Dublin has recently been named one of three capital cities to be considered for the World Design Capital 2014. This is an accolade any great city would love to have, and there was great competition from over 50 cities including Cape Town and Bilbao who were also shortlisted.
So what was it about Dublin that made it stand out, against bigger, and I am sure some would say, more creative cities? We have talked about Dublin City on here before in an article we wrote for Created in Birmingham, and the creative atmosphere Dublin has, which is unique to the city. But of course the World Design Capital committee look at much more than just Graphic Design, the awarded city must have a deeper understanding of how design can enrich peoples lives. And this is what the Pivot Dublin bid showcases, looking at four distinct areas: Connecting Cities, Making Cities Lighter, Making Cities Flow and Making Cities Smile.
There are many great stories and articles on the Pivot Dublin website about how design has enriched and enhanced the lives of the people of Dublin. One such story is of the library in Blanchardstown, the jury saw an exhibition which explained how the Local authority was using the quality of the design of its public buildings to raise awareness and expectation that design quality mattered. Marguerite Murphy explained that 1800 people a day used Blanchardstown Library, and a queing system had to be put in place.
The Jury also visited The Grand Canal Square and Theatre, home to among other things the Offset festival. Offset is a must see for any design agency in Dublin, it gathers the biggest names in the design world for three days of events and talks. The orgainsers of the festival discussed how this self financed project came about.
The WDC will come to a decision as to what Capital city wins WDC 2014 in October, we think Dublin has a huge chance of winning this. It is a city that thrives on creativity and design.
Offset 2012 takes place on the 9–11th March in Dublin City Center.
The Pivot Dublin website has a lot more information on how Dublin was selected and what they plan on doing for 2014.
Check out the Offset website here: http://www.iloveoffset.com/
Check out the Pivot Dublin website here: http://www.pivotdublin.com/
There has been a couple of new releases from Adobe lately in preparation for the arrival of HTML5. And the great news is that both these web packages are free downloads. First up was Adobe Edge, which we talked about here, and now they have released Adobe Muse.
Muse is a web package which lets you create rich HTML5 websites without knowing too much code. Much like Adobe Dreamweaver I guess, but the user interface is more like InDesign. Looking at some early videos it does look promising and easy to use. Lea Hickman, vice president of Design and Web product management at Adobe says “Those who have tested Muse are thrilled that something this intuitive yet powerful is now available.”
Jason Prozora-Plein, quality engineer at Adobe, raises a good point, he says “people don’t hand edit post-script or PDF files for print. In five, ten years I don’t think very many people will be coding in order to design websites”.
You can download a copy of Muse for free from the Adobe website:
Found via the website Gizmodo
With the advent of HTML 5, which we talked about here before, there is a lot of really cool things happening in website design and development. In order to keep up with trends Adobe have created Adobe Edge.
Edge will be updated regularly to add new functionality, stay ahead of evolving web standards, and incorporate user feedback to provide the best functionality and experience possible.
Edge has great potential and it should take over Flash for simple to medium projects. However, a lot of people are saying they wouldn’t be surprised if it kills-off Flash in the long run.
We’ve posted about HTML5 on here before. But what exactly is it? HTML5 is to become the new web standard, it greatly reduces the amount of code web-designers have to use when creating and structuring pages. Perhaps the biggest benefit to HTML5 is the fact that it can handle Video and Audio in the browser, so there’ll be no need for extra plug-ins.
With the inclusion of video in the browser this may do away with the need for Adobe Flash. Apple have already refused to use Flash plug-ins in its iOS, they say its due to the amount of resources it takes up. HTML5 should bring us rich media content to all our devices.
So there are plenty of new and exciting possibilities with HTML5. And with animation techniques also being introduced it’s hard to think that Adobe Flash will be around much longer in its current state. I imagine they will change the output settings, from the standard SWF to something more like Swiffy.
Swiffy is a Google Labs project created by Pieter Senster, who was an intern working on a small project to convert SWF files to HTML5. From this Swiffy was born and Pieter was hired to work on the project full time. Although at this point in time it is still in its infancy it will convert most SWF files, it has however got problems with some Flash content.
You can check out some demos of Swiffy in action on the Google Labs website here: http://swiffy.googlelabs.com/gallery.html
We tried it on our musical Stripeyhorse at homepage and it does work. The music worked too in Safari and Chrome but when we tried it on an iOS devise unfortunately it didn’t, However, Google have already said it doen’t support all kinds of sound files.
With the introduction of HTML5 I imagine a lot of websites are going to start using it and pushing it to its limits. I can see a lot of websites going down the route of the early flash adopters. When in the mid 90′s it seemed every website was Flash based even when it was very unnecessary to be. But we’re looking forward to seeing the developments and the crazy websites which will be published using HTML5.
We really like this website: http://nizoapp.com/ The site is for a new app called Nizo. Every element animates onto screen smoothly as the user scrolls down. All of it done with Java script, so no Flash required. It’s a very clever site, allowing the user to then grab and move any object on screen. It’s this kind of website which gets us excited about HTML5.
