Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Thoughts from a web designer

In my last post, I spoke about designing a website and inadvertently creating a whole brand just from that site design. Sometimes it's ok.

Sometimes, though, it's downright annoying. If I had known from the get go of all the things those web graphics would be used for, it may be a different story. For example.... I design a website for a client - In most cases, those graphic are theirs to keep. Where they go after you hand them over is any body's guess. I've been AMAZED at where some of the design elements end up.

Here are some of the most annoying:

1. Using web graphics in print. Taking the already compressed JPG and slapping it in a high rez print product. NO NO NO! Naughty. It's intention was for WEB, not print. I'm flattered that you liked it, but... NO NO NO!

2. OK, so they have enough sense to request high rez images for print. They liked them so much they are now using them for the brochure, the catalogs, the whatever.... everything I did now must be re-created for high rez. I'm a 72 Dpi girl...work with me people!

3. I work in HEX. The only PMS I know comes once a month.

4. Other designers are going to use the graphics you created for other projects. Powerpoints, wallpapers, etc. etc. etc. Again, I know I designed them for the client and technically they are theirs, but I still have a little designer pride. It's hard to just hand over something I worked so hard to develop and someone else gets to throw it wherever they want. If this happens internally, then it's all good. We're working together to create a consistent theme. If not...annoying.

5. Design a website. Client goes to another provider. Takes the design with them, but slaps on new programming. New company puts their name on it. (looks like they designed it, now doesn't it??) A.N.N.O.Y.I.N.G.

I realize this is probably un-professional venting on my blog this way ( I usually try to keep things positive). After all, this is my job. In most cases you have to let a lot of things roll off your back. It must be a mood I'm in today, though, as my fingers can't type as fast as my thoughts.

I guess I'll just chalk it up and take it as a compliment. After all, if they didn't like the design in the first place, they wouldn't want to use it elsewhere. Always find the silver lining, right?


The inadvertent brand

Sometimes when you are assigned the task of developing a website, you create much more then the look and feel of just a website - you create a whole brand in a sense. Take Ed Schultz for example. When designing his website for his radio show, part of the interface design called for a typographic treatment of the name of the show. There wasn't a "logo" per se, so I developed logotype consistent with the GUI. This has now become an actual mark for "The Ed Schultz Show."

Now that Ed has his own TV show on MSNBC, it is fun to see how they have incorporated some of the same treatment into their logo for the show and graphics used throughout. See the similarity?

Most people would think that web interface design follows collateral material that has already been developed for the company. In my experience, that isn't always the case. Sometimes your web design is the basis for everything to follow. Right or wrong...that's just how it is sometimes.
bottom image snagged from msnbc.com

Monday, April 27, 2009

Grandma and graphics

I recently put together a book for my grandma's 85th birthday that included the Top 85 Things that her grandchildren love about her. It gave me the chance to do some fun graphics and finally play a little with Bickham Script. (over-used or not, I still love this beauty of a typeface) Just thought I'd share the cover page graphic. I carried the icon throughout the book and utilized Bickham, Cambria and Helvetica Neue. The whole thing turned out pretty cool from a design standpoint, but from a gift filled with love - even better!

Odney...just Odney

For those of you that are used to me talking about my employer, iNet Technologies, don't be alarmed. I haven't changed jobs. It's just that we are all integrating into one brand. And it's not Odney Advertising anymore. It's Odney. Just Odney.

This change reflects our internal integration. (we actually merged in 2001) Rather than Odney Advertising and the three subsidiaries of iNet, DH Research and Graphic Traffic, all of our talent, innovation and ability are now under one name and one brand.

Since being with iNet from (almost) the very beginning, it wouldn't be right if I didn't say good-bye to an old staple of our company. The iNet logo. Good-bye i with a swoosh; circa 1995. Good-bye purple. We'll miss you, but we're moving on! (although it's going to take me awhile not to say I work for iNet)

Odney-developed Web site for unclaimed property featured on Dateline NBC

In these tough economic times, people are getting creative in finding new sources of money and income. A Web site developed by Odney for the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, http://www.unclaimed.org/, is getting attention as a possible jackpot for personal treasure hunters.

