WDW: Two Great Website Designs

WDW. Web Design Wednesdays: Great couple of websites.

This week, I’d like to feature two websites I ran across that have great designs and really work for the industry they’re in. The first, Momentum, is a web design studio that crafts other websites and tackles clients’ digital interests. I would hope all web design agencies would have an impressive website to showcase their services; however, it is not always the case.

Momentum utilizes a minimum yet dramatic approach. The content is simple but very engaging. It is clear where you are as a viewer. It is also very clear where you can go to explore their firm – who they are, what they do and where they are located. The picture provokes many emotions and is a dramatic staple to ground the homepage.

Momentum Homepage

Momentum, a web design group, has a clear but engaging homepage.

That brings up a very important point as well. Every site – no matter the type of business the company conducts – needs to have a clear way of expressing those three things. The three W’s: who, what and where.

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Drew Banks Prezi on Typography

A neat presentation I ran across on Prezi is Drew BanksTypography presentation. It’s an excellent overview on what is typography.

There’s an explanation about type, its characteristics and the proper lingo when addressing the aspects that make up a font.

This is a great reference for guidance or clarification if you’re reading all about a font or dissecting a certain font for whatever reason. I think this presentation takes the language of typography and breaks it down into a “spark notes” version if you will.

Check it out!

How to update your website design in three simple steps

It’s difficult to put together a website that’s pleasing to the eye, simple to navigate and, well, gets the point across quickly. However, all websites should focus on doing so.

These are the three main ideas to think about when updating your website design below.

  1. Font choice
  2. LAYOUT
  3. Color selection

Font Choice

If you couldn’t already tell, I like fonts. As Ellen Lupton said, “Type is what language looks like.”

To update the page with fonts, choose up to three fonts. I wouldn’t suggest more than three. Even two fonts can create drastic effects on a page.

Here’s what to focus on: Use contrast – serif and sans serif fonts, explore various sizes and try different widths.
This can create a big difference in moments.

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Resource Page

I wanted to introduce the “resource” page that’s a part of this blog. Here I will keep a collection of invaluable websites that help explain, showcase or highlight design or typography elements (or concepts or upcoming ideas, etc). If you have a suggestion for a site, leave a comment below!

Over: A Cool New App

While performing the usual font surf, I came across a page for Over, an app created by Aaron Marshall and Jeff Jackson at Potluck.

I bought Over HD ($1.99) which allows users to write text over their images and create designs in no time. It’s a neat app, and the steps below layout the easy process on creating your own photo with a great font.

Over Font Choice

CREATING A CUSTOM PHOTO

STEP 1 – Choose a photo from your Camera Roll or Take a Photo

STEP 2 – Tap to write your message or choose a font; there’s also an option to unlock many more fonts for $0.99. Of course I went for this. Doing so basically opened a long list of fonts you would find in a program like Microsoft Office and so forth.

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Fontsy Foto – A Creative Valentine’s Day

I was given these Valentine’s cards yesterday. I miss these cards from elementary school – you know, the ones with the awesome new characters from the newest movie or classic Disney icons on the front. Except these are one step better.

They are also coupons for a free donut. How could a Valentine’s Day card get any better? I love the design on them. Very cute and clever on Krispy Kreme’s part.

Happy Valentine's Day

A valentine and free donut. Life is pretty good.

The Categories

Some Quick Background

To understand any field, you have to understand the history of it. But with typefaces, it’s less of a history lesson and more of establishing the categories fonts fall into.

The main categories include:

  • Blackletter

These are the very early typefaces, nearly illegible to the modern eye. These fonts were very common in the middle ages. You’ll still see fonts with the option of “Font Name Black.” This is the weight of the letters the option is referring to. Unless using these for a design or certain effect, they are not such a good idea for general content.

  • Humanist

This type evolved from blackletter and was the age that began the typeface transformations to what we see today. The I Love Typography post about Humanism gives great history and detail about the specifics of the Humanist typeface category. Continue reading

‘Tis the season for…

LOVE, Robert Indiana

LOVE.

It’s February. How is it already February? Anyways, stores are chock-full of shades of pink and red.

To kick off this month, I thought it important to give a shout out to one of the most iconic images in Indiana.

Robert Indiana, born Robert Clark, created this image in 1958. According to the Robert Indiana Wikipedia article, the image first appeared above a series of poems.

And now it’s Indiana’s most iconic image. An L and O stacked on top of V and E with the O tilted to the right. These sculptures have appeared in multiple cities across the country and became a popular stamp created for the Christmas season by the Museum of Modern Art.

I love the statement of the sculpture and all it requires is a font choice. Can anyone guess what font this is?

Find that Font

As I was reading articles on the history and categories of font, I became somewhat impatient. I had an example of font, and I wanted to know exactly which one it was. Before, I was busy placing it into a typeface category such as old typeface or modern, and then analyzing the serifs, etc. However, I wouldn’t be entirely certain that my guess at what font it was is correct.

So I Googled. Oddly, there is only one app that I can find that would achieve my impatient wishes. What the Font allows the user to take a photo and then the program will analyze the font. It spits out results, sometimes with only one option and sometimes with a short list of possibilities. What the Font

With a little luck, the uploaded picture registers and is identified. To help the program’s process, What the Font suggests increasing the contrast, making the picture as horizontal as possible and ensuring the the unique characters in the font are in the picture.

And if the program still can’t produce results, What the Font features a forum for font enthusiasts to come to the rescue just in case. It’s a very neat idea and a pretty cool app. The program needs a little work, but for the most part, it’s impressive. Take it on the go with their mobile app or use it on the computer.