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Over the past year, my partner and I, have established I Make Fun Stuff. It’s aim is to put on craft events in out local area that promote new, young and different craft people. After seeing that there was no real outlet for this type of craft in the area, just the usual corn dolls and lace cushions.
Over the last year we’ve gone from our first market with 10 people in a small gallery space in Ipswich to our next event, this Sunday, that will have around 30 sellers on a closed street along with a brass band, a skiffle band and a mayoral visit.
We’ve got a lot more planned in the future. We’ll be relaunching our website in the next few weeks to extend our work in promoting local people and craft in general and putting on more markets that will hopefully get bigger and better.
Theres an interesting phenomenon in the design community that seems to follow every major redesign, rebrand or high profile launch. A wave of bitchiness appears on twitter, facebook etc. This anger often spreads outside of the usual design blogs and social media circles to the wider world, generally harming the perception of design.
Now there is nothing wrong with criticism where it is due, that gap logo really was quite poor but did the new Waterstone’s W really deserve such a kicking, was the new Pepsi logo really that bad?
There’s already an opinion outside of the design community that design is a simple task that is often over charged for, see the fury over the price of the London 2012 branding, so I propose that rather than criticise ‘we’ celebrate more. Lets use the same fever that is generated by the “bad work” and put it towards wider promotion of the exceptional work to those outside the design community and prove that design is something worth investing in.
I’ve spent the last few weeks designing my second iPhone app. This one being after the release of the iPhone 4 with it’s super special retina display. So I thought I’d share some tips and tricks I’ve found from other sources and along the way on how to deal with this new format.
First a little background.
All iPhones up until the iPhone 4 have a screen size of 3.5in at a resolution of 320×480 at 164ppi. The new iPhone 4 however keeps the same screen size of 3.5in but ups the resolution to 960×640 at 326ppi. This means that if you want to create an app that takes advantage of this new screen (and you do) you need to create two versions of your visuals. This is however not as time consuming as it sounds as Apple does some of the work for you. From iPhone 4 Apple measures the resolutions in points rather than pixels, on the earlier iPhones this still means that 1 point is equal to 1 pixel but in the iPhone 4 it is equal to 2 pixels. This means that essentially you can create one design and resize to create the other while being mindful of the changes this will make.
So with all this in mind a few tips:
The most useful tip I’ve found came from Max Voltar who suggested creating a grid with a line every 20px and subdivisions every 10px. Sticking to this grid allows you to keep elements from resizing to half pixels creating untidy edges when switching between resolutions.
2. Check early, check often
Resizing regularly to check the other resolution from the one you are designing in directly allows you to make sure that what you are creating will work at both resolutions. Simply save and resize to see.
3. Use vectors
While this didn’t apply much to this project for me personally, as the design is a highly detailed one using many images and textures, it almost goes without saving that using vectors will make your life a lot simpler when having to change resolutions.
4. (2) Pixel perfection
This is linked to tip 1. Keeping your design spot on pixel perfect to the grid will create a much cleaner resize at the end of the day.
5. Start big
I’ve read at least two articles that suggested that the best way to work was to design for the lower resolution screen and then blow it up. For me this seemed counter intuitive and certainly for the design I was creating starting at the higher resolution worked a lot better allowing me to add a lot more detail to the higher resolution version that wouldn’t be there if I created it at the lower resolution and blew it up.
6. Get it on the phone asap
Finally a general tip for all phone design. Get the design onto the device as soon as possible to check you aren’t wasting time creating designs that don’t work on the smaller screen. For me this was simply saving jpgs regularly to dropbox and using the iPhone app to view them.
Hopefully some of this is useful, designing for iPhone is a lot of fun like designing for a hybrid of web and print. If anyone has any more tips feel free to add them into the comments.
This is the obligatory welcome post for my new blog/site.
I decided that although I will post my work here, I’d rather have a general showcase of things that are going on in my life and the wider world.
Please keep reading and/or follow/friend/poke me on the various social networky things on the right hand side of this page.