Turning Universal Woman into Universal Martini, or Happy Hour Courtesy of Illustrator's Transform Effect

My dear dekeOphiles, it's Friday. And to celebrate a week of posts dedicated to creating universal symbols in Illustrator, I've decided to turn Wednesday's Universal Woman into a Universal Martini (which happens to be the universal symbol for finding a place to spend Happy Hour). Just as we created a woman from a man, so too will we create a martini from a woman. It's the circle of life. 

At this point, if you've followed this week's other tutorials (or watched this week's Deke's Techniques episodes), you have an inkling of how powerful, and frankly--entertaining---Illustrator's Transform Effect can be for creating these pared-down symbols of importance. I actually came up with this project as I was writing the Universal Woman tutorial. Or, at least, as I was thinking about writing it while on a plane. Which may have something to do with my thinking of cocktails at the time. Which---in turn---may have something to do with why I was only thinking about writing, and not actually writing it. 

But the point, if I have one, is that spending a week doing hands-on projects with the Transform Effect has not only made me uncharacteristically confident with Illustrator (or at least one feature of Illustrator), but it's also awakened that part of my brain that sees things with a creative, open mind. That may be even more important than actually having handy universal symbols for anything.

So, for both your Happy Hour and your Creative Spirit needs, here are the steps: Read more » 

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Martin Hour (Takes a) Holiday 2010

And by "holiday" we really mean that Deke and I are eschewing the lounge this week for time with our respective families. But lest you feel neglected, Deke has created this special graphic, which perhaps captures the true spirit of Martini Hour. Yes, I am, in fact carrying Deke on my back in this photo. That's why he looks so happy and relaxed, and I look so strained yet determined. Are you surprised to learn it was Deke who chose this photo for our holiday greeting?

Martini Hour Holiday 2010

The image was shot by our good friend Jacob Cunningham (staff director/cinematographer at as part of a shoot he did at the request of Bert Monroy, to use as reference for Bert's latest painting. Fortunately, Bert chose a different shot when he recreated us for his Times Square piece, so I won't forever be stuck in time (square) lugging Deke around. Actually, in Bert's final piece, Deke and I are contemplating a much more civilized form of transportation, a taxi, driven (if I'm not mistaken) by a young Bert Monroy. We're definitely blessed with talented and sympathetic friends.

Not the least of which is you, our beloved, intrepid dekeItarians. We do sincerely wish you and your respective families a peaceful, fun, restorative winter holiday of choice. In truth, it's the funny, irreverent, curious, patient, wise. and ever-charming dekeCommunity that makes the work not seem like work (sometimes). Peace, joy, and creative freedom to all of you. We'll be back in the lounge with a new podcast next week. Cheers! Read more » 

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Martini Hour 094, In Which We Hypocritically Mock Some of Adobe's Odd Feature Names

What's in a name? Does a feature that goes by any other name still function as well? This week we're enjoying making fun of the names of Adobe features that don't really make any sense. And who are we to complain? "Martini Hour" is never really an hour and this week we're drinking Manhattans. So join us on this vaguely hypocritical but otherwise entertaining discussion of goofy names for otherwise highly useful (for the most part) set of features in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Like Martini Hour, you shouldn't be scared off by the names. 

Martini Hour 094: Adobe's strangely named features

Here is a list of cryptically, oxymoronically, or just ridiculously named features that we enjoy making fun of this week: Read more » 

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dekeSpeak December 8, 2010

Greetings, fellow Deke-o-philes!

This issue of dekeSpeak comes from a cool place. As the thermometer dips and layered apparel becomes increasingly conspicuous, I'm enjoying the warm fuzzy feeling I get from sharing the treasure trove of insights available on Deke hooked up with Bert Monroy, and got a close look at Bert's most recent masterwork. Read on to get a glimpse of it yourself. Our tip for this installment comes from Deke's Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery course for And, I bring you good news: we've been able to extend the special (and very popular) Fotolia offer from the previous newsletter.

dekeSpeak Newsletter December 8, 2010

That's the news for now. As I'm sure you know, Deke sends all his virtual love.

Best regards, and I hope you're having a creative day,
Lou B, Speaker of the Deke, dekeOnline Read more » 

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Martini Hour 025, In Which Colleen Experiences Deke in High Resolution

I did it. I created a monster. I grabbed myself a Kaluha and coffee (thank goodness there was coffee in the lounge) and innocently asked Deke about image resolution. Then, I listened, diligently, as you should, as the master discussed this challenging subject. (I think it's challenging, but in part because people give me different answers to my resolution questions.) It's a secret handshake, but Deke does his best to guide us through the labyrinth.

Here's where our resolution immersion takes us: Read more » 

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