Images of Recent Deforestation in Malaysia Show Nothing Has Changed

images-of-recent-deforestation-in-malaysia-show-nothing-has-changedThrough the years, Malaysia has suffered from deforestation caused by human activities. Illegal logging is the main cause of this problem. A huge percentage of the country’s forest area has been depleted due to these activities. In fact, a government report has stated that over 50% of the forest area is used for “production activities”. Since the government discovered the consequences of these illegal activities, alarm bells were rang. They have scrambled to save the forest. A huge portion of what had remained was considered protected areas. Any form of human activity dedicated for production purposes were banned.

It was in the 1980’s when these efforts began. We could easily assume that after several years, drastic changes can be seen. Apparently, this is not necessarily what we see now. Based on the images of recent deforestation, it seems like nothing has changed. If anything, it has gotten worse. This only means that either the government has failed in its efforts to preserve the forests, or there was really no serious action to protect the environment to begin with.

Greed and corruption

Perhaps, the biggest reason why things never change is because of corruption. Instead of being serious in solving the crisis, government officials themselves have in fact become involved in the scheme. They have protected illegal loggers and miners. Instead of running after them, they became a part of the bigger plot to amass wealth in exchange of freedom to abuse the environment.

They have allowed these illegal loggers to use top chainsaws, even those that are known to cut really huge trees, and endangered ones at that. This is a billion dollar industry and no one is willing to sacrifice even if it means hurting the environment.

Something has to change

Though the forest has been badly damaged, there is still a chance to change the direction. It is now the time for Malaysians to continue hammering the government to stop their greed and corruption and prevent continued illegal logging. The country will most likely suffer in the future if this crazy activity is not halted.

Also read: Top 5 Tips for Boosting Your Creativity

Top 5 Tips for Boosting Your Creativity

Top 5 Tips for Boosting Your CreativityRunning out of ideas? Squeezed out every drop of creative juice? Have you hit a brick wall? Well, we’ve all been there. And it can be very frustrating when you want to come up with new ideas and nothing seems to make a spark. Pop psychology will easily tell us that the lack of creativity is natural for a left-brained analytical person. And lucky is the right-brained person for he or she is born with a creative mind.

Well the real thing here is, creativity is not dependent on one side of the brain. Creativity is actually the interaction of connected areas in our brain. One brain research will tell us that different parts of our brain are activated depending on the activity we are doing, and that the whole brain is actually involved in the creative process.

Running out of creativity is a real thing. When our brains are under a lot of stress and fatigue, ideas are harder to generate. So to get your brain rewired and reconnected, relaxation and downtime is quite important. Here are some tips you could try:

1. Exercise

Physical activity is not only beneficial for the body, but also for the brain. A few minutes on the best elliptical trainer, jogging or engaging in sports can ease the tension in your body and allow blood to flow efficiently to your brain. If you’re in the middle of work, taking a quick break, pacing around the office, or taking a quick walk will help get your creative juices working again.

2. Psychological distance

When we’re strongly involved in a problem or issue, we usually can’t think well that’s why we seek the help of advisers. This is because we’re under so much stress that thinking creatively can be a challenge. One practice is distancing oneself from the issue or problem. The less you think you are affected by an issue (at least for the moment), the more you can think creatively.

3. Relaxing activities

Would you believe that daydreaming and listening to classical music can boost your creativity? That’s because these activities help your brain relax, thus generating alpha waves which are related to creative thinking. Albert Einstein himself listened to classical music and daydreamed his way to coming up with the Theory of Relativity.

So if you really want to recharge your brain, all you have to do first is relax, take a break, and everything else will follow.

The Best Creative Software for Professional DJs and Graphic Designers

The Best Creative Software for Professional DJs and Graphic Designers

When you first read the title of this article the first question that comes to mind is probably, “How is this going to work?” What could DJs and graphic designers possibly have in common except for the fact that both professions are inundated with creative individuals and their job titles both start with the letter D?

The truth is, DJs and graphic designers have plenty in common. For example:

  • Both graphic designers and DJs placed their focus on the user, whether it be a website visitor or a club-goer.
  • Both of them use creative means to deliver valuable content to their audiences.
  • They both present other people’s content in a desirable and appealing way; DJ’s do it with music and designers do it with products.

Both of these creative professionals also used innovative software to get the job done right. But, this is also where the differences come into play. So, in order to give each profession the attention it deserves, it is necessary to break the rest of this article into two parts:

1. The Best Creative Software for DJs

Back in the day, all DJs (both amateurs and professionals) plied their wares with turntables. But when CDs and MP3 players came on the scene, many DJs began making the switch to these new technologies. And it’s easy to see why — these products were easier to transport, provided excellent music library management, offered greater reliability and had the potential for comprehensive music manipulation.

