May 2011 Archives

Creative 'Save The Date' Cards, 1

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I created my 'Save the Date' cards for my upcoming wedding a little while ago; unfortunately, it was a rushed job which consisted of a photograph and standard font printed on postcards with some red, white, and blue stars. (I do not have a Fourth of July theme, but the wedding will be taking place in the summer.) 

Due to other commitments and life in general, I didn't have a lot of time to design something perfect and get it sent out by my deadline. Irregardless, my family and friends were complimentary about them. (The perfectionist in me was far more critical.)

I have recently come across some inspirational designs for 'Save the Date' cards that I wish I had discovered a few months ago, when I quickly put my 'Save the Date' postcards together. I really love these, and a lot of them are so simple, yet convey so much emotion.

To add to this topic, singer Lily Allen's 'Save the Date' cards for her June 11th wedding were leaked to the press, and the postcard conveys a country theme with her and her husband-to-be's heads superimposed on an old photograph.

My regret: Not having enough time or inspirtation for my 'Save the Date' cards. However, I have posted some inspiration for these below.


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1) http://cheerupcherup.blogspot.com

I love these simplistic, yet colourful designs and the imagery used.


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2) http://idotimestwo.blogspot.com/2009/03/save-date-punch-cards.html

The old-fashioned punch card is a great idea. I love these fonts.


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3) http://www.stylemepretty.com/2009/08/11/save-the-date-idea/

The bride and groom cupcake is cute, and I like the colours and the 'nutrition fact'-style data.


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4) https://www.qpfans.com

This company sells old-fashioned city and state postcards to use as 'save the date' cards.


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5) http://rifledesign.com

It's difficult not to fall in love with these 'painted' illustrations.


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6) http://www.flickr.com/photos/silvaazniv/2416616441/#//postcardsandsnapshots.blogspot.com

These 'save the date' cards are inspired by posters for the film "It's a Wonderful Life".

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7) http://www.flickr.com/photos/10052477@N07/2297942965/

This xerox-looking "save the date" card looks like an advertisement for a band.


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8) http://www.flickr.com/photos/smokeproof/3220407095/

I love the colours, fonts, and detail put into this "save the date".


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9) http://bklynbrideonline.com/4270/diy-projects/save-the-date-mary-chris/

This is a cute card.


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10) http://emdotzee.com


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11) http://vestidadenoiva.com/como-fazer-o-save-the-date

The two-seater bicycle is cute imagery.


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12) http://www.minted.com

This website contains many nice designs for "save the date" cards and is worth a look.


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13) http://www.thehappyenvelope.com/

I love the fonts and imagery on these cards.


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14) http://www.bellafigura.com


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15) Ruby & Wil­low

I love the Big Ben and London Eye illustrations.


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16) http://www.weddingpaperdivas.com

This website contains many nice designs for "save the date" cards and is worth looking at.


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Show off your worst creative work today (May 25th) on Twitter (using the #creativeamnesty hashtag), an idea put forward by CreativeReview. Normally, people show off their best work but hide their worst, and today is a day to showcase your less favourite creative works.

To see some examples and some more information, browse to: http://checkthis.com/creativeamnesty

Dandelions in Design

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I have always liked dandelions. They remind me of spring and warmer days to come, fresh cut grass, and I love the colour yellow. I love them even when they age and turn into large, white balls of seeds, which float away in the wind. Some people call them weeds, but I think that they are beautiful. 

Spring is on its way at last, and it could not be more welcomed by me as the winter was a cold one. To celebrate, I have decided to post a few dandelion-inspired logos and designs to celebrate the arrival of spring and the beautiful yellow dandelion. 

The dandelion seem to feature in designs for creative/craft/art businesses, businesses relating to children, organic goods, technology, and business goods relating to milestones or the future. 

