Archive for the web design Category

Tack Data Goes Live.

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Please visit my newest site and branding at tackdata.com. Great, flexible clients that allowed me to create a new brand, based upon their expertise and their venture in the Big Data arena, that is so hot right now.

I like to think that web page sliders introduce the content like a revolving series of ads. What’s cool in this series is, that after three descriptive ‘ads’ that each link to appropriate pages, the fourth presents a new take on ‘cloud’ services. I got a kick out of the cautionary King Kong (big gorilla out there!) messaging and so did the clients.

Thoughts?

Graphic design is just the beginning

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I offer my customers high level branding, graphic design, advertising headlines and copy, campaign consultation, local marketing, logo and graphic design, the writing of marketing slogans, press releases, web sites, articles, ad placement, media consultation. I am proud to create and supervise each customer project with great personal care and tact. Some of these technologies are presented in coordination with experts I know and trust in the field.

They started calling me a “one man agency” a few years ago when I was the Marketing Director at ATS, a national transportation company located in Toronto. At the time I was developing the ATS Healthcare brand that turned out to be so successful. One of the testimonials presented on this site is from my senior executive during the brand launch.

But the nickname stuck and is quite apt. I wrote all the marketing materials, the internal newsletter and a variety web sites, had designed and produced them all, including brochures and award-winning calendars (a staple at transportation firms) invented a brand and described what it meant in both Pharmaceutical and Transportation magazines, designed the logo, wrote and placed ads… well, I did it all marketing-wise.

I have mounted some of this work and much else at mikebeard.com.

I work out of my home studio in Barrie, Ontario. My local Barrie number is 705-984-4752. I never charge for initial conversations and am currently offering a free assessment of all your graphics, sites, ads …. literally anything you would like to throw at me. I will send you a professional report with the results of my findings.

Facebook: Auto Fans Have More Friends.

Todd Wasserman at Mashable Business tells this story that car freaks (my words) hang out together. Reminds me of high school where ‘people who love cars’ were inseparable. Also amazing: “Meanwhile, Facebook also had some encouraging news for brands in the wake of last month’s Timeline switchover.

Two auto brands, Ram trucks and Ford Mustang, saw increases of 291% and 52.6%, respectively in their People Talking About stats, a key measure of engagement.” What’s going on here?

Typographic Design Owes a Lot to Steve

SteveJobs at Stanford University, speaks of how he put typography into the MAC

No, not his graduation, he never graduated college.

But in the first of three vignettes he tells how he dropped out, sat in at a campus calligraphy courses and, years later, plugged all his knowledge of font and legibility, kerning and small caps… into the Mac. Then Microsoft copied it and since then we have had beautifully texted pages. Steve’s sense of typography was installed into the design principles of our generation’s previously type-challenged technology.

Thank you, Mr. Jobs.

Graphic design: things that can be clicked.


Remember that old quiz show, ‘Pyramid’? It really brought in the ‘things that can be …’ categories.
What could be more ‘clickable’ than a mouse? Another of those design ideas that just works and then… Designer: get out of the way. This was for the home page of the Ontario Long Term Care Association and clicking it access a host of learning pages. Love working for the group… they understand big, legible type as do seniors everywhere.
The idea that seniors are not adequately represented on the internet is increasingly a thing of the past as net savvy boomers reach their senior years.

Graphic Design: Button, button, what’s in a button?

When the internet first caught my eye, in 1994, I struggled with the slow speeds and the evident prejudice against graphics. I understood this, as the net was a slow beast ‘in those days’ and we all, as visual people, tried to get more for less. Narrow pages and little buttons. I resisted.
I thought why press a button that looked like an envelope that evidently meant ’email’. That’s exactly what email wasn’t! THERE’S NO ENVELOPES IN EMAIL!!! Or stamps with wavy lines. Or pens with little fingers. Why not, I thought, print the word ’email’?? And with a wink and a nod toward my typographic roots, I began producing typographic finding aids for the web.
For my efforts I was told, ‘You are not an iconographic designer.’ And web designers ran off with all sorts of little images of icons that ran, smiled, and vibrated. Here’s one of my efforts that’s clear, that promotes the message and branding of the impending document, and is rather large as buttons go. It was made to draw attention within a busy page. You decide. Don’t try pressing the button, although I’m betting you want to. :-)

A fascinating B2B social media success story

nullHere’s a pretty neat success story in an off-0the-beaten-track location: Overseas shipping. Mark Schaefer presents easy to read, well laid out content that walks the reader through just how ‘ShipServ’ went about hitting their targets in an early experiment that worked. From the ‘grow’ website.

