Friday, December 11, 2009

The End

Today is the due date for this project. So no more blogging for me.
I learnt so much while researching various topics for this project and expanding my knowledge in the way of design that is out there and my direct competition in the world on my road to success.
Thanks for the challenge!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


RGB - red, green, blue, this is the standard colour chart used on the web. Then from this also follows on more specific colour ranges guaranteed for the web which is web colours but that can be addressed another time. On the web, what this means is that every pixel on screen is made up of one of these 3 colours. RGB are known as additive colours, when combined you get white light, which produces white

CMYK - cyan, magenta, yellow and black. This is the increased colour range used for print. This allows for more range and detail in the printed colour tones. CMY are subtractive tones, when they are combines they absorb the white light from a page and produce black - so sometimes, when converting RBG one problem you may encounter is that it will use CMY to produce black instead, which is only a very dark black so pure black is added and this is the K element.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

web specific consiferations - plug ins

When you access a site such as youtube your computer needs certain things to run the application on that website. You may have things such as flash, that need to be installed before you can view content such as videos or animation features on sites. These help you access and download content for better viewing of the site.

examples of some plug ins:
RealPlayer: enables your computer to play streaming RealVideo and RealAudio.
Adobe Reader: For viewing and printing Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF)
Adobe Flash Player: is the universal rich client for delivering effective Adobe Flash experiences across desktops and devices.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Amazing oppertunities out there

This site is amazing. The opportunities that people have created for lesser known designers in all industries is amazing. The prime example is here -

What this site does, it has clients and they post a project and people from all different creative backgrounds have the opportunity to produce something for this client from their speciality - radio, TV, print, videos. Even just a concept. So what you do is submit your work and it gets voted on by members of zooppa, I became a member so as to participate as a public member of society and give my vote.

The winner is then given a prize money and it can vary quite greatly - but its not only 1 winner it various for the winners also. Then the brand decides after winners are chosen what they then want to be used in their next up and coming marketing campaigns.

Join and get your artistic vision seen.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Turning layout on its head

The site is a music bands website called 'no knife'. They include general news on the band, profile of the members and most important down loadable music to show off their art.

One this website loading a clear table layout is visible that has been used for the structure of the site. The same basic layout is used throughout the site with the main content changing in the middle.

What I liked the most about this site is that they have turned conventional website layout on its head, well its side to be more exact. It is the most prominent thing about the site. They have a vertical text layout. They have put their buttons on the left and right hand side of the page as opposed to the top and bottom. One downfall - but it may only be due to my specific screen size at the time of viewing the site while writing is - that their buttons on the right do not all fit on the initial screen, you have to scroll to view the complete list.

Another thing, is there is no specific home button, you have to just click on their main image at the top of the site to get back for your starting navigational point.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I love this site!

I found this company only by accident on the way out of Stephens Green parking garage, in a back alley. You look at it initially and just see graffiti on the wall outside, but due to the signage I was intrigued and took note of it to look up what this might be later. This site is the business that I happened to drive past.

This company is industrial design. The absolute raw brilliance of what people are capable of with every day things and some creativity.

So they layout of the home page site looks like their shop font - literally the front of a garage, I have not been inside the physical building, but I'm here to talk about how they present their site. So you access where it says enter and a portion rolls up as your would a real garage door.
Then you get carton boxes, giving the navigation - so they firstly don't use just plain old navigational buttons, they use an object, a file box to be exact - where by you cant hen extract a file out of the file box - continuous theme - clever.

In their last 2 subsections - they have only a bit of info - so went one step further, and these became pieces of paper that comes out of a file that came out of the file box - the font they have used on this is also a typewriter front to give it a very unique style and to fit in with their theme. They also use this to show their pieces of work, that drop down on paper once selected as well as visual paper clips on the pages to give authenticity.

Their in a constant background picture - as if you are then looking into their garage of work from the street.

Their colour scheme is simple - as keep constant imagery in the background. Their layout is clear and simple and easy to navigate.

They are so creative. using raw, every day object by way of reusing or recycling them and unrestricted thought to produce their unique work and it shows. Its Brilliant.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Real World Identification

What I mean by the real world identification is relating your site, with its colours and branding and layout to a bigger universal connection. What this is, is when designing you cannot think of yourself as the inventor for example of a colour meaning. There is definitely multiple colour meanings even in different countries but universally they often signify very similar things.

Red means stop, blood, demonstrated worldwide with a stop sign or even a red traffic light.
Green for go, the earth or becoming more popular the connection to recycling. It can be shown with a green traffic light.
Blue for water, the sea.
Orange for caution as like above examples, on a traffic light.

With the above in mind you cant design without any outside influence and worldwide interpretation of how you output your design.

On the site listed below I found very precise universal influence portrayed which then helps with the interpretations of his symbols that are being used. The importance of taking into account outside influence helps for better understanding in portraying your objective.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dolls for Girls

This site is very clear but still directs for its target audience very well. This is aimed at girls and finding toys that girls will like. The site is pretty and pink. They have a main toolbar at the top with 5 sections - then within each section you are able to link to a lot more things such as in the 'fun for girls' tab, you can link to additional 5 links for more to offer, also with a listing link bar on the right and boxed subsections through the rest of the page . They also offer buying online so as to access their product immediately.

This is a very extensive site, and I think it would be very easy to navigate for young girls and then also be interactive enough for them to browse with a parent for purchasing purposes.

The colour are very girly, they do not have an extensive palette, but have rather taken to using colour gradient through the site. They have also centralised their content with then either white or their main pink as background colour.

I think there is also a wide appeal as this brand is linked to very prominent sponsors such as HBO and books and TV characters are featured through the site so they get a wide range of publicity to bring someone to this site.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

An interesting email

I recently signed up to a newsletter from to do with DTP and web design as learning some new tips every now and again is helpful to everyone. I found this email especially interesting but mostly amusing.

I tried to copy a few things out but to no success as they have links on the site to view. The topic of this particular lesson was related to bad web design.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Monitor size and resolution

The basic element to make up the visuals to a computer monitor is pixels. Monitor resolution is measured in pixels, the width and height of the screen. example 640 x 480. This means that the screen in 640 pixels wide and 480 pixels in height.

'You can see by the chart below how screen size and effective resolution are linked. Compare a 15-inch monitor and a 21-inch monitor, both set to 800 x 600 pixels: the 15-inch will have a higher resolution. Larger monitors must contain smaller pixels in order to maintain the same resolution, but when a smaller monitor is set to a high resolution, the images would be much too small to read. A 14-inch monitor set to 640 x 480 is very readable, while a 21-inch needs at least 1024 x 768. Here are some recommended resolutions for the different screen sizes:'

Monitor Resolution

14" 15" 17" 19" 21"

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Relationship between elements.

Web elements refers to things like font, colour, buttons. These all need to be connected and have a linking quality to them to make your web site work.

Font - You do not necessarily have to use the same font for all your text but make sure there is continuity throughout. What you can do is use one font for topics and then another for all your body text throughout.

Buttons - make sure that through your different pages your keep the same colour scheme in your tabs as colour is very good for navigation through a site. So having your home tab green on one age and then changing it to yellow on another will lead to it being harder to follow than any real help.

Colour - as mentioned above - keep your colour continuous. Not meaning monotone - but that you have continuity in the colour, that every age holds a base layout in terms of your colour. In your buttons - that they all stay the same colour on every page.

An example of some great design continuity in these web elements is

Friday, November 6, 2009

mmmm Cookies

A homemade cookie site - what more could one ask - If only they delivered to Ireland. There layout is very straight forward and keeps to the same grid on each page. They have centralised their content to a central box with a solid colour background which is also the colour used on their navigational tabs.

They use a very limited colour palette for the whole site which I think works in their favour as they have better things to show off rather than fancy colours. This is a commercial site and is clear in its objective of selling their product. They have a range of cookies then give you multiple options of how to buy them.

Their product and aim are clear and the site is not to cluttered with unnecessary information - I only think their downfall in their design is where they don't have focal images and there content is very flat - like in their contact us page.

