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Archive for March, 2012

Are YOU ready for timeline?

March 28, 2012


facebook barAre YOU ready for timeline?

In case you aren’t in the loop, Facebook has set a date, March 30, for the mandatory switch to timeline for all fan pages. This includes all business and non-profit organization pages. Though this does not apply to personal pages, it’s not too early to start thinking about your own timeline and cover images. There hasn’t been a date set for an official timeline switch for all pages but it seems it could be coming sooner rather than later based on the mandatory switch for fan pages.

I have been trying out timeline for a few weeks now and, I have to tell you, I am really liking it. I know Facebook has a reputation for changing rapidly and dramatically and not always for the better. But, I think this is a great update.

The best part of timeline is the ability to add a large image to the top called the cover image. The whole point of the cover image is to represent yourself; your likes, your personality, your humor. Be creative! Check out these awesome personal page covers and non-profit fan pages.

facebook example 4

Cover photo by Fabio Maravilla

facebook example 3

Cover photo by Jerome Vadon

facebook example 2

Cover photo by Louise Lundberg

facebook example 1

Cover photo by Aly Moffatt

Creating your own cover image

Inspired by these awesome examples, I decided to create my own creative cover. There is a great Photoshop template at the end of the personal page covers article from above. You can create your cover directly in the template in order to get a good idea as to how it will actually look on your timeline.

Using the Photoshop template, I decided to combine the following images into something unique and unexpected. Take a look at my Facebook cover.

April Rummage yell face

toy dinosaur

empty landscape

Don’t have Photoshop?

No problem. There are tons of websites and apps dedicated to helping you create unique cover pages.

My personal favorite was Sumo Cover. It is an app that integrates with your Facebook page. I found that it has a super easy to use interface that allows you to upload photos from your computer, select pre-existing backgrounds, or select from any of your Facebook photos. In creating your cover image, you can add various effects, text, increase or decrease image size.

Beware though. One problem I did encounter with this app was I could not figure out how to upload my saved cover to my Facebook timeline. I alerted the company so hopefully this glitch will be fixed.

It’s always better to create a unique image, but if this isn’t realistic for you, Sumo Cover, offer pre-designed covers for download. However, be on the lookout for cheesy “Myspace-esque” templates and layouts.


I recently created a Facebook cover for the North Carolina Guardian ad Litem program. Take a look!

You’ve seen my Facebook cover. Now, I want to see yours!

How much space is enough?

March 26, 2012


How much space is enough?Single vs. double spacing after punctuation

In last week’s post, I shared my top five graphic design pet peeves. Today’s post is all about pet peeve number one, double spaces after punctuation.

If you were like me, you were taught to double space after punctuations. I’m here to tell you this is not correct in the professional world. Here’s a test. Check today’s newspaper, the novel you are reading, nearby magazine, or open a new tab and type your favorite URL. Are there double spaces after punctuations? No.

Why were we taught wrong?Why were we taught wrong?

Double spaces became the standard during the days when typewriters were king and letter forms used fixed width spacing. This means that all letters had the same amount of space around them instead of adjusting on a case by case basis. So, ‘i’ had the same amount of space as ‘m’. The reasoning for using double spaces after periods was to increase readability.

Flash forward to the era of computer-based word processing. Today, we use smart fonts that automatically adjust spacing around characters making the need for double spaces obsolete.

Seems straightforward, right? Even though this is the established standard for journalist, editors, publishers, typographers, and others, there are many people who still maintain a strong stance about using double spaces. This may help explain why some of us were taught wrong.

Check out this great post from related to double spacing. Be sure to check out the comments section for interesting dialogues. You can also see a response argument that defends double spacing. Decide your stance on the issue!

Biggest pet peeve worthyBiggest pet peeve worthy

This may seem like an insignificant concern for most people so why, you may ask, is this worthy to be considered one of my biggest pet peeves? It’s simple. Other than the fact that single spaces are cleaner, more readable, and the industry standard, as a designer, I end up being the one who has to take out unnecessary spaces. Not a big deal if you are talking about a paragraph of text but it does get annoying (and time-consuming) after a few pages.

Voice your opinionDo you still use double spaces after punctuations?

Mockingjay: Design in everyday life

March 23, 2012


MockingjayIt’s finally here!

If you are like me, you have been patiently waiting for the The Hunger Games movie premiere for several months now.

If you aren’t familiar with The Hunger Games, it’s a story inspired by Greek mythology that is fast paced with edge-of-your-seat action. It was a great book trilogy and I have high hopes that the movies will be just as great. I caught the midnight showing last night with a few friends but I’m not talking! Go check it out for yourself and let me know what you think!

If you are even the slightest bit familiar with the books, I know you are familiar with the iconic mockingjay graphic. It is everywhere. From book covers to movie posters, necklaces to cell phone cases. Believe it or not, people are even doing Hunger Games themed weddings complete with mockingjay cupcakes.

But, have you ever thought about how this symbol came to be? Who was the designer that first read Suzanne Collins’s story and brought this symbol of hope and rebellion to life? What goes into creating such an iconic symbol?

Tim O’Brien, an American illustrator, is the guy we have to thank for the mockingjay graphic that seems to be everywhere right now. Check out his blog post that details the creative process of the mockingjay and the first Hunger Games book cover.

The Hunger Games International Book Covers

In celebration of the release of The Hunger Games, here are some international Hunger Games book covers for your enjoyment! (Oh, on a sidenote, did you know The Hunger Games was filmed in North Carolina?)

US cover


UK cover


Taiwan cover


Sweden cover


Russia cover


Romania cover


Japan cover


Greece cover


Germany cover


Hunger Games Denmark


First things first

March 21, 2012


First things first

What is graphic design, you might ask?

Yes, I get this a lot and, yes, I do make things look “pretty.” But more than that, graphic design is about communication. A picture says a thousand words, right? Well, it is my job to mindfully create visuals that communicate a planned message for my clients. If the message is unclear or misinterpreted, then I have not done my job even if it is the most attractive piece of art ever.

Top five pet peeves

Top five graphic design pet peeves

With this in mind I have compiled a list of my top five graphic design pet peeves. Be on the lookout for upcoming posts that will explain each pet peeve.

  1. Double spaces after punctuations
  2. Overuse of drop shadows
  3. Clip art
  4. Inconsistency
  5. Times New Roman

Voice your opinion

I’m listening! What are your visual pet peeves?

Comment below or connect with me via Twitter @askaprilr

Ridding the world of bad design one post at a time

March 19, 2012


Good design vs bad design

Ridding the world of bad design one post at a time

Welcome to my new blog dedicated to educating the masses about good design. My name is April and I have been a professional designer for the past three years.

As you may know if you are in this field, to work as a designer is to eat, sleep, live, and breathe all things design. Through my design education and professional experience, I have been brainwashed to notice all sort of details in everyday life that “normal” people will never notice. Let me tell you, there is a lot of bad design in the world. I am making it my personal mission to rid the world of typeface abuse, file type misuse, and content overload.

You don’t have to be a designer to read my blog. As a matter of fact, I encourage everyone to check back soon! You never know when you’ll learn something new that you can use on your next scrap booking endeavor or company picnic flyer.


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