Support SaysBrad
  • (Most Compact 20000mAh Portable Charger) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology
    (Most Compact 20000mAh Portable Charger) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology
    Anker

    This thing, you need. Run your smartphone for days.

  • Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
    Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
    Klear Screen

    I use this cleaner for my iPhone, iPad 3, iPad mini and MacBook Pro. It’s great all-around and won’t mess up the oleophobic coating on iOS device screens.

  • Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams
    Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams
    Artic Silver

    If you’re having problems with your Adonit Jot capacitive touch stylus or Hex3 Jaja, you can improve its performance and reliability with careful application of thermal paste! For more on this, check out my capacitive touch stylus how-to fix-it guide. Months later (Sep 2013), my styli are still performing great!

  • Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint pressure sensitive stylus for iPad - Black
    Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint pressure sensitive stylus for iPad - Black
    Adonit

    Adonit Jot with Pixelpoint, works with a lot of new drawing apps on iPad.

  • Klear Screen's iKlear 8 oz. Pump Spray Bottle 7351-IKHP, Others, Electronics & Computers
    Klear Screen's iKlear 8 oz. Pump Spray Bottle 7351-IKHP, Others, Electronics & Computers
    Klear Screen

    The stuff I use to keep my iPad screen nice and clean!

  • Cosmonaut: Wide-Grip Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
    Cosmonaut: Wide-Grip Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
    Studio Neat

    Awesome capacitive touch stylus created by Studio Neat. Great guys, great product. I use mine every day! Bradtastic Approved.

  • Adonit Jot Pro Stylus for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Other Touch Screens (ADJPG)
    Adonit Jot Pro Stylus for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Other Touch Screens (ADJPG)
    Adonit

    Adonit Jot Pro is an awesome capacitive touch stylus for iPad & other tablets.

  • Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Walnut
    Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Walnut
    FiftyThree

    Even if you consider yourself a casual doodler or note-taker, you’ll love this well designed stylus. Built for Paper by FiftyThree, the iPad app — however, many other apps support Pencil.

  • Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards (Pack of 2)
    Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards (Pack of 2)
    Sportsman Supply Inc.

    Playing Cards for your password creation or poker game!

My Amazon.com Wish List
If you’re looking for an app, need personal or corporate branding, marketing material, an illustration, logo, sketch or design — there’s a Brad for that!

Entries in logo design (4)

Wednesday
Mar182015

Says Brad Logo Concept

I’ve been thinking about creating something simple to replace the SAYS BRAD atop this site.

I haven’t figured out how to color it, or even if I really like it, but I wanted to create something simple and clean, since most of what I design isn’t. It’s an S that looks something like $ with the bar in the center, but it can also be interpreted at SB — two letters connected in the center.

Maybe I can turn it into an Apple Watch face. Something that I don’t need on something that I don’t need… but kinda want.

Sunday
Oct202013

Favicon Design part 1, Ideas, Concepts + Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus

Adobe Ideas screenshot, freehand sketch

 

Learning how to keep my hand steady again has been a tricky process. Luckily, the iPad has some amazing tools. The sketch above, a favicon design concept for this site, was first loosely drawn in Tayasui Sketches, but I almost immediately switched to Adobe Ideas to take advantage of a new Bluetooth pressure-sensitive stylus.

The Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus is probably the nicest all-around stylus for the iPad. In certain situations, I like the oStylus DOT more due to its small tip and predictable, 100% functionality. The Adonit Jot Touch is supported by many more apps, and their SDK is actually starting to work as intended (it was buggy; more like a tech demo or concept product, not quite usable for my design style).

Adobe Ideas is compatible with a variety of pressure-sensitive styluses; with it, I've only tried the Jot Touch and Intuos (both work really well in general). Ideas offers pressure sensitivity and palm rejection. Pressure sensitivity works great; there aren't a lot of options for it, but simplicity is sort of Ideas' thing. The Intuos' buttons work to bring up a quick tool menu to make changes to settings like tip width, color, tool... it's really nice, but an undo option would've been nice.

The palm rejection sucks; it works by rejecting any stroke on the iPad while there's no pressure on the stylus tip, but as soon as you start actually using it in earnest, it fails. Tons of unintended marks, because in practice: you have to set the tip down first — pressing enough to trigger pressure sensitivity —followed by your palm/wrist, and then lift your hand before lifting the stylus tip off to finish. It's a nuisance; setting a simple folded microfiber cloth underneath your palm is much easier... and it actually works.

But that's not an Ideas problem, it's just the technology. The iPad wasn't, isn't intended to be used with a stylus. For shame, Apple! Release for us a Penabled version, or something like the Samsung Galaxy Note. Artists will buy it; they're excited about dropping $1600-2500 for Wacom Cintiq Companion tablets — we'll buy an iPad: Artist Edition!

Currently, I can only compare the Hex3 Jaja, Adonit Jot Touch (2.1) & Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus. I would love to test the Pogo Connect & others — I'm saddened that Paper by FiftyThree only utilizes the Pogo. I contacted them; they said that they have no plans to support any other Bluetooth styli, but that they're looking at the others to see how well people take to those devices. FiftyThree also mentioned that they weren't planning on portrait mode, but that it's been requested (duh!). Seeing how long they took to add custom colors and magnification (up to 3x zoom), it might be a long while. Like iPad 7 kind of awhile.

