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 »

I was reading a post in the Adobe Fireworks user forum a day or so ago. Someone was concerned that Fireworks text controls were so limited that one could not create a hanging indent. Well, if you know anything about me, as soon as I hear a complaint or concern about my favorite Adobe app, I begin a fact-checking mission. 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 »

My new Twitter background image, created with my photos and - of course - Fireworks

New Twitter Home page image

A couple years ago I created my first Twitter home page background image using Fireworks as my design tool. The goal was to use the background image as a branding tool by supplying a mini-bio on the Twitter page, in what looked like a little content pod. The background of the background image  was one of my photos from up north, faded into the web page background color. And it was fine at the time.

Some time ago, though,  Twitter revamped its site, generally making more content available to people visiting their own home page or the page of people they are following. Which is good, I guess. But this also meant that less of the background image was visible. In fact, on my 15 inch Macbook Pro, the actual Twitter content was overlapping my old mini bio. Not good visually, or for branding. Read the rest of this entry »

I just discovered a site that links to a great deal of Fireworks tutorials and was pleased to see that many of my videos are on the list! Pretty cool if I do say so myself.

Spinelink appears to be a listing of tutorials that feature Adobe products. It seems pretty new as a site, but already has a comprehensive list across the Adobe family. This could become a great go-to site for teachers, students and professionals.

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: , , , ,

One of the main things I use Twitter for is my own version of data-mining. I filter for specific terms of interest like #adobefireworks, or #adobemax or #wireframing. Doing so gives me targeted results for information, and keeps me up to speed in those areas.

With the #adobefireworks hash tag, usually, I’ll receive tweets linking to tutorials. Below are a couple recent ones that are pretty interesting.

Creating highlights in Adobe Fireworks

Scaling Attributes in Fireworks

Written on February 17th, 2011 , Adobe Fireworks, Education, On the Personal SIde Tags: , ,

I attended an excellent web cast last night, held by Dave Hogue. Dave is a user experience and interaction designer and uses Fireworks for building wireframes and prototypes every day in his position as Director of Information Design at Fluid Inc. in San Francisco.

In the web cast, Dave demonstrated several of the techniques he uses to keep his Fireworks files trim and organized, and shared many tips with us on how to streamline our own workflow process. This 30 minute web cast was recorded and is time well spent if you are learning about or working in the interactive design field. Be sure to check it out.

Jim's home on the Web is proudly powered by WordPress and the Theme Adventure by Eric Schwarz
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).

Jim's home on the Web

My thoughts and musings about photography, teaching and technology