James George is a professional web and graphic designer. James is an expert in design, and a professional web designer, with a special interest in Wordpress. Founder of G Squared Studios - A Professional Web Design Studio, James has been a professional designer since 2005.

James's articles

  1. Dial-a-Style #3: Nailing the Vintage Look

    In a world of design where modern, minimal and simplification have taken over, one of the best ways to stand out can be to tap into some of the flavors of the past.

    Vintage designs are extremely popular, because they remind people of days gone by, and hint at a golden era that no longer exists.

    Psychology is always important in design, and vintage designs appeal because they can give viewers the sense that the product or service is established and successful.

    [caption id="attachment_79318" align="alignleft" width="246"]Screenshot: Ponysaurus Brewing Co. Ponysaurus Brewing Co. were founded last year,
    yet pull off a feeling of time-honoured
    know-how and quirky tradition.[/caption]

    Interestingly, this can be even more effective for a new brand, as it may be for a business that been around 100 years. Vintage designs can help build trust, evoke wistful nostalgia and get attention.

    The concept of ‘vintage design’ can cover a number of eras, but we’re going to focus on styles mostly from the first half of the 20th century.

    Some designers like to go for the really “old-timey” 20s and 30s design styles, while others aim for a slicker, jetset 50s and 60s look. Each produce their own distinctive looks, and each are equally loved and enjoyed in their own rights.

    Color Palettes

    Early 20th Century Block Color

    [caption id="attachment_79329" align="alignright" width="300"]1940's Primary by itsjustluck Early 20th century block color[/caption]

    The color palettes of these vintage design styles are completely different. The color palettes of the 20s and 30s were primarily pure colors. Colors aren’t muted, and you can expect to see colors in full saturation. Red is red, blue is blue and green is green.

  2. Browser Testing with Modern.IE

    Web Development is a great industry to be involved with. For those who enjoy solving problems and making things, it can be a rewarding career to have.

    As much as I enjoy web development, we all that know sometimes it has it’s issues.

    The perennial problem for developers is creating a consistent website across all browsers. Happily, building a site for modern browsers has become increasingly easier as browsers move ever closer to full web standards support.

    Frameworks such as Bootstrap and Foundation are trying to help with this as well. While we’re not quite there yet, there is still the issue of supporting mobile browsers and older ones. As much as we’d like our sites to look great on every single device, they don’t always do.

    Modern.IE

    That’s where Modern.IE comes in. Instead of having a massive collection of devices on hand to test out your work, Modern.IE emulates many popular browsers and devices in one place.

    You don’t have to worry about hopping from device to device. All you need is the URL of the site that you want to test, and you are all set!

  3. 7 Steps to an Effective Landing Page

    A landing page is an effective way to drive sales for any business. The majority of websites share a similar range of assets — about us pages, contact pages, etc. But a great landing page is something that takes time to produce.

    Landing page designs will vary, depending on the industry that you’re in. However, most effective landing pages have a few key elements in common that make them successful.

    1) Negative Space is Key

    A cluttered landing page will confuse your message. Sure, your landing page can have tons of information on it, but organize it and break it up into manageable chunks.

    2) Page Layout & Placement of Elements

    It is important to have your most high impact visuals above the fold, or where the viewer can see when they arrive on your landing page.

    Have a video, a few important bullet points, and a direct call to action above the fold. You’ll find this on many effective sales and marketing pages.

    Below the fold is a good place to expand on the product or service that you’re offering. Just remember to keep the layout consistent and clean. Like in our previous point, too much clutter can clutter your message, too.

  4. Value Engineering For Designers

    There are several ways to make yourself highly marketable to your clients. You can offer services that no one else provides. You could also hones your skills to become the absolute best in your niche. You could slash prices and undercut the local market. You could also offer great bundles of package deals. While those […]

  5. How to Make Pragmatic, Purposeful Typography Choices

    Psychologists have proven that typography has a significant measurable effect on the influence and interpretation of your written copy. With this in mind, typography could be the most important part of any design, and it should be chosen purposefully and pragmatically — not based on the whims or personal preferences of any designer. You could […]

  6. What Makes a Website Look Dated?

    As designers, we always want to create work that is either on the cutting-edge or “classic” and timeless. It is important to have a design that looks great and is conceived deliberately in a current style. Having an outdated style for your website can leave a negative impression with your visitors, reduce your overall traffic, […]

  7. Envisioning and Finding Your Dream Client

    We all hear horror stories of nightmare clients that tread well outside the boundaries of written agreements, delay or refuse to pay for completed work, or worse. Assertive, unscrupulous, and disagreeable clients can ask the world of us for a price that is a fraction of what the work is worth. We hear of clients […]

  8. 5 Things to Never Say to Clients

    Pitching to a new client can be challenging for a variety of reasons. Designers must walk a fine line that entails winning the client without compromising their own needs and values. The willingness to do whatever it takes to make the potential client happy seems like a great attitude and a noble, prudent approach, but […]

  9. Create A Vintage Badge in Photoshop

    Everyone enjoys recognition and achievement, but badges can do a lot more than offer congratulations. Badges can also convey trust and integrity, such as when a product or service comes with a guarantee, or when a company or individual is certified. Badges play a vital role in design, because they can be used as a […]

  10. 6 Ways To Add Impact To Your Event Flyer

    Effective event flyers are designed very carefully to grab your attention. They are often posted in high traffic areas, on telephone poles, message boards, and elsewhere. Competition is high in these areas, so the idea is to make your event flyer stand out from all of the others. You must combine many different elements to […]