Thursday, September 6, 2007


I've spent the better part of my multi-decade career developing software for artists and designers. This includes vector graphics editing programs, electronic publishing software, digital prepress software, and multimedia authoring tools.

In my spare time, I'm also a designer/illustrator. In other words, I spend my evenings using the same kinds of software tools that I've been developing all day. I hope this gives me a much greater awareness of how to develop tools for artists, designers and other visual creators. At the very least, it gives me a somewhat uncommon perspective on the commonly used programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash, etc. I hope to share some of that with you.

Although I may occasionally get into details about this or that feature of this or that program, I hope to keep this more on the conceptual level. That way, whatever you might gain from reading this will help understand some whole class of programs and features in general, instead of just XXX version YYY.

Some of these insights would benefit from a little understanding of ... (gasp) ... math! (What? Artists learn math?) Someone I know once commented that math is so non-visual. In fact, nothing is further from the truth. Math is very visual. Math textbooks are full of illustrations to help students understand the concepts behind the weird shorthand that mathematicians use.

I'm going to try to sprinkle a little of that very intuitive, very visual math in here, without relying (too much) on the weird shorthand. I call it Math Without Math.

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