When they saw the hunger for better products, DJ gear manufacturers started producing controllers and players that gave DJs the ability to mishmash beats and take their skills to limits that exceeded those of vinyl. Still, it’s important to note that although these tools gave DJs the ability to innovate their musical stylings, it is the software that is responsible for performing all the essential tasks that help DJs manipulate their music files.

For DJs that are serious about taking their craft to the next level, the DJ software Traktor Pro is the program of choice. Although it was released over 10 years ago, it’s still the gold standard when it comes to digital DJing.

Admittedly, some of his competitors may perform certain tasks better, but no other program can match Traktor when it comes to all-around reliability and flexibility. Between its loop recorder, sample decks, and other tools, it’s safe to say that this software has virtually everything that the modern DJ will need to rock the party right.

2. Creative Software for Graphic Designers

The best graphic design software must be easy to use and intuitive — all while maintaining its ability to help designers create complex designs. It should also provide comprehensive features and tools that will help these professionals create the innovative designs that their clients want.

Most graphic design software packages give designers the ability to create anything from newspaper layouts to cartoon illustrations. The problem is, most of the better ones have converted into pay services, like Adobe Creative Suite. And, while many of these services offer advanced capabilities and features, they also come at a higher price.

With that being said, we must confess that we weren’t able to narrow our decision to just one. In fact, our researchers found three graphic design software programs that designers should add to their toolkit – Corel PaintShop Pro, CorelDraw Home & Student suite, and Serif DrawPlus.

All the software programs mentioned above feature Pantone swatches and grids, the pencil tool, snap to alignment, and more to help design professionals create innovative and intricate designs. DrawPlus also features both vector tracing and brushes; features that aren’t found in the typical graphic design programs. These tools give designers creative control as well as the ability to create one-of-a-kind designs.

How You Can Improve Your Creativity as a Graphic Designer

How You Can Improve Your Creativity as a Graphic DesignerThe work of a graphic designer is to come up with design ideas for marketing materials, adverts, brochures, and so on. They form the “behind the scenes” of advertisement, working with their computers or drafting tools to accomplish their tasks. Some graphic designers prefer to work on their own, while others enjoy being part of a team in an organization. As a graphic designer, your main objective is to convey a particular message to the customer, in the form of packaging, advertising, typography, web designing, logos, book designing, and so on – so you have to keep this in mind while designing.

Sleep and your creativity

Sleep and creativity in graphic design are like two sides of the same coin: they go hand in hand. The 10,000 hour rule dictates that it takes ten thousand hours of practice in order to master something. While the precise amount of time is up for debate, it is no doubt that anyone maneuvering into a creative field, such as graphic design, needs an ostensibly endless amount of hours of practice. Of course, it would be naïve to assume that you have to keep your eyes alert for 10,000 hours nonstop for this to happen.

The quandary is that many creatives tend to get into circumstances that allow for sleep deficiencies, and even brag about getting a few hours of sleep. This continual loss of sleep with time is known as sleep debt, and while its impact on creativity is still being investigated, most medical professionals agree that accumulative sleep dept is not a good thing. You have probably heard that 8 hours of sleep per night is great, but some research has proved that between 6.5 and 7.5 hours may be best and with a high quality bed mattress, it is easily achievable. The following additional tips can also go a long way towards enhancing your creativity.

Collect everything

Whenever you come across an inspiring design, whether online or otherwise, capture it and add it to your collection. Each time you feel gloomy, you can draw inspiration from them by taking a little part from each piece and creating an awesome design.

Read

There is an unlimited supply of information and inspiration you can look to on the internet. You can boost your creativity by looking at some tutorials or reading other designer’s blogs.

Join and participate in the design community

Being part of an online design community will keep you updated in the world of design, as well as provide a great platform for critique and positive feedback. While being a freelance designer can provide a great opportunity to enjoy the benefits of being your own boss, if there’s no one to criticize your own work, there’ll be no room for improvement.

Explore

Enter contests and competitions that will inspire you to improve in your field. Seek advice and comments from other graphic designers to determine areas that need improvement. In addition, look out for designs that arouse your interest, and seek out tutorials that clarify the techniques used. You can also consult other artists to get a grasp of their personal techniques.

Create fake (sample) projects whenever you’re free

Design websites, brochures, stationery, and logos. Create a beautiful brand for a fake company. Doing this every once in a while allows you to let your creativity run wild, away from the limitations and dictations of your clients.

