Author Archive: Ruth Hernandez

Designing For Apps 101

Whenever you visit your smartphone’s app store (Google Play Store, Apple store), did you notice just how many apps there are on your fingertips? It’s because there is a market for good apps and if you are thinking of creating your own application or designing for apps, you can definitely make big money if you do it right.

Just How Large is The Demand?

According to, there are 4.4 billion worldwide users who use smartphones to download apps. The number is staggering and it’s going to get bigger and bigger. App development is poised to continue being a big business opportunity. Now, getting into web development is easy in that you do not need a sizable investment. However, you still have your work cut out for you.

Developing your first applicationWhat You Need When Designing For Apps

Developing your first application has never been so exciting. Imagine getting to create that app that millions of users are going to pay for! Before that happens, you must know first how to design your first application, and then develop it from the ground up. You will, of course, need the right equipment; more importantly, you need to be equipped with knowledge of certain programming languages.

Let’s say you decided to build an app for Android Jellybean 4.1, you are most likely dealing with Java as it’s the primary Android development language. You also need to get the ADT (Android development tool) and Eclipse as the IDE (Integrated Development Environment).

You also have to test your app for bugs. Android debugging can be a pain if you don’t have the device to test it. This is especially the case if you are not using third party software like GenyMotion. Debugging in Eclipse IDE can take as long as an hour even on high-end computers. You will need a lot of patience if you happen to choose to develop in android.
IOS application development requires Mac devices with XCode installed. It also requires knowledge of Objective-C language.

Depending on the intended functionality of your application, whether it is an application for calculating your calorie intake or an RPG game for kids, the guidelines are still the same. For starters, the outline of the buttons or the controls should be easily understood or intuitive. The color of your app should also set the right mood. Also, the text should be easy to read. Most of all, the application should be really doing what it is supposed to do. Also, the layout of your application must be user-friendly. It will also help if your logo is eye-catching and easy to remember so it would stand out from most of the applications available on the playstore.

To develop your app, you may need knowledge of how to construct storyboards and there are applications that can help with that too. This is especially the case with apps for RPG or adventure gaming.

Right Gadget, Right Apps, for the Right People

Developing application must not be taken off lightly. Your choice in target device will also affect your target customers, and, therefore, your profits. If you choose to make an app for android kitkat 4.4 for example, not only you will lose potential profit from IOS smartphone users but also lose potential profits from Android phone users with lower versions than 4.4.


Every aspiring developer must know this remember creating an application for only one device can result to compatibility issues on other devices especially on lower end versions. Your decision should be based on application capability, statistics, compatibility, users and legalities of the software product you are developing. You need to do market research before deciding on a specific target market.

Uploading Your App on App Store

Uploading an android application on Google play store is not free too. You will have to create a merchant account, and registration for that can cost you a $25 fee. The price may vary depending on your country.

Uploading IOS application requires apple id that cost 1 $ deducted from your credit card plus an ample upload fee depending on your application targeted device.

So What if you want to make Mobile applications but you don’t Know How to Code?

Learning programming languages is a must when developing mobile applications or any applications at all. However, you shouldn’t worry because android and apple companies have online libraries and tutorials that you can easily access. They will help you develop your very own application.

If you’re looking to develop Android apps, you can visit
If you want to develop IOS appls, please visit

It is advisable to master these programming languages to become a better mobile developer
Objective C
HTML5 / PHP (for web based mobile applications)

Dealing with the Heat of Competition

So you have created an app for editing pictures but upon searching, you find out there are already tons of them in the play store? Don’t get discouraged; remember there are 4.4 billion smartphone users (or possibly more) in the world. There is always a chance that there is one person who will try your application and possibly buy.

You just need to offer something unique, such as additional features that other apps don’t have. For example, instead of making a standard castle defense app, why not make a mash-up of castle defense and real-time strategy?

How to Benefit from your Passion on Graphic Design

Graphic design can be considered as a diverse field of work as it encompasses advertising, clothing, web design and much more. Since many people share the passion for graphic design, most people utilize their love for graphic designing through different ways. Others have transitioned from being just a hobbyist to taking graphic designing as a career.

