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Ads of the World
With the Super Bowl approaching, its a good time to see what advertising agencies from around the world are doing. Chances are it doesn't involve talking Clydesdales. The site at http://adsoftheworld.com presents a global compendium of work submitted by agencies in lands where English is not the first language.

The website not only showcases great print, tv, radio and environmental work worldwide, it provides an instant tutorial on the power of visual communication. Many of the ads on the landing page communicate without a single world. Powerfully, eloquently, and humorously. Copywriters take note.

In Hong Kong, advertisers distribute mouse pads illustrated with naked breasts (to promote breast cancer exams). In Asia a man lights himself on fire (really) to illustrate the fiery hot taste of Kurkure potato chips.

All in a day’s work at adsoftheworld.com


Grab & Go

Screen grab and markup tool

Download Skitch and instantly grab a screen shot, mark it up, add comments, drag it to a document, or send it via email. An essential tool for interface designers.

Don’t let the playful interface fool you. Skitch is a surprisingly powerful screen grab utility for Macintosh users that is dead simple to use. Fire up Skitch, make a screen grab (Skitch can capture an entire screen, a window, or a snapshot of a selected area), and simply drag and drop the result into an open application. Built-in markup tools are presented in an “always ready” interface that makes it simple to annotate a screen capture for use in tutorials, user guides, and interface design applications.

Skitch seems designed from the ground up with sharing in mind. Saving screen grabs and including them as part of an email is as simple as selecting the “mail this image” command from the File menu. Skitch immediately opens your email application with the screen grab already in place. For graphic designers, web producers, and illustrators, it’s a superfast, goofproof way to get immediate feedback on works in progress.

A dedicated online area at www.skitch.com enables designers to post their projects and share it with a selected workgroup or post to a website url. Seamless integration with iPhoto and iSight and iChat extend the capabilities of Skitch. Skitch will save screen grabs in jpg, pdf, png, svg, and tif formats.


One and Done

Very Short List
One email a day, delivered to your inbox. One good idea each day, provided by people that scour the Internet so you don't have to. Breakthroughs in weird science, the coolest new commercials, and achievements you never thought possible. Sign up for it at www.veryshortlist.com/subscribe


Next Slide

By Nancy Duarte
274 pages; $34.99
Published by O’Reilly Media

We’ve all experienced death by PowerPoint. The retina searing graphics, the torturous word-by-word recitation of every single bit of on-screen, mind numbing copy. Before the U.S. army goes to war, full colonels build a PowerPoint presentation, then march through a list of bullet points. They don’t call ‘em bullets for nothing, after all.

Nancy Duarte, a woman who has made a career creating presentation graphics for Silicon Valley stalwarts and director of the firm that created the presentation for Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth (and the Oscar for best PowerPoint goes to….) aims to change that. Slide:ology Her book on creating effective presentations is meant for marketers, but smart graphic designers, brand builders, and visionary communicators will recognize an opportunity when they see one.

Slide:ology matters because it addresses visual thinking, visual storytelling, and communicating using graphics. Duarte covers storyboarding, graphic design, motion design, and mapping the presentation to the brand message. Separate chapters explain the display of data, the use of diagrams, and the nuts and bolts of slide design, including screen real estate, color palettes, fonts and typesetting, using photos, adding motion, and yes, how to write bullets.

Ultimately slideology is about meaning, and that means starting with an idea. Helping you communicate that idea powerfully and persuasively is what slideology is all about.



See the future first.
Each week the trendspotters at Springwise send out their new business ideas from around the world. Springwise is a one-stop shop for great ideas that just might be capable of changing the way we do business. A database of ideas includes everything from education to eye shadow. A free newsletter keeps you on top of breaking trends in commerce, marketing, education, style, design and much more. Don't stop thinking about tomorrow at www.springwise.com.


Word Clouds

Lost in the word cloud. Wordle changes everything you knew about writing for the web. And reading it, too.