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Resources to Help You Be More Active in the Web Graphic Design Community

Since the times are changing, it’s more important than ever to get involved in the community. The question then becomes easy: If I’m a developer and/or designer and want to be more active in the online community, where do I even start? Where can I find web development solutions?

Getting involved through forums:

Visiting a forum and interacting with others is a great way to hear about new ideas and share your knowledge. Below are a few of the best forums specifically for web developers and designers:

Forrst – The forum’s focus is on design and code review, and the discussions are some of the liveliest.

Stack Overflow – Allows readers to interact without having to answer or ask a question. No registration required, which is quite unique.

Web Developer – This is a popular forum with a huge amount of information. Registration is required before you can start.

Follow experts through Social Media:

A few industry gurus you might want to consider following so that you can gather information on how to improve your web development services quickly are stated below:

John Resig – Creator of jQuery, author and JavaScript programmer.

Gina Trapani – the cofounder and CTO of ThinkUp and is definitely one of the more influential women developers today.

Eric A. Meyer – The owner of meyerweb.com. He’s incredibly knowledgeable and accessible. You could say he’s very active.

Read Blogs:

Engage and interact with different blog posts. Below includes a list of popular blogs:

Smashing Magazine – Has an easy to read layout and content from the top developers in the industry.

OXP – Easy to understand blogs which covers topics ranging from working from home to more technical subjects.

In the end, getting active in your community is a great way to not only make connections, but also draw inspiration. Web Graphic Design particularly is a field where you can be creative and share ideas to others, and the Development community understands that and wants to help.

Website Graphic Design Trends That Will Disappear in 2014

What most people aren’t speaking about, but ought to be, would be the types of design trends that are on their way out, which ones ought to be omitted and those that are unlikely to be seen again. You should update your site and remove these styles before you lose all your web design jobs:

Sliding Banners

It seemed like a great idea once upon a time. Most people, however, find them more distracting and annoying than anything else, thus they’re falling rapidly in favor of more truly interactive and less showy design, such as single-page scrolling and basic drop-down menus.

Extensive Fill-Out Forms

Getting a user’s information is essential for an web based business, regardless if it’s an e-commerce site or a simple blog that has a contact form. Asking tons of questions only serves to alienate possible customers, and fortunately website developers seem to be realizing that.

Circular Script Logos

Using a script font within a circle, be it outlined or filled in, monogram or full title, used to be cool, but so many people used this look. People became completely burned out by it.

Flash Intros

Remember these eye-catchers? Flash intros can still be found here and there on ostentatious and out of touch websites that haven’t updated their appearance, however for the most part individuals have shifted on to simple design and limited features.

Too Many Fonts

Typography is important, and fun to play with, yet it’s crucial that you exhibit restraint when using it. It’s particularly obvious when someone without graphic design experience develops a site, as they tend to complicate it.

Complicated Design

If you thought having loads of icons, design components, fonts and attributes means you have an exciting and interactive site, you could be right, but the look and feel is overwrought and overpowering. Since design trends advance, they’re transferring away from complex to simple browsing experience.

Though some of these features were once amazingly famous, they’ve endured the ultimate fate of rising to the top: total saturation. And that means fatigue. Web developing companies’ piece of advice –avoid using them this coming year.

5 Essential Web Graphic Design Elements

Web Graphic design is littered with terminologies. Here are merely few of the essential elements you should know, along with a brief explanation of the terms to get you started.

Raster and vector images

Raster/bitmap images – composed of thousands of pixels which define the color and form of the image.

Example: Photos

Software/editor: Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop enables you to adjust the color and other attributes of pixels.

*Resizing up will compromise image’s quality.

Vector images – are images made up of points

Example: Adobe Illustrator-generated images.

Vector images are made up of points, which has a defined X and Y coordinate. You can add color fills -Resizable.

CMYK and RGB

CMYK – stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key. It is the standard color mode for sending documents.

Examples: magazines, newspapers, flyers, brochures, annual reports and all printable materials.

Software/Editor: Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator

You have the option to set your document’s color mode as CMYK or RGB.