The Web site was featured April 26 and will be featured again May 3 on Dateline NBC. During two special installments of “You Might Be Rich,” NBC News’ Tiki Barber uses this Web site, along with Missingmoney.com, to return close to $5 million to more than a dozen individuals.

Perhaps you've got some missing money you aren't aware of. Go check it out!
PS. Kudos to Tami, our graphic designer, for the site design!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Retro Wednesday...Tight roll jeans are back?

According to J.Crew the tight rolled jeans are back! How can this be? Did we not suffer enough skin indention and circulation being cut off of our ankles? I see that they are at least wearing them higher on the ankle...quasi-capri I guess.

This is rather timely as just this past weekend I was searching for the perfect 80s outfit for the upcoming Mulletpalooza in Minot. Little did I know I wouldn't have to scrounge the vintage thrift stores. One trip to Kohls, featuring Avril Lavigne's new line of fashion (Abby Dawn) and I was smack dab in the middle of neon and LIKE TOTALLY RAD patterns.

Now all I have to find is the acid washed yoked jeans and I'm good to go!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I got the chance to attend a presentation by Chank Diesel yesterday. For those of you that are living under a rock, Chank is the uber cool font designer from Minneapolis who has brought us such favorites as Mister Frisky, Space Toaster, Darling Nikki, Liquorstore and Chauncy, just to name a few.

Above is his response to the Your Business Card is Crap video. Good stuff.

Friday, April 17, 2009

New from Uppercase Living

These Chalk Wall kits are available for a limited time only! I can't wait to get one for myself! I think putting this on the side of fridge will be perfect. I've tried dry erase boards and they just fall down and never work right, so I'm anxious to see how these work. If you would like to order one, just email me at decorativexpressions@yahoo.com .

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ice jams on the Souris River in Minot

How ironic

I was out taking some photos of the ice jams on the Souris River today and found this very ironic. Shells, not on sand, but on ice.

Friday, April 10, 2009

More Easter Decor

Thought I'd share a few hints of Easter that I have in my home. Since I don't have too much of a contemporary feel to my home, (I'm pretty much Rustic Revival all the way) it's a little easier to add some holiday decorations that I can purchase locally. I got the Easter Egg Ball, as I like to call it, years ago from Pier 1 and I still like it. It adds a nice touch hanging from my birch branches. (yes, I have actual birch branches in my home) The chair is a great find that I purchased from a local store, Preserved Petals (you must visit this store if you're ever in Minot)and then added a punched copper square container I got when I used to sell Southern Living at Home. The whole thing probably would have been cuter with all cream colored eggs, but this will have to do this year.

To find out your decorating style, go to sproost.com and take the quiz. I'm majority Rustic Revival, with a mix of Modern Elegance, Vintage Modern, Cottage Chic, and Classic.

Thanks to suffix.abuse for finding this fun site.

Easter Decor

I just had to share my new Easter decor for my office. I wanted a hint of spring and Easter, but I'm not happy with all the tchotchke Easter stuff in our local stores. Do you realize how hard it is to decorate for Easter in a contemporary way? Well, I'm pretty happy with this. To get your very own giant egg, go to the Garden Section of Hobby Lobby (in the aisle with the gazing balls). That's where I found this.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My two favs on Oprah!

My two favs, Darius Rucker and Sugarland (ok that's technically three) will be on Oprah Tuesday, April 14th!

Here's me admitting I don't have DVR or TiVo...I know, I know, yikes...I'll have to take a 'coffee break' and watch it!

image snagged from Darius's website: Photo Credit: George Burns/Harpo Productions

Every Mom Needs a Wife: Part 2

Here is a typical Tuesday from another friend. ((Aren't women amazing?))

