HB Blogside

Web Calipers – Part 2 – How To


This is the second post in a three part series. Part 1 went over the history of the purpose of Calipers. Part 3 goes over the techniques and technologies that went into creating Web Calipers.

Use But Don’t Install

With most things you use on your computer, you have to install it to use it. But not the Web Calipers. You don’t install them, you simply bookmark them. Here’s how in two quick steps.

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Web Calipers – Part 1 – What Are They?


This is part one of a three part series on Web Calipers by HB Design. This article concerns the history of Web Calipers, their evolution and what they can do. Part 2 is on How to use them and Part 3 is on the technology that went into creating them. 

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Modern Illumination: The Saint John’s Bible


While recently visiting family in the frigid Midwest I had the opportunity to see the Illuminated Saint John’s Bible exhibit at the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, WI. It was commissioned in 1998 by the Saint John’s Abbey and University and took until 2011 to complete. Calligrapher Donald Jackson directed a team of six scribes and seven illuminators to create beautiful images and script across a total of 1,150 pages.

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Designing and Launching the New HBDesign.com From a Design Standpoint


This is the second post about the launch of our new website. This one comes from my perspective, the right-brained designer experience. Like Bob mentioned in his post, I also found the task daunting (but exhilarating at the same time). 

It’s always a challenge to create internal (unbillable) work, and this project proved to be no different. It was a huge undertaking in terms of developing a concept that effectively speaks to who we are, designing an innovative site within the constraints of our technical specs and honestly, just getting it done. Other considerations were our updating, refreshing and promotional strategies. Continue reading

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WordPress as a CMS


By now, almost everyone who wants or has a web site has heard about WordPress. Originally a blogging platform, it has evolved into one of the most popular content management systems (CMS). It is relatively easy to install, easy to update, easy to modify via plugins, and has a large user community for support. There are thousands of custom themes available to get you started with a good-looking web site. Continue reading

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Where Do Great Ideas Come From?


As graphic designers, we are in the idea business. We are constantly asked to generate new ideas. Or alter existing ideas. Anyone can come up with a good idea, but where do truly great ideas come from?

This is my recipe for great ideas. Continue reading

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Building and Launching the New HBDesign.com from a Technical Perspective


Redesigning and launching a new web site is a daunting task with many things to take into consideration. One of the key considerations for us was to bring our web site up-to-date from both a design and a technology perspective. From a technology perspective that meant to bring it into HTML5/CSS3 coding standards, to make it responsive, and to use a content management system (CMS). Continue reading

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Graphic Design Down Under


I recently returned from a holiday in New Zealand. The country is visually stunning! I was overwhelmed by the natural beauty countrywide, and I was also taken by the amount of bold, illustrative graphic design that lives almost everywhere. It was so prolific, it often set the stage, set a mood. If the graphic design in New Zealand could be labeled with an emotion, I would give it “zealous” and “happy” (which I’d also give to the people). That was paired with a sense of fun. Bright colors, positive feelings, very organized and again, almost always supplemented with illustration. Continue reading

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Web Page Load Times and Image Optimization


One of the most important aspects of an effective web site is site performance—specifically how fast a page loads. Slow-loading pages lead to high bounce rates. (Bounce rates are people leaving your site.) While there are a lot of factors affecting page loading time, one of the most common is the size of images. Continue reading

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Technical Interpretations of Graphic Designs

Leslie, our Creative Director, recently sent me some examples of graphic design she had created.  She took some design-oriented quotations and rendered them graphically. She placed a constraint upon herself: each design was limited to a single font. She did three different designs of two different quotations, for six total. The two quotations were

“A designer know he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupery  (done in Garamond)


“There are three responses to a piece of design:  yes, no and wow.  Wow is the one to aim for.”  —Milton Glaser  (done in Helvetica)

She created these in Adobe Illustrator.  You can see her work below.

I was both impressed with the design and intrigued with the question of whether or not I could create similar works using HTML—more specifically HTML5 and CSS3. I kept the same constraints she had, using the same fonts .  She used Helvetica for the “wow” poster and Garmond for the “perfection” poster.   I would only use HTML text and CSS styling. I would not use any graphics (images or canvas elements). Since HB Design’s company tag line is “uniting design + technology,” this seemed like an appropriate exercise. Continue reading

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