* CMYK has a more limited color scale than RGB; you can experience a loss of color when converting from RGB to CMYK.

Resolution (DPI and PPI)

Software: Illustrator

DPI stands for ‘Dots per Inch’ -the more dots per inch, the better quality the image – and 300DPI is the standard for printing images.

PPI refers to ‘Pixels per Inch’.

*Resizing up an image will compromise its quality.

Software: Photoshop

*Bear in mind that resolution only applies to raster graphics – because vectors do not work in pixels.

Typography

It is the art of organizing typographs. It’s one of the essentials of graphic design and every designer should read or review it in great detail especially to kerning. Web developing companies hire professionals just for this.

Grids

In graphic design, it’s a group of intersecting vertical and horizontal lines utilized to manage and compose content.

Setting up a grid allows you to get your composition accurate and balance your type and imagery.

Typical grid systems incorporate a large header across the top with evenly sized columns underneath -but sky’s the limit.

We wish you success in becoming a part of the web developers’ community!

6 All-time Web Graphic Design Industry’s Cool tactics

Website developers and graphic designers alike do several things when designing web sites for their clients. Designers take advantage of 6 tactics, or applications alternatively, when providing their services to their clients.

The Full Screen Background

The purpose of a full screen background is to instantaneously capture people’s interest and to present a branding proposal that no one can forget about. Experts use the attribute (background-size) of CSS3 which allows a developer to include a large image and re-size it to create a very inviting} and suitable full screen background.

The Vector Graphics

The merit of using vector graphics most notably shapes and characters is that they are almost always unforgettable, that’s why they’re noteworthy. One way to determine that they get people’s interest is by incorporating a little bit of obscurity in the meaning right behind the name of the merchandise or business.

Fixed Navigation

The advantage of creating a fixed navigation function in the interface is that consumers can scan the whole of the webpage coupled with its details without the hassle of scrolling back and forth. Even so, fixed navigation may cause some disadvantages. It can occasionally get in the way of the content that end user wishes to read through.

Single-Page Parallax Scrolling

Single-page parallax scrolling offers a certain elaborate and entertaining feature to the interface. The best part about it is that you can input loads of content in a single page, and
if coupled with a fixed navigation quick access toolbar, consumers can visit the part of the
content they want with just a click away without enduring to scroll up and down.

Mobile Responsive Layouts

Thanks to innovative web development services, graphic designers now incorporate a responsive web design so that the web site can be accessed from even a mobile device without having a deformed design looking back at them.

Dynamic Animations

Who doesn’t love a good computer animation? Users respond well to animation because it
adds motion -a fun ingredient to a dull webpage. Web development companies use dynamic animations integrated to respond to an action done by the user’s clicking.

Web Designing for the Visually Impaired: A Must

According to the recent statistics, 53.2 million people with ages 45 and above suffer from one form of visual impairment or another. That’s only for the US alone, and 18% of these people are deemed to be “legally blind”.

But even through that, most of them actually access the internet on a daily basis. This trend is projected to increase in the coming years, with the internet being more and more available to various audiences. This is where the common stumbling block for web graphic design is—the lack of features that could make a website more accessible to those who are visually impaired.

So what can web designers do to address this? Simple:

1. Give an allowance for large text. More often than not, most visually impaired users only need to enlarge the text for convenience. Adjustable text in a web layout increases legibility and therefore provides better experience.

2. Don’t use graphical text. Using text images are bad for people with low vision, since they either need different fonts or colors combinations for a better view. Text images can’t be highlighted (which is one of the tricks visually impaired people use to see text clearer) and their size can’t be changed using browser options or other tools to enlarge text. A good website design firm usually avoids this practice to help out with this issue.

3. Ensure good website navigation through the use of keyboard. It’s really important for a website to have keyboard shortcuts because most visually impaired people have poor hand-eye coordination. Most of them use only keyboards to access websites. There are a lot more ways of catering to visually impaired, and it’s the job of a good and ethical web development company to cater to their needs because hey, everyone enjoys the internet, no matter what situations they are in.

