In the current business climate, companies are expected to be transparent and to interact with their customer base frequently. In the main, this is good news for businesses. After all, because of their willingness to engage with customers, modern companies are able to generate trust and send out their brand’s message quickly. However, there are some drawbacks associated with developing an open and proactive brand. One of the biggest problems companies in the social-media age face is dealing with sensitive issues on their pages. Changes in staff, relocations, unpopular decisions –– even negative news reports or downright scandals –– can affect a brand in a profound (and detrimental) way. Fortunately, these four tips will help social-media managers address tough topics online and maintain good relations with customers:[Read more…]
We don’t often consider package design as a difficult creative job. I mean, how difficult would it be to design a bag of chips? Well you might be surprised to learn that it does take quite a bit of effort! Blending colors, icons, illustrations, and text on the bag to draw people’s attention is the job of a package designer.
And package design can include way more than just potato chips. This gallery is a tribute to newer package ideas and branding concepts. Squeezing a brand logo onto the packaging is only one aspect to this craft. Take a look over some of these examples and let us know your favorites.
Some of the most interesting interactions I’ve seen done on websites utilize the one page format. Is it because there are fewer pages, fewer elements that should be easier to manipulate? Enjoy these one page wonders on this week’s Friday Focus.
Designs of the Week
I love how the navigation is a floating chunk of land consisting of various buildings (and the robot mascot) but uppercase everywhere is a bit much.
The lines that play off of the logo work great. Looks freeform but still follows a grid. Uncovering each image in the stack scrolls the page down little by little—I don’t know if that’s intentional but it’s a nice subtle effect.
Sliders would be a lot nicer if they could be controlled via the mouse wheel. But it does make sense in this design.
The zoom on hover effect on the images is a good touch that hasn’t been overdone (yet). The continuous line running throughout the design, though, is a familiar technique for horizontal scrolling.
I like how all the sections are connected this way, and the connecting lines align with the top navigation. That’s actually really smart.
The use of rainbow stripes gives just the right amount of color to the design without looking too overwhelming. I have to wonder though: should this site have a footer, or is this enough?
Another thing I wonder about: does it make sense to still have an indicator of which section the page is currently at, considering they’re clearly demarcated and everything? Anyway, I like the big text and bold colors, as well as the photo tooltips. And the walking fat man of course!
Now this approach feels so close to a brochure. It’s very simple but still feels quite novel.
This one feels a bit similar to previous in “experience”. Love all the subtle lines and shapes in the background. Additional props to their blog being designed the same way, because lots of one page sites have completely different looks for their blogs.
Beautiful illustrations despite the overdone sky-to-underground style, although the typeface almost steals the show for me. Somehow Trebuchet looks really good on this page!
Social Media Weekly
Design – Defining User Experience as Brand Experience
“Whether or not you realize it, user interface (and by extension user experience) is as much about the branding of the business as it is about the logo, product, or day-to day business.”
CSS – Are CSS Frameworks Evil?
“From what I can tell, designers and agencies that work with frameworks on a regular basis tend to use either Blueprint CSS or 960 Grid System (often abbreviated to 960gs). Yahoo!’s YUI Grids is also a popular one. These were the three frameworks I experimented with.”
Who’s in the mood for some red designs this week? Let’s start the show!
Designs of the Week
A bit of parallax going on in this horizontally scrolling site. Love the illustrations, which are interconnected through color.
I love that practically everything looks hand-drawn! But everything still looks tidy, and therefore readable.
I think my only nitpick here is the use of Flash for the top menu, and the lack of rounded corners in the pizza graphic. Other than that, this site is making me hungry for Brazilian pizza.
I like the not-quite-centered layout and the little nicks and cuts to the content boxes. Edgy, that’s what I think they call it.
I’m a sucker for these 3-dimensional, folded elements (is there a name for this yet? I really want to know). And the shades of red in this site are quite appealing. I just have a tiny issue with the top and bottom padding in the Featured Projects box—should’ve had more.
Now this is one of those sites that put me on the fence when it comes to looks, but I like how striking it is. Plus the quirky icons below? It captures how left-of-field tattooing is.
I like the whole industrial feel with a bit of a plastic-y twist in the menu and buttons. It makes browsing the site that much more exciting.
Beau.ti.ful. You can go a long, long way when you get the typography down pat. And whitespace is your best bud.
I really like the animated neon sign and oil rigs, dresses down the whole grand look of the site with its ornate borders and background.
This site’s bordering on very low contrast, but it’s still readable.
There isn’t as much red in here as the other sites but it makes since a very bright shade of red was used. I have to point out that something brilliant is going on in the contact page: the map of their company office is a live Google Maps spread which spans the whole background. Neat!
Social Media Weekly
Branding – Breadline Design’s Company Naming Machine
Just for kicks.
Design – A UI Design and Prototyping Treasure Chest
“Having these close by will save time and speed up your design and prototyping work flow. Here is a collection of these types of elements that should be a big help to you.”
Programming – 16 Different Clones You Can Build with Drupal
“So, if you’re thinking about building your next big site, here are a few ways that you can take existing modules and turn a project quickly, without needing to make any custom modules.”
This week on Friday Focus: websites that will make you want to get in the car or on a plane and head to these exquisite destinations. At least we can enjoy their views from within our own browsers!
Designs of the Week
I really like are the way the popup menus are designed. Even better is the way the background images load first, and then the content area fades into view.
Great lighting in the header, and the way the color of the wood background makes the photos pop.
You don’t have to pepper your site with concrete representations of what your site is all about, and this is a good example of that. Makes for an elegant yet still outdoorsy look.
I’m not sure exactly why you’d use a strap in such a prominent place such a header but it certainly looks different. Love the interactivity of the menus on the left. Another brilliant feature: the execution of the map menu on the right side.
Huge photos. Excellent typography. I’m just not sure about the wallpaper background.
Clean and modern. The labels on the photo itself are a great and necessary touch.
This design reminds me of Obama’s online branding, and it looks so elegant. This isn’t even a travel destination site, but it definitely makes you want to go there.
I like the textured background in the logo, and the way the photos fade at the edges.