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 WordPress.org 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

Mac Pros. Mac Users?

Mac Pro: 4, 8, or 12 Cores. WORTH IT?

The current Mac Pro update disappoints actual pro users. Image: Apple Computer

Apple recently released, after over a year in waiting, an update to their Mac Pro line of tower configuration computers. They introduced the Westmere line of the Xeon workstation processors and now a version with 12 computing cores is available. But for many Apple watchers, the update was a bit of a disappointment.

For openers, while Apple has been determinedly cutting edge on their new flagship mobile products, iPhones, iPads… were notably conservative on this update. New tech such as USB 3, Firewire 1600, Litghtbridge, or even established desirable standards as eSATA were skipped. Few expected Blu-Ray support, since Steve doesn’t like Blu-Ray. The video cards options offered by Apple are decent, but somewhat mediocre by contemporary standards. But all in all, commentary in the tech blogs has negative commentary edging out positive reviews. The general consensus seemed “meh,” with a lot of dissatisfaction centering on performance versus price issues compared to alternatives on the Windows and Linux side.
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Just How Much Design is Worth It?

Adjusting bleed for in InDesign.

Tweaking Bleeds in InDesign for the Tri-fold Cut Line. Yes, I'll explain...

For openers, I have been reminded that if I want to keep people’s attention with a blog, I actually have to POST, at least more regularly than I have been doing. The current occasion is the Hudson Valley Business Edge 2010 Conference, an event that I highly recommend if you’re in the region and work in a small to medium size business, especially as an Owner, Proprietor or Principal. The presenters are all very knowledgeable, and the content is presented in a very dense manner, in short, accessible sessions. Last year I presented on “When Do You Need a Design Pro?”, and hope to do so again on subjects graphic. But to the point, while I fairly recently posted back on June 7th, the one before was March 20th.

I have been busy, hence the lean posting. So this time around I’ll talk about a recent client experience.

This is a long term client that I have been working with for many years. I’ve built and rebuilt his website, will do it again soon. This time around I was updating his brochure. This is a fairly standard tri-fold brochure, a pretty common and useful staple of business marketing. This item is usually not a terrific chore if you have a focused client, and their graphic identity is already in place. Typically brochures are put together after logo design and identity projects are complete.  But what happens when your client is perhaps over focused

The short answer is: 63 design comps, seven candidate “final” versions. Three rounds of pre-press, PDFs and AAs. Hundreds of photo retouches and composites. 2.4 gigabytes of  data. And sent the press proofs back to press… twice. What on earth happened here? Continue reading

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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