Archive for the 'design' category

Dual Screen Calibration with Eye One on MBP Running OS X

As graphic professionals we need to regularly calibrate our computer screens to ensure they’re performing optimally. Of course that doesn’t mean we always do. Just like we ALWAYS make multiple back-ups of ALL our files and keep some of these back ups off site. Right?

Calibrating one screen is fairly straight forward with the right tools. Just follow the software wizard and you’re done in about 10 minutes. Calibrating two screens can be a little bit more tricky—especially if one of those screens is a laptop display.

I use the latest version of Eye-One Match (v3.6.3 as of this writing). Once figured out how to make the magic happen, it’s really a breeze. Follow these steps and you should be fine…

My Set Up

  • 15” MacBook Pro (late 2010) runs OS X (Snow Leopard, v10.6.6)
  • 20” XL20 Samsung SyncMaster external display
  • laptop screen has been arranged to be the secondary display whenever the XL20 is plugged in
  • XL20 contains my menu bar

Let’s Calibrate!

These steps work for me. I’m not saying it’s the only way to accomplish this, but it sure works for me.

Calibrate the laptop display first

  • ensure you DO NOT have your external display plugged into your laptop
  • start Eye-One Match and follow the steps to calibrate your screen
  • save your profile with a meaningful name (such as “MPB-24-03-2011”)

Calibrate the external display next

  • plug the secondary display into your laptop
  • you may need to ensure that it is set as your main display (not sure about this step)
  • start Eye-One Match and follow the steps to calibrate your screen
  • save your profile with a meaningful name (such as “XL20-24-03-2011”)

Ensure that you now have two displays with their own ICC profile

  • go into “System Preferences” > “Displays”
  • click on “Color” tab
  • ensure the “Show profiles for this display only” option is checked
  • click on “Gather Windows”
  • compare the settings

If all is well, you should now have two displays with their own profiles, and your profile settings should look similar to this:

Note the two different profiles.

Note the two different profiles.

A Few Hints On Preparing And Delivering Content

First of all, we—as web designers—love to help you out and appreciate your business. Creating beautiful and usable websites is what we’re all about. This post only serves to give all the folks who depend on web developers/designers a few guidelines on the effective delivery of content.

Be Clear

Please don’t put us into a position where we have to decipher your intentions. When we have to do that, it takes up more of our time and the extra work involved will end up costing you more of your hard earned cash. Heck, it may even annoy us (and annoyed designers are far less productive than designers who are in good spirits).

Quality Content

As a site proprietor it is up to you to ensure that content is up to scratch. Well written content will please your visitors and generate more revenue for you as the owner of the site. On top of that, good designers put a lot of effort into properly crafted designs and prefer to see their hard work being matched by equally well crafted copy. At the very least, and at all times, run a spell checker on your copy before sending it out for publication.

Be Clear, Again

Actually write some copy. Don’t just give us vague hints: “uhm, this needs to say something down the lines of…” Consider us dumb machines: we need specific instructions (unless we actually have been contracted to be copy editors). If you don’t know how to write content, consider hiring someone who does.

Deliver Content In An Appropriate Format

Deliver content in an appropriate format: for instance, RTF (Rich Text File) or Microsoft Word. It is much harder for us to strip content from a PDF than convert a properly marked up RTF for example. You can also help us by highlighting the changed content.

Don’t Change Your Mind (Unless You Have To)

If updates have been scheduled to take place at a particular time don’t send us anything until then (unless our opinion is called for). We really don’t need the content until the actual updates are about to take place. Chances are you will change your mind in the meantime. Sending us multiple emails with conflicting requests for content updates will simply confuse us, and there is a chance we’ll miss some of your instructions. Of course you’ll want to send us revised copy when situations change, making clear that previous content has been scrapped.

Observe Email Etiquette

When you are sending us content via email, give emails a clear subject heading. That way, if we need to refer to your emails at a later stage we can easily find them again.

Also, refrain from giving updates about your sister’s friend’s cat. Business emails are for business, and generally should be limited to just that: business. It makes our job so much easier. While we may want to hear about the cat, we prefer you to give us an update in another email.

In Conclusion

While I’m sure I’ve left out some useful aspects of effective content delivery, these pointers will go a long way to helping us being more efficient and allow us to do what we do best: craft beautiful and useful sites.

Please remember that the more work you create for us, the more we have to bill you for.

What £400k will buy you these days…

The logo for the 2012 London Olympics has been unveiled. If only my future goggles could see ahead far enough to appreciate this “work of art.”

London 2012 Olympics logo

Already, there has been a lot of public outcry. Even British MPs weighed into the debate. According to the BBC conservative MP Philip Davies described the design as “childish and ridiculous” and “a pathetic attempt to appear trendy.” If noting else, it has been good for public debate: 10,507 comments for one BBC article—most of them negative.