Web Design Trends: Don’t be a sheep. Do your job right.
Trends are everywhere, especially in the design world:
fashion, web design, interior design, even type design – we can’t avoid them. But are they actually a good thing? In many ways I think possibly not…
People don’t buy websites based purely on how they look
The Web Design industry is a little different from other creative industries who may be, for example, purely focussed on creating visual impact. We have many other variables to consider in order to create websites that benefit the users by having a good user experience, and that also benefit the client by increasing conversion and/or awareness of their brand – which both go hand in hand with it having a quality design. My feeling is that some people get so hooked on design trends that they forget what they are actually supposed to be doing as web designers / developers.
We aren’t paid to simply create pretty pictures and seek the approval of our clients second to our peers, we are paid to create usable systems that benefit the users of the Internet.
Better late than never, we’ve finally come around to finding time to tell you about our experience at Flash on the Beach 2010, which took place between the 26th and 29th September. Now, we don’t do much Flash here at What!? Creative, but based our experience last year of being completely inspired by a massively diverse range of speakers, we decided to give it another go and make it two years running…
So, without further redo, here’s a round up of all the best bits from FOTB 2010:
Christmas is over and its a New Year! What better way to start 2010 than an inspirational vist to ‘Decode’, the brand new exhibition at the Victoria Albert Museum.
The exhibition is a collaboration between the V&A and onedotzero, a contemporary arts organisation operating internationally with a remit to promote innovation across all forms of moving image and interactive a. It explores digital technology though artwork and installation pieces. These are separated into three current digital design themes; Code, Interactivity, and Network.
Code shows how computer code, whether bespoke and tailored, or hacked and shared, has become a new design tool; Interactivity presents works that respond to our physical presence; Network charts or reworks the traces we leave behind.
We visited Decode on a trip to London and on first impressions we were very impressed. The exhibition was a little smaller than expected, however, all in all there are some excellent pieces. Physical computing is a passion of ours and last year we produced the Twitter installation ‘Status 2.0′. We left the exhibition feeling very inspired and looking forward to hopefully developing more interactive installations this year.
Below are a selection of our favourite pieces from Decode:
Interactive art installation which features a hairdryer, adaptive and meditative sound collages and a 3D rendered dandelion.
There are many things that must be considered when creating a logo. Whether it is for yourself, or a client, there are key steps that you need to take in order to get the most out of your design.
The purpose of a logo is to represent the company that it stands for. In many respects, the logo becomes the ‘face’ of that company, and thus it must tell you all about that company, and give off the right impression, without actually explaining anything at all.
The best logos are simple, memorable, smart, and timeless. I especially like logos with hidden images or messages. They always add another element of interest once you have discovered them and provide a talking point among prospective customers.
Below are my 6 tips on how to create the perfect logo:
Step 1: Talk to the client
You need to find out about the company that you are designing for. Their motives, their aspirations, their operations, goals, competition, target audience, and overall, what type of image they would like to portray.
On top of this you need to know about their existing brand, their brand colours (if they have any), their strap-line and if they have any specific fonts that they use. Once you have collected all of this information you can start drawing!
Step 2: Sketching your ideas
The vast majority of the best logo designers out there start off with a trusty pencil and paper. In my opinion nothing can beat drawing out your ideas first. It’s much less restricting that beginning work on your computer and it’s much quicker too! It allows you to get all of your thoughts down, whether good or bad, and no matter where you are, if you suddenly get a flash of inspiration there’s no stopping you. Sometimes I’ll even draw a couple of scribbles while I’m with the client if ideas pop into my head!
Here are some of the sketches from one of the latest logos that I’ve worked on. It’s for a company called Muddy Faces and I’ll be using this as an example for the rest of this article so that you’ve got something to relate to…
Based on all of the information that I had gathered from the client, I managed to come up with several pages of very rough sketches in only an hour or two. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, or draw something that might not be very good – at least half of my sketches were terrible! You can’t fail at this, and if you really are that self conscious, just hide your sketchbook so no one will ever see!