Tag Archive for: Chris Spooner

The debate between skeuomorphism and flat design has been covered thoroughly, but when I talked about it I found it hard to think of many examples of flat design. Possibly because I largely use Apple products or because flat design is a new-ish trend, I find myself interacting with skeuomorphic design interfaces much more often than flat design schemes.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of sites out there using the ideas behind flat design to create striking pages. For those unfamiliar, flat design is a style that drops all forms of imitation of depth or “realism” in favor of designing based on the flat screens we actually use. A great deal of new sites are using the style to create clean, minimal pages that emphasize simplicity and interaction, and Chris Spooner compiled a list of sites that have sprung up using flat design, complete with images for each website.

The actual debate between the two design methods is of course overblown. Some writers act as if the schism will decide the future look of the internet in the same way VHS and Laserdisk competed for how we watched movies at home. Unlike that type of competitive market, neither is “better” for the internet, though one may be more suited for your current project. These pages definitely make it clear that flat design can inspire creative and user-friendly interfaces just like skeuomorphism can.

Source: Flickr

Web typography is blossoming right now thanks to new font solutions like @font-face and Google Fonts, but we still often feel limited by how much control we have over the typography in designs and publishing apps. There are some jQuery plugins out there however that are beginning to catch up to the other new font solutions gaining popularity.

Chris Spooner compiled some of the best jQuery plugins for web typography that help offer the precise control designers desire, and any designer concerned about their text can benefit from them.

The Lettering.js plugin is a super simple plugin, and that simplicity has also assisted it in gaining huge popularity. The plugin splits up text and wraps each letter in a custom <span> element giving you exact control over kerning, or even customizing CSS styles for individual letters.

Other plugins like FitText.js help solve issues that responsive design has created for typography. Responsive design changes the containers for text, which makes the text reformat to match the size, but that often makes headings and titles looking worse for wear. The FitText.js plugin allows you to scale your headings and titles just like responsive images, keeping everything on the same line.

My favorite plug Spooner has found is great for its name as well as its function. Bacon is a plug in the allows you to shape your text around a bezier curve directly within the design. InDesign has allowed designers to easily shape text around images, but HTML and CSS has traditionally made text flow in square blocks. Now, rather than using tedious and dirty HTML markups, Bacon makes it easy to easily, and cleanly, design your text around shapes with just a series of coordinates.

If you are a stickler about typography like I am, all of the plugins offered in Spooner’s article will seem like life-savers, as well as huge time-savers. Designers have struggled to take control over fonts and text since the invention of the internet, but only recently has web typography become fun rather than tiresome.

Creating a responsive website design from the ground up can be exhausting and costly. Thankfully, for those of us without the time or money to completely build a brand new site, there are lots of frameworks or boilerplates you can use.

Chris Spooner from Line25 compiled a bunch of these free frameworks, from the most popular, Bootstrap which was made by the guys at Twitter, to some more obscure but helpful frameworks. They also all have the complicated grids and layouts prepared so you can almost completely customize them.

Responsive design has never been so easy.

Retina capable displays don’t seem to be going anywhere, and every new analysis of mobile browsing shows that Apple dominates the mobile browsing market. Add to that the number of people using new MacBook Pros, and you have a fairly large audience using very powerful screens.

For the designer, this poses an issue. How are you supposed to go about creating graphics at high enough resolutions for these screens? Even worse, how are you supposed to make your old website look good on these new screens?

Well Chris Spooner has made a tutorial available at Line25 to help you through this, and he makes it much easier than you probably thought. From creating new graphics to optimizing those old images, the tutorial covers just about everything you need to know, including the code.