What’s App-ening in Northwest …
Doc4  |  Feb 28, 2014

Facebook's recent acquisition of WhatsApp for a stunning $19 billion has mobile app developers the world over wondering: Who is going to develop the next billion dollar mobile app idea? Northwest Arkansas may not be Silicon Valley but it very well could be home to the next big mobile app. That's because the region is quickly becoming a boom town for mobile app development. Doc4 Design, along...

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The Future of Video and SEO
Doc4  |  Jan 31, 2014

Most organizations simply don't see the point in creating a video, unless of course they are advertising on TV. If this describes your organization, you need to read this short guest post from our friends at DW2 Video Productions, in Springdale, AR. DW2 explains how adding a professional (yet inexpensive) video to your website can help your site move from the far corners of the Google universe to...

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The Good Thing About Bad Taste

Our world is drowning in bad design. Have you ever been forced to sit through a Power Point presentation that looked so bad it made you want to dig your eyes out with a plastic spork? Have you driven through the urban sprawl of America's aging cities and wondered...

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Six SEO Tricks You Can Execute …

If your website was on the first page of Google results for the right search terms, how much more business would you bring in going into 2014? The answer is probably more than you think - and may be more than you can imagine. Northwest Arkansas seems to have...

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Apple iOS7 TextKit

Unless you've been vacationing in a cave (or living a strange, hermitic Android-only lifestyle), you're aware by now that iOS 7 has landed on nearly all of Apple's iDevices. The new bright, flat, animated, and layered UI design has garnered the most attention so...

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Ten Clever Yet Minimal Banner Ad …

Banner ads are everywhere. However, we're so used to being bombarded with advertising in the modern world that the vast majority of banner advertisements are unlikely to make much of an impression on us, even if they are one of the biggest and boldest ways to...

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Thinking Small: Design for Mobile

How freaked out do you get when you reach for your cell phone only to realize that you do not have it and you have no way of getting to it? Doesn’t it sort of feel like when you lean back in a chair just a touch too far and there is that moment before you fall...

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Usability Trough

When I'm talking to people here in Northwest Arkansas about new technologies, a statement I frequently hear is, "Oh, I'd never be able to use that! It would be way too complicated for me!" While it's easy to write that off as technophobia or irrational...

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Graphic Design Nostalgia

The concept design for Bungie's new non-Halo game, Destiny, makes me nostalgic for the classic science fiction graphic design from the 70s and 80s. The gritty look, the lush oil colors, the fantastic vistas, the intrepid ships -- all of it combines to trigger a...

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Reaching A Collaborative …

"We are all failures- at least the best of us are." - J.M. Barrie Honesty is always, always a good thing. No reason to get bent out of shape if someone is just telling you the truth, right? Most artists, designers, writers, or creative professionals, who have...

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Should You Still Be Writing …

Few people would dispute that JavaScript has become the lingua franca of the web and is one of the most important programming languages in the world today. There's no question that if you want your web site to have dynamic, interactive features, you should be...

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The Walking Dead: Dead by Design

Nobody wanted to touch it. Zombie movies, sure. They had their own kitschy, niche appeal. But a television show, intended for a mass audience, hoping to hook, well, whom exactly? Yes, zombies are popular enough with the goth-emo hybrids haunting Hot Topic and...

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Maybe You Really Do Need An App …

Nearly two years ago, as the market for mobile apps was just hitting its stride, I came to the hallowed pages of Doc4 to encourage prospective app builders to pause to consider whether their goals might be better served by a mobile web site than a native app....

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The Allure of Being Green

"Green is the most abundant hue in nature — the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum," Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, proudly asserts with the announcement that Emerald is the Pantone color or the...

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If YouTube is from Mars, Is …

As of January 2012 it's the third largest social network in the United States, comScore reported it to be the fastest site ever to break through the 10 million unique visitor mark, it was named the best new start up of 2011 by TechCrunch, and it also won best...

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Instruction Manuals – Viva …

The video game industry wasn't just resurrected in 1985 it was completely reinvented. Cutting edge technology and a fresh approach to game design came together to create a gaming experience far removed from what was common in the early 1980s. The single screen...

