Posts Tagged: design

Adobe Refresh 2012

Last month I attended Adobe’s Refresh 2012 event. This is a roadshow where they present highlights from the current and upcoming product line for designers and developers. They talked about the future of Flash and their product strategy, and they showed some very neat tools. Continue reading “Adobe Refresh 2012” →

The Non-Designer’s Design & Type Books — Robin Williams

The Non-Designer's Design and Type BooksThis is a decent overview of graphic design and layout. Everybody who has to design a poster, web page or invitation should read it. And that’s no chore, because it’s an easy and fun read.

This book is an updated compilation of two of Williams’s previous books: The Non-Designer’s Design Book and, unsurprisingly, The Non-Designer’s Type Book. The first half is about design. Williams presents four fundamental layout concepts: Proximity, Alignment, Repetition, Contrast. (I list them in this order because PARC is a better acronym than the reverse.) Most of the rest of this part consists of elaborations and applications of these basics. Continue reading “The Non-Designer’s Design & Type Books — Robin Williams” →

Illustration Friday (creative outlets) at BCA4

At work, are you relaxed? Creative? Fulfilled? Finding time within work hours to pursue creative endeavours or self-development with the idea that it will feed back into your work and make you better at what you do.

Carol Green led this discussion at Barcamp Auckland 4 about using work time to do essential but non-billable experimentation and research. I was impressed at the way she shrugged off the computer failure that stopped her using her slideshow. Instead she just talked us through it and inspired the whole audience to share their experiences. Very Barcamp. Continue reading “Illustration Friday (creative outlets) at BCA4” →

The Laws of Simplicity — John Maeda

The Laws of SimplicityThis simple book is worth reading for its mindset rather than for any concrete ideas. Maeda gives ten “laws” of simplicity, but they’re really pretty arbitrary. The tenth law is just a slogan (although a good one), and there are three extra laws at the end. Clearly he was intent on having ten laws in his list.

Here’s my interpretation of the laws:

Thoughtful reduction yields simplicity.
Organisation makes complex systems appear simple.
Savings in time feel like simplicity.
Knowledge makes everything simpler.
Simplicity and complexity need each other.
Simplicity needs a sympathetic context.
More emotions are better than less.
In simplicity we trust.
But some things cannot be made simple.

Continue reading “The Laws of Simplicity — John Maeda” →

The Design of Everyday Things — Donald Norman

The Design of Everyday ThingsDonald Norman’s excellent book The Design of Everyday Things has some great ideas on design in general. I first read it 20 years ago — I’ve been re-reading it recently and it’s still a fun and relevant read. His wish list in the book includes prescient descriptions of the World Wide Web and the iPhone, amongst other things. But the thing that struck me was some very sensible and solid advice on error handling. It’s good advice whether you’re building a coffee maker or a web application. Continue reading “The Design of Everyday Things — Donald Norman” →