Logos:

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1. linkeeper: http://caspa.ru/en/library/articles/Linkeeper.html?page=3
2. http://www.casemodern.com/blog/?p=334
3. share your wishes: http://www.casemodern.com/blog/?p=334
4. IMC: http://www.casemodern.com/blog/?p=334
5. dandelion: http://www.seeklogo.com/dandelion-logo-38435.html
6. Dandelion: http://www.thepromenadeshopsatsauconvalley.com/, http://www.dandelionjewelry.com/
7. Dandelion: http://www.flickr.com/photos/harsfastudio/3964840809/
8. Dandelion Lane: http://dandelion-lane.com/everydaylife/
9. Sugar Labs: http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Design_Team/Logo_Ideas
10. JOUG Design: http://www.joug.co.nz/jougdesign-logo.jpg
11. Dandelion Patch Web Services: http://dandelion-patch.com/
12. Century Link: http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/visualizing_the_link.php
13. Dandelion Vegetarian Cafe: http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/WIPm6nFscVvR_rB-eHcF6Q?select=kaLd6U-wxgEIwrQIqxdIFw
14. Dandelion Beauty Salon: http://brandstack.com/logo-design/details/2491
15. August Briggs winery: http://biggerthanyourhead.net/category/cabernet-sauvignon/
16. Jivespace: http://www.graphicdesignblog.org/follow-logo-trends-2009/
17. inVenture: http://inventurefund.org
18. DandeLink: http://www.dandelink.com/
19. South Green Solutions: http://www.facebook.com/pages/South-Green-Solutions/127833411096
20. Dandelion Vineyards: http://dandelionvineyards.homestead.com/
21. Dandelion PR: http://www.designedbyjulie.com/logos.htm
22. Bloom: http://dannygutierrez.org/
23. Alicia Thomas: http://ny-image0.etsy.com/il_fullxfull.213856344.jpg
24. Sophia Rayan Photography: http://ny-image0.etsy.com/il_fullxfull.201093172.jpg
25. Wish Special Events: http://www.wishspecialevents.com/
26. Dandelion Kids: 
27. Dandelion: http://creattica.com/user/favorites/23198

Websites:

http://www.dandelionwishesresale.com
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http://www.thedandelionpatch.com
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http://www.dandelionhomeandgifts.com
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http://www.likedandeliondust.com
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http://www.dandelionforbaby.com
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http://www.dandelionsf.com
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http://www.dandelionmag.ca
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Defining Web 3.0

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A lot of discussion is happening at the moment about the defining of Web 3.0. What is Web 3.0? In short, it is a defining phase of the evolution of the web. This question can be  answered more thoroughly by looking at Web 2.0, a phase of the web that is happening at the moment.

Web 2.0 is all about social media, sharing data, and ranking/rating relevant data. For example, Twitter and Facebook are popular social media groups that allow us to keep in touch with current friends and find friends with similar interests, based on any groups that a user is a member of. Amazon.com allows users to rate information, such as reviews and books; groups of 'similar' products tailored to the user, based on their ratings/purchases and the ratings/purchases of other users, are displayed. In short, Web 2.0 defined the evolution of the web as a tool to share data and content with others by using social media and getting users to rate and rank data on interest or usefulness.

In Web 3.0, the evolution of the web will continue utilising social media and searches, but it will be more focused on tailoring data specifically to users. Search engines may remember user preferences as a basis for future recommendations, such as locating events and places (shops, restaurants) that a user may like based on the data gathered in Web 2.0. Unlike Web 2.0, Web 3.0 will be focusing on the user and tailoring data.

According to Strickland(1), experts believe that Web 3.0 will be "like having a personal assistant who knows everything about you", and users will not need to spend so much time trying to find the best bargains or options. A question could be entered in a search engine, and instead of spending a few minutes hunting around for it, the results could be displayed more meaningful to the user.

Web 3.0 would probably work based on recording each user's search preferences and tailoring them so that no two searches would be the same for every user.
 
More information about the different different phases of the web and presentations can be read and watched here: http://www.labnol.org/internet/web-3-concepts-explained/8908/



(1) Strickland, Jonathan. How Web 3.0 Will Work. http://computer.howstuffworks.com/web-302.htm [16 May, 2011].