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Getting to the Point

After the finger, the first writing utensil mankind adopted was the humble stylus. Little more than a sharp stick, styli were first used in ancient Mesopotamia to scratch text and symbols into wet clay. With the adoption of paper and ink the stylus was quickly...

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Instruction Manuals, the Greatest …

We've all been there before. In fact, if you're a dedicated fan of video games, you've probably done it hundreds of times. You take home the latest release after weeks of rabid anticipation, tear open the shrinkwrap with the reckless enthusiasm of a hungry lion on...

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Avatar Dimensions: A Social …

Not long ago we were in the process of overhauling a social networking brand when we realized that we didn't have a reliable list of current avatar profile pixels dimensions. We were jumping from site to site uploading the same image repeatedly with little regard...

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Numbers in Modern Branding

While numbers can sometimes be a bit challenging to incorporate into a professional identity I hope the following works show that the payoff can be well worth all the hard work we put into our designs. I have to admit that the thought of typing words on an...

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Cloudy with a Chance of Data

Over the past several years, much has been said and written about "The Cloud" and its impact on technology. Since I work in technology, and follow all the latest news, it was easy for me to assume that everyone had a reasonably firm grasp of what The Cloud is. At...

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The Artistry of Internet …

With CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) starting to make headlines in recent days I thought it only appropriate to take a look back at how well SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) were received by the online...

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The First Rule of Data Backups & …

Welcome back to Doc4 Design's backups for beginners, wherein we continue to break the First Rule of Backups by talking about backups! In part one, we discussed the need for, and benefits of, backing up your computers, along with the main types of backups and...

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The First Rule of Data Backups…

Backups are something that we all know are important, but sadly, we seldom spend much time on them, especially at home. For most of us data on our home systems isn't expensive or critical, but that doesn't mean it isn't important to us and worthy of protection....

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Animals in Modern Branding

Incorporating animals into identities is not a groundbreaking topic by any means but making the design work on a professional level isn't always an easy task. Making use of an artist's illustration skills with a well tuned imagination can push a design past the...

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Christmas Marketing at its Best

It's Christmas time, so I thought I would have a little fun with my article this month, not that I don't usually have fun. Since we are all designers, what better topic to discuss than holiday packaging, after all Christmas time is mass consumerism at its finest....

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20 Websites Featuring Prominent …

After reading hundreds of articles and design newsletters over the years showcasing websites as a source of inspirational material we felt it was our turn to give back to the community. After all Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Below we have gathered...

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How to Make Google Fall in Love …

When you own a small business, competing with the top dogs in the market can be a financial and time-consuming challenge. How do you get the word out about your business without spending a fortune? Being in the graphic design world, we all know the easy answer to...

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A Cure for Insomnia: The …

If you are reading this article then you are probably a graphic designer or work in marketing in some form or fashion. That being said, you probably own your own company, freelance, or work for a small agency. So, how does the new healthcare reform bill affect you...

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Quick MobileMe, iCal Maintenance …

When people find out I use MobileMe, their first question is always "How do you like it?" Well, actually, their first question is usually "You actually use MobileMe? Why?!" but it's always followed by asking how I like it. The answer is that I actually like it...

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Why clients should be charged for …

It seems that there are certain professions where billing clients for phone calls is acceptable and even expected. I have, on several occasions, received invoices from my lawyer and my accountant for advice given over the phone. Well, I graduated from college just...

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A Varied Spectrum: Color Trends …

In this over-stimulated world, is there any better mirror into the zeitgeist of the moment than the colors we see buzzing around us? Humans can perceive over 2.8 million hues, and though we are often unconscious of its influence, nothing creates a temperature and...

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How to Handle a Nonpaying Client

Have you ever found yourself wondering if you're a graphic designer or a debt collector? It seems the current recession is not only responsible for a lack of jobs but also for a lack of payments. The nonpaying client has become a serious epidemic in the small...

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Do You Really Need an App for …

Every mobile app developer can relate to the experience of impromptu idea pitches. It seems like everybody you meet has an app idea, and they seem to consistently fall into one of several categories: About one fourth are simply bad ideas. Developers always try...

