John Mayer Born and Raised Artwork – behind the scenes

Classic Sign Writer David Smith explains the process that went in to designing the album cover for John Mayer’s album ‘Born and Raised.’

This video is a great demonstration of how classical and modern design can intersect in interesting,beautiful ways.

Pulp Fiction In Chronological Order


Pulp Fiction is a classic. It’s one of those movies that you need to remind yourself to sit down and rewatch every couple of years, so that you don’t forget all the fun that Jules and Vincent get up to.

Digital Media Designer Noah Daniel Smith has put together an infographic that outlines the plot of Pulp Fiction in chronological order. The infographic is also available as a print, one which I am strongly considering buying.

 

Pulp Fiction In Chronological Order

Click the image to view full size
Pulp Fiction Displayed in Chronological Order

P.S. Do you know what Marcellus Wallace Looks Like?

Web Safe Fonts for CSS3

While editing the CSS font properties for one of the plugins on this blog I went in search of list of Websafe fonts that I can easily reference when writing or editing CSS. I found a very good list here, you should visit the link if you want to know why these fonts are classed as web safe.

Here is a list of web safe fonts to use on your next projects. The extra good news is that this list includes fonts for Linux users as well.

You can have a look at the list of web safe CSS3 fonts below, or you can download them as a text file. 

  Web Safe CSS3 fonts (1.3 KiB, 429 hits)

Web Safe CSS3 fonts


font-family:Arial,'DejaVu Sans','Liberation Sans',Freesans,sans-serif; font-family:'Arial Narrow','Nimbus Sans L',sans-serif; font-family:'Arial Black',Gadget,sans-serif; font-family:'Bookman Old Style',Bookman,'URW Bookman L','Palatino Linotype',serif; font-family:'Century Gothic',futura,'URW Gothic L',Verdana,sans-serif; font-family:'Comic Sans MS',cursive; font-family:Consolas,'Lucida Console','DejaVu Sans Mono',monospace; font-family:'Courier New',Courier,'Nimbus Mono L',monospace; font-family:Constantina,Georgia,'Nimbus Roman No9 L',serif; font-family:Helvetica,Arial,'DejaVu Sans','Liberation Sans',Freesans,sans-serif font-family:Impact, Haettenschweiler, 'Arial Narrow Bold', sans-serif; font-family:'Lucida Sans Unicode','Lucida Grande','Lucida Sans','DejaVu Sans Condensed',sans-serif; font-family:Cambria,'Palatino Linotype','Book Antiqua','URW Palladio L',serif; font-family:symbol,'Standard Symbols L'; font-family:'Tahoma',sans-serif; font-family:Cambria,'Times New Roman','Nimbus Roman No9 L','Freeserif',Times,serif; font-family:'Trebuchet MS',sans-serif; font-family:Verdana,Geneva,'DejaVu Sans',sans-serif; font-family:Webdings,fantasy; font-family:Wingdings,fantasy; font-family:'Monotype Corsiva','Apple Chancery','ITC Zapf Chancery','URW Chancery L',cursive; font-family:'Monotype Sorts',dingbats,'ITC Zapf Dingbats',fantasy;

 

css3-logo

8 Commandments For File Naming

These are some easy to follow file name best practices. Following some sort of structure makes my filing system infinitely more intuitive to use.

  1. Use No spaces in file names
  2. Use underscores or hyphens for adding spaces between words. When you choose a method, be consistent
  3. Use short file names that have meaning – file1.htm won’t help you when you edit in 6 months, but gallery.htm will
  4. Always use lowercase, but camelCase is also acceptable – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CamelCase
  5. All file names must end in dot three letter extension – .jpg, .text (except .js, .html and other exceptions)
  6. Alphanumeric characters only
  7. No f#$%ing special characters. If you need to use % – write it out – percent
  8. Only use one file naming convention within a single site – use .htm or .html, not both

Make it simple, make it consistent, make it meaningful

Web Design naming convention

Painting done on the iPad with one finger

Kyle Lambert has more talent in one finger than I do in my entire drawing reportoire. The digital artist from the UK recently painted a digital portrait of Beyonce using the Brushes app on the iPad and only one finger. The result is almost photo-realistic, and very impressive (understatement).

