If You're Not a Designer, Please Don't Read This. by Steven B. Wheeler

Today at the Google I/O Conference, the design language for the brand was unveiled in the form of an interactive manifesto titled Material Design.

Playful, natural-feeling animations, intuitive and consistent interactions between elements, and a bold use of color are all illustrated and mapped out for developers and designers. This gives them tools that will inform and direct the user of Google products through the language of design. 

So? What does this have to do with making pants?

As a designer of consumer products, and as someone who enthusiastically loves to learn about other areas of focus for the profession of design, I marveled at the thesis of the entire document and the wonderfully concise examples provided. Who cares if it's not directly related to my day-to-day work? On some level, we designers are influenced in ways both subtle and overt, and we owe it to ourselves and to our users/audiences/customers to be polyglots of visual languages. 

After all, art is created for the artist, but design is created for the user. 


Free Flat Friday: Shorts! by Steven B. Wheeler

Betabrand's Indigo "Bawaiian" Print Cotton Canvas Shorts

Betabrand's Indigo "Bawaiian" Print Cotton Canvas Shorts

I’d like to give you a preview of the new Bawaiian Short we’ll be releasing soon. The one shown above is in the dark indigo floral print, and the fabric is really beautiful in person. Click the link to download the .AI file, and you’ll find it all set ups for use with a line art version, a solid color fill, and a colored up version that is like the one shown above. You may need to right-click or option-click and select "save as."

Use it as a platform to create your own short design for the Betabrand Think Tank, for design school, your career, or personal development. If you find these flats useful, please let me know! I love seeing how people have used these in their work.

Free Flat Friday: Back to Basics with a Male Croquis Figure by Steven B. Wheeler

It's the first Free Flat Friday of 2014! So this week, we're going back to the basics with a downloadable male croquis form for all you designers to use in your work. Download it for use when making flats in Illustrator, or print some out and trace over the top of them by hand; I'm sure you'll find tons of uses for these handy templates! I use them in my work at Betabrand as an aid to rapid pencil sketches during initial design ideation, as well as creating new garment flats in Illustrator.

These are provided to you, the readers of An Aetnian Fountain, for free. Use them in design classes, personal development, or even in your professional career. If you find these flats helpful, let me know by leaving a comment below or hit me up on twitter @stevenbwheeler

Good luck!


The Best Books for Designers, 2013 Recap by Steven B. Wheeler

In 2013, I read just over 40 books, and while many of them were pretty short, the median number of books read by Americans is 8 per year, so I'm still doing my part to mess with the bell curve. Having a Kindle has fundamentally changed my reading habits: Instead of reading from one book at a time, I can now read between 2-3 books simultaneously and bring them with me nearly everywhere.

So, as a designer, here are some of my favorite reads from 2013 that have helped motivate and stimulate me both professionally and personally. Most of them are available to read in an e-book format.

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