Freelance Round-Up: This month in design

Google release Google Chrome Frame for IE

If you're a web developer, you'll know too well that it can be a complete nightmare getting your sites to appear how they should in Internet Explorer 6 due to its inherent bugs.

Even though IE7 has been around for 2 years, IE 6 still represents 12.1% of the market share. Most of these users being corporations who use proprietary web applications that only work in IE 6 or have no spare cash to upgrade. The web isn't short of campaigns trying to get people to boycott IE6 completely. But this won't happen overnight.

Instead of complaining about it, Google has decided to be proactive and released Google Chrome Frame. A plugin for IE that renders websites viewed in IE using the Chrome rendering engine instead, meaning that everything is displayed as the web designer intended.

Although a potentially quick solution there are 2 hurdles that must be overcome. Firstly web designers are required to include a meta tag on their webpages for the plugin to render the page. Secondly, and most importantly, the user must actually install the plugin. As I mentioned earlier, most users of IE 6 are those in a corporate environment and may not have the freedom to install plugins.

However, this is by far the quickest and cheapest fix for support departments to get the best of both worlds. They can continue running their business critical web applications in IE6 while Google Chrome Frame will beautifully render more advanced websites and applications.

Introducing Google Chrome Frame.

Twitter - a lifeline for freelancers?

Any freelancer knows how important it is to be aware of what's going on around their social and professional circle. No going into an office every day and the lack of face-to-face contact with people can lead to a degree of isolation. One of the advantages of apps such as Twitter is that they can help combat that by allowing you to communicate with co-workers and friends in seemingly trivial banter as you would in a traditional workspace, as well as being able to market your skills and services.

So if you haven't got on board yet, here's a quick post from Paul Annett on how to choose a good twitter username.

And whilst we're on the subject here is an enlightening recent post on twitter demographics and statistics from BOX UK

Freelance contracts do's & don'ts

When most freelancers take the plunge they can never be quite prepared for the amount of different hats they'll have to wear. There are many tasks that in a normal corporate environment a dedicated department would deal with. One of those is having to deal with the tedious yet extremely important aspect of contracts. Getting these right can really make a difference should that certain project not go to plan. Smashing magazine have come up with the Do's and Don'ts of writing freelance contracts.

Some of these tips include not forgetting to overlook adding details about deadlines, delivery details and most importantly financials - so all parties are aware of what will be delivered, when and for how much. But also specifying how many revisions and alterations can be made so the work doesn't balloon.

New logo design for Doctor Who

The BBC has unveiled the new logo for one of its longest running and much-loved programmes, Doctor Who. The new identity, designed by Red Bee Media, comes at a time when the show has a new writer, producer and new series. The logo uses the traditional colour tones and is quite a jump from the previous iterations of the logo. Overall a good job I think.

The 10 most common errors made using Photoshop

The Pro Designer blog recently published a post on the common mistakes made by Photoshop users. To the seasoned designer some of these may seem quite laughable but there's no time like the present to get out of those nasty bad habits that could be slowing you down.

Professional logo design processes revealed

Have you ever wondered how and why certain logo design decisions were made? For better or worse? Here is an insight into the thoughts and proven design processes of 30 professional logo design projects. From the initial brief and research all the way through the development process to the final logo in all its glory. It's great looking at some of the unlucky designs that fell by the way side and the iterative design process.


Alex Peterson, Pixel Air Web Design l Freelance Alliance profile




8th October 2009

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