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Communication Design

Space Exploration Posters, Courtesy of the Jet Propulsion Lab

Posted by Rebecca Blake on December 28, 2017

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab gave us all a lovely holiday gift: a series of space exploration posters, free for downloading and printing. The series, titled Visions of the Future, channels retro poster design from the WPA-era to tout vacation destinations such as Ceres, Jupiter, and Kepler-186f (the first earth-sized planet speculated to be capable of sustaining life). The files can be downloaded as high resolution TIFFs or PDFs, at 20x30”.

The posters are the creation of “The Studio,” a team of designers, illustrators, and visual strategists at the JPL. The Studio creates visuals, such as the space exploration poster series, which communicate the excitement and vision of the JPL. However, their mission goes beyond that of a typical art department. In a video created by The Otis Report on the Creative Economy, Dan Goods, Visual Strategist at The Studio, and Charles Elachi, PhD, Director of the JPL, speak about the importance of the exchange of ideas and inspiration between The Studio and JPL engineers and scientists.

That collaboration is evident in the Visions of the Future poster series. While depicting fanciful interpretations of each planet and moon, The Studio staff solicited feedback from JPL scientists. That red foliage on Kepler-186f? That was inspired by the information that the light spectrum radiated by Kepler’s star is a different spectrum than earth’s sun.  On a background page on the poster series, creative strategist David Delgado, illustrator Joby Harris, and typographer Lois Kim describe the thought process behind each poster. Our only quibble with the series? We would have loved to have seen a rendition of Saturn – what would The Studio have done with those rings!?

Poster thumbnails, courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech​

Jet Propulsion Lab Visions of the Future poster thumbnails  

Credits for the posters

Creative Strategy: 
Dan Goods, David Delgado

Illustrators: 
Liz Barrios De La Torre (Ceres, Europa)
Stefan Bucher (Jupiter Design)
Invisible Creature (Grand Tour, Mars, Enceladus)
Joby Harris (Kepler 16b, Earth, Kepler 186f, PSO J318.5-22, Titan)
Jessie Kawata (Venus)
Lois Kim (Typography for Venus and Europa)
Ron Miller (Jupiter Illustration)

What To Do If You Think Your Client’s WordPress Site’s Been Hacked

Posted by Guest on November 21, 2017

By Bud Kraus

The frantic email, text, or call always comes at a bad time. Your client thinks their site's been hacked. What are you going to do?

Step 1:

Take a deep breath — even if you've done this before — and then head straight to the Sucuri Site Scanner, put your web address into the box, and hit the “Scan Website” button. Let the smart Sucuri people analyze your site. They'll let you know if there is a problem and if so, its likely cause.  

Sucuri warning screen

If you get a result like this, then it's "Houston, we have a problem."

In this case, the site is being blacklisted from search engines and other sites because, in all likelihood, it has been compromised. Further investigation may turn up any or all of these issues:

1. Brute Force Attack: An illegal entry into your WordPress Admin.
2. File Inclusion Exploits: A method to compromise your wp-config.php, a mission-critical file in every WordPress site
3.  MySQL Injection: Damage to or destruction of a database where data is maliciously added or removed.
4. Cross-site Scripting (XSS): Presents as a danger to your site's users.
5. Malware: Malicious code that is being used on your site.

How you resolve the problem(s) depends upon the nature of the problem, your skills and/or the co-operation you will get from the web hosting company. You may also need to hire an outside service, like Sucuri, to clean up the mess. They may recommend the use of a firewall for the site.

But wait — there's a step before Step 1.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is not just a trite expression. In the business of keeping WordPress sites safer, it's true. At minimum, keeping WordPress software up-to-date is a must. Understanding how versions work with any WordPress software is easy, so keep this in mind:

1. If any update has two digits, like 4.9, that means it's a major update. New features will be introduced, as well as bug fixes or security patches.

2. If any update has three digits, like 4.9.1, this means no new features will be introduced. Three digit updates include only bug fixes and security patches.

WordPress software comes in three types, all of which need to be kept current:

1. WordPress Core Updates: Major (two-digit) updates are usually available two or three times per year. Three-digit updates occur on a more regular basis. Most web hosts will automatically do three-digit updates for you. The two-digit update is something you usually need to do on your own.

2. Theme Updates: Theme developers occasionally update their software. This may occur when WordPress itself is updated, but not necessarily; the two- and three-digit system applies for these updates as well. If you change your theme's coding, always make sure to create a Child Theme. That way, your customizations will not be lost when your theme is updated.

3. Plugin Updates: These can occur on a very regular basis. Again, you'll know what kind of update it is by noting if it's two or three digits. Good plugin developers frequently update their plugins.

Keeping Track Of The Updates

If you regularly log into a WordPress site it's easy to tell what needs to be updated. If not, I recommend using the WP Updates Notifier plugin. You will get email that lets you know if WordPress, your theme, or any plugins need to be updated. Ignore that email at your own peril! (Note: If you manage many sites, consider using ManageWP, which lets you update software from one c-Panel.)

Security Is A Shared Responsibility

Keeping software up to date is just part of the precautions you need to take to keep a site safe and in good working order. The web host also has a role to play. Have they added SSL to your domain? (You can request this and it's free in most cases). Are they using current versions of software, such as PHP? (7.0). Is the web host using a shared hosting plan? If so, that’s not nearly as secure as a Virtual Private Server.  

