One of the most often overlooked factors of design – by beginning and even professional designers – is that of the delicate use of white space. By really considering the way that white space works, you can communicate more elegantly, and create design that has a more “clean” look. By really considering the way white space works, you’ll be less likely to use extraneous ornamentation such as rule lines, and you’ll be less likely to change fonts and colors just to differentiate pieces of information in your design.
Everyone loves to hate Comic Sans. The child-like handwriting font is so infamous, there is a movement to try to ban it. Mention its name to the common layman (aside from a preschool teacher), and you will likely get a chuckle, mention it to a trained designer, and you’ll get a look of disgust. But what exactly makes Comic Sans so horrible?
Last week, I signed a contract to publish Design for Hackers: Reverse-Engineering Beauty with John Wiley & Sons. I still have plenty of work left to get this book onto shelves – and to exist at all – but I’m extremely excited about it, and wanted to share the news with everyone, especially visitors coming from Hacker News (more on that in a bit).
Monet’s paintings evoke a sense of energy and life, they leap off the canvas with color and contrast, but Monet somehow managed to avoid using the color black for nearly his entire painting career. By avoiding black in your own designs, you can replicate some of this dynamism. keep on reading »
Amongst designers – especially print designers – Garamond is considered one of the best fonts in existence. It’s timeless, and very readable. But, because of the limitations of current display technologies, it’s not a good font to use in web copy – even with the advent of font embedding methodologies such as TypeKit and Google Font API. keep on reading »
Today I am going to share with you my biggest design secret. Well, I think it’s a big secret, anyway – it may not turn out to be that unique at all. It all began when I spent a semester in Italy, studying the origins of typography. I discovered the meticulous geometry and beatiful proportions behind the letterforms of Bodoni, the within the margins of hand-scribed Bibles, and in the architecture all around Italy’s beautiful cities. keep on reading »
Thanks so much to all who chimed in on the creativity convertition! When I decided to solicit these ideas, I really wasn’t sure if I should expect to hear much of anything outside of my general understanding of creativity, but I really found some useful tips out of it all. Here are the 10 tips (in no significant order) that were 1) my favorite tips, in combination with 2) submitted by someone who invited – or at least attempted to invite, other people to participate. keep on reading »
UPDATE The finalists have been chosen! Thanks to everyone who participated. Vote (NOW!), but please feel free to continue the conversation in the comments below.
How do you keep yourself thinking creatively? Maybe you just go for a walk, you do some yoga. Maybe you spar at your local boxing gym, or fire a gun at a firing range. Maybe it’s a website full of inspiration that you visit, or a simple blog post somewhere that gives you inspiration. The best answer to this question will win a copy of The Guerilla Art Kit, by Keri Smith – which will teach you to start an artistic revolution through your creativity. Whatever it is, be creative – and share it with us. Here’s how the convertition* works: keep on reading »
UPDATE January 25, 2009: Until further notice, all of the links to 4sli.de will be dead, as the code competition we built it for provided sponsored web space that expired.
It used to be, design work was presented in person. A pitch would be made in a board room, explaining the process behind a design, and it would be unveiled before the client. Nowadays, more and more design work is presented remotely, which is great for your flexible schedule, but takes all of the theater out of “selling” your work. E-mail isn’t very professional, PowerPoint and PDFs present version-control issues, and conference calls made over WebEx aren’t asynchronous for the hectic schedules of yourself and your clients. You just need a simple way to present work to your clients, on nice, professional-looking, clickable, web pages. That’s why we built 4sli.de. keep on reading »
Many web applications suffer from feature bloat. Their Product Development teams fall victim to thinking that just because one, or even two, or even three users suggest a feature, that it should be implemented. The result is a more complex application that requires more development time, more stuff that can go wrong, more maintenance. How do you prevent this problem? keep on reading »