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Making Every Penny Count: Little …

For most people this time of year means large tax refund checks followed by a trip to the electronic store to purchase a new TV or maybe a trip to the car lot to put a down payment on a new vehicle. I miss the days of waiting around for a tax refund and debating...

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Controversial Album Cover Design

Love 'em or hate 'em, controversial album covers tend to be effective. The designer might get raked over the coals upon release, but time has proven that controversial records sell. And keep selling. And the reason the most memorable record covers ever made are so...

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Don’t be a Hero: Setting …

A new year has begun, and with it are the hopes of losing weight, finding love, quitting smoking, leaving a dead end job and taking up new hobbies. Hey, as long as we are being unrealistic, let's go ahead and resolve to quit drinking, never swear, become...

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First Things First Manifesto 2010 …

Then Achor Achor told him the story of the tampon box. There was a different pair of Lost Boys , who had recently been taken shopping for the first time, at an enormous grocery store. Along the way, they had picked out a very special box and put it in their cart....

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To Give or Not to Give …

Well, it's that time of year. The stores have packed up the Halloween candy and brought out the Christmas decorations to remind us all that holiday giving time is just around the corner. It's not enough that we have to search for thoughtful gifts for our loved...

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Live to Design Another Day: Know …

We've all had them; they think they know what they want, they seem to be in control of their business, and then you find out they are completely inept. They order changes for the sake of change, they think their diploma says graphic designer instead of business...

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The Return of Vinyl: The …

From the first recorded musical track, music fans have been looking for better ways to record and play back music. The introduction of the wax record and the record player made recorded music accessible to the population for the first time. It wasn't until the...

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The Dreaded Box

I've been thinking a lot lately about stability versus spontaneity, freedom versus structure. Sometimes I find myself saying things like, "You can't grow unless you try new things, even if it's just trying a different shampoo every time you run out," and "If I die...

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Do this, Not that – Overcoming …

As I sit here at my desk with yet another article deadline staring me in the face, I can't help but wonder if I'm the only one who is plagued by the appealing face of procrastination. Procrastination lures me away from my daily tasks and whisks me off to friend's...

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The Only Advertising Advice You …

In the advertising business we all aspire to do something big, something memorable, something great that has never been done before; unfortunately not very many of us get the opportunity to present our big ideas to a multi-million dollar corporation. Many of us...

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WordPress Tutorial: 5 Ways to …

I am under the personal belief that post titles should be short, sweet and precise enough to get the point across without sounding like an awkward newspaper headline. Sadly not all titles follow the same belief and as a result, the layout of the website suffers....

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A Design Trend That Might Cost …

If you're involved in the world of design, whether it is by trade or business necessity, then you are probably familiar with the term "spec design", also known as "crowdsourcing". The basic principal behind crowdsourcing is working for little or no compensation....

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Tutorial: Magic Fields Duplicates

Magic Fields provides a greater amount of control and ease-of-use over Flutter when it comes to duplicate fields. Unfortunately the instructions needed to use duplication are still difficult to locate, mainly because the manual hasn't been fully translated from...

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The Geometric Unity of Sound and …

In Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (1632), Galileo Galilei observed: "As I was scraping a brass plate with a sharp iron chisel... heard the plate emit a rather strong and clear whistling sound: on looking at the plate more carefully, I noticed a...

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jQuery: Animate to an Unknown, …

Imagine an animated sliding box displaying a daily news feed. When the page loads, the box displays an excerpt of news then expands to display the full content. Now make sure the article is selected at random so we never know it's full length. Sounds like fun...

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jQuery: The Basics

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably been exposed to jQuery. If you've been on Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter you've seen it. Those cool popup windows, boxes that fade out, and other effects can be created using this powerful technology. jQuery...

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Color Trends Lead the Way to a …

Why is it that, in those last dreary days of winter, people are almost choking with the longing for spring? Sure sunshine and warmth play a part, and the desire to shed all those cumbersome layers of clothing that seemed so cozy last September, but I think a huge...

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Commercial or Couture: The …

It's Season 7 of Project Runway and Tim Gunn's hands are warmly clasped in anticipation as he looks with a paternal eye on the hopeful designers gathered on the rooftop of The Atlas. The show is back at home in the beloved Big Apple. Clearly anticipating good...

