Tag Archives: Design

Links for January 31st through February 9th

Links for January 31st through February 9th:

  • Lost and Taken Free stock textures for your graphic design and photography projects
  • NSCollection Extensions Weird and wonderful extensions to key/value coding ([myRecordCollection valueForKeyPath: @"[collect].{artist like 'Tom Waits'}.<NSUnarchiveFromDataTransformerName>.albumCoverImageData"])
  • Free Fonts Generator Make Your Own Handwriting Font
  • Grayson’s pluginmanager A series of classes that provides support for a vast number of scripting languages as well as standard Cocoa bundles
  • Deezer Listen to full songs online: Good for getting a preview of albums, much better than iTunes' silly 30 second snippets
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Developing Loopy, Part 1: Interface

LoopyLoopy is my first iPhone app, a loop-based performance/musical scratchpad app based on looping audio equipment and inspired by, equally, the fantastic and free “Freewheeling” application, and an a capella performance by Imogen Heap.

It’s development was a whirlwind of obsessive coding, near-vertical learning curves, impatience, excitement and occasional burnout and writers block.

I thought I’d share some facts and lessons learned from the process, in a several-part article. For part 1, read on. Read More »

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Links for November 24th through December 9th

Links for November 24th through December 9th:

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Advanced web templating with PHP and regular expressions

This post describes a method to gain more control over the styling of images for web templates/blog themes, using a bit of Regular Expression magic. This is the technique used for my recent theme, Elegant Grunge.

You’ve just designed the most beautiful template ever – pleasing composition, clean lines, smooth colours and gradients and an awesome typeface. You apply it as the theme for your blog, or release it to the community, and there is much rejoicing.Example of the 'SH Trocadero' WordPress theme with image

Then you or someone else inconsiderately puts a photograph into a post – disaster! That nasty square of graphic just destroyed your composition, and the page is unbalanced and suddenly looks terrible.

Images are particularly tricky to make work with a theme, mostly because they’re so unpredictable. With text, it’s easy to control the way it looks. With images, they can be any colour or shape, many of which will break the composition of a theme, especially if the design elements of the theme contains irregular lines.

A big impediment to making images work is the limitations introduced by the current versions of CSS: All you can really do is provide a square border, possibly with some padding. That’s it, unless you’re willing to manually add tons of markup around images every time – and willing to make your users do it, if you’ve released a theme.Example of images in the "Green Light" WordPress theme

Some people will carefully Photoshop-up their images to make them fit – Webdemar (who made the theme I first used on my blog) does this, for example, and it looks great. That’s a lot of work, though, especially if you make frequent posts with images!

If you’re a theme designer, there’s an easier way to make images work.

Read More »

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