A recent post on Creative Bits (and the subsequent commentary underneath) got me thinking about what might be required to refer to oneself as a ‘graphic designer’. Is it a college degree, a kick-ass portfolio, or is it simply because you’ve printed the flyer for the local church’s fish dinner on your home inkjet for the last 10 years running…? There’s a commercial that appears on TV in my neck of the woods for a local trade school called Gibbs College, and it manages to make my blood boil most every time. Not only because of the deafening audio levels at which all cable ads seem to run at, but because it also seems to cheapen what I do for a living. (more…)
Package design is a niche in our industry that gets little attention, even though it’s probably one of the coolest things to design and looks great in a portfolio. There are few resources dedicated to it, so when I came across The Dieline, I knew I wanted to share it with you. The site offers inspirational samples and articles about great package design, as well as design studio spotlights.
Logos are the ultimate mark of distinction and everyone loves them. We see logos everyday – on the highways, on consumer goods, on the Web and in the institutions and organizations we support. Every year somebody puts out a forcast of what we can expect from logo design in the coming year. This year, LogoOrange has a 2008 Logo Design Trends report covering the “in” styles for this year. Popular styles for this year include:
- Web 2.0-style
- Ugly 80’s
While I’m happy to see some of these styles appear on the scene, I could do without some of them like Web 2.0 and 80’s style.
When I look at a lot of Web sites these days, two things jumps out at me. First, many sites look absolutely stunning. Beautiful mastheads, delicious AJAX everywhere, blinky, swooshing Flash and Web 2.0-style graphics adorn tons of Web sites. Competing with these gorgeous Web sites requires not only great graphic design skills, but you’ve got to be a coding genius as well. The second thing that I notice right away is that many of these sites contain little if any useful, informative content. Opinion blogs are everywhere, virtually anyone who can type has a blog, but finding great content is just getting harder and harder. It almost appears that many of these sites’ purpose is simply to show off the fact that they know how to code. Now I’m not trying to stand on my high-horse and look down on anyone’s efforts… (more…)
Neatorama has takes a look at the evolution of several high-profile tech company logo redesigns in this article. Among the companies profiled are:
- Mozilla Firefox
I’ve seen the logos before, but I liked the brief history lessons posted about each logo in this article. If we’re taking a vote for the ugliest first logo, I think it’s a toss-up between Nokia and Apple.
Love them or hate them, Favicons are a visual business card for your Web site in other people’s bookmark bar. Creating them requires the use of an image editor and an application that can save files as a Windows icon (.ico file). Virtually anyone can find an image editor to design their own favicon, but saving them as an .ico file isn’t always so easy to find. I decided to skip the part about finding an app to save The Graphic Mac favicon as an .ico file and instead used GenFavicon, a simple Web site who’s only purpose is to generate Favicons for you simply. You link to, or upload the graphic you wish to use as a Favicon, crop it with the handy cropping tool, choose which size you wish to output the file as (most browsers use a 16×16 pixel icon in the location bar), then wait a few seconds for your Favicon to become available. It’s that simple. You can download your file as either an .ico Favicon or a .gif file.
I always look forward to Bill Gardner’s yearly trend outlook on logos over at LogoLounge. The 2007 logo design trends article is no exception. Last year’s assortment of orbs, buttons and splats give way to 3D, flowery, non-cmyk-reproduceable, wireframed logos – watch as they proliferate into oblivion, my friends. While most of them are cool, I’m seeing a slight move toward the outrageously complicated logo mark. Overly complex, 3D, or brightly colored logos simply don’t reproduce well in traditional print, but with so many Web businesses popping up, it really doesn’t matter. And while the “print purist” in me cringes, the designer in me rejoices. FREEDOM!!!
Pablo Picasso, the first living artist to be featured in the Louvre, influenced the artistic world in a uniquely original way. So why is he known for saying “Good artists copy, great artists steal?”
The key? Steal from discreet sources.
Cameron Moll, a freelance new media and print designer, wrote an article a few years back on the topic, but I find it still relevant today. Stop by SitePoint and take a look at Good designers copy, great designers steal.
AListApart has an old article by Nick Usborne titled Design Choices Can Cripple a Web site. While the article is quite old, it still argues a point that I feel (almost) exactly the opposite about. I believe that the content of a Web site provides the site its worth – the design has to be at least acceptable and pleasant to the eye, but it is not the major reason for me to visit. Nick appears to favor the design of a site over the content (at least, that’s the conclusion I’ve drawn after reading). As designers we tend to focus on the design, the bells & whistles and the functionality of a site. But we must not forget the content. You can’t make a promise with design that you can’t deliver with content.
Talent alone simply isn’t enough anymore. You have to be a well rounded person to be successful creative in today’s market. There are a lot of things you can do to help yourself on the way, and LifeClever: Tips for design and life has some tips to get you started in the article titled Talent isn’t everything: 7 habits of highly effective junior designers. The seven habits covered are:
- Work quickly, produce a lot
- Attend to details
- Be versatile
- Make an effort to learn
- Anticipate problems
- Set goals
- Display a positive attitude