Image Formats and Where to Use them

When creating a website, sending images to a friend or uploading them on your favorite picture sharing platform you have many options to chose from when it goes to image standards or formats. Each of these formats is a little bit different and you have probably heard about some or all of them but they are all basically algorithms that somehow compress those images as they are simply made from pixels and each individual pixel needs a different color. This means a lot of information has to go inside one individual image but on the web the best thing is smaller size as everything need to be downloaded and we need some mechanisms to compress these images, so here come in these image formats or standards. There are three main image formats and I will try to briefly explain what they are:

GIF

gif

GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format and it is a file format specially designed for images on the WEB. This format uses only 256 colors and that means that it will hugely decrease your typical image size. GIF format is one of the most popular image standards on the web and it has a great bonus that allows you to create transparent images or rather it keeps the transparency when you convert to GIF format.

JPG

jpg

Joint Photographic Experts Group is one of the best file formats to use for photographs and other images that need to retain the full color spectrum as JPG uses RGB color scale and that means millions of colors can be used. JPG is still a web format and that means it uses a algorithm that selectively combines pixels and their colors to reduce the overall file size. Because JPG is a very widely used format when transforming your images in this format you can use various compression algorithms by selecting the quality of your image and if you select lower quality more of that file reduction will be done and your image will become increasingly smaller in size.

PNG

png

PNG or Portable Network Graphics is a file format that was specially created for the world wide web and it is a somewhat in-between format between JPG and GIF as it also has a transparency option but it allows to create images in million of colors. PNG images are smaller than JPG and they can have the same quality but another benefit is that transparency that can come in handy in various different websites and other usages.

Future smartphone design

We have all thought about the future in one way or another and how cool will the technologies of tomorrow will be. But have you thought about mobile phone future? I thing that we will still need phones and if we will not have glasses that can be used like phones then mobile devices will still exist and here are some concept phones for the future:

Philips Fluid Flexible Concept

This concept phone uses a liquid battery and an OLED display to give you a flexible bracelet like device that can be dismantled and created into a bracelet that you can put around your wrist. This phone concept looks stunning and that full body display makes it look really great.

Philips Fluid

Nokia 888 Concept

Nokia has created this concept phone as one of the best looking flexible devices you could have in the future. 888 has a flexible OLED touch screen and a liquid battery that can be bent and will still work. Nokia 888 has a full touch screen on the front but a padded back side that will keep it in hand and create a better grip.

Nokia 888

Kambala Ear-Phone

This is a beautiful design where a Smartphone has been designed to work as an earphone in the sense that you can flip it open and put it on your ear. This concept also uses liquid battery technology and a touch screen but it also has a lot of sensors on both sides for interaction and various different functions.

EarPhone

Nokia Morph

Our last concept is the coolest of them all and that is the Nokia Morph Smartphone that uses nanotechnology to deliver a flexible multiple shape device that can be shaped in many different positions and with the help of nanotechnology transform into radically different device like earphone or cell phone but also a tablet and a lot more.

Nokie Morph

Mobile phone accessories evolution

Same as with evolution of mobile phones, mobile phone accessories has also evaluated pretty much in since mobile phones become available for anyone. In the beginning of mobile phone production, when phones were used for military purposes, no one could think that big, brick looking like mobile phone could one day have many hundreds of different accessories that will make them more attractive, stronger, more convenient, sound better or even take better photographs. Today, our mobile phones or smartphones have lots of accessories to choose from, and you will be able to find an accessory for practically any iPhone or Android smartphone that is manufactured today. iPhones have different cases, covers, protectors and speakers. Android accessories range is even more larger. Some most popular examples are colorful smartphone covers that will make a smartphones design more appealing. Android docking stations and speaker docks that connects to a smartphone, streams and plays music or radio on quality speakers. Protective cases that will protect a smartphone from any types of impacts and damages and helps to save android device in good condition for longer time. But how all these useful accessories developed over time?

docking station for smartphones

90s phone accessories

cell phone accessoriesFirst mobile phone accessories started to appear in beginning of 90s. As mobile phones started to get smaller, thinner and lighter, it was also more easier to break them. So there needed to be a solution to protect mobile phone from external impacts and damages. The best way to do this was to get some sort of cover for your mobile phone. This is when the first mobile phone accessories were invented – mobile phone cases. These cases were made from leather or similar materials and had transparent plastic cover in front of the screen, to protect it from scratches. These mobile phones cases were made large phones even more larger, so you will not see these kinds of mobile phone cases today, as every smartphone needs to be as thin and light as possible.

