Parallax scrolling is a technique used in computer graphics that creates an illusion of depth in the 2D image. Essentially, the background scrolls by more slowly than the foreground does, mimicking the way things which are far away seem to move more slowly than things which are closer.
Although this is associated with computer graphics, the technique has its origins in the 1940s, when animators used the multiplane camera technique to add depth to their images. In that technique, the animators would draw the background and other animation elements on separate panels. The panels would be layered over each other in a contraption that kept the panels separate, and they would be pulled or changed, then photographed. By allowing the panels to move independently, the animators could create an effect that made it look like things were moving at different speeds. This was perfected in Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, when the evil witch drinks a potion which makes the things in the room spin around here.
In the 1980s, computer games developers wanted to bring that same effect to their artwork, so they developed parallax scrolling, where the foreground, middle ground and background move at different speeds to give a sense of depth. This technique became popularised after its use in the game Moon Patrol.
Do you feel tired after the long cold winter? Lack of sun, vitamins and happiness inevitably catches us up in the period of weather change. But don’t let seasonal depression take control and interfere your plans! Today we’ve prepared a kind of effective therapy for you… Lots of blossom, greenery and freshness, which you can place on your desktop and give your eyes a pleasant repose from time to time! Spring has come at last. Nature is gradually awaking from its “wintermare”. The sky returns the transparent blue color we’ve missed so much previous months. The sun is hurrying up to warm each creature with its warm caressing rays.
All of us also notice positive changes inside. The desire to “spread the wings” and shoot upwards into the sky becomes almost irresistible. Don’t restrain yourself; spring is the best time for new ventures as everything is getting ready for the next life cycle.
You don’t need to postpone any action, switch your mood to the spring one right now. Just pick out one of the free spring wallpapers behind and set it on your screen. We are sure you will start to notice soon energy and inspiration rush – decide yourself where to direct it!
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Have you ever thought how many music genres are there in the world? African, Avant-Garde, Blues, Brazilian, Comedy, Country, East-Asian, Easy Listening, Electronic, Modern Folk, Hip Hop, Jazz, Latin American, Pop, R&B, Rock, Ska, South and South-East Asian and many-many others. As you might have understood, each of the above mentioned large music genres is sub-divided into narrower categories.
So, why we recollect all those innumerable trends now? The reason lies in the fact that when you design a website related to music, your final web project should look like accurate visual print of a certain genre, otherwise it won’t reflect the soul of the artist and the spirit of the music.
In this entry we will try to guess what design techniques help us clothe something intangible like music into a static form visible and understandable by any user.
In fact, creation of a music site is a hothouse for web design junkies. Cool typography, crazy imagery, offbeat composition, wild visual effects, complicated concepts, hidden objects, lush graphics – no taboos as long as the music seeps through your design!
If we come down to earth from the cloud of creativity, it will be easier to see some major trends and musts in music websites development.
Last years, the overall popularity of social media sites has taken over the world and musicians can’t be considered exclusion in any case. They use every single opportunity to warm up fans’ interest with the next hot behind-the-scene story.
As any other website, a music one should perform definite functions:
- 1) provide the users with latest tracks;
- 2) sell albums and other stuff;
- 3) draw new fans;
- 4) keep the existing ones.
To cope with these strategic goals, any decent music site should include:
- Latest news
- Upcoming shows and events
- Fully operative store
- Media (photos, videos, music)
- Community Forum
- Contact Info
- Press Page
- Social network connections like Facebook, Twitter, and Last.FM…This list is not exhaustive, of course.
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Now, when we’ve discussed some technical matters a little bit, let’s talk about common design methods which let us set this utterly important connection of music genre and design style. Studying websites collected below, you will notice evident dependence of design style from music genre.
In Ancient Times people had small range of opportunities to exchange useful information with each other. One can argue even some ancient civilizations used written language, but we should understand the main word here is “some”: most folks knew no letters. The second factor is most part literate. The sacred knowledge of letters was destined only for narrow caste. So, the information had to be transmitted mouth-to-mouth, the facts were improved with fantasies and impressions of each narrator. That’s how the myths were born. I’m not trying to say this phenomenon is bad, because I love myth for the interesting art of collective unconscious, but the concrete usefulness of the info is covert with the fantastic elements.
Why did I tell you this? To show the real value and benefit of modern technology level – cognition comes through comparison. Just imagine how many opportunities for self-education you have today, when it’s so easy to get access to any information from your smartphone. Few movements of your fingers: and you, for instance, can start learning modeling, designing, engineering or programming. As for the last point I’d like to assist you and represent 10 useful applications for learning HTML5.
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It has been said enough about the deep influence of smartphones on a human life. So I don’t want to repeat, I just would like to mention it’s obvious a modern web designer must improve himself in mobile website making. This kind of designing activity differs from the classical one for PC: the primary reason of distinction lies in the smaller space of the mobile screen. This feature generally forms all main attributes of mobile web design, some of which are the following:
- Big fonts – you know, it’s very inconvenient to strain the eye to see the microscopical text on the mobile screen.
- Big buttons – missing touches provide with a quite understandable frustration dose.
- Simplicity – touch-oriented interaction requires specific approach, because it lacks of PC’s wide range options.
- Clean and clear look – no comments.
- No horizontal scrolling – no one wants their finger to be tied into knot.
- Visible and easy-to-use search bar – the touch-keyboard has its own specialties in using.
- Handy social media widgets – a mobile user has no time and patience to scroll for a while and seek for Twitter, Facebook and other buttons, they must get apparent immediately.
Anyway, here we got the whole new branch of web designing appeared, according to that the professional level requires hours of teaching, practicing and experimenting to be reached. So, for those who suddenly understood the importance of high quality mobile design, it would be helpful to start from this infographic.
But before, let’s check the best examples of mobile web design to keep in mind how a good version should look like and also, of course, to inspire for new creativity.
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Not to forget! That’s the most important thing in our today’s hurry-scurry life. To remember all the things that are to be done, we should plan everything carefully. How to perform it? Arrange all the key moments in a to-do list, and great iPhone to-do apps will help do it easily. How can they make your life more productive? Using them, you’re able to plan all your business affairs and occasions from everyday life and complete them in time. Starting new lists, sharing them with other people (even without the Internet connection), getting alarm notifications, priority ranking and even the voice capture – this is only a part of the powerful set of their features. Whether you’re a designer/developer, or just an average iPhone user, these apps will come in handy for organizing your life. This post makes an extended addition to the one about 8 Great iPhone To Do Apps. Follow the link to learn more about other to-do apps for iPhone.
Choose the app that fits your way of life, and never forget about anything!
Need a personal assistant to be always in the swim? Then try Astrid. This is an app that reminds you everything you need to remember. It can easily do it with your voice. You can also share your tasks (private or public) over email, Facebook, and Twitter.
What’s exciting about this app, is the way you work with all the tasks. You’re able to sort all of them into the needed periods of time, schedule in the desired way, arrange in turn and then move if it is necessary, and update whenever you like.
Have you ever been inspired by the worn out pair of jeans? Maybe today you will change the obvious answer together with young British artist Ian Berry aka Denimu. The guy is completely obsessed by the idea of turning old denim into pieces of art, worthy to be exhibited in the best contemporary museums as well as private collections.
Looking into his works it’s difficult to believe that all those fascinating cityscapes and detailed portraits have been created from jeans, which were lucky to escape charity shop.
The idea of creating pictures from jeans fabric dawned upon Ian during the clear-out session in the house he used to live in childhood. A touch of sentimentality and nostalgia didn’t let the artist get rid of the huge pile of unwanted jeans, on the contrary, he was enchanted by hues and stitches of fabric and decided to give them second life. This day his career started. Then, Ian couldn’t even suppose that this spontaneous idea will lead to dizzy commercial success.
It’s unbelievable, but the technique of artworks creation is extremely simple and complicated at the same time. Denimu uses nothing more but discarded jeans as a raw material for his masterpieces. Then follow many weeks of cutting, stitching and gluing before the next artwork is ready. Please note that shadow and contrast effects are reached only with the help of varying shades of fabric. Impressive, isn’t it?
And now, get ready to be astonished by the unique collection of denim artworks created by Ian Berry… as you see even the most common things can become a vibrant source of inspiration if you unleash your emotions and imagination from time to time!
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Humor is a wonderful invention. I believe if the seriousness is constant and always presses with its peremptoriness the statistic pointing numbers of suicides committed would be more disheartening. Humor gives a chance to look at things and phenomena from the other side. It is especially helpful in case of ruining some empty, but vexing illusions – based on this, the laughing process first of all liberalizes, it cleans a person’s mind from self-deception therefore making it kinder, more tolerant and opened towards other people. Noble mission of seemingly silly jokes appears, doesn’t it?
The web developers and programmers are not some nerdy no-lifers, as somebody could think due to mythical stereotype: they are real living people. And, as every subculture, these true-humans have their own jokes, jests, anecdotes and other forms of humorous word. Some of them are really highly specialized, but most jokes can be accepted by anyone who has at least superficial understanding what programmers do. So, now I would like to introduce web developer humor. And in order to avoid excessive otiosity, all examples are noted applying fresh 20 free fonts that will be of use in 2013.
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Whether you’re going back to the 1980s with graffiti-style type or you’re adding a touch of class with a Victoriana-inspired font, vintage typography is super-current in logo design right now. We all love a bit of nostalgia, but there’s more to retro typography than just taking a sentimental stroll down memory lane. You want your brand to have a hand-crafted vibe? Use vintage typography. You want to create the assurance of quality? Go to vintage typography. What’s more, mining the resources of the past can also put you right at the forefront of current trends, depending on what decade is hot right now. During early Britpop years it was all about the swinging sixties. The late 1990s were all about the seventies. The late 2000s were all about the 1980s. Sounds confusing? Take a look at this showcase and you’ll soon see what we mean.
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Straight from the cover of a Mamas and Papas album, this typography perfectly reflects the glory days of California in the late 1960s. It’s a clean sans serif font that encapsulates hippy-credentials and late 90s skater culture in one fell swoop.
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This logo not only uses vintage typography, it also place it within a retro badge for instant quality, heritage and confidence.
With the explosion in popularity of smartphones and other mobile devices in recent years, the importance of mobile web design is becoming more and more obvious every day. During the last year there were 91.4 million smartphones in the United States alone, and worldwide, there are over 1 billion smartphones in circulation. That’s not to mention tablets, which accounted for 31 percent of Internet users in the US in 2012, according to a survey by the Online Publishers Association and published by PCMag.
Industry experts have realised that mobile devices are rapidly becoming the favored choice for many people when browsing the web, thanks to their portability and potential for ‘dual-screening’ (essentially the ability to do something else at the same time, e.g. watch television). From a retail perspective, too, mobile devices are rapidly becoming just as important as PCs, accounting for approximately $241 billion worth of transactions during 2011, according to GPMD. It’s critical, then, that websites –especially retail sites – should be equipped to serve the needs of a mobile user just as well as somebody who owns a desktop PC or laptop. The accompanying infographic shows that the impression a mobile site makes on the user is vital: 48 percent of people say that a poorly-designed mobile site is an indication that a business simply does not care.
The Importance of Mobile Web Design. Infographic: