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Dropmarked: Colors & Pencils

Here’s what the team at Dropmark have been clicking this week:

Dancing Colors - Swiss artist Fabian Oefner visualizes sound using simple items like plastic wrap, a common speaker, and hundreds of colorful, tiny crystals (video above).

Secret Life of the Pencil - This photographic project celebrates the humble writing instrument and the creative professionals who use them.

Time-lapse Mining - A group from Google and University of Washington piece together millions of internet photos to create unexpected time-lapses showing how landmarks evolve.

The International Flag of Planet Earth - Swedish design student Oskar Pernefeldt creates a compelling proposal to represent planet Earth with its own flag.

Seymour Chwast Archive - The works of legendary graphic designer and co-founder of Push Pin Studios are collected in a new online archive.

For more Dropmarked, follow us on Twitter and Instagram or subscribe via RSS.

Pro tip: Custom thumbnails

Customize item thumbnails in Dropmark

Along with cover images for collections, users on Pro and Team plans can now fully customize all item thumbnails.

While Dropmark works hard to generate smart thumbnails for almost any type of content (website screenshots, video stills, PDF previews, text snippets), you now have the creative freedom to choose your own.

Make your bookmarks, videos, text notes, or any item easier to locate by using a memorable image. Find the “Replace thumbnail” link in your item sidebar and choose any GIF, JPG, or PNG to customize your thumbnail however you wish.

This feature is currently available to users on Pro and Team plans only, try it free with our 14 day trial.

Shown above: paper typeface by Marianne Beck via It’s Nice That.

Dropmarked: Flags & Jetpacks

From flags to levitating light bulbs, here’s what caught our eye this week:

Roman Mars on city flags - the 99% Invisible host shows TED why city flags may be the worst-designed thing you’ve never noticed, and how to solve this (watch above).

Two Kinds of People - there are only two kinds of people in this world, and Lisbon-based art director neatly illustrates this in an ongoing Tumblr series.

Scroll Back - video game creator Itay Keren discusses the theory and practice of cameras in side-scrollers, along with plenty of classic gaming nostalgia.

Young Feathers - Jetman Yves Rossy and his protege Vince Reffet soar over the Dubai skyline with jetpacks, reaching average speeds of 200km/h in this stunning short film.

Flyte on Kickstarter - Simon Morris designed this gravity-defying (and good looking) lightbulb which hovers by magnetic levitation, powered through the air.

For more Dropmarked, follow us on Twitter and Instagram or subscribe via RSS.

Dropmarked: Type & Thunder

dropmarked-36days

From around the web, here’s what we’ve been dropping this week:

36 Days of Type - this collaborative project invites designers, illustrators, and graphic artists to give their particular view on the signs from our alphabet (shown above).

The Ultimate Guide to Pinball - from its 1700s origins, Hopes&Fears breaks down everything you need to know about the history and design of this (once outlawed) iconic game.

First ever picture of thunder - scientists from Southwest Research Institute fire a small rocket into a storm cloud, capturing the first ever picture of thunder with acoustic wave maps.

Geotagger’s World Atlas - an interactive world map by Eric Fischer visualizing more than 10 years of geotagged Flickr photos.

My Shortcomings - advertising legend David Ogilvy outlines his 12 shortcomings in this memo dated November 6, 1979.

The Onion Redesigned - the satirical news site discuss their redesign as only they could (“How can one improve upon perfection?”).

For more Dropmarked, follow us on Twitter and Instagram or subscribe via RSS.

Introducing Bulk Actions and Stacks

Within Dropmark there are several ways to organize and find content. You can organize your items into collections (e.g. “Inspiration”, “Recipes”, “Travel”). If you’re a Pro subscriber or on a Team, you can tag individual items (e.g. “Basquiat”, “vegetarian”, “NYC”) and then browse items across multiple collections with the same tag. You can even search all of your items by a particular keyword. Today we’re introducing two more ways to organize your content: Bulk Actions and Stacks.

