It is often difficult to attract graduates to apply for a PhD, so I'm working
on a poster to promote the Distributed Systems and Mobile Agents research group.
Part of the problem can be that they are not promoted well enough. We've all seen
the excellent recruitment campaigns for graduate recruitment, but academia often
does try to complete against this. Thus I've drafted a few ideas here, to see
which one works best. You must remember that the large corporations have professional
graphic designs, and large advertising budgets, so my attempt will be no where
near as good as there, but lets makes a first attempt with one of our previous
The human eye is well used to viewing
horizontal and vertical text, but when placed against a curved graphic it can
often seem a little disconnected. Thus a good design technique is to be able to
place text around a set path.
Humans are extremely visually-driven, and the
human brain is automatically drawn towards images. Unfortunately there is a fine
line between the things that are attractive to the eye, and things that are not.
Also some people are attracted by one thing, and others to another. So let's experiment
with a few basic ideas, and try and determine things that look good in graphics.
has many powerful masking effects that can add interest to graphics. The best
way to implement the mask is to create a shape which will be used as the mask
on a separate layer, which is placed above the layer to which the mask will be
applied to. In this example I've placed a copy of the skull graphic on the lowest
layer. This graphic has a negative value for its brightness, thus it is much darker
than the original graphic. The mask area is then applied to the normal graphic,
and wherever the mask appears the area which the mask covers will appear. Everything
else will be from the lowest layer. The mask layer can be easily animated using
tweening. In this case I have applied a motion tween, along with a shape tween,
so that the spotlight appears to become larger as it moves over the graphic.
just finished writing a paper on reuse, and the usage of XML in developing WWW
I've quickly produced a graphic for a reuse paper, and if you're interested. For
this I've skewed the a Windows page to give it the effect of floating in space.
This was achieved in Fireworks by simply inserting a screen shot, and selecting
technique of inserting different colours of text around a graphic is a good one,
as was shown in one of the previous design tips. So I've used this to enhance
the Distributed Systems and Mobile Agents graphic.
often takes software developers a while to get used to Macromedia Flash or Director.
The reason for this is that the package was initially developed around stages,
movies, and lots of other acting terms. This makes the environment difficult as
the terms are new to software developers. Another problem is that software developers
are used to creating code, which is executed, and run on the system. In Macromedia
there has, in the past, been a great reliance on tweening, and scripting, which
differs from code writing. These problems have now been overcome with Flash 5
which allows proper code to be written. Also with Flash MX the terms are started
to become more focused on software development, such as the usage of components.
I've shown a few examples of XML, but one of the best
is to use it to create a diary, which contains its content in XML. For this I've
designed a template which integrates pages, such as CV pages and contact details,
into a single integrated package.
WWW has moved the presentation of information from textural to graphical, and
pages must now have strong graphical images so that the can attract the user to
read the textural information. Thus a good skill is to be able to design a poster,
which can be included as part of a WWW page, or used as a poster in marketing
WWW has created new design techniques, especially in the layout and presentation
of information. For the first time designers can properly use color, text, images,
and all sorts of content to produce the required effect. One important thing is
that most pages on the WWW are dull and boring, and do not entice views to stay
and observe them for their beauty. What is required is stimulation of the mind,
and the best place to look for this is in the paintings of the past.
it is difficult to get the exact images that
you want from standard clip-art and image files. This article takes a photograph
of a guitar, and converts it into the image given on the right-hand side. In fact
the guitar in this image is my own.
This article shows how
you can take a photograph of an object, and modify it for your own functionality.
I've used the Radox bottle as it is one of the best design objects around. It
has a beautiful colour, and is extremely soothing to look at when you're soaking
in the bath. I hope that the makers of Radox do not mind me using a picture of
their product in order to teach a principle of design. All I can say in my defence
is that I think it is an example of first-class design, which is backed-up with
a truly excellent product.
Edinburgh is such a beautiful place to work
and live, and, at Napier, we are extremely lucky to based in one of the nicest
parts of the city. In fact our main campus is in the birthplace of John Napier,
the inventor of the logarithms. The campus itself has been built around the original
residence of John Napier (Merchiston Castle). It is so stimulating to come into
work every day and pass this historical building, that I've decided to try and
portray it in the following images.
a child we were introduced to the joys of tracing drawings. In the digital world
we can do the same, but the one thing that you should avoid is allowing a drawing
package to trace an image for you. In most cases it will either over elaborate
the image or under elaborate it.
you've maybe seen from my research, I have a great interest in reconfigurability
and reuse in software components. The future of this, for the WWW, is in XML,
which will provide the platform for the creation of generic components which can
be configured using XML. For example the following is an example of a WWW component
that I've designed to read the SWF files that I have created over the years.
I get asked many times what
package I use, and my answer is typically the same: anything I can get my hands
on. The key to design is not the package, but the content. Unfortunately (or
fortunately) there has never been a computer package that can properly encapsulate
design ideas. The best tool of this is a pencil and paper. If you start with a
package, you're never going to properly investigate your ideas, and find out which
one works. It's really the same argument as reading a book against reading text
from a computer screen. Books are one of the most portable devices ever created,
and you can virtually move from any part of the content to any other part, in
a matter of seconds.