Austin’s creative class makes up a big percentage of local workforce

Austin-City-Limits-Festival-ACL-2014-Weekend-One-Day-Two-ATT-Gigapower-Graffiti-Artist-Lucas-Aoki_115233The Texas Cultural Trust has released its 2015 State of the Arts report, which shows the impact that the arts have on the state. In addition to economic contributions (i.e., jobs and sales tax revenue generated) and travel and tourism dollars collected, for the first time the report also includes new data that demonstrate the powerful impact that arts education can have on student outcomes such as pass rates, test scores and attendance.

Texas’ 42 “art and culture” industries generated $5.1 billion in sales for the state and nearly $320 million in annual state sales tax in 2013. Those sales are up 24.6 percent from 2003, when the state saw $4.1 billion. Full story>>

Retail Printing: Turn Two Week Lead Times into Two Days…

RemberWhen_400w Turn two week lead times into two days with faster, more affordable wide format printing!

As consumers are increasingly accustomed to information in real time, retail stores and restaurants must adapt accordingly, changing prices, promotions and features, also in real time. Our new wide format printer, the RTI Vortex 4200, gives businesses the ability to move quickly, by providing faster print turnaround and superior image quality with print costs that are more than 40% less than traditional inkjet prints for in-store signage. Continue reading

5 Graphic Design Trends to Watch in 2015

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Graphic design trends are fickle friends. As soon as you’ve mastered a medium or style, it becomes unfashionable and your portfolio cliché. But never fear! We’ve compiled a list of five trends that are sure to be big hits this year. So get ahead of the curve and take note of what’s to come in 2015.

  1. Temporary Tattoos – Looking for a new market for your design work? Consider temporary body art. Companies like Tattly (http://tattly.com/) and Flash Tattoos (http://www.flashtat.com/) offer exquisite, artful tattoos that last about six days. Forget those things you used to get in the Cracker Jack box – Tattly offers funky designs beloved by designers and other artists, and Flash sells tattoos that mimic gold and silver jewelry.
  1. Co-Creating – Some designers love solitude, but in today’s world the ability to work with others through social media is an important skill. This will only grow as more and more designers work from home rather than in big offices – they still need to collaborate to succeed. For valuable tips on collaboration, check out http://www.designingcollaboration.com/ and http://www.creativebloq.com/design/online-collaboration-tools-912855
  1. 3D Printed Designs – 3D printing has become a major force in many design disciplines, and some designers are using it as a medium rather than just a tool. 3D printing allows designers to combine sculpture, digital art, and engineering in one project. And it allows remote collaboration (see previous item). Check out some amazing 3D work here: http://on3dprinting.com/tag/art/
  1. Wide-Format – Inkjet printers that can output images as large as 48 inches have been around for over a decade, but designers are realizing that modern inkjets are simply way better than the bitmappy, slow, sloppy machines of old. Today’s equipment produces giant images that even old school film experts admire. If you have the file size, why go small?
  1. Funky Point of View – Drones are not just for wars anymore! Shots from above, shots from below, shots through goggles, shots through rain…any image can improved if you take a fresh view. Proper framing techniques still matter, but photographers are more apt to use a smartphone camera’s viewfinder as the frame than two trees. See some examples here: http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=1788#tabs1-point-of-view

Is it Worth Your Time to see the Chicago Architectural Biennial?

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Big architecture shows are hardly news these days, but the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial (October 2014 – January 2016), is the first time the city of big shoulders has officially showed off its skyscrapers, bungalows, and other architectural gems since the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893!

But does that fact make it worth a visit? No, but here are a few reasons why a trip may be warranted, and a couple why you may want to skip it:

Reasons to Go

  • First, this isn’t just a Chicago show, it’s the “largest international survey of contemporary architecture in North America,” according to press releases. The show, which will run until January 2016, will include installations about established and emerging architects from throughout North America and beyond. So if you want to see what’s new in architecture all in one place, the show’s worth it.
  • Second, the architectural installations will be complemented by art installations and public programs curated by Theaster Gates. If you’re not familiar with this Renaissance man who believes art can transform neighborhoods, check him out here: www.theastergates.com. His involvement ensures that the Biennial will not be boring, nor will it ignore the people who really make up the fabric of a big city.
  • Third, the event promises to be more than just a collection of cool buildings. Here’s an excerpt from the city’s press release about the event:

“More than a profession or a repertoire of built artifacts, architecture is a dynamic cultural practice that manifests at different scales and through various media: buildings and cities, but also art, performance, film, landscape and new technologies. It permeates fundamental registers of everyday life—from housing to education, from environmental awareness to economic growth, from local communities to global networks. The State of the Art of Architecture will take stock of the extraordinary ways that architects, artists, designers, planners, activists, and policy makers from around the world are tackling such challenges today.” Read more here>>

  • Finally, if you love architecture, Chicago is simply a cool place to be. You can see the big name stuff – Mies van der Rohe, FL Wright – but also the street-level gems that make gritty city life better.

Reasons to Skip It

  • Ironically, the greatness of Chicago’s architecture is one reason you might want to skip the Biennial – you can see the best of Chicago’s architecture any day. Sure, the installations, tours, and other events will only happen during those months, but if the Robie House will still be there when the crowds leave.
  • Furthermore, visiting during the Biennial won’t be cheap. Even when nothing special is going on, finding a decent room in Chicago under $200 a night is not easy. Few schedule details about the Biennial have been released, but you can figure room rates will jump once news about the bigger events, such as the opening, are announced.

What the Heck…

In the end, you’ll probably be happy if you came. You’ll meet tons of people, see a cool city, and hopefully get inspired to do better work. Even if your wallet is a little lighter on your way home!

We’re Moving February 23rd!

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We’re excited about our new downtown location and look forward to the move on February 23rd.

Please note our address and visit us there after the move date!

Miller Blueprint, Co.
1000 E 7th Street
Austin, TX 78702