Other readings and links to HTML5 websites:
Today’s blog is all about how to win clients and build profitability – not just by looking fantastic, but by working hard behind-the scenes. So take a look through and if you have any questions, give us a call!
Search Engine Optimisation
A blog is great for helping with SEO – keep it regularly updated with interesting, relevant articles and incorporate keywords for maximum effect! It’s these industry- specific words that help you rise organically when users look for your product or service. But beware of link farms – Google knows if you’re cheating. Take a look at this blog for some simple SEO tips courtesy of Hubspot: http://j.mp/ivtqY7.
A fantastic tool for monitoring traffic, Google Analytics is free to download and provides you with a wealth of information! See where your users come from, evaluate how effective your marketing campaigns are and see how many hits you get month by month. With all this information on hand, you’ll learn exactly how to drive traffic to your site, and keep it there!
A clever technique dating all the way back to the 1800’s, eye mapping helps you understand where your users eye goes in the 7 seconds they spend on your home page! That’s right – just 7 seconds! Use eye mapping to give you a head start. Make sure your taglines hook, your logo impresses and your copy is captivating!
Converting traffic to sales
This is an easy one: if you look like you care about your business, your users will too. Make sure your website looks professional and appeals to your target market. Keep your copy concise and focus interest on your product or service. Want to know more? Check out these tips from BestRank: http://j.mp/kJn2mv
Don’t be Flash!
Google won’t read Flash so use it with care – too much on your site will mean you lose out on rankings. The right amount however, can really set you apart. In fact, we’re a bit partial to Flash ourselves – as you can see from the musical horse on our home page!
For some more free tips on how to maximise your online marketing take a look at this online article from The Telegraph: http://j.mp/j9jL3Y. It provides some great links to free advice and tools to keep your business a success!
If you’d like any further information, just give us a call on 07581 677 103 or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re always happy to help!
We’ve been pretty busy here at Stripeyhorse Creative, creating a branding package for an exciting new social enterprise and helping some Birmingham-based charities with their online marketing and print design. But we still found time to enjoy the Royal Wedding!
We also decided to put together some handy hints to help you dust the cobwebs from your online presence. Check whether you’re at the head of the pack, with the following top tips!
The average user spends 7 seconds on your home page before clicking away. With such a short amount of time, it’s important to make sure your website creates a fantastic impression! Don’t be afraid of being bright, bold and different. More importantly, differentiate yourself from the competition!
How’s your website looking at a glance – is everything in the right place? An attractive, aesthetic layout means your site is easy on the eye and inviting. Combine colour, font and copy to create a dynamic user experience. And if you can help it, avoid pop up banners or too much flash – they’ll make your users click away in the blink of an eye!
Make sure your site creates a great experience by maintaining excellent functionality. Have a visible, accessible navigation bar. Once you’ve succeeded in driving traffic to your site, don’t lose at the last hurdle because of broken links! These simple techniques will mean users can navigate your site with ease, paying attention to everything you offer!
Think about how the way you sound helps you connect with your target market. Is your tone of voice conversational or corporate? Which do you think users will respond most positively to? And always double check your spelling and grammar, especially on your home page!
Have a Blog!
Putting interesting articles or images on your blog will stimulate interest and help to drive traffic to your site! Linking your blog to other forms of social media will also help raise awareness and visibility. Incorporating keywords will aid organic SEO! In a nutshell, blogging is a supertool for your website!
Remember, your website should work as a tool, helping your business grow and become more profitable. If you have any questions give us a call or drop us an email.
Watch out for more juicy tips in our next blog, where we’ll be giving you advice to make sure your website is working as hard as it can for you and your business, from behind-the-scenes!
You’ve probably guessed by now that we like HTML5 here at Stripeyhorse Creative. In older posts we’ve talked of its relative ease of use, given Jason Beaird a nod for his views on website design, and blogged about the new HTML5 branding and logo design.
Now we want to share the more experimental side of HTML5 and show you some really interesting projects by Hakim, a web developer and creative programmer. Hakim has worked with some big name brands including Google, BBC, Nintendo and Wacom. You really have to get onto his website to play with the experiments, but shown above is just two: Sketch and Keylight.
It would be great to see some real world application of these experiments. He even created the logo and branding for a Canadian media production company using HTML Canvas options. Some new and interesting things may start to appear in new brands and websites thanks to the introduction of HTML5.
For now, play with these experiments and more on his website.
We just love this website by Jarrett Green. It is the outcome of an inquisitive mind and great illustrations.
Check out more of Jarrett’s ponderings on the website here: http://ialwayswondered.jarrettgreen.com
Found via the Swiss Miss website: http://www.swiss-miss.com
These are simple screengrabs from a Carl Burgess short created for Nike. Carl was asked to artistically interpret the exhilaration of running. It makes for a really interesting, experimental piece. The speed of the animation represents the speed of the run, which was captured using Nike+ tech.
