For print-oriented graphic designers, posters are an opportunity to abandon restraint and strive for high impact. While still a lively area of contemporary practice, some of the most striking and memorable poster design graced walls many decades ago and is now in the public domain. This site has curated hundreds of very high quality vintage posters, most of them suitable for print. Every single one was created without the aid of computers and collectively they are a testament to very high levels of craftsmanship and imagination.
Much of our literary heritage is in the public domain by virtue of its age. Certain enterprising businesses mine this cultural resource for commercial gain. One particularly interesting example is All the World's a Page, where entire great works are printed on a single poster. From Don Quixote to Ulysses and Macbeth to Pride and Prejudice, armies of words are marshaled with great skill and typographic flair. Even at 1000mms in height, you will need keen eyesight or a magnifying glass to take it all in.
To get an idea of the amount of time that goes into the design of a large font family, check out this promotional site. FF Mark is the result of a long-term collaboration between some of the brightest lights in modern European typography. The designers are intimately aware of typographic history and prepared to slog through the minutiae of sketching, adjusting and kerning thousands of characters in ten weights.
Australian readers have been able to order books via Amazon for many years, but now the online retailing giant has opened an Australian portal. The store is only selling ebooks (Kindle only, naturally) and apps at present, but it will bring a welcome focus to Australian content, and can only benefit smaller publishers and independent authors.
If you're a presence on / contributor to various social networking services, (and not just to keep up with your friends), Rebel Mouse offers an easy and very powerful way of aggregating your voice into one location. Our effort took only a few minutes to set up and could be an effective communication tool with clients and potential business contacts. Designed by one of the principal architects of the Huffington Post, Rebel Mouse is getting some serious startup funding and adding feeds and features at some pace.
A book without any text content, a beautiful object, an amazing rendering of all the colours a monitor can display, a coffee table book that could double as a coffee table... as one blogger noted "It’s a gorgeous cube of many colors!"
Readers are still coming to terms with what they are losing in the move from paper based to electronic reading:
When I read a physical book, I remember the text and the
book—its shape, jacket, heft and typography. When I read an e-book, I
remember the text alone. The bookness of the book simply disappears, or
rather it never really existed.
Verlyn Klinkenborg, New York Times
An excellent blog dealing with the history and culture of the dark art (for the grammatically challenged, at least) of punctuation. Learn about the secret life of ampersands, pilcrows, interrobangs and much more.
If you are contemplating commissioning an app for whatever reason, take a walk through this website to get a sense of the considerations involved, and the potentially substantial costs. One would need a very good business case to proceed with an app, especially given the relatively poor ROI for Android apps and long tail of iPhone/iPad apps that are rarely purchased.
The Australian Academy of Sales wanted a display unit with a listing of all of their courses. White, highly readable type against a deep blue background made the unit highly visible without shouting too loudly.
Like all creative fields, graphic design continually lusts for the new while cannibalising and recycling the old. Trend List catalogues aspects of designers' eternal search for novelty and a fresh look. Depending on your perspective, its discoveries are an index of things to emulate, or approaches to avoid.
We've been designing for this event for some years — when the weather gods are benign, a good time is had by all...
Sometimes the design is all about the information...
Newfangled are a web development firm at the bleeding edge of their field. They are quite generous with sharing some of their thinking on designing for the Internet. An interesting recent article suggests that a key part of working towards a new site is the development of 'personas', detailed profiles of prospective users. These personas help the developer to see things from the user perspective. As the author notes "Creating web personas prevents us from mistakenly building websites for ourselves rather than those we want to serve". After interviewing prospective users of a client website, the developer tries to anticipate how the user will view the site and with what aims. The personas make it clear that users with different agendas often visit a given site, and that different triggers / calls to action may be required for those different audiences.
Scope by Litmus allows users to create a web version of any web based email. As the site's promotional text states: "Create a clean, web-based version of any email, with desktop and mobile previews. It's perfect for sharing, and it's totally free. "
While primarily aimed at app developers, this article also gives laypeople a good idea of how their phones interpret their swipes and taps, introducing concepts such as centroids and contact patches. Accommodating the irregularities of the human hand (and user idiosyncrasies) to the touch sensitive screen substrate has been a mighty labour. Interestingly enough, a commenter to the article states that many smart phones do not detect degrees of pressure, just the fact of the pressure itself..