Dennis Bland

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JQuery Carousels That Give Pause

Isn’t it an annoyance viewing a rotating carousel of a homepage that won’t stop rotating? You’re in the middle of reading some ad or introduction to a feature article, about to click the Read More button and it changes. Then you have to navigate back if there is navigation or wait until it cycles around […]

The Typographic Guitar: How’d I Do That?

Making Typographic Images: In this tutorial from PSDTOP Blog, you can make a typographic image from a photo using Photoshop techniques. The effect looks best on images with good contrast and light backgrounds, but you can easily adjust the contrast and background using Photoshop. I used these techniques to modify an image of my guitar […]

Present It Like You Mean It

Being able to present your own work is a core design skill. If you’re working somewhere that won’t let you present your own work, get out of there. Though I believe in designers presenting their own work, let’s face it, some of us are better at presentation than others. I’ve been presenting design to clients […]

Flex Your Risk Muscle

Do you hit the bull’s-eye every time? If so, you are standing too close to the target. As Woody Allen puts it: If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything innovative. Everyone has a “risk muscle.” You keep it in shape by trying new things. If you don’t, […]

Give Yourself a Whack on the Side of the Head

A followup to my graphic standards and style guide post: The more often you do something in the same way, the more difficult it is to think about doing it in any other way. Break out of this “prison of familiarity” by disrupting your habitual thought patterns. Eat ice cream for breakfast. Wear red sox. […]

Photoshop: Make a photo a sketch in 3 easy steps.

In working with architects and the St. Louis Landmarks Association, I have often ran across a need to render a building or represent a landmark as an architect’s conceptual sketch. Trying out some technics in Photoshop one day, I discovered a wonderful filter called “Find Edges.” With this filter, you can make almost any photo […]

Pimp Your Logo with JQuery

The challenge: Design a logo for a special company event with several color schemes. On websites, the logo needs to subtly change colors as someone visits the site. This would be an easy solution using Flash but because many users have iPads or iPhones that do not support it, those users would not see the […]

Ease up. Don’t Force It.

An architect built a cluster of office buildings around a central green. When construction was completed, the landscape crew asked him where he wanted the sidewalks. “Just plant the grass solidly between the buildings,” was his reply. By late summer the new lawn was laced with paths of trodden grass between the buildings. These paths […]

Beyond the Bar Chart

I liked Karen’s inspiring post about infographics and would like to follow that up with some added thoughts. Anyone can find research online and flow it into a bar or pie chart. It takes thoughtful craftsmanship to review data and compile a design with a distinct look and point of view. I have four criteria […]

Think Like a Kid

A high school teacher drew a dot on the blackboard and asked the class what it was. “A dot on the blackboard,” was the only response. “I’m surprised at you,” the teacher said. “I did this exercise with a group of kindergartners and they thought of fifty different things it could be: a squashed bug, […]

Graphic Standards and Style Guides: Friend or Foe?

Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. —Oscar Wilde Have you ever worked for a client that sees graphic standards and style guidelines as laws that must be strictly adhered to? Or adhered to them so literally that you question the value you bring to a project? For example, I was once told, “Our […]

Is your website a Mustang or a Pinto?

Form over function or function over form? Each of us has our own biases … but consider this: Matt Cutts, a lead Google engineer, says every entrepreneur should think as hard about the look of their website as much as the services they provide.* Although a site may be professional and function in the most efficient […]