The Pros of Using an Existing Framework

In the world of web graphic design, it is common to come across the debate regarding web graphic design frameworks. Are frameworks a useful tool for experienced web developers, or is it a curse when they make websites look just like everyone else’s?

Nowadays, practically every website makes use of a ready template that may have been created or downloaded over the internet. Creating a website completely from scratch is a rarity and has been deemed to be mostly inefficient in going about creating a web graphic design. However, if it was done from scratch, a designer can gain a deeper understanding of a website’s structure and design and at the same time, to easily manipulate the website to fit the client’s needs.

Below is a list of other advantages of using frameworks in web graphic design.

Pros:

  1. Increased development speed

Creating a website from scratch can take time ranging from a couple of hundreds of hours to days, or even weeks, but using a ready framework can cut that time down and complete a website’s groundwork in mere minutes. Developing a website using a framework makes it a lot easier which in turn makes it a lot faster to complete. Also, if developing a website is done with a team, it is guaranteed that your whole team would have the exact same code, making collaborative work easier and more efficient.

  1. Guaranteed functionality

One benefit of using a popular framework is that, throughout the years, numerous iterations have been released thanks to the testing done by those who make use of said framework. The community using that particular framework would end up thoroughly testing it for any bugs whether voluntarily or involuntarily.

  1. Easy to use

One of the best things about using a framework is that the developer need not necessarily be an expert web developer to be able to incorporate the framework into a website. Frameworks give inexperienced developers the ability to create the websites they want without having to master every single aspect of web development.

6 Essential Typography Tips for Improved and Readable Website

A good web and graphic design also depends on the element called ‘Typography’. When improved and done in a correct manner, this element can highly improve the site’s readability and design. Even when new trends emerge, experts still remind their fellow professionals about how important the ‘text’ is to a website page. So do consider the following compiled typography tips to further enhance your website’s appeal.

1.) Contrast and Colour – The first thing that designers should be aware of is their colour schemes, second, is the contrast of a webpage. Same goes for the typography of a
page. Keep in mind that it is easier for people to read a black text on whit background than the other way around.

2.) Font Consistency – A site will look more readable and adding to the professional touch if only few fonts are used. Having a lot of fonts can make it look cluttered and messy to the readers, so avoid using more than three types of fonts. By using only few fonts, you are making your page readable and clean.

3.) Organized Text and Titles – Organize your titles, introduction paragraphs and regular texts by creating a hierarchy. This is essential since it will let the readers analyze your
articles or pages quickly and they can easily locate the part that catches their fancy.

4.) Correct Line Height – Web and graphic designers usually make a mistake by using an incorrect line height in their designs. You should take note of the fact that the line height defines the height of a text. With that, your line height should be set to be in tune with the size of the font.

5.) Underlined Texts are For Links – The default approach for links by the browsers is an underlined blue text, although the colour of the text often changes. Moreover, the underline
has been the generic style links. Because of that, never use it for other purposes than links. You will only confuse your readers if you do.

6.) Title Margins – Be aware that the title is related to the paragraph and not an isolator
between two paragraphs. In that way, the title must have a wider margin on top than the bottom.

These six essential typography tips can help you have a better website and improved search engine results when it is done properly. Expanding your knowledge on what makes an excellent website will only work for you.

The Benefits of HTML5

HTML5 was first released in 2008 and has been doing great since then. Even with its popularity, there are some graphic developers who are not aware of this new and upcoming html standard. Despite it being of late, it is pretty much available to everyone and is ready to use. This html principle provides more adaptability while making it possible for websites to be more efficient, interactive, and powerful for graphic designers and developers. So without any further adieu, I will be discussing with you the benefits of HTML5. Do read on the following to learn more about it.

Coalition

Since the usability of websites that are made by developers is very interactive these days, their graphic designers have to include flexible stream videos, play music, animations and Social Networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook into websites. To integrate those things, they only have the help of tools like Flex or javascript, and Flash or Silverlight up until now, and these take a lot of time to develop. They tend to increase the complexity of the web application as well.

However with HTML5, embedding high quality drawings, videos, audios, animation, and charts as well as other rich contents without the use of any third programs and plugins in making a site is a no sweat for graphic developers.

