Fool’s Paradise

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

April Fools Day has been around for quite along time, with a reference in the Canterbury Tales written around 1400.  However, it seems that the birth of the Internet rejuvenated the practice of distributing misleading information all in the name of humor.

I have only been up for a few hours, but I already have stumbled upon (but I don’t actually use StumbleUpon) several hoaxes, and some I wish were true –

  1. IE 8.1 to support Firefox add ons from Smashing Magazine
  2. Verizon’s New Look on Brand New
  3. 2012’s Olympic Typeface announced on CR Blog
  4. Gmail’s Autopilot
  5. Warner Bros to purchase site where pirated media is offered
  6. Guardian to switch to publish only via Twitter
  7. The Banning of Helvetica in Europe on Dirty Mouse
  8. Purpose of Conficker Worm Uncovered on The Web Standards Project
  9. New US Dollar Symbol on Typophile
  10. Upside-down YouTube

Clearly today is not a day for the gullible to be online. Check back, as I am sure the hoaxes will continue.

Update: TechCrunch is doing a way better job at collecting these.

How Film Can Hurt Design

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Over the weekend, I went out and enjoyed the rare treat of a night at the cinema. “I Love You, Man” with Paul Rudd and Jason Segal provided a decent level of amusement with a bevy of awkward moments now common to American comedies.

Unfortunately, the film also contained on of my greatest pet peeves: misrepresentation of the graphic design profession. The entertainment media loves to perpetrate myths and falsehoods about a variety of professions, as I am sure any student of science will point out the host of fallacies within the latest disaster pic. However, I find that creative media professionals pop up in more than our fair share of television shows and films.

Often the creative career of the character just acts as background and affects the plot in a limited manner. “I Love You, Man” does not fall into this category, and as such the following does contain spoilers for those of you who have not seen the movie. This particular graphics related transgression impacts the design profession at the very crux of frequent problems, client provided files.

In one scene, Segal’s character photographed the groom-to-be Rudd using an iPhone. How is that for product placement? Now here is where things get tricky, the phone’s 2 megapixel images are then used to produce crisp and clean billboards. This may seem like a small issue, but frequently I receive similar quality images from clients who believe this acceptable for print use. Perhaps next time I object to using such small shots I’ll hear that they saw it can be done in a movie.

But as professionals how to we resolve this issue? Clearly the answer is open communication with clients to educate them about the needs involved with the production of their work. Sometimes, all I need to provide is a gentle reminder that 300 dpi is best, and that, no, it does not work if you simply change the resolution setting in your image editing software.

Any thoughts on other creatives in film that portray a false image of the profession?

Contest – Best WordPress Design

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Over at WPWebHost they are searching for the best designed site supported by WordPress.  Now, I know my site isn’t perfect. And really the new version is not completely solid, but I have decided to throw my hat into the ring.

However, I have a bit of a problem.  I am unsure as to which category to submit my entry.  The five options are:

  1. Best Clean & Minimalist
  2. Best Retro & Vintage
  3. Best Grunge
  4. Best Hand-Drawing Style
  5. Best Modern & Elegant

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WordPress, CSS and Cross Browser Display

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Well yesterday I finally was satisfied enough with the updated version of my site to upload.  Of course, the result was not the nice and easy transfer that I was expecting since I decided to transfer my site to using WordPress as a CMS. All archived blog images broke, none of my links transferred, permalinks weren’t working; it was just an irritating time sink.

Obviously there is still work to do, such as adding my portfolio pieces, but what became most irritating was the fact that Safari was ignoring font-family, background, well generally everything on the body styling, when it appeared quite fine in Firefox, and Opera.

I spent the morning searching for a solution. I could find nothing about Safari ignoring font-family, which for me was the more important issue. I should have considered that the problem stemmed from the fact that all body styles were being neglected.

After a little experimentation, I found the root of the problem. WordPress’ theme information in style.css.

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5 People

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

The first five people to respond to this entry will get something made by me! This includes, but is not limited to, crafty items, an illustration, a matted photograph, and similar.  But it will be completely my choice, made just for you. There are a few little addendums:

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