Design changes for phone accessories

After first smaller mobile phones came out, without antennas and huge battery in back of the phone, new types of accessories also were made, like mobile phone covers. These were very popular those days, and anyone with a mobile phone wanted a cool cover, so their phone could look different and individual form other people’s phones. There were not a lot of phones you could get, and not lots of customization possibilities, so colorful mobile phone cover was a way to make your mobile phones design look different from similar phones design.

Smartphone accessories

When first colored screen mobile phones with cameras came out, there was new range of accessories, like external mobile phone cameras, different earphones, bluetooth microphones smaller and lighter cases and also a lot more covers for mobile phones.

The next turnpoint of mobile accessories design were introduction of smartphones. Thanks to the fast growing count of smartphones, a lot more new accessories were developed for all types of smartphones, from iPhone, to Android phones, to Windows phone, Blackberry and others. Now, you can customize how your phone looks, sounds, enhance durability of the phone and make other adjustments to improve usage of your phone.

Mobile Phone Design Evolution

Mobile phones are one of electronic devices that has evolved the fastest. And not only in technological ways, but also in design. And this of course is pretty obvious, as development and evolution is also pushing design of mobile phones. Some of us may remember the first cell phones that were introduced to mass production several decades ago, and since then ways how we communicate with each other pretty much changed.

First Mobile phones

90s mobile phoneOld mobile phones were really large and looked more like bricks with antennas than something mobile, that you can carry with you all the time in pocket or purse. Mobile phones as many other technologies we use today, were first developed and used for military needs. And as you may know, there is no need for beautifully designed mobile phones in army. The essential need is to be able to communicate with other mobile phones, when it is needed, and to be durable enough to stand war conditions. When mobile phones got to mass production and everyone could buy them (well not everyone of course, but those, who had lots of money those days), the design of mobile phones changes pretty fast. First companies were made that started to produce mobile phones for masses. And if they wanted to be successful in rapidly growing mobile phone market, they needed to put huge attention to the design of mobile phones. In couple of years mobile phone design evaluated fast, and phones got multiple times smaller, thinner and lighter, but of course much larger and heavier than we see now. Antennas were shrinked 10 times smaller as radio communication technologies improved. In beginning of 90s some larger cell phone manufacturers were on top of mobile phone market, like Nokia, Ericsson, Motorola and others, that dictated the mobile phone designs. New types of mobile phone forms and corpuses were introduced, like phones with openable case, and phones with sliding corpus. Prices of mobile phones at this time were more friendlier to regular people, and not only the rich people could afford a new mobile phone.

Late 90s and 20s Mobile Phones

Next breakthrough in mobile phone design were colored displays and different sound format supporting mobile phones. This changed design of phones, because younger generation started to interest in mobile phones because of those new, cool technologies. More new manufacturers started mass production of mobile phones like Samsung and Sony. Smartphone design were a lot more fun and appealing. Black tones were replaced by colorful and bright tones. Mobile phones had changeable covers, so anyone could get a personalized mobile phone cover. Technologies and design of mobile phone evolved by months, and new inventions of mobiles phones were introduced to market.

first iphone

Smartphones

todays smartphonesThe last huge turning point for mobile phone design and development is the one that we are seeing now – smartphones. Thanks to Apple first iPhone, touch screens were introduced to mobile phones, because of internet and other possibilities new mobile phones could do, mobile phones now are being called smartphones. This changed mobile phone design 180 degrees around.Large displays, flat designs, thinner and lighter phones with front and rear facing cameras were just few inventions that smartphone had over previous types of mobile phones. Now we can see each year that smartphones are getting larger, thinner, displays are getting larger, and we are seeing less none display surfaces on our smartphones, sides of display are getting thinner to save weight and size of the phone.From design point, new materials are used for smartphone manufacturing like Aluminum body that looks and feels much better and more expensive than plastic. Smartphone covers are not as colorful as 10 years ago, but you can get different accessories for you smartphones, so you can customize the look and design of you smartphone as you want.