Geo location

The geolocation APis of the new HTML5 makes any location be available once on any browser based applications that are compatible with HTML5, whether it is generated thru GPS or another method.

Cleaner Codes and Improved Semantics

In this new html standard, we can cut out most div tags and fill it in with the new semantic elements from the new one, this way it allows the graphic designers to use sleek and cleaner codes.

The semantic value of a page is increased since the codes are standardized in this latest html principle.

Adept Storage

With the use of the sessionStorage and localStorage instead of the traditional cookies for tracking unique user data, the cookie size is reduced as well as the response time. Although they are not a permanent database, they let you store any structured data for a limited time.

Great for Mobile Phones

Most mobile phones have no access to flash, but with HTML5 the different multimedia contents are delivered to these gadgets.

Offline Access to Applications

With its offline application cache, the users are still able to access and use their applications even without network connection.

Basically, this is just an outline of the benefits of HTML5. The truth is there are more than what is stated in this list. Even though it is still in improvement, graphic developers and graphic designers can already implement it with their designs and still end up contented with maybe just a few disappointments.

The Way to a Clean and Sleek Web Design

Most trending websites and apps that have captured the interest of users have led to their trending. This is thanks to their individual and unique web design. Yet even though they are each unique, the most trending sites have something in common. Most of them have a clean and simple design. In other words, the web design is appealingly sleek. In order to achieve this end goal of a clean, simple, and sleek web design, here are a few tips to remember.

Tip #1. Complex and then Simple

Visual element placement and styling is part of the design process. There may be a concept, but a complete end product is only attained with experimentation of seeing
which element goes where in the graphic design. However, when aiming for a simple
design, some designers opt to not place anything on the page in fear of putting too much. This often leads to a dull and bland page. In order to avoid this, the tip would be to let exploration reign and allow the design to be initially complex. From there, it will then be easier to simplify the design and omit what is not necessary; from complex to simple.

Tip #2.Tweak and Tweak til you can’t Tweak anymore

There will always be something that can make it even a degree better. In order to create a clean, simple, and sleek web design, all elements, which include the composition, hierarchy, palette, and typography of the page, have to work together cohesively and harmoniously. This means that tweaking is inevitable and is not a matter of just one tweak here and there. So tweak, until there is nothing left to tweak.

Tip #3. Keep the Big Picture in Mind.

Sometimes, the big picture is lost in the design phase especially when each element is worked on separately and no visual congruity can be seen. It is here where printing and pinning the elements of the design concept comes in. This can help in keeping the big picture of the project in mind and doubles as a reminder and inspiration to move forward.

CSS3 Tools That Make Graphic Design Easier

Graphic designers make use of two basic platforms when creating graphic designs.
These two platforms are HTML and CSS. These designers always keep track of the advancements made on these two platforms and the parameters under which they
work. Depending on the requirements of the web design, graphic designers use the platform that will work best.

Let us look into the CSS3 platform, the latest in the CSS line. The CSS3 has many functions and tools that can make the process of graphic design much simpler.

However, there are five in particular that have proven to be the most useful for graphic designers. Said five include:

1. The CSS Layout Generator – As the name implies, attractive layouts can be generated using this tool. It is capable of creating both fluid and fixed width column layouts which includes the header, footer, and menu. Plus, the layout generated can be downloaded via a zip file. Not to mention the real time preview function.

2. The Ultimate CSS Gradient Generator – The advantage of this tool is that the there is no longer the need to create additional images to get that gradient look. Gradient effects can now be simply created using purely CSS3.

3. The CleverCSS – With this Python inspired tool, website structuring becomes a breeze especially when it comes to defining multiple and various attributes of the website’s pages. This tool also makes it possible to take an ordinary CSS files and convert it into a CleverCSS file.

4. The My CSS Menu – Now this tool targets the most essential tool of a website: its menu. By using this tool, graphic designers can create custom CSS menus that are cross browser compatible.

5. The Pattern Color – Thanks to this tool, graphic design is made even simpler and faster. Graphic designers use this tool in creating and manipulating website backgrounds. The background can be as loud or as soft as the graphic designer want it to be.