Archive for the ‘Web Design’ Category

Adobe To Acquire Macromedia

Monday, April 18th, 2005

Wow… Adobe just announced a definitive agreement to acquire Macromedia.

The two graphic design software houses. Arch-enemies. Together. It’s all mind-boggling as to what can come out of this.

  • Adobe + Flash. This is gonna be big. They’re gonna push Flash as the lingua franca of the interactive web (while we wait on things like XForms, XAML, XUL and Web Forms 2.0) using the combined clout of Adobe and Macromedia’s apps. Adobe had made some progression into SVG, so hopefully everything isn’t too Flash-centric. And the growth in the mobile area (Just think of the licensing for Flash Lite in the future) is also gonna be good. This reason is probably worth it alone regardless of all the potential problems and overlap.
  • A powerful set of integrated tools. For print, web and video. Photoshop + Dreamweaver. Director + Premier. Drools.
  • Some good “synergies”. Adobe has been entrenched in the print area with InDesign and PDF. Macromedia is very web oriented, with many mobile and server components.
  • Also lots of fallouts. There’s plenty of overlapping software. Dreamweaver vs GoLive. Illustrator vs Freehand. Whether they remain separate, get merged, or cannibalize each other’s parts and technologies remains to be seen.
  • No real competitors. The only “real” competitors are Corel (with CorelDraw and its recent acquisition of Jasc) and opensource software, such as The GIMP. Maybe ACDSystems as a minor player since obtaining Canvas. With Adobe and Macromedia offering integrated suites, why try anything else. Bye bye Quark.
  • Adobe Flash CS? Adobe Macromedia Flash? Adobe Macromedia Flash CS MX 2006! This is gonna be interesting =)

Adobe CS2 Iconography

Thursday, April 7th, 2005

With the recent announcement of Adobe’s Creative Suite 2, I’d like to take some time to look at their new set of icons. :)

The release of Adobe CS a little over a year ago introduced a set of unified & nature-inspired icons designed by MetaDesign. It was quite a shift from the traditional Photoshop “eye” and the Illustrator “Venus” motif.

MetaDesign’s Brett Wickens had explained the new look in the comments section of What Do I Know’s post on Adobe CS Iconography:

“Nature provided a good metaphor for the role of design software… Feathers were one of the original drawing/illustrating tools. Stars were the original navigation technology. Flowers are present in the original Venus painting. Butterflies were already established in the InDesign packaging, so they already fit the scheme.”

CS2 continues on this nature theme with a few tweaks. The icons themselves have adopted a more translucent and symbolic feel.

One of the biggest changes is the new starfish icon of GoLive CS2. While the original star icon didn’t fit into the overall “small objects of nature” CS theme, the new GoLive CS2 icon is a nice subtle shift. It unifies with the rest of the suite without completely throwing away the previous look. Bravo.

Another change are the new color schemes. When the original Adobe CS was released, not only did the traditional icons change, but the color schemes for icons and their respective document file icons changed as well. Suddenly Photoshop CS PSD files where green and Illustrator CS AI files were pink. The new CS2 sees a return to the old colors. Photoshop CS2 to blue (well, a mix of green and blue) and Illustrator CS2 to orange/peach. Everything old is new again.

I haven’t actually shared my thoughts about the new Adobe CS2 features, but I’m just happy to note that I can look forward to underlining text in Illustrator CS2 now :)

Moving to WordPress

Tuesday, February 1st, 2005

With all the noise that’s going on, I think I’m gonna move to WordPress soon. Partly because it’s the next “new thing” and partly because I’m having fun playing around with it. I’ve even hacked up my own little WP plugin using PHP–something I couldn’t (or at least, didn’t know how to) do with MT.

I’m still keeping the old 2.x version of MovableType though. It’s been managing my church website, which requires multiple blogs and authors. It still does everything I need for those sites at the moment, so it’s fine. And I like how I can compartmentalize different sections of the site into one admin area. It’s fairly simple and it has a slightly lower learning curve than WP, which makes all the difference for everyone else involved.

At least, until this happens :)

Antiseptic Switch Color Picker

Saturday, December 11th, 2004

Antiseptic Switch Free Download: Antiseptic Switch Skin 1.0

I needed a small, fully-featured and easy-to-use color picker with an efficient user interface for my web design work. A lot of programs out there are huge, bulky and often get into the way. They usually offer too many features that I don’t need when designing webpages and they often come with a horrible interface.

I’d like to introduce you to Higher Tendencies’ Switch - a wonderful and free color picker program for Windows.

“Switch is a color picker and adjuster. You can select the color of any pixel on the screen, zoom into a part of the screen, and adjust the color through RGB, HSL, Hex and OLE color properties. Great for graphic artists and skinners.”

It’s skinnable and it’s extremely flexible. While the default skin was nice (see the screenshot on their website), I created my own skin to fit my needs.

You can download the Antiseptic Switch skin from deviantART. I’ve been using this pretty much daily now, and it makes my life so much easier. Maybe you’ll find it useful too.

The program’s color picker and zoom functions have been reordered and are main focus now. The functions are placed on the left-hand side as I usually have the Switch window floating on the right side of my screen. Just drag the eye dropper icon to the screen to pick the color you want. RGB, HSL and HEX values also get full attention below. Gone are the space-hogging and hardly-used OLE values. In the main title bar are “Options” (the Switch icon), “Stay on Top” toggle and “Close” respectively. Also included are eye dropper and magnifying glass cursors.

If you’re looking for an alternative color picker, there’s ColorPad. It’s free and tiny as well. It offers most of the features of Switch, with the exception of HSL adjustments (which I often need for elements that change brightness on hover). The official website is gone, but you can probably google to find it.

Download Higher Tendencies’ Switch
Download Antiseptic Switch Skin

RSS feeds with a Safari CSS Theme

Tuesday, July 6th, 2004
Screenshot of Safari RSS

Screenshot of Safari RSS

Safari RSS?

Safari RSS is Apple’s default web browser for Mac OS X Tiger. As indicated by its name, it now features a built-in RSS (and Atom) reader. Aside from the powerful feed indicator and notification functions, Apple has created an elegant design as an alternative to complicated-looking XML-based feeds. While the XML format is intended to be human-readable, Apple has coated it over with blue accent gradients and hidden all the tags. For many users, this will be the defining look of RSS/Atom feeds.

We can make our RSS/Atom feeds look similar to the Safari RSS look. All we need is the proper CSS file linked as a stylesheet from our RSS/Atom XML file.


Hello World

Saturday, June 14th, 2003

Hi, I’m Stanley Sy and welcome to my new website at Hopefully, over time, I’ll add more things to the site, whether it’s related to artwork, icons, skins, websites or random thoughts.