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The true purpose of design

Design failure

Bad and Good DesignRegardless of the primary or secondary function of a design, bad design is always obvious, especially when you encounter it in your day to day life.

An instruction manual that makes it awkward to find essential information, a website that makes it incredibly hard to find essential information, or a fashion magazine with no glamorous pictures are all unlikely to make you a repeat customer (unless you like that sort of thing!). Read More…

Shift Key Contrain Broken in Illustrator

If you suddenly find the Shift key no longer constrains to porportions in Adobe Illustrator, and holding down the space bar no longer allows you to pan around your artwork, here’s the weirdest fix you will ever find for this Illustrator problem. For info, I have had this on CS5 since a clean install on OSX Snow Leaopard.

Install Tweetdeck… Open Tweetdeck… then go back to Illustrator – and hey presto! No longer do i have to log out and back in again to get round this REALLY annoying bug.

Enjoy!

Kpslice Uptrack – Review

Keeping your kernel updated is both important, and yet one of the most overlooked jobs of any admin. Linux kernels are one of those areas that instill fear into the hearts of many – and for good reason. Compiling a custom kernel is not for the feint hearted or casual user.

However, most of use use the standard kernel options that ship with our flavour of linux, and the in-built package managers that ship with the popular linux builds Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, CentOS/RedHat etc, all offer an easy way to upgrade your kernel to the latest build. For example, using CentOS it’s just a case of yum update kernel.

However, if you are running a server that needs to be on 24/7, then rebooting everytime there are updates is probably going to annoy your users. Plus, if you have a lot of servers, then keeping them all up to date can become a bit of a chore. Read More…

Colour management for Web Designers

Or in other words – why don’t my page elements match my CSS background colours!

Following on from my recent article exploring the basics of Colour Management, I am going to explain the reasons why getting consistent colour throughout your website design can sometimes seem troublesome. From the previous article, we can see why colour profiles are important. They provide information on how the colours contained within an image file should be rendered – not just on your monitor, but on anyone’s monitor.

Remember the sequence of Target Profile > Conversion > Destination Profile. In terms of the world wide web, this usually means

Target profile – This is usually, but not confined to:

  • Un-tagged (un-managed) RGB – the sort of JPEG output you get from Adobe Fireworks. Also, GIF and PNG files are by nature, un-tagged.
  • sRGB Images – most often the result of working in a colour managed application, such as Photoshop. sRGB is actually the standard for the web, but we will soon see how this can cause problems in Safari.
  • Adobe 1998 RGB – usually confined to situations where photographs have been included which have been tagged with the Adobe 1998 RGB profile.

Conversion – whichever default colour engine is being used by the operating system. The differences between the output from these engines, for the purposes of rendering web content is negligible, so don’t worry too much about which engine is doing the work.

Destination profile – This will be the default monitor profile on the end-user’s machine. Most uncalibrated systems just use a standard monitor profile that ships with the operating system. Often wholly inaccurate, but for the purpose of consistency, this isn’t really important. We are just trying to demonstrate how the colour shifts occur within the end-user’s system. Read More…

Colour Management for Beginners – Profiles Explained

Color Management for beginnersIf you are frustrated by Photoshop nagging with an Embedded Profile Mismatch every time you open an image, this document is primarily for you. If you have worked it out by trial and error, but still don’t know what on earth is going on behind the scenes, then this is still for you!

Computers don’t understand colour. A colour, to a computer, is nothing more than a collection of numbers – without soul, subjectivity or emotion. Humans on the other hand perceive colour in so many ways you would need to be a chemist, biologist, neurologist, psychologist and philosopher all rolled into one to appreciate the impact it has on our daily lives.

We most generally encounter man made colour in two fundamentally differing ways:

  • On electronic display screens (computers, phones, TVs, cinema etc) where the colour is the result of projected or emitted light
  • In printed forms, where the colour is a result of pigments, dyes or whatever else is placed on the printing surface (substrate)

Read More…

WordPress blogroll link order – Change widget behaviour

Another quickie here. Although people use various blogroll plugins, sometimes the standard widget has it’s place (some themes don’t allow custom code to be used in some areas of your blog, for example). The problem is that the standard widget only displays links in alphabetical order based on the link name. There are two ways you can correct this.

1.) Change the default behaviour of the script that produces the blogroll lists

No problem, just go along to /wp-includes/bookmark-template.php – and find the code around line 198 Read More…