting is your opportunity! Come learn the in's and out's of P&B Textiles's business and what it's like to design for them.
| || |Congratulations to Sarah Schwartz and Ruby Geisler of Sarah & Ruby Design Studio! They are our August Featured Members. Stay tuned to our site to see their promotion launch!
If you missed the chance to enter into our August Featured Member drawing, please watch our blog for the call for participants at the end of next month.
| |The call for our August FEATURED MEMBER is on! Is it YOUR turn for some exposure this month? The SPDG Featured Member program is a monthly promotion in which we display swatches of a member's surface pattern design work throughout our web site in the header along with a credit and link to his/her online portfolio or personal web site. We also dedicate a page on the site to further spotlight him or her, including additional samples of work and an interview.
If you would like us to include your name in our drawing for August, please reply in the comments section of this blog post by Friday, July 27, 2:00 PM Pacific Standard Time. We will select at random from the list of entries and announce the lucky winner later that day on the blog.
In order to qualify for this promotion, you must be a member of SPDG and you need to provide a minimum of 8 different digital images of your surface pattern design work for us to build your feature. If selected, you will be contacted with further information and instructions.
Being the SPDG Featured Member is a wonderful way to gain exposure for you and your work. Let us help promote you!
Many of you may have noticed that Adobe is offering some alternative pricing and packages for its Creative Suite products, including Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. You can buy these packages individually, bundled together in Creative Suite Standard, or as subscriptions to each software program or to Adobe’s new Creative Cloud. But which is the most cost effective way to buy it?
The answer: It depends!!
What is Creative Cloud?
Let’s understand what Adobe is offering under its new product Creative Cloud. Creative Cloud is a membership service giving you access to all of the following applications: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Muse, Acrobat X Pro, Flash Professional, Flash Builder, Dreamweaver, Edge Preview, Fireworks, Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Adobe Audition, SpeedGrade, Adobe Prelude, Encore, Bridge, Media Encoder, Business Catalyst, Typekit, Story Plus. Really.... you get access to all of that for the $49.99/mo subscription price! Plus you automatically get all of the upgrades to the applications as they are released as well as access to 20GB of cloud based storage and syncing. It sounds fabulous! But is it worth it?
Here’s Adobe’s pricing as of 7/21/12:
Overall Cost of Creative Suite Standard with Upgrades vs. Creative Cloud Subscription
Let’s look at the total cost of Creative Suite Standard CS6 vs. a subscription to Creative Cloud. For this analysis I am using today’s prices, so it’s not going to be completely accurate, but it will give you good direction. We know the subscription to Creative Cloud is about $600/yr. But what is the annual cost of Creative Suite Standard per year?
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If you like to stay up to date and upgrade every year, here’s your total cost:
$1299 initial purchase + $549/yr upgrades, then
- after two years, your per year cost is $924 (($1299 + $549)/2 years),
- after three years, your per year cost is $799 (($1299 + $549 + $549)/3 years), and
- after four years, your per year cost is $737 each year (($1299 + ($549x3))/4 years).
In fact, it takes FIFTEEN years before your overall costs will be $600/yr.
(When evaluating annual upgrade costs, I chose to use the $549 cost instead of the $275 because it is unlikely that upgrade costs will be $275 every year as it seems that $275 is a one-time thing for CS5.5 only. In addition, Adobe tends to incentivize the annual upgrader by offering a lower price for those who own the most recent version, hence I did not use $699 since $699 is used for upgrading from versions at least two versions displaced. Of course, the analysis assumes that the upgrade costs do not vary from year to year. This analysis also assumes Adobe outputs a new version every 12 months.)
Now, let’s say you upgrade every two years instead of every year. In that case, you would pay $1299 up front and $699 every other year thereafter. After four years (initial purchase plus one upgrade), you will have spent about $2000 = $500/year.
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Conclusion: Considering the entire costs of the software package, if you upgrade every year, it is cost effective to get the Creative Cloud membership. If you upgrade every other year, though, you will experience cost savings over Creative Cloud by purchasing Creative Suite Standard outright.
(Why did I choose 4 years as the timespan for my evaluations? Because that time period is relevant for the biennial upgrader who will have purchased the program and one upgrade.)
Creative Suite Standard Upgrades Only vs. Creative Cloud Subscription
But what if you’ve made the investment in Creative Suite a year or two (or more) ago, and now you’re deciding which way to go in terms of general cash-flow? Let’s do the analysis again, but let’s take the initial purchase cost out of it since the investment has already been made. We’ll just look at upgrade costs vs. subscription costs.
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If you are upgrading annually, we’ll assume the cost stays at $549. You save $50 a year over the $600 Creative Cloud subscription. You have to decide if that $50/year is worth saving or worth spending to get all of the benefits Creative Cloud offers (access to all of the applications, regular upgrades, access to 20GB cloud storage).
But if you are only upgrading biennially at $699, you will be spending upgrade fees of about $350 annually. So when compared to the Creative Cloud membership of $600/year, you would be saving $250/year.
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Conclusion: When looking only at upgrade costs for cash-flow, if you like to upgrade annually, even though it’s an additional $50, it may still be worth it for the Creative Cloud subscription for all the extras, even if you just use one additional app or the cloud storage. However, if you only upgrade biennially, while you won’t get the upgrades as quickly, you will be saving a good chunk of cash if you buy outright.
