China is a country with five thousand years of civilization. It is a multi-national entity extending over a large area of East Asia. China's cultural influence extends across the continent, with customs and writing systems adopted by neighboring countries including Japan, Korea and Vietnam.
China has gone through numerous ups and downs and twists and turns, from wealthy and prosperous (as during the Tang Dynasty back in 618–907 AD) to powerless and colonized (as during the Qing Dynasty, just around 100 years ago). Now China is reopening its door to the world again, embracing the latest trends, concepts and technologies, the World Wide Web being one of them.
In our interviews with six well-known designers in China, each of whom wears different hats, the recurring theme was that China's Web design industry is rising like a spiral from imitation to innovation and user-centered design.
Every now and again we showcase fantastic favicons, those tiny pieces of art that you’ll find in your browser’s address bar or when rifling through your bookmarks. These little gems are important because they serve as visual indicators to help visitors easily identify content in their browser. That aside, favicons are just nice to look at, and way too many websites don’t make use of them. We want to change that, which is why we are presenting what is now the ninth episode in our favicons series: a small article with tiny images and fast loading time… for a change.
Any picture's merit is debatable. But notice that these favicons were chosen not simply for their beauty and originality; it was important to us also that each fit the overall website design and logo. Pay attention to the details of the design.
All favicons are linked, of course, to the websites from where they were taken (if they still exist). Click on them to get more insight into how favicon design relates to overall layout design. The order here does not indicate any ranking.
Do you remember?.. The first time you played with pieces of modeling clay, melting them in your hands and going deeper and deeper into the colourful plasticine world where your imagination was the only limit. Since the 19th century, when Franz Kolb and William Harbutt independently of each other invented plasticine (modeling clay), it has been used in almost all fields of art: illustration, web design, typography, claymation, installation design.
Plasticine artworks can be found just everywhere: advertisements, book/magazine as well as CD/DVD covers, movies / TV series, music videos, computer / console games, and even web design elements. Below you will find a collection of beautiful plasticine artworks that hopefully will inspire you and give you an idea about how this material can be used in your next design project.
As web designers, we all want to create beautiful websites that get noticed. We want our designs to look great and stand out from among the rest. So how do we get the experience and the skills needed to create amazing designs? In this article, we will let you in on a little secret that can greatly impact your path to becoming a great designer.
Inspiration can be a fickle thing. Most designers, when lacking ideas, turn to design galleries to find ideas. But there are a few problems with that approach. The most obvious is that when taking inspiration from similar mediums, there's a fine line between "inspired by" and "copied". To some extent, looking at established website designs can also be somewhat limiting, especially if you're looking for a fresh solution to a problem.
There are so many things designers could be turning to for inspiration outside of design galleries. We've cataloged a dozen of those places below, along with where you can find inspiration for each of them. Share any other inspirational sources you might have in the comments.
Israel is a young country with an old heart. It has been quickly built up over the last 60 years as an independent democratic Jewish state and is shockingly cutting edge for a country so new.
It is a tiny surreal sliver of land smack dab in the middle of the Middle East: a very European, modern civilization… just programmed to Jewish tradition. Israel has great weather, nice beaches along the Mediterranean sea, fresh and tasty food and a warm and friendly culture. It is home to historic holy sites of the world's three major religions, and buses drive down streets whose stones are older than anything you'll find in Europe.
It feels as if Israel has one foot in Silicon Valley and the other in ancient Canaan — with an undercurrent of Middle Eastern hospitality and culture in this already multi-cultural society. And yet, English is commonly spoken here because many Jews from all over the world immigrate here regularly (not to mention the thousands of tourists from around the globe who pour in for sun, falafel, nightlife and a dash of biblical archaeology.) In some areas, you hear as much Spanish, French, Russian and English on the streets as Hebrew.
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Design is everywhere. We see it in on billboards as we drive down the street. When we go to a restaurant and look at the menus, we see it. When we sit down on our couch and watch television, it's visible on the commercials, advertisements, and even the movies and TV shows.
It is all around us and it stimulates and motivates much of our decisions subconsciously every day. The encyclopedia refers to graphic design as, “the process of communicating visually using text and images to present information. Graphic design practice embraces a range of cognitive skills, aesthetics and crafts, including typography, visual arts and page layout. Like other forms of design, graphic design often refers to both the process (designing) by which the communication is created and the products (designs) which are generated.”
I'm always observing graphic design in different things. The other day, while I was watching something on TV, the design of the title screen caught my attention. I figured that this would be a great idea to post on Design Informer. I quickly got to work and started researching. Come to find out that there were some great sites that have already collected hundreds of movie title stills.
As graphic designers we are asked day in and day out to be creative, be original, and be knowledgeable. Our ideas can go anywhere from impressing a few fellow classmates to greatly increasing the revenue of a local/national establishment. Yet, how do we develop into a successful designer in the first place? Additionally, how do we stay on top of our game and continue to be inventive and reputable?
The past couple of weeks, the media has been in a frenzy. When news that Conan O'Brien was getting the boot from NBC, there suddenly was an uproar. Everyone was defending Conan, including designers. Last week, my Twitter stream was filled with "Save Coco" or "We Love Conan." Personally, I never really watched him and I don't really feel sorry for him (he's making millions from this), but because of all the hoopla surrounding this debacle, I decided to look around and see what designers have done. Usually, if there's something big in the news, you can be sure that designers have already fired up Photoshop or have taken their pens and papers and have already started designing and creating something dealing with the issue.