What Software Should I Use to Create My CD or DVD Artwork?

After recording your album, having it mastered and pressed, you head over to your disc duplication facility’s website to place your order. Reading up on the ordering process you notice that you have the option to have artwork printed on the disc face, and can also have tray card and insert artwork printed. This is a great idea, as it allows you to give your project a more professional look and feel. You can either hire a print designer, who will hopefully already know all of the proceeding information. Or you can have a go at it yourself, utilizing one of the many different graphics creation programs available. If you are choosing to create your own artwork, read on.

There are many different programs out there that can be used to create print artwork. One of the more popular programs is Adobe Illustrator. Adobe Illustrator is a vector based drawing program, available for both PC and Macintosh computers. You could also use, CorelDRAW, Paint Shop Pro, or even Adobe Photoshop. I will go into a little bit more detail about what the differences are between some of these programs later on in this article, and why some of them are better suited for print design. Here is a list of 3 terms you should be familiar with before starting your artwork project.

1. Raster Graphics

Raster graphics are also known as bitmap graphics. This form of graphics image is a data file or structure representing a generally rectangular grid of pixels, or blocks of color, on a computer monitor, or other display device. Think of a raster images as a checkers board, with each square (pixel) on the board displaying a different color. This collection of colored dots (pixels), in turn form the full picture. The quality of a raster image is determined by the total number of pixels (resolution), and the amount of information in each pixel. Raster graphics are practical for photographs and photo-realistic images because of the way that they display images. Pretty much all photos you will find on the internet, and all photos you take with your digital camera will be raster images. You may want to use photographs for your CD or DVD’s artwork, but you must mind a few certain things:

A. DPI –
I will go into this a bit further in the “DPI” section of this article. In a nutshell, any photograph that you would like to use for print must be 300 DPI (dots per inch) or higher. DPI refers to the density of pixel information in a photograph.

B. Color Mode –
There are two basic modes of color: RGB and CMYK. All you need to know really is that all print artwork must be created as a CMYK document, as this refers to the colors of ink that a printer uses to recreate your artwork. If you create your artwork as an RGB document, the printed document will most likely shift in color. For more info on this, please refer to my last article. What do you need to start a CD duplication project?

2. Vector Graphics

Also known as geometric modeling, this form of graphic uses geometrical primitives such as points, curves, and lines to represent images. Instead of displaying blocks of color to represent a photo vector images rely on set points to determine the outline of an object, using mathematical formulas to determine the curve of the lines between said set points. Vector graphics are ideal for simple or composite drawings that do not need to achieve photo-realism. I suggest that you used vector objects for all of your artwork’s areas that are not photos.

3. DPI

Dots per inch, (DPI) is the number of individual dots of ink a printer can produce within a one-inch space. This translates as, the higher the DPI, the sharper the image. Although, most commercial printers will tell you that anything over 300DPI would be considered “print-quality”. I recommend that you make sure that your artwork is at least 300DPI, with 600DPI being the optimal setting for your artwork.

After all this technical mumbo-jumbo, you’re probably scratching your head, still unsure of what program to use to create your artwork. The truth is you can use pretty much any graphics program to create your artwork, providing that you correctly set the DPI and color mode of your document. Personally, I usually use a combination of Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator to do all of my print artwork. I edit all bitmap images in Photoshop and create all of my vector content in Illustrator, combining the two in Illustrator. My advice is now that you have the basic background knowledge, experiment to figure out what works best for you!

Cooking Utensils: the Truth Behind the Hype

Using the most suitable cooking utensils can make the difference between a wonderfully planned gastronomic banquet and an awkwardly made excuse-for-food. Or so the celebrity chefs who are sponsored by the major kitchenware companies would have us believe. The question we novice chefs have to ask is, ‘Do the correct tools genuinely make all the difference?’ ‘Does the way you chop, slice, dice and dish out your meat and two veg physically affect the flavour?’

Okay, granted, if you lack the appropriate utensils, it may be tricky to drain your pasta without picking up a couple of third degree burns, and you might find those curly radishes to top your salad bowl difficult to pull off, but is there really an optimal shape and size for food intended for the human mouth? To get a short answer to this question, we need to take a look at Chinese cuisine.

