Web Standardistas - HTML and CSS Web Standards Solutions

October 2012 Archives

A Present

The Impossible Has an Integrity Which the Improbable Quite Often Lacks [Detail]

Our good friends at fffunction have created some lovely silkscreen prints based on a quote by everyone’s favourite, Douglas Adams:

The Impossible Has an Integrity Which the Improbable Quite Often Lacks

As they put it, they’ve got dibs on the preceding quote, but they’re allowing - encouraging, even - others to put Mr Adams’ words to good use. In the spirit of sharing they’ve created a very nice walkthrough of the process of creating their very own silkscreen prints. You should take a look, it’s a well-crafted walkthrough that gives a little insight into the process of creating something beautifully designed and considered, made by hand.

As if that wasn’t good enough, it gets better, they’ve offered two lucky Open Book Exam participants prints as prizes. Thanks, gentlemen.

1351558800 · Christopher Murphy · Follow Us on Twitter

Contrast of Scale

h1 - 41.886784 x 1.618 = 67.773 [Detail]

On the subject of Typecast, if typography’s your passion, you might want to take a wee look at the Typecast blog where Mr Murphy – one half of The Standardistas equation – has written the first in a series of articles for Typecast on typographic fundamentals for your reading pleasure.

First up is Contrast Through Scale, a look at how scale can be put to use at the heart of a typographic composition to: control the pace at which a reader consumes content; guide the reader through a page; and introduce hierarchy, helping the reader navigate and understand relationships between pieces of content.

We hope and trust you might find it useful.

1351556520 · Christopher Murphy · Follow Us on Twitter

The wait is over…

Try It Now [Detail]

Should you have missed the news on Twitter, the typographic tool we’ve all been waiting for – Typecast – is now in public beta. Huzzah! If you haven’t already had the opportunity to try it in the limited beta, we’d urge you to give it a whirl.

Considerably easing the process of designing with web fonts, Typecast allows you to design with real web content, natively in the browser, providing real time typographic feedback. As the team developing it at Front, put it:

Designers can view, pair and compare web fonts in the browser on full-length text without having to create screenshots, assemble comps or hand-code their CSS.

The impact of this on your workflow can’t be overstated. If you work with content and type, Typecast should be a part of your design process. By allowing you to design with real content and offering a library of over 23,000 web fonts it enables you to rapidly prototype your designs, considerably speeding up the design process.

Developed by the fine folks at Front in our fine city of Belfast, Typecast has been a labour of love with the team spending a year listening to designers, building out new features and crafting a great user experience. We think it’s lovely, we’d urge you to try it out.

1351082760 · Christopher Murphy · Follow Us on Twitter

The Third Annual Open Book Exam

Open Book Exam Icon [Detail]

We’re delighted to announce that for the third year in a row we’ll be running the Open Book Exam as part of this year’s Build Fringe.

Now established in folklore as one of the most exciting events in the geek calendar – and one of the more formidable challenges known to man – The Standardistas’ Open Book Exam is a pub quiz, but with a difference.

Unlike the typical pub quiz, where consulting your shiny internet-enabled mobile device would lead to instant disqualification; the Open Book Exam demands the use of iPhones, iPads, Androids - even BlackBerry PlayBooks - to avail of the internet’s wealth of knowledge, required to answer many of its Herculean questions.

Played in teams of four, the exam will feature eight rounds rounds of eight questions on a range of topics designed to test our teams’ mettle. As with any event worth its salt, there will be plenty of beer and plenty of prizes, including a Build 2013 Pass for the Last Geek Standing.

Our last two years have seen prize lists that were both outstanding and copious 1, 2 and we’d like to once again extend our gratitude to the many individuals and organisations that supported us, making the event possible. We’re well under way securing prizes for this year’s event and are grateful for sponsorship from, amongst others: A Book Apart; Field Notes; Viewport Industries; New Adventures; Industry Conference; friends of ED; Offscreen Magazine; The Manual; Realmac Software… the list goes on.

Should you wish to join the esteemed list of event supporters by offering a prize, please do drop us a line.

With only sixteen teams of four, places are extremely limited and were snapped up in under eight minutes last year. Registration for this year’s event will open at precisely 14.00 BST on Thursday, 25 October (a mere 48 hours hence), fingers on the buzzers people, don’t say we didn’t provide enough notice.

1351011360 · Christopher Murphy · Follow Us on Twitter

The Secrets of Pinterest's Growth

The Secret Behind Pinterest’s Growth… [Detail]

An interesting piece on The Secret Behind Pinterest’s Growth…, over at AllThingsD. Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann unveils some insights into what it was that lead to Pinterest becoming the third-largest source of referral traffic on the internet. Interestingly the company’s secret has little to do with Silicon Valley wisdom and more to do with making something you love (a theme that’s underpinned the last three years of Brooklyn Beta).

Silberman puts it best: “Instead of changing the product, I thought maybe I could just find people like me.”

We’ve said it many times before, if you make something useful that encapsulates your passion the chances are that quite a few of the world’s other 7.047 billion inhabitants will like it too. Sometimes the secret is to look to yourself for inspiration and stick to your passion, therein often lies the secret of success.

