Mac Users: Think You Can’t Get A Virus? Think Again.

7 Oct


IT’S A COMMON MYTH THAT I HEAR OFTEN: MACS DON’T GET VIRUSES. It’s simply not true. What is true? If you don’t have up-to-date anti-virus software, you’re playing with fire.


Norton automatically detected this phishing site, which, coincidentally, is designed to look like a legitimate Norton page.

I use Norton Internet Security, which is available for Mac and PC. A one-year subscription is about $60, and makes sure I have the latest virus definitions through its LiveUpdate feature. This is CRITICAL. If you don’t have the latest definitions installed, your software will only search for old viruses. Updating the definitions ensures that you have protection against the latest ones.

Norton also has other protections. For example, it warns me if I visit a suspicious website, as it did when I was searching for the url to add to this post. To be clear, this warning can be triggered by suspicious content from any source, not just a Norton impersonator.

Even with my vigilant efforts to prevent my Mac from getting a virus, Norton AntiVirus, the software I use, found not one, but two. The infected files were sent in SPAM emails that made it into my Time Machine backup volume. They proved tricky to delete at first, but with the help of Norton support, I was able to get rid of them before they did any damage.

Don’t put yourself and your data at risk. Whether you have a Mac or PC, to make sure your computer is virus free, you MUST have anti-virus software, and update the definitions regularly! 



Sign the Freelance Isn’t Free Petition!

31 Aug

Legislation has been introduced to the New York City Council that would make it easier for independent contractors to collect from deadbeat clients. The Freelance Isn’t Free Act, (NYC Council Bill 1017-A) was introduced by Councilmember Brad Lander,  who represents Brooklyn’s 39th District. This first of its kind legislation is endorsed by The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), Freshbooks, The Graphic Artists Guild, and others, and it would protect independent workers against nonpayment and late payment. It’s poised to pass, but Freelancers Union needs one final push to hold deadbeat clients accountable for bad business practices in the City of New York. Sign the petition and join Freelancers Union in a Labor Day Thunderclap campaign to let the world know that #FreelanceIsntFree!

An Olympic Mistake: Tokyo Crowdsources Logo for 2020 Games

30 Nov


If you follow this blog, you know my opinions on crowdsourcing and speculative work, which I share with AIGA and the Graphic Artists Guild. Candid Thoughts on the 2020 Olympic Logo is a critique by Ian Lynam, Art Director of Neojaponisme, of a version of the 2020 Olympic Logo. In one part, he lays out a strong case against contests and spec work.

The post is worth reading in its entirety, but here’s the takeaway:

Why can’t the Tokyo Olympic committee afford to pay someone for something that is going to make them a lot of money whether Tokyo wins the bid or not?

Mr. Lynam also shares his thoughts on competitions:

I hate design competitions, and moreover, I hate student design competitions. Sure, it may help that student get a job after school, but design competitions are a form of speculative labor. We don’t participate in design competitions with my design studio, and I actively encourage my students to not participate in design competitions, as well. School should be a time for exploration and experimenting in the laboratory, not aping market rules, visual trends, and reductive thinking.

Mr. Lynam’s criticism of the logo, which was done by a college student, lays out strong arguments for why a professional designer’s expertise is worth the investment, and his comments on the competition provide a good explanation of why designers—and clients—should avoid crowdsourced spec work.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deal: Learn with Me for $9! 

25 Nov


Here’s a bountiful feast of knowledge: My Udemy courses are just $9 until midnight December 1!* Whether you’re traveling to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with loved ones, or staying home to enjoy a few days off, you can save big on these courses, stuff your brain and build your skills. Click the course titles, or use the coupon code BLKFRI159 to get the discounts.

Follow @josephcaserto on Twitter, too, and look for hashtag #JCBLKFRI to get unannounced specials throughout the weekend.

Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) for Beginners: reg $69

Adobe InDesign Turbochargers: reg $39

Color Basics for Print Designers: reg $19

Converting Type to Outlines in Adobe InDesign: reg $19

Create Your Own iPad & Android Publications: reg $99

Easy Snowflakes and More with Adobe CS/CC: reg $99

How to Become a Successful Freelancer: reg $24

Interactive PDFs with Adobe InDesign: No Code Digital: reg $29

Intro to Adobe InDesign: reg $99

Intro to Adobe Illustrator: reg $99

*Design for Coders not included. Offer expires at 11:59 pm PST 11/30/15. Limited number of coupons available.

Feel free to share this offer with colleagues, family, and friends. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!


Tell Pratt To Ban Crowdsourcing and Spec Work

6 Nov
New branding for Pratt Institute Cannoneers, by alumnus Wayland Chew (B.F.A. Graphic Design ’06).

New branding for Pratt Institute Cannoneers, by alumnus Wayland Chew (B.F.A. Graphic Design ’06).

This spring, I wrote to Pratt Institute, my alma mater, to express my disappointment that they engaged in crowdsourcing to get a new mascot design for their athletic department identity. Although I received a response to my first letter, my follow up went unanswered. This week, the winning design was announced on the Pratt website. The artist, alumnus Wayland Chew (BFA Graphic Design, ’06), was compensated in the form of $1500 and two gala tickets. The other entrants submitted their work, which became the property of Pratt, for no compensation. I maintain my original position: This is a poor lesson for Pratt to be teaching students, contributes to a practice that is damaging to the industry in which they are expected to compete, and to the livelihoods of Pratt alumni.

I want Pratt to join me and other industry professionals in sending a clear message that this practice, which is denounced by AIGA and The Graphic Artists Guild, is unacceptable. Please sign my petition challenging Pratt Institute to formally adopt an official policy prohibiting any art and design work from being crowdsourced and banning spec work, and pledge not to donate to any fundraising campaigns until that happens.

2015 American Graphic Design Award

13 Sep


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I’m proud to announce that I have won a 2015 American Graphic Design Award From GDUSA Magazine, making this the eighth consecutive year that my work has received this honor. The award is for a handmade book that I created at the ADIM Conference—my projects from past ADIMs also won in 2013 and 2014—which took place in April in Pacific Grove, CA. Just under 10,000 entries were submitted, and only 15% were recognized with Certificates of Excellence. The piece will be published in the printed American Graphic Design Awards Annual, in the Online Winners Gallery, and in the Digital Annual.

Thank you to the Editors and Judges from GDUSA, as well as to Russell BrownAdobeThe Van Heyst Group, EpsonUniversal Laser SystemsRoland, and all my fellow attendees for the amazing experience that was ADIM15.

For a look at some of my past winning work, please click the following links:

2014 Award

2013 Award

2012 Award 1

2012 Award 2

SPD-U: Five Questions for Ronnie Weil, Photo Editor

9 Jul

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Ronnie Weil, Photo Editor

The latest post in my Five Questions for… blog series for SPD-U, profiles Photo Editor, Ronnie Weil. Ronnie has some advice for aspiring photo editors.

“Our visual world is constantly moving forward: Keep pace with it.”—Ronnie Weil

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