Most industries have networking groups supporting the efforts of their members, making resources available to all of us. Many problems have already been solved; use the experience and advice of others to insure your success.
Creativity comes from the strangest places, and sometimes our hobbies and interests bring us the inspiration we are looking for. Some of the links below are our employee favorites. Try them out and see if you hit inspiration along the way.
Links for tech info, updates, and help.
|Adobe everything you need from updates to help and ideas from the leading graphics software company in the industry.
Quark Xpress a leader in layout and design software, Quark is a standard in the publishing industry
Version Tracker - we use this one all the time. Keeps track of versions of every software you can imagine, including Freeware and Shareware, providing links and information on updates and features. Also a great place to find software and utilities you didn't know existed.
Apple - everything Apple. Find updates, tech support, FAQ's, i-Tunes, and more. We love the widgets you can add to your OSX dashboard making your Mac even more handy and user freindly, as well as fun.
Shareware.com - a great resource for all kinds of share and freeware for every platform. Great utilities to make you more efficient, accomplish tasks, and occasionally save you from a disaster. Keep this link around, you never know when you'll need some little bit of programming to make life easier.
International Color Consortium - THE site for color geeks. These are the folks that set the standards for color theory, color profiles. This is deep complex information, not for the faint of heart, but for those that are really into the science of color.
Photoshop Color Management - color set-ups and tutorials for PhotoShop color management, all the latest tips and tricks to help make your color your predictable and consistent.
ColorManagement.com - Tips and reviews of color management systems and software, many resources for those considering a colormanagement system. You can ask the experts and find a system that will integrate with your work flow and help you gain control over your color.
Pantone - the international standard for color communication. You can find many resources as well as order Pantone books for your use. Everybody knows what you are talking about when you spec a Pantone color. Get the color you want and make sure your vendors know what you expect.
Associations committed to training, design, promotion, and marketing.
|The National Association for Interpretation - a professional organization dedicated to advancing the profession of heritage interpretation, currently serving about 5000 members in the United States, Canada, and over thirty other nations. Individual members include those who work at parks, museums, nature centers, zoos, botanical gardens, aquariums, commercial tour companies, and theme parks.
Society for Environmental Graphic Design - SEGD is an international non-profit educational organization providing resources for design specialists in the field of environmental graphic design, architecture, and landscape, interior, and industrial design. SEGD members are leading designers of directional and attraction sign systems, destination graphics, identity programs, exhibits, and themed environments.
The Art Director's Club - The ADC is the premier organization for integrated media and the first international creative collective of its kind. Founded in New York in 1920, the ADC is a self-funding, not-for-profit membership organization that celebrates and inspires creative excellence, connecting creative visual communications professionals from around the world. Chapters in many of the larger cities offer excellent programs and networkiing events.
American Association of Graphic Arts - committed to furthering excellence in design as a broadly-defined discipline, strategic tool for business and cultural force. AIGA is the place design professionals turn to first to exchange ideas and information, participate in critical analysis and research and advance education and ethical practice.
Graphic Artists Guild - a national union of illustrators, designers, web creators, production artists, surface designers and other creatives who have come together to pursue common goals, share their experience, raise industry standards, and improve the ability of visual creators to achieve satisfying and rewarding careers.
The Environmental Design Research Association - The Environmental Design Research Association (edra) is an international, interdisciplinary organization founded in 1968 by design professionals, social scientists, students, educators, and facility managers. The purpose of edra is the advancement and dissemination of environmental design research, thereby improving understanding of the interrelationships between people, their built and natural surroundings, and helping to create environments responsive to human needs.
International Sign Association - the ISA is a great resource for sign standards and design resources, as well as studies outliing the economic benefit of signage. They also sponsor a design competition for design professionals.
Great resources for design ideas, color ideas and techniques.
|Deviant Art - an incredibly active art community. Art in every category you can think of and then some. Artist's from pros to amateurs share their work. Great for inspiration when that idea just won't seem to gel.
Worqx - Essays on a number of aspects of the theory of colors and the aesthetics of color combinations.
Color Wheel Pro - Color Wheel Pro is a software program that allows you to create color schemes and preview them on real-world examples. Click here for color theory basics.
All Graphic Design - a site that has TONS of links to all things design, from web to print and software.
Graphic Design Forum - a discussion group dedicated to all forms of graphic design.
Digital Thread - Web design companies, professional web design pages, web site design firms, graphic design links and typography. Just the best web design links and design resources, all the time.
Graphics.com - the shared resource for creative design, covering everything from running a design firm to tips and techniques.
|Stock Photo and Illustration Sites
These sites come in handy when looking for just the right photo or graphic to get your ideas across.
|fotosearch.com - high end photography and illustration from many stock agencies.
Big Stock - Inexpensive and vast this is a good place to check for images that tell your story without breaking the bank.
Dreamstime - another of the budget sites that has some great images at bargain prices.
Shutterstock - If you use a lot of images this is the site for you. Pricing is based on a subscription and makes each image download a bargain. For a design team making tons of layouts and proposals this can be a great resource.
Corbis - a huge stock agency representing many stock providers and resources.
Punch Stock - represents Getty, Jupiter, and Corbis all in one search. A quick way to find the image you need.
iStock - a budget stock provider that has 1.3 million images to search from photographers and artists around the world.
Comstock - a stock site with excellent images and several purchase options.
Some favorites from Aardvark's staff and clients.
|Digg - all about user powered content. Every article on digg is submitted and voted on by the digg community. Share, discover, bookmark, and promote the news that's important to you! You'll find plenty of little known articles and content.
engadget - the ultimate site for gadget hounds. News and links to every wild gadget out there and news on upcoming inventions. Careful you could spend hours poking around in here.
Cool Mini or Not - Tory's geeky hobby is miniature painting and this site has it all. Stop by look at some cool stuff and vote on your favorites. When you're looking at some of these realize that what you are seeing is painted on figures about an inch and a half tall.
Club Pogo - Tons of online games from Solitaire and Cribbage to Black Jack and Poker. A fun community that incorporates chat with the games. An excellent stress reliever (read time waster) for the end of the day or when you need to clear your head.
Craig's List - online want-ads that are spreading country wide. Sell stuff, buy stuff, or promote your services. You never know what treasures you'll find.
Salon - discussions and stories of the news of the day ranging all over the map. From A&E to sports.
Think Geek - an amusing look at tech geek culture, cool stuff and products for your favorite geek.
Chordie - Our resident guitar hero loves this site. Guitar Chords, guitar tabs, lyrics and more for the serious guitar player.
The Internet Archive - The Internet Archive is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public. Tons of public domain resources for research and exploration.