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Website Design

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

Name It and Claim It: New Top Level Domains Released by ICANN

Posted by Rebecca Blake on April 02, 2014

ICANN logoAs reported by Petapixel in February, ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, has released a new batch of top level domains. The new domains include .photography, .gallery, and .graphics, permitting creatives to end their URL with something more memorable than the ubiquitous .com (or much less sexy .net). As Petapixel points out, many of the new domains are geared to photography; the list includes .equipment, .camera, and .lighting.

Unfortunately .illustration has not been released, but .consulting, .marketing, .picture, .solutions, and .vision are available. (For those having a run of bad client relations, .gripe is also available.) The full list of top level domains is posted on the ICANN website.

Happy 25th Birthday, World Wide Web!

Posted by Rebecca Blake on March 17, 2014

Web at 25 logoMarch 12th was the 25th birthday of the World Wide Web, and the anniversary is being marked with events and well wishes from world leaders, innovators, philanthropists, and ordinary folk. To mark the occasion, the World Wide Web Consortium and the World Wide Web Foundation have created Webat25.org. Visitors can view message from Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, leave a happy birthday message, read little-known facts and a brief history of the Web, and bookmark a calendar of events.

The Web was first proposed by Berners-Lee in March of 1989, as an “information management system” while working as a consultant at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. The proposal intended to address the loss of information which occurred as the complex systems were developed at CERN. His vision was radical, a linked information system that would provide a “web” of notes, rather than a traditional fixed, hierarchical structure was quite radical at the time. His proposal wasn’t accepted but with the encouragement of his supervisor, Berners-Lee continued to work on his concept, coining the term “World Wide Web” for the project. (Earlier monikers included “Information Mesh” and “Mine of Information.”) By 1990, with the collaboration of other key innovators, he developed the first iteration of the Web, complete with HTML, URLs, and a browser.

Celebrations of the anniversary culminate with a symposium on the Web’s future on October 29th in Santa Clara. Berners-Lee is taking the anniversary as an opportunity to position global access to the Web as a basic human right, calling for a digital bill of rights. The World Wide Web Foundation has coordinated a Web We Want campaign to build support for “people’s online rights to a free, open and truly global web protected by law in every country.” The campaign solicits feedback from the public, offering small grants for anniversary events which will engage people in discussing and debating the Web’s future.

Getty Image Embed: A Murky Future

Posted by Rebecca Blake on March 11, 2014

Stock image giant Getty Images announced this month that the company was making 35 million images free for non-commercial use via their image embed technology. The selected images are indentified on the stock site with a “</>” icon. Clicking on the symbol yields a snippet of code which can be copied into the source code of a website or blog, causing the unwatermarked image to appear on the  page. As reported in the British Journal of Photography, Craig Peters, senior vice president of business development, content and marketing at Getty, states that the step was taken in recognition of the widespread infringement of their licensed images: “What we’re finding is that the vast majority of infringement in this space happens with self-publishers who typically don’t know anything about copyright and licensing, and simply don’t have any budget to support their content needs.”

The embedded images include Getty’s logo, the photographer’s credit, and social media sharing links which appear underneath the image area. The image links back to the image page on Getty’s site, with information on licensing a higher resolution copy of the image. The technology used to embed the image, deploying iframes, prevents users from changing the image size, and also restricts the images from being fully responsive. (When image embed was first announced, users realized they could in fact crop out the credit line and Getty logo, but Getty quickly altered the code to prevent this.) According to Peters, by making a large library of images available for legal sharing, Getty hopes to benefit their “content creators.”

However, looking at Getty’s terms of use raises questions about Getty’s plans to monetize the image embed player. As Pat David reported in PetaPixel, the embed player iframe element will permit Getty to load any content into the user’s webpage. Although Getty claims to not have any plans in the works to monetize the embed feature, their terms of use reserve that right: “Getty Images (or third parties acting on its behalf) may collect data related to use of the Embedded Viewer and embedded Getty Images Content, and reserves the right to place advertisements in the Embedded Viewer or otherwise monetize its use without any compensation to you.” Joshua Benton on the Nieman Journalism Lab speculates that Getty could gather data from the embedded images to target ads to specific websites.

Additionally, Getty contributors – photographers and illustrators who participate on the site – do not have the option to opt out of the image embed program. (Getty is withholding their premium Reportage and Contour from the program.) Wired speculates that with careful planning, the embed program could yield better compensation to Getty’s photographers or illustrators – or could fail miserably. Either way, it’s easy to envision that one repercussion of the program will be the continued devaluation of visual works as “content” which should be free.

Using Fonts: A Typographic Treasury

Posted by Rebecca Blake on February 24, 2014

FontShop is one of many top notch resources for anyone purchasing typefaces, offering thousands of fonts from a variety of foundries as well as its house brand, FontFont. Many of the new releases are featured on FontShop’s blog. But anyone who assumes the blog is just another advertising medium should take a closer look. Selecting FontShop blog articles tagged with “Using Fonts” pulls up a stellar series of informative articles on typography, authored by letterer David Sudweeks. The article series has garnered praise from the likes of Erik Spiekermann.

Sudweeks had intended the series to cover the fundamentals of typography, and many of the articles handle basics, such as “Using Baseline Grids” and “Basic Kerning.” Sudweeks doesn’t refrain from digging deeply into the most mundane subject matter, and the result is a goldmine of information. For example, an article on using Search and Replace delves into GREP, that mysterious search option within the InDesign Find/Change dialogue box. (As it turns out, GREP – from a Unix term – permits one to search for a string of characters. Who knew?) Similarly, an article on “A Sense for Type Scale” was continued into a second article, which lead naturally into a two-part article on “Understanding Visual Hierarchy.”

Some articles cover more fun topics, such as “Wedding Invitation Typography,” or “Making your First Font.” Sudweeks also doesn’t limit himself to typography for print. Several articles deal with responsive typography, CSS, and @font-face. For those who think excellent typography crosses all media, a particularly wonderful article covers “Understanding Cascading Styles in Print and Web.”

 

Brought to our attention by @espiekermann.

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