Wake up, shower (brush teeth & pee while in the shower to save time),make-up, referee (kid argument), hair, referee (kid argument), get everything ready for my son's project - find glue stick/picture, make/pack lunches, back car out of the garage so we can put the dog in the garage when we leave, leave & drop kids off @ school, go back home to get camera (put dog in garage & take out garbage- forgot 5 minutes ago when we 1st left the house), rush to work (wait for train),work 1 hour, rush to the Dome, chaperone 10 kids for 5 hours, hike 4 flights of stairs to leave the dome (2 more flights of stairs to get to my car), grab lunch @ Hardee's(cuz of course I didn't pack myself lunch), rush back to work, eat cold food all afternoon at my desk, rush home for supper (mac& cheese - thanks hubby), dishes(try to find my kitchen), gather more endless laundry to take downstairs, pay some bills (pray, "please don't cash for a week"), help with homework& practice spelling words, referee (kid argument), plan Easter (phone call w/ Mom), pick out Wednesday clothes, referee (kid argument), iron Wednesday clothes, collapse in bed, catch 5 minutes of Chelsea Lately (wtf? a rerun?),fake a headache, fall asleep (pray while contemplating what I forgot & will need to do on Wednesday).

Every Mom Needs A Wife

I have a friend that needs to blog. She has a way with words and she's flippen hilarious! So since she does not blog, I am posting her email to me today. To all my fellow moms, enjoy.

"During a quick stop at home over lunch today, I was able to catch 6minutes of yesterday’s Oprah that I DVR’d. Her show was about the ‘Secret Lives of Moms,’and based on what I heard in the first 6 minutes, I plan to watch the remaining 54 minutes over the next few days when I have a few spare moments. The impetus for today’s email comes from one of Oprah’s quotes: “every mom needs a wife.”

Hallelujah, Oprah!

I woke to my 5:30am alarm after getting up multiple times last night with my baby who is in the heart of a “wonder week.” After getting myself ready, I poured a cup of coffee and sat down with my toasted bagel and today’s newspaper. Wait, baby’s up!Upstairs I went to change his diaper and get him ready for the day. Then, I brought him downstairs to feed him while I enjoyed the first 9 minutes of Chelsea Lately(which I also DVR in case I have a few spare moments that require her perfect, inappropriate humor).

After baby’s burp, I went back upstairs to get dressed, brush my teeth, and put on my wedding ring. Out the door we went. I dropped baby off at daycare,worked until 12:15, and headed out to maximize my lunch hour. At home during lunch, I put leftovers in the microwave, put my now-cold breakfast in the garbage, and sat down to pump while I wrote two sympathy cards. As soon as I was done, I changed a load of laundry into the dryer, put another load in the wash, chopped a few vegetables for supper, and took out the garbage. I took my leftover pizza with me in the car while I ran by the post office and church. Then, back to the office to work for the afternoon before I pick baby up and head home to make supper and get on with the evening’s to-do list.

I’m not looking for sympathy or praise for what my typical day is like. I’m looking for a wife. To my girlfriends who do laundry, cook, run errands, get oil changes, write sympathy cards, eat leftovers, and take out the garbage…will you marry me?"

image provided by istock

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bismarck AdFed brings Chank

Bismarck AdFed presents Smashing Alphabets with Chank Diesel on April 20th.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Logos, lovely logos

Check out Duffy's 25 years of logos. They make me happy.
image snagged from their website

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Cable: pay per channel?

The battle between our local FOX affiliate and Midcontinent, our local cable provider has brought up some interesting questions. Should we only pay for the channels we want to watch? Should we be able to customize our cable package? If we had that choice, however, wouldn't we be facing much more cost for those channels that are the most popular, while now, it evens out the playing field with channels that don't receive as much viewership?

I found the topic very interesting. Here is one website that breaks it down; cost per channel.

What are your thoughts?
image snagged from howcableshouldbe.com

The battle continues

Starting tomorrow, all Midcontinent subscribers will not longer receive FOX on cable. (which is pretty much all of Minot) As far as I know, within the city limits, we only have the choice of one cable provider.
KXDX/KXND are demanding compensation, while Midcontinent thinks the demands are too much. What a mess.

With big tickets like American Idol, Nascar and NFL football, people are not happy to be losing FOX!
I'm interested what the consensus of the general public is. Read each company's claims. What do you think should happen?
images snagged from Midcontinent and FOX 24 and belong to their respective companies.