Creating a New Theme

Creating  new theme I wanted to use elements of illustration and writing. I went through some pictures and found an interesting of a hand drawing another hand, while the drawn hand was drawing the hand that was drawing it.

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After putting that image as my form background I clicked on cover below it so I wouldn’t get a repeated pattern.

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Then I went into photoshop to lower the opacity of the image and changed the texture and exposure.

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This way I was able to bring the font out more. I changed the font to Comic Sans Ms to give off more of that illustration look.

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Then  I designed my own logo in illustrator to make the theme more of my own and put it on top. I used a font I found on

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For a background image I got a picture of a notebook and in photoshop wrote the first bit of my novel, MANE. I put it on fixed so people could see what I wrote and still see the color I used behind that.

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Then I edited my form to create a new text box if any one wants to put in their website.



I created a theme name and added a description. Then I pressed next.

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I added in some key words and I saved theme.

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Then  I went on JotForm and found my theme under Created By You.

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I viewed my form, took the URL and put it into my code.

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The Difference in Design

The staff at UX Magazine is spot on when they say that a product can be more appealing on its design aspect. An example they give is beer. Having beer is a bottle instead of a can seems more appealing. The glass bottle with the long neck creates an easier flow beeerand it keeps the taste intact, rather than the metallic taste from a can. Their use of a three in one bike really shows the process in a child’s development, all without having to switch to a new bike.

Let’s think about movies. Back when the VCR was invented it was great! People were able to watch movies right in their living rooms. Some problems did vcroccur though. You always had to rewind the tape when you wanted to watch it again, you couldn’t really skip through scenes and the constant rewinding/fast-forwarding could cause the film to snap. Solving these problems came the DVD player. Just slide in a disk and one can watch movies, go to different scenes, click on special features, play the movie in different languages and never have to rewind to play it over.

dvdEven DVDs are now being outdated by BlueRay players. They pretty much serve the same function, except that the movies are in higher definition, being able to see things more clearly.

Emotions are what drive a new design. If a person doesn’t feel anything for a new design then there is no huge force in getting whatever it may be. It’s like using a kindle, because one can feel they don’t have to drive out to get the latest book. That creates convenience. Also with a kindle you can search up any book and not be lost trying to find it, a feeling of relief. A lot of designs do rehash old ideas, but from them new and more productive innovations can be made.

Using Filters

Penelope Umbrico has been running filters through her photos to come up with a whole range of different images. She uses different apps in her phone to draw out different features. Umbrico is drawn to filters that look ike film effects. With just a few photos one can create thousands of different images. She goes into saying how its difficult to be a master of photography these days. Hell, give anyone a phone and they can basically call themselves a photographer. It’s hard finding someone who takes the craft seriously and then if they do, what can they do to make their photos stand out?

With programs such as Photoshop it is easier to make an image your own, by changing the lighting, adding a few more people, brushing up on someones hair, etc. Below is a picture of an attic on the left. On the right is that same attic that I have photoshopped and gave it plenty of horror movie mashups along with changing the light, texture and more.

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I think I’d have to disagree with Umbrico that the idea of a master has been deflated in photography. Just using ones creativity can really go a long way. Not only is it the picture that stands out, but also the statement that person is trying to convey. You can really learn a lot about a person by what hey are trying to achieve. Have any of you learned anything from me yet? If not, stay tuned.

100 Versions

While writing a novel, the look of the cover may not seem so important, but it should be something to think about. No matter what people say books really are judged by their cover. Sure it may not be right, but people need to be intrigued. Jill Essbaum knows this all to well. Her book Hausfrautells the story of a women goinghhhhhhh through an affair and ending her marriage. Over one hundred different covers were made, before a decision was made to capture the tone without revealing any of the plot. All together this consisted of five designers, two letterers and one illustrator.

It is not always easy finding that perfect tune in a picture or anything live action. That is why the book is usually better hen the movie. Writing my own novel, I have thought about possible designs for a cover. The novel tells of a man going out of his way to hunt down a lion for revenge for what one did to his family. I did a large cover of the main character going at a lion with a knife. I decided that was too much and now I picture a very simple design: a black cover with a white lion’s mane right in the middle. Something so complex has turned into something so simple. Let me ask you though, think about this in your mind, is there one that conveys more mood? I personally think so and that’s the novel I’d rather pick up.

Also I’ve read many novels that have multiple covers. Let’s look at Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot for example. Now, knowing what the novel is about, any cover would not stop me from reading it, but look at these two covers.

