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  1. #26
    SitePoint Guru
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    Of course, if you're really not comfortable with your design abilities, there are some fairly decent free web templates availalbe. One of them could work as a starting point and eventually you'd wind up customizing it a lot anyway.

  2. #27
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    I remember reading somewhere that you cannot copyright or trademark something generic (i.e. Bob's Hamburger Joint). But you can trademark a whole name (i.e. McDonald's Hamburgers, Inc.). because that is trademarking the entire thing (which is NOT generic). So if you create a place called Bob's Hamburger Joint, McDonald's cannot sue you because you used the word "hamburger" in the name of your restaurant.

    Don't get the analogy? Company names : website color schemes.
    Corbb O'Connor
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  3. #28
    SitePoint Member Shara's Avatar
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    I couldnt resist jumping in here....

    Im an amateur when it comes to web design. Im dabbling, experimenting and learning. I have to agree with Herbster (that is if i remember correctly who said this) when he stated that he learned more design by copying and spiffing up the design and changing it to meet his design standards. The Hamburger thing is also a great point too.

    I found a website the other night that the layout was something that i had seen before a million times. But as i was using the navigation for a long period of time, i got to seeing just how easy it was for visitors to use. It never struck me before to design my medical website in such a format until i used the interface myself. Sure, the website gave me the idea, but this idea isnt unique and new to the web design world. There are so many different layout combos that if one inspires you to create a similar layout for your site, so be it. The hamburger analogy fits in this category because you might go to a hamburger place and design your Pancake Palace Restaurant similarly in layout. Maybe you want to have booths along the east side of the place with the kitchen in the back- you get the point. No biggie, youre just using good engineering and architecture. But if you ordered chairs and wallpaper to match Bobs Burger joint, you might catch yourself in a bad situation.

    And regarding the book copied after another book analogy someone brought up. I have a different point of view on this. My mom is an AVID and i mean AVID novel reader. I swear she owns thousands of books- all the same type of novels too, novels of the "romance" persuation (and im sure my mom would appreciate me telling complete strangers about it too- ha). Anyway, how many of these books to you think all end with Prince Charming sweeping the Damsel in distress off her feet at the end? Well nearly all of them. They all have the same idea and many of them end up telling the same love story. Now- the only difference is- different names and slightly altered storyline. How many of these authors probably started writing books or a certain type of story because they read a book like it that they liked? No harm there, unless they start using way too similar of story lines and character traits, etc. The real issue here to me is, pick the colors if you like them or pick the layout (the general layout idea- links on left and header of top, whatever) but choosing both will probably throw you into the "iffy" area. Just my outlook on it.

    With all the rainbow spectrums in the universe, there HAS to be one that appeals you to as well. Play around in a photo altering/rendering program and create yourself some colors to use. My WYSIWYG can let me come up with all sorts of colors that i never knew existed.

    As novice as i am in the wacky world of web design, i can come up with original ideas- though some are spawned thanks to awesome sites that trigger my creative side from a visitors point of view.

    Anyway, im rambling like an idiot now and im sure you get the point by now. If you ask me, choose one and not all aspects that spark your sparkler.

    Shara

  4. #29
    Bimbo With A Brain! silver trophy Saz's Avatar
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    Hmmmm. Well actually the book I used in that post is quite unique in it's story line so a 'copy' of it would be obvious, but that wasn't the point I was trying to make.

    If you read the post again you'll see that I said regardless of whether the law would look on that as wrong or not, I would feel that I'd done something wrong. To me, I would have been stealing somebody else's ideas and as far as I'm concerned, the same applies to websites. It's one thing to look at other people's work and be inspired, but to create a site with the intention of mimicking another is morally and ethically wrong.

    Like you said, it's one thing to put the kitchen and the dining area in the same places as another burger joint, but to choose the same wallpaper and style of furniture is going to get you into trouble. There are only a number of places that a site's navigation can be displayed, so there are bound to be thousands of sites with the navigation in the same place, but if Person A were to copy the style/layout/colour of Person B's navigation then that would be stealing another's ideas.
    Saz: Naturally Blonde, Naturally Dizzy!
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  5. #30
    SitePoint Member Shara's Avatar
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    I agree...

    This debate can be leaned into several directions depending on the persons design skills, moral integrity and creativity.

    Now this part is for the original poster:

    I think the safe choice is to be inspired to go out and think of new ideas and creations that you can call your own and consider it as an opportunity to brush up on the design qualities you have or dont have. The only way to learn is to get out there and make yourself learn it. Im more creative than techie, so my skills lie in the wide array of design layout and color and not specific coding or programming skills. I suck at that part. But i hope to learn as i go with different options i want on my site and copy the code in notepad and see what consistancies i can find in it that will show me how i can do it too.

    One thing ive learned is that creativity sparks more creativity and its harder to learn things that you arent interested in or think you arent good at. Even if you have to sit in bed for hours and think of it. Someone, something, somewhere will give you an idea that you need to get the ball rolling. You just might have to wait for it. Although java and html isnt going to just fall from the sky into your bedroom and land on your head and the next thing you know you're a web designing wizard of sorts. You have to look at the source code of sites and see how they did things and toy with it in your WYSIWYG or whatever and soon enough you'll have changed it a dozen times and it looks totally different from the original. And you've learned a little coding at the same time.

    Anytime i've jumped the gun on a design idea and implemented it right away i ended up changing it again soon because it didnt reflect my true ability. The moral of the story is- you end up getting a variety of things out of doing things yourself for the most part. You get to see what you are capable of doing and what you are capable of learning. The easy way isnt always the best way and designing yourself will leave you with lasting design skills that you can use in the future.

    Shara


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