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More than one way to skin a cat (with apologies to my Scooter)

First of all apologies to my cat of 15 years, Scooter. The title above is obviously in jest .. a saying my parents and grandparents used to use whenever they had a particularly unique or personal way of doing something. My grandparents were all farmers, and if there is anyone who knows how to improvise and figure things out on the fly, it’s a farmer. That sort of goes for web developers too. I’m knee deep in a brand new site for a charity golf tournament. To see my work go here: I have a photo page that is .. well .. full of photos. But at the moment they are in a sort of linear, straight down the page format. Somewhat jumbled in size as well. I did this because honestly I was in a hurry to get the site live and didn’t want to spend hours (days?) formatting a slideshow or gallery. But now the site has been live for about a week and I’m largely unsatisfied with the look of the photo page. What to do? The choices are pretty varied and somewhat predictable. There is the good old standard slideshow. The kind where the user clicks a thumbnail to change the featured picture. Or the kind where the user clicks a “next” button or arrow to change the featured picture. There is the “mouseover” option where there is a page of thumbnails and a simple hover of the mouse enlarges the thumbnail or even changes the feature picture. Also don’t forget a simple fading slideshow. The user doesn’t get much interaction with these, though. I’m not a fan myself. Most of the above shows are formatted using some form of javascript or jquery. There is also Flash to consider but since all indications are that Flash is going away, or at the least deprecating, then I think I will avoid it at this time. So where does that leave me? I think perhaps the easiest one to create and easiest for the average user to navigate is a simple page of thumbnails that are larger in size than a typical slideshow. Large enough to get a good look at the picture but small enough to make you want to see the picture larger or in its original size. A simple guide/hint at the top of the page tells the viewer to click each thumbnail to…

QR Codes .. next big thing or next big bust?

If you spend any time perusing traditional forms of media such as newspapers and magazines you've surely seen QR Codes popping up everywhere. They're even showing up on grocery store shelves and product packaging! QR codes are those square icon looking images that sort of resemble a thumbprint ... a digital squared off thumbprint. QR Codes are simply links. With the proper tool (app) on your mobile device you can scan the image and your device will instantly open a linked file/image/website in your default browser. It's basically adding clickable links to static, real-life objects! So what's the big deal? QR Codes give you instant access to additional information about a product or advertisement. A sort of "Read More" that can be applied almost anywhere to anything. Think of the possibilities of adding these links to your own product advertising, materials, media and packaging. The sky's the limit! Need help implementing a QR Code campaign or strategies? Let us help. Ask us how now!! ~Todd

Happy New Year!!

2011!! It's kind of scary saying that word. Wasn't it just 1998 and everyone was talking about CSS and what was the next iteration of CSS going to look like? Oh wait .. developer talk. I digress .. We hope your New Year is off to the best of starts and don't forget the champagne!!   ~Todd

Merry Christmas from Todd Day Graphics!

How did it get to be Christmas already? Time is flying. We are spending our first Christmas in our new home. What a contrast from past Christmas times. We have more room for more decorations and a bigger tree and even though we really are still not completely settled we definitely know we are now HOME. The house is beautiful and my wife's knack for decorating is really making the season especially fun and joyous for me. What's your wish for Christmas this year? Peace on Earth is always a good one for me!! Merry Christmas Everyone!! ~todd

One page what?

One of the frequent reasons potential clients say they don't have a website is that they "can't afford to pay for all those pages." What they mean is that many website design/development firms charge by the page. Or at the least they charge an upfront fee then more for each page added to the site. To be fair this is pretty common practice and at Todd Day Graphics we have structure that also takes into account the size of the proposed project. So what are you to do if you need a great looking functional website but can't afford 10-12 pages of content? Or maybe you don't even HAVE 10-12 pages of content to offer? The answer: One Page Sites. One Page Websites are trendy this year and for good reason. You can say a lot with a little (the old "less is more" principal) if you do it right. One designer refers to One Page Websites as "digital business cards." That's a great analogy. If you need a great website but don't have a lot to offer in content at the moment, why not let us build you a great looking and great performing One Page Website? Let's get started!! Contact us Here..

Thinking (and working) outside the box .. the moving box that is ..

Things are kind of crazy around here. You see, my wife and I just moved to a brand new home in Charlotte. We're surrounded by a mountain of moving boxes, piles of brown wrapping paper and I can't find anything!! But we are very happy about our move and our new home and our new neighborhood. All this moving got me to thinking about how this related to websites .. sometimes we really, really want a new, fresh look to our site but we dread the process. Changing over to a new site can be a daunting task without the proper support. Just as your favorite serving platter can mysteriously disappear during a home move, so can files and images and databases if precautions aren't taken. We've got lots of experience setting up new sites, transforming old sites and even moving existing sites to new servers and hosts. We can help you make a move that will be "relatively" stress free!! No boxes and clutter included!! Ask Us How We Can Help!

Cross-Browser Compatibility

What exactly does “cross-browser compatibility” mean? Simply put, it means that your web site will look exactly the same in any browser. And while this may come as a surprise to many new designers, anyone who has ever pulled their hair out over the many bugs inherit in older versions of Internet Explorer knows how frustrating it can be to make sure everything parses the same in all browsers. Think about it, how many times have you designed your “best site ever” and previewed it til your blue in the face, then check it on someone else’s computer a few days later and it looks blown apart … elements out of order, colors wrong, fonts wrong … it’s happened to all new web designers at some point! And if the person who sees the bad version happens to be your client, you can run into big trouble down the road! So how do we accomplish this goal? Two main ways. First, by being absolutely sure that your web sites are standards compliant and secondly by using the tools available to you both in your software and online to check for compatibility issues. I use Adobe Dreamweaver almost exclusively in building my sites. That’s not to say I don’t sometimes tinker with other programs and/or do preliminary layouts in notepad or notepad++ …….. but when the final version is being built, I am going to always be in Dreamweaver. One of the nicest things about Dreamweaver, and all of the Adobe Creative Suite software, is the array of troubleshooting tools built in. Dreamweaver has a button in the main toolbar which will allow you to check the browser compatibility of your site as it’s being developed. If a problem is detected, clicking a link will take you to the Adobe web design forums/help pages where solutions can be found. Remember, when you are finishing your site’s build and previewing  … check it in as many browsers as you can. Download the latest versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Opera and Safari and go through every page in each browser. Look for font problems, color problems, divs that aren’t in the right place and images that aren’t floating correctly. Most of the time, a review and tweak of your CSS file will correct any problems. Always use someone else’s computer if possible, to preview your site on a test server before…

Welcome to our Blog!

Welcome to the official Blog of Todd Day Graphics! I plan on this being an ongoing discussion on all things graphic design/art/web related. Some posts might be on new styles, trends or technology, other posts might focus on ideas and tutorials for great design, functional css, etc. Other times I might just decide to rant about whatever’s bothering me that day!! Thanks for coming along for the ride! Together we might all learn something!