At the end of January I posted 15 free wordpress themes that all had quite an artistic style and appearance. Now I’m following up on that by sharing 10 premium themes that I’ve discovered. Again, I haven’t tested each design so can’t comment on functionality/usability.
Posts Tagged ‘design’
Today saw the unveiling of the new EU organic products logo, chosen from entrants to a design competition. The competition was open to students from all 27 EU Member States. Entrants submitted designs to http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/organic/logo/competition/competition_en.htm which were eventually narrowed down to three final designs to be voted for online.
The logo will be introduced to all pre-packed organic products from July 2010 and displaying the logo will be compulsary. The logo will show consumers that the product has gained a specific quality level to meet EU standards throughout the growing, manufacturing and packaging processes.
The competition was open for two months and received approximately 130,000 votes, the winning design by Dusan Milenkovic, a student from Germany, receiving a huge 63% of all votes.
The other two finalists:
Now, out of the three logos in the shortlist I can see why the winner received the voting majority. There are clean lines and it’s simple – two great logo traits. However, there’s something that is just bothering me about this logo, I Just…don’t like it.
Sure it’s a great concept and does manage to represent both the Euro stars and the leaf but is it really that good? For a logo to be present on multiple product lines it needs to be extremely scalable. When this logo is scaled down the stars are unidentifiable, they just look like a series of dots. The details on the logo is too small in my opinion and that’s not all that bothers me. I even find myself grimacing at the shape of the stars. I can see that the designer outlined a leaf shape with stars and then warped them to create the effect but it just looks messy and amateurish. As if that isn’t enough, the overall shape seems to be a little…wrong. The leaf happily curves round to the left whilst the middle part that comes from the leaf stem curves round to the right.
Perhaps I’m being unreasonable here and over critical. Unfortunately I wasn’t aware of this competition until today, and would have liked to see the other entries for comparison but these have now been removed from the competition web site.
So am I being over critical? I’d be interested to see why this is a deserving logo from those who disagree with me.
I’ve been continuing to look at the available free WordPress themes and have seen some really creative and artistic designs. I’ve put together a small collection of 15 of these themes. WordPress designs are everywhere right now so this is by no means a ‘best of’ list – but they are ones that jumped out at me! Note that I haven’t tested each design so can’t comment on functionality/usability.
This post is quite link intensive – it should all work just fine but please let me know if you find any errors. Thank you and enjoy!
Red Light Theme
Creative by Nature
New from Smashing Magazine – 20 high quality fonts
I never just link to something for the sake of it, and this is no exception. This list of 20 fonts features some really nice styles – from art deco to funky sans serif. Well worth checking out.
I wanted to share with you a brief description of my logo design process. I know people do things differently so it would be interesting to hear from others regarding this. Maybe even offer me some tips to streamline/improve my process!
First of all I’ll make sure I have all the details I need from the client, style, preferred colours, orientation, the message they want to convey etc.
I’m someone who likes to think on paper, so I write down everything that comes to mind about the company and scribble thoughts and ideas around that. For example, if I were designing a logo for a financial company I might write jot down the words money, wealth, success, banking, saving…then continue with further words relating to each.
Once I have my ideas and thoughts down in writing I begin to scribble them out as images. I keep drawing until I find an idea I’m happy with and can develop into a logo. I’ll usually also jot down colour ideas.
Getting on the mac
Now I have my logo draft/s I’ll hop onto the laptop and get the idea onto the screen. Depending on what I’m doing, I might also be tracing the draft using a pen tablet. I’ll usually come up with a multitude of styles and variations and I’ll disregard probably 80% of those and work further on the 20% I choose to keep. This part of the process can take any time from a few hours to a week. Usually, if I have done the previous part of sketching out ideas properly, this shouldn’t take all that long. I’ll usually design in black first to check the shapes come together well, before I apply colour. As well as designs looking fab in colour, it’s also important that logos work in black – it can look a mess on a photocopied corporate header otherwise! There are a few exceptions to this, I’m sometimes asked to make a logo that will only be used online for web based companies and that wont be used on print at all. In that case, things are clearly a bit different and I feel happy to throw colour in from the start.
The client is sent a copy of the logo to view. At this point I encourage revisions to ensure we’re all happy when the project is completed. There’s no telling how long this can take, but if we both understand the requirements at the beginning then it really does help.
So, when the logo is done, the files are ready and I’ll send them over to the client. Typically, I will provide an ai file, pdf, small jpg, large jpg, transparent png, opaque png, gif and a tiff.
So that’s about it. Of course, you can never really write a step by step on a logo process – there are always some unforseen bits and pieces that get thrown into the works, but that’s the basic outline.
I’d be interested to hear from others and how they do things.
To view this as a breakdown of 6 simple steps click here (external site)
An expert in graphic design, David Airey hosts one of the most successful design blogs out there. As such he is often asked to recommend books on the subject.
As a response to this, he’s now set up his own Amazon bookstore to include his recommended graphic design books.
You can view David’s excellent site at www.davidairey.com
Back in June of this year I was approached by crowdSPRING to answer a few questions as part of their 12 Questions series. You can still view it so I thought I’d put it up on here.
Like many designers my browser of choice is Firefox – it’s customising options surpass any other browser I’ve tried so I thought I’d share my top add-ins. I was going to do one of those ‘top 10′ lists, but I changed my mind and limited this to just the four main add-ins that I really find useful.
This is one of my very top add-ins. A fantastic tool that allows you to point and click anywhere on the screen and select a colour. You are then shown the colour as RGB and HEX, you can also save colours into favourites which is useful when compiling a colour palette or matching a colour for a logo to a colour on a company site. Definitely one I couldn’t do without.
I find the task of taking a screen print rather a painful process, particularly on a mac. I was delighted when I came across this very helpful tool. With ScreenGrab you can elect to save or copy the entire page, visible portion, user defined selection or the window. I personally find this fantastic for copying a page selection to the clipboard ready to paste into my chosen programme. Mainly, I tend to use this for displaying a new logo onto a pre-existing web site.
Selecting this tool brings up a small cross-hair cursor that when dragged across an area of the screen, displays the dimensions of that area. Useful when asked to make a header fit into the gap above the site content without being given precise details.
Not really a graphic design tool, but a useful one nonetheless. Easily add reminders to your browser and set alarms and alerts.