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The one on the left kind of turns me off compared to the one on the right.

Advertising is the key. This doesn’t just go for novels, but for any product. Theres always changes out there to bring in new people. Spread those wings and fly in multiple directions. See what works for different people and most importantly see if it works for yourself. If you can’t convince yourself, than who are you going to convince?

Designing For Kids

With the amount of technology these days, kids do not know how rare it used to be to just have the chance to use a computer. It used to be that a kid may get a few hours a week on a program at school. Nowadays there olddddis barely a time when a kid is not looking at some sort of screen. Now that this is an everyday use, kids are more likely to skim through piles of information, so designers need to really tackle down and get their attention. This is more exciting and challenging than ever.

Debra Levin Gelman talks about this in her article Designing For Kids, Then and Now. Back then websites for kids were basically created the same as adults, just with more pictures, color and bigger font. There’s a realization that designers should maximize the time children are spending on technology. A lot of work still needs to be done to meet their cognitive, developmental, emotional and intellectual needs. In the United States kids are averaging up to eight hours of screen time a day. Instead of going on Facebook or Snap

design-for-kids-bannerChatting themselves, shouldn’t they be learning something? They have the tools. It’s up to the designers to get their attention. We are living in a fast paste world and who gets more distracted than kids?

Using interactive design patterns have been effective for kids under twelve. Designing better experiences for kids will only help them learn instead of looking up mediocre apps, such as Flappy Bird. Fun game as it may be, but kids need more of a challenge today and sadly if it isn’t coming from the web, then where’s it going to come from? We are now living in a computerized  world and kids younger and younger are being sucked in so they might as well gain something out of it.

The Printed Page

With devices such as the Kindle, it would seem that such things as the hardcover or paperback novel are dead. Kindles can be a lot more reliable. For example lets say this new novel just came out that you wanted kindleand instead of being bombarded by people in the bookstore you could just click one button on your Kindle and it’s right in front of you. You don’t even have to wait a few days for delivery. Kindle editions also tend to be cheaper than an actual novel.

Lawrence Scwartzwald would probably see the as a cheat. He has been taking photographs of New Yorkers reading actual novels to prove that print is not dead. For one thing it is wiser to bring a novel on a subway station than an expensive tablet. It’s less likely to get stolen and has less in it.

Stephen King, author of more than 50 best selling novels was asked if he thought print would ever die out. He doesn’t think so. A novel, King says, is something you can put on the shelf and look back upon easier than a Kindle would allow. He also stated by dropping a book in the toilet one can wash it off and still read, with a kindle one would be done!

There’s also the beauty of holding a novel feeling the weight, skimming through it, looking at the cover and back. Also there is the use of a bookmark. Seeing a person out in public reading a novel, one can get the boookimpression of what they like, maybe look into their personality a little bit to see what they are all about. This may seem a bit like stalking, but let’s face it we all do it. Unless you are looking right over a person, one can not get that with a kindle. By knowing what a person likes, this could possibly lead to new conversations than just never talking to that person and gaining nothing.

Schwartzwald says, “I find New Yorkers less interesting-looking than they used to be.” He is not seeing as many people reading print. With technology rising it is hard to remain in a non technical world, but a novel is something anyone can fall back on. Technology can be shaky, causing glitches and just not work at times. The great thing about a printed novel is that it’s always working. All you have to do is turn the page. My advise to Schwartzwald: Don’t worry. The printed page will be here for the long hall.

Hippo the Hypocrite

(Hey everyone. So I have created a cartoon strip, some story lines of these hippos who act hypocritical. I would love to get some illustrators out there to send me some drawings on what this comic could look like. I will be posting a comic story everyday so here is your first sneak peek. Lets team up and make the paper!)

Family of Hippos in the car

“Hey Marty”- text from the driver, DAD

“Hey dude. What you up to?”  text from MARTY

“Oh just taking the family out to the park”- text from DAD

“Daddy watch out!” yells KID from backseat.

(Woman on crosswalk talking on her phone. Car close to hitting her. Dad swerves out of the way.)

“What the hell? Damn woman! Talking on her phone. Pay attention!” says DAD

“Get this! This woman almost walked right in front of my car cause she was too busy calling someone. Pretty stupid right?” texted DAD

“Let that be a lesson to you kids that-” says DAD

“Marty the road!” says MOM

(Car hits a tree. Phone flies out of the car. Text reads “Yea pretty stupid!”)