Overall Cost of Individual Program (PS or AI) vs. Individual Subscriptions
What if you don’t have Creative Suite, but have purchased either Photoshop or Illustrator individually? Should you subscribe to the individual program?
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Overall cost with annual upgrades
If you only own Photoshop and you upgrade annually your cost per year over four years will be about $325/yr (($699 initial price + three years of upgrade costs)/4 years). In contrast, annual subscription fees will be $240/year, so over four years, you are better off buying the subscription. Illustrator will also be better by subscription (($599 initial price + (3x$249))/4years).
Overall cost with biennial upgrades
If you only upgrade every two years, your price/year over four years for Photoshop will be $225 (($699 initial cost + $199 upgrade)/4 years), so you’ll be slightly better off buying outright. With Illustrator, your price/year over four years will be about $212 (($599 initial cost + $249 upgrade)/4 years), so again, buying outright is the way to go.
Overall cost of both programs
Now if you buy both Photoshop and Illustrator individually (you don’t need or want the entire Creative Suite Standard package), your per year cost over 4 years is $662/yr ((($699 + $599 initial cost)+(($199+$249)x3))/4 years). You are better off with with the annual subscriptions to both applications ($480/yr) or even the Creative Cloud membership ($600/yr). If you only upgrade biennially, your per year cost over 4 years is $437 ((($699 + $599 initial cost) + ($199+$249 upgrade))/4 years)... so better to buy outright and upgrade.
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Conclusion: If you upgrade annually, subscriptions are the better deal. But if you are a biennial upgrader, stick with buying the program outright... the overall costs are lower.
Individual Program (PS or AI) Upgrades only vs. Individual Subscriptions
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Now let’s assume you have already made the investment in the programs and are just trying to figure out the better deal for cash-flow. Taking the initial purchase price out of the equation, a subscription for each individual program will cost you $240/year. Upgrade costs for Photoshop are $200/year and for Illustrator are $250/year. So the subscription for Illustrator is the better deal (but not for Photoshop).
If you are only looking at upgrades vs. subscription of both applications combined and take the initial purchase price out, your annual upgrade cost will be $450, so you are better off buying outright with annual upgrades.
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Conclusion: Looking at upgrade price vs. subscriptions for cash-flow, for the annual upgrader, the Illustrator subscription has a slight edge over outright purchase, but the biennial upgrader should buy outright.
One last note
If you are at all considering the Creative Cloud membership, through August, Adobe is offering Creative Cloud incentive pricing for current Creative Suite users (CS3 and above): $29.99/mo (with annual commitment) for your first year. That’s only $360 for your first year! ~ Sarah
| || |Hey vintage surface pattern design lovers! Here's another post in my series of lessons from my 1953 educational text Commercial Art and Design. Today's exercise involves working with straight and curved lines. This section of the booklet takes inspiration from our humble alphabet. It makes sense, because after all, aren't letters just different combinations of simple straight and/or curved lines?
Let's get started. First, study the following alphabet and numbers that the booklet has printed in this elegant vintage font. Take note of where the lines meet in each letter and digit, as well as the positive and negative spaces.
Now have a look at the various ways that letters and numbers have been combined to create the logos shown on the right. Try to observe the shapes they form rather than reading the actual letters. Again, look for the positive and negative spaces that have been created.
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Okay, now your turn! Open up your sketchbooks. Pick out a letter and start pairing it with other letters or numbers, or repeat it and see what you get. Overlap them, stretch them, squish them, line them up, flip them—whatever you feel like doing! After you try creating several new shapes with your letter/number combinations, have a go at creating a pattern. You can also make interesting border designs with letters and numbers. On the left are some examples to help get you going.
Don't stop 'til you fill a page . . . or two. Have fun!
Louis Vuitton has just released a new collection inspired by the work of Yayoi Kusama. If you are not familiar with the work of Kusama, she is well known for her use of dense patterns of polka dots. She is one of Japan’s most prominent contemporary artists.
A retrospective of her art opens on July 12 at the Whitney Museum in New York. The exhibit is supported by Louis Vuitton.
And finally, if you are not in a position to buy Louis Vuitton goods or to fly to NYC for the exhibit, you can grab yourself a little dot fun with the new free iphone app that enables users to see the world through the eyes of Kusama (it turns images into dots!!):
A Kelly Kinzle Collection quilt from Pennsylvania illustrating the life of a Civil War Zouave-unit soldier, at the American Textile History Museum. Photo from www.nytimes.com.
An interesting bit of American history to kick off our Independence Day celebrations...Fabric supplies, textile factories, and cotton fields directly influenced Union and Confederate strategies during the Civil War. Did you know that Southern seamstresses, knitters, and weavers were even kidnapped by Union troops and deported to the North to cut off supplies to the Confederate Army? Learn more in this intriguing article from the New York Times.
Two exhibitions delve further into this period and its textiles:The American Textile History Museum's exhibit “Homefront & Battlefield: Quilts & Context in the Civil War,” runs now until November 25th, 2012 in Lowell, Massachusetts."Civil War Era Quilts From the Illinois State Museum" featuresblankets made by the sisters and mothers of soldiers and is showing now through September 14th, 2012, in Chicago.Happy 4th of July!-Ruby