Notes from the Studio

Photography Portfolio Launched

PhotographyPortfolio

When I worked in a Newspaper I had the pleasure of working alongside one of the best landscape photographers I’ve ever seen. He’s pretty shy and doesn’t exhibit his work, so I won’t reveal his name. He had been working with images, film and cameras for over 40 years and had forgotten more than most people know about photography! During my time working there, his passion rubbed off on me and I quickly became interested in photography.

With his advice I bought a pre-loved Canon 350D and started snapping. We’d go out shooting around the coast and I would bug him about writing all his tips down for me to memorise!

This was just the beginning of my journey…

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Responsive Design Workflow Tips

Responsive design is rapidly becoming the new standard in our industry, along with its evolving carousel of best practices, platforms and tools. The movement has caused a shift in thinking, especially as we adapt our workflows for a more efficient project process.

Dissecting the responsive design workflow, though, can be difficult — it’s highly individual and iterative. However, you can apply general tips and techniques to almost every responsive project.

From content structure to scalable images, we’ll cover seven techniques to consider in your next responsive design.

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Tools for the Lean Web Developer

Tools For Developers

There is no correct set of tools every developer should be using. The right tool is the one best suited to you.

We’ve compiled a list of 10 exceptional free or open source apps for developers to help keep costs minimal, improve productivity and simplify workflow. You will find some old favorites listed; however, you might discover some new tools for your arsenal.

1. Evernote

Working on the web means being organized and productive. Evernote’s tagline, “Remember Everything,” means it should become your most relied upon tool. With its cross-platform support (desktop, web and mobile), you can capture, upload and sync from anywhere to keep your “online brain” efficiently catalogued.

Just a few examples of uses include task lists, scheduling, bookmarks, brainstorming, inspiration, writing and much more. As a developer, you could even use Evernote to archive snippets of code for future reference, using the web clipper. With the intuitive tag system, it’s simple to search and find any stored data.

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On Writing for Mashable

Creativity is in my blood, it drives me, whether it’s designing or taking pictures, I have to be creative. A few years ago I was asked by (the awesome) Matt Silverman, to contribute to a selection of design focused articles for Mashable, I was thrilled. This snowballed into being asked to contribute my own articles, I did, I loved it, and this continued for around a year.

However with several large client projects in the works for Postscript5, I no longer had the time to dedicate to writing, and so my contributions dwindled.

Revitalised

However, at the start of the year, I decided to free up some time to write again. I’m fortunate that I can pick and choose what projects I work on as a Freelancer, so I scheduled my design work to enable me to dedicate a chunk of time each week to research and write.

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The ‘Hidden Lemons’

LizLemonEE

This guest post is by Michael Beckwith, who helped develop & launch the newly redesigned Postscript5 in August 2011.

When I was asked and tapped to help implement the final touches and functionality details for Postscript5, I knew that I’d have a good time working with Grace. However, before I touched a single line of code, I didn’t realize that I would also end up helping her have such a good time as well.

When a site hides Lemons, you can’t make Lemon-ade

Not only did I bring about the idea for the Socialise page that proved to be highly popular, but I also brought about the idea of some hidden easter eggs. Most are only small touches and barely visible outside of those who utilize the view-source capabilities of browsers.

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Featured Contributor on .netmag

Redesign your portfolio site in 10 easy steps

After recently relaunching my portfolio, Oliver Lindberg, Editor of .netmagazine asked me to write about my experience. As a regular subscriber, I was hugely excited to be asked to contribute to such a respected publication.

Introduction

Our portfolio can break or break us, which is often why creating a unique, well crafted site that showcases our work is one of the toughest tasks we undertake as designers.

Before you even create that first pixel though, it’s important to determine if a redesign is even needed. ‘Incessant redesigning’ has been the trend for some years; you get bored of your site, you redesign and three months later the process begins again. These redesigns are often only concerned with the superficial and do little to address the overall user experience and most importantly, how well your portfolio converts visitors to clients.

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Sketching For Designers

Sketching for Designers

Derwent Pencils recently asked me to contribute an article on how I use sketching to develop ideas for my design work.

Sketching isn’t optional for me as a designer, it’s essential. I can’t go straight to digital at the start of a project, I always start off with some browser templates or Moleskine (and a few Derwent pencils!)

Sketching kick-starts my creativity and allows me to get ideas out on paper and is the fastest way to brainstorm and convey as many ideas as possible with the least amount of effort.

Process

Staring at a blank Photoshop canvas is not a great way to start a project. Although it may sound exciting to just jump straight in, it can also be quite overwhelming. Sketching gets you over this hurdle and allows you to quickly explore concepts and ideas. I see it as the frame upon which I craft my projects.

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The Evolution Of Postscript5

Postscript5Old

After over three years with the same design, I’ve relaunched my portfolio here at postscript5.co.uk. As many Freelance Designers will tell you, your personal site tends to take a backseat to client projects. Between client work, writing, blogging, side projects and personal time, it’s been a challenge.

I’ve redesigned and even coded several others designs, however I’ve never been completely satisfied with the end result. I decided to set myself a deadline of one month to launch the new design and treat it like a client project to ensure this was met.

This a small overview of how the project came together.

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8 Services That Power My Business

WufooFeature

Running a Freelance Business for the past 5 years has taught me the importance of being efficient and productive and if a service or application aids me in achieving that, then I’m interested. Over the years I’ve tested numerous services and web applications to refine how I work, both in my business and with my clients.

I’m now sharing with you a selection of the online services that I’ve come to rely on:

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Customise your Google Plus URL

Google Plus

Since launching a few weeks ago, Google Plus has grown to over 18 Million users and has quickly become one of the fastest-growing social networks in history.

In terms of branding however, it lacks the provision of a vanity URL, and the fact the current profile URL is pretty long, for example this is my profile link: https://plus.google.com/u/0/117113113218324562969/. While you can shorten the URL by using external services such as http://gplus.to/, there is a better way to personalise and brand your Google Plus Profile URL.

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