MAX 2011 and pre-MAX sessions such as the full-day Education Summit gave educators many opportunities to learn from the industry, from Adobe and from each other.

The room fills up quickly as doors open for the first keynote
The room fills up quickly as doors open for the first keynote

Having been a teacher in Higher Ed for 20+ years, it’s natural for me to look at events like MAX with an educator’s eye. This is a perspective I hope I never lose, to be honest.

While MAX is a great networking occasion for professional designers and developers, it also gives teachers a chance to some important networking as well. They have the opportunity not only to learn new tips and techniques, but to talk to the people working in the industry, learning what skills are used, and what ones may be lacking. I think this is invaluable information; gaining this knowledge can help immensely when planning new courses, or updating existing ones to be more relevant. Read the rest of this entry »

Two decades of teaching come to an end

The Winter 2011 semester was my last semester as a teacher at Centennial College and Humber College. Last week, I accepted an offer of full time employment from Adobe Systems. As they say in the movies, they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. But while I’m leaving the colleges as a teacher, I won’t be entirely out of the loop. Read the rest of this entry »

Update: I’ve fleshed out this post and it’s now on CommunityMX as a more detailed – and free – article.


In the wonderful world of web design, there are two main graphic camps – Fireworks users and Photoshop users. This post isn’t so much about the different camps – there’s tons of articles out there on that topic – but more so on the reality that sometimes – maybe even often – a designer either has to work with both applications, or has to prep artwork to go from Fireworks to Photoshop. Read the rest of this entry »

Earlier today, I participated in an Adobe “Tech Wednesday” author panel. I, Tom Green and David Powers shared our experiences, thoughts and tips about the publishing industry with a number of Adobe Community Professionals and Education Leaders. A great time was had by all, and there was a wonderful range of questions posed by the attendees.

These two other authors (and friends) have written far more books than I have  and they continue to be prolific content creators. It was worthwhile to me just to listen to what they had to say.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written on February 23rd, 2011 , Adobe, Education, On the Personal SIde, Writing Tags: , , ,

Today my latest tutorial went live on CMX. It focuses on the advantages of Fireworks Button symbols, how to create them and how to edit them. And because design doesn’t exist in a vacuum, the article also covers how to use various tools in fireworks to create the custom artwork for the symbol, as well as how to expand an existing prototype design to  hold this new content. I packed a lot into this piece, so if you want to learn more about Button symbols (and Fireworks in general) be sure to drop by Community MX and check it out.

Well I’ve wrapped up another one. I’ve been writing a series of tutorials on Adobe Fireworks symbols for Community MX, and this marks the 3rd of four to be completed. This latest tutorial focuses on Button symbols. What they are, how to make ‘em, edit ‘em and why you need ‘em. It will most likely go live early this week so check it out if you’re of a mind.

Here’s a teaser:

Fireworks Symbols and Why They Are So @$#$!! Cool – Part 3

In the second segment of this series, you gained more practice creating and editing symbols. You got the chance to see first hand how to work with 9-slice guides in a symbol. You also turned a high-resolution bitmap image into a non-degrading, scalable symbol. On top of all that, you added some structure to the original page and added interactivity in the form of hyperlinks to both pages.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written on February 20th, 2011 , Adobe, Adobe Fireworks, CommunityMX, Education, Teaching Tags: , , , ,

If you are using Adobe products in your curriculum (or for yourself) please check out the Adobe Education Exchange. It contains a continually growing list of resources and curriculum from educators across the globe, including some from yours truly.

Currently there are over 1,500 resources and more than 5,000 members. Resources include tutorials, course outlines, lesson plans and modules, tips and techniques, even sample files.

To visit the exchange, go to:

You will need to create an Adobe ID to get to the curriculum, but getting an Adobe ID is free and well worth the few minutes it takes to sign up.

Written on February 17th, 2011 , Adobe, Adobe Fireworks, Education, Learning, Teaching Tags: , , , ,

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