Posts tagged ‘design’
The short answer here is it depends on your Android device. The rule of thumb here is to have your background be as tall as your device’s vertical resolution, and twice as wide as your devices horizontal resolution. My HTC Evo 4G for example has a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels, thus my background needs to be 800 pixels tall and 960 (480×2) pixels wide.
In an effort to customize your android device, you may have played around with making a custom background for it and kudos for doing so. But I know plenty of people (myself included) who had challenges with figuring out the proper dimensions for the background piece. If the size is not proper, you are forced to crop it and if it is too small you have the likelihood of having a blurred or pixelated end result.
The difficulty here comes down to how Android handles background wallpapers across multiple screens. Android devices pan the image across all of your screens and you can see this by scrolling through your home-screens and seeing that your background actually shifts a little. This is the reason that the background needs to be wider than the screen.
Figuring this out removes what is probably the only challenge in making a nice custom wallpaper for your Android phone or tablet.
On a side note I have been on holiday for the past week from school and work so I have been enjoying my time off. Now that I am back into the swing of things I am back to blog on my usual weekly schedule. The next few may be short bits like this involving problem solving with design questions, or they may not, I have to write out a few ideas first. As always thank you for reading and feel free to discuss!
An effective yet good looking logo can be a challenge to some. Creating a logo is probably the most important step in branding yourself, your business or organization as this basic item is used almost everywhere you make, publish or broadcast yourself. I have found that applying the five principles of versatility, appropriateness, stability, timelessness and simplicity really help to draw out a more effective logo in the end. Here I will discuss how to think about these principles when creating your own logo or a logo for someone else.
Versatile – A versatile logo is one that looks as good blown up on a billboard or poster as it does on letterhead or a business card, and is as effective in black and white as it is in color.
Appropriate – An appropriate logo effective targets its intended audience. A logo with a speaker is a great idea for a music store, but the same would not work for a funeral home or law office.
Memorable – A memorable logo is exactly what you think it is. It is a branding that is unique and simple, which makes it easy to remember and associate with the entity it represents. Think of the Nike swoosh.
Timeless – A great logo is timeless, it has stood the test of time and won. When going for a timeless logo ask yourself if this logo will be relevant and effective in one year, what about100 years?
Simple – The last, but definitely not the least principle is simplicity. Simplicity in the end helps to make a logo more versatile, memorable and timeless. Great simple logos have a unique feature but not a whole lot of other elements to clutter it or to make it go astray.
I hope this helps along the way. Some may say that it is too easy to create a logo, and honestly with time and practice, it does get easier, just remember the basics down the road.
In a little side story, I have been working since I was in high school. It was only in the middle of my enlistment in the Marine Corps that I really found my passion in design, first for the web, then for graphics, print and multimedia. I have enjoyed every moment so far of doing what I love and making a living from it, and have come to the realization that this does have to be an unusual discovery or a hope that is not often achieved for everyone. Since then I have been trying to write my feelings on this. In the process I have also written on good information design and creativity. I decided to post this here to start some though provoking discussion and to give you a glimpse into some of my views.
I believe that being successful in design and the arts requires; being in touch with yourself, questioning everything in everyday life, remembering and practicing the basics and finding inspiration in anything. Success also comes with being able to inform and inspire at the same time.
- Dare to Dream and Think Critically – Dream big and think outside the box. In an age where having a degree is the norm and not the exception you have to set yourself apart. The ability to question everything, play the devil’s advocate in any situation or to otherwise think critically are seldom taught in the classroom, some even frown upon these abilities. These skills are at risk of diminishing, but with the explosion of the access to information they are more important than ever. Work on these skills and break the mold.
- Embrace your Talents – Society and education at large aim to teach in a modeled stale environment and enforce the ‘norm’, often at the expense of our talents and aspirations. Practice what you are good at, embrace what you do well whether it be dancing, sketching, or telling jokes. Embracing your talent and honing them will keep creativity and artistic capability in good shape for future generations.
- Seek Brilliance in the Basics – The basics of good design are often over looked or sacrificed in an attempt to make it original, or recognizable. One should always seek growth and push the limits of their knowledge and skill, but at the same time be sure to go over the fundamentals and re-learn them, lest they be lost in your work.
- Balance Form and Function – Good information design and good art communicates on different levels at once. There are too many cases of boring and bland pieces that inform, or visually appealing pieces that do nothing or have no meaning. Being able to mold aesthetics and relevant information into one coherent and beautiful piece is the key to making something truly memorable, informative and inspiring.
Be your own person, develop a creative and inquisitive mind and always set time aside to do what you do well and to relax. Enjoy life, seek inspiration, it is all around you and most importantly, don’t sweat the small stuff, because in the end it is all small stuff!
This is also on my website: http://www.jrob.me/manifesto.html
A great website has many things that make it good, from a well thought out color theme, to attractive yet informative graphics and media. Probably one of the most important aspects though is good typography. If you have a website, chances are there is something you want someone to know and if they have a hard time being able to read the text on your site or the text fails to keep their attention then the site is basically useless. Good typography will make or break a website, and these guidelines will help to ensure that it does not make it a flop.
1. Readability is key! At the end of the day, your choices in type face do not matter if your visitors cant physically make out the text itself. Have a good readable font (or fonts). There is plenty of debate over whether or not to go with a serifed or sans-serifed font and I recommend thinking about your audience. To some people whether or not the font is serif make no big difference, but if your user base is older or more likely to be heavy book readers a serifed font is a safe bet. Avoid using heavily decorated fonts in paragraphs as they are less legible (think about an online news article done entirely in 10pt Old English type-face) Also do not use different typefaces or colors in paragraphs this can be confusing or jarring to readers.
2. Regarding Multiple Typefaces If you are planning on using different typefaces for different levels in hierarchy of information, stick to three or less different fonts. A whole array of different fonts in different places can be confusing to some and is generally not recommended. One thing that helps in using different fonts is to find a serif font and a sans-serif cont that compliment each other. If you go with this route pick two that are structured similarly and are equally readable (a good and simple recommendation here is Times New Roman paired with Helvetica) Doing so while having a suitable different color for different hierarchies will help each portion of your text stand out and be easily read while users will naturally see the different levels you have in the site.
3. Alignment and Orientation Write out your content thinking of your audience. If your audience reads from left to right, align your text to the left. Centering or right alignment makes the paragraphs feel sloppy. A centered heading or caption can work sometimes, that usually is a judgement call on a case by case basis though.
4. Originality There are many things you can do while following these guidelines to make your text content original and attractive while making it legible and informative. Avoid overly used decorative fonts for paragraphs and headings (Yes that means Comic Sans and Papyrus to name a few) Moreover than not, they are unattractive, do not add any personality to the site itself and to some look like a lack of effort. Instead of using these types of fonts, create a plan to use two or three typefaces to separate the levels of information and add color to some to make it pop.
If you put effort into this aspect of your site it will be an original, and informative environment that will keep a users attention. Do not be afraid to be creative with your typography choices, just make sure that your choices do not adversely affect the readability of the content or the structure of the entire site itself.