Encoded nightmares!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Well everyone in web development that doesn't uses English as the default language for his/her applications might come in a rough position when he'll have to deal with data encoding. Let's see the following scenario...

You have finally completed your project! Everything works fine until the time the clients asks you to add a couple of languages to his application interface... it may be simple but it isn't. If you end up using the wrong encoding for you application the results are gonna be awful for one simple reason:


If you are into web design and especially in PHP you'll have to take precaution soon enough. PHP 5 doesn't provide much of (useful) encoding functions/extensions something that it going to change in the future (PHP 6).

A couple of small tips to get you started (I'm saying started because your are not going to solve your encoding problems in one night!):

<meta equiv="Content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">

has nothing to do with PHP's:

header('Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8')

In other words the encoding that your browser uses parses the data ma be different from the encoding that PHP/Apache/MySQL sends the data.. so be careful when setting the encodings at the different configuration files of your system.

Secondly you have to be sure that the encoding you use to save your files is "UTF-8 Without BOM". If you aren't sure which kind of encoding your text editor uses to save files you could take a look at Notepad++.

For further reading on encoding issues check these:


Sunday, October 07, 2007

What do you say about a little dose of cool flash design? Well here it is! Justinfreiler.com is the website of Justin Freiler (I know it's obvious) that despite the fact that he decided to persue the career of a designer just a couple years ago, his portfolio full of quality! I liked both his illustrations and web design, while his idea to use vintage illustrations really catches your eyes! Check him out!

GrantMX Designs

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Looking out for interesting Wordpress Themes I reached Marshall Grant's design studio entitled GrantMX Designs. Here are a few words about Marshall and his creative studio:

grantmx | designs is a small design studio located in Roswell, Ga (about 15 minutes north of Atlanta, GA) founded by web designer Marshall Grant. Grantmx.com is designed as a portal to showcase the photography and design projects of grantmx | designs. This site is also acts as a resource for small businesses and Non-Profit Organizations and Churches to gain knowledge of available web technology to assist in in their pursuit of success.

Low Morale: a series of flash animations portraying one man's struggle to cope with working life

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I was fooling around the internet (again) and I discovered a very interesting flash animation called Low Morale! Despite the fact that this was pretty old I have never ran across it before. To get an idea about it read the extract below:

Low morale is a series of animations portraying one man's struggle to cope with the soul-sapping, will-to-live draining, life mugging, morale crushing experiences of work. Any correlation between events shown and real-life have been researched

The highlight is the animation based on Radiohead's "Creed"!

Also check out JCBSong.co.uk, created by the same guy! I really like his scetch style!

And finally check out the guy (Monkeehub) himself!

OurType | Fine Type from Europe

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Here is the last one for today. OurType.be is a European typography design firm that has put out some really interesting fonts. Visit their website to view and test the fonts live with your text.

OurType | Fine Type from Europe

OurType | Fine Type from Europe

OurType | Fine Type from Europe

Orgdot: open source pixel and led fonts for flash

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Typo day today! Here is another resource for you! Orgdot provides some sets of free pixel fonts for your flash (and not only) creations! The really cool feature is that you can preview your text using the fonts online just by typing in the textareas.

Exljbris | Free Quality Font Foundry

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Jos Buivenga (blog) is a font designer that produces some really high quality typefaces! The really neat in this case is that he distributes them for free! The man is really a genius and that can be easily seen from the page views and unique visitors of his personal webpage.

Symphony in red

Saturday, September 29, 2007

A fantastic piece of unique animation! Everything you're about to see is done only with real ink, except for the part of the human figure at the end. Even the way ink washes out is done in real world and filmed by an actual camera! Splendid!

LAB 25

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Well it's been a while since my last post but finally my exams are over! So to get back in action here is another flash goody for you! LAB25 is a design firm that deals with very interesting clients (MEXX, CCS, Evisu). The neat part of their showcase for me, was the skateboard decks they' ve design for CCS. Overall I liked their grungy style and the simple, yet well built flash website. Enjoy!