The artist also did a digital painting of the gob smackingly gorgeous Megan Fox.

You can see more of Kyle Lambert’s work at www.kylelambert.co.uk,

Sneak peek – new blog theme coming soon

Those who know me, know that I have a sprinkle of ADD, a dash of OCD and just a wee bit of THC in ye olde system. As such, I’m planning to change my blog theme in the very near future. I do like the look and feel of the current theme, but I don’t think that I’m displaying the right content in the right way. The new version of the site will allow me to use the site as a business resource as well as a soapbox. This version currently only lets me vent, which is great,  but doesn’t pay the bills.

I’ve decided to use the always awesome Featured Content Gallery in the header section to rotate the content I choose. As always, I like dark, moody colours, so that’s what I’m sticking to. Hopefully, the new theme will be live by the end of next week. There are just a few more things I need to integrate before I let it rip.

What do you think?

Ideas for the new design

Lamborghini creates Batmobile disguised as shoe

Lamborghini has released a new concept car, the Ankonian, named after a bull type famous for its black hair. It’s not the prettiest piece of design I’ve seen, but it certainly is interesting and inspires a bit of debate (which I think is part of the point of good design).

Is this the Lamborghini Batmobile?

Lamborghini BatMobile Shoe

At first glance, I thought it looked a bit like the next batmobile.  Then I thought it looked a bit like a shoe. Either way, it’s interesting. I love looking at concept cars to see in which direction car manufacturers are taking, but I think that Lambo’s dipped down a dodgy side street with the Ankonian concept. From articles around the web I’ve learned that it’s sort of a Reventon remix, but I think it’s like one of those weird trance remixes of a hard rock track. You can still see that bits of the original are there, even though you can’t appreciate the added extras.

Maybe it will grow on me, who knows.

 

 

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Designing your site with particular user personas in mind

This article has been extracted from the Quirk eMarketing blog and was written by Katharina Scholtz, a quirk star whose posts I’ve been following quite a bit lately. After reading her bio, I hope she doesn’t kick my ass for dropping her article on here!

Designing your site with particular user persona’s in mind

Personas allow us to imagine and customise different paths through a website for different user types, based on an understanding of their goals for the site visit. I came across some interesting ideas in this regard in a video called “How to Use Personas to Improve Sales with Brian Eisenberg”.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JG-Pe6MrMdY]

Building a Persona
Eisenberg makes a few suggestions about how one can build a persona in the clip. He suggests that you “create snapshots of types of website visitors modeled by modes of buying behavior”.

You can do this by having a look at the key phrases that lead people to your site in order to understand user intent. The example he uses is “perfect diamond” vs “learn about diamonds”. The other suggestion he makes is that you interview your sales people, as they’ve had personal contact with your customers.

Go to the Source
What these suggestions highlight is that, even though there will be a certain level of interpretation, you should base it on information that is as accurate as possible. This means that you might have to find innovative ways to get to know your customer. A quick poll on the site might be the way to do this (I came across an interesting initiative in this regard that you might want to check out here).

Focus on Motivations
Dr. Lene Nielsen, a usability expert who did her doctorate in using personas, points out “that the whole purpose of personas is not to describe users as such, but to create solutions that take the needs of the persona as a starting point.” Focusing on the motivations and intentions of your user should stop you from thinking in terms of stereotypes, and help you to find the solutions you need for better navigation.

A Simple Solution
Go2Africa.com is a good example of using personas. The site uses navigation options based on what kind of holiday the site visitor wants (luxurious, romantic or adventurous to name a few). While these may seem like very simple options, the point is that they do represent user segment intentions.

While you may not have the resources to do endless research into user segments, thinking about your site in terms of personas is a great way to challenge your own ideas and develop your site’s usability.