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December 16, 2009 12:48 PM


my_aol_logo_choice.pngLike I said, now that AOL has pushed the "Aol." style logo and branding out the door, no one is around to whine about it. I've seen one comment about it so far, and that was a positive comment (I can't find it now, of course).

I think if your new logo and/or branding idea doesn't make at least some people react negatively, then you didn't do a very good job at trying something different, new and/or radical. Now isn't the time for AOL to go with "safe" or otherwise anonymous branding decisions. Instead it's time to mix things up, and more importantly, execute well on its business strategy. People will then associate that success or failure with the brand and you'll then reap the rewards (positive or negative).



November 23, 2009 11:07 AM


aol_logo.pngI've had the displeasure of dealing with people's reactions to a logo I've created. Anyone I've talked to who does this sort of work or has been involved with it at any level says it's difficult, messy process. The reason? Because everyone only talks about what they think is wrong with what you have created. It's no big deal to do incorrect math be criticized because you are actually wrong, but it's difficult to have something that you created, that is ultimately subjective, be derided.

Today "Aol." has a new brand/logo identity and the result is a mixture of two things. Part one is the usual thing where it's cool to hate on AOL. Part two is the landslide of subjective opinions. There's no lack of that today on Twitter (#AOL) or in the blogosphere.

Personally, I don't like the logo if the pictures aren't moving (but I do like that it's free to mingle with any content it wants to). It's only when video is playing and the logo is revealed as negative space that it comes alive. Like some have said, it doesn't matter. People will accept/ignore the new branding and will get on with their lives as normal, and the logo won't have much of an impact. It's the content and products and the execution of those things that really matters.

Everyone on the internet hated the name of the new Nintendo system and thought to logo was pretty lame, but today, do you care that it's call the Wii? No.



November 6, 2009 5:19 PM


This blog will turn 8 years old on November 28th so I'm going to (pre)celebrate that with a redesign.

I'll be looking for ways to integrate Twitter and whatever else so I can to make things as easy as possible. The old days of spending two hours researching an entry are long gone, but I'm still putting stuff out there all the time and I might as well use my old domain as a clearing house.

We'll see how it goes.



April 21, 2003 2:58 AM


There's a new font on the block, and it's called Vera, and get this... it's free.
There are four monospace and sans faces (normal, oblique, bold, bold oblique) and two serif faces (normal and bold).
It's a pretty good looking font that is well proportioned and is meant to replace Verdana, and I'd guess that it could if people were inclined to download it in droves. Which they won't, which means Verdana, Helvetica and Arial will be our sans-serif choice for years to come.

[ via the webdesign list ]

December 24, 2002 10:10 AM


SparthA friend of mine has recently gotten me into playing Quake 3 after years of avoiding that whole crowd of rocket jumpers and twitch adrenaline junkies. Too bad for me. I have been missing out on some of the best level design and game play in the first person shooter genre, and let me be clear, I harbor none of the religious attitudes in the UT vs. Quake argument. I've been playing Tribes and Tribes2 for the last several years. :)

Anyway, I was missing out on superior gameplay, and the visual element. Most importantly, I was missing the work coming from this guy, Sparth. He's a producer of Quake 3 levels, and little digging revealed his portfolio site containing some of the best art work I've seen in years. It's a must see.

July 18, 2002 9:44 AM


Denizens of the WebDesign List already know about this and those who don't, should. Two web sites (here and here) have the same interface, and Earl Cooley from the List notes...

A check of the Internet Archive Wayback Machine shows that heshketh.com use [sic] the design at least as early as November 9th, 2000 and bannerboxuk.com started with it around November 22nd, 2001, about a year later.
So, what's a web designer to do when the entire profession is based on reusable (read: stolen) code? Well, I have to believe there's some sort of case for (or against?) copyright violations here. Just read the source code and you'll see they didn't even bother changing the comments.

June 17, 2002 8:59 AM


Chances are you already know what OmniGraffle is, and perhaps you know about the wireframe oriented palette already available for it (from the guy who runs IAslash). I like that palette, but I don't use OmniGraffle that much, but maybe I'll use it a bit more because a new UI palette is available.

The advantage of this one is more GUI widgets, which makes serious prototyping and visualization a bit more robust without taking the time to do full UI prototyping with actual HTML (which in my experience, is a great way to get a good sense of what you are building, but is also expensive to do). Between these two palettes, you have a pretty robust set of elements for prototyping.

June 11, 2002 4:27 AM


There are many miniature fonts out there in the world, but you probably won't ever need any more than the following...

  • Sevenet is a good little 7 pixel font with a semi-serif version that's kinda cool if you are looking for a change from pure tiny pixelisms.
  • Mini7 is a font that you have to pay for, which, in today's world, means you probably won't be using it, but I think it's still a great little font that includes a monotype version.
  • Silkscreen is free and is an 8 pixel size bitmap font that is pretty well rounded (in terms of size, clarity, width, etc).
  • The 04 fonts are pretty small, but not necessarily tiny. They range from the 8 to 12 pixel range and are pretty stylized compared to Silkscreen.
  • Tiny is probably the least readable of the bunch, but is equally the least tall. It's only 4 pixels tall.

Remember, that tiny fonts are just that, tiny, and they usually don't help the usability quotient of a site.

Edit: this post was updated on June 23, 2011 to fix some out of date URLs and to add one entry. Enjoy.



June 5, 2002 11:39 AM


It's amazing that these tiny icons can actually convey their meaning within a 10 by 10 pixel square. I've been working on a set of 20 plus icons for a web app, and have been struggling with how to use 25 pixels square effectively. I have more than twice the space and probably do a less effective job at conveying the meanings I need to iconify. But, I'm trying to keep my lines anti-aliased in my set, which puts me at a huge disadvantage, so what are ya gunna do?

May 18, 2002 1:41 AM


At 'Advance for Design' I read...
The tools of the experience designer lie in software, hardware, and the "wetware" of the human mind. The experience designer must combine the rigors of engineering with the inspiration of high art. He or she must become adept at the traditional skills of design, and engage in dialogue with the virtuosos in the world of social science, economics, architecture, theatre and the narrative arts.
...and I'm surprised to see a few things missing here. Everything is relative of course, and my perspective is similarly a perspective. However, I can't help but think that the list is hard coded to physical design that remains when the power is turned off. In the pervious paragraph I read...
Experience design embraces the fluid nature of media and transactions within the network. Experience design jumps into new dimensions--asking not only where, or how design happens, but WHEN design happens.
...which clearly speaks to the transient nature of the network mediated experience. I would suspect the point is that the traditional skills will at least assist the new media experience designer. But does the lack of a narrative transition between these two paragraphs scuttle that? I think so, simply because the two are not mutually exclusive and provide doors in an out of the related disciplines with and without crossing paths. I am proof.

*Must* I be adept at these traditional skills to be an experience designer? I hope not since I have no interest in designing physically represented 'stuff' for the sake of experience. Nor do I have the talent to make those 'things' look good. The network mediate experience, and WHY it is engaged in, and what a person (virtuoso or otherwise) hopes to gain from it is what I'm interested in.

So, *must* I converse with virtuosos? I hope not since these sorts of people don't typically travel in the circles that I do. Usually I find I have access to everyday people experiencing problems with the world they live in. To wit, I'd suggest that these people have more to offer me than the virtuoso.

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