Carolina

New Homepage

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May 222011
 

As we were ask to update our homepages and make sure that all we have done so far is linked there, I thought of taking this opportunity to redesigning my homepage with a look and feel that I feel more represented with.

I had a “to do” list in the back of my head for a long time and with this project I finally ticked “some” of those boxes! such as:

– The use of rounded corners with css3 (applied on the a:hover stage of links)

– The use of sprites for rollovers. (applied on thesis and Blog buttons)

– The use of position:relative to put element in different layers. (applied on thesis  button)

– Use of textures in the design.

– Use of unconventional diagonals.

– Use of Favicon.

My “to Do” list is infinite! As long as I tick boxed (one of my favorite things to do : ) ) the list seems to grow more and more. But hey…. this journey is so enjoyable. Tick! tick! tick!

Here is the link to my homepage. Hope you like it

Mar 062011
 

1. Do’s and don’ts

2. Legal Cases

3. Software solution for Copyright – Image Protection

4. Conclusion on how am I going to protect user’s of my thesis project.

5. Links to Free and Commercial Stock Photography Sites

1. Do’s and don’ts

To Do:

1. If you have used unauthorized images, take them down.
2. The safest approach is to create your own images, or get your images from reputable distributors.
3. Watermark your images. Both visible and invisible watermarking involve “stamping” your image in such a way that it can be identified as your image. Using a combination of the two is a very good way to make sure everyone realizes that you own the rights to your images.
4. Always take notes of were you get the images from.
5. Be aware on which type of license did you paid for when you buy images. The prices change rather if you get a royal free license (with unlimited used which means that you can use it in any application, for as long as you like, in as many different projects as you like. Generally cover a range of popular themes – from business to family) or a rights manages license (available with exclusive rights – so your image doesn’t end up on a competitor’s billboard.
6. Be aware if an image somehow makes it onto your website.
This might sound strange, but on many sites there are areas where people can add sigs or avatars (or something like that) and that area — like SitePoint and every other forum — does not require approval by the owner. Some forums allow attachments to posts, and those attachments are not “blocked until manually approved” either.

Not To Do:

1. No one should be using an image on their website that they are not 100% sure is legally theirs to use.
2. To use small images in low resolution for a thumbnail illegally.
You can get sued. An image is an image whether it is a thumbnail for web or large format high resolution for print, the same copyright, royalty and licensing rules apply, so you wont be able to get away with saying it’s only a small image. Also Getty don’t really differentiate their products for business/non-business/charity use, especially their fixed price images, so you probably wont be able to go this route even if it is a non-business website.
3. Do NOT use images from other sites, even if you’ve paid for a web template or a cheap website, that template or website may not have distribution rights on the images it contains.
4. Don’t assume that if you remove the copyrighted material you will be out of trouble: a lot of people copy images and text around the Internet thinking that in the worst of the cases they will receive a take down notice from the author and remove the material from the website. The removal of the copyrighted material will not remove the copyright infringement at all. Should the author decide to go after you in count you will be in trouble all the same.
5. Don’t copy material just because you can’t find a copyright holder: the fact that a copyright holder can not be identified does not imply that the material can be freely copied. Similarly if you locate the copyright holder, email him asking permission and receive no answer back you would still be infringing the law if you use the material.
6. Don’t copy material just because you are not making a commercial use: while making commercial use of copyrighted material might make it easier for the author to claim damages against you the commercial use per se is not a requirement for copyright infringement. Even if you are not making a commercial use of the material you are still infringing the law if you do not have a permission from the author.
7. Don’t assume that if you credit the author there is no copyright infringement: a lot of people wrongly think that if they credit the author of an article or image they are not violating the copyright law. You can only use copyrighted material if you have explicit permission from the author to do so (or if you make fair use of it, as explained before).

2. Legal Cases

Case 1

Google image search results do not infringe copyright, says German court

Google does not infringe copyright when it displays thumbnail previews of pictures from other people’s websites, the German Federal Supreme Court has ruled.
An artist sued Google in Germany because thumbnail images of her pictures appeared when her name was entered into Google’s search engine. The pictures were taken from her own website.
The Court said that Google’s display of the images was not copyright infringement because the artist had not used a simple technical measure to stop Google indexing her site.
The Federal Court agreed with two lower courts that Google should be allowed to use small versions of the images in its search service. Both lower courts had said that copyright was infringed, but in a way that was justifiable.
The Federal Court ruled, though, that the use of the images was not copyright infringement in the first place because the artist had effectively consented to the use of the images.
The artist had not explicitly authorised the use of her works, but she had not blocked her website from being indexed by search engines, which gave Google the implied permission it needed to use her images.
Search engines ‘crawl’ the web’s sites and make temporary copies of content to improve the performance of their search engines. Site owners can use ‘disallow’ commands in the website’s code to tell search engines not to index some or all of their pages or specific file types. Google’s crawling program, known as ‘Googlebot’, will ignore images if it a site owner has used the ‘disallow’ command for images.
Because this command had not been used on the artist’s site, the Court said that she had effectively made her works available for Google to use.
The Court said that in the case of Google’s search technology the use was sufficiently different to qualify. “A search engine provides social benefit by incorporating an original work into a new work, namely, an electronic reference tool,” said the ruling.
Read more

Case 2

Google image search infringes copyright, says judge

The publisher of adult website and magazine Perfect 10 has won a partial victory in its attempt to prohibit Google from copying and displaying Perfect 10’s copyrighted images in the results pages of its image search tool.
Judge A Howard Matz of the Central District of California ruled that “Google’s creation and public display of ‘thumbnails’ likely do directly infringe copyrights”.
Perfect 10 sued Google in November of 2004, arguing that, under the guise of being a search engine, Google is displaying, free of charge, thousands of copies of the best images from Perfect 10, Playboy, nude scenes from major movies, nude images of supermodels, as well as extremely explicit images of all kinds.
The action, which seeks an unspecified amount of damages, followed a copyright ruling in 2002 relating to a search engine that provided miniature images in search results, known as thumbnails, and linked to the original image framed within the search engine’s own site.
On that occasion the court ruled that thumbnails themselves did not infringe copyright because they amounted to “fair use” of the originals.
While Google uses only thumbnails in its search results, the search shows links to sites that use full size versions of the images – in breach of copyright law, says Perfect 10.
Many of these sites make use of Google’s AdSense service, which displays Google adverts, paid for by members of the search engine’s AdWords service. This means that Google is also profiting from third parties’ unauthorised use of Perfect 10’s porn, according to Perfect 10.
The publisher also argues that Google’s thumbnails are of sufficient quality to be used for download onto mobile phones – in competition with a mobile download service licensed from Perfect 10 by the UK’s Fonestarz Media Limited.

Getty Images cases

Getty Images wins £2,000 settlement over unauthorised web use of photo

A removals firm has been ordered to pay nearly £2,000 to photographic agency Getty Images for using a copyright-protected photograph on its website. The company had removed the picture when notified by Getty Images but had not paid a requested fee.
JA Coles, of Manchester and London, used a photograph entitled ‘Mother with daughter (6-8) looking at each other and smiling’ on its website. Getty Images had a contract to market the picture on behalf of its owner, Canadian photographer Larry Williams.
Getty said in its court submission that it had used image tracking technology to detect the unauthorised use of the picture in late 2007. Getty said that it wrote to the company seeking payment for the use of the photograph. The photograph was removed from the site but JA Coles did not reply to Getty Images’ letter or pay the fee requested.
Getty Images sued in the High Court for copyright infringement. That case has now been settled and JA Coles has admitted that it infringed copyright by using the image and has agreed to pay damages.
The company has agreed to pay £1,953.31 in damages and interest over the use of the picture, plus Getty Images’ legal costs.
As well as the commercial rate for the use of the picture, Getty Images had originally claimed compensation for the cost of detecting the infringement; ‘insidious damages’ it said were caused because such use of its images undermines its ability to be paid in full for all its images and exploit the rights it has; and additional damages once it had more information on the full circumstance of the case.
Courts will usually award as damages the normal commercial fee that would have been paid by a company to license the image in the first place in such cases and award additional damages only where a company can show that the breach of copyright was flagrant.
Read More

Getty Images case 2

I was recently hit with a letter writing campaign from Getty Images claiming that I had used one of their copyrighted images. I had not actually used their image, but rather the photographer had put his work up on several sites – one of which was www.SXC.hu. I obtained his image from SXC, but because Getty also had the image – they believe I obtained it from them.
Messy stuff. So now I’m trying to fight of what amounts to extortion from Getty Images. I have since gone back to SXC and printed all of the license agreements of all images I use from their site in case this should ever happen again. I doubt the photographer whose work is in question is even aware of what’s going on. It’s an interesting business strategy, but not one that will win over any fans for Getty, who I will now never even consider using in the future.
SITE POINT MEMBER

What is Gety image doing?

Just a warning to everyone that may be using or has used unauthorized images from Getty.
1. They are making a big sweep of sites and sending out bills when they find one of their images being used without permission.
2. They are charging $1,000 USD per image.
3. They are pursuing the site owners for this money.
4. They are not sending out warnings.
5. They do expect to get paid.
6. If you have unauthorized Getty images, take them down.
If you use an unauthorized image from Getty you will receive a letter from Getty saying:
“We believe and image it is being used without permission or proper license. The following action must be taken immediately:
Either a) provide details of the valid license
b) Take down the image with immediate effect and pay the fees liable of £1754.50. Note these fees would still be payable regardless of taking down the image immediately. ”
They will also send a screenshot of the site.

They do not issue a simple warning to cease and desist, just the standard 21 days to pay up plus Irish VAT, and also an offer of a 10% discount if settled early!

How does GettyImages knows who is using their images illegally?

They use a company called Picscout. Their powerful image recognition tool crawls the web, downloading images and comparing them to images held in the Getty database.
PicScout is leader in image copyright solutions.
PicScout ImageExchange instantly IDs images on the web.
PicScout’s ImageTracker crawls and compares finds more than 600 million online images a month globally, and compares those images against a Rights Managed critical mass database of agency represented images. In a year, PicScout will review audit more than six billion images from the world wide web.

But is not only Getty images using Picsout. They have many clients such as “dreamstime” and “CorbisImages” as shown in the image below. With this acknowledge I would suggest not to use images illegally coming from any of the image stocks shown bellow:


3. Software solution for Copyright – Image Protection

Many photographers and artist would like to able to display their images and prints online without worrying about other people using their images and use them commercially without their permission.
Always remember that:
1. Anything you upload to the Internet can be taken and
2. No method is 100% foolproof.

With this said, I will mention a few methods which offer various levels of protection for the images and content of your web page such us:

a. Watermarking & tables
b. Java & Perl Scripts
c. HTML BODY Attributed.
d. Disable IE6 Image Toolbar
e. Meta tags &robots.txt
f. Pop-Up Image Display
g. Encryption
h. Commercial Programs

a. Watermarking

Both visible and invisible watermarking involve “stamping” your image in such a way that it can be identified as your image. Using a combination of the two is a very good way to make sure everyone realizes that you own the rights to your images.
watermarkVisible watermarks are easy to create in your photo editor. You can either type in the word SAMPLE or © Photographer’s Name on the image itself. Make this large enough so it is readable and not easily “erased” or cropped out of the image.

Invisible watermarks, like those created by Digimarc, are usually available as a plug-in for your photo editor. The watermark, usually a personal Identification Number, are digitally embedded within the image. While these watermarks can be defeated, they offer proof of your ownership if they ever turn up in a publication without your permission.

In some situations, is good to create a roll-over image.

This is a simple mouse-over technique which requires two images the same size. One image is your photo and the other image consists of your photo, which is set to 80% transparency, and the rest is your copyright information. If you right-click on the image, you’ll only be able to grab the rollover image which contains a partially transparent image with a lot of text.

The other method, is placing the photo as the background image in a table.

The table must be set to the same dimensions as the image. Then place a null image (a blank, transparent gif image which is the same size as the photo and the table) within the table. When someone right clicks on this image, all they can grab is the null image. Of course this does not prevent someone from reading your source code and getting the link to the real image. However, it does make them have to work for it. You can also accomplish this same effect by using Cascading Style Sheets. Note: This CSS technique will only work with IE.

b. JavaScripts, Java Applets & Perl Scripts

There are a couple of methods which website designers can employ on their web sites to make it a little harder for the casual “thief” to grab images from web pages. JavaScripts should placed between the tags of your HTML document.
Word of warning: JavaScript will not work if the visitor’s browser is not Java enabled or they have JavaScripting turned off.
The Right-Click script, available in several variations, will create a pop-up alert window which states that the image is copyrighted and you should contact the photographer/artist for more information.

The following script from Dynamic Drive DHTML disables right-clicking when attempting to save an image on this page. The right-click still works for the rest of the page.
Place this script at the end of the page right before the tag.

Note: Many visitors to your site use the right mouse click as a means of navigation. Enabling a script that disables the right-click has the potential of frustrating many visitors.
If you would like to be more specific and only protect certain images on your page, use the following right-click script. Place JavaScript code in the header and call the function within each image tag.

c. HTML Attributes

If you do not want to use JavaScript and pop-up windows, there is an HTML solution that might be a good choice for a photo gallery. In order to disable Right Clicks, Dragging and Selecting for the entire page, add the following to the tag:

d. Disable Internet Explorer 6’s Image Toolbar


In IE 6, whenever your mouse hovers over an image the Image Toolbar pops up. This toolbar will allow you to print or save the image. To prevent this, insert the following between the HEAD tags to disable the Image Toolbar for the entire page.

e. Meta Tags & robots.txt

While you really don’t have a problem with search engines indexing your web sites, you don’t want the images indexed or cached on their servers. By including meta tags within the head tags of your web page and adding robots.txt to the root directory of your web site, you add a little more security to your site.
The content of the Robots meta tag includes to directives: [NO]INDEX and [NO]FOLLOW. The INDEX directive specifies whether a robot should index the page and the FOLLOW directive specifies whether a robot should follow links on the page. If you DO NOT want the robots to either index or follow links on your page, you would include the following between the head tags of your web page:

Since search engines look for a robots.txt file as soon their spiders or bots arrive on your site, we can list the directories that we do not want them to crawl. “robots.txt” is a simple text file, which you can create in Notepad or any text editor. NOTE: The name of the tag and the content are not case sensitive.
The robots.txt file needs to be saved in the root directory of your site where your home page is located. The following robots.txt file bans all search engines from indexing or caching the cgi-bin and images directories. It also prohibits the indexing and caching of all multimedia files from specific image spiders (AltaVista, Ditto, Google & Picsearch).
User-agent: *
Disallow: /cgi-bin/
Disallow: /images/
For more information about meta tags and robots.txt visit Spider Hunter and The Web Robots Pages.

User-agent: vscooter
User-agent: DittoSpyder
User-Agent: Googlebot-Image
User-Agent: psbot
Disallow: /

f. Pop-up Image Display

If you use Macromedia Dreamweaver MX, you can find that there are many free short-cuts or extensions available from Macromedia. One particular script, JustSo Picture Window 3 by E. Michael Brandt is ideal for photographers. The extension creates a JavaScript which calls up a larger image in its own pop-up window. You are also given the option to encrypt the link to the larger image. When viewed, any click will close the popup window. This is not only an easy way to link a thumbnail (or text) to a larger image, it makes it a lot more difficult for someone to grab the image. Highly recommended!

g. Encryption

Encrypting your source code is one way to make it more difficult for someone to find the location of your images. The easiest way to disguise your source code is to use an URL-encoded format (converting all hexadecimal sequences to ASCII characters). Dynamic Drive has a free source code encrypter which you can use to encrypt your source code.


As you can see, it makes the source code a little harder to read. As with any image protection method, this only makes it more difficult for someone to grab your images. It does not actually prevent them from taking an image.

h. Commercial Programs

There are a few commercial scripts available which help prevent people from downloading your images. They do not require any downloads, plug-ins or readers. The following programs are a good, cost-effective solution for image protection. These programs require programming skills.
Digimarc
Digimarc Corporation is a leading innovator and technology provider. They enable intuitive computing by giving media and everyday objects a persistent digital identity that computers and other digital devices can “see, hear, understand and react to.” With the pervasive computing that Digimarc supports, technology becomes more useful, user interfaces are simplified, and consumers, corporations and governments have easier access to content how, when and where they want it.
Protec
Protec by Invisitec (requires basic CGI programming skills) – License pricing starts at $49 for up to 125 images.
Secure Image
ArtistScope’s Secure Image with prices starting at $15 is somewhat of a hybrid between scripting and encryption. Secure Image is easy to use. Your images can only be viewed from your website or folder. Secure Image Pro ($85) offers more flexibility. You are able to control various image display properties and batch process several images at once.
CopySafe
Artistscope Image Protection protects images and other content from saving, printing and capturing. A free plug-in viewer is required to display the image in your browser. Images & content can be displayed from any normal web page on any server. With careful setup, CopySafe can help protect all of your web pages including images, text and other page content. Prices start at $400.
With the CopySafe PBV version, ArtistScope’s server hosts your encrypted images. Your images are protected not only from downloading, but also from printing and screen capture. The CopySafe PBV system can be installed to any website that has FrontPage extensions installed. Prices vary according to the number of image/page views you purchase.
Note: While CopySafe offers a great solution to image and content protection, there one feature that really annoys me. Once you have a CopySafe protected image or content displayed in your browser, all of your other Windows programs are disabled.

4. Conclusion

There many ways to protect your images from thefs.
But if someone really wants to take our images, they can. As simple as doing a screenshot will let them take your image even if you use all the protection mechanisms that exist.
But why to make it easy to the them!

How am I going to protect members of the latin creatives proyect?

Definitely I’ll need to use non visual watermarking for protecting my site member’s images.
For visible I won’t use a big watermark on the image, but I will place a ©copyright line at the end of each member’s page and at the footer of the site.
The reason why I am not watermarking the images visually is because it will ruin the image. The idea of the site is to make images to stand up and show the best of the artist and designer, therefore a big visual watermark would be, in these cases, disadvantage.
So I’ll be more focus in non visual watermarking.
The free alternatives (at least at the beginning)
such as :
- create a roll-over image
- Meta Tags & robots.txt option, to prohibits robots the indexing and caching of all multimedia files.
- JavaScripts, Java Applets & Perl Scripts , to display a pop-up alert window which states that the image is copyrighted.
- HTML Attributes (if it is posible to us it together with the javascript one)
- Disable Internet Explorer 6’s Image Toolbar


5. Links to Free and Commercial Stock Photography Sites

References:
http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/07/07/copyright-explained-i-may-copy-it-right/
https://www.digimarc.com/default.asp
http://www.dailyblogtips.com/copyright-law-12-dos-and-donts/
http://www.picscout.com/
http://www.wildlifephoto.net/articles/webdesign/imageprotection.html
http://counsel.cua.edu/copyright/resources/digital/Source.cfm
http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/CreativeImages/RoyaltyFree?isource=gbr_rm_rfLink
http://www.smashingmagazine.com/pdfs/copyright.pdf
http://www.out-law.com/page-10980
http://www.out-law.com/default.aspx?page=10367
http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/

Feb 152011
 

Introduction

In the Creative world, professionals use websites as a new tool to showcase their work world wise.  These online showcase platforms are evolving following the users needs, were function and form are equally important.

Vitruvius, Roman writer, architect and engineer Vitruvius authored the treaties De Architectura, was very assertive by building temples base on the guiding principles of firmitas, utilitas, venustas (strength, utility and beauty). (1) The forms described, and the methods by which they are constructed as outlined by Vitruvius, have fascinated architects, archeologists and illustrators for centuries. This composition attempts to realize the Vitruvian principles though a digital medium. Therefore I’ll use these principles to analyze  showcase platforms websites, which is a specific area of interest of my project thesis. The vitruvian principles will be apply to both cognate and non-cognate examples.

Cognate

1.Domestika

Business
Domestika is a place that put together different creative profiles to share knowledge and interact in the web. It’s a co-operative community of creatives base in Spain. All the content of the site is supply by the members.
All the services they offer are for free and it has no advertising material.
Members can post jobs, upload their work, upload their cv and explain in detail what are they looking for in their careers.

Delight
The website has a 4 column grid.
Uses mainly a black and gray palette, a strong orange for the logo background and cyan for a few links. it uses dark background for the home page but then changes to a light gray on the inside categories.
The fonts used are san serif fonts in most of the site apart form a serif one used on the forum area.
One big difference form most websites is that the Logo is located on the right hand side and not on the left as most sites.
The layout is different for every category of the main menu.
The background image changes every time the site is reloaded with design supplied by members of domestika community.

Commodity
Domestika is divided in 5 big areas:
1. Forum
2. Job board
3. Portfolio
4. Resources
5. Coolsites

The navigation bar is too sensitive so is easy to loose your selection.
Much of the information in the home page is above the fold.
There is a high activity on the forum where the themes are mainly related to design
The portfolio area allows member to have a main profile picture, their cv and then all their projects, shown on thumbnail to have an overview of all of them and then a particular area of each of them ones you click on the thumbnail. The specific area has a blog format with a vertical navigation and the option for members to make comment.
There is a coolsite area, where members upload cool sites that they find interesting to share. This area highlights the most popular sites posted.
Finally there is a resources area were people propose links to other site with useful tools for designers as Typography, grids, tips for web design, wordspress tutorials, etc.

Firmness
This website has been created using XHTML 1.0 STRICT, css, javascript and jquery.
There no SEO work on the site.

2.Dropr

Business
Dropr is a multimedia portfolio collective.
Dropr describe them selves is an easier, simple, faster and despited than even more powerful network for all creative heads.
The Website is a tool to expose peoples work, connect, collaborate and stay inspired.
There is no advertising on the site. They make profit by selling their platform to Universities to have an internal use and a re-skin for each of them.
They have a group of curators who are in charge of looking for talented creatives.

Commodity
The home page is very confusing. You only realise what the site is about by scrolling down. The navigation of the site is not very user friendly.
Thumbnail of portfolio are above the fold same as the basic definition of the site.
The main menu is hidden and you only find it by accident when doing rollover on the top of the page.
They use lots of icons on the site but is not clear what do they stand for.
User needs to go through a sort of learning process on how to navigate the site and what do the symbols mean.
Users can explore the site ether by project or by portfolio.
on the portfolio area members can choose different layout to to display their work and other member can make comments if their a re logged in.
There also an feedback area to improve the site were Dropr do a survey to the users.
To become a member of Dropr people needs to be invited by current members which gives a connotation of uniqueness and the feeling of been part of a elite group.
Is very difficult to find the list of categories as they are hidden behind a sign that is not highlighted enough and it only appears if you are on the profile tab. generic and works slow.
There is a different quote at the end of each page that links to Wikipedia.
All quotes are related to art and design.

Delight
It has a 2.0 and friendly look and feel with lots of symbolism by the use of big icons and big san serif fonts.There are different background images depending on which area of the site you are.
No contrast on the symbols that don’t stand out and is difficult to find them
Colour are mainly black, white and greys and bright colours for icons, loader and some links.
The site stand from other sites by it graphics and friendly look and feel, but the usability has been left behind.

Firmness
This website has been created using XHTML 1.0 STRICT, css, javascript and jquery.
There no SEO work on the site.


Non-Cognate

1.Fubiz

Business

Fubiz.com is a project from fubiz-interactive which is a consultancy agency in interactive communication established on the early 2008. The site provides access to short daily news about the creative world. It’s an editorial production of a blog/online magazine for amateurs of design, technology and graphics. There is membr section.They generate revenue through advertising on the site.

Commodity

The website accommodates both, English and French speakers which increases its appeal to wider audience. In addition to the graphics recasting, the site offers a member space. It makes it possible to the users to propose bonds and to write articles, subjected to validation, which could then be put on line. The problem is that it’s very difficult to understand how the member system works. The site has usability issues and a complicated navigation. There are so many different ways of searching for information that is easy to get lost and confusing. For example, there is a search bar but it is located at the very bottom of the site (usually search bars are above the fold and users will expect that). There is an option to search by category but also above the fold and is repeated in more than one place. Advertising space is also confusing and the use of a big banner above the fold, seems to be a waste of very valuable space with information that doesn’t really contributes to the site.

But never the less, they have almost 16000 visitors per day!

Firmness

This website has been created using XHTML 1.0 TRADITIONAL, css, and javascript and jquery. They link the site to a different css stylesheet depending on the browser the user will see the site. They also use XML-RPC server, feed.burner, vimeo for videos and WP-PostRatings as the only plugin left which still uses an external Javascript file in .php instead of .js.

There is a daily newsletter that user can apply for on the site.

Delight

The site has a good Logo with a clear sub line on it which makes user know what is website about as soon as they open it. The blog styled layout design is classy with clean use of colors by the use of a gray pallet, white and one strong color (fuchsia) used only in a few details. They use 3 different sans serif fonts but they work together very well. All these ingredients made the site to have a 2.0 look and feel.

2. The Creative Finder

Business

The website targets to serve their professional membership, their global network of established professionals, including photographers, illustrators, advertising art directors, designers and artists. The creatives can post their work and create a portfolio while head hunters pay to access to this information and post jobs. Direct employers and Recruiters can advertise their role. Candidates looking for a job can do so by adding their profile to their database or by searching through the job board of the site. By adding their profiles, candidates can have the full benefit of belonging to the creative finder. They can make their profile searchable; apply for jobs at the click of a button. They also sell advertising and it is designed to the UK market.