The best thing about this product is they have an angel to their selling - they make a huge mention of their all natural ingredients and low trans fats in their products. Due to health being such a very popular topic - so now you get a healthy cookie to overindulge on.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Space - the white and negetive kind

An element in design that is a very important part of your creation and is definitely not considered enough. This element is white or negative space. Negative space is all the space within a pictures borders that is not the subject. The borders of any picture form a frame. Within that frame, your subject is considered the positive area. Anything outside of that is called negative space.

Negative space should always be taken into account in your design and is not used enough to help your designs objectives, well at least not on purpose most of the time.

I came across this site while searching for logo's but it was too good not to share this - its some of the brilliant work people have done over the years of logo's but with negative space. Amazing minds out there and definitely tough competition.

An example of negetive space - do you see it?

'Is is a vase or two faces?
The classic example of negetive space or shapes is the brian-teaser where depending on how you look you see either a vase or two faces'

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Search facilities to help communicate with others out there

Facebook search facility allows you to search within the entire website. Then also to do diverse search via someone's email address or then their own name and it comes up with possibilities matching as close as possible to your criteria, or with the email is more specific and you have to log in to your own personal email and it then send requests to your whole address book to then find people.

Facebook is very clever is multi connecting its system up with the email services and then also in the bottom right it connects to various instant messaging programs, whereby you do the same as with your email. import your entire friends list from your previous instant messaging service as you want everyone you previously communicated with via email, Im or otherwise to chat to now on facebook. clever tactic to enroll the millions of now current user. Im pretty sure its the most used interface at the moment

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Identity branding

On starting up something like a new business, your may have the concept and possibly even your name you want to use - but the next step from that is to design your logo and corporate identity. This brands you company. To make it easily and visually recognisable.

The objectives that a good brand will achieve include: Delivering the message clearly, connect your product you are selling to the brand identity. It is important to take the time to develop this properly and appropriately as it is the foundation for the start of your marketing campaign.

There are so many companies out there that are so household they are used as a generalised word for that product in the market, what I mean by this is, that multiple companies can have the same product but not be as household friendly as each other. so therefor one may use the name of one product to make reference to the same product but by another competing company.

One example that comes to mind is Sta Soft, now not everyone will know what that is - but basically its fabric softener - but in South Africa, the brand my mother always used to buy is Sta Soft fabric softer so by default, when I have to buy fabric softer, I write Sta soft on my shopping list.

Friday, October 30, 2009


I have been doing extensive research for this blog and reading as much as I can. I was researching another topic entirely and came across this site and decided to then postpone that topic I was on and quickly write my thoughts on this due to this annoying site inspiring me.

Sound interactivity on a site. It can be good and bad. In the very bad situations is that most people like to listen to their own music while on their computers and so to suddenly open up a site that then has interactive music on start up can be nothing short of annoying. What can we worse is if it cannot be turned off, this puts me right off if I cannot control it personally and I don't bother even looking at the site any further and I close it straight away.

As I said earlier, while researching, I actually opened up multiple tabs with sites I was going to read but was suddenly assaulted by some random woman talking to me from my computer. I had to first find out which site it was coming from, then find out how to turn her off. As I scrolled in search of controls, this imagery of a talking woman followed me down the page. Now im frustrated trying to discover the controls, as they are initially hidden, they only appear on rollover of the actual image.

Thank goodness their were controls to turn her off otherwise as I said I would have either muted, but then I lose my own music, if the site somehow seemed to grab my attention but by this time I doubt as I just want her to stop talking, I close it completely.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Static and Fluid Web Layouts

On designing a site the question of static or fluid comes into question for the layout and how monitor size will affect your design and final layout.

How a fluid layout or now better known as a dynalmic layout, works is that the site is measured in percent according to size of display so it can modify and adapt to how a viewer needs it to be.A fluid layout will shrink and grow to fit the display window. The content then adapts with it and text on lines becomes longer or shorter and the content is very much more manageable for the user to how they want it.

An example of fluid layout is

A static layout uses a fixed pixel measurement for placement of the sites content. What this is, if the user had to make the browser window smaller, you view less content and you will have to scroll either up or down or across more to view the whole site and all of its content.

An example of a static site is

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


The home page is very full. It is all divided into different shaped blocks that roll out when scrolled over to give more details. They have good continuity through font and colour. It is very full and has alot of action good images for their sub sections.

The home page is very full. It is all divided into different shaped blocks that roll out when scrolled over to give more details. They have good continuity through font and colour. It is very full and has a lot of action good images for their sub sections.

This is however a very big website and takes quite a lot of time to navigate and load, to where you would like to look.

The whole site is very sensitive to mouse movement, it doesn't have a liberal rollover area on clickable items as it is a drop out menu, and it often disappears quite quickly and easily.

It is very clearly labeled in its sub sections and it uses a lot of clean white space in their frames to block everything.

There is a section where by you can watch workout video. This then gets you active and wanting their clothes to work out in. This range is very stylish and trendy. They are also extremely fashionable as Adidas like every other chimerical brand has now affiliated themselves to a run way designer to their line. Adidas has affiliated itself to the very popular and renowned designer Stella McCartney This is sure to inspire any lady looking at this range and it sure impresses me.

Additionally they then have an interactive area where you can develop your own shoes and sporting kit for your team. From personalising your shoe fit to colour and design of the show and entire outfit.

Definitely have some time on your hands if you wish to have a proper look through this website as it takes time.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Small Businesses

There basic layout is based around a template which allows for constant structure and continuity through their pages. As this is a small business you get the impression of personalisation in their work and attitude that the site exudes. From their hand written tags placed around the site to their young approach in colour and terminology in their wording of their placed text throughout the site.

I like the feel and design of this site and it appeals to me. They offer a wide variety of services that are all encompassed under the web design umbrella with easy navigation and layout to choose and find the appropriate services you require.

One criticism I would have is in their layout they have a double design in their menu function and in my opinion I don't think it is necessary to have the entire menu option top and bottom, often you only find a small footer on a site and it has for example, home, contact us and copyright info. I think it takes up to make space on the page and you are never scrolling for very long, that it would take alot of effort to scroll back to the top to navigate elsewhere to require the need for a 2nd complete menu function in the footer.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Last year we had to design a website and this site in particular intrigued me and I like it alot. Her colours, style and in paticular her unique navigation, or what she had.

I have not looked at this site for about a year - so with that I can see she has modified and upgraded her site, but she still has the basic concept of her flow navigation but now with the additon of actual navigational buttons which allows you to direct yourself now. What she had before was that each page automaticly linked to each other and you had no control to direct yourself, to some this was bad, as you had to go through a few pages to get to say her contact info which is what you may have been looking for all along, but for me, who just stumbled upon it it gave me a chance to view all her work and creativity in the design and layout of the site whether I wanted to or not.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Target Audience

When designing your site one of the first things you have to think about is who you are aiming it at. The target audience. This is to help create the purpose and feel of your website and also to then appropriate your site to your users for what you are offering.

There are too parts to doing this successfully. You need to define the purpose of your site and then you are able to establish audience and define the goals for you and the user.

To identify your audience you are identifying demographics, such as gender, location, age, income, education. Unless you have a clear definition of your audience you will have a hard time directing your site and for it to be successful.

I would like to show you two examples. In my opinion the target audience is different but these two companies offer the same services but I think their approach is very different.

I fine that 02 is a very clean cut simple website. They are very specific in what they are offering and I find they give off a more professional look due to in my opinion being very corporate orientated as they widely cater for businesses. They do still offer services for the average man in the street but on first impressions for me the appeal of the website differs.

The meteor site I find is very fresh and colourful. Alot more eye catching in the orange as their main colour scheme. On first look over of the site - they do not seem to offer business packages, so therefor they are not having to cater for the wide audience of o2 even though they offer the same services, but again its to different audiences. So on the meteor site the first thing I saw was a image and graphic text offering savings. So already I have seen something of interest as everyone likes saving money and their layout is in a table formation and easy to read, follow and navigate.

I personally am a meteor customer as they were able to offer me something none of the other networks could, so they were my choice due to product, but as a student, that's whats right for me.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Fonts on a web page are a key element to its success. There are 3 very important rules to follow when choosing a font
1. Easy to read on screen.
2. Your users accessibility to that font.
3. Also for it to fit the design of your site.

The difference in a fonts readability lies in the serif. For print people use Serif fonts and for example the most common being Times New Roman. For web we use Sans Serif Fonts, example of those which are the most widely used are Ariel, Verdana or Helvetica.

What you also have to consider is the accessibility to your user of the font you decide on. If you design your site with a specific font and its not of generic availability to a windows or mac user, it will get replaced by a standard font and you will lose the edge you had from your unique font in your design. The option is to place your text as a graphic but then you run risks of it not being editable and having to keep replacing your graphic.

When sourcing a font to fit your design, as mentioned above, the thing to consider is how to output it if its not the common ones. Input as a graphic is an option, but be aware that file size increases and harder to make your changes.

this is an example of printed page

this is an example of web text

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

File Formats for the web - gif and jpeg

These two file formats are your most important tool for the web and a designer needs to know which to use and when.


The function of a gif – Gif is the most popular format for the web. It is able to compress large areas of colour and it will be the most important to use for all your graphics except photographs. Gif can utilise a maximum of 256 colours, but for the purpose of reducing your file size, you need to limit you colour palette. What a gif does is makes your image as small as possible without losing any of its important components of data. Gif should be your primary file format when using a restricted colour palette, so you can use it for logos, line drawings and icons. It will not unfortunately give enough credit to a well taken photo.


The function of a jpeg – due its extensive range to support well over the 256 colours of a gif. It should primarily be used for photography work. What is very important to note though is that because of the formatting in a jpeg, some jargon, I don’t think I can re-explain adequitly to anyone reading this, is that once you save your work as a jpeg, you cannot get your original back as it will have now been altered indefinitely – so please make sure to always have an original saved. So, jpeg’s are to be used for images that will lose quality if reduced to anything less than 256 colours.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

"Right and wrong do not exist in graphic design. There is only effective and non-effective communication."
Peter Bilak - Illegibility

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Colour Deficiency

The most common problem in colour on the web is for people who have visual impairments for example colour blindness. The most common form of colour blindness is not being able to distinguish red from green which occurs in 99% of the cases. The other forms of colour blindness is Anomalous Trichromat. This is where you have deficiency in one of the main colours. It can be reduced red which is called Protanomaly, reduced green called Deuteranomaly and reduced blue called Tritanomaly.

Here are examples of my own logo in colour deficient views.

Reduced Green Sensitivity

Reduced Blue Sensitivity

Reduced Red Sensitivity

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Why colour matters

Colour on any website creates the first impression. Colour is very important not only visually but also impacts on accessibility and usability. It is the best way to easily guide and navigate your user through your site to where and what they are looking for. Such as for links, colour in this case would distinguish the links from regular text, if colour is indistinguishable we have to use additional tools such as bold, italic or underline . To be consistent with colour is very important so as to help the user to navigate with ease. Another implication of incorrect colour use through the web is with a user who may have a visual disability. This can be colour blindness to visual impairments from bad lighting or a reflective monitor from sunlight.

Due to the loss of certain visibility in a colour range, users are then not able to tell the difference between the colours. What happens with this is that there is then not enough contrast in a picture or difference between the text colour against the background colour.

As a designer you do not need to rule out all colour you just need to be careful and make sure there is significant enough contrast in foreground to background to make it distinguishable. A quick test is to preview your page in grey scale to see whether there is sufficient contrast on the page once the colour is removed.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

scrolling vs page turning

The main question int his debate with regards to print and web for this topic is where do we elicit more information and which is quicker?
So the debate comes down to turning a physical page in a book or scrolling down a web page. How does the eye follow the line and the progression down the page as opposed to starting a new page from the top.

When scrolling you do have the option of page scrolling which mimics pages and you have full page viewing but due to scrolling line by line you often have no proper indication to the beginning, middle or end of what you are reading. I find scrolling a lot slower than reading in print. Also it can be known to disrupt the perception of spatial layout due to the text constant movement. Due to this, often makes it harder for readers to grasp the full context of text.

Some studies done have found that 'paging' and 'scrolling' did not differ significantly. However the paging readers did get a better mental representation of the text as a whole and were better at locating information and remembering the central text ideas.

I'm still very old fashioned - give me a book any day over any web page.