63 | How to turn creative spark into something real & a delightful color picker for the real world

Hey and welcome to issue #63 👋

Two weeks ago I just hit 100 subscribers with Creativerly. It was an awesome feeling since I am working for over a year now on this project. I made one step closer to my goal of building up a community of this newsletter sharing useful content and gather it one place so people of interest can learn, get insights, find their next favorite tool, and build up a knowledge base.

Since I always try to share everything I personally learned with my audience, I wrote a Twitter Thread about some tactics which I used while aiming for that 100 subscribers. On top of that, I am also very active in different communities. Just like the Newsletter Creators Group on Facebook by Josh Spector who is running the For The Interested newsletter. One of the tactics he recently shared is cross-promotion in other newsletters. I never did something like this before but I am happy to get in contact with Eva Recinos who is running the Notes from Eva Newsletter, a newsletter about writing, art, and living more creatively. Since we have a very similar audience we decided to share each other's newsletters. Eva's writing already appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Vice, and a lot more. One of her most popular posts tackles the topic of how to apply for creative residencies, which might be helpful for creative folks in the area of writing, art, and music. Very interesting read you should definitely not miss.

If you want to get stories like this delivered conveniently to your inbox you can sign up right here to Notes from Eva.

One thing I have missed in my last issue where I talked about the benefits of Substack: If you would like to you can join the discussion with every single newsletter I am sending out by simply clicking on the little speech bubble. Also, if you want to show some love and support you can click on the heart icon to like the issue. Thank you in advance!

If you have recommendations or feedback, drop me an email or a tweet. For now, enjoy the newsletter! 🥰


Apps, Software, Tools

Cone 2.0

Cone is a delightful and easy to use color picker and organizer for the real world. Cone also lets you identify PANTONE colors of objects without the need of expensive spectrophotometers or PANTONE Capsure.

Cleanshot X

CleanShot X is the ultimate screen capturing app for macOS. With its rich toolkit, it feels like 6 apps in one. You can use it to swiftly capture your screen without desktop icons, record and trim video, annotate, save screenshots to our cloud, and much more.

Tara AI

Tara AI is designed to help teams move faster in product development. Run weekly sprints and planned release cycles on-time. Now in open beta.

StickyList

StickyList is just a sticky note for your next priorities. It isn’t feature-rich, but it is powerful when used right. No Sync. No Reminders. No Repeat. Focus on your work, not our app. Only stored on your device. Drag & Drop for prioritizing. And Dark Mode.


Goods & Gadgets

Samsung Q60T QLED HDR Smart TV

You don’t have to splurge for the absolute highest model of new televisions to get an impressive picture. With the Samsung Q60T QLED HDR Smart TV, you get 4K-quality images along with realistic colors. That’s due to its Quantum Dot Technology, which offers more than a billion shades of color. And with Dual LED backlighting, this television adjusts the color so you always see it how the creator intended. Additionally, this 4K TV has Quantum HDR to ensure you enjoy accurate contrast and detail.

The Grovemade Pen

The pen your desk has been dreaming of. Bringing old school class back to your desk with a modern twist. It’s a pen that’s always there when you need it, at home in its prominent stand—no need to collect a cluttered mountain of pens and pencils. For maximum durability, it’s built with a seamless all-metal body for an heirloom-quality pen that will last a lifetime.


Useful Resource

designresourc.es

A curated list of tools in one place to help designers. Searching for your next favorite tool, your next inspiration, or just some stuff to kickstart your next project, this is the site you should visit.


Mental Wealth

Design research is only as good as the action it enables – When Topp’s design teams engage users and test prototypes, we’ve got one ultimate goal: to enable our teams or our clients to take action. It’s common to start design projects with a research phase, but in our experience, the hand-over between research and design can be tenuous. Embedding user engagements in the design process instead tends to lead to action. There’s long been a debate in the design community about quantitative vs qualitative research, and which is thought of as “better”. From our perspective, all the tools for user research — both quant and qual— can have value in the design process, as long as they’re geared toward action. So rather than judging one research method as “the best”, we acknowledge their strengths, weaknesses, and best uses of each. This article outlines 6 examples of research activities, both quant and qual methods, and when to use them to their strengths.

How to Turn a Creative Spark Into Something Real – Inspiration can be slippery – it’s hard to predict when it will arrive and from where. So when creativity does strike, you want to be ready for it. Part of the artistic process is figuring out a way to turn these mercurial moments into something solid and real. Here, successful designers, artists, and writers share their strategies for catching inspiration and building on it, so that an initial spark evolves from an idea into a project or, just as often, a series of creative endeavors.

Are we too busy to enjoy life? – “How are things?” asked a friend. “It’s busy, but I’ll take some time to relax when things ease up,” I replied. I recently caught myself giving a variation of this answer every time I was asked how I was doing. “So much work, but hopefully it will be better next week.” Being busy all the time can give us an illusion of productivity which may feel reassuring, but isn’t there a risk we are too busy to enjoy life? For some people, being busy is unfortunately not an option. Students working part-time to pay for their studies, parents with two jobs just to stay afloat—not everyone has the luxury of managing their time the way they see fit. But many people do have this flexibility, and yet rush from one task to another without ever taking a step back to ask: am I really enjoying any of this? Or are these tasks actually making me too busy to enjoy life?

The Importance of UX and Design Thinking – Every few years, some trailblazing designer or well-known agency develops a new design method. Names are made. Books are sold. Lines are drawn. Within the UX community, we love to debate the merits of one method over another. We form rivalries and champion our views. It’s Human-Centered Design vs Lean UX vs Design Sprints vs the latest approach trending online. Despite our differences, our adoption of design methods expresses a common desire. We aspire to bring order to the chaos of creation. Without methods, we’re susceptible to the unpredictability of design. Deadlines change. Ideas fail. Feedback isn’t what we expect, and we lose our bearings. But if we have a logical way to investigate problems and test solutions, we can maintain focus no matter what obstacles lie in our path.


Typeface of the week

Ano

Ano is a geometric sans-serif typeface designed by Gareth Hague and published through Alias in 2012. The typeface was originally commissioned for Another Man magazine. Ano features several interesting variations—there is an italic style that slopes backward and an Upper Lower style that swaps out uppercase characters with enlarged versions of lowercase characters.


Twitter thoughts


Till next time! 👋

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