How Google makes a bundle . . .

Interesting to see just where Google scores the most real cash, and you guessed it, wealth begets wealth. Insurance, Loans and Mortage are the top ad-words, collecting over half of Google’s money. Here’s a handy link for further, FREE SEO exploration: Wordstream’s Keyword Research Test.

Also of note, with Google’s recent embrace of everything local, these topics are indeed local. Most demand a working knowledge of place and at least a personal connection to a broker. ‘Broker’ is a term that really means a nearby professional in whom I am willing to invest with ‘trust’ Perhaps, it is Google who is the broker here, to their great advantage.

Responsive web design fits content to device.

I’m quite intrigued by content management system, open source Drupal. While other web platforms feature a plethora of templates that look to my eye like student work, Drupal invites artistic experimentation and from what I’ve seen, it attracts some of the best designers on the web.

Here is Andrew Revitt’s site, Living to Ride. He’s a mountain biker, obviously sports a great eye, and has been working on this site for 15 years. It has benefited greatly from his elegant polishing and buffing.

What’s lovely to look at is not just the sheer exuberance of the design but the way it redistributes it’s content blocks to fit devices from the iphone size shown here, up to the desktop size >>> just a little further right down along the shelf.

This posts is really one part of four:
Responsive Design Fits Content To Device
Seamless design from iPhone screen to iPad display
Design sized right for Netbooks, Notebooks & Laptops
Designed for screens big enough to lose ourselves in

Seamless design from handheld iPhone to iPad display,

Andrew Revitt’s site reflexively resizes and redistributes itself to show the viewer the correct configuration. From single to double columns, the site seems almost casually right, perfectly fitting each display.

To me, a proud ‘classically trained’ designer, who approached web design from legibility and usability viewpoints, I see now that my fundamental, but not unconscious stance remained with print. Even the word ‘layout’ stems from the type, font and press world of magazines & newspapers of the ink on paper variety. I still love print, hell I just finished a beautiful annual report, but for those looking for it’s death, here’s yet another nail.

This posts is really one part of four:
Responsive Design Fits Content To Device
Seamless design from iPhone screen to iPad display
Design sized right for Netbooks, Notebooks & Laptops
Designed for screens big enough to lose ourselves in

Design sized right for Netbooks, Notebooks & Laptops



This screen seems a little more comfortable with the sheer amount of content as shown here in Andrew Revitt’s home page, Living to Ride.

There are many sites nominated on ‘Media Queries‘.

Each shows a different designer’s vision of this most original of design principles,

FORM
FOLLOWS
FUNCTION.

This posts is really one part of four:
Responsive Design Fits Content To Device
Seamless design from iPhone screen to iPad display
Design sized right for Netbooks, Notebooks & Laptops
Designed for screens big enough to lose ourselves in

Designed for screens big enough to lose ourselves in.

Here’s the multi-column large-screen display. Don’t cha just love the way Drupal works this? Can’t wait for WordPress to catch up!

This posts is really one part of four:
Responsive Design Fits Content To Device
Seamless design from iPhone screen to iPad display
Design sized right for Netbooks, Notebooks & Laptops
Designed for screens big enough to lose ourselves in

What Social Media Influence Looks Like

The Web Ecology Project plots robot against robot competing in a week-long Social Media Influencing Contest. The task for “Socialbots 2011” is based on a lead bot, with points awarded for the number of mutual connections with the lead bot and responses they can elicit from the 500 targets that have been generated.
Teams launch their lead bot, as well as any number of supporting bots, to maximize social impact. I found this on Marshall Sponder’s blog intriguingly addressed ‘web metrics guru the’ dot com. If you’re interested in evaluating social media this blog is a must read.

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