Contrast that with the great people behind Concepts: Smarter Sketching, and you'll know why I'm so excited about that app. Concepts as a free app is full functional, and an inexpensive IAP unlocks cool precision options unlike any other app I've used. Using a dot grid and guides, it's easy to create perfect lines and shapes on an adjustable, vector art canvas.

But that's not the amazing part; Concepts started months ago as a broken app with laggy pen strokes to a professional-use design tool with Copic colors... at less than 1/3 of the price of Paper. What started as an app with just a pen tool has become a vector app with a beautiful pencil, marker and airbrush tool — and it's fast and responsive. The pencil and marker are stunning.

The really great part about Concepts, however, is TopHatch, the guys behind the vector design and sketching app. I contacted them via Facebook and got a quick reply that made two things clear: these guys are nice, and they care about user feedback. I felt like my suggestions would help to improve the app — they even invited me to beta test it. I was told that I would be really pleased with the next update, but didn't get too many specifics. Only that portrait mode and Bluetooth stylus support were both happening soon.

 

Part 2 will be about favicon design itself (a sort of beginner's guide, I suppose) as well as my thought process for it, and a more in-depth review of Concepts: Smarter Sketching.

 

Monday
Oct072013

Writing and Blogging in 2013

The sketch above is a logo concept for a new blog that I'm working on. I've been trying to decide on what to do with my life since my disability has gotten worse and my overall condition hasn't improved. This year has been particularly tough; I might've done about 1% of what I'd planned on, and each day, I can feel the strain of chronic pain, muscle spasms and migraines taking its toll, sapping my energy and resolve. Just about everything takes a considerable effort.

I don't think that I had a particular vision for Says Brad when I renamed it, I just wanted a place to share thoughts on life, technology and design. I've enjoyed writing about and discussing iOS apps and iPad accessories, and sharing my favorite games. Several times I've thought about focusing on just mobile games, or just iOS — several times this year I've seen a glimmer of hope, the possibility and potential, only to be thwarted by illness or injury... or both. It's unbelievably frustrating.

It's given me a lot of time to think and read, however. I've had time to explore iOS7 (I really don't like it) and organize thoughts on the new Apple iOS. I've discovered a passion for mobile technology and figured out that what I really like about video games is story and catharsis. At times, I want to dedicate myself to sharing these passions, especially when I look online and see the (lack of) quality content (and poor writing) available.

I love the iPad and Sony Playstation Vita. In particular, there's a lot of negative press surrounding the Vita, and technology seems to draw flame wars about as frequently as politics. I don't like the hostility and personal attacks. Why can't I like iOS and Android? Mac OS and Windows? Why can't I like the Nintendo 3DS and the Playstation Vita? Playstation and Xbox? Why can't I have both Christian conservative and Obama supporters as friends? Why can't I discuss religion and politics with friends and in public?

Perhaps it's old-fashioned tribalism, something built in our DNA. You're not supposed to like the Oakland A's and the SF Giants, Raiders and 49ers, Lakers and Clippers, Nadal and Federer. You're supposed to choose, and never change sides.

It's been frustrating enough where I've thought about just writing about RPG stories... I just don't know that anyone wants to read my thoughts on Skyrim and Persona 4, so perhaps I might as well just keep it all private. I also don't know why anyone would want to read this.

Sometimes I don't think I have the energy to write about controversial things on a regular basis. I don't always have the energy... rather, I rarely do. It takes time, patience and the courage of conviction to state your position and defend it — because people will attack it.

My new blog will be built using WordPress, and I intend to devote a significant portion of my strength to it. If you follow my Facebook, you know that it's almost entirely political, with a few Instagram photos of my mom's cats and links to video game news and free apps mixed in. I love America, small businesses, free market capitalism and The Constitution — I want to share this passion in my personal pursuit for more knowledge and constant growth. I hope that I can continue to learn and educate along this bumpy road of life.

There will be supporters and detractors. I will always encourage people who disagree with me to share their thoughts, but I won't tolerate name-calling, personal attacks and vile, spiteful remarks. People can feel however they feel, but I can't afford to have that negativity seep into my life. I hope to have rigorous, honest debate and exchange perspectives and values with various people from all backgrounds. Mostly, I hope that I will have the strength to continue and carry on.

Thanks again for your support. As the Bay Area cools down and nights get longer, I should have more energy to get this blog back on track, too.

 

Friday
Sep072012

Design is a Serious Lifestyle

BC Logo Concept 2
"BC" logo conceptual designs, #madewithpaper

 

Bradtastic Brad Chin BC logo concept designs made with paper by fifty three
Putting letters and symbols inside of shapes and playing with balance and positive versus negative space. Reminds me of "cake cutting" from NUMB3RS. Says Brad

 

As an artist, designing for yourself is often one of the hardest things to do.

