Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Changing Your Brand Perception

I recently took the pressure cooker challenge, the Figaro 21s. A strict format of 21 slides, 21 seconds per automated slide, over 7 minutes. View the presentation here So what to talk about… A pattern had emerged with our most successful website redesigns at Pixelgroup, about changing brand perceptions. It was never written in the brief but when we had cracked what and where the new perception of the brand should go, we unlocked and surpassed the initial requirements of the brief. Our website redesigns for Ann Summers, Abel & Cole and Mills & Boon are some of our more statistically impressive, especially in changing brand perceptions and conversion optimisation. The presentation followed that theme; how to change brand perceptions. To make it very clear and useful to people watching, we broke it down into questions that humanise brands. The answers to those questions tell us human characteristics about your brand. With that insight we can then inform our UX and creative direction to change brand perceptions. When we’ve asked these brand humanising questions, we’ve got to the heart of what they are all about. And thats what makes for successfully changing brand perception, and successful website redesign, heart. View the presentation here

Monday, 20 June 2011

Ampersand web typography conference

Last Friday 17th June I went to the brilliant one-day web-typography conference Ampersand, in Brighton.

The conference focused on all things type for web designers and type enthusiasts keen to get the industry low-down on the future of web typography. The speaker’s varied from type engineers, type designers, developers, and self-confessed type geeks. The general buzz was that the future is very bright for web typography with CSS 3 leading the way for exemplary creative web typography and font embedding. The site voltagefashionamplified.com beautifully demonstrates the excellent design and typographic flexibility of CCS3 with live text (remember to scroll horizontally – not the best interactive design!).

Mark Boulton spoke about the challenge of designing for so many screen sizes. He suggested that we should be designing outside of Photoshop and within the browser. He was leaning towards liquid layouts and responsive web design. Mark Boulton suggested that we should be designing pockets of content rather than the whole canvas; so that with a liquid layout our designed elements are preserved and repositioned to the desired screen size. The current trend for responsive layout tends to be around repositioning the core layout at 4 specific screen sizes. This is where we need to be designing in the browser otherwise we will be designing 4 potential layouts for each page! See some examples of liquid layouts / responsive web design here

Jason Santa Maria was another standout speaker for me. His talk was very inspirational and he knows his type, I recognized a few of the 8 simple ways to improve your typography in his presentation, such as hanging quotes, correct emphasis, and clean rags. His words and
polished presentation were very inspirational, with such words as –

"You’re the luckiest people in the world…
you get to spend a whole day talking about type!"

"This is a fantastic time to be a designer,
because someone has opened the door again."

Jason Santa Maria described how much of the identity of a brand is tied up in their logo and typography. Making an example of The Guardian by covering up the logo and asking “Who’s site is this and why?" To which an audience member replied – “The Guardian, because of the grid”. The point here is that if The Guardian utilized their typographical design throughout their site then we would immediately recognise the brand. Jason Santa Maria then used the New Yorker as an example of how to do it. A lot of the brand identity and style of the New Yorker is tied up in its typography; embedding the New Yorker font and using this distinctive typography design takes the brand to another level newyorker.com

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Aisle One. 8 Simple Ways to Improve Typography In Your Designs

These 8 simple pointers on typography are simple, easy to follow, and a good reminder of best-practice. Most are fairly obvious for designers. However, having just worked on an information-heavy grid layout project using InDesign, i think Vertical Rhythm was an especially important reference for me. Will Photoshop bring out a setting for viewing a baseline grid in CS6? Why have it in InDesign but not Photoshop? I know InDesign's a print tool but it would be amazing to be able to set and view a baseline grid in Photoshop.

The below images are all from Aisle One's website. View the article here

Monday, 6 June 2011

Fildefer.com. Fresh photography site.

Really like the look and feel this site. Simple grid layout, nice menu, neat social media integration and good layout to focus on photography work. Great colour scheme too, and a nice big chunky footer. View site here