Archive | May, 2010

Linux – Move or copy the contents of one directory into another

Linux TuxThe way Linux expands it’s wildcard, or globbing characters, can be confusing at first and even tasks as simple as copying a few files can sometimes turn into a learning exercise. It is sometimes necessary to move or copy files in bulk from one place to another. There are several methods for doing this in Linux, depending on which tools you have installed (Obviously, tools like rsync or unison might be better in many cases), but for this article we’re just sticking to mastering the cp command.

It’s important to understand how Linux sees the contents of each directory, because there are two special entries within each directory which people often overlook – plus there is the issue of hidden dot files – files whose names start with th dot – e.g.  .htaccess

# ls -a1
./  << This is the current directory hard link
../  << This is the parent directory hard link

Read More…

Designing a typeface

Designing type is one of the most challenging areas of design – especially in this day and age, when there are so many typefaces to choose from. For some time I have taken a keen interest in typography, particularly in the art of designing type. I don’t aim to become a type designer by trade – it is such a specialist field, that to become productive enough to earn a living at it could take several years. Read More…

Dobermann Rescue Association

We love our Dobeys

Layla and Kira - the dobeys that we adoptedWe’re animal lovers at Sant Media, and anyone who knows me (Steve Sant) will know that we have rehomed a couple of dobeys over the past decade (you can see Layla, top, and Kira, bottom, to the right). Sadly, Layla is no longer with us, but Kira soon came along!

It always saddens us to see any animal in distress, so we decided to help out an animal rescue organisaion that is close to our hearts. The Dobermann Rescue Association is run by a lovely lady called Chris Omar, who has many, many years experience with dogs, and specifically Dobermann’s. For the past year we have regularly donated to the centre, and keep in touch with other enthusiasts of DRA via their website

My dippy, loyal friend

The breed has such an awful and completely undeserved reputation. I’m sure you have heard this before in connection with other breeds – but the dobermann was never and has never been bred for fighting. The breed was originally bred as a protection breed, and has served in military and police forces for years, although more recently replaced by the German Sheppard.

If you feel you might have space in your life to look after a large dog, then please take a look at the DRA website. Or, if travel is an issue, please contact us, as there are other dobermann rescue centres closer to the midlands.

Watch Layla’s lifestory from when we first saw her in rescue.

Never just stick to the brief when pitching design concepts

I don’t often write about my failures, but this one really had me kicking myself, so if anyone else can learn from it, then all the better.

Over the past few weeks I was pitching for some brand identity work, which might have lead into other work. I knew I was up against at least one other competitor, so I made sure I presented plenty of options, all within the reasonably restrictive brief the client had given. I spent time experimenting outside what clients ask for before, and I have found it invariably to be a waste of time, particularly when the client has been adamant about it – until now.

In this case, the existing logotype mark, which was constructed from a lower case Goudita Sans (yes, wait for it), had been letterspaced to painful degrees. Surely it would have earned the now commonly misattributed Goudy quote “Any man who would letterspace blackletter [often misquoted as ‘lower case’] would steal sheep.”

Letterspaced, lowercase

Well, I chose FontFont Meta to start with, because it was reasonably similar in proportion, had arguably more character, and I already owned a copy. However, then I thought Museo would offer far more character, so used that indstead – it’s terminators were largely horizontal, which help keep the flow along the long logotype.

A long horizontal logo had to remain the case, as the website had already been built, so concepts were submitted on this basis. Also, the colours had to be blue and grey. However, the tracking was tightened to give a sensible appearance, and a number of graphical elements were developed to accompany it.

I tried a couple of permutations

Long and thin...


Slightly less long...

So far, it was neck and neck…. until… Read More…

The importance of the design brief

Graphic design costs money. More accurately, our time costs you money, so the less time we  spend interviewing you on your needs, the less you have to pay! The best way of optimising the initial time we spend communicating is to prepare a brief for your project. This not only helps us, but it can also help crystallise things in your own mind. Please take a little time to run through this article and make some notes.
Read More…

Secure FTP (SFTP) in Dreamweaver using SSH tunnelling – No shared keys

It’ a bit of a bugbear with many people that Adobe Dreamweaver CS3, CS4, and I think CS5, although supporting SFTP using password authentication, won’t work with SSH public/private keypairs. It’s far more secure to use SSH with a public/private key pair than with straightforward password authentication.

Why is SFTP important?

FTP is about as secure as SMTP email, or Telnet – i.e. every man and his dog can listen in and before you know it, your (not so) local porn pedlars have replaced your website with something sensational. It amazes me constantly that companies that install SSL certificates are happy for their web developers to connect to the web server using plain old FTP, often uploading files containing critical passwords to databases and other external systems.

Securing FTP using SSH tunneling

Read More…