9 June 2021We are currently working on a fascinating Instagram project, perhaps you or someone you know could add their voice?From where we are, graphic design from around the world is not very accessible—and we want to change that. We find our sources of inspiration tend to be dominated by the US and Europe, focus on particular trends and can be rather samey-samey. In an age of globalisation, we want to offer a broader perspective, interest, and appreciation of different cultures and voices from around the world.We are looking for graphic designers, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and join!
10 May 2021
Since 1882, the Actors' Benevolent Fund (ABF) has supported actors and stage managers experiencing hardship due to injury, illness, or old age. It has a very proud history and has been under Royal Patronage (currently Prince Charles) for over 89 years.
The ABF came to us for help raising its profile. As we worked with the them, it became clear that telling its story, which spans over 135 years, was one of the best ways to do this. Effective online reading was achieved with concise copy. Sections break up the text and large quotes pull the reader in. A progress bar at the top indicates where the reader is on the page.
We also developed a site that is much more straightforward for both the ABF and their audience to use. The application processes are accessible to all applicants whether by mail, phone or online. To encourage reaching out for help, a chat box is included. A successful online shop helps increase revenue.
The site is flexible and has easily evolved over time. Most recently, a 2020 Emergency Grant online application was added, as well as a Christmas video featuring well-known British actors—even Tom Hardy! (Our favourite).
23 April 2021
Project assets and other visuals are saved out in many different file formats. Understanding these enables our clients correctly save, send, and manage files, but this is not always easy!
Therefore, we have prepared the PDF (= universal file format) below that clearly sums everything up at-a-glance. We have been told that this is a useful reference...
It is always also really useful to understand that all file types can be classified one of two ways:
Raster images are made up of pixels, or little squares of colour. The pixels have a defined size depending on the resolution/quality of your image: high resolution has more pixels than low resolution. It is impossible to resize raster images without compromising their resolution/quality if you are moving from a smaller to a larger file.
Vector images resolve this resizing issue. They are constructed with proportional formulas instead of pixels. A vector image can be made as large as you like without looking pixelated and without compromising the resolution/quality.
Posted in: design
9 April 2021
The "Caslon," typeface was designed by William Caslon I (1692–1766,) Britain's first and most celebrated typefounder. Caslon is used to set the quote above.
Ironically, rather than using an American font, the first printed version of the United States Declaration of Independence is set in Caslon. This may have been the influence of Benjamin Franklin. Not only was he a scientist and one of the founding fathers of the United States of America—he was also a printer. He loved the fonts made by William Caslon so much that he hardly used anything else.
Caslon has been revived at various times over the past 300 years, and it continues to be a standard in typography even to this day. Here at MOTHandRUST, it is one of our favourites. It is perfect for something timeless; it will never look dated. It is versatile and can work for most applications. For a more current look, it pairs nicely with modern typefaces. And it’s just beautiful.
Posted in: typography
19 March 2021
There are two ways a Wordpress site can be built, and I am always surprised that many people do not know this. In fact, some people ask why they should even care… As long as they get a site they are happy with, that is all that matters right?
This is a big topic that could easily be covered in more depth and detail, but my answer is below, in a way that is hopefully straightforward and easy to understand.
1) Prebuilt WordPress:
- Rather than hand coding, off-the-shelf Wordpress themes and plugins are installed and configured.
- The No Code Revolution is here!
2) Custom WordPress:
- Using the basic coding and infrastructure of WordPress, custom themes and plugins are built, as per a project’s specific requirements.
- Real sites need real development!
So why should this matter?
- Each site feature usually requires its own plug-in.
- To allow for a one-size-fits-all solution with many optional features, prebuilt sites are often created with many plug-ins.
- Custom sites only have the plug-ins necessary for the particular project’s requirements.
- Plugins need to be updated regularly—the more plugins, the more time required to keep the site up-to-date.
- Myth: Site maintenance is just a matter of hitting the "update" button. This is often the best way to break your site!
- Custom sites require less maintenance.
- Since the code of a ready-made theme is available to anyone, there is always a possibility of the website getting hacked.
- Also, the majority of ready-made themes do not provide security updates on time. And when they do, these updates may not be done right away, especially when there are lots and lots of plugins that need constant updating. This leaves a loophole when certain plugins may not be up-to-date, leading to the site getting hacked.
- Custom sites, built with custom code, can avoid these security loopholes. The code is also not available to all the users, making it tough for the hackers.
- Custom sites are more secure.
- A prebuilt site may require complex features or template types that are tricky (or even impossible) to addressed down the road within the confines of its “canned” theme. If you decide you want to add a new feature or template type to a custom site later, you don’t have to worry about being restricted by a template theme.
- As the site grows and develops with time, these changes can be made to improve user experience more easily with custom themes.
- Custom sites form a stronger foundation for the future.
- Though the owners of some pre-built themes do go above and beyond to provide support, most is very limited, if there at all. The support that is there is often mostly in terms of functionality, not design.
- Myth: All coding is done exactly the same way, so it is easy for one developer to work on another’s code. To do this, the logic behind the code (eg: a pre-built theme or plugin) must be understood. This is not easy, as the logic can be really different from one developer to another. In fact, sometimes it can take much longer to fix a pre-made plug-in, than just coding the feature custom in the first place.
- Custom sites make support easier.
- Custom templates are built with particular goals and objectives in mind.
- Prebuilt templates don't know a business or its audience.
- If the prebuilt route is taken, you may end up with a site that doesn’t have a great RIO, rather a site that is:
Actually pretty expensive
Bogged down with unnecessary plugins
Vulnerable to attack
Not very customisable
Not very easy to fix
Full confession: MOTHandRUST typically choses to build custom WordPress, though of course there are always exceptions. I do hope this article sheds a light on why, and also why you should know how your Wordpress site is built.