Create an “actual” project instead of a fictional one

Acquire as much information as you can about them, and then re-brand them. This includes a mock website, letterhead, business cards, logo, and so forth. Apart from keeping you on your toes, the final product might actually end being a valuable addition to your portfolio. You can also design and then donate your work to local school groups, community organizations, or whomever. They will appreciate it, and the project can be a great source of positive feedback and exposure for your work.

Also see: Why Graphic Designers Often Care about the State of their Garden

Why Graphic Designers Often Care about the State of their Garden

Why Graphic Designers Often Care about the State of their Garden

On first thoughts, you wouldn’t probably understand why graphic designers often care about the state of their garden. However, here is the thing. Graphic designers are creative, and gardens are one of the best places they can experiment and pour their creativity in.

How does Taking Care of Gardens Help?

Every graphic designer needs creativity, and tending to gardens might just help them to think out of the box. And having a garden or office that looks beautiful can just help attract more clients. Here is how graphic designers can benefit by taking care of their gardens.

  1. Always ready to learn: A great graphic designer needs to want to experiment and try out new things. They need to want to listen to people, get ideas and be teachable. This can be shown in the way they take care of their gardens, the way it is styled, the ability to accept that there probably could be a better layout than the one suggested by them or even designed by them.
  2. They can take criticism: The graphic designers should be able to take criticism and work constructively on it, and this will be seen on the improvements made to the layout, style and design of their gardens.
  3. They need to look constantly for inspiration: Inspiration to them need not be gained only through magazines or books but by nature. They can also try out new things they have read or seen in websites like BestMower.Reviews in their garden and show off their garden as a practical example to their customers.
  4. They should be able to work out of their comfort zone: They should be able to want to explore new things, and this can be seen in the revamping of the style and designs they have for their garden. They are not afraid to raze it to the ground and redo it in a completely different manner.
  5. Artistic and creative: A graphic designer should be creative, have artistic skills and that is exhibited by the way the garden, home, or office is laid out.
  6. Forward thinking: Graphic designing is all about strategy, knowing what will work in the future and forward thinking. The way the landscaping is done, may not look good in the present or even near future, but once the plants grow, the beauty is unmatched.
  7. Helps them in goal fulfillment: Every graphic designer needs to stay motivated. And taking care of their garden and experimenting with it can help them focus on their work more. Their passion, motivation and dedication can be seen in the way they take care of their garden.
  8. Ready to face challenges: The acceptance to take a barren piece of land and to convert it into a beautiful lush garden which is aesthetically pleasing is something that is easily exhibited.

Final Verdict

Every graphic designer needs to keep their creativity alive. Some love to do this by taking care of their garden. Customers and clients often search for a graphic designer with the above qualities – and if you’re a graphic designer looking for clients, you know where to start!

Previous post: Tips to Build an In-House Design Team that is High Performing

Tips To Build An In-House Design Team That Is High Performing

build-engineering2What do you think are the characteristics of a valuable in-house design team? What will make your in-house team priceless and incomparable with the others? Well, it is known that the basic foundation of an efficient in-house team lies in the ability of the team-mates to be collectively strategic as well as creative. The in-house team should have a deep understanding of the strategic goals of the organization, the ability to make use of ideation skills, a strong grasp of the requirements of their clients, and the knowledge to use software to transform the concepts into realities. Whatever be the size of the team, these traits are required to build a high performing team.

Here are three main characteristics that are needed to create a high performing in-house team.

Establish A Clear Vision And Core Values

teambuilding_color2_flatIt is important to determine a clear vision of the team and a set of core values as it gives a great insight into the fundamental leadership qualities that the internal and external coordinator of the team who is managing the team should possess. These will be facilitated by the leader who is willing to lead the team to jump into the trenches in need. It takes a considerable amount of time to develop this key trait as it requires focused planning. The team lead should also train the members of the in-house team as their poor performance will affect the overall health of the team. Also, the leader should post and evangelize the vision and the core values throughout the organization and to the external stakeholders of the design team.

Hire Skilled Contributors With Clear Roles

Most in-house design team leaders will experience the entire weight and significance of building and maintaining an efficient in-house team on themselves. To build a high performing team, every person of the design team who is given a position in the team should have an entrepreneurial spirit, and he or she should own the given role and be accountable to the whole team as well as the organization for the work that is produced. The team leader should communicate the value of each member and create an environment in which each member gets the feeling that he or she is included. The leader should note that the opinions of every individual are important.