1350911100 · Christopher Murphy · Follow Us on Twitter

Refresh Belfast Presents The MFA

MFA (Master of Fine Arts) [Detail]

We’re delighted to announce that October’s Refresh Belfast, co-run by Messrs McMillan and Murphy, will this month showcase the University of Ulster’s MFA Multidisciplinary Design, a course on which we teach and are passionate about.

The evening will highlight the breadth of work being undertaken on the Masters featuring designers working right across the communication design spectrum.

In a high-paced - think Pecha Kucha on crack - presentation titled ‘From 0 – 1.0’, Kyle Gawley will outline a few of the things you need to consider when forming your own digital startup. In a quick fire talk, with 100 slides in just ten minutes, he’ll explore some of the things you might have overlooked in the quest to build a startup.

Having transitioned from working solo to working as a part of a tightly knit team, David Turner will – in a presentation titled ‘Collaboratively Speaking’ – share his observations on the world of working collaboratively and how this impacts on the wider world, and how it can relate to and enhance practice.

Language and typography are inextricably linked, Pauline Clancy will explore this relationship in a presentation, unsurprisingly, titled ‘Language and Typography’. With an emphasis on the Irish printed word, exploring the marks that form our alphabet and enable us to communicate both on paper and digitally, Clancy will take us on a journey through typographic history.

Finally, Jonathan Hall will explore the growing emergence of ‘The Designer Entrepreneur’. As he puts it: “The definition of a graphic designer is changing. Once rooted in the service industry, graphic designers are now evolving into product designers and retailers. Hall will cast a light on the exciting opportunities ahead for the designer as entrepreneur.

Working with the students on the MFA, we’ve seen the presentations and they’re both beautifully crafted and thought provoking. Tickets are almost all gone, but it’s not too late to pick one up, we hope to see you there.

1350908640 · Christopher Murphy · Follow Us on Twitter

The Reading Edge

Benton Modern RE, illustrates the value of screen-specific design variations. [Detail]

Painstakingly crafted by the fine men and women of the Font Bureau, The Reading Edge is a series of eight font families, each with four basic styles, designed to function reliably at 9–18px, in short perfect for characters on the small screen.

As the series’ designers put it:

The limitations of today’s screen-based media impose many restrictions on web typography. Even if a designer understands these limitations, the large majority of typefaces available for web use were not designed for that purpose. Crafted with the same level of care as the rest of Font Bureau’s library, the Reading Edge series is a collection of web fonts that helps alleviate this tension between refined typography and the screen.

Designed from the pixel up, specifically for use on small screens at small sizes, the series takes into consideration the effects of rasterisation and sub-pixel rendering that often pose a hazardous environment for finely crafted fonts. The result is a series of robust and versatile fonts designed specifically for onscreen reading.

Better still, the Reading Edge series is designed to correspond to existing typefaces in Font Bureau’s print and web libraries to help facilitate brand consistency across various media.

The series’ designers have written up extensive (and hugely informative) notes on the designs’ development, including links to a number of other precursors, researching readable type. Associated reading includes notes on: The Linotype Legibility Group; insights into Matthew Carter’s designs for Georgia and Verdana; and The Readability Series, a group of print typefaces from Font Bureau that provides newspapers with fonts robust enough to withstand crude output conditions.

All in all an exhaustive, and impressive body of work. Do yourself a favour and set aside some time to explore what the Reading Edge has to offer. We can guarantee you’ll emerge with a deeper understanding of the challenges of crafting typography for the small screen. Excellent work indeed.

1349270640 · Christopher Murphy · Follow Us on Twitter

Davison Spencerian

Davison Spencerian Drop Shadow [Detail]

New on House Industries, Davison Spencerian is, “a faithfully rendered digital incarnation,” of Meyer Davison’s 1946 typeface of the same name. Skilfully re-crafted by Mitja Miklavčič and House Industries designers Ben Barber and Ken Kiel, it’s an exuberant typeface perfect for, as House Industries put it:

…automotive exhaust accessories, pirate-themed wedding invites and upmarket bivalve ambrosia packaging.

Davison Spencerian Drop Shadow is particularly pleasing to the eye with a weightiness that’s sure to catch the eye. Lovely work, as is always the case by the House Industries folks.

1349266260 · Christopher Murphy · Follow Us on Twitter

UX LX 2012

UXLX [Detail]

Involved in UX? Live in Europe (or happen to be passing through this fine continent in May, 2013)? Great news, UX LX is just the ticket for you.

Organised and run by Bruno Figueiredo, who recently invited us to run a web typography workshop and speak on the past and future of web typography at Refresh LX (alongside a hugely talented line up); UX LX looks perfect for anyone involved in user experience wishing to grow and deepen their understanding of the craft of user experience. We heard great things about UX LX while we were in Lisbon for Refresh LX and the line up of speakers, just announced, only serves to underpin the quality, and pedigree, of the programme.

The line up of speakers is hugely impressive to say the least, including, amongst others: Liz Danzico, co-founder and co-chair of SVA’s MFA Interaction Design; Karen McGrane, content strategist extraordinaire; and Luke Wroblewski, author of the excellent Mobile First, on A Book Apart.

Early bird tickets are deeply discounted, we’d urge you to pick one up before they go (and they’r selling fast).

1349110380 · Christopher Murphy · Follow Us on Twitter

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