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Typography: The Clothes Your …

If you had to wear only one set of clothing to work everyday for the rest of your life, how much time would you spend considering what you are going to wear? You might take some time to ask a few questions. Is this suit still going to hold up for another 20 years?...

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WordPress: Tips, Hacks and Extras

WordPress gives us so many options that it truly is amazing they have yet to declare themselves a content management system. Sometimes, though, we have to give the program a little nudge to squeeze out every last drop of goodness and make it do what we need. The...

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Intelligent Manipulation | Edward …

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society... In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our...

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WordPress: Quick Numbering of …

In this tutorial we will be covering a simple method of adding numbers to looped posts. An example usage of this technique is a search results page where the output may span multiple pages. Why not use an Ordered List on the Loop and let it run its course? This...

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Social Networking: Audience as …

"I had this guy leave me a voice mail at work, so I called him at home, and then he emailed me to my BlackBerry, and so I texted to his cell, and then he emailed me to my home account, and the whole thing just got out of control, and I miss the days when you had...

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WordPress: the_category Using …

In this tutorial we are going to demonstrate a method of using multiple separators within 'the_category' tag's $separator string. Specifically we will be focusing on a separator and a leading prefix for the category name that trails the first category. Sounds a...

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Interpreting Perspective

At a little league game, a boy was asked the score: “We’re behind 14 to nothing,” he answered with a smile. “Really? You don’t look very discouraged.” "Why should I? We haven’t even been up to bat yet...” Often, the truth of a situation is...

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Screenwriting: The Importance of …

The most important thing a writer can do when beginning a new story is to create an outline. I’ll admit that in the beginning of my writing career I hated outlines. I felt they limited my creative edge. However, as I continue on my path of storytelling, I find...

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The Building Blocks of a Great …

Every web developer has their own style, be it the way they code their CSS to how they write their javascript, but there are some standards. These standards allow us to quickly and easily generate code considered generally beneficial to the client when setting the...

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Best of: Illustrator and …

We gathered twenty-five of the most interesting tutorials we have come across this month related to Photoshop and/or Illustrator. We've gone through each tutorial to make sure they produce the best results. 3D Typography in Photoshop "In this tutorial we are...

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WordPress: List Categories next …

Listing category names beside their descriptions is not something WordPress offers an easy solution to within the codex, though it sounds easy enough. WordPress' wp_list_categories will add the description to the category name link as a title tag replacing the...

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Twitter: The Beauty of Avatars

Twitter is a massively popular online social networking service with, according to online news sources, approximately 4.43 million users as of January 2009. We have to admit that we have become intrigued and quite possibly a little addicted to the service. If you...

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Tutorial: Create an Easily …

In this tutorial we will explain step-by-step how to create an easily customizable, candy-like icon using Adobe Illustrator. The icon will be built using a single, solid color allowing it to be quickly adapted to your needs whether you're using it for a website...

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Social Media Marketing: Twitter …

Social media is all the rage these days and many individuals and businesses alike have jumped on board to flex their social skills. If you or your business are not currently working with social media, now is the perfect time to start, though the most common...

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Flutter: Basic Usage

We are continuing our Freshout Flutter tutorials by covering the basics of creating Write Panels, Custom Fields and methods of printing those Custom Fields. This tutorial makes the general assumption that the Flutter plugin has been downloaded and successfully...

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Twelve Programs for the Freelance …

The intent of this listing is to relay some of the better Macintosh programs we have come across that get the job done well. These programs are not necessarily cool, well-designed or number one in their category, but have a strong work ethic and are an...

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Tutorial: Making the Flutter Date …

The goal of this tutorial is to demonstrate the comparison between two WordPress Flutter Date Fields, display them and if only one date is necessary, show only the first date. This method is currently being used by Grand Idea Studio on the Events page. The issue...

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WordPress: Add Your Own Branding

WordPress is a great open source platform to build on and we have nothing but respect for their work, but wouldn't it be nice to make a few modifications to the back end such as removing the WordPress logo from the log-in screen and dashboard and replace them with...

