Brainstorms and Raves

Notes on Web Design, Development, Standards, Typography, Music, and More

Fri

9

MAY

2003

Friday Feast #43: Inspiration, CSS, Metadata, Photoshop, Photography

I’ve been adding RSS feed links to the Luscious Links section, so those of you interested in those, help yourself. I’ll finish that up throughout next week. On to this week’s feast of links.

CSS Ideas and Inspiration

One of the most popular links this past week has been to Dave Shea’s CSS Zen Garden. This reminds me of Chris Casciano’s Daily CSS Fun from February of last year in which Chris posted a CSS redesign of his site’s main page for almost every day of that month.

Barbara Geiger’s Flaky Apple Pie Recipe is a CSS layout test inspired by Eric Meyer’s curvelicious demo. Check out how the recipe text curves around the apple images. Nice. Barbara has more CSS experiments, too. [hat tip: Eric Meyer on CSS: Links to CSS Designs]

More on Metadata

Just in case you missed it, Boxes and Arrows has a new and interesting article about metadata,[1] Building a Metadata-Based Website. That goes hand in hand with more Boxes and Arrows articles, Creating a Controlled Vocabulary and Unraveling the Mysteries of metadata and taxonomies.

Whether or not you care about metadata, considering how terms and keyword phrases are used throughout a website is an important component of the site’s content and overall success and usability. Terms and phrases can impact site navigation and how well visitors understand how to get around the site, for example. Carefully chosen and strategically placed keyword phrases can also impact search engine placement and whether or not people find your site.

Fuels for Inspiration

Talented people around us can fuel our own sparks to push us to new heights. It’s easy to spend hours at Valerie Casey’s presentation, Notes on Visual and Interaction Design. Sections include visual design, interaction design, typography, color theory, web graphics, production, resources. Valerie is also featured at the Adobe Gallery. [hat tip: ordinary-life.net]

Not to be missed is more at the Adobe Gallery, where there is an abundance of inspiration from incredibly talented designers.

Photoshop Freebies

Photoshop brushes can be fun to explore. Photoshop includes a few to get you started, you can create your own, and you’ll find many for free around the Internet. Some are better than others, of course.

James Buckley gives away nice dotted line brushes at his weblog, and you’ll find over 300 high quality free Photoshop brushes by Sage and thousands more for a small fee at a site devoted to Photoshop.

Created with Photoshop 7 and a free brush by Sage For the sample here I used one of Sage’s free brushes, two layers in Photoshop and played around a bit to create this Celtic pattern. That could be part of a letterhead design, perhaps a repeating print for fabric, painted onto a ceramic tile, or used as part of a design scheme for a website, for example. I had nothing in mind when I started.

Digital Photography

Want to get into digital photography for your website? Digital Photography for the Web is a helpful introductory tutorial for your digital photos and Photoshop that covers color, brightness and contrast, cropping and resizing, making thumbnails. Along the way are links to more information, tutorials, and resources. By Michael Calore for Webmonkey.

Mark’s Latest Dive Into...

Mark Pilgrim’s latest is his DiveOutOfPlane.org. You can vicariously experience skydiving via Mark’s skydiving video (15MB), or at least watch Mark as he falls from the sky. I’m continually amazed at anyone’s bravery to jump out of an airplane like that.

More

Friday Feast archives

1Metadata, defined by Eric Miller via W3C.

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I Wrote a Book

Deliver First Class Web Sites: 101 Essential Checklists  Via amazon.com: Deliver First Class Web Sites: 101 Essential Checklists, by Shirley Kaiser. SitePoint Books (July 2006). 

Available now via: SitePoint Books, Amazon.com, Amazon.ca (Canada), Amazon.co.uk (UK), Amazon.fr (France), Amazon.de (Germany), Amazon.co.jp (Japan), Tower Books U.S. and elsewhere! You'll also help support this site and its owner if you purchase via any of these links.

Learn more at SKDesigns - Deliver First Class Web Sites and via SitePoint Books.

Recommended Books

Cover - The Zen of CSS Design, by Dave Shea, Molly E. Holzschlag. Published by Peachpit Press, December 2004.

Cover: Information Architecture, 2nd Edition - by Louis Rosenfeld, Peter Morville. OReilly Media, Inc.; 2nd edition (August 15, 2002).

Hand-picked best book recommendations for Web site design, CSS, graphics, Photoshop, color, accessibility, more

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