Visions of the Thames

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The 2011 Serco Prize for Illustration "Visions of the Thames" results are in, and the entries are on display at the London Transport Museum (www.ltmuseum.co.uk). The winning entry, by Anne Wilson, has been made into merchandise, which is available for sale at the museum's shop. The entries are on display at the London Transport Museum.

Please visit the London Transport Museum's website for more information: 
www.ltmuseum.co.uk

Here are some of the entries on display in the London Transport Museum.

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Other entries are available in the article on the Telegraph's website: 

The Telegraph, Visions of the Thames 2011 Serco Prize for Illustration, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/picturegalleries/8509934/Visions-of-the-Thames-2011-Serco-Prize-for-Illustration.html [May 16, 2011].

Inspiring Wedding Fonts and Icons

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Choosing the right font is important in conveying the style of the event, product, or service. This process takes time and experimenting on the style and combining more than one font. Recently, I have been browsing the web for typographic fonts and imagery fonts to use on my wedding invitations.

In the past few weeks, I have come across hundreds of different fonts and several potential fonts to use for my wedding invitations. For those planning on printing their own wedding invitations, have a look at these different fonts. Some of these fonts are free, but others are licensed. Enjoy browsing these different styles, and enjoy discovering the right font for your event.

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Days Out: Dunrobin Castle, Scotland

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Over the spring holidays, I visited Dunrobin Castle. Dunrobin Castle is located on the coast in northern Scotland with views over the sea and landscaped gardens. The castle gardens are home to several birds of prey with daily displays to visitors. Although wet and cloudy, the castle and gardens still look pretty with the bright yellow daffodils.

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Adobe have launched their prototype of CSS Regions, with their custom browser where you can see the code and design in action. CSS Regions has been developed to make the web appear more like print design. Web designers will then be able to create multi-column layouts, with text adjusting and overflowing into these columns automatically, and create textareas in different shapes as well as fitting text around objects.

Although web design has come a long way since static designs and table-based designs, by the introduction of CSS, there is still a way to go to make the web mimic print design, but also to allow it to remain flexible.

The Adobe CSS Regions prototype and documentation can be downloaded and viewed here: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/cssregions/. There is also a discussion forum to report any issues and to provide ideas.
It's the time of year for ice cream and hot weather. Chill out with these ice cream-themed website designs and note how different each website is, along with some of the subtle similarities in the layout, such as a large central photograph and a two, three or four-column box layout underneath.

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Maggie Moo's
http://www.maggiemoos.com
This is one of the best ice cream logos I discovered, and I love the colours and the character.

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Bruster's
http://www.brusters.com
I love the logo and the cute cherry background.

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Pickle Bob's
http://www.picklebobs.com
I like the custom graphics, logo, and the navigation, but I am not fond of the font and style of the main content of this website. They've spent a lot of time on the overall design template without spending any on the main content, but it is still worth a display.

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HB
http://www.hbicecream.ie
The interactive deep freeze cooler illustration suits this website.

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Fosselman's
http://www.fosselman's.com
I like the logo and the old-fashioned theme.

Dreyer's
http://www.dreyers.com
Good images, colour, and layout make this a nice website.

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Ciao Bella Gelato
http://www.ciaobellagelato.com
I love the use of colour for the website design and the design of the packaging.

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Good Humor
http://www.goodhumor.com
This is a fun website that showcases the products and provides interaction. 

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Blue Bell Creameries
http://www.bluebell.com
Another old-fashioned and a family theme.

Baskin Robbins
http://www.baskinrobbins.com
A colourful website with the company's custom font and nice imagery to showcase the products.

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Amy's Ice Creams
http://www.amysicecreams.com
An interactive website. 

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Kaleido Scoops
http://www.kalscoops.com
A fairly good use of imagery and colour make this website worth noting. 

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Lovin' Scoopful
http://www.lovinscoopful.com
This is one of the best designs; it is simple, yet it conveys all it needs with good photographs.

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Sublime
http://www.sublimeicecream.co.uk
Another simple, excellent design with a tasty photograph.

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Swensens
http://www.swensens.com
A great use of colour and photographs and layout complete this corporate website.

