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The designer’s thirst-quencher served weekly

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STEP Best of Web

You probably have lots of excuses for why you haven't yet entered STEP inside design magazine's Best of Web competition—looming deadlines, client meetings and the end of the writer's strike. Luckily, the nice folks at STEP extended the entry deadline to April 15, meaning you don't even have to ask for extra time. Send in your best web designs for the chance to see your name in lights … OK, not actual lights, but something even better: An article about every winning project is published in the magazine.

by Michelle Taute

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Gravity Free Conference

On May 12–14, 2008, Chicago's Gravity Free conference brings 22 impressive speakers together around the theme, "The Year of Dangerous Minds." It's a multidiscipline design conference that mixes ideas about book design with those relating to green architecture and exhibit design. You'll hear presentations focused on the why rather than the how, and this year's lineup includes such inspiring creative minds as Stefan Sagmeister, Chip Kidd and Deborah Adler.

by Michelle Taute

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AIGA Winterhouse Awards

Scholarly pursuits typically don't pad the bank account. But if you've been writing about design, there's a chance you could cash in with the third annual AIGA Winterhouse Awards for Design Writing & Criticism. It's open to scribes under age 40, and this year's $10,000 top prize doubles past awards. Enter three works—published or not—and be judged by such bigwigs as Pentagram partner Michael Bierut and New Yorker writer Judith Thurman. Deadline: June 2, 2008.

by Michelle Taute

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27th Letter

Quick, how many letters in the alphabet? If you've had enough coffee, you probably answered 26. But on April 3, 2008, The Art Directors Club plans to unveil 27 designs vying to become the 27th letter of the alphabet at its New York gallery. These wanna-be letters come from the minds of past Young Guns—the club's award for talented designers under 30. The event also kicks off the entry period for the Young Guns 6 competition.

by Michelle Taute

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Magic Potion

Cool ideas & design solutions
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Free Type Webcast

Squeeze in a little typographic education between that 10 a.m. staff meeting and 5 p.m. deadline—all without leaving your desk. On April 15, Dynamic Graphics magazine hosts a free webcast called A Type Design Process (2 p.m. Eastern time). Mark Jamra, a professor at Maine College of Art and founder of digital foundry TypeCulture, plans to pull back the curtain and share his type design process, which he's honed over 20 years. Register now to save your free spot.

by Michelle Taute

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Meet Your Type Match

People on the prowl at seedy bars really do inquire about astrological signs. But if you're eyeing a hottie at an AIGA mixer, you might have better luck with, "What's your font?" Just take the five-question Type Matching quiz to find out if your love personality leans more toward Comic Sans or Papyrus. Already have a significant other? Use the virtual date tool to see if your font types match up for a perfect layout … or typographic crash-up.

by Michelle Taute

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House Blend

Interesting products
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Ample Sample

Try out the product design arena with the Ample Sample contest. It challenges creative-minded folks to find new life for outdated carpet samples otherwise destined for the landfill. Last year's finalists included a mod-looking lounge chair, an eco-friendly purse and a handy magazine holder. Think you can do better? Upload an image of your design along with instructions for building it by May 10, 2008. Winners get bragging rights along with promotion of their designs at NeoCon—a prominent interior design trade show—and in Floor Focus magazine.

by Michelle Taute

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Graft

And now that you've saved a few pennies sprucing up your digital environment, you can splurge on the 3D one. The clever folks at Gouthier Design turned printing plates from the firm's design and business journal, Graft, into compelling pieces of art. They brushed 6 x 6-inch sections of aluminum printing plates with separation colors—cyan, yellow, magenta or specialty metallic. Black plates received highlights in white. These limited editions are mounted on 3-inch-deep frame casings and sell for $75.

by Michelle Taute

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Desktop Wallpaper Project

It's time for a little digital redecorating. Make your computer or iPhone homier with The Desktop Wallpaper Project. It's high design for the low, low price of free. Every Wednesday a new desktop pattern goes live from one of 60 different artists. The first offerings include a mesmerizing tableau from McBess, a captivating character from artist Tim Biskup and a bright, cheery haunted forest created by illustrator Andrew Groves.

by Michelle Taute

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