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Six Interesting iPhone Apps you …

iPhone apps are everywhere these days and the market is currently overflowing with millions of these tiny, untouchable applications. The closest comparison I see this flood of apps is the height of the Atari 2600 era. Any game that could be developed was, the...

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WordPress: Provide a Better …

We never really brought the WordPress thumbnail feature to its full potential until recently. Initially, we assumed that WordPress provided a codex tag that would allow for the easy insertion of a thumbnail image, keeping it separate from the full-size image,...

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Tutorial: Flutter Duplicate …

Creating duplicate fields through Freshout's WordPress plugin, Flutter has been a little on the mysterious side up to this point. No documentation seems to exist for this feature with the exception of simply repeating a php get_post_meta tag for each Custom Field....

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Tutorial: Condensing the Flutter …

One of the few flaws we've found with Freshout's WordPress plugin entitled Flutter is the manner in which it displays Custom Write Panels. Flutter lists the Write Panels in the WordPress navigation under no distinct heading. WordPress breaks the navigation...

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Retro Imagic Font: DCDragonfire

DCDragonfire (named for the Atari 2600 Imagic game Dragonfire) was created for use with the Activision Anthology artwork. Each letter was reworked from 600dpi scans of the original Imagic packaging and then vectorized in Adobe Illustrator. You may notice that on...

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WordPress: If ($the_content) …

Developing custom themes for WordPress over long periods of time can easily bring to light plenty of issues that are only solvable through php coding. These are things that are not provided for within the WordPress Codex or through the incredibly simple use of...

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CSS Hacks: The Quick and Dirty …

It's not uncommon to see a few CSS hacks in a stylesheet, especially when it comes down to the Internet Explorer. These browsers can break your will in a matter of minutes, not that many of us should be designing for the likes of Internet Explorer 5 these days but...

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Tutorial: Recreate the Apple.com …

I ran across an article on the wonderful catswhocode website about recreating the Apple web site menu. From the catswhocode: "Apple.com menubar is really an example in terms of clean, semantic code and very cool design. In this tutorial, I propose to recreate...

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Artistry in Screenwriting

As a writer, I explore throughout my day noticing body language, subtle comments, and personal interactions. There is no better avenue for artistic ideas but from life itself, especially screenwriting. When writing for film, character is essential and less is...

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FDA Food Label, A Paragon of …

After watching an elephant disappear in front of a crowded theater ( so the story goes ), a young man asked Harry Houdini, "How did you do it?" For once, the magician revealed his secret: "Easy, my dear boy... Misdirection!" People rarely understand the magic of...

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Google Chrome: A Better Browser?

We recently stumbled across Google's new web browser, Chrome, one of the latest contenders in an already overflowing web browser market. Chrome allows Google to gain additional market share and further their branding, which is a great idea on their part, but with...

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Choosing “The Right” …

What is your favorite color? You have undoubtedly been asked this dozens of times. Being a designer, my answer takes a little explaining. A far more interesting question to ask is, "What is color?" In a world filled with company identities, brochures, signs,...

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Crop Circle Design – …

"The one thing which we seek with insatiable desire is to forget ourselves, to be surprised out of our propriety, to lose our sempiternal memory, and to do something without knowing how or why; In short, to draw a new circle." – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Circles...

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Web Design with Cross-Browser …

Building a website can be a daunting task. It's not uncommon to hear of a service offering to design and build a web site overnight, but usually those offering such promises have little or no experience with the design and coding of such websites. Amateur web...

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A Brief Evolution of the Business …

In honor of our all-new business card design, we thought it would only be appropriate to discuss the history and importance of these little advertising tools. For being such a small printed piece, business cards represent a large portion of who you are or the...

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Publicizing Your Company’s …

What is Search Engine Optimization? Search Engine Optimization ( SEO ) is a method of marketing that attempts to generate more traffic for a particular site by increasing the rank of the site in various search engines, like Google or Yahoo. For example, when you...

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Universal Binaries: What They Are …

Apple introduced universal binaries in 2005 to simplify the transition between the old Power PC architecture and the x86 Intel processors of today's Macintosh systems. Universal binaries are application bundles that run on either architecture without reducing...

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