Creative Tools

Livesurface — High Quality Blank Stocks

Since you can’t photograph what doesn’t exist yet, sometimes you need a realistic way to present your work before it’s ever been produced. Faced with this situation yesterday, we found Live Surface, a set of downloadable .psd files that allow you to show your work as if it was already produced. Priced at $29 an image, and available in environments or photo shoot settings, we feel it’s a small price to pay for a more professional design presentation.

Behance Dot Grid Journal

Dot Grid Journal

There’s grids, there’s ruled, there’s completely blank. Moleskine’s have done it all for us, but what we can’t find on the shelf was something in the middle of it all. Behance’s Dot Grid Journal ($16.50) is a compelling mid-point between the freedom of a blank page and the “Mommy, help I can’t draw a straight line!” rigidness of grid-paper that makes you just draw squares. While we’re aware it’s all been done before, we’re happy to see it wrapped up in a package even prettier than a Moleskine.

Remington Rand Typewriter circa 1935

Classic Typewriter

Looking for a little more annoying noises in your late night writing sessions? Perhaps, you just want to feel a bit more authentic, or maybe you feel the distractions of the internet weighing you down from getting some real work done. Enter the humble typewriter. Stylish, old school, and free of Twitter and Facebook. We love the look of this 1935 style Remington Rand typewriter, available for $525 from MyTypewriter. The only things that will keep you from getting work done will be stuck keys and running out of ink.

Liza from Underware

Liza from Underware

Liza, a lively script font from Amsterdam-based, Underware, is a mind-boggling family of fonts. Described as erotic but intelligent, one must explore the features and experience her for yourself to fully appreciate. While standard typefaces may have 500 characters, Liza has 4,000—getting that much closer to the variance in real handwriting. Priced quite fairly at 40 € for the standard weights, and 150 € for the full family and feature-set.

Cargo Collective

Cargo Collective

You could think of it like Twitter for your portfolio. Cargo is coming out of beta, and it couldn’t be a better time with the job market starting to slowly pick back up. An excellent portfolio orientated content management system, Cargo makes it easy to present your creative works in a professional manner without having to hire a web designer. That said, you can still customize Cargo’s CSS to create an entirely custom look to your site, so there’s no shortage of options to make your site your own. Better still, you can follow other designers such as Frank Chimero and Nicholas Felton and be updated when they post new work, or be followed by others yourself.

Vitesse From H&FJ

Vitesse from Hoefler & Frere-Jones

As always, we’re super impressed with the newest typeface from Hoefler and Frere-Jones: Vitesse ($199) is a modern slab serif with beautiful lines. We couldn’t put it any better than H&FJ themselves:

Engineered for responsive handling and a sporty ride, Vitesse is confident and stylish in any situation.

Zumi Digital Camera

The Zumi Digital Camera

For those of us that just want to take a damn picture, and not fiddle with knobs, buttons, and their ilk, Photojojo brings us the Zumi Digital Camera. With a taste of vintage processing to each photo, the Zumi makes photo documenting your life pretty simple. Not all of us can be photographers—after all, they use real cameras. Moderately priced at $170.

Merchant 4 Paper Holder

Merchant 4 Place for Trace

For those of you who are frequent sketchers there’s nothing nicer than having a paper roll rather than having to deal with pages in a book. Enter Merchant 4′s Place for Trace, which not only provides an attractive way to hold your paper but also your pens and sketch markers. Available for $76 in oak or, our pick, walnut.