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graphic design

Stop ignoring Lorem Ipsum

Submitted by John on Tue, 2011/05/03 - 8:32pm
And learn to use your tools properly

A quick Google search shows the “Death to Lorem Ipsum” meme is a reoccurring one that is once again hitting the twittersphere this week while An Event Apart is in Boston. Their points about understanding the content during the design phase are completely essential when creating websites, but their rallying cry is completely off base.

Crying “death to lorem ipsum” because real content keeps breaking our design is like crying “death to hammers” because we keep hitting our thumb.

Imagine if Vera Wang was asked to design outfits for a team of people.

Let’s say her client doesn’t initially tell her anything about the people she needs to design clothing for. So, Vera uses Elle McPherson as the model. And the client approves of the design because, of course, it looks fantastic on Elle.

But when Lebron James and the Miami Heat show up for their outfits and look completely ridiculous in misshapen clothing, let me be clear…

Do not blame Elle McPherson!

Lorem ipsum is just a model of real content. If the designer uses the wrong model, its not the model’s fault.

Introducing the “Succinct” style for IRC

Submitted by John on Wed, 2010/11/10 - 6:45pm
For those with a love/hate relationship with Colloquy

Colloquy (freely available at http://colloquy.info) is a very nice Mac OS X desktop application for IRC. However, it is in serious need of some design help. All of its built-in Styles would make even the most inexperienced graphic designer weep.

Last week I was introduced to the Campfire style for Colloquy. It had a very nice, clean design. But it too closely mimicked the Campfire web application it was based on, so its design elements conflicted with the usability of a good IRC style. For example, it framed all “nickname has left the chat room” messages in blue; highlighting the noise.

But the Campfire style was just too close to what I wanted. Before I was content to use a crappy-ish Colloquy style as long as I could get my work done reasonably well. Now that Campfire had hinted at what I really wanted, I had to work on trying to get the best, most usable style possible.

“Design for Drupal!”

Submitted by John on Sat, 2007/03/10 - 4:43am

Steven Wittens was a co-creator of Drupal’s beautiful default theme, Garland. And he has a thought-provoking post about the current state of design in the Drupal community and his frustrations in trying to improve it.

Many of the arguments in the comments to Steven’s blog were that designers tend not to collaborate. And that they can be difficult for programmers to work with. And that the Drupal community lacks many good designers. Some even said designers are prima-donnas and they don’t know CSS.

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