Category: Design Basics

Quick Case Study: Use Design to Reinforce Content

I had an appointment yesterday, and saw this sign as I approached the elevator. Which office is at the top of the building? Why not list the top floor at the top of the page to reinforce the message. It’s amazing how subconscious things like this can work to reinforce content, rather than fight it, and confuse people.

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5 Freebies! From Your Graphic Designer

When you hire an experienced graphic designer you benefit by getting more than just design skills. You get an accumulation of knowledge that will aid your project in getting finished in a timely and professional way. There has been much written about Crowdsourcing for design work (and other work) and sites like 99 designs continue to have lovers and haters. For the record, Visible Logic does not do work on spec and would never participate in these contests. Here’s why. Experience fuses design skill with production know-how As a bit of background, most design schools do not teach many of the practical applications of design. And one of the fundamental aspects of design is that the final production and execution of a project is out of the designer’s hands. By that, I mean the end result is completed by an offset printer, a web browser, a silk-screener, etc.. So knowledge of those processes goes hand in hand with how happy… Continue Reading »


Cooking Light: The Redesign Ain't Right

I’m a foodie. My husband and I cook nearly all of our meals, we belong to a cooking club, we have way too many cookbooks, and we have subscriptions to three cooking magazines: Eating Well, Cook’s Illustrated, and Cooking Light. Yesterday, Cooking Light arrived in my mailbox with the following call-outs on its cover: “America’s Best-Selling Food Magazine, Now Better Than Ever” and “NEW Fresh Look!” Just the day before, my husband and I had been talking about how much better we liked Eating Well to Cooking Light. Compared to one another, Eating Well is more readable. My husband is not a designer, yet he was able to pick up on the fact that Eating Well is a much better designed publication. The recipes are easier to read, the layout is not jam packed, and the overall quality of the design is just superior. So, I eagerly opened my Cooking Light, anticipating that its layout would now rival Eating Well…. Continue Reading »


Why Consistency Is So Important to Branding (Via The Hot Iron)

Today’s post can be read at The Hot Iron, a blog produced by Mike Maddaloni of Dunkirk Systems, LLC. Mike and I have partnered on many web projects; he does the development and I do the design. If you haven’t already, check out his blog on business and technology. Here’s the direct link to: Why Consistency Is So Important to Branding


Matthew Carter: Designer of the Typeface Verdana, and Much More

As the type designer responsible for Verdana, and because of Ikea’s unpopular decision to start using Verdana exclusively, much attention has been brought to Matthew Carter. I wrote my own post this week questioning Ikea’s decision to use Verdana in all applications including large scale headlines within their printed catalog. But I want to make sure my readers understand that this is not a criticism of the font itself, rather its application. A Master Type Designer I have been a fan of Matthew Carter’s work for years. Sometime around 1996, when I was a student at Mass. College of Art I organized an event for him to come and talk with the design students at the school. Many of his typefaces are my favorites, including ITC Galliard, Shelley Script, and Snell Roundhand. And in addition to Verdana, he has designed two other web standard fonts: Tahoma and Georgia. Typefaces for Specific Applications When I heard about the Ikea/Verdana debacle, there… Continue Reading »