 

Product design development process

Today it is important to create a sustainable design for any products. There is a strong connection between a successful product design and companies execution. To create and develop a design, communication and cooperation between entrepreneurs and designers is needed. Both sides need to understand the essence of product design, development of product and manufacturing of product. Here are the main parts of product design development process.

product desing development

Task clarification process – This process includes identification of project needs. It sustains of market and competitor analysis, product requirements. In the result of this analysis, product designer will acquire a product draft. This gives the designer team a document with goals that need to be completed to create a successful product design. Afterwards, the product specification can be developed, if it is needed for designer team. This product designing phase is managed by marketing department.

Conceptual design creation – In this process, specification and requirements are being developed in multiple examples. This phase usually sustains of sketches, early technical and visual models, developments of different ideas about the product design, development of alternative concepts to reach the goal. In this step, designers have the most freedom to express their creativity, and at the, a conceptual design is created. It can be in form of a drawing or a model.

The introduction process – In introduction process, all the developed concepts are being tested, and life size models are created. This way company can test how product will look into the market. This process ends with design schemes or multiple product design drawings.

Detailed design process – This process means that drawings and models are transformed into production product design. Product concept is detailed and materials and manufacturing process gets described into details. Products capacity, safety and usability is considered. This process ends with detailed component descriptions and production of the design. This information is used to organize production processes and the development of product.

After production and testing process  - After product has been developed, produced, tested, it gets launched into the market. The time from product development to launch in the market can be from few weeks for simple products, to couple of years for more complicated products. The first phases of product development, like task clarification process, are the most important processes that determines, whether the product will have successful design and future development. This is way designers are involved not only in products design creation phase, but also in products concept development processes.

To make a successful product, it is important for all sides from product designers to company directors, to understand the design, marketing and development phases of product production.

 

Car Design

Automotive design is a profession or field of design that primary deals with motor vehicles such as cars, trucks, motorcycles and other land vehicles. The design of these vehicles is done not only on the outer shell but also on the whole concept and usually is done by professional art school graduates as well as engineers but most often both sides play a big role in the development testing and improving the car from the start concept to the end product.

Especially this automotive design is seen in cars as these are the most common vehicles on our roads and there are even smaller sub-categories that include interior design, exterior design and for newer cars also software and hardware design as most often newer cars are using some kind of computers in the dashboard that control various parts of these vehicles.

From the early days of Henry ford and the first commercially available cars this industry has only expanded as at first no one ever thought about style and design and everyone thought about functionality but as the years gone by people started to enjoy more colorful and different cars as no one wanted the same car as his neighbors. It all started with the Model-T from Ford but when this car had run its course more and more companies started to provide custom body panels and different design and this is where the car design industry really was born.

ford model t

This industry has went through a century of innovation and change and as technology advances and cars become more and more complex so does the design industry as it did not matter for the first cars how lightweight and aerodynamic they were but not everything revolves around efficiency and decreased fuel consumption as well as lightweight materials and beautiful but simple shapes. Through the years there were bulky car panels, wedge shaped designs, jet-set designs, and rounded edge styles but now every company is on its own and some huge trends are very hard to predict or see but that is only logical as now cars need to be super efficient but also look cool to the newer generation of auto buyers and models like Tesla, Aston Martin and Ford Mustang pave the way in the future of car design.

aston martin db

If you would like to understand more about this complex trend then start by examining a couple of cars from each decade since 1950′s and start to examine some trends and comparable things that will eventually lead you to more i dept subjects that are covered on different blogs.

Actualities in Web design

Technologies have progressed a lot in past few years, and web is one of the most fastest growing computer technology industry. We have seen progress not only on technical side of websites, but also on their looks and design. Few new design concepts have become viral in past few years, because of the fastly increasing popularity of mobile devices. Now everyone that makes websites, no matter what you are – a programmer or a designer, you must adapt webpage you develop for all sorts of screens, starting from Large Smart TVs to Desktop PC, Laptops, Tablets, Pad phones, Smartphones, and smart watches are just around the corner. So what are the new web design tendencies and what is hot right now for web designers and developers?

Responsive design

One of the most important and noticeable trends of web design in past years have become responsive design. Responsive design means that designers makes websites design for different device screen size. That is why, when you visit some of your favorite web pages from your smartphone or tablet, they look different than when you visit them from your laptop, but everything looks right for your mobile devices screen size. This is possible because of responsive design. Web developers need to code the website in such way, that browser changes elements of web page based on browser size. This means that resizing your web browser in different sizes will show website information and elements in different forms, adapting them to browsers screen size. Each company developing a website for their business needs to consider this practice, as smartphone and tablet users grows each day, and you do not want your potential customers to leave your companies website, because it just does not look right on their mobile devices, and information is not easily readable.

responsive web design

Full screen

Full screen design has also become popular in past years. Full screen websites are usually developed for companies, that needs to place emphasis on single product or service. Full screen websites usually have a large image in the background and less information in their website, so all the attention gets to that picture of product or service they are selling. This technique is being used by large number of new companies on their websites. These full screen webpages are made responsive, so you can get the same effect not only on larger computer screens, but also on smartphones and tablets.

