| Forgot Password?

Communication Design

15th Edition of the Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines Published

Posted by Rebecca Blake on April 16, 2018

The cover of the Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines

The latest edition of the industry bible, informally known as “PEGs”, was released in early April. In addition to the popular pricing tables and sample contracts, the 15th edition features a greatly reworked chapter on Surface Pattern Design, and an expanded and updated chapter with professional, business, and legal resources. Throughout the book, text has been updated to reflect current trade practices and conditions.

 Illustrator and Guild member Ben Pernini was commissioned to create the colorful cover art. Book designer and Guild member Dawn Mitchell handled the art direction. 

The update of the ebook Primer Series based on the Handbook is currently in production. Look for it this summer!

Good News! WordPress Will Be A Lot Easier To Use In 2018

Posted by Guest on January 10, 2018

by Bud Kraus


Here are 3 things most designers can agree on about WordPress:

1. It's not easy.

2. It's not WYSIWYG.

3. It's a "save and surprise" system when it comes to creating web pages and blog posts.

That's all going to change in 2018.

The smart people behind the development of WordPress have been working overtime to rollout the new content creator known as Gutenberg. The expected release date is spring 2018.

Gutenberg will completely replace this editor, which has been the bane of many designers:

WordPress editor

In its place you'll use a block-editing system. If you've ever used WIX, Squarespace, Medium, MailChimp, or other publishing systems, you have a notion of what I'm getting at.

Let me give you a tour of Gutenberg. You’ll see and hear a lot about it in 2018.

 

Gutenberg works with “Gutenblocks” (that's what the smarties call it) that form the heart of the system. Blocks can easily be added, edited, moved, or removed when you are making a page or post. Content types such as heading, paragraph, image, video, or audio are inserted into a block. Depending on the content type you are working on, Gutenberg displays different options that allow you to change the appearance of that content.

You will be able to save a Gutenblock if you need to reuse some content on more than one page. That's going to be a huge time saver.

As for images, here’s what the Gutenberg developers are saying:

“Handling images and media with the utmost care is a primary focus of the new editor. Hopefully, you'll find aspects of adding captions or going full-width with your pictures much easier and robust than before.”

How about that!

Not A Plugin

Gutenberg will be added to the core of WordPress.  That means it will be part of WP out of the box. It will be as integral to WordPress as choosing themes, adding plugins, or creating menus.

It will be in the WordPress 5.0 version. The current version is 4.9.1. That means when you install or update WP to version 5.0, you'll be saying goodbye to the WP Editor we’ve used for over 10 years and hello to Gutenberg.  It'll be that simple.

And that’s just the start of the Gutenberg story. Over time Gutenberg will allow for drag and drop functionality, not only of Gutenblocks, but for all elements on a web page.  If you want to adjust a page's header, footer, sidebars, and other design elements, regardless of the theme,,you'll be able to do that with Gutenberg. So sayeth those in the know.

What Happens To Page Builders?

That's just one of the many questions those in the WP community are asking.  What is the future of the countless plugin such as: Divi, Beaver Builder, and Elementor, that make it easier to build pages? No one really seems to have a good answer for that.

What If You Don't Like Gutenberg?

I think you will and I suggest you give it a try.  Most designers have been clamoring for a WordPress WYSIWYG design environment for years. While the first versions of Gutenberg won't quite get us there, over time we are likely to reach the Holy Grail of inline web design aka in-browser design.

Gutenberg is WordPress's big step in that direction. It had to happen. 

In Beta Now

I suggest that you if create WP sites for clients, you get a jump on what Gutenberg is. Currently you can download Gutenberg as a pluginbut you have to promise me the following:

1. You do not use this on any live site!

2. You understand that Gutenberg is in a beta state.  That means things will not work as you expect nor should you consider Gutenberg as ready for prime time.


Bud Kraus has been teaching the fundamentals of web design for thousands of students at Pratt Institute, the Fashion Institute of Technology and for his private students for 20 years. 

Besides teaching Bud works with individuals and small businesses developing their WordPress sites.

His free WordPress A To Z Series is for beginners or if a re-fresher course is needed. Get access to all his videos at https://joyofwp.com/courses/free-tutorials-course-to-learn-wordpress/.

