There Can Be Only One

OnePress - developed by FameThemes. Perfectly lovely, but…

OnePress – developed by FameThemes. Perfectly lovely, but…

I got this particular wasp up my pant leg reviewing my morning emails. Among the pile was a recurring newsletter I subscribe to — eWebDesign ,with products and coding resources of interest to Graphic and Web Designers and Developers. In today’s batch was “A Free Single-Page WordPress Theme”. If you’ve spent any time on the web lately, these have been all the freakin’ rage, especially for startups, announcements and entrepreneur sites.

A quick look gleaned me this gushing hose of marketing copy. Yes, I know, marketing copy. Imagine that.

“If you’re a fan of the scrolling single-page parallax style themes, OnePress is a new one on that may pique your interest. After less than a month in the official directory, it has already been installed on more than 3,000 websites. OnePress was developed by the folks at FameThemes using Bootstrap version 4. It is suitable for business, portfolio, and agency websites.

“The theme features a full-screen background image with action buttons in the first major section. Scrolling further down reveals an about section, services, a video lightbox, an animated counter, team section, latest news, and contact form…” WP Tavern

You can go there if you like, check ’em out, but I had kind of already hit saturation point. Oooooh look, Paralaxxxxx… Bootstrap… hugh hugh hugh uff. But once I saw, “installed on more than 3,000 websites,” I was pretty motivated to move on with my day. Despite the titanic humongousness of the modern Web, there are still apparently already over THREE THOUSAND SITES out there that already look like this. I am pretty sure I have already seen a few hundred of them, and I’m bored to tears. Even with a free theme, the amount of customization and get-under-the-hood tweaking and custom graphics to make this thing stand out from the mob, it would be worth it to spend a few minutes more to find something a bit more distinctive for a project. Or purchase a more fully featured theme for a relatively minor fee, to get much closer to the project’s aim. Continue reading

Truth and Death in Design

Image choices at - front for Getty's Istock Service

Image choices at – front for Getty’s Istock Service

“One illustration or original photo beats 100 stock images.”

This quote turned up in The Year In Design by. L. Jeffrey Zeldman. Sharp guy and a good article. Go read it. It’s short and every bit of it is spot on and relevant.

And some of it definitely falls into the “easier said than done” category. And the above quote was particularly relevant to my experience as a Designer. I work in both Print and Web Design, primarily for small business clients. Turned out to be a sweet spot for me, a market outgrowing what they can do for themselves in MS Word, or Vistaprint, but small enough to not take all their art in-house or go to a big Agency or Design Studio.

Stock Images are one of my big peeves – and most commonly accessed resources. But with small business clients come small budgets. I have absolutely no doubt that original illustrations or photography are superior to stock photos… But good luck trying to get cash strapped clients to spring for a photographer or illustrator for their project. I AM an Illustrator and Photographer adjunct to my Design work, and I’ve done precious little of it professionally – at least that I’ve gotten paid for. Continue reading