Although graphic design is rewarding enough as a hobby, many people make use of their talent by providing graphic design services to various businesses. This article will discuss more how you would be able to take advantage of your natural ability in graphic design both as a hobby and a career.

A67 3

1.    Express your natural creative ability
One of the great benefits of having a knack for graphic design is that you can express your creativity while earning a decent living. Many artists prefer graphic design over other art forms as it is easier to earn a living with it. If you are one of those people who love computers and making art, you can pursue a career in graphic designing as you can do both at the same time.

2.    Availability of different media
The great thing about graphic designing is that you can utilize different media for your skill. The two main media used in graphic designing are print and web. Print media have been in existence for many years, but web graphic designing is something that started only upon the arrival of the internet.

3.    Huge client base
Many businesses have a limited client base. As a graphic designer, your skills are in-demand as most businesses are needing graphic designers from time to time. Some businesses house their team of graphic designers while some hire freelancers or even outsource the work to other countries.

4.    Working comfortably at home as a freelancer
Another great benefit of having graphic design skills is the different opportunity of securing a graphic design career online. There are many places on the internet to find freelance work which enable you to provide graphic design service to various clients from the comfort of your home.

5.    Few expenses
Unlike other traditional art forms wherein you need to keep your art supplies consistently in check, graphic designing does not require many overhead expenses given that you already have a computer and the necessary graphic design software. If your client requires some printing job, you will need to work this into the total project quote. The same can also be said for other necessary aspects of the project such as purchasing stock images or hiring additional people to give you a hand. If you are going to promote yourself as a graphic designer, additional budget for web hosting and marketing may be needed. However, overall costs should be low in the event you are working as a freelancer.

Final Thoughts

People have different passion. Some are into writing, sports, and other worthwhile activities. For people with passion on graphic design, they can freely express themselves through their work. Many people have already become successful just by providing graphic design services to various businesses while some were able to branch out into other fields such as web designing and programming.

Understanding The Web Designing Fundamentals Of Using CSS

We live in the era of the internet where the need for advertising online is crucial for businesses that need better profit through promoting their product online. Proper online marketing will not only make it possible for you to advertise your products though; it can help encourage people to buy more and share their experiences with the product using social media. This means that if you know how to setup effective websites, such as those featuring interactive web designs, you can benefit from free. The kind of interactive web design you get will vary depending on the type of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) programming used in the website development process.


CSS is the one responsible for how the website appears on your screen and the feel it brings to its viewers based on the environment it projects. We can even say that CSS is what gives life to a website.

When developing web design for small scale operation, developers typically use the inline injection approach which injects CSS directly to the parent HTML source code to manipulate the appearance, colour, texture, font and shape of a given element in the web page. This type of CSS is used on web pages where web designing activity is minimal but is considered effective when you only needed to change a specific part of a webpage.

Internal Style Sheet

This method of implementing CSS is similar to inline approach but instead of injecting CSS attribute directly to the HTML tag, CSS attributes are declared at the head tag of the specific HTML page using the keyword <style>. This method is commonly used when a specific web page acts as a multiple containers for other pages ceasing the need for an external source of master file CSS.

External Style CSS

A much more efficient way of implementing web designs is the use of External Style CSS. This enables developers to manipulate multiple pages with the same motif. Using a single CSS master file, the developers can declare values which correspond to specific attributes such as font, colour, size, width, height and even the position of an element in the HTML file. By using classes and ID’s to match the design declared in the CSS master file, web designers can handle multiple pages especially when the website elements are repetitive.


Here is an overview of the process that will able you to further understand external style CSS.

First, create a document HTML files using namely index.html, about.html and gallery.html in your root directory (C:\Documents\MyWebsite)

Then, create your master CSS file MyDesign.css in this directory (C:\Documents\MyWebsite\MyDesign)
Open your html files and connect them to your master CSS file by relative directory using this code
<script rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” src = “MyDesign/MyDesign.css“/>
<title> Web Designing Fundamentals Using CSS </title>

Once connected, you may now declare CSS attributes like background colour, font, font size and margins.
Note that there are three levels elements that react to CSS attributes depending on how you declare them.

