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DesignGeek #25

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July 26, 2004 - 1:00am

Pixel Fonts for the Web and Flash

I have a compulsive fascination with pixel fonts. I keep buying them, amassing a collection, even though I don't get a chance to use them that often. I'm always amazed at how creative people can be when they have just a few pixels to work with to design a typeface.

Not sure what a pixel font is? I'm sure you've seen them already on modern-looking web sites … they're often used for navigation as text labels, and most of the time appear in all caps.

Look at the navigation labels at this web design firm's site to see what I mean:
http://www.grafik.com/more >

Editorium: DesignGeek for Editors

The InDesign listserv and forums have had a lot of discussion recently about importing Microsoft Word files and their attendant style-sheet/local formatting problems. When I went to the InDesign Conference in Boston a couple weeks ago, the same topic came up in various sessions. On the Quark listserv and forums it's a perennial topic as well.

If only Word users had some inkling of how to apply (or not apply) text formatting correctly, we page layout people wouldn't have to spend hours fixing their files…that's the general gist. And oh, how true it is! (I can feel the earth shift a little as hundreds of you read this and nod your heads in commiseration.)

more >

Scaling Layer Effects in Photoshop

Since Layer Effects were first introduced in Photoshop—I think in version 6—their relationship to the layer they're affecting has always confused me.

For example, as soon as you apply an effect like a Drop Shadow or Bevel and Emboss, the effect is married to that layer alone. You can't select a second layer and say, "Hey, do it to this layer too.

Instead, you have to right-click on the Layer Effect, choose Copy Layer Style, then right-click on the second layer and choose Paste Layer Style.

Okay, they're married. A team. Understandable.

But when you scale a layer (Edit -> Transform -> Scale or Edit -> Free Transform), only the original contents scale, not the Layer Effects you've applied. If you scale a layer down to a tenth of its original size, its original Drop Shadow layer effect ends up looking enormous. Why is that? I thought they were a couple.

Here are a couple ways you can scale your Layer Effects to match the scale of the layer they're affecting.more >