International Street & Open-Air Theatres Festival FETA 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

Here is a flash goody for you! It's about FETA (nope... not the famous Greek Feta Cheese), one of Poland's annual art festivals. The element that intrigued in this website me was the navigation using only your keyboard! Enjoy!

YAML Builder

Monday, September 10, 2007

A couple of weeks ago I posted something about YAML. For all of you interested in YAML and the use it may have in web design and coding. In this cool demo you can take a much clearer idea of what you may achieve with YAML and its components! Finally it proved to be a very useful tool!

Carbonmade: Your online portfolio

Saturday, September 08, 2007

So... you are an graphic artist, web designer, illustrator, photographer etc and you want to create a portfolio in order to showcase your works, but you don't have the knowloedge to create your one with (X)HTML / CSS? Carbonmade was made for that reason! Within a few simple steps you are able to create a portfolio in order to categorize / host your works. The only thing you have to do is to register and start using it! Enjoy!

Carlos Vermut

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Carlos Vermut is a illustrator / comic artist from Spain. I hadn't heard of him before until recently and I have to admit that it was one more pleasant surprise. I liked his works because of his particular style in figure design. Below you may see samples. He has managed to publish many of his works while he maintains a couple of blogs and participates in others as a regular member.

Relative Blogs:

Tafiti: A Microsoft Silverlight and Live Search Engine Web App

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Here is the first entry in this blog about Microsoft Silverlight! All of that aren't familiar about Silverlight click here to read more about it. Tafiti is a web-app that uses Silverlight so your are gonna need it to browse the whole thing. Tafiti is a rich content search engine that uses Microsoft's Live Search. It's really simple in use! You just enter your search term and then you get your results categorized by the ordinary Web Results, Image Results, RSS Related Results, Books and Latest Headlines. What I liked most is the "Tree View" that represents your search results like the branches of the tree. Click the screenshots bellow to see for your self!

Welie: Patterns in interaction design

Monday, September 03, 2007

About a year ago I had to make an essay for my studies here, about web interfaces and the way they act with human. I had to make an analysis of some web interfaces based on some criteria and an important weight was given at Welie's interaction design patterns. Here is a few word from the author:

This site contains a lot of best practices in Interaction Design. Over the years I have collected examples and insight on their applicability that I share with you here on this. So there is really no 'original' design to be found here, sorry. It has all been done before... See it as a reference or basic 'toolkit' you can use when design user experiences. It is no substitute for creative design, it simply seeks to describe what we know and have learned about solutions you will find abundantly on the web and even beyond. Every 'solution' described in these patterns may succeed in one context but may also fail in another. The challenge is to understand why and how it depends on elements of the context of use. I give you my opinion here, but may opinion is also subject to new insight...so this site will be updated!

Yet Another Multicolumn Layout (YAML): CSS Framework

Monday, September 03, 2007

Do you remember Blueprint post about a month ago? Well here is another cool CSS tool for all web designers out there. YAML is an (X)HTML/CSS framework for creating modern and flexible floated layouts. The structure is extremely versatile in its programming and absolutely accessible for end users.

  • Based on web standards
  • Accessible
  • Flexible
  • Easy to use
  • Fully documented
I haven't test it yet but I'm sure that it may prove a very useful tool judging from the examples available here.


Monday, September 03, 2007

As you noticed there is a small reduce in the amount of posts during the last days but there are some things that come first (university exams, a lot of work etc.). Anyway enjoy the following posts and whatever may come in the next days!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I was searching for some free wordpress themes that (still) haven't been abused and I ran across Tweak!. Tweak! is a free simplified theme version of tweakcast.com and if you want to learn more about it click here.

