Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Recently, I was just wandering around the internet in search of a cure for my designer's block and I came across and interesting article. This Guy Has My MacBook is about some guy that had his MacBook stolen and is now tracking the guy and everything he does until the authorities have time to go after him. I know what you may be thinking. "If he knows where it is and has proof, why can't they just go get it?" It tells a bit about that in the article (total BS by the way).

Anyway, I'm not writing about the incident itself, but rather about the program he is using. Its a security tracking app called Hidden. This terrific and affordable app for the iMac and MacBook is a great way to recover them if they are stolen or misplaced.

The basic plan starts at just $15/year. With it you can track where it is on Google maps, get screenshots of what they thief is doing, and even activate the webcam and get photos of his or her face. They also claim to help you work with the police to recover your stolen computer.

I think this is a terrific service and would recommend it to anyone I know with either an iMac or MacBook. I mean, $15 per year - I spend more than that on junk food in one month. I could cut back a bit and spend it on a little piece of mind, especially if I did lots of traveling or lived in a not-so-cafe area.

Monday, May 30, 2011

More fractals

Ok so I know, I have been posting lots of fractal art lately. It just that is it so fascinating to me how infinitely intricate they are and how much fun it is to find new patterns and designs.

Here are a few of my newest designs. The links go to the prints for them, but you van get them on many different items if you like.

Lavender And Lace Fractal print

Celestial Raodmap Fractal print

Flamingo Fractal print

Saturday, May 28, 2011

New fractal art.

Just made another new fractal design. This version is available on many different items including the customizable ornament below. Just click "CUSTOMIZE" right under the product image and change the text to what ever you like. A great gift for a math teacher, a friend that loves unique items or just about anyone. A true conversation piece.

DESIGN TOOL - Tierazon

In case you haven't noticed, I really like working with fractals. I have a whole list of fractal generating programs (mostly free ones) that I use but only a few that I use most often. I have already mentioned Apophysis, but another one that I use quite often is Tierazon.

While Apophysis makes flame fractals very well, it takes LOTS of resources and time to render them into a usable format and resolution. Tierazon makes a simpler form of fractal so it takes MUCH less time to work - minutes compared to hours. It still has many, many options and lots of great flexible features.

A great tutorial on how to get started with this program can be found here: That same site also has a great gallery of fantastic artwork, much of which was created with this program.

The free version liked to in the title of this post is not the newest one available. The most recent updated version has more funcionallity, but it it NOT free. I highly suggest, if you are interested in making fractal art and designs, try out the older free version and if you like it, then upgrade.

Here is one of my most recent designs I created with Tierazon available on Zazzle as a art print. (Note, the price shown is for the largest size. Smaller sizes available are much less expensive.)

Friday, May 27, 2011

New line of business cards.

Check out the new line of professional and stylish business card I just made (yeah, I decided I was proud enough of how well they turned out to just forget about modesty for this post).

I am pretty proud of myself, though. I put up 2 versions for each of 4 styles in 7 colors - I think that adds up to 56 new business cards added to my store today. WHEW! Now I just gotta get this store redesigned to look as good as my other two.

Blue on Gray Curves Business Card Style 1 profilecard
Gray on Red Curves Business Card Style 2 profilecard
Gray on Green Curves Business Card Style 3 profilecard
Pink on Gray Curves Business Card Style 3 profilecard

Thursday, May 26, 2011

TOOL - Color Scheme Designer

Ever have trouble finding colors that work well together? I know it is one of my biggest challenges...but I'm also somewhat colorblind so I guess that kinda goes hand in hand. (I know a colorblind designer? Really?)

I'm always looking for sets of colors that work well together and I have a secret. I use Color Scheme Designer. This tool has been invaluable to me in the past. I know that even if the colors don't look quite right to me, they are most likely to work well as long as I don't mess with too many settings besides the given presets.


First, pick a color on the color wheel that will be your main color. It will be fairly bright and saturated, but don't worry, you can easily adjust it. Above the main color wheel, you see a selection of color scheme setting. Check out how each one looks with your main color. It will automatically select a set number of colors at very specific positions on the wheel in relation to your base color based on specific ideas of color theory. When you find one you like, change to the adjust scheme tab (under the wheel). You can test out what the two palettes do if you want, but I usually just stick to the presets from the drop down menu. A few different ways to preview your settings are located on the right fo you to test out your new color scheme before you export it. When you find a color scheme you want to use, you can export it in various formats including palettes for Photoshop or GIMP.


There are a couple of great features that I use quite a bit. First, after I pick a generalized color scheme, I click the various color wheel presets again and see how they look (mono, triad, tetrad, etc.). More often than not, I end up using a setting that was not what I started with. Secondly, I like to hit the random button at the top if I get stuck and just can't find anything I like.

