Freelance Round-up: This month in design

MySpace Unveils New, ArtsyLogo

Only the other week, at the HDLive 2010 conference in Hull listening to a presentation on social media, I was wondering what had happened to MySpace?! And so here is their newly unveiled logo. Comprising of the word 'my' and beside it a symbol delineating a space, in simple Helvetica. The blank space is there for users to fill with their own artwork. The full redesign launches at the end of this year and the logo with eventually have some Google 'doodle' interactive properties. With the recent iTunes and Gap logo fiascos it'll be interesting to canvas opinion on this redesign.

Lessons to be learnt from the Gap logo debacle

So only after one week and a huge online backlash, Gap have pulled their new logo. BBC News look at what lessons might be learnt from attempting to change such a popular company emblem. The article looks at other not so successful logo redesigns of the past such as BP or Tropicana. Part of the criticism of the new Gap logo is it's ordinarily and use of Helvetica that customers thought cheapened the brand. Marketing expert Craig Smith makes in interesting point by saying "Where marketers often go wrong is they think they have identified an opportunity for the brand to evolve and become something else, become more modern, and they think they can shortcut this by changing the visual identity, and carry the customers with them."

New Channel 4 branding by Rudd Studio

The Channel 4 on-air logo has been updated by Rudd Studio since their initial branding work for the channel 5 years ago. This new series of animations explores the idea of looking at the logo at different angles. The work is more of a simple refresh than a significant redesign but adds an extra level of experimental detail.

Learn Design Socially and Effortlessly

Partly inspired by Web Designer Depot's article on being unique this post looks at how we as designer can get a lot inspiration through our own social circle without hours of trawling online galleries. Whilst most of us actively seek visual inspiration there is a lot we can get by simply interacting with others through forum discussions, blogs and commenting. And don't just be a reader - take part!

Understanding Visual Hierarchy in Web Design

I recently came across this very insightful article on the principles of visual hierarchy in Web Design. The web is a unique communication platform as we know and its audience are fickle and don't tend to like reading blocks of text. So how do we keep their attention and ensure they not only stay on our website but are encouraged to explore and delve further? Through a series of visual examples and exercises this post explores the notions of size, colour and contrast amongst elements and how they can strike a balance to ensure a unique and memorable user experience.

Do Freelancers Do Best on WordPress, Drupal or Joomla?

As freelancers we make the most of the tools that are already out there to save time and our clients money. Many freelance web designers turn to open source content management systems to avoid the need for expensive development which more often that not attempts to reinvent the wheel. The 3 most widely used systems these days being Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal, of which have recently emerged some very interesting stats thanks to a report by DoNanza. The stats detail the growth in popularity of Wordpress, how Drupal projects tend to have higher budgets and the average spend on each project depending on chosen CMS.

Time Management tips for freelance designers

One of the biggest challenges I face in my career is managing my time effectively. Now that I am father to a 1 year old I don't have the luxury any more of being able to open my laptop in the evening to 'catch up'. So my 9-5 working day needs to be spent as effectively as possible to ensure I'm as productive as possible and am able to enjoy my evenings. Sound familiar? Smashing buzz have compiled a list of popular tools and techniques that help those working for themselves stay focused and disciplined and get the most out of their day. To do lists, schedules, multi-tasking and setting one's own deadline should be part of any successful freelancers routine.

Alex Peterson, Pixel Air, a web design studio in Cheshire

Twitter: @pixelair

Alex's Freelance Alliance profile.


12th November 2010

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