The world of design is a huge, complex and ever-changing one, and important developments are happening every day. As professional designers, we need to stay abreast of events - but we're often too snowed under to keep up.
For that reason, we thought it might be helpful if, every Friday, we rounded up the week's top stories to bring you up to speed. Let us know if we've missed anything!
01. Major updates to Photoshop and Adobe's video tools
When Adobe made its big switchover to the Creative Cloud (opens in new tab) subscription model back in June, it promised those who signed up would benefit from a continuing rollout of new features. Since then it's been good to its word, adding new features to Muse (opens in new tab), the Edge suite (opens in new tab), Dreamweaver (opens in new tab) and InDesign (opens in new tab). And this week it was the turn of Photoshop CC (opens in new tab), which got an exciting new feature that's definitely worth checking out.
Generator (opens in new tab) is an open-source platform that allows greater interoperability between Photoshop CC, the Creative Cloud and third party applications. Right now, that means you can create image assets in real time as you work. This should prove a huge productivity boost for many - and if you subscribe to the Cloud you can try it right now. Find out more about Generator here (opens in new tab).
Meanwhile, if you use Adobe's video tools in the Creative Cloud, you'll be pleased to know that more than 150 new features are being added to After Effects CC, Premiere Pro CC, SpeedGrade CC, Prelude CC, Media Encoder CC and Story CC Plus next month. You'll find full details in this article (opens in new tab).
02. Apple launches two new iPhones
Typical. You wait ages for a new iPhone, then two come along at once. This week Apple launched the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C to the expected fanfare and media frenzy.
So what's new? The top-range model, the iPhone 5S, has a completely new feature set and is what Apple calls the most "forward-looking" iPhone it's ever launched. Headline features include fingerprint scanner, a new processor that makes it run five times faster than the iPhone 5, and an improved camera which can shoot HD video.
Meanwhile, the 5C is Apple's budget-friendly iPhone, which is made of soft silicon rubber. Both will run iOS 7, which will be available for download for the iPhone 4, iPad 2+, the iPad mini and the fifth-generation iPod Touch.
You can find out more about the new iPhones and iOS 7 here (opens in new tab).
03. Wacom unveils new pens & touchpad
Drawing tablet king Wacom always has something new up its sleeve, and this week it announced a flurry of intriguing new products. First up was the Bamboo Pad (above), a touchpad that adds multi-touch gestures to your PC or Mac, and comes with an onboard stylus so you can use it as a sketch pad.
Cleverly, it promises to distinguish between hand and pen input by sensing the pressure applied to interpret hand gestures and handwriting separately. You can find full details here (opens in new tab).
Wacom also unveiled three new digital stylus products. One is completely new, while the other two are second-generation, improved products from its Bamboo stylus range, first introduced in 2011.
The new product, the £12.99 Bamboo Stylus Alpha (opens in new tab), is described as "an affordable entry addition to the range, which looks and feels like a pen". The two second-generation products - The Bamboo Stylus solo and The Bamboo Stylus Duo - now boast a slimmer (5 mm) rubber nib for which Wacom says makes writing, doodling or navigating on a touch screen more natural and authentic than before.
Learn more about the new pens here (opens in new tab).
04. Yahoo's CEO causes storm over logo
Yahoo's CEO Marissa Mayer has been under fire from designers after a blog post (opens in new tab) in which she described how she and a team created the new Yahoo logo over the course of a weekend. Some designers - perhaps traumatised by their own experiences of senior management getting involved in creative decision making - smarted at what some characterised as Mayer's glibness, as well as unclear statements such as: "We wanted there to be a mathematical consistency to the logo, really pulling it together into one coherent mark".
There's been a whirlwind of comment online, including this fiery opinion piece (opens in new tab). But no one so far has gone as far as the interviewer at a Tech Crunch event who asked Mayer to her face (opens in new tab), in front of a live audience, "What the f*** happened here?"
05. New Google logo spotted in the wild
Flat design (opens in new tab) is big news at the moment, and so the blogospher jumped on this variation of Google's logo design (opens in new tab), which was spotted by Ars Technica (opens in new tab) in the latest Chrome beta for Android.
There's been a lot of confusion about whether this was a mistake on Google's part (as Mashable reported (opens in new tab)) or the rollout of an official new logo (as Ars Technica presented new evidence for (opens in new tab) this morning).
Either way, it's fascinating to see a flat Google logo out in the wild, and we'll keep you posted as soon as we get an official word from the search giant on whether this is legit or not...
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Is there a news story we should have included in this roundup. Set us straight in the comments box below!