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12-05-2012, 10:46 AM
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thatjamie is offline thatjamie
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Not really the right place for this discussion...

Thought you'd know better KewL

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12-05-2012, 03:20 PM
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derek lapp is offline derek lapp
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Originally Posted by KewL View Post
Ok, I've been thinking about it, I think you are seeing the correct design. I just realized the header on this one has a graffitish font as well. I thought you were seeing the old design which has a completely graffitied out logo.

I'm not planning on relaunching my underground hiphop blog, or starting a world culture blog, I only develop designs on the domain.

Yeah, it's simple and glossy, which is the style I like. I was trying to design something similar to the designs you see on the online magazine blogs popular today I was inspired by the design below, which I quite like:

http://d3pr5r64n04s3o.cloudfront.net...zine_large.jpg

It did come out a little to basic, and follows the "wordpress theme" format to close. How can I improve this design without throwing it out and designing something completely different?
depends on your objective. if it's not actually about hip hop, you need to define what it is about. not everything needs a detailed and brief, but everything has some sort of underlying objective - the why behind anything we do.

design is very cultural, which is why it is very, very hard to outsource it like people try to do with code hitting up overseas dev shops. they don't have the cultural exposure. like i said before, i grew up with the 90's north american hip hop, so i know i can bang out something that his that feeling home, because i was exposed to the culture... ask me to design something for pop culture in japan or korea? gangman style seems absurd, but it's the norm over there so i'd be totally lost.

if your objective is to try a stab at editorial design, then you need to analyze the culture of today's editorials. In short, you're going to place a lot of focus on the fundamentals and UX, the "invisible" parts of design - the theory behind typography, composition, colour, etc, not the effects. the design will have to be very calculated - why is the body copy that size? why is the headline that size - the relation between heading and supporting copy; why is the text colour a light grey instead of dark - is straight black on straight white too sharp? (many believe it is); why that typeface? print used to be the old school medium, full of english old style and thick serifs; now USA today is using something like gotham.

what's lacking from your now, from a strict design theory standpoint is a clear hierarchy of information.

concerning content, what's important and what isn't? you have a slider, but what is its purpose? editorial sites use slides for big hero graphics - the internet has made everyone's already short attention spans even shorter, their purpose is to behave like the front of a newspaper, or a mag cover, and give you 2-3 stories in 10-15 seconds. you just have some photos. then there's the placement, it's inline with the "all the other stories" column, so it really doesn't feel any different than just another story. look at the sample you linked to, the carousel is big, it's full width, it's above everything else, it calls for attention.

concerning aesthetics, yours feels huge and sorry to say, a little lazy.
- the typography is all over the place, again no hierarchy. your story titles are more important than your widget titles, but you only have a 3pt difference in size - i thought they were the same. check out your sample again, there's an obvious different between story titles and the widgets: weight, size, casing. your switching between serif and sans-serif feels arbitrary as well - so does your example. why are all the links serifs? and why is the menu a condensed, bold all caps? ignoring the logo, the stitched border and type styles don't go with anything else in this design. also, it's not really a strict rule, but i dare someone to argue me on this... rounded corners need to be subtle, or they feel cheap. it's obviously a relationship between content and radius, but for normal body copy - 12-18pt text 3-5px is your golden ratio; bigger than that and it starts to look exaggerated which feels cheap (it starts to look like kids giant bubbly oversized design). drop your border radius to 5px and see what happens, it just looks and feels that much more mature.

i could go on, but that's enough for now.

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