Manage multiple items at once

Bulk Actions is available to all users and allows you to perform actions on multiple items at once, all from your collection. These actions include moving items to a different collection, tagging, deleting, and stacking. To enter Bulk Action mode, simply hover over the item you want to select and click the check icon in the top left (or if you’re in List mode, the far right).

Pro tip: If you select an item, then select another item while holding the shift key, you’ll also select all items in between the two items.

Group your collection’s items

stacks-row

Stacks are available to all Pro and Team subscribers and are the perfect way to keep your collection’s items organized. A Stack is a group of items within a collection. To create a stack, select the items you want to stack using our new Bulk Action mode mentioned earlier, then click “Stack”.

If you’re a team of web designers working with a client, you could create a collection for the project and then create a stack for each iteration or website section. If you’re a teacher, you could create a collection to share with your students and create a stack for each day’s session. What are you going to use Stacks for? Let us know on Twitter.

Pro tip: You can now merge collections as a stack.

Dropmarked: The GIF & Antarctica

Welcome to Dropmarked, the first in a new series where we celebrate our favorite things from around the web. Stay tuned for creative projects, fascinating videos, inspiring quotes, and other highlights from the team here at Dropmark.

Here’s what we’ve been dropping this week:

Antarctica - Kalle Ljung shot this stunning short film using a GoPro and Phantom drone over a 20 day trip to Earth’s southernmost continent (watch above).

9 Squares - twice a month, 9 different artists collaborate to form a 3 second animated GIF grid, sticking to a limited palette of 4 colors.

Visual Design in Action - a Kickstarter to reprint the iconic 1961 book by modernist graphic designer and pioneer of information design Ladislav Sutnar.

Skate Girls of Kabul - in a country where girls are forbidden to ride bicycles, photographer Jessica Fulford-Dobson captures the empowering rise of skateboarding.

Hubble turns 25 - if you’ve seen a picture of space recently, chances are it came from this now 25-year-old space telescope. (Now excuse me while I Dropmark every one of these.)

For more Dropmarked, follow us on Twitter and Instagram or subscribe via RSS.

How Sean O’Brien gets things done

Sean O’Brien

As a freelance design director and creative tradesman, Sean O’Brien combines the rigor of design thinking with a blue collar work ethic. Having spent 12 years working for agencies big and small on the West Coast, Sean now calls Minneapolis home.

We caught up with Sean to find out what inspires him, balancing life as a freelancer, and how he uses Dropmark to keep up with his clients remotely.

What inspires you?

I guess, not unlike most creative people, inspiration is found everywhere. I think we tend to be more observational and sensitive to our environment — our senses pick up on things that might be like wallpaper to others. As a designer typography, texture, and color are constant triggers — as a photographer light, gesture, and form are constant triggers. At a root level, my wife and I love to travel and eat, so there’s a constant desire to explore our local region, the country, and outside the country. We love a good road trip, and I do a fair amount of solo travel on my motorcycle every year. Motorcycles are a huge part of my life. The people and culture are constant sources of inspiration. I’m also a highly functional podcast addict and find a lot of inspiration from a variety of shows that touch on many different subjects.

Selection of work by Sean O’Brien Selection of work by Sean O’Brien

How has your move to Minneapolis influenced your creativity?

That’s a good question. Most importantly it has afforded me the opportunity to go freelance and have time and space to make personal work. Life in San Francisco was so aggressive — after the all consuming demands and pressures of the advertising industry you just want to go home, cook some food and go for a ride on the weekend. There wasn’t much space for personal work. It’s also great to be around humble hard working blue collar folks. Again it goes back to my motorcycle family, it’s a really active community of makers with less ego and live by a very strong “do more, talk less” modus operandi that’s really infectious.

As a freelancer, what does a typical day look like for you?

Ha! Well, it’s very unpredictable. If I’m booked on a real burner it can be 15+ hour days without showering, changing clothes, or leaving the house. Other days it’s a healthy balance of dividing up my day between a few jobs, walking the dogs in the woods, taking care of our chickens, spending an hour at the gym, and making dinner with my wife. It’s pretty cool to be able to live in a small city in the middle of the country and in one day work with folks here in Minneapolis, down in Chicago, out in San Francisco, New York, and Boston. Dropmark has become a huge part of my daily routine it’s so easy to share and collaborate in real time.

Selection of work by Sean O’Brien Selection of work by Sean O’Brien

Who do you use Dropmark with?

I use Dropmark everyday across multiple jobs. Some with teams and others direct to client. It’s the most sophisticated easy to use tool I’ve ever used, and it has made working remote a non-issue. Clients love the ability to participate via comments and contributing to the board. When working with agencies they love leaving it open in a browser window all day and watching the work come to life. It has streamlined my work flow by making communication simple, fast, and accessible.

“It’s pretty cool to be able to live in a small city in the middle of the country and in one day work with folks here in Minneapolis, down in Chicago, out in San Francisco, New York, and Boston.”

What does your workflow look like?

As a creative tradesman depending on the job I’m either working as a designer, art director, or photographer. Dropmark fits into my workflow from the very beginning starting with research, notes, moodboards etc; becoming the central hub for development of the work as it evolves from sketches to final product. In some instances it’s even the final delivery where clients can download the assets they need. It’s suitable for projects both long and large with big teams, to short jobs with one client.

For example with a team of two designers, a writer, two creative directors, a project manager, and two clients we all worked together for three months on a 150 page book from moodboards to final delivery all on Dropmark. We never missed a beat.

Lastly, what’s the most interesting thing you’ve Dropmarked recently?

I’ve been working on back to back pitches for an agency out east, and really stoked on the work we’re developing.

See more of Sean’s work at slwnstdy.com and follow @slwnstdy on Twitter.

Capture screenshots with Dropmark for Mac

Capture screenshots with Dropmark for Mac

A new version of Dropmark for Mac hit the App Store today. With it, we’re excited to bring a long awaited feature: screenshots!

Now you can capture inspiration from anywhere on your desktop, or snap in-progress work from your favorite apps like Photoshop or Sketch to share with your team for review.

Once installed, you can capture screenshots anywhere in OS X using the keyboard shortcut command+shift+5 (you can even define a custom shortcut). Drag to select an area to capture, or hit space bar to capture an entire window.

Choose any Dropmark collection to store your screenshots (personal or team), and choose to keep your items private or share with a public shortlink.

Tip: For the best of both worlds, choose a private collection and enable public items from within the app. Individual screenshots will be shareable on social media, but your full collection will be private.

Also in this update is a new preference panel for greater control over clipboard and notification settings, as well as integration with OS X Notification Center.

Download the app and start capturing today!

Improved thumbnails

improved-thumbnails

Thumbnails in new Dropmark are bigger, better, retina-friendly, and customizable. In addition to this, we’ve introduced some other exciting improvements…

Face detection

face-detection

Say goodbye to the awkward crop. Dropmark uses smart face detection algorithms to ensure your thumbnails look the best.

Website preview

website-preview

Hover website thumbnails to see a scrolling preview of the entire page (available in square view mode).

GIF preview

gif-preview

Perhaps our team’s favorite feature, animated GIF images can now be previewed by hovering the thumbnail (hat tip to Typical Hope for that last GIF, perfection!).

GIF preview is available to Pro and Team users only. Not already Pro? Up your GIF game with a free 14 day trial.

Personalize your collections with cover images

Cover images

As visual people, we can admit to judging by the cover. A good image can say it all. To help with organization and better represent your content, Dropmark now allows you to set custom cover images on your collections.

Collection cover images are shown on your new dashboard, and are a great way to make Dropmark your own.

Changing cover images

By default Dropmark will use your collection’s first item as its cover image. From your dashboard, you can easily customize this by hovering over the existing image and tapping the photo icon. You’ll be able to choose a new cover image in JPG, PNG, or GIF format.

You can also change cover images from within a collection using the settings menu.

Go forth and be creative. For inspiration here’s one of our favorite uses of cover images, courtesy UK-based creative Adam Wood:

Example