Entries in Category Design

A Cam Mechanism Hole Punch

I'm informed by google's doodle that today is the 131st anniversary of the invention of the hole punch. Here's a lovely example from my office:

Another Illustrator Template, for Avery 5160 Labels

Once again I've needed to quickly produce some labels for a small prototype run, and once again I've turned to off-the-shelf labels from the Avery brand. Just as I did the last time, I've made a template for Adobe Illustrator so that using these label sheets might be easier. If this is what you're looking for, please download the file below.

Illustrator Template for Avery 5195 Labels

I needed labels for a small prototype run of a new product recently; lacking time to have these professionally made I bought some Avery-brand mailing labels and printed them myself on our color laser printer, finding that with careful design and a decent printer this type of label can produce surprisingly good results.

These 5195-type labels are 0.66 by 1.75 inch; 60 pieces come on an American letter-size sheet of backing paper. Avery provides templates for their label products in Microsoft Word format, which of course isn't good enough. I built a template in Adobe Illustrator instead and laid my design out on that grid. Because there's a small chance someone else in the world will find this useful, I'm writing this blog post and providing the AI template for download here.

My New Résumé, and How to Build It in LaTeX with SCons

I recently rewrote my professional résumé. In accordance with received wisdom I was always careful to limit the story of my working life to a single page, but I've heard too much lately about how this restriction is out-of-date and likely to shortchange an applicant; in my case I had to describe the positions I've held very thinly and leave out some of my minor honors altogether. Some of the layout compromises I was forced to make never sat quite well with me either.

Since I was going to radically change it anyway, I took the opportunity to implement my new two-page résumé in LaTeX instead of InDesign, partially for geek-cred but also to make it more maintainable: for instance, the plain-text source file works well with revision control tools and now resides in a git respository.

Building my résumé from source also solves an irritating little problem I had with my InDesign workflow: the need to maintain two otherwise-identical *.indd files, one with my personal phone number and email address for sending to recruiters, and one without them for publishing on the Internet. If I changed anything in one, I had to make the same changes in the other, and then make sure to export both to PDF. With LaTeX I can pass command-line arguments to conditional statements to make this easy. For even more geek-cred, I can automate all this using SCons and provide myself with “public” and “private” build targets for the two versions of the document.

A New Design

I've redesigned my personal site and blog, and would appreciate criticisms or comments. The layout adapts to a wide variety of screen widths using CSS media queries; try scaling your browser window or looking at the site on your mobile phone to see what I mean.