Thursday, 29 October 2009 10:32
I needed to batch-process PDFs to convert them into JPGs, and as usual, several solutions were found:
(I found several other solutions but I couldn't be sure they would work under Windows 7.)
I'm sure Adobe Acrobat can do the job, but I don't have that hefty piece of software, and wherever possible I like to use open-source solutions.
I downloaded the binary for ImageMagick and installed it without issues (on Windows 7). I was excited to use ImageMagick, but unfortunately I couldn't get it to find GhostScript when I went to use the convert -density 300 *.pdf *.jpg command.
Then when I installed PDFCreator, for some reason it didn't install GhostScript the first time around. So I uninstalled and reinstalled, and this time it worked like a charm. I enabled Auto-save and selected JPG under File Type in Options > Auto-save. Now all I had to do was select all the PDFs I wanted to convert, and they would get auto-saved where I specified in the Auto-save options.
Saturday, 17 October 2009 18:38
It has come to my attention, courtesy of Web Resources Depot, that there are several Adobe AIR applications for modifying images in bulk. (And they won't add the watermark like Image Optimizer does.)
I came across a freeware solution for optimizing (read: shrinking) image files for web deployment. It's called, originally enough, Image Optimizer, and it can optimize images individually or in bulk, like all images in a folder. As shown below (image from their website), the software integrates into the Windows shell so you can just right-click the file or folder and optimize away.
Tuesday, 07 July 2009 00:44
Found on WebResourcesDepot:
247 web usability guidelines to keep in mind while designing user interfaces.
The categories are:
- Home page usability
- Task orientation
- Navigation and information architecture
- Forms and data entry
- Trust and credibility
- Writing and content quality
- Page layout and visual design
- Search usability
- Help, feedback and error tolerance
Most of these guidelines are obvious, but there is a benefit to working off a defined list because it's next to impossible to keep in mind all 247 guidelines as you brainstorm designs and features and functions for your project.
Monday, 25 May 2009 09:51
I decided to try Cufon to prettify the title in my blog header. It went from:
The font I chose is called Ginga. I used a WordPress plugin to incorporate Cufon into my blog. By default the modified title didn't display in the same position as before, so I had to restyle it using CSS (and as usual IE required its own values different than other browsers, which I implemented via ).
Another modification was required, which was to set visibility: hidden in the theme's CSS file, and add the following into the header.php file of my theme (jQuery is already being used elsewhere, so it's loaded anyway):
What this does is hide the title before Cufon is done applying its effects to it, because otherwise the original title (in the original font) is displayed in large letters in the middle of the blog because of the placement modifications (via CSS) the Cufon replacement title required.
Saturday, 02 May 2009 22:16
On this site I came across this site of 45 rules for creating a great logo. I decided to evaluate the p()thesis logo using the criteria given.
- Do not use more than three colors.
- Get rid of everything that is not absolutely necessary.
- Type must be easy enough for your grandma to read.
- The logo must be recognizable.
- Create a unique shape or layout for the logo.
- Completely ignore what your parents and/or spouse think about the design.
- Confirm that the logo looks appealing to more than just three (3) individuals.
- Do not combine elements from popular logos and claim it as original work.
- Do not use clipart under any circumstances.
- The logo should look good in black and white.
- Make sure that the logo is recognizable when inverted.
- Make sure that the logo is recognizable when resized.
- If the logo contains an icon or symbol, as well as text, place each so that they complement one another.
- Avoid recent logo design trends. Instead, make the logo look timeless.
- Do not use special effects (including, but not limited to: gradients, drop shadows, reflections, and light bursts).
- Fit the logo into a square layout if possible, avoid obscure layouts.
- Avoid intricate details.
- Consider the different places and ways that the logo will be presented.
- Invoke feelings of being bold and confident, never dull and weak.
- Realize that you will not create a perfect logo.
- Use sharp lines for sharp businesses, smooth lines for smooth businesses.
- The logo must have some connection to what it is representing.
- A photo does not make a logo.
- You must surprise customers with presentation.
- Do not use more than two fonts.
- Each element of the logo needs to be aligned. Left, center, right, top, or bottom.
- The logo should look solid, with no trailing elements.
- Know who is going to be looking at the logo before you think of ideas for it.
- Always choose function over innovation.
- If the brand name is memorable, the brand name should be the logo.
- The logo should be recognizable when mirrored.
- Even large companies need small logos.
- Everyone should like the logo design, not just the business that will use it.
- Create variations. The more variations, the more likely you are to get it right.
- The logo must look consistent across multiple platforms.
- The logo must be easy to describe.
- Do not use taglines in the logo.
- Sketch out ideas using paper and pencil before working on a computer.
- Keep the design simple.
- Do not use any “swoosh” or “globe”symbols.
- The logo should not be distracting.
- It should be honest in its representation.
- The logo should be balanced visually.
- Avoid bright, neon colors and dark, dull colors.
- The logo must not break any of the above rules.
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