Questions? email Bud at: bud@joyofwp.com

Space Exploration Posters, Courtesy of the Jet Propulsion Lab

Posted by Rebecca Blake on December 28, 2017

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab gave us all a lovely holiday gift: a series of space exploration posters, free for downloading and printing. The series, titled Visions of the Future, channels retro poster design from the WPA-era to tout vacation destinations such as Ceres, Jupiter, and Kepler-186f (the first earth-sized planet speculated to be capable of sustaining life). The files can be downloaded as high resolution TIFFs or PDFs, at 20x30”.

The posters are the creation of “The Studio,” a team of designers, illustrators, and visual strategists at the JPL. The Studio creates visuals, such as the space exploration poster series, which communicate the excitement and vision of the JPL. However, their mission goes beyond that of a typical art department. In a video created by The Otis Report on the Creative Economy, Dan Goods, Visual Strategist at The Studio, and Charles Elachi, PhD, Director of the JPL, speak about the importance of the exchange of ideas and inspiration between The Studio and JPL engineers and scientists.

That collaboration is evident in the Visions of the Future poster series. While depicting fanciful interpretations of each planet and moon, The Studio staff solicited feedback from JPL scientists. That red foliage on Kepler-186f? That was inspired by the information that the light spectrum radiated by Kepler’s star is a different spectrum than earth’s sun.  On a background page on the poster series, creative strategist David Delgado, illustrator Joby Harris, and typographer Lois Kim describe the thought process behind each poster. Our only quibble with the series? We would have loved to have seen a rendition of Saturn – what would The Studio have done with those rings!?

Poster thumbnails, courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech​

Jet Propulsion Lab Visions of the Future poster thumbnails  

Credits for the posters

Creative Strategy: 
Dan Goods, David Delgado

Illustrators: 
Liz Barrios De La Torre (Ceres, Europa)
Stefan Bucher (Jupiter Design)
Invisible Creature (Grand Tour, Mars, Enceladus)
Joby Harris (Kepler 16b, Earth, Kepler 186f, PSO J318.5-22, Titan)
Jessie Kawata (Venus)
Lois Kim (Typography for Venus and Europa)
Ron Miller (Jupiter Illustration)

What To Do If You Think Your Client’s WordPress Site’s Been Hacked

Posted by Guest on November 21, 2017

By Bud Kraus

The frantic email, text, or call always comes at a bad time. Your client thinks their site's been hacked. What are you going to do?

Step 1:

Take a deep breath — even if you've done this before — and then head straight to the Sucuri Site Scanner, put your web address into the box, and hit the “Scan Website” button. Let the smart Sucuri people analyze your site. They'll let you know if there is a problem and if so, its likely cause.  

Sucuri warning screen

If you get a result like this, then it's "Houston, we have a problem."

In this case, the site is being blacklisted from search engines and other sites because, in all likelihood, it has been compromised. Further investigation may turn up any or all of these issues:

1. Brute Force Attack: An illegal entry into your WordPress Admin.
2. File Inclusion Exploits: A method to compromise your wp-config.php, a mission-critical file in every WordPress site
3.  MySQL Injection: Damage to or destruction of a database where data is maliciously added or removed.
4. Cross-site Scripting (XSS): Presents as a danger to your site's users.
5. Malware: Malicious code that is being used on your site.

How you resolve the problem(s) depends upon the nature of the problem, your skills and/or the co-operation you will get from the web hosting company. You may also need to hire an outside service, like Sucuri, to clean up the mess. They may recommend the use of a firewall for the site.

But wait — there's a step before Step 1.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is not just a trite expression. In the business of keeping WordPress sites safer, it's true. At minimum, keeping WordPress software up-to-date is a must. Understanding how versions work with any WordPress software is easy, so keep this in mind:

1. If any update has two digits, like 4.9, that means it's a major update. New features will be introduced, as well as bug fixes or security patches.

2. If any update has three digits, like 4.9.1, this means no new features will be introduced. Three digit updates include only bug fixes and security patches.

WordPress software comes in three types, all of which need to be kept current:

1. WordPress Core Updates: Major (two-digit) updates are usually available two or three times per year. Three-digit updates occur on a more regular basis. Most web hosts will automatically do three-digit updates for you. The two-digit update is something you usually need to do on your own.

2. Theme Updates: Theme developers occasionally update their software. This may occur when WordPress itself is updated, but not necessarily; the two- and three-digit system applies for these updates as well. If you change your theme's coding, always make sure to create a Child Theme. That way, your customizations will not be lost when your theme is updated.

3. Plugin Updates: These can occur on a very regular basis. Again, you'll know what kind of update it is by noting if it's two or three digits. Good plugin developers frequently update their plugins.

Keeping Track Of The Updates

If you regularly log into a WordPress site it's easy to tell what needs to be updated. If not, I recommend using the WP Updates Notifier plugin. You will get email that lets you know if WordPress, your theme, or any plugins need to be updated. Ignore that email at your own peril! (Note: If you manage many sites, consider using ManageWP, which lets you update software from one c-Panel.)

Security Is A Shared Responsibility

Keeping software up to date is just part of the precautions you need to take to keep a site safe and in good working order. The web host also has a role to play. Have they added SSL to your domain? (You can request this and it's free in most cases). Are they using current versions of software, such as PHP? (7.0). Is the web host using a shared hosting plan? If so, that’s not nearly as secure as a Virtual Private Server.  

In your contract with a client it should be clearly stipulated that you are to be held harmless and without liability if a site were to go down for any reason beyond your control. This includes sites you currently work on or maintain, as well as sites you no longer have responsibility for. In all cases, consult an attorney to help protect yourself from legal liability.


Bud Kraus has been teaching the fundamentals of web design for thousands of students at Pratt Institute, the Fashion Institute of Technology and for his private students for 20 years. 

Besides teaching Bud works with individuals and small businesses developing their WordPress sites.

His free WordPress A To Z Series is for beginners or if a re-fresher course is needed. Get access to all his videos at https://joyofwp.com/courses/free-tutorials-course-to-learn-wordpress/.

Questions? email Bud at: bud@joyofwp.com

Montreal Design Declaration: “All People Deserve to Live in a Well-Designed World”

Posted by Rebecca Blake on November 14, 2017

Montreal Design DeclarationOn October 24, representatives from 14 international associations of designers, architects, urban planners, and landscape architects signed the Montreal Design Declaration. The signing took place at the conclusion of the first ever international Design Summit Meeting, and in the presence of representatives from three UN agencies: UNESCO, UN-Habitat, and UN Environment. The 14 international associations, along with four other design organizations, collaborated on the call to action. Collectively, over 600 national entities – design organizations, educational institutions, and design promotional centers — from 89 different countries were represented by the Declaration signers. (The Guild, as a member of ico-D, is represented on the Design Declaration.)

The Declaration challenges designers, educators, governments, and the private sector to work collaboratively in creating a world that is “environmentally sustainable, economically viable, socially equitable, and culturally diverse.” To reach this goal, the Declaration proposed 20 projects, from developing metrics to evaluate the impact of design, to fostering support and funding for design research and education, to showing the role of design in enhancing and celebrating cultural diversity.

The final project proposed by the Declaration is “Generate support for a world design agenda through distribution and statements of support for the Montréal Design Declaration.” To that end, designers are encouraged to download the Declaration, read it, and share it with their colleagues and contacts. The Montréal Design Declaration can be downloaded from their website. You can also like and share their Facebook page.

Next Page

How to Start your Very Own Communication Design Business!

Start Your Own Design Business - booklet cover - image

Digital Download

Enter your email address below to receive a FREE download of "Starting Your Own Communication Design Business" written by Lara Kisielewska. 

By signing up you will receive our monthly newsletter and occasional e-mails about our advocacy work. You will have the option to opt out at any time.

 

Guild Webinars

Webinar Banner image by Rebecca Blake

Looking to keep up with industry trends and techniques?

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.

Members can join the live webinars for FREE - as part of your benefits of membership! Non-members can join the live webinars for $45. 

Visit our webinar archive page, purchase the webinar of your choice for $35 and watch it any time that works for you.

 


Share

Follow Us