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215 posts tagged design

Tavern Vinegar Co. Packaging

by Christine Wisnieski

There is a lot of fun stuff happening in packaging design these days, but it’s not often that I see a design that manages to balance modern touches with something that feels traditional to a liquor bottle—yet it’s for artisanal vinegar. Nicely done.

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The Era of Code

Or, rather, The Dark Ages of the Web

Frontend coding is a waste of time.

Something I’ve said privately for awhile, but I guess I haven’t been brave enough to post publicly: frontend coding is a waste of time. I know, audacious, right? But it’s true. I’m a designer who can code (full stack no-less, not only frontend) and while I highly value writing good frontend code, and often go to painstaking lengths to do so, it’s the most base level part of my process, and most in need of a replacement or alternative.

Let me explain

With few exceptions, a finished design in InDesign or Illustrator is ready for the press. This is not true of a finished web design in Photoshop.

I have a background in print design. In print, as I’m designing, I’m also creating/producing. With few exceptions, a finished design in InDesign or Illustrator is ready for the press. This is not true of a finished web design in Photoshop. I’ve started achieving the same parity in my web work, but only by designing in the browser, with live or prototype code. This process is quicker than the normal Photoshop > Frontend Code route, but it’s still a far cry from the direct creativity-to-production efficiency a print designer is able to achieve.

The Enlightenment

The web is also becoming more complex. Do you really envision hand-coding complex CSS animation, with gradients, and 3d transforms, and other whizz-bang features in a production setting? Sure, it’s fun to experiment, but when it’s your clients dime for the amount of time you spend on a project, with deadlines staring you in the face, you’ll end up simplifying the pitch—likely before you even talk to the client, let alone at their behest. Is that a good reason to constrain ourselves from using some of the amazing new features we have in our toolbox?

Youthful Indiscretion

I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re among the last of a generation of web designers who hand-codes all or most of our design work.

The web is young. Someday we’ll look back on this period in the web’s history and realize how little control we had over design, how underpowered our rendering engines were, how rudimentary hand-coding was, and how much work it took to get from idea to clickable execution. It won’t happen overnight, but the tools will continue to evolve. While the end result may not look exactly like InDesign for the web, I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re among the last of a generation of web designers who hand-codes all or most of our design work. After all, I’m sure somebody hand-coded some of the first postscript to ever make it’s way through the first digital plate-maker and onto a press.

2011

January ends today, which I believe means that the statute of limitations on posts reflecting on the past year ends as well. I felt it would be remiss for me to not at least highlight a few things that I spent my time on last year.

2011 was a big year. As the year started, I was currently working on an as-yet unannounced, top-secret project for Threadless, alongside Good Apples.

Attention

We’re training young designers to get noticed, rather than to excel at their craft

So very true. I’d counter this, though, with the unfortunate observation that, as an industry, we reward this behavior.

Dribbble, while one of my favorite sites on the Internet, is most-often a popularity contest that is getting a lot of designers who make very pretty (but very untested) things a lot of attention. No problem, except for the confusing message it sends to these young designers.

Design blogs like The Dieline (and perhaps, even this very blog) are beautiful, but a lot of the work tends to be student work, that has never met mettle or gone through the ringer of a client that’s not entirely sold on the design.

…you’re young and inexperienced; now do things to get attention.

I’m not trying to pass judgement on these types of online establishments, I just think that we’re communicating a double-message to young designers: you’re young and inexperienced; now do things to get attention. Because of this, we’re cultivating a crop of designers who play this game really, really well, but may be completely lost or out-of-sorts when it comes to actual client work.

Craft

I’m with Ingrid: I see a growing movement of people who value craft and quality over price and immediate availability or convenience. That’s not to say that we all have to work as individuals or build small things, though. I believe it’s a harder challenge to scale good craftsmanship, but companies like Apple show us it’s possible.

It’s partly my personality, but I take a lot of solace in approaching my work with a craft method—as a craftsperson. It’s a perspective that allows me to take a deep breath and take on work with a balance of meticulous detail and function. A good craftsperson pursues quality and aesthetic, but also know when to pay attention to value and how something works.

Target Chalet

at Winter X Games 15

What a dream gig. I’d love participate in a project like this someday. Too much fun. Aaron Melander did a heck of a job with it this year.

(via design work life)

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