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Outdatedbrowser: Show them the Rainbow

Posted by Rebecca Blake on July 31, 2014

Outdatedbrowser illustration © BürocratikWeb developers complain that testing websites for outdated versions of browsers is one of their biggest headaches (as well as a huge, frustrating time suck). Portuguese digital design agency Bürocratik has developed Outdatedbrowser.com, a lovely solution that encourages users (in the nicest, most colorful way) to update their browsers. The developers at Bürocratic have created a script that coders can incorporate into their website code. The script detects whether visitors to the website are on old browsers, warns them if they are, and offers a button-click to remedy the problem. If the user clicks onto the “Update my Broswer” link, a drop-down graphic permits them to select from the five most popular browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Opera.

The script works well at detecteing outdated versions of the five major website browsers, going back as far as IE6. The script also does not force the visitors to update their browsers, but rather simply makes the recommendation; users can continue to visit whichever website is utilizing the script unimpeded. This addresses concerns website designers have on behalf of users who are reluctant or prohibited from updating their browsers (such as individuals working in corporate offices with strict IT department restrictions on downloads).

Developers can download the full package of JSS, CSS, and language files from Github, and the Outdatedbrowser website offers simple instructions to embed the code.  A version of the package has been developed for coders working in WordPress, as well as a RubyGem package for Rails.  

Images © Bürocratik. Used with permission.

Outdatedbrowser screenshot © Bürocratik

Guild Reorganizes to Regional Structure

Posted by Rebecca Blake on July 22, 2014

In the past year, the National Board voted to change the Guild organizational structure from a local chapter to a regional model. The change had been under review by the Board since 2007. The most recent proposal to restructure was passed in recognition of the onerous burden the chapter model put on local Guild members, who sought to take an active role in the organization, but were unable to fulfill the obligations of local chapter leadership as defined by the Guild constitution.

The new structure divides the Guild into five regions: Western, Midwestern, Southern, New England, and Eastern. The regions will be headed by regional representatives to the National board. A call for nominations to those positions was issued in early Summer and any contested election will take place this Fall. The regions are maintained by administrators, who can assist local groups in putting together events and meet-ups.

Guild regional structure

Go North: Guild Member Discount for DesignThinkers 2014

Posted by Rebecca Blake on July 16, 2014

November 6-7
Toronto, Canada

Join the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD) and over 1,500 visual communicators for the 15th annual DesignThinkers Conference, a celebration of creativity and strategic design thinking.

The event welcomes a star-studded line-up of 25 international speakers, including:
-    Charles Adler, Co-founder, Kickstarter
-    Irma Boom, Netherlands-based Book Designer
-    Henry Hobson, Film Titles Designer, “The Walking Dead”
-    Wesley Grubbs, Founder, Data Visualization Studio Pitch Interactive
-    Aaron Draplin, Founder, Draplin Design Co.
-    Sybille Hagmann, Type Designer
-    Ellen Lupton, Author, Educator & Curator
-    Karen McGrane, Author, “Content Strategy for Mobile”
-    Debbie Millman, Author & Host, Design Matters
-    Paula Scher, Partner, Pentagram
-    Erik Spiekermann, Author & Creative Director, Edenspiekermann
-    Richard Turley, Creative Director, Bloomberg Businessweek
-    Jessica Walsh, Partner, Sagmeister & Walsh
-    Todd Waterbury, Executive Creative Director & Sr. VP, Marketing, Target

Members of the Graphic Artists Guild get special pricing! Register on the Group/Org rate. Early Bird rates end September 26. Learn more at www.designthinkers.com.

DesignThinkers © RGD

Guild Member Ed Shems Testifies on Copyrights and First Sale

Posted by Rebecca Blake on June 17, 2014

Guild member Ed Shems represented the Graphic Artists Guild, the Copyright Alliance, and concerns of individual artists at a hearing in front of House Judiciary Committee members on June 2. Shems spoke on the impact proposed changes to copyright law regarding the first sale doctrine could have on artists. The proposed changes would expand the doctrine of first sale, permitting licensed digital materials to be resold by the purchaser.

In the past, the doctrine of first sale has had little relevance to artists, who have been able to control the copyrights to their work through licensing agreements. The doctrine permitted the reselling of tangible materials, such as books or CDs, but had no impact on licensed creations. The proposed changes to the first sale doctrine would permit digital materials to be resold as if they were tangible goods. As Shems testified, "There is no such thing as a ‘used book’ in the digital world.... every digital book sold under the first sale doctrine would compete directly with my client's sales – this means my clients will have fewer sales, and fewer resources to devote to illustrate or design their works. As a result I would have fewer clients and we might see a decline in the industry in which I make my living."

Additionally, Shems noted that the proposed changes would make it difficult to police infringement of his artwork: "As a creative professional and small business owner, I am able to choose which clients I will work with. Under an extension of the first sale doctrine, where copies of my work could be digitally sold to others I don't know or work with, that right would be taken away from me." Finally, Shems pointed out that the expansion of the first sale doctrine to cover licensed-based transactions would force creators to raise their fees to cover all rights to their work, rather than negotiate limited rights tailored for each client's needs and budget, and would create a de facto work-for-hire arrangement.

Shems’ full remarks to House Judiciary members can be read here. Shems will also take part in the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) roundtable on First Sale Doctrine on June 25 at Harvard University in Boston. The USPTO has scheduled a series of roundtables and discussions on copyright and intellectual property issues throughout the summer. The full schedule of talks has been posted on our website. The general public can attend the events in person or via webcast.

Below: Ed Shems, Guild Advocacy Chair Lisa Shaftel, and Sandra Aistars from the Copyright Alliance after testifying. Used with permission.

Ed Shems, Guild Advocacy Chair Lisa Shaftel, and Sandra Aistars from the Copyright Alliance.

oozled: Web Designers, Delete Your Bookmarks

Posted by Rebecca Blake on June 09, 2014

oozled logoLaunched just this month, oozled is a web developer’s dream: a web app which provides a steady stream of curated resources from accessibility through wireframing. Many of the resource categories are related directly to coding and production, such as mockup tools, HTML 5, responsive web design tools, and prototyping. Several other categories list resources to help web designers run their businesses (accountancy, legal), build their skills (online tuition, books, podcasts), add to their webtools (payment solutions, email marketing), and replenish their creativity (inspiration, colour – the app developers are from the UK). There’s even an alluring “Just Handy” feed, with eclectic resources such as goofy ipsums, Screen Sizes (an updated list of cross-device screen sizes), and JustDelete.Me (a how-to on deleting your account from web services).

oozled got its start when web/interface designer Dan Edwards compiled a list of his personal resources as a guide for local college students. He published the list on the blogging platform Medium, and invited readers were to contribute recommendations. Within a few months, over 200 resources had been added. Edwards teamed up with developer Ryan Taylor, and in May 2014, the beta version of oozled was launched.

Anyone can access the full list of resources, and a “The Latest 50” category directs visitors to the most recent additions. However, subscribing to oozled is free, and enables the user to subscribe to specific resource feeds, as well as submit their own favorite resources. oozled is currently in beta, but Edwards and Taylor have plans for the app, and promise that subscribers will have first access to any new features.

Below: a small selection of the resource categories. Used with permission.


oozled screenshot

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Taking your creative career to the next level means you need to be up on a myriad of topics. And as good as your art school education may have been, chances are there are gaps in your education. The Guild’s professional monthly webinar series, Webinar Wednesdays, can help take you to the next level.

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