One of my personal favorites, is the colorblind modes. Its great if you want to make sure that everyone can read your site, even people who have various forms of color-impaired vision. It's also kinda fun to play with and see how people with less than perfect color vision see the world. (You can check out how I see colors with the tritanomoly setting near the bottom.)

If you would rather use web colors or PANETONE or RAL palettes, you can select color space and change it with one click.

With this terrific free online tool, you can easily adjust a wide array of settings and select from various presets and instantly see what your color scheme will look like together. The best way to learn to use this app is just to play with it and see what happens. If you get totally messed up, just reload the page.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

TOOL - Copyscape Plagiarism Checker - Duplicate Content Detection Software

I just found this great tool that will help people find their work that has been stolen by others. I have used it and did find a site that had reposted an article I had written a while back for another site. They did provide a link so I left it alone, but I was impressed at how easy it was and how quick it was to find it.

The free tool is super easy. Just type in your web address and hit the button. It takes only a few moments and finds content that matches your page. The free version does not search for anything other than the exact page you type in, but the premium version (which I have not tried) claims to search up to 10,000 pages on your site.

Try out the free version and see how it works. If you decide to get one of the premium paid services. Let em know what you think of it. I'm curious to know how well it does work, especially for a larger site.

Copyscape Plagiarism Checker - Duplicate Content Detection Software

LINK - Business Card Tutorials

I have always like creating business card. Not really sure why, but its just interesting and a great way to learn new Photoshop skill on a small, but usable project.

I recently came across a great list of business card tutorials that I had several tutorials I had not seen before. You can check it out here:
The bottom of the page also has quite a few very useful links for beginner to advanced Photoshop users.

You can check out my ever-growing gallery of business cards I have posted on Zazzle if you like. One of my most popular designs is my Mystic Zodiac Profile Cards:

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Zazzle Store Redesign!

When it comes to CSS, XML, XHTML, and the like, my head used to just spin like the girl in the Exorcist movie. I've been working very hard to wrap my head around it all in an effort to update my Zazzle shops and make them look more professional.

Making the design and layout in Photoshop was the easy part. Figuring out where to cut it all up to make it into a usable set of images for my layout - not that bad either. Getting the layout put back together using XML, XHTML, and CSS in Zazzles advanced store customization mode was a HUGE challenge. Thanks to a forum post by SugarVsSpice, and a few others that I looked into, I did it - TWICE in fact.

I now have two customized stores on Zazzle and I have to say, at least as proud of my store layouts as I am of my products in them (maybe even a bit more). You can check them out here:

  • Archetypus Digital - Features fractal and computer generate graphics.
  • Archetypus Photograghy - Gift items featuring some of my photography. (This one still needs more items, but my computer is not really cooperating with the large files right now)

Please feel free to let me know what you think of them and post a comment on the wall if you feel so inclined. (and of course, a purchase would absolutely make my day...month...ya know you want to).

Monday, May 23, 2011

DESIGN TOOL - Apophysis

I have been asked may times what software I use for various designs. It really just depends on the design, really. One that I have been using quite a lot lately is called Apophysis.

Apophysis is a freeware flame fractal generator for windows. It has many features and is fairly simple to use, once you get the hang of it. You can easily create some great designs by simply clicking around and exploring the various tools, menus, and options. The possibilities and power of this program seem almost endless.

You can download the latest version(s) of Apophysis from HERE. A 3D version and a screen saver is also available, though I have not had much time to check either one out yet.

Although you can jump in and make some awesome creations, I highly recommend checking out a few tutorials to get a feel for the true potential of Apophysis. Here is a list of some great resources for tutorials (note that some of these may be slightly outdated as this program is still in development):

Of course you can always check out YouTube and Google or any other search engine for more tutorials about this program. It is one of my favorite and I hope others come to love it as well. We can all use more free stuff that is actually useful right?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Iris Fractal Print from

Although I have been updating and redesigning my stores on Zazzle, I still find time to create new items. I'm really pleased with how this fractal turned out. Created with Apophysis, it took about 17 hours to render and a bit of post-editing in Photoshop. I named it Iris because it kinda resembled an iris blossom.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Custom Speakers from Zazzle!

Zazzle now has print-on-demand speakers! Right now, if you use the promo code DOODLEZAZZLE you can get $5 off your first speaker order. I have created several of these in my stores. Check out these eye-catching examples:

Satin Whilrpool iPhone Case from

Looking for a way to customize your iPhone? Check out the print to order, fully customizable iPhone cases from Zazzle. Here is one of my latest designs: