Tag: Adobe

Dispatches from the Spry Hive: Week 37

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Tips.

This post is part of a weekly series featuring the latest buzz around the Spry Hive.

“You don’t think your way to creative work. You work your way to creative thinking.”
– George Nelson

Around Spry

Last weekend was the 3rd annual DrupalCamp St. Louis. DrupalCamp is a local conference for all things Drupal, an open source CMS that powers some of the world’s largest websites. Speakers and visitors came from as far as Chicago, Austin, and Belgium!

DrupalCamp St. Louis

Spry Digital uses Drupal extensively, and was proud to be a Platinum Sponsor for the event. Three team members also gave talks this year, which you can find below:

Managing Drupal Projects by Simon Yost

Type Systems! Why, What, How by Brian Goldstein

Doubleclick for Publishers and Drupal by Benji Damron

Graphic Design

Adobe Apparel

Courtesy Adobe.

Adobe has released a line of apparel that celebrates common stock photography themes, like “man sitting at desk, frustrated with technology.”


OpenType Font Variations is a joint effort by Microsoft, Apple, Google and Adobe to specify font formats, creating more harmony between font families and systems.

Webfonts are here, big time. If you aren’t using webfonts, should you be? This A List Apart article covers both sides of the argument for using webfonts, including adoption patterns and common challenges.

User Experience Design

UX Tools

UX Tools is a list of design, prototyping and collaboration tools that helpfully provides feature sets and pricing, to help you choose the right tools for the job.

Web Design & Development

Angular 2 has been officially released!

Everything you need to know about using color with A Nerd’s Guide to Color On The Web.

Gmail has been a little late to the game supporting responsive emails across their email clients, but now you’ll be able to use media queries for Gmail and Google’s Inbox.


Evernote is migrating all of its user data to Google’s Cloud Platform. That’s some 5 billion notes and attachments that Evernote believes users will be able to access in new and better ways thanks to Google’s machine learning APIs.


Further proof that we are all made of stars, solid organic matter has been found in dust particles on Rosetta’s comet.

CVS Keurig Cold Remedy

As we head into cold season, you can now bring the fight to colds with your Keurig machine.

Skip the tedious step of making coffee in the morning for your daily dose of caffeine. Power Toothpaste will give you the jolt you need.


There’s some web design and life hacking links to carry you through to next week, when we’ll have more to share from the Spry Hive!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 49

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

The arrival of December means ridiculous deals & great gift ideas, a mad rush to hit end of the year deadlines, and (thankfully) plenty of cheer & laughter. So, sit back and try to relax as we take you through this week’s news in another edition of the Spry Hive!


Shopping for a designer or web specialist these holidays? Help them geek out with these brilliantly curated gifts.

Fancy bringing your feline anywhere you go? Check out these awesome cat packs that
lets your cat travel like an astronaut.



Source = The Verge

Ever wonder how wifi signals make it from the router to the palm of your hands? Well, now you can see for yourself with this amazing app that visualizes your waves of wifi.

Web Design & Development

If you haven’t heard already, Adobe Flash Professional is getting a makeover in 2016 and will be reborn as Adobe Animated CC.

Sketch also made a major announcement this week. Mac users will now have to download and update the program directly from Sketch as they have pulled out of the Mac App Store.

Interface designers have been embracing a softer look and feel in their designs, and nowhere is it more evident than in these lovely examples from the 100 Days of UI Challenge. You can also download the UI kit to use on your next project.


Source – It’s a Shape Christmas

The countdown to Christmas is merely mediocre without the joy of an advent calendar. Web professionals have more to choose from this year with 10 advent calendars for web designers and devs.

Hone your CSS Flexbox skills with a fun game, Flexbox Froggy.


While they are still one of the world’s biggest polluters, China once again invested more money into Clean Energy than anyone else. That said, Bill Gates is evidently preparing to create a multi-billion dollar fund for Clean Energy here in the States.

Bike theft is no joke either, especially in Europe. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with would-be-thieves though.


Source = Exploding Kittens

The delivery might be cartoony and cute (in The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman’s typical style), but the problem is no laughing matter. Head over to Exploding Kittens to learn more about lowering the number of Kitty Convicts.

Speaking of convicts, US Marshals hopped on the Cyber Monday bandwagon with great deals on forfeited assets.

Hopefully this gave you a tidbit of knowledge, news, or laughter to share with your friends and family this weekend. Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to grab another dose of the Spry Hive next Friday.

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 42

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

While the first debate for Democratic Presidential Candidates took over our feeds this week, a world’s worth of news flew right by! So, sit back, relax, and catch back up with your weekly dose of the Spry Hive.



Boeing shocked the tech world with the lightest metal ever, which happens to be 99.99% air.

Without the help of Comcast, or any other large ISP, the town of Chattanooga, Tennessee now offers internet speeds of 10Gbps!


Use caution with Adobe’s Flash Player, as the company just announced a critical vulnerability in the software.

Following Google Chrome’s lead, Mozilla recently announce that Firefox will stop supporting plugins.

It’s always nice to hear someone own up to their mistakes, especially when they are internet advertisers.


Math class just got a lot more musical with the newest mod for TI graphing calculators.



While it’s no hoverboard, Lexus’ latest design was inspired by origami…and cardboard.

Here are a few UX habits that will aid any designer.

The countdown to Halloween has begun! Get excited with 31 days of your favorite horror characters, illustrated and motion animated.


While Foundation 6 is still in production, Zurb has released a Sass library for custom CSS animations, Motion UI, for free.

Once again attempting to create a more user-friendly experience on the mobile web, Google has announced a new project for developers aptly named Accelerated Mobile Pages.


Ever thought you’d have a shot at graduating from MIT? Well, now you have a better chance than ever, as the university announced their first degree using free online classes.

Forget about water on Mars, astronomers may have just found signs of life in space.

Evidently, some people were surprised to find Microsoft using the Start Menu to display ads. Thankfully, this feature is easily turned off.

And with that, we have caught up on at least a few of the stories that didn’t take center stage this week. Keep preparing for the fast-approaching Halloween and don’t forget to stop by next week for another weekly dose of the Spry Hive!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 41

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

As we move into October, NASA has unlocked a trove of old mission photos and robots decorate beaches. Sip on that pumpkin latte and enjoy another dose of the Spry Hive!


As if it wasn’t already hard enough to find a job as an artist these days, robots have started taking their jobs at the beach.

From the company that advertises their device as, “The tablet that can replace your laptop,” we present the new Surface Book – Microsoft’s first laptop ever.


What do you get when you mix Twitter, eBooks, and Music? A quirky yet awesome karaoke generator for any party!

Haven’t updated Internet Explorer to IE11 yet? Well, it might finally be time, as Microsoft is cutting off support to IE 8, 9, and 10.

See your face from a different perspective with this webcam manipulator that’s full of emotion. You’ll want to zoom in to see what’s really going on. (WARNING: do not click if you are prone to epileptic seizures or motion sensitivity).



Source = Adobe

Hey, UX designers, Adobe is working on a new prototyping tool that works beautifully with Creative Cloud called Project Comet.


Looking to put a little bounce into your next web animation? You’ll love Popmotion.

Some Google interface developers have shared how they create better user experiences by optimizing their web products using the RAIL Model.

We love Gulp for how it speeds up front end development tasks. Now it’s even easier to use with one of our favorite code editors. Check out Sublime Gulp.

The tickets have been selling fast for the inaugural WordPress Community Summit, WordCamp US 2015, so grab yours while you have the chance!



Source = NASA

Still don’t believe we landed on the Moon? Well, see for yourself with the 8,000+ photos from the Apollo missions, recently released by NASA.

Now, we know the internet is a place for cats, but this puppy playing with baby goats will steal your heart.

Fallout 4 is one of the most anticipated games being talked about right now, but nobody is as excited as this guy.

We hope you were able to lose yourself for a while with the baby goats, artistic robots, and other stories from the week. Don’t forget to come back next week to grab your weekly dose of the Spry Hive!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 35

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

Welcome back to the Spry Hive! In a week where we discovered that some of our jobs would be in danger if 5th graders were allowed to design and develop, there was no shortage of news and events to cheers us all up. So, sit back and enjoy catching up on this week’s news, from major moves in the US Chess Federation to widespread internet outages.


Ever since the advent of video games in 1947, developers have worked tirelessly to create an interactive experience that looks and feels as real as possible. Well, the geniuses behind Realm Pictures on Youtube may have finally figured it out, utilizing services like Omegle, Skype, and Chatroulette to create ‘Real Life’ video games, turning their interactions into absolutely hilarious videos.

There have been some major, unexplained outages across the world since last evening. Though it’s become clear that Level3, one of the world’s largest Internet Service Providers for products like Xbox Live, Craigslist, and HBO Go, is dealing with some internal difficulties, the company has left its customers in the dark in terms of the outages’ cause.

Are you the type of person that would love nothing more than to bring your cat to work everyday? Aren’t we all? Well, now you can get your feline fix in the office with this new online generator that allows you to recreate the purr of your furry friend.

We appreciate a little help when it comes to organizing our personal projects. That’s why we use Trello, a system of lists and workflows that makes it easy to complete any project. The tool’s applications are boundless, and to help users get the most out of the platform, Trello has released their own list of ideas as inspiration.


mad max

Source = Takumi

If you are a fan of the new Mad Max movie, Fury Road, then you have got to check out this reinterpretation of the story. Created by Japanese artist Takumi, the story is retold by masterfully combining the movie’s post-apocalyptic themes with the cryptic design of Egyptian Hieroglyphics.

While some designers have already begun migrating away from Adobe with other programs stepping up their game, the longtime king of creative software may have hurt themselves even more with their most recent updates to InDesign CC. Evidently, Adobe has decided to not include a slew of common fonts and typography, essentially leaving designers stranded.


Staying busy at the home base, we don’t make it to nearly as many conference as we’d like to. That’s why, when we came across this list of recent conference talks worth watching, we just had to share!

While you may be a master of code and development in general, how much do you know about the servers running and sharing your programs? A little sysadmin knowledge can go a long way for a developer, so, we want to introduce you to Servers for Hackers, which now offers all of their videos for free!



Source = Random House

There is no denying it, folks. We love history, we Love comics, and we LOVE beer. So, you can only imagine the joy and excitement around the office after we found out that a team was releasing a comic book about the 9000 year history of beer.

Some big news came out of Jackson,Wyoming this week as the town announced its plans to reduce the costs of transportation and food in general by using a vacant lot to build a gigantic, indoor, and public greenhouse. Thanks to their unusual, yet innovative, methods, the project is being heralded as one of the world’s first vertical farm.

While some sports fans in St. Louis are still reeling from the possibility of losing their pro-football team, the city’s chess fans just received some major news. Evidently, Fabiano Caruana, who currently sits as the 5th best chess player in the world, has decided to leave team Italy and relocate to the Gateway to the West, pledging allegiance to the US Chess Federation.

So, we hope you could once again find something entertaining or worthwhile to take away from the Spry Hive. Don’t forget to stop by next week and have the spryest of weekend!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 29

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

Welcome back to the end of the week and another weekly dose of Spry Hive. While the majority of the world was busy looking at Pluto’s true colors for the first time ever, companies like Doppler Labs and Facebook were once again attempting to change the way we interact with the world around us. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the rest of this week’s news.



Source = Doppler Lab

Are you tired of hearing all drums and no vocals at a concert or that expectedly unhappy infant on your flight? Well, the team at Doppler Labs agrees and has raised about 17 million dollars to commercialize their revolutionary ear-piece that gives you full control of the sounds you hear.

Web & Apps

During this past week, one of our team members came across an awesome website that gives you a fantastic perspective of space, how far sound travels and how fast. The best part? The long list of tunes used to serenade you through space.

It seems like just yesterday that we were giving Microsoft a hard time for choosing the name ‘Edge’ as a replacement for their current web browser, ‘Internet Explorer’. In reality, it’s been nearly two months since then, and the first wave of speed and stability tests are beginning to surface. Based on it’s early performance tests, the browser’s new name might be more relevant than anybody could have imagined, especially Chrome.

We all know that as email became one of the most popular tools for communication, it also became one of the most powerful tools for sending and receiving spam. According to the security firm Symantec, unwanted and malicious email messages have continued to decline and now sit at an all time low.


Source = Engadget

Those of you who use the Facebook app on iOS may have noticed an update to the software earlier this week. In an attempt to provide users with a more personal and enjoyable news feed, Facebook has made it easier to choose which friends and pages appear first as well as those you don’t want to see at all!


Do you regularly use Adobe’s Photoshop and curse the image editing program for its inability to recognize and utilize custom set variables? The plugin Ditto is just what you’re looking for, allowing you to easily set variables for settings like fill, x/y positioning, and visibility.


If you’re a digital developer that doesn’t follow Cubic Drone, where Curtis Lassam combines hilarious comics with the ideas and principles of coding, then you are missing out on some well-rounded comedic relief. His most recent piece deals with the constant cycle of issues and solutions with Javascript in what he calls ‘Relentless Persistence’.

As Sass gets more complex, with functions, variables, and control directives and expressions, it’s becoming clear that your Sass code should be included in testing. Sitepoint wrote up a nice tutorial on setting up unit tests for Sass.

Acknowledging how long it has been since providing a major update to their system, jQuery proudly released the alpha versions of jQuery 3.0 and jQuery Compat 3.0. Take a look at all the details release by the company and let us know how you feel about the changes.



Source = Youtube Screenshot

Apparently, McDonald’s recently encountered a bit of resistance after releasing a series of Minions toys in their Happy Meals. Standing their ground, the fast-food restaurant announced that they will not comply with the demands of irate parents claiming that one of the creatures is saying ‘WTF’.

A couple of people on our team, along with the rest of the USA, can’t stop talking about the new tv series Mr. Robot. Some are going as far as saying that it’s the most accurate portrayal of a hacker’s life, ever.

As noted in the beginning, humanity received the most detailed pictures of Pluto ever this past week from NASA’s New Horizons probe, and the world went nuts trying to figure out what’s happening on the surface of our solar system’s wannabe planet. While such news is obviously historic and important, our team’s favorite interpretation came from the comic genius of XKCD.

Well, as Porky Pig would say, that’s all folks! We’ve heard about topics ranging from augmenting sound in real time to seemingly vulgar toys, and even seen some major changes from companies like Facebook and jQuery. Hopefully you could find some form of entertainment or enlightenment in this week’s post, and, as always, we wish you the spryest of weekends!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 27

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

Once again, with a summer holiday falling on a Saturday, we all find ourselves working for the weekend. Eyes fixated on the clock, counting every minute between you and the fireworks, it’s no wonder we didn’t hear about Chicago’s “amusement tax” or everything swirling around net neutrality! Thankfully, Spry Hive is here to fill you in, so sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s news.



Source = CNN

The world’s eyes were fixated on Greece this week as the government finally defaulted on its loans. After banks closed their doors to the public, the country’s citizens have turned to Bitcoin to protect their savings and Indiegogo to save their country.

Hosting well over a billion users, there is little surprise in the fact that Facebook is being used for malicious purposes. As blogger Fioravante Souza points out, it’s important that you take the necessary steps to protect yourself from such attacks.

In an attempt to increase city revenue, the Chicago Department of Finance has announced a 9% “amusement tax” for online streaming services. The unprecedented move is expected to rake in about $12 million annually, affecting the subscribers of popular services like Spotify and Netflix.

Digital Age Issues


Source = arbyreed

With the entrance of the Digital Age, governments and their citizens around the world have been trying to figure out how solve the new issues that follow technological progress.  Weeks after the US Senate passed the USA Freedom Act, essentially abolishing mass collections of phone data, the word on the streets is that the secret FISA court has ruled that the NSA is allowed 6 more months of bulk phone surveillance.

On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, the European Union is attempting to deceivingly implement internet fast lanes. Essentially claiming that their fast lanes are specialized services and not ‘the internet’, a public utility, the officials are obviously trying to convolute the discussion of net neutrality.

While the United States was using secret courts and the EU was hiding behind redefined language, Britain’s David Cameron came out loud and clear about his stance on data encryption. Citing national security and fears of terrorism, Cameron has been fighting hard to outlaw encryption all together.


This past week a member of our team shared an aging yet riveting list from Scott Murray. A fellow developer and blogger, Murray has compiled a group of almost 20 blogs, guiding programmers on how to use their coding skills to create art.

Our development team has been leveraging Sass Maps lately for defining groups of related styles. There are many uses for Sass Maps, from defining groups of related colors, to handling repetitive declarations. Smashing Magazine recently published a helpful article on how to manage font sizes with Sass maps.


Source = FourSquare

Ever wonder how FourSquare is able to get its users the right notification at the right time and place? Well, their development team has released the secrets to their location technologies and shows you what the world looks like to smartphones.

Are you getting bogged down or distraught over the process of accessibility testing? Well, thank the team at Khan Academy for releasing the toolkit called tota11y that is attempting to simplify the process and educate developers along the way.


Securing more than 4.6 million subscribers, Adobe’s Creative Cloud service has inevitably made some enemies over the past few years. Rami James, a UI/UX and web designer, is undeniably a part of that list following his blog post extensively denouncing Adobe’s subscription based program.

In case you haven’t heard, there will be another movie about the late Steve Jobs. This time around, the film is being written by Aaron Sorkin, directed by Danny Boyle, and Ashton Kutcher is nowhere to be found. For those interested, the official trailer was released on July 2nd.

In a day that saw his house taken over by white tents and black suits, popular comedian and podcaster Marc Maron had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing President Barack Obama. While last week was commanded by all the talk about decisions made by SCOTUS, we all finally have the time to sit down and enjoy the podcast featuring POTUS.

And just like that, we are all caught up on this week’s news, having once again enjoyed the tales of a net neutrality, Bitcoin, Drupal development, and more. From everyone here at the office, we hope you have a safe and spry 4th of July weekend.

Dispatches from the SpryHive 2014: Week 25

Posted by spry & filed under Tips.

Happy Friday, everyone and welcome to SpryHive. It’s summer vacation season and a lot of people are out and about on road trips. One of our favorite ways to pass the time is catching up on the backlog of podcasts I’ve missed during, well, LIFE.  If you’re going on the road and looking for some new audible treasures, here are a few of our favorites.

A quick survey of the Spry team recommends:

Let us know what you think!

ICYMI this week, Spry Digital Partner, Ken, treated us to a blog post about protecting your security online. There’s more to come but it offers a great first step toward making sure your data stays in your hands. Check it out.

Enough small talk. I know you’re really here for a quick hit of the latest. I saved you all the best. Pull up a chair.

Social Media Sound Bites

Proving that they are hip with the youths, the FBI made a hilariously bad list of “current Internet slang“. The hefty tome clocks in at 83 pages and treats the reader to more than 3,000 terms that no self respecting internet dweller has even considered using. Given that one of the new frontiers of terrorist recruiting is the internet, we don’t doubt they had the best intentions. Whether the end result is actually…. useful is probably lost in translation. IDK what they were thinking, but it made me ROFL.

We were treated to an accidental teaser a couple weeks ago and Facebook’s newest messenger app is now live officially. Meet Slingshot. Obviously designed as a competitor to Snapchat, Slingshot lets you send photos and 15-second videos to one (or more) friends you’ve recently “slinged” with. Like Snapchat, the content is promoted to be ephemeral.  Unlike Snapchat, the app boats a “reply to unlock” feature that could set it apart assuming people want to do that much work for a fleeting message. 

In a heartwarming coming of age story, it’s being argued that Reddit, the massive forum-based crowd sharing platform, has finally earned the self appointed title of “the front page of the internet”. After a few rough starts and some rough instances of vigilante journalism, Reddit is being taken seriously as a breaking news source. Reddit engineers developed a moderated live-thread system that aims to keep the site at the forefront of live-news sourcing and reporting. If you’ve spent any time on there lately, you’ve likely already seen the benefits – news stories appear on Reddit sometimes days before national news picks it up, usually with more depth and cited sources.  Is this the future of journalism? I’m sure you’ll find that answer on Reddit before you see it anywhere else.

Developer Delights

What do you get when you put a server, a workstation, a PC, and a phone in a room with a little candlelight and some Barry White? Ok, it’s the internet. I’m sure there’s some variety of porn for that. But really, what you’d get is is HP’s newest offering, called simply (and slightly ominously) The Machine. Based on a completely unique and highly specialized design, The Machine can process 160 petabytes of data in 250 nanoseconds. Excited yet? Hold on. Samples won’t be out until 2015 and products won’t be rolling out for another three years after that. But it’s pretty shiny to think about.

Unicode added 250 new emojis to the latest Standard Update. Given that many major software platforms make use of Unicode, this means there is now a beginning of support for new emoji to arrive on smartphones soon. It sounds like Apple has been working closely with Unicode for this update, especially. Look for the Vulcan salute, a hot pepper, and a chipmunk to be headed to your text messages soon.

Speaking of new, Firefox 30 appeared last week and with it, some tips and tricks for developers. However, if Firefox 30 is, like, SO last week. don’t worry – the Firefox Beta channel for 31 is already up for Linux, Mac, Windows, and Android. Developers will happily note that Firefox is pretty much giving everyone an early birthday present a bunch of features that will make dev life a lot easier like a canvas debugger and an eyedropper tool.

Another great release for developers, ZURB has rolled out Foundation 5.3, or Foundation for Sites. ZURB promises that they’ve closed hundreds of issues and Sites is virtually bug-free. They’ve also included some new features to make dev life simpler, like an icon bar and a newly revamped switch component that doesn’t require JS.  Check out the full stats in their announcement.

Adobe’s got it in for your apps. The latest major update to their Creative Cloud includes a software development kit for mobile devices, potentially allowing third party developers to embed select Adobe technologies within their iOS apps. Making that Instagram selfie look flawless could be getting a lot easier.

Marketing Mayhem

Verizon’s new #InspireHerMind campaign is not only beautiful, it’s hoping to get more parents and caregivers invested in encouraging young girls to pursue STEM programs. Along a similar vein, Google’s Made With Code initiative is trying to address the obvious gender gap in tech by getting girls involved in elementary. We readily approve of both of these developments.

When marketing is good, it can be really, really good. But (and the nursery rhyme says), when it’s bad, it’s horrid.  This week, the Mexican government did some major backtracking after public outrage over it’s latest campaign to encourage breastfeeding, The campaign needlessly sexualized women while simultaneously addressing concerns that don’t actually exist for the average new mother. Demonstrating an epic fail of understanding your audience, marketers admitted the concept was a little premature. The campaign has been scrapped and sent back to gestate a little longer.

If you’ve ever seen a fast food ad that made your mouth water only to be disappointed in the real life results, this cuisine crusader’s project is for you.  Frustrated at the lackluster presentation and misleading marketing rampant in the fast food industry, he politely asked for a do-over. Turns out, with a little more effort, that burger and fry can actually look pretty appealing.

 Neat Things

Science may be nearing the ability to rebuild bones based on beer byproducts. Drink up for happy hour. You’re doing good in the world.

AMAZING things we bet you didn’t know you could do with Google Spreadsheets. Not going to lie, this is way more exciting that it should be. I’m a sucker for a sexy spreadsheet.

Hold on to your butts. The Steam Summer Sale just started. If today’s your payday, kiss that check goodbye.

That’s it for SpryHive this week. If you need us, we’ll be drinking a beer and pwning n00bs until Monday.