Bulletproof Email: HTML5 and CSS3

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“You can’t use HTML5 or CSS3 in email.”

Due to their “limited” support, this is a commonly-held notion throughout the email design industry. However, we’re calling it a complete myth.

While support certainly isn’t universal, many of the leading email clients support HTML5 and CSS3. In fact, about 50% of the total market and 3 out of the top 5 email clients support them. Support may be even bigger for your particular audience.

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Design Tools at Instagram

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Let’s face it, as designers, we waste a LOT of time on menial tasks. For us at Instagram, filling out a PSD or Sketch file requires a lot of manual labor. You know the process: make a rectangle in Photoshop, go to the web (in our case, instagram.com), find an image you want to use, drag it into Photoshop, resize and move it into place. Making a grid? Repeat that 15 times and try not to cry.

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Everybody scrolls: Article from HUGE

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Evolve your design too quickly and you’ll leave your users behind. Design too slowly and your users will do the same to you. It’s crucial to keep design practices aligned with the way users really interact with digital products and interfaces. To help, Huge’s UX and research teams are collaborating to test conventional and emerging design and usability standards.

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Latest Spec Project: Recoup

This is the result of a rainy Saturday afternoon. I wanted to do a packaging project and this popped into my head as I was just returning from the store picking up some lunch fixings. Once I got to the point where I was somewhat happy with the type and form for the packaging, I thought I’d do a couple ads as well.

The Recoup Packaging
The Recoup Packaging

 

Recoup Ad3
Recoup Ad3

 

Recoup Ad: Susan Kommen
Recoup Ad: Susan Kommen

 

Recoup Ad2: Susan Kommen
Recoup Ad2: Susan Kommen

Typography in 10 minutes

This is a bold claim, but I stand behind it:
If you learn and follow these five ty­pog­ra­phy rules, you will be a bet­ter ty­pog­ra­pher than 95% of pro­fes­sional writ­ers and 70% of pro­fes­sional de­sign­ers.

Ready? Go.

  1. The ty­po­graphic qual­ity of your doc­u­ment is de­ter­mined largely by how the body text looks. Why? Be­cause there’s more body text than any­thing else. So start every project by mak­ing the body text look good, then worry about the rest.In turn, the ap­pear­ance of the body text is de­ter­mined pri­mar­ily by these four ty­po­graphic choices:
  2. Point size is the size of the let­ters. In print, the most com­fort­able range for body text is 10–12 point. On the web, the range is 15–25 pix­els. Not every font ap­pears equally large at a given point size, so be pre­pared to ad­just as necessary.
  3. Line spac­ing is the ver­ti­cal dis­tance be­tween lines. It should be 120–145% of the point size. In word proces­sors, use the “Ex­act” line-spac­ing op­tion to achieve this. The de­fault sin­gle-line op­tion is too tight; the 1½-line option is too loose. In CSS, use line-height.
  4. Line length is the hor­i­zon­tal width of the text block. Line length should be an av­er­age of 45–90 char­ac­ters per line (use your word-count func­tion) or 2–3 low­er­case al­pha­bets, like so:abcde­fghijklmnopqrstu­vwxyz­abcde­fghijklmnopqrstu­vwxyz­abcdIn a printed doc­u­ment, this usu­ally means page mar­gins larger than the tra­di­tional one inch. On a web page, it usu­ally means not al­low­ing the text to flow to the edges of the browserwindow.
  5. And fi­nally, font choice. The fastest, eas­i­est, and most vis­i­ble im­prove­ment you can make to your ty­pog­ra­phy is to ig­nore the fonts that came free with your com­puter (known as sys­tem fonts) and buy a pro­fes­sional font (like my fonts eq­uity and con­course, or oth­ers found in font rec­om­men­da­tions). A pro­fes­sional font gives you the ben­e­fit of a pro­fes­sional de­signer’s skills with­out hav­ing to hire one.If that’s im­pos­si­ble, you can still make good ty­pog­ra­phy with sys­tem fonts. But choose wisely. And never choose times new ro­man or Ar­ial, as those fonts are fa­vored only by the ap­a­thetic and sloppy. Not by ty­pog­ra­phers. Not by you.That’s it. As you put these five rules to work, you’ll no­tice your doc­u­ments start­ing to look more like pro­fes­sion­ally pub­lished material.

The Urban Dictionary of Design Slang

Joining the ranks of any profession is the same as committing yourself to learning an entirely new language, most of which is frankly gibberish. (TPS reports, anyone?) Design is no exception. So we asked some of our friends at design firms—including Pentagram, Ammunition, Huge, Ziba, Pensole, Google Ventures, Sagmeister & Walsh, and more—to define their favorite examples of design slang and jargon. The answers we received range from serious to tongue-in-cheek, but if you’ve ever been puzzled by a designer telling you he needed to “ideate a more approachable FTUX” or “add more value to that horsey megamenu,” this resource should help you translate.   Continue reading “The Urban Dictionary of Design Slang”