When I started designing professionally eight years ago, I would meet all kinds of professional artists who didn't have their own business cards and websites. Sometimes, I'd get the qualifying statements excuses, "oh, this card is temporary," (or old), "my site is under construction." Fast-forward: things are about the same, except I'm not out much due to disability and chronic pain.

Sometimes I talk to artists online — at least now it's easy to setup an online gallery, free blog, flickr account, etc. — but the situation is still similar. As a solo freelance designer, you can't hire someone else to design your own stuff, and if you want to pay the bills each month, you have to keep working.

Disability and chronic pain changed everything for me, every aspect of my existence. I'm doing things and dealing with things that I never imagined in my pre-teen years. However, I still like a lot of the same things.

I've tried to create a little something for myself over the years, eventually settling on something that I liked, only to create something better the next day, week, or month. As an artist and as with all things, learning and improving — progress — should be constant. Consistent. So it's only natural that I'd continue to get better.

Design is a mission

Design should evolve and progress with society and culture. Being a designer is a commitment — the process itself is its own art form. Design is a way of thinking and a way of being. Design must grow, and sometimes through growth, change, but the commitment remains in the roots. Great design requires a commitment to perpetual excellence.

But logos? Logos should be constant… at least for longer. Like a name, a logo is an essential symbol of identity, but it should be more. It should convey values and ideals, traditions and origins. It should impress upon and instill its audience with a thought or feeling. Good logos deliver messages. So how does a designer design a logo? Design is always changing, designers are always improving, but a logo should stay the same. A paradox? No. Difficult, though.

The big blessing, The New iPad

Using Paper, I created a few "BC" logo concepts — something I could use, like a monogram maybe. Throughout the day, I tweaked and refines these sketches; some were erased, others duplicated. Some of them work, others not so much. During this process, I thought about how I was doing what I was doing… and how special it is for me.

Several years ago, Apple released the iPad and surprisingly, changed my life. Earlier this year, I was fortunate enough to get The New iPad; just a minor update/refresh of the iPad 2 for some, this device changed my life again, and continues to with new apps and app updates.

Equally surprising is the app Paper by FiftyThree, my thoughts paralleling the first-generation iPad. (I loved The Next Generation from the beginning) When I first saw (both of) these, I thought more style than substance, and I probably won't use this. In both cases, I'm very happy to be so-entirely incorrect.

I couldn't envision the benefits. Both seemed too similar to stuff I already had, stuff I was satisfied with. Both have blown me away, both I've mentioned before.

I mention it now because both the iPad (especially the new one with the Retina Display) and Paper (with my super styluses, oStylus DOT and Cosmonaut) are my main creative tools. Despite my condition, I can quickly draw and write, even laying down. With Dictation on the New iPad, I capture thoughts without holding the device!

The stuff I've drawn here probably wouldn't exist without these things. Hopefully, both will continue to improve, as design should! (Paper could really use more color options, zoom, and Jot Touch/Jaja support!)

The bigger, better

The relationships that I've developed because of the iPad are perhaps even more extraordinary. I'm friends with people I'd never have met otherwise; people across the country, some from other continents, others out of our solar system on outpost space stations and starships.

Some of the app developers have inspired me to keep trying, keep improving. iOS developers and accessory makers (those I've interacted with) are all really nice people, easy to communicate with and quick to respond. They appreciate and often encourage feedback, constantly improving, as designers should!

In particular, I want to mention Lance Barton. His company makes blogging happen on the iPad. Blogsy is fantastic as-is, and is always improving… (there's a pattern to things I appreciate and admire)

Lance has been really courteous and generous with his time. We email, and although he isn't a big writer, he always responds. Hopefully we'll video chat; FaceTime or something. He's from California but llives in South Korea; I think that's pretty cool. Aside from being my friend, I think it's great that he cares a lot about Blogsy user experience and answers everyone's questions. I had an relatively minor issue publishing here using Blogsy; he invested a lot of time troubleshooting, and had his team figure out how to fix it.

I also want to mention Andrew Goss. He's a manufacturing jeweler in Canada and is fantastically generous and kind. He designed and made the amazing oStylus, and then improved it with the DOT, and then improved the DOT! He's also a grandfather. He designed the oStylus because he wanted a great stylus to use with his iPad. That's pretty cool.

Sometimes, the process is more remarkable than the outcome.

Design lead me the iPad and these people just as graphic design is the basis of the images above. Sometimes, the journey is more important than the destination. Perhaps design isn't just a way of life or result. Perhaps it's in the core, the components, the elements, the trials, the errors, the paths — both what is done and how it's done. Maybe sometimes God is in the details.

 

A final thought on portfolios for professional artists out there.

I've found that sometimes, a comprehensive portfolio can work against you and your client or prospect. This happens when a potential client sees work done for someone else, and is then set on something similar. Instead of presenting previous projects and too many options, if I thought someone might offer repeat business, I'd create a few free design concepts. The advantage is that it's customized specifically for that potential client, the disadvantage is that it could mean doing work for no money — and the risk that that s/he/they might take that idea and give it to someone else. (There are a few ways to mitigate this risk, however.)