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Whitey's
http://www.whiteysicecream.com
A great use of colour, and I like the old-fashioned feel in the navigation and photographs.

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Turtle Mountain
http://www.sodeliciousdairyfree.com
A more sophisticated look using black and gold to sell ice cream makes this a notable mention.

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Breyer's
http://www.breyers.com
A great use of colour, font, and an organic design with a full-size photograph complete this website.

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Starbuck's Ice Cream
http://www.starbucksicecream.com
I always enjoy the Starbuck's website design, and this is no exception. It fits together perfectly.

Facebook have developed a new feature known as Facebook Comments. Facebook Comments enable comments to be posted and moderated on websites; the comments can be linked on the user's Facebook page, discussed among their friends, and sent back to the website hosting the feature.

The Facebook Comments feature can be easily implemented, and the administrator can blacklist specific users and block specific words from appearing as comments. A discussion of the feature and implementation of it is described on the Facebook Developer website here: http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/comments/

Although a powerful tool, Facebook Comments sparks a privacy issue because users cannot remain anonymous when posting comments, and anything that is discussed in the thread on the user's Facebook page will be viewable (and in synch) on the website hosting the Facebook Comment feature. This may potentially put off users from making comments, but it may also weed out unnecessary or negative comments.

One problem relating to the privacy issue is the way that users tend to view Facebook. Many Facebook users do not treat the site as public and will post private details. Users need to understand and take the view that anything posted on Facebook could potentially be read by anyone.

The Facebook Comments feature has the potential to be a useful add-on to a website, but I feel that it should not replace an existing commenting system. If a company or website has a strong Facebook page and presence, the Facebook Comments feature could help market them. Do keep in mind that a lot of companies block social media sites and features, such as Facebook and its LIKE button, so it is best not to rely solely on the Facebook Comments feature.

As a student at a university for several years, I studied Journalism and English/Literature as part of my degree and for my own interest. A university student knows (or should know) the meaning of plagiarism and what constitutes as plagiarism, particularly when so much content is readily available online.

I have been reading a story about a blogger, Monica Gaudio, who discovered that one of her articles had been fully published in an article by an online cookery magazine Cook's Source. She emailed the magazine to ask for an apology and for the magazine to make a donation to the Columbia School of Journalism, and a few emails went back and forth without apology and refusal of donation; some of these can be read on The Guardian's article (1). The story generated publicity and many joined the magazine's Facebook page to post abuse.

Some claim to be ignorant of plagiarism and do not see it as a problem. (One can but hope that a magazine would understand and know what plagiarism is to avoid it.) Personally, completing my own work is much more satisfying than stealing someone else's work. Also, as an artist and a creator, I believe in giving credit to where it is due.

In the past, I have had images on my website stolen, and a year and a half ago, someone lifted my entire website and badly changed a few bits and pieces around to claim as their own; I discovered it appear in a search engine. My name and all of my HTML tags were left on the website. After several ignored emails and phone calls to the person who uploaded the website with their contact details, I had to go to the Internet Service Provider hosting the website to have the problem dealt with. In this case, the offending website was harming my own website's search engine optimisation; search engines will ignore websites that are duplicated.

Under the The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in the United States, Internet Service Providers will remove any material that infringes on copyright. Google will also de-list websites who have committed the offense; this can be done by filling out the form here: http://www.google.com/support/bin/static.py?page=ts.cs&ts=1114905.

In the story above about Cook's Source, social media was used to 'name and shame' the magazine for copyright infringement; it now appears that this has been the death of that company (2).

To protect your work, use watermarks on images and Copyscape (http://copyscape.com) to check the content. If the user has linked directly to content, replace the image or change the htaccess file.


(1) Baird, Dugald. The Guardian. Cooks Source:US copyright complaint sparks Facebook and twitter storm. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pda/2010/nov/04/cooks-source-copyright-complaint [4 November, 2010].

(2) Dell Creative Studio. Someone's stolen my stuff! What to do when someone copies your content. http://www.dellcreativestudio.com/2010/12/10/someones-stolen-my-stuff-what-to-do-when-someone-copies-your-content/2/ [12 October, 2010].

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