Category: Design Topics

An Amusing and Disturbingly Accurate Post

I came across a very amusing and disturbingly accurate post the other day on a blog I frequent. The content of the post deals with how to diplomatically deal with the barrage of requests you get for “front page exposure” at an institution of higher learning.

I’m not sure how much of this translates to the corporate world, but this is a common occurrence at many colleges and universities.

Thankfully, I don’t deal with this at my job nearly as much as Drew seems to.

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Is there no originality left in the world?

It seems that I am seeing more and more news and posts about plagiarized songs. You can’t go to the movie theaters and watch an original movie any more. With a few very rare exceptions (Metalocalypse, for one), television is a vast wasteland of unoriginal, uninspired ideas. Web sites (especially the news sites) all look the same nowadays.

With all this rehashing and regurgitating of ideas, why should logos be any exception? They’re not. Here are a few posts (anyone catch the irony in this post?) detailing some of the more aggregious logo copies (not all of them are actually ripoffs, but they still look strikingly similar):

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An Introduction to Screen Readers

YahooVictor Tsaran is an accessibility engineer at Yahoo! who focuses on developing best practices for the creation of websites that work well with screen readers. The video below is about a year old but still provides great insight into the acessibility side of the Web. It’s something we don’t speak about enough but is so very important.

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Image manipulation in VBScript

Four guys from RollaI was working on a script the other day at work and came upon the need to determine the dimensions of some images. Because the script was being written in VBScript, I was basically stumped, since, although I’ve figured out a great deal about simple scripting in VBScript, I’m still an absolute novice when it comes to file manipulation and the more advanced features available.

I hit the Web and started googling. Luckily, I came across a great solution on one of my first tries. The Four Guys from Rolla (which, if you’re working with VBScript and haven’t bookmarked this site, yet, I highly recommend it – they seem to be the number one authority on VBScript) offered a great tutorial, with code, explaining how to obtain the dimensions and a lot more information from any image.

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I recently discovered a very neat program that we’ve begun using on one of my hobby sites.

IMANDIX Cover Pro automatically converts any image into a 3D preview of what it would look like as the cover of a CD or DVD case.

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Good Accessibility Resource

My supervisor at work e-mailed a nice accessibility resource a few weeks ago. The “Division of Instructional Technology” at the University of Wisconsin has put together a good collection of videos and podcasts related to Web accessibility. The in-house videos are narrated and led by a blind man named Neal Ewers, who works for the Trace Research and Development Center at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

The videos are extremely interesting to watch, and very informative. If you have considered improving your Web site’s accessibility, I highly recommend visiting the site and watching each of the videos.

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Photoshop – Picture Restoration

My advice for photo restoration is to know what your final product will be before you start working on it that way you know what you need to do to throughout your editing process. Of course, that can go for any project, but knowing what you are doing it for in this case can be extremely helpful.

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Fujifilm S700 Finepix Digital Camera

My parents bought me a Fujifilm S700 Finepix digital camera for Christmas. I bought myself a Sony Cybershot digital camera about six or seven years ago, but it was finally starting to get worn out. It took great pictures as long as you held perfectly still and you had ideal lighting conditions, but other than that, it was pretty dodgy.

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Open letter to developers: The IE6 Death Blow

The old school developers will remember, and for the new ones, a quick history lesson. In the 1990s, Netscape Navigator (Mozilla rendering engine) was the dominant browser. It “had a few bugs”, and as a result, when Internet Explorer started playing catch-up, there were a lot of reasons to start using IE instead of Netscape. Towards the end of the paradigm shift, we all started doing something deemed unacceptable by todays standards. The dreaded “Your browser is not supported” page.

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Make My Logo Bigger!

My supervisor at work sent me a link to the following video the other day. It starts off kind of boring, and it’s a bit long, but it does get much better as the video goes on. It’s a great video for graphic designers. Enjoy!

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