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Topic: Graphic Design

  • Design by Metaphor

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    Sometimes the best way to understand a client's needs is by comparing their project to an existing site or service. The site should feel "like eBay" and work "like Expedia." But what do such comparisons really mean? Learn to master the metaphor while avoiding unrealistic goals and expectations.

  • Human-to-Human Design

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    Help your audience fall in love with you by moving beyond human-to-computer interfaces and embracing human-to-human design.

  • Stand and Deliver

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    You've got thirty seconds to sell your work to the well dressed nemesis who's paying you. Handle the next few moments gracefully, and the project will be one you can be proud of. Flub an answer, and you can kiss excellence goodbye. Are you prepared? Can you deliver?

  • Random Image Rotation

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    Readers return to sites that appear fresh and new on each visit. On a news site, magazine, or blog, stories or headlines will be updated frequently. But how can static sites keep that fresh feeling? Dan Benjamin’s free image randomizer may do the trick, and you needn’t be a programmer to install it.

  • Contrast and Meaning

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    Yes, Virginia, design does matter. Better web page layouts aren't only about aesthetics. A layout with clear hierarchies can turn scanners to readers, and readers to members. Learn how visual contrast can turn lifeless web pages into sizzling calls to action.

  • Whitespace

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    So you think you know all about whitespace. You may be surprised. Mark Boulton, type expert to the stars, shows how micro and macro whitespace push brands upscale (or down) and enhance legibility in print and online.

  • A List Apart 4.0

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    From the crown of its cranium to the tips of its Ruby-slippered toes, A List Apart 4.0 is both old and new.

  • When You Are Your Own Client, Who Are You Going To Make Fun Of At The Bar?

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    Should your blog have a business? Jim Coudal shares insights into the adventure of transitioning from client services to product creation.

  • Design Choices Can Cripple a Website

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    Do you test your designs? If not, Nick Usborne wants you to take responsibility for your design choices and the very quantifiable effect they can have on websites that are built for business.

  • Designing Through the Storm

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    As designers, we all face the inevitable slump. That point where our creativity stagnates and we find ourselves at a dead end. Walter Stevenson offers suggestions on staying productive and creative.

  • Good Designers Redesign, Great Designers Realign

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    The difference between redesigns that make you look busy and give your stakeholders something else to argue about, and strategic overhauls that reposition your brand and help you set and reach business goals.

  • Mountaintop Corners

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    Most of us have experience creating “rounded” corners by erasing pixels. It’s a rudimentary web design technique — or so we always thought. But in the hands of Dan Cederholm, author of Web Standards Solutions, this seemingly simple technique paves the way for boxes and borders that can change sizes and colors at your whim.

  • Reading Design

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    With so many specialists working so hard at their craft, why are so many pages so hard to read? Unabashed text enthusiast Dean Allen thinks designers would benefit from approaching their work as being written rather than assembled.

  • A Better Image Rotator

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    The first image rotator made it easy to generate a random image on a web page, even if you had never worked with PHP before. The new, more powerful (but still dead easy) version uses a simple configuration file to create custom links, alt tags, titles, and even CSS styles for each image. Plus it handles differently sized images without a hiccup. Enjoy!

  • Big, Stark & Chunky

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    You’ve designed for the screen and made provision for blind, handheld, and PDA browser users. But what about low-vision people? Powered by CSS, “zoom” layouts convert wide, multicolumn web pages into low-vision-friendly, single column designs. Accessibility maven Joe Clark explores the rationale and methods behind zoom layouts. Board the zoom train now!

  • The Bathing Ape Has No Clothes (and other notes on the distinction between style and design)

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    Why has the level of discussion in “design forums” degenerated so quickly? Maybe because they’re not populated by “designers.” Greenfield explains the difference between Stylists and Designers—and why that difference matters so much.

  • CMS and the Single Web Designer

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    Content Management Systems free designers from the gruntwork of individual web page production. They may also free companies from the need to retain design staff. How do content management systems work, and what impact will they have on a web designer’s job?

  • Information vs. Experience

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    The conflict between presentation and structure reveals two views of the web. Which one’s winning?

  • The Flash Aesthetic

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    Scaling, 2-D style, cycle-free motion, and heavy strokes. They’re not just web design trends any more. Join Olson on a cultural scavenger hunt as he tracks the ways Flash design techniques have crept into non-web media.

  • Fragments (of Time)

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    The best web interfaces take time – the one asset that seems to be in perpetually short supply. Leading Scandinavian web developer Pär Almqvist presents a time-based perspective on web interfaces and the network economy.