Great video and worth checking out here: http://www.nowness.com/
Just love these chalk drawings by Dana Tanamachi. She is a graphic designer and custom chalk letterer living in Brooklyn, New York. Great work, I would love to see some here in Birmingham.
For more of Dana’s work check out her website: http://www.danatanamachi.com/chalk/
Found via: http://www.lettercult.com
Jon Kolko recently wrote an interesting essay on how to embrace design synthesis in you organisation.
Design synthesis — the process of translating data and research into knowledge — is the most critical part of the design process. Yet in our popular discussions of design and innovation, we’ve largely ignored this fundamental role.
This is a really great article about gathering research and how to turn this into a tangible and viable solution to a problem. Find out more on this article and how to create great research from the website http://www.fastcodesign.com/
Gizmodo have complied a list of resources for website development. This is a great resource for any website designers out there wishing to up their skill base into web development. There is a lot here, a reader of Gizmodo has also put all the lessons into a pdf.
If you want to learn codeing and web development check out the Gizmodo website here: http://gizmodo.com
Say media partnered with 10 experts to curate a list of the top 100 voices online. There are some very interesting blog links on show, from graphic design and technology to parenting and food. It has become a list of the most influential voices on the internet.
Say Media has 7 principles on their website:
1. Attention is scarce
2. Passion is abundant
3. Media is fluid
4. Advertising is content
5. Storytelling is vital
6. Influence is earned
7. Engagement is a science
Found via the Swissmiss website: http://www.swiss-miss.com/2011/02/say-100.html
Read more about Say 100 here: http://www.saymedia.com/
I can even send e-mail on the internet
Pretty cool video about the internet. It is kind of hard to believe how far we have come since then. Most of these clips are from the early 1990′s. Website design and development has come a long way since the early days. Website design is still changing a lot with the near introduction of HTML 5, web development is about to get really exciting again.
For further reading on HTML5 and how it is changing website design and development check out the links below.
Along with the release of HTML 5 (which I posted about here before), the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) have released these images of the new branding graphics.
About the main logo the say “It stands strong and true, resilient and universal as the markup you write. It shines as bright and as bold as the forward-thinking, dedicated web developers you are. It’s the standard’s standard, a pennant for progress.” As a banner and signpost for HTML 5 development it works, even if it does look a little bit like a comic book hero. But what I feel really works is the Icon graphics for the different components which make up HTML 5. These icon graphics look so futuristic, they look very solid and they make sense.
The HTML 5 logo and icons are licensed under Creative Commons, meaning the user is free to use them any way they see fit. This is just an indication how W3C want the logo design and icon graphics to penetrate the web and, as there is already t-shirts and stickers available, the real world too. It makes coders look cool and it can be a streamlined brand. Now if W3C took the lessons they learned from this branding exercise, and apply it to their own brand, the world of coding would be a better place.
Interesting video by Jason Beaird. He talks about HTML 5 and its relative ease of use. Things should get pretty interesting once it is used in the mainstream.
For more information about HTML 5 check out some of the websites recommended by Jason:
Very interesting article on the AIGA website.
AIGA is a professional association of graphic designers, they recently posted an article about community sites such as Dribble. The Dribble website is about sharing ‘shots’ of your work with other graphic designers for praise and criticism. It gives other graphic designers a chance to take a sneak peak at your work and allows you to monitor the feedback your graphic work is getting. Which seems like a good thing, especially for the freelance graphic designers out there, who may not have a partner to bounce ideas off. Sign up to Dribble is by invitation only.
AIGA raise some pretty good points – it says posting work in progress shows the client little respect. They asked how a client would feel if they heard their competition discussing work and designs yet to be realised. The prospect of ‘design by committee’ is also discussed — everybody has their own opinions and if the graphic designer listens and tries to incorporate all the comments, the design may end up looking very different to the original idea, and this is not always for the best.
This article has got a lot of reactions on the AIGA website. And many of the commentators raise good points. Head over to the AIGA website to read more from the article and the reactions to it from the design community.
Check out the website here: http://www.aiga.org/
Im not too sure how to describe dontsave.com Creators of some very interesting projects. Not only have they created this version of Tetris, which will probably make you feel sick, but they also created www.yooouuutuuube.com
Check out the video by Pogo in yooouuutuuube here.
Check out more experiments on the website http://dontsave.com/
Great advice for graphic designers and webdesigners the world over… Birmingham designers check it out. Its tells you what you want to hear right at that point of giving up on a design. This web site will make you a better designer. And the website looks good to.
Check out the webdesign here: http://www.goodfuckingdesignadvice.com/index.php
Found via http://siteinspire.net/
New Industry Arts is a beautifully designed website which links to creatives in the field of fashion, photography, design and more. There is a lot of creative inspiration to be had here.
Check out their website at http://newindustryarts.com/