I have always been confident in my ability to know what looked good and what didn’t – even before I had a design graduate class and the vocabulary to correctly explain why. The media design class has made me look at things with a sharper focus. The biggest lesson learned, I don’t really have the patience to design media full time – I’ve had some very, very frustrating moments with Photoshop and Fireworks/Dreamweaver. With the frustration comes creativity. I found some tools that would help make life easier.
There are three tools that are making media design simpler: one is for color and two are for type.
I shared Pixie with the class and someone said it was unnecessary because I could just import the image into Photoshop and see the exact color. However that is missing the point. With Pixie I can see the color of ANYTHING that is on my computer screen. It displays the results in all the color codes: HEX, HTML, RGB, CMYK, HSV.
All I have to do is open the program and let my mouse hover – how does it get any easier than that? Those steps are definitely easier than opening Photoshop and bringing in an image. Not to mention, once my license through the school runs out, I don’t plan on paying for Photoshop. Pixie can be downloaded for free. In my mind it is the clear winner.
The type tool is a website that displays all the fonts installed on your computer. It is appropriately named Font Viewer.
For someone creating media on the web, it would be more important to create the perfect font view AND be able to get the code. TypeFolly will do exactly this. In order to save your work, you need to create a free account. You play around in a sandbox area playing with the fonts, sizes, spacing, color, shadow, etc. When you have the desired effect, you can copy the code so it will appear perfectly on your website. Of course the fonts do not display correctly in the blog, but when the code is taken into another website design tool (anything besides WordPress), it shows up great.