It’s rare for originality to pass by nowadays. Instead new writers take old products and remix them for new advertisements, which is a form copyediting. I’m not saying there is something wrong with this approach, but be careful not to be a victim of a design issue. Sam Wright from Smashing Magazine shares his knowledge on this matter. He offers multiple tips and approaches on how to avoid designing issues when copying content.
He mentions that, “Self-Awareness is perhaps the hardest and most important thing for any writer to learn.” We are thought to plunge in and start designing, writing or drawing without uncertainty. Once we pause we allow doubt to consume our thoughts, we began to ask questions like, “What if I’m not any good?” or “Why would anyone want to read this?” At this point self-awareness has knocked on your door. Sam mentions, “when you start trying to read their work with eyes other than their own; and if you can’t do that, then copywriting really isn’t where you want to be.” As writers we need to aware of the message we are sending out. It’s okay to switch places and be the audience and approach your writing in a different angle. He also talks about the importance of tone and self-importance. Take a second and advance your knowledge and avoid simple mistakes.
The common misconception about editing is that it’s about fixing the grammar and punctuation, removing repetition, and making text easier to scan. But there is much more to editing. A true editor takes into consideration the audience and the message. For instance, the image to the left was a Burger King ad that got innumerable complaints of how distasteful and inappropriate it was and later banned. When this ad was first launched feminists, women and parents were pissed, because the images promoted oral sex and sexist remarks through picture. Consequently, instead of BK promoting its new burger it left a nasty taste with some of its audience.
It may sound good, it may look good, it may be catchy and it may even work, but is it really speaking to the audience and saying what it needs to say? Is it really advertising the product the way it was intend to be sold? Unfortunately, in magazines and billboards we constantly see the repetition of copy design issues. Don’t be part of the misconception, be the educated professional and design an amazing campaign.
Source: Smashing Magazine
The digital realm has established virus like symptoms. New innovative ideas continue to grow and spread throughout the web precipitously. There is a new trend in publishing that is quickly spreading throughout the web this very moment. “Subcompact Publishing” is a form of micropublishing that puts focus on text-based stories while avoiding rich-media add-ons to help bring an expansion to the way stories are told and sold.
Subcompact publishing was first introduced by a few seminal articles written by former Flipboard designer Craig Mo. Subcompact publishing brings the notion that people are cagey of flashy websites and apps, they are more interested in something that works and delivers with out add-ons to use certain apps. Subcompact and long-form publications don’t reject photography or illustration, their approach leans more towards written pieces over photo essays and videos. The elements of subcompact publishing are what clutch users attention. These elements include flat hierarchy, scrolling, minimalism, 7-inch tablets and typography. With elements like the ones listed above user-friendly and user engagement isn’t too far. This will help resolve the usual issue of people leaving webpages before exploring the entire page.
Source: Smashing Magazine
There are many journals and magazine such as The New York Times’ “Snow Fall,” The magazine, Quartz and Epic who have adapted to subcompact publishing style. The article “Recent Trends In Storytelling and New Business Models For Publishing,” published on Smashing Magazine by Jose Martinez Salmeron not only highlights the spread of subcompact publishing, but also raises an important question about the future of print journalism. Check out the article to get the full details. But for now, are you going to get affected by the digital virus and incorporate subcompact publishing as the format for your blog or webpage, the next time you have a story to tell?
Wondering how to make the most of your white space on your web page? Smashing Magazine released an article with tips on reducing the amount of white space in your HTML and/or CSS code and using it to your advantage on your web page. One key point to remember is indenting.
“[W]henever something is nested, you indent, so that it’s clear where everything is in the markup’s hierarchy. With simple HTML nesting, the content in the <head> section is often neglected, but keeping the nesting consistent here, too, is good practice.” Read other helpful tips for making HTML and CSS easier and more manageable.
It’s that time of year again where graduation is right around the corner; for PW seniors, this means creating your portfolio. Depending on what system you use, this involves creating a theme and layout for your overall site. WordPress is typically a favorite for its easy usability and user-friendly access.
Smashing Magazine interviewed several top theme designers and developers about how to improve and refine your theme development for new and amateur theme designers. They recommend developing locally instead of working with the live, “FTP commandos” as one designer says. This has more benefits and allows you to track your work and what you’ve changed and fix mistakes before they’re posted on a live website.
Other tips they have are using Git (“a distributed version-control system that is popular among developers all over the world”), cleaning up your source code (“indent nested lines, indent tabs always, be consistent with formatting”), and use a starter theme (“It cuts down on development time greatly”). It’s all about what works best for you as the designer; the takeaway is it’s all based on finding the time to learn and refine your workflow and techniques, helping your design planning and creating become more efficient.
Whether you’re a designer, a graphic artist, a blogger, or simply trying to create a fun flyer for your club or organization, Smashing Magazine has your answer. If you’re tired of using the same Sans Serif and Brush Script fonts in your standard Microsoft Word or Pages Font Book, check out some of the links Smashing Magazine provides to free, high quality font websites. Some are geared specifically towards designers, some are considered “fresh” and “beautiful.” If you’re like me and you enjoy using new fonts and playing around with design and typography, these are perfect for you.
What makes a typeface good? Not only should a typeface look good, but it should also be good in the way it works. Smashing Magazine brings us a way to look at typefaces critically by using two simple steps; “select your sources carefully” and “study materials from these sources closely and critically.”
When selecting your source, you need to make sure that you are aware of the nature of the source and the experience of the source, as well as making sure you are keeping diversity in your sources.
After gathering your sources, the time comes where you must study and question what you have read. You need to look at context, evidence quality and completeness, and testability. Along the way you also need to be checking reality, motives, and post modernity. If you follow the steps that this article leads you through, you will be able to take a critical approach to thinking about typefaces.
As Professional Writers, we have learned about graphic design and different types of lettering and typography. We are supposed to know what makes for a good graphic and how to design an appealing and inviting poster/brochure/pamphlet/bookmark/etc. But do we all know the difference between Lettering and Typography?
Smashing Magazine posted an article explaining the differences and similarities between Typography and Lettering, stating that many designers, despite making “their careers our of designing type or custom lettering,” have come with “a lot of misunderstandings of some of the terms and concepts that we use.”
You can read the very thorough article for yourself, but basically, it says, “Typography is essentially the study of how letterforms interact on a surface, directly relating to how the type will be set when it eventually goes to press” where as “Lettering can be simply defined as “the art of drawing letters.”” Confused? Lettering started out as being hand drawn, such as calligraphy or like those giant Bibles that monks spent years and years writing out by hand. Typography has much to do with setting and aligning the type. For example, “Instead of setting metal type and locking in forms [to create newspapers or books like they did with old printing presses], we use panels in [Adobe] Illustrator or InDesign to kern, add leading and align our type.”
The article also explains the history of typography and lettering, and gives tips on how you can get started on your own hand-lettering as well as a list of websites with lettering and typography designs.