Chinese recipes emphasize the importance of presentation. Eating is a sensory experience. If the food looks, smells and even sounds good (think of sizzling woks wheeled to your table in a good restaurant) we’re salivating even before the first morsel gets anywhere near our mouths. Chinese chefs have long understood that your senses are connected. Your senses all lead to the same place – your brain. And it’s your brain that makes the final assessment. As innumerable sponsored-up-to-their-eyeballs master chefs will fall over each other to inform you, the way you prepare your veggies and present your dishes will have an enormous affect on the way your meal will taste The other definitive feature of Chinese cooking is the way the vegetables and meat are cut. There are strict rules concerning the size and shape of the food on the plate. Each dish should be easy to handle – it should invite you to pick it up… but then again you’ll have to use chopsticks.

Cooking utensils, it would seem, really can transform a mundane meal into a feast… if you know how to use them. Owning the appropriate set of knives to chop and cut, nip and tuck, is one thing; owning the skills to use them is another. However, to develop your technique, you need to own the utensils in the first place. You have to start somewhere, and leafing through a kitchenware brochure at the behest of some celebrity chef or other is as good a place to start as any – the best place to start is from the recipe. After all, the recipe is what you are interested in, and what you and your family is going to end up eating.

What makes a cook into a master chef? The salient factor is their ability to shower their creations with loving care and attention, as anyone who has read an Isabelle Allende novel will testify. Once you have your tools and skills, the possibilities for experimentation and gastronomic exploration are boundless. And you can bet there is a specially designed set of cooking utensils to cope with any culinary creation you might dream up. For the majority of us, one appliance can be adapted to manage a diverse range kitchen tasks, but for the experts there is a specific tool for each and every kitchen task.

This apparently trivial distinction between the two ways of thinking about cooking can have a profound affect on your meals. Take an onion, for example. According to the experts, it should be sliced a particular way to enhance the flavour, although, as we have learnt from the Chinese, the visual result is at least as big a factor in determining how the food will taste. Viewed in this way, slicing the onion ‘after the book’ becomes as important as, say, the amount of oil you add to the pan. It would seem that using the right kitchen utensil in the chef’s domain is imperative. In short, prepping your ingredients by following someone’s mealtime master plan can transform the appearance and flavour of the final dish. Get this right and you are no longer a cook. You are a chef

Selecting The Best Utensil

Selecting the right set of cooking utensils is dependent on the content of each individual recipe. Suggestions for cooking utensils are very often presented within the cooking book or online recipe page and, traditionally, they are accompanied by clear instructions to enable you to choose the right utensil for the right job. Cooking utensils, it would seem, do have a central role to play. Your family is certain to enjoy the excellence of your cooking if it is prepared with skill and loving care, but if not, they may reach for an entirely different set of utensils.

There are many companies that produce fine cooking utensils, but on balance, it is better to start from the recipe book and build up a collection of what you need as needs arise before you start leafing through the pages of glossy catalogues.

The Life, Times and Clothes of Vivienne Westwood

Vivienne Westwood is today famous around the world as one of the most cutting edge and out there designers of our time and is credited with bringing many subcultures in the world into the mainstream and integrating the design elements from all these subcultures into her fashion collections much to the acclaim of fashion critics and the general public as well.

She is most often credited and quite rightly so with being the person or the fashion designer who has almost single handedly bought the punk and new wave subcultures and their unique design elements and styles into the world of main stream fashion.

Vivienne Westwood has now been putting fashion collections on the ramps of fashion weeks for nearly thirty years as this year will be the thirteenth anniversary of the first time that she showed a fashion collection to the world. In 1981 she showed her first collection in a catwalk show and the theme that she chose for the collection was pirates. In the following years which include the rest of the nineteen eighties and the beginning of the consequent decade, she released fashion collections one after another to ever increasing applause and appreciation from the fashion world and she calls those years the pagan years.

During this period Vivienne Westwood took her inspiration from everything from punks to ragamuffins and even what she calls in a phrase that she covered herself, Tatler girls. She has received a lot of recognition for her services to the world of British fashion in particular and the fashion world in general as well. Not only has Westwood won the designer of the year award many times, she has also received some of the highest honors awarded by the country of England and has been awarded an Order of the British Empire for her services to fashion as far back as nineteen ninety two. A few years later in recognition of her continuing services and ever cutting edge styles and fashion collections, the OBE was changed to an even higher honor a DBE in the year two thousand and six.

Today her clothes are sold around the world as well as in three exclusive shops in London as well as one in Leeds and one in Milan in Italy. The best place to look at her is fantastic creations though is still online at a reputable online retailer that will always have the latest pieces available at the best prices.

How to Value a Domain Name OR How to Appraise a Domain Name

The worth, price or value of a domain name can scope anywhere from couple of dollars to millions of dollars. The real challenge is how to evaluate the actual price of a specific domain name or how to calculate the website worth. There are unexpected and sudden news all the time about some companies are paying thousands of dollars for a domain name which is highly relevant to their business and company name. The considerable deficiency on the argument of people that don’t think that domains play an important role on the success of websites lies on the supposition that web surfers will bookmark or subscribe to a given website right after visiting it.

There are couple of important things and true techniques for appraising a domain name, you should look at when trying to evaluate and it include:

  1. The length of the domain, the shorter the domain is, the more it will cost. Because when domain name is short, it is easy to spell, remember and descriptive or brand able. Your domain should not contain hyphens and numbers and for me it should be with.com extension.
  2. One, two or three word domain names are much valuable than the others (Now a days, it is impossible to find a three word domain name with.com or.net extension). So, domains with very few words value the most.
  3. Websites that have been around for a long time in the search engines rank better, and so this increases their value. However, most sites that have been around for a long time aren’t for sale, so convincing the owner might take even more money.
  4. If we collect information from the start (August 6, 1991, first website went online) then most commonly, oldest and popular domain name had 7 or 8 characters and 2 words. Now, approx. 85% domain names having.com extension. Remain percentage having .net, .org, .biz and specific extension related to country names. Three to seven percent contains number or dash with their domain names. So, for me.com extension worth more than others.
  5. If the domains names that are difficult to spell, have non-alphabetic characters, are extremely long, or difficult to type in are not going to be worth more as compared easy to spell and easy to type domain names. Moreover, if you have already purchased a domain name with the extension or top-level domain (TLD) like.com, .net, .org, etc. can’t be changed once you own the domain.

What we can do to improve domain’s value?

Domain names were discover to make it easier for people to access websites, so it’s important that your domain is easily understandable.

  1. Does the domain sound good?
  2. Will people know how to spell it after hearing it?
  3. Is it easy to remember?

Any confusion that your domain causes will negatively impact how much others are willing to shell out.

Now, the most important thing is, what we can do to improve the domain value is the same as what you do to improve your website’s value right now before you sell the domain. It is compulsory, get more customers visiting your website. The more popular your site is, the more valuable the domain will become.

Definitely, if users or customers are eligible to find the website in search (Google, Bing, and Yahoo) there will be more visitors so, improve website’s SEO. For search engine optimization (SEO) you can find different solution like, on page and off page SEO. Increase the content as well, the more content you have on your website the more pages there are for people to visit. Now a days, social media is one of the powerful source to get more traffic on your website. Write more and more blog or article, for this purpose find the guest blogging websites and spread your thoughts or products around the world but one thing you should keep in mind, it’s important that your words are easily understandable.

If you are looking for a fixed formula to calculate exactly what your domain is worth then, unfortunately, you are out of luck. Appraisal services can agitate out a number based on a complex set of criteria, but there is much more to domain names than algorithms and search rankings. A domain exists in the wider context of the online and offline worlds and all of their complexities and refinement will play a part in how much interest there will be in your domain.

Wondering how to value domain names?

There are couple of rules about what makes a domain more valuable. Most people who are looking to buy a domain want to buy one that is already successful and most people on the web define success on page views and customers.

To calculate your domain’s value, you eventually need to understand who your prospective customer are;

  1. From which industry they are belonging?
  2. Is website important for their business?
  3. How applicable is your domain?

A domain is only as valuable as someone is willing to pay for it, so knowing what related domains are priced at, how sought after your domain is, and how much too reasonably expect a buyer to pay will help you arrive at the right number.