Flat design

Flat design is another trend that has become mainstream now, because large companies like Microsoft and Apple have used this design pattern in their newest operating systems. Some years ago spheric website elements were popular, and everyone wanted their website to have some kind of 3d style objects, same as with overwhelming flash animations and effects in websites that we saw five and more years ago, and cannot see in new webpages. Flat design means that every element of website, starting from buttons to text boxes, images, icons and other type of graphics are made flat and converges with other elements of website. Also it is important, what type of information you present on your website, as web users these days are very impatient and want to find and read the most important information as fast as they can. That is why websites design must be as simple and flat as possible, to bring more emphasis on text of the website, or product or service that your company sells. Flat design also is more easier to adopt for mobile devices and looks good on smaller size screens. Flat designs are used by almost all larger tech and newspaper websites, as they have lots of information and design of website must be as inconspicuous as possible.

Software for Graphic Design

If you want to be a graphic designer, you must learn to use some of the most popular software for creating graphic design. There are lots of software that you can use for creating different digital designs, but here are the 4 most widely used across all platforms.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is the most popular graphic designing software that you can currently have. You can download Adobe Photoshop program here , and try it by yourself. Photoshop allows you to create various types of graphic design, starting from easy picture editing, to small banner commercials, to web page design and complicated product design. The possibilities of photoshop are practically unlimited and you can create all sorts of great works with it. Photoshop is the most popular photo editing software for years now. It is used by millions of professionals and amateurs across the world. With Adobe Photoshop you can create and edit different personal photos, create graphics for websites and products, design different website layouts, create advertisements and commercials both for virtual and real products. Photoshop license is not cheap, and that is why many people choose to use other type of graphic designing software.

photoshop software

GIMP

GIMP photo editing software mainly used on Linux operating systems. GIMP was really popular some years ago, but was outperformed by photoshop. GIMP is free to use, that is why it is still popular graphic designing software for many. GIMP is used by people and designers that do not need to create large and complex graphics, but needs to do some basic stuff with images or any simple graphics. GIMP can also be used on Windows and Mac operating systems. Some people do not like that GIMP has got outdated user interface compared to Photoshop. Although it is more nicely to use Photoshop, you can do a lot of the stuff you can do on Photoshop with GIMP, and do not have to pay hundreds of dollars a year for Photoshop license. Check out and try GIMP.

gimp

MS Paint

Paint is simple photo editing and graphic create program by Microsoft. Paint comes with all Window operating system versions. Paint is really simple and straightforward to use graphic creating software. Paint is not as powerful as Photoshop or GIMP, but you can do a lot of cool thing with it. Paint is the best with its drawing tools. There is not an easier software for drawing than paint. It will be difficult to create any complex graphic designs with Paint, but if you need to draw graphics, Paint will be the best software for you.

paint

Pixlr.com

Pixlr.com is the most popular online image editing tool that has been made. Pixlr is so popular, because of its easy usage. The user interface of Pixlr is quite similar to Photoshop. Of course, you will not find close as many functions on Pixlr as you would on Photoshop, but Pixlr is free to use and works Online, so you do not have download and install any software to work with it. Pixlr offers three different set of tools. One is Pixlr Editor that is photo editing and graphic design software that works similar to Photoshop and GIMP and allows you to do all sorts of different editing to graphic or image. Next is Pixlr Express that is more simpler and allows you to create different effects to you uploaded image. The last is Pixlr O-Matic that just allows you to add simple overly effects and frames for you uploaded photo. Because of these 3 tools, each with different complexity and features, Pixlr is used by many people, as everyone can find the best tools for their photo editing skills and requirements and do not have to learn a lot of stuff to be able to edit their images or create design.

pixlr

Apple product design

Apple ipad designHave you ever wondered why Apple technology company is so popular and why their products ar so well praised amongst almost all society groups? In my mynd Apple as a company is one of the few that has managed to integrate excellent design in their products and not just because that way they look better but because they are truly thinking about their customers and how will they use those products.

Apple products from iPhone to iPad and iMac computer line all have one thing in common and that is they all feel and look amazing. Basically apple has managed to design test and produce products that anybody likes and that is an amazing feat of engineering. Right from their first line of computers like the Apple 2 this company has managed to package their products in a  way that consumers just can’t resist buying them and that is a great thing if you want to build one of the biggest technology companies in the world. These products are all created from materials that feel natural and unobtrusive but still provide the sense of strengths and resilience like aluminum and high strength plastic but that does not mean they cost more to manufacture as mass production is this companies main goal and from the start of this design process Apple engineers work together with their best product designers and marketing researchers to come up with a product that would be easy to manufacture, made from cheap materials and still contains those design features that make it great.

All these great designed products are like gems if you start to explore them more closely and as you look more deeply into those little things like the indicator lights or the edges of a computer or even that ingenious magnetic charger mechanism – they all are really well designed and do the best job possible with the minimum amount of effort. If you are not still convinced then next time you see an Apple computer look at the indicator light for when this computer is in the sleep mode. You will see that it blinks just like a heartbeat and in this way on a subconscious level this computer will feel more alive to you and you will get more attached to it but if you look at their concurrents like Dell or Asus then none of their products have this feature quite right and their indicator lights blink too fast or too slow and they just don’t feel calm and alive. The other thing that makes Apple gadgets great are their interaction design or the way how people interact with these devices on a hardware and software level as this also is very important. When you take a MAC computer and start using it you just feel like it was designed for you as everything is clear and understandable, there are no unobtrusive menus or other things and the performance is flawless as the software and hardware are perfectly linked together to form a machine that is just right for you.
I think that Steve Jobs was able to find people that were deeply passionate about design and these small things and together with them he managed to build the worlds biggest technology company but I hope that Apple will be able to live without this great leader and still thrive while introducing new devices and designing their forms, symbols and contextual performance.

 

What is graphic design and product design?

graphic design

Design is one of the most important things you need to brand your company, service or product. Design is what your customer will first see, and as we know, people makes most of the judgments of what they see in the first couple of seconds. This is why you need to pay attention to the design and overall look of your brand. Graphic design and product design is somewhat related to each other, because without the graphic design there would not be a product design. Graphic design is an overall technique to make a design for something and product design is related to specific product design. We are going to look at what is graphic design, and what is product design in more details.

Graphic design

Graphic design is an art and set of properties that all together makes a design for some sort of product or service. Graphic design involves different skills like styling, problem solving and communications. People that creates graphic design are called designers. There are various types of designers for different graphic design. Most popular type of graphic designers are for newspapers, journals, media, advertising and web. Mostly graphic designers needs to make a design to advertise something. The main purpose of graphic design is to make other people like your product, service or brand, and in the result, people should choose your company over other competitor companies. Designers must make such graphics that appeals to people, attracts their attention and makes them think about, what they, when they look at designers created graphic or advertising. Graphic design reaches from small icon graphic to large poster and advertisement styling. There are different types of skills required for a graphic designer. First of all they need to have knowledge in visual arts to make design appealing to their clients. They also need to be familiar with typography, because advertisements usually have letters, words and longer texts in them. Also knowledge in different graphic techniques is required to make a successful design. Graphic designers use different kind of software, starting from plain paper and pencil to complicated computer softwares. It usually depends on the field of the graphic design and for what type of products, brands or services designer is creating the graphics. Graphic designers also needs to have some knowledge in marketing and communications, to be able to work in team to make a successful graphic design.

Product design

Product design is a more specific type of graphic design. Products can vary in a large scale from small accessories to large and expensive products like cars and other types of vehicles. Product design is important part of product advertising. As mentioned above, product design is the first thing that people see, when they look at new product. So it is important to make product appealing to its customers. As there are many types of products, there also are different types of graphic design for products. It can be the overall design of the product, it can also be just a small part of the products design, it can be company logo or brand design for certain products, or it can be an advertisement that you put on a product advertise your services. Product design requires different skills of the designers, starting from visual art and graphic design skills, to communication, marketing and advertising skills, to be able to create a successful product advertisement. Product design is needed for almost any product that has its target audience and needs to be promoted. As a product we can also understand virtual products, not only physical, like different web pages and software products, that also needs to be style and promoted by web designers. So this also is a small part of product design that designers need to create for advertisement purposes.