Why CSS Matters – Living in The Petri Dish.

Petri Dish Article Graphic - Print, Web, CSS code

Taking Print content to the Web

Yes, it’s been months since I’ve posted here. And haven’t been that active in my Live Journal or Facebook pages either. The Studio’s been busy, folks. And have been shoving a number of projects through the house.  And when you’re a self employed Creative Pro, paid bookable hours trumps blogging. I had been tempted to rant on about the evolving throwdown between Adobe vs Apple vs Google (sort of) vs Mircosoft, centering around the mobile market, web standards, web video, HTML5 and Flash. But the simmering war of words, with flaming fanboy camps tossing off on each side has grumped me out, and it can wait.

So I decided to talk about some of the under the hood tech that makes contemporary web sites work, with a bit of diversion about bringing print content online.  I’m going to pitch this to the web user and business reader, so my fellow web pros will probably be bored to tears. But for the rest of you, we’ll demonstrate the main idea of the marriage of HTML and CSS by taking a look “backstage” with a print and web design project called, Living in The Petri Dish. Continue reading

Gettting Face(book) time.

Some of you may, and some of you may not know this, since I haven’t talked about it here. But I do have a Facebook account, then of course, like any good Design Pro, I have a Page for the Studio. And as more of my clients ask about *gasp* social networking, I have to become more familiar with some of the options and technologies.

Now this blog is powered by WordPress, WP hacks can tell from the very lightly modified default Kubrick page design. But one of the things I love about WP is that there is not only an abundant supply of themes, but also a HUGE zoo of plug-in to perform all manner of digital legerdemain. Since I have been manually posting notifications on FB about my Blog Posts here, I figured, with the rising popularity of Facebook, there was probably an app or plug-in that would allow Me to post notices to the page automatically. So after a bit of research, I’ve installed the  WordBook Plug-in on the blog. This was literally it’s test flight.

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Why I dread Fridays

Fridays always make me nervous. Almost all of the catastrophes I have had the most trouble to manage materialized on Fridays. Usually at 4:45 and needing to go to press by the end of business, and the printer that usually closes at 7pm, closes at 5:30 on Fridays. And of course doesn’t have an FTP site and the files you need to send at too large to email.

“This has all happened before. And it will happen again.” – Cylon Hybrid, Battlestar Galactica.

That said, catalogs are SO fun…

At the Production Meeting with the publishing team the previous Friday, we reviewed the pagination, cover content, and set the catalog size at 200 pages. We decided to aim at an art to press deadline for the end of the month as reasonable, if tight.

So last Friday morning, while I am well under way with stripping in the 2010 pricing to the re-designed 2010 catalog and setting the folios, I have an email from my contact. Continue reading

Credit Crisis – Awesome Flash Vid

While I take a moment from pushing a large, lengthy, lingering and LATE project out of the Studio, in my Live Journal  friends list is Scott McCloud, the well regarded Comic Artist who is the writer/artist of Zot, Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics and Making Comics. He turned me on to this.

The Credit Crisis Visualized by Jonathan Davis


The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.

“The goal of giving form to a complex situation like the credit crisis is to quickly supply the essence of the situation to those unfamiliar and uninitiated. This project was completed as part of my thesis work in the Media Design Program, a graduate studio at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. For more on my broader thesis work exploring the use of new media to make sense of a increasingly complex world, visit my website here. or email me at: jonathan.jarvis@gmail.com

Visit The Crisis of Credit Visualized.

I sometimes (um… actually, routinely) rag on Flash, for being mostly used for the internet equivalent of dressing a whore as a Lady, essentially being …well…” flashy.” Mostly shiny objects and pretty lights, web 2.0 ooooh-shiny and little substance. It is also a very challenging application to master. Frustrating to both designers and programmers, as a development platforms that is decidedly schizophrenic, requiring both artistic and design skills on one hand and programmer and coding skills on the other hemisphere.

But this is possibly one of the best, and most useful uses of the application that I have ever seen. Aside from being graphically tight and beautiful, it also gives an overview of a complex, and lately emotional topic with amazing clarity. And furthermore it isn’t selling sneakers or dressing up another sketchy blockbuster film site, it’s providing useful social purpose!

“The Crisis of Credit Visualized distills the economic crisis into a short and simple story by giving it form. It is also argues that designers have the ability to see a complex situation, then turn around and communicate it to others. By giving graphic form to the credit crisis, it becomes comprehensible. Not only do economic activities take shape, but new relationships can emerge between these shapes.” – Jonathan Davis

If ever I pray to the gods, it’s to get to do work this good! **Applause**

Adobe Creative Suite 4

Adobe Creative Suite 4 - Design Premium

Well, I went down into NYC for an Adobe Creative Suite 4 Launch Tour seminar last Friday. And got a reminder of why I took the bus when I had a NYC day job… it was 50 min inbound at 7:00-8:00 yesterday… but over TWO hours outbound at the height of the evening Rush Hour. Left the Javits Center at around 5:30… pulled into the driveway between 7:30 and 8:00.. OUCH. But the very evil part was walking the block or so from the parking lot to the Javits Center into the wind off the River… AIEEEEEEE!!!!! Oh my FACE! So you can see why I was less that excited about walking down from Port Authority in the Artctic Blast. Which put me rather out on hiking off to 8th or 9th avenue for lunch. So I ended up having very overpriced very blah and ordinary concession food at the center. FEH. On the other hand, I scored an $14 Early Bird rate at a lot LESS than a half mile from the Javits, so I think I’ll call it even and move on.

That said, Creative Suite 4 is pretty frakkin’ awesome, with lots of clever enhancements, with many peeves addressed and wish list items suggested by users added. This is of course a FAR superior approach than Microsoft, that just DOES STUFF to their apps, usually Office or Windows itself, and then shoves the “enhancements” down your throat. Often this breaks things that might have actually worked well in some of their products. So yes, I WANT IT. Very shiny. As Tim Taylor once said.. “More POWER! Utt! Utt! Utt!”
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