I’m old enough to remember working with Exacto blades and poisonous chemicals to create layouts for printing. I’m old enough to remember printing. I’m young enough to be considered an expert at computer programs, so there’s a bright side to this story and the memories are the truth…except I’m too old to be sure they are the correct memories, but not old enough to accidentally wear my underwear outside of my pants. Where was I? Oh, yes…the short and weird history of the days before computers were in every design studio, home, car, video game, and smart phone.
Fun fact: The computers in your cell phone and car are more powerful than the computers that were aboard Apollo 11. For the young out there, Apollo 11 was the space flight that landed on the moon in 1969…and it wasn’t fake…the moon is real!
When I first went to art school, a required course was Paste Up and Mechanicals.
In my previous article, I presented a brief history of art and how principles from it might apply to the modern trade of web design.
Here, I’ll continue the theme, but focusing on modern design movements (mainly 20th century) that have lessons to teach us and inspiration to offer.
The challenge with modern design is that there are dozens of movements, and they all overlap each other in a tangled...
When it comes to the creative arts, a fundamental way to better understand the trade is to look to the past.
People in every trade do this, including those in photography, painting, sculpture and architecture. Why should web designers be any different?
Of course, we look to the very recent past through our countless web design showcases. But we can go much further back for inspiration, to the masters of old.
Let’s review some key art movements and the fundamental design principles they embraced. Based...
Blogs have become an integral part of online culture.
Practically everyone reads blogs now, whether they’re “official” news blogs associated with traditional news media, topic-based blogs related to one’s work or hobbies, or blogs purely for entertainment, just about anyone you ask has at least one favorite blog.
But it wasn’t always so. Blogs have a relatively short history, even when compared with...
Photoshop has been a part of every web designer’s life since they picked up their first mouse.
On February 10th, 2010, Photoshop turns twenty. To mark this anniversary, we’ve come up with an article that takes you through the evolution of Photoshop from its modest beginnings as a bundled program sold with scanners to its current version.
For each version and major feature listed, we couldn’t help but think “did Photoshop ever exist without that feature?”.
Some of the minor details are fun too, such as the one-liner Easter Eggs that Photoshop developers hid in some...
Helvetica is one of the most popular typefaces in the world.
Technically speaking, it’s a sans serif Grotesque typeface, inspired by and based on the Akzidenz-Grotesk typeface created by Berthold around 1898.
In practical terms, though, it’s used by designers at independent firms, big corporations, and everything in between, from all over the world.
Helvetica has been featured by MOMA in New York and has received a number of awards and worldwide recognition. There’s even a documentary and a few books about it.
But why is Helvetica so popular? What is it about this font that seemingly tries to be inconspicuous that has...
The ampersand is one of the most unique typographical characters out there.
Typography designers can exercise a lot more artistic freedom in the design of the ampersand, ranging from very traditional representations to those that bear little resemblance to the original form.
But many designers have little knowledge about the origin and meaning of the ampersand. The ampersand has a long and rather interesting history, though.
And with all the variations available out there, there are a...
Most people have probably heard of Digg by now.
It’s one of the unofficial poster children of Web 2.0, and was one of the first social news sites to come out.
It gets millions of visitors every month (Compete says about 43 million in October 2009), and those visitors vote on thousands of stories every day.
In this article you can...
Social media has become an integral part of modern society.
There are general social networks with user bases larger than the population of most countries.
There are niche sites for virtually every special interest out there.
There are sites to share photos, videos, status updates, sites for meeting new people and sites to connect with old friends.
It seems there are social...
We’ve put together a collection of magazine covers that have stirred up controversy through the years.
These covers can serve as object lessons for what to do and what not to do both with design and editorial.
While some controversial covers have worked and sold more magazines, or won awards for the editors who made the decision to go to press with them, others were embarrassments that the publication had to either apologize for,...
Cell phones have evolved immensely since 1983, both in design and function.
From the Motorola DynaTAC, that power symbol that Michael Douglas wielded so forcefully in the movie “Wall Street”, to the iPhone 3G, which can take a picture, play a video, or run one of the thousands applications available from the Apple Store.
There are thousands of models of cell phones that have hit the streets between 1983...