Cristiano Siqueira (crisvector.com)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Cristiano Siqueira is an illustrator / graphic designer from Sao Paulo, Brazil. There are not much to say about him... his works speak for him. Marvelous work, beuatiful color combos, intrigue figures... somehow he reminds my of Eric Larnoy. Here are some samples of his work. For everyone intrested to see more of his art check his profile at DeviantART.com.

PlaygroundBlues.com: Nathan Borror's Webspace

Monday, August 27, 2007

PlaygroundBlues.com is the personal website of Nathan Borror a web designer / developer based in Kansas City. What I particularly like about PlaygroundBlues.com is the simplicity of the layout. You would say that the layout disappears really making the content to stand out! Another cool feature is the navigation tabs on the left and the way they slide in and out (probably made with a modern javascript library). To find out more about Nathan Borror's work check this link as well. Enjoy!

IKEA: Back to College

Monday, August 27, 2007

What we have here is the minisite for the new IKEA advertising campaign. The target group is obviously the new students that are going to make the big step and live on their own during their studies this year. As you can see the idea is pretty good and well materialized! Again in flash with a touch of more advanced actionscript the final result is pretty warm and cozy something I believe they wanted to succeed. There are some good furniture solutions apart from good web design!

Design Float

Friday, August 24, 2007

For the lovers of Digg here comes Design Float! Design Float is a social bookmarking service (just for the record Design Float is built upon Pligg) that aims to gather bookmarks related to Web Design and Graphic Arts... in other words it's a Digg-like application for designers! Sign up and feed the thing!

Vikiworks™ Studio

Friday, August 24, 2007

Vikiworks™ Studio is the personal blog (Wordpress 2.2.2) of Yichi a graphic designer and specializing in User Interface Design. The current look of his blog is quite an astonishing work as you may see! The little flash part embed in the header of the page and the color combination really lifts off the layout making it to distinguish from the majority of Wordpress themes. Enjoy!

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Daniel Warner: Illustrator & Comic Artist

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Daniel Warner is an awarded Illustrator and Comic Artist that has been in the scene for quite a long time. He is the creator of Cocopiazo which gave him the XERIC FOUNDATION AWARD in 2001 with the release of "Super Deluxe Cocopiazo: A Bright Sunny Day". The releases he made are listed at the bottom of this post.

Daniel Warner's releases:

  1. EXPO 2000 SPX anthology
  2. EXPO 2001 SPX anthology
  3. STEREOSCOMIC 4 anthology of french language comics
  4. Cocopiazo four-issue miniseries
  5. Super Deluxe Cocopiazo: A Bright Sunny Day one-shot
  6. 1 Way Ticket with writer Chris Arrant

Moon Palace: Graphic designer freelance, Webdesigner, Illustrator

Thursday, August 23, 2007

moonpallace.fr is another sample of fine flash-craftmanship! As you may noticed in the upper right corner, moonpallace.fr featured as "Site of the Day" at The W-F-A and that didn't happen by accident. The use of actionscript with vector shapes resulted in what you see and you have to admit it's very eye-candy! I also liked a lot the navigation used, while the only thing that didn't enjoyed that much is the empty space that the main scene leaves pretty blank! Other than that the French guys (remember this one?) really know how to rock!

Loworks : graphic, web, typefaces, broadcast

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Normally I should include this website to the 2nd part of Experimental Japanese flash websites, but for some strange reasons I can't finish it... Anyway here is another fine sample of Japanese flash / actionscript work concerning the web part and some really unique illustrations concerning printed work. Loworks is a Japanese based firm that deals with web design / printed works / typography & font design / broadcast. Despite the very cool look that sound looping while loading content really gets on your nerves!

Fully Illustrated

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

FullyIllustrated.com is the homeplace of Mike Heald. If you don't know Mike you are about to learn about him. Mike Heald is a very talented illustrator / graphic designer that has earned numerous awards for his work throughout the years. His work ranges from illustrations and comics to photography and 3D design, and as you might notice at his portfolio his is doing very well at all of them. I really enjoyed his character design! Check them out!