Master Conflict Resolution and Effective Communication Skills

employees-high-fiveThe in-house design team members will face speed bumps, and the contributors will be needed to work jointly in manoeuvring around them. At times, the team will face major roadblocks, but the team should move forward and travel through the bumps at full speed. This will be challenging and sometimes be damaging to the untrained and low performing teams. The high performing and supercharged in-house design teams will deploy a few techniques to effectively communicate even during the issues. This will result in the resolution of the bad conflicts and the management of the good conflicts. However, it is not easy for the members of a high performing in-house design team to handle these situations. Each member identifies the brunt of his or her attitude and personality on the whole team and how they can communicate a message.

Read also : Embrace The Single Column Website Design

How To Motivate Your Design Team Employees?

bigstock-Clapping-Business-People-46194028-675x320The creative industry experiences several challenges such as tough competition, talent shortages, rapid technological changes, etc. The most difficult task for the marketing and advertising executives in the current situation is motivating the employees. Being a manager in the design industry, you should be responsible for keeping your employees humming with creativity and productivity. Below are some tips that will help you inspire and engage your employees on their job.

Focus on Collaboration and not Competition: Some areas of business including sales need a high level of competition to bring out the best from the colleagues. This is not only for the design team. The creative professionals in the in-house team will be at their peak when they are working together with each other and not against each other. The spirit of teamwork and a stream of ideas will result in superior quality designs.

employee-appreciationMake Them Laugh: Being rigid, easygoing or overbearing, which is your management style? Though there is an idea that the hilarious bosses can cause some employees cringe, humour is the significant aspect that will build a highly creative work environment. It can strengthen the relationships, minimize stress and make it easy to address the tough topics if it is used well.

Take Staff Outside: Do not forget the restorative ability of nature. You should help your designers find the right inspiration and respite outside the work environment. You can do this in the following ways.

Hold walking one-on-one meetings
Organize a staff lunch in a park
Plan team retreats with a lot of outdoor time
Schedule ideation sessions in an arboretum, sculpture garden or any other scenic venue

A group of business people celebrate their team success

Give Them Professional Development Opportunities: The biggest frustration for creative people is that they feel that have peaked creatively and professionally. Managers need to stay on top making sure that the designers are learning continually. You can invite a guest speaker to address at a department meeting or subsidise external training. Invest in the career development of the staff to show them that you value their skills and talent, and you like to grow their abilities.

Talk About Success And Failure: When a staff does a great job, it is really a big deal. Talk about the right things and celebrate with the employees. Also, be generous to praise and appreciate them. Though it is tough, you should talk about the failures as well. Failures teach us a lot of things.

Read also : In-House Designer: What Does It Mean?

Portfolio Website Ideas And Design Trends

web-design-portfolio-examples-MikeKusPatrick McNeil has conducted several workshops, and he has also written many books. Here is come content from the inspirational book that he wrote called The Web Designer’s Idea Book Volume 4 that showcases the current trends in web design. His two part workshop guides the print designers who lack the web design knowledge through the basics of web design. The print designers possess skills that can be transferred to web design. It is essential to have a strong grasp on these basic web design skills. Some of these portfolio ideas and web design trends are given here.

Super Clean Design Trend

In this trend, the websites should display the cleanest and the most beautiful designs. Usually, such websites have a spacious and clean layout that is really easy to consume. Such websites will embrace a minimalist approach without any structural design elements. This way, the designer will focus on the user’s attention via a clear and beautiful typographic hierarchy. Despite of the clean and simple look, the websites will retail the detailed nuances that are gorgeous, and there will be nothing that is undone.

Illustrated Designs

The illustrated designs almost lead to a unique design. If you want to blend with the herd, you can depend on the stock photos as well as artwork that everyone does. On the other hand, if you want to stand out completely, you can make original artwork as a component of the design. The others will not have your style and your ideas as well. This way, you can make your work pop out in a unique style.

The other huge potential benefit to this style is its popularity that is known as Flat Design style. Such a style is void of decoration and depth, and it is quite minimalist. You can make your work pop out with unique illustrated elements.

Masonry Styles

The particular style is the name of the jQuery plug-in that is greatly responsible for the results that you see. This plug-in organises the rectangular items that differ in dimension and size by laying them in a way that they fit together in a perfect way. It will rearrange them similar to stones in a wall and result in a solid structure of images or some other content. Another plug-in that also does almost the same job is Isotope.

You can find many examples on the internet with these ideas and website design trends that will give a unique look to the website.

Embrace The Single Column Website Design

There are web design agencies such as Makeshift that build their own products instead of churning out the client projects. This a cool approach that many will love to emulate. Their website design is also impressive as it focuses on center alignment. It is really amazing to see how their centered approach of the web design works well. They follow a design that displays a single column of content that will flow perfectly. The multiple columns will cramp the space, so why don’t you use the simple vertical flow? It works well and feels natural. This way, you can create a great website design that is simple and effective.