1. The default method is multiple style sheets
h1 {
color: yellow;
margin-left: 25px;
In this level of declaring CSS attributes, all HTML element tags declared in with the same directory referred to as <h1> will result in text coloured yellow with a margin to the left by 25 pixels.

2. The second method is by using class:
color: blue;
In this level of declaring CSS attributes, all an HTML element tags with a class name of myClass will contain text coloured blue with a font size of 20 pixels.

3. The third is by using ID’s
color: red;
In this level of declaring CSS attributes, all HTML element tags with an ID of myID will contain text coloured red in absolute position.

The External Style Sheet implementation of CSS is by far the most reliable source when developing web designs with dynamic content. This method will enable web designers to be as creative as possible because they can easily manage multiple web pages at once.

Bootstrap Web design (Pre – Made CSS)

Pre-made web designs are popular nowadays as the need for fast interactive dynamic designs for people who don’t have the luxury of time to develop their own websites has become more common. Business owners now have the variety of pre-made web designs to choose from; they just need to think about what’s suitable for their products and business processes. This type of design includes simple advertising web pages to far more complex e-commerce shopping carts for businesses complete with various payment options. Bootstrap offers much more flexibility than an average CSS framework because it relies on readymade libraries, enhanced by the latest in JavaScript and J-Query programming to support much more complex designs for more dynamic Web pages.

Is Print Design a Dying Art?

With the emergence of digital advertising, the web and web-based design has reached a whole new frontier. Collaterals for advertising campaigns now have the capability to reach a much broader audience in a much shorter time span. So with this new digital revolution, where does that leave print?

ad campaignUnderstanding Paper and Ink

Everything included in an ad campaign has had a designer working on it. Print design is a subset of graphic design that is purposely made for printing. The output varies by medium and by purpose. The most basic examples are the well-established printed posters and billboard ads. There are also marketing collaterals like business cards, letterheads, envelopes, and resumes, and branding materials for product labels and packaging. Designers need to understand their medium, their audience, and their message to create a successful, memorable design.

Print Design in the Digital Age

With each new hashtag, mail blast, viral marketing campaign and social media outlet, it cements the effectivity of online advertising. Marketing teams focus more on social media campaigns than printed ads. Posters and banners can be optimized for the web. Company letters framed by letterheads are sent through email. The future draws that much closer, shiny and chrome in all its technological glory. What use is there for print and paper in this shiny new world?

Truth be told, the print design market is no longer as strong as it used to be. With the continuing shift to digital, designers had to compensate to stay afloat. Printed design skills had to be supplemented with some skill in web design. It wasn’t enough to simply complete a magazine spread. It may also have to be optimized for online viewing. Print ads had a web-based counterpart. Printed marketing collaterals may need an accompanying website. It is not just print anymore.

online advertising
Print vs. Web

The main reason online advertising–and by extension web design–has become so popular is because of its ease and sheer scope. The global social media agency WeAreSocial reports that as of early 2015, there are around 3.010 billion active internet users worldwide, a 525 million user increase from last year’s report. This is in conjunction with wireless technology becoming more available and devices becoming more user-friendly. With the aid of mobile, the number of people who go online will keep on growing, and WeAreSocial predicts that by mid to late 2016, digital penetration will go beyond 50% of the world’s population. Companies would be fools not to take advantage of those facts.

It is much faster and cheaper to reach an audience online than doing it through print. Marketing campaigns also allow their audience to get more involved, by the use of hashtags and word-of-mouth.

Another, much more technical advantage web has over print design is color management. Computer monitors use the RGB, or Red-Green-Blue color model to display colors. They take a certain amount from each color and mix them together to make the colors people see onscreen. Print media, on the other hand, makes use of the CMYK, or Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black color model, which cannot match some colors created by the RGB model. They also cannot take advantage of the backlighting properties of screens, so, as a result, the colors appear duller. That is why designers have to compensate for color depending on what mediums will be used.

With those being said, understand that print isn’t rendered completely useless. One of the advantages print has is its longevity, both physically and mentally. While digital ads do have the ability to be long-runners, they can also disappear at the slightest provocation. So while digital advertisements may reach a huge audience, they have to clamor for attention alongside dozens and dozens of other ads and content. Just because an ad reaches more people, it does not automatically mean that it has made its mark on them.

Printed designs like magazine advertisements leave a more lasting impression because the readers’ attention is more fixated and linear. Also, according to the 2013 Trust In Advertising study by Nielsen Holdings N.V., despite the continuing reign of word-of-mouth advertising, the audience still find it easier to trust printed advertisements compared to their online counterparts.

Finding that “Golden” Ratio

There will be no shortage of studies supporting print or online advertising over the other. The reality is while printed advertisements are becoming less and less of a priority, that hasn’t halted their effectiveness at all. After all, companies wouldn’t invest in printed ad campaigns if print was dying.

The key is finding ways for online campaigns to support printed campaigns and vice-versa. It is a matter of handpicking the best qualities of both to create a good synergy.

The Design and Detail of Famous Album Covers

Music and art are often one and the same. The expressiveness and importance of getting their point across are just some of the countless similarities they share and designers understand that similarity well. The importance of a good album cover equates to the importance of the music itself because a good cover will stir the interest of the target audience. This is the ever-important ‘hook’ that gets albums off the shelves.

album art

In some ways, album art is a message in itself. Understanding this is a necessity for designers to create a happy medium between music and art, artist and listener. In truth, album covers are counted as graphic design works as much as other mediums are because they follow the same concepts during the design process. This article will revolve around various graphic design concepts and techniques and their use in famous album covers.


When it comes to design, words and text are never just that. How the words look conveys a message just as much as the words themselves. The Wikipedia definition of typography states that it is “the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable and appealing when displayed”.

Further reading into that would take one down into the literal fine-print; into other concepts of how the typography works together, negative space within text, etcetera.

Famous albums that make use of this concept are The Clash’s London Calling, Pink Floyd’s The Wall, and The Sex Pistols’ Never Mind the Bollocks.

The Never Mind the Bollocks album’s claim to fame was its infamy in its choice of language. However, what’s interesting about the cover, aside from the slang, is the typography used by the designers for the album name. While the Sex Pistols’ name is printed in the grungy, cut-and-pasted magazine lettering they are known for; the offending phrase is printed in blocky, almost formal letters.


Naturally, album covers rely heavily on images to generate interest. Classic examples of these are the waterborne baby on Nirvana’s Nevermind, The Beatles’ Abbey Road crossing, and the banana on The Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground & Nico.

Designed by Andy Warhol, the Velvet Underground cover features a simply printed banana, with the intriguing words ‘Peel back and see’ printed alongside it. Following the instructions and peeling back the thin acetate sticker would reveal the flesh-colored inside of the banana behind it. There isn’t much to explain about that. It is now one of the most famous bananas, with original album covers fetching prices up to $500.


While it is important for elements of design to work harmoniously together, it is just as important for them to stand out, both against each other and among other designs.

The Clash’s London Calling album

Take a look at The Clash’s London Calling album. While the cover is primarily dedicated to preserving the image of bassist Paul Simonon in the act of smashing his bass guitar, the image of the surrounding text is just as crucial to the iconography of the album. The type is bold, punchy and attention-grabbing while, in contrast the image is gritty and in monochrome. It is an odd inversion to the usual ‘image first, text later’ approach most would think to take for albums, but together, they work.

Another good example of contrast in album design would be Queen’s Queen II.


Icons are any graphics or symbols that become representative of a concept. In the case of albums, they can go on to become definitive of an artist. Such is the case with one of the most famous album covers, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.

It began with a simple wish to have something different for a cover. The band was bored of photos and wanted something different, and smarter. The result was an almost perfect representation of diversity, cleanliness of sound and ambition. What was based on a textbook illustration has evolved to arguably become the most famous album cover ever.

Other examples of iconography would be Green Day’s American Idiot, Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures, and David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane.


It is impossible for any of the albums mentioned above to be exclusive to one concept. Graphic design is not about exclusivity. So while these albums are considered the best of the best or the most famous, there will always be room for improvement. Excellent album cover designs have come out during the past decade. As music artists continue to grow in expression, so does design. As is true of everything in this age, possibilities are limitless.