Category: Design + Issues

Laws Concerning Stretched Logos

Laws concerning stretching logos disproportionately
Regarding the marks of man, I have heard your cries. You say, "The space allotted for the mark is tall like the heavens. It springs up like a tree and my hand cannot move the heights. Yet the mark is as the hair on the lip: wide and glorious." Your complaints I have heard and I regard them not. For who are you to change the hair on the lip? Is it not the identity of the man? You shave the ends of the hair and the man is no more. Will you allow your heights to bring low the man? Alas, this should Read More

Is Self Promotion Wrong?

Is using social media to self promote yourself wrong?
I've been struggling with this topic for the past couple months. The whole concept of self promotion feels like a dirty business. Times are changing. First desktop publishing came along. No longer did you necessarily need to hire an agency to produce your print designs. Next came a flurry of products and solutions promising easy website publishing. While few deliver on that promise, it is possible to publish a website without going through a designer or developer. And today we have social media. Read More

When to Use Bold Text

Bold text works best when used in moderation.
Making text bold is possibly the most common typesetting/design practice. Even the most computer illiterate person will either know or want to know how to make text bold. It's so common a practice that we sometimes forget the reason for it. And after dealing with clients and hearing their requests for making certain things bold, I think it's time to back up and consider the purposes and uses of the bold style. One clarification before I dig in. What I'm about to say is in reference to basic paragraph/list Read More

Create WordPress Themes from Scratch

Creating a WordPress theme from scratch has advantages
I've had a love-hate relationship with WordPress for years. Most of the hate comes from the fact that I haven't made the time to sit down and truly get to know it thoroughly. There are so many technologies and solutions available today. And while they provide solutions that are easier and faster to implement compared to few years ago, keeping up with them is difficult. I imagine it's the same with most web developers. You face a problem, you Google a solution, you move on. We constantly research Read More

Good Logo Design: U-Gro Case Study

Overthinking logo design using U-Gro's logo as an example
It's a logo that shouldn't work. I spent the past week visiting each of the U-Gro Learning Centres, from Harrisburg to York to Lancaster, and everywhere in between. At each location I provided an hour-long presentation for the kids. There was some juggling, a bit of science, and a lot of clowning around. And everywhere I went, I was faced with this logo. I couldn't help but analyze it. The font weights between characters vary. There are tapered weights within individual characters, sometimes Read More

The Story of Design

Treating the elements of design as characters in a story
A few days ago my wife and I watched ourselves on the big screen. I recently shared a documentary that was made about us, and that documentary was entered into the Lancaster County Community Foundation's 5-Minute Film Festival where it won second place. (Congratulations to Alexander Monelli!) As a winning entry, it was then shown at Zoetropolis (a local art house and theatre), along with other top entries. There were quite a few great submissions, ranging from student work to professional films. Read More

40 Rules of Design

Forty rules of graphic design and web design
This week I turned forty. For about half of those years I've been a designer. What better way to celebrate than by compiling a list of my very own design rules? Never stretch a logo disproportionately Always push for details before starting a project Never use a style only because it's trendy Always design a logo in black and white first Never use your own child in an ad Always tell clients when you strongly disagree Never use more than two fonts in a logo Always be tactful when Read More

Design is a Joke

Design is a joke
One one stage you have the comedian who has great jokes but poor delivery. He gets few laughs. On another stage you have one with great style and delivery, but poor jokes. He gets many laughs. I do a lot of performing as a juggler. In my experience and via the stories of those more skilled in juggling, audiences simply want to be entertained. The difficulty of your patterns and the number of objects you juggle are relatively unimportant. The performer getting laughs using basic three-ball patterns Read More

The Ethics of Spotify

Thoughts on Spotify and supporting the arts and artists
I used to be up on technology. I loved it. I knew all the shortcuts and all the secrets. Those Tuesdays when Steve Jobs would give his keynote presentations and announce new products, new software, and new models were simply exciting. To put it as bluntly as possible, these days I don't care. I've been an Apple guy since 1993—still am. But there's little excitement anymore. Maybe it's because I prefer working with my hands over working with a computer. Maybe it's because Steve is gone. Read More

Periods in Phone Numbers

Should you use periods in phone numbers?
This is one article to which many people will reply, "Who cares?" So let's begin by reviewing the name of this site—"Overthinking Design." Admittedly, this is a small issue that I've put too much thought into. But with design the details matter, and text formatting is often overlooked. So buckle yourself in as we take a close look at…phone numbers! When it comes to designing text there are two main goals. Above all, you want the text to be understood and processed quickly. Second, Read More