Commodity

The site offers an efficient platform so that professionals can promote their works and a user-friendly communicationchannel for clients and buyers to navigate and contact these professionals. The navigation is simple and very straight forward. You can see, as soon as you open the site that it offers 3 options for searching for professionals: by category, by country or by key word.

On the header, there’s a highlighted log in form and a clear separated entrance for creatives (looking for jobs) and creative hunters (looking for profiles to search). This is very friendly and from the usability point of view very assertive. My only concern on this is from a design point of view. It looks as if they did this after the rest of the site and it looks web 1.0 while all the rest is web 2.0.

There is another little area of the site that looks not in harmony with the rest of the site. It is highlighted in the image below:

The 3 rectangles just don’t follow any of the structure of the rest of the site.

There is a functional feature to show the professional’s work. This is by the use of interactive thumbnails that users can navigate to have a quick view of their work without leaving the home page just by clicking on little arrows on the sides of the thumbnails. This feature is very attractive and user friendly, as shown in the images below.

Then, if the creative hunter is interested, he/she can access to a more in detail area of information about the artist just by clicking on the thumbnail.

Firmness

This website has been created using XHTML 1.0 STRICT, css, javascript and jquery. The keywords they use are: photographers, illustrators, advertising agencies, art buyers, creative talents, creative directory, animators, architects, art directors, artists, artist reps, CGI Retouchers, Copywriters, Creative Directors, Design Agencies, Fashion Designers, Filmmakers, Furniture Designers, Stylists, Industrial Designers, Interactive Designers, Interior Designers, Landscape Designer, Makeup Artist, Model, Motion Graphic Artist, Producers, Product Designers, Textile Designers, Typographers, Graphic Designers, Visual Communication Designers, Web Developers, Writers.

Delight

This site has a comfortable 4 grids column layout. A clear colours palette of soft greys, black for fonts and one strong colour as yellow for a few details and a one and only san serif font makes the site very attractive to look at. They began with the idea to combine the busy, contemporary, big-city urban vibe with the classic, old-school charm of traditional print media. The design process began with an extensive research into the design philosophies of newspapers, magazines, galleries, and even product packaging, and then building and integrating these print elements with sophisticated and cutting-edge technologies.

Feb 092011
 

After today’s class with Nicky about logos I though of having a look at those one letter base logos that we recognize instantly.

It really amaze me how branding designers can make people to make a connection between a single letter to a brand. How many time a day we type the letter “f”, which now happened to mean Facebook, “t” means twitter and “W” means Wikipedia. Actually,  Google made sure that we not only recognize their brand with a lower case “g”, but also with capital “G”.

Below there is a selection of those iconic logos that are designed by the use of a single letter and that are stick in our minds. Any other suggestion?

D A S S H project

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Feb 092011
 

Please find my Dassh proposal by clicking the image below. I did a few amends after today’s session and a new version with a different color palette.

Jan 312011
 

Cover letter and questionnaire

My dear creative friends!!
I am researching which online platforms people use to showcase their work.
I know that most of you use platforms as facebook, myspace, Flickr and your own websites.
But there are other places in the internet were you can showcase your work which I know some of you might use such as Dribbble, Behance, Dropr, The Creative Finder, Creative Pool and many others.
It would be really helpful for me, if you guys can give me a hand on this and answer a simple questionnaire.
Any comment will be very much appreciated!!

So here we go:

1. Which online platforms do you use to show your work?
2. What do you like about them?
3. What do you dislike about them?
4. Is there any particular feature that you will like these sites to have?

Jw Davies
Photographer

Hello Carolina,
I’ll offer up a bit of what I like; hope it helps you.

1. Which online platforms do you use to show your work?
For showcasing photography I used to use Tumblr.
The reasons were:
– it’s simple,
– minimalist design (no ads – got no idea how they make money);
– ease of use (uploading, changing template – they have numerous templates you can use, which are more elegant than Blogger);
– and that it has that cool/the in thing/acceptable aura about it.
Here’s an example of a Tumblr blog that I like: http://www.terrysdiary.com/

I also use http://www.phiary.com/ This is a small Norwegian site, again it has a minimalist design. Also, as you can easily see the other photographs posted that day, it has a small community feel. If it were to expand, your photographs would get lost amongst the hundreds being uploaded, and this would be lost. It doesn’t reach out to the mass of photographers though.

For music, http://soundcloud.com/ is a good host. The main advantage is that you can choose whether to allow downloading, or not. Unlike Myspace, Youtube where you can find the mp3/flv easily, if you wish. It has awful search though. And doesn’t function well as a stand-alone source of music. Unlike…

Youtube, which has become the de facto place to promote your music these days. The good points are: the ubiquity, everyone knows that something is likely to be on there, so they go there; the suggested videos, make it easy to find something else you may be interested in. The bad: hideous, clutered design, especially the recent redesign of your personal homepage; the adverts.

2. What do you like about them?
For photography, the ease of use, and speed, so that uploading takes as little time as possible. Enables you to have a site that works as a diary. This is less important for music, where the ability to organize, or highlight tracks would be a preferable feature.

3. What do you dislike about them?
Tumblr doesn’t have comments built in, you have to use Disqus, or something similar. It is often unavailable, due to technical issues, but has had more investment recently, so hopefully it should improve.
Youtube, See above.

4. Is there any particular feature that you will like these sites to have?

Tumble, see above.

Wishing you all the best, John.

Jw Davies
Photographer

Pamela Padruno
Architect

Hi Carolina,
The way that me and my business partners show our work is through our website
web www.diav.cl and we also through these online magazines: www.enlighter.org, www.plataformaurbana.cl.
What I like about them is the fact that is easy to search by themes.
What I dislike about them is that they are a bit slow.
Would be good if I could download all the photos of an article together and not one by one. Takes too long.

Hoping this is helpfull for you,
Good luck

Pamela

Pamela Padruno
Architect

Luciana Job
Illustrator, designer, animator and video editor

Hey Caro!!!

Here we go…

1. Which online platforms do you use to show your work?
For a long time my favorite site was Deviant Art and also me specialized forums.

2. What do you like about them?

From Deviant Art I like the feedback feature. Is massive! I love the feedback system. Is a lot better than for example “flickr”.

3. What do you dislike about them?
That they are addictive. They consume your real life, fame and more “interetonic” fame and goodby to your real life. They are dangerous! But feed your ego…

4. Is there any particular feature that you will like these sites to have?
To navigate them can be insufferable (Argentinian slang for annoying)

Loves,
Lu

Luciana Job
Illustrator, designer, animator and video editor

Adam Crawford
DJ

1. Which online platforms do you use to show your work?
For uploading music I just found SoundCloud

2. What do you like about them?
It’s fast to upload long files. Previously could only upload 10 minute files to youtube. I’ve just uploaded a 45 minute mix v. quickly. Liking it!

3. What do you dislike about them?
That 120 minutes is the maximum I can upload altogether for Free ( I think ) then you have to upgrade and pay for an account if you want to put up more.

Adam Crawford
DJ

Esti Landa
UI Designer

1. Which online platforms do you use to show your work?
Creative pool and LinkedIn.
2. What do you like about them?
They are frequented by media experts and professionals like me, no crap or spam (generally)
3. What do you dislike about them?
Some recruiters.

4. Is there any particular feature that you will like these sites to have?
A more graphic UI.

Apart from this I should mention that when I say “recruiters annoy me” I’m referring to privacy and how internet “promote” harassment which is why myspace failure (at the end people had more brand messages, music groups invitations that were not of your interest or strangers and strangers than friends or own contacts).
The reason why Facebook’s works, is because if you want to “connect” or get contacted by brands, companies or agencies you can allow them to do it. But if you don’t want to you just don’t give them access easily.
I’m talking here about Intimacy, privacy.
If I expose my work or express myself online does not mean that I like to be bombard me with spam, offers etc. …

I’ve been working on something similar, so I know that this point is very important to survive and succeed in the digital environment 

Check this, is very interesting:

http://soundcloud.com/

Check the way people comment at video moments.

Hope this helps!
All the best
Esti

Esti Landa
UI Designer

Carola Cartens
Photographer and curator

I thought of sharing this I found it amazing…. Check this out:

Carola: Hey hey, coincidences of life, I am responsible for Latin America of Dropr, if you need any information at all happy to help you, plus two of the main partners of Dropr live in Wales … so if there is anything you need let me know.

What I do for Dropr is the development of new projects, the curatorship of artists, communications strategy and business development alternative to the same page, because we sell them to universities. We design their own space with the same bases as Dropr but for internal use.

Keep in touch,

Carola

Carola Cartens
Photographer and curator