Who am I to lecture anybody about graphic design?

Dude you of people shouldn't be lecturing anybody about design.

The curse of knowledge

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I was reading How to Change the World today, and came upon something unexpected. Insight into graphic design.

The Curse of Knowledge. Lots of research in economics and psychology shows that when we know something, it becomes hard for us to imagine not knowing it. As a result, we become lousy communicators. Think of a lawyer who can't give you a straight, comprehensible answer to a legal question. His vast knowledge and experience renders him unable to fathom how little you know.

Of Communication and Design

Good graphic design isn't complicated. Even fairly complex designs are, at their base, simple communication. While web design can be more technically challenging, it's also just a form of communication. An aspect of design that's often overlooked is this communication. You use the best paper, you've checked the latest color trends, your layout is perfect... does it communicate clearly? I'm passionate about design, but the wrong design can be worse than no design at all.

Photographic Plagiarism

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The Online Photographer is linking to a Slate post called Can photographers be plagiarists? by David Segal. I'm not a legal scholar, but as an artist I think the answer would be yes. I think the standard for proof of this charge should be set very high, but at some point there is a line that shouldn't be crossed. Letting an artists work inspire you is one thing, but an outright copy is another. Take the Nanpu bridge photographs for instance.

PHP scripts for RSS

I've recently been playing with a free PHP Script. I'm incorporating a little of the dynamic content of the blog into the main page (since removed in an update) using a PHP script pulling in the RSS feed. It's a very user friendly set-up. The documentation leaves a little to be desired, and the sample template had to be completely redone for my use, but the actual script is quite impressive. If you're looking for this sort of thing, it's well worth your time.

Passion for Design

Kathy Marks has a great post today called What's Love Got to Do with It?

And because it's the web - and alive and changing everyday - you can never stop studying it, but must always be ready to turn on a dime and take up anything new that comes along. To accomplish all that takes drive and the will to excel. It takes passion

The Graphic Design Relationship

Steven at SpyderBlog had a really good comment on my last post. I started to answer it in the comment section, but it soon became clear that it needed more significant attention. I quoted the The Design Constitution which says, in part:

The Design Constitution

You could argue, as some of the commenters do, that his isn't workable. Who cares? This is far and away the best demonstration of the proper interaction between designer and client that I've seen. For me, it's more important as an ideal than as a workable plan. Once the ideal is defined, then a workable subset of these rules can be made. When no ideal exists, what do you work towards? The Design Constitution

CSS - Keep it simple

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Cascading style sheets (CSS) can be simple, complex, convoluted beyond belief. While CSS is the backbone of modern web design, it's not fully understood by a lot of people using it. I constantly see CSS with significantly more code than is necessary. More isn't always better. I've always thought it was better to just clearly define what you want and be done with it. Consider this CSS:

Design Immaturity

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Indi Young at TechSoup.org had an interesting post yesterday called Is Your Home Page Immature?

So how can you tell if your organization isn't using its home page to best advantage? One symptom is a failure to trust your own navigation and architecture systems to direct customers to valuable information.