filtered by Design category

About - January 2013

Stephen was a Senior Designer with Domain7 and created the visual brand for clients across a variety of media including typography, print, web interfaces and identity. Now, he is embarking on a new adventure, but it’s a little too early to say what the destination might be. Stephen enjoys bringing ideas and functionality into a cohesive whole, providing context, structure and meaning through design. Stephen is a Certified Graphic Designer and member of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada and lives with his wife and daughter in Abbotsford, just east of Vancouver, Canada.

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Don’t Design Websites. Design Systems.

This morning, I received an email that was forwarded from a colleague at Domain7, where I used to work as Senior Designer. I have been forwarding a reasonable amount of traffic to Domain7 from a project I had experimented with on my own time: 960 Fluid Grid System, based on Nathan Smith’s 960 Grid System.

The request went something like this:

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Perspective is one of the first things that you learn when you begin to discover more about drawing and art. I think it might have been when I was in elementary school in grade 3 that I first learned about the idea of a vanishing point on the horizon which serves as a reference point for the angles in a drawing, giving the image a sense of depth and the illusion of realism. As drawing technique becomes more advanced and complex, artists may further enhance their work with two-point and three-point perspective drawing.

As you learn more about the concept, you discover how revolutionary the idea was in the development of art. Now, we take for granted the craft of image making, as cameras have become ubiquitous. At the time of the Renaissance, the discovery, or rediscovery, of perspective was a very significant advancement in the science and mathematics of optics and its application to the art and craft of painting.

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The Best Laid Plans

Ideas are not innovative unless they are realized (Johansson, The Medici Effect).

But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

Still you are blest, compared with me!
The present only touches you:
But oh! I backward cast my eye,
On prospects dreary!
And forward, though I cannot see,
I guess and fear!

“To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough, November, 1785, a poem by Robert Burns.

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Liberal Arts

The theme of the last few days has seemed to revolve around higher education and the liberal arts. I have been entertaining the idea of finishing the degree I started at Trinity Western University back in 1992-1994. At the time, I was working towards a BA in Communications with a minor in Fine Arts, but I didn’t finish, as financial independence became a higher priority and I started work at Force Four.

For the past couple years, Trinity Western University has been offering an Adult Degree Completion program, which can be completed in as little as 18 months. Students graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Leadership. The courses are taken one at a time, and each course is about 6 weeks long. Classes are three hours, once a week. Homework is estimated to be around 8 to 12 hours a week.

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Getting Creative

I’m staring at the words, “getting creative,” on a blank screen. For writers, it is called writer’s block. Others might call it getting stuck. And wouldn’t you know, there is an app for that: unstuck.

This is a free app offering free life coaching for anyone who feels stuck. And that’s the beauty of the web these days. If you can afford the initial barrier to entry of a device that can process the information and a connection to that network of data, people and opportunities, there are people just giving things away. How does that work? Why do they do it?

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Jeremy Keith: Be Careful What You Wish For

XML and XSLT a Remedy for Vendor-Specific APIs?

The Web Directions panel discussion came around to the topic of APIs and the problem of learning a new one for every web service or having to deal with the problems of integrating those APIs into the particular systems that need to support them. To me this raised the question of why we are using APIs rather than a standard way of sharing data. It seems that XML, XHTML and XSLT would be all that we would need if,

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