In your contract with a client it should be clearly stipulated that you are to be held harmless and without liability if a site were to go down for any reason beyond your control. This includes sites you currently work on or maintain, as well as sites you no longer have responsibility for. In all cases, consult an attorney to help protect yourself from legal liability.


Bud Kraus has been teaching the fundamentals of web design for thousands of students at Pratt Institute, the Fashion Institute of Technology and for his private students for 20 years. 

Besides teaching Bud works with individuals and small businesses developing their WordPress sites.

His free WordPress A To Z Series is for beginners or if a re-fresher course is needed. Get access to all his videos at https://joyofwp.com/courses/free-tutorials-course-to-learn-wordpress/.

Questions? email Bud at: bud@joyofwp.com

Montreal Design Declaration: “All People Deserve to Live in a Well-Designed World”

Posted by Rebecca Blake on November 14, 2017

Montreal Design DeclarationOn October 24, representatives from 14 international associations of designers, architects, urban planners, and landscape architects signed the Montreal Design Declaration. The signing took place at the conclusion of the first ever international Design Summit Meeting, and in the presence of representatives from three UN agencies: UNESCO, UN-Habitat, and UN Environment. The 14 international associations, along with four other design organizations, collaborated on the call to action. Collectively, over 600 national entities – design organizations, educational institutions, and design promotional centers — from 89 different countries were represented by the Declaration signers. (The Guild, as a member of ico-D, is represented on the Design Declaration.)

The Declaration challenges designers, educators, governments, and the private sector to work collaboratively in creating a world that is “environmentally sustainable, economically viable, socially equitable, and culturally diverse.” To reach this goal, the Declaration proposed 20 projects, from developing metrics to evaluate the impact of design, to fostering support and funding for design research and education, to showing the role of design in enhancing and celebrating cultural diversity.

The final project proposed by the Declaration is “Generate support for a world design agenda through distribution and statements of support for the Montréal Design Declaration.” To that end, designers are encouraged to download the Declaration, read it, and share it with their colleagues and contacts. The Montréal Design Declaration can be downloaded from their website. You can also like and share their Facebook page.

Illustrator and Member Cindy Salans Rosenheim Joins ADAA Judging Panel

Posted by Rebecca Blake on July 14, 2017

Cindy Salans Rosenheim

Guild member Cindy Salans Rosenheim was asked to join the judging panel for the prestigious Adobe Design Achievements Awards, the international student awards co-produced with ico-D. As an illustrator working primarily in watercolor and pen-and-ink, Rosenheim brings unique traditional skills to the panel of judges. Her work encompasses illustration for fashion and food, loose journalistic on-site sketches, more tightly-rendered editorial and children’s book illustration, and even hand lettering, maps, and calligraphy. Rosenheim joined Guild member Theresa Whitehill of Colored Horse Studios, who is participating on the panel for a second year. (We covered Theresa’s experience on the panel last month.)

A native of San Francisco, Rosenheim has spent most of her career working and raising a family in the Bay Area. She attended college at Tufts University, earning a BA in Art History and French. Upon graduation, she moved to the Midwest, spending two years as a staff artist with Hallmark Cards before moving to Chicago to work in a number of illustration studios. Her side client list reflects her breadth of experience, and includes companies (McKesson, Bain & Co. Inc;), major brands (Charles Schwab, American Girls Brands, Hasbro, Warner Brothers), periodicals (New York Times, Wall Street JournalHarvard Magazine – Harvard University,  Natural Health Magazine), and publishing houses (Random House, Macmillan Publishing, Ten Speed Press), among others. You can view her work on her website.

Below: Viana’s Italian garden. © Cindy Salans Rosenheim. Used with permission.

Viana's Italian Garden by Cindy Salans Rosenheim  

Metro-NY Artists: Pro-Bono Legal Assistance for Copyright Disputes

Posted by Advocacy Liaison on June 27, 2017

Copyright Alliance logoThe Copyright Alliance has partnered with Cravath, Swain, and Moore LLP and  Columbia Law School to provide pro-bono trial services for individuals and small businesses involved in copyright disputes in New York City. Through the initiative, Columbia Law School students working under the supervision of lawyers from the firm provide legal counsel  and learn trial skills as related to copyright law.

Designers and illustrators operating in New York City with a copyright dispute are encouraged to apply for consideration in the program. Applicants will be considered based on criteria published on the Alliance’s website. If you’re interested in applying for the program, visit the website to download the forms. For more information, contact the Alliance”s Copyright Counsel, Terrica Carrington, at tcarrington@copyrightalliance.org. (Please note that applying for the program does not guarantee legal assistance.)

 

Copyright Alliance pro bono trial services

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Guild Webinars

Webinar Banner image by Rebecca Blake

Looking to keep up with industry trends and techniques?

Taking your creative career to the next level means you need to be up on a myriad of topics. And as good as your art school education may have been, chances are there are gaps in your education. The Guild’s professional monthly webinar series, Webinar Wednesdays, can help take you to the next level.

Members can join the live webinars for FREE - as part of your benefits of membership! Non-members can join the live webinars for $45. 

Visit our webinar archive page, purchase the webinar of your choice for $35 and watch it any time that works for you.

 


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