Vivid Sydney – A Festival of Light, Music and Ideas

Vivid Sydney is on again in 2010 between the 27 May – 21 June. Piixel Designs will be out and about in town capturing some of the action and wonderful light displays which will be shown on some of Sydney’s oldest and most well know trademark buildings.

We invite anyone with a love of something different to make it into town during these dates to let your creativity run free.

We will be running a competition during the festival to find the best Vivid Sydney Photograph, all you need to do is simply post your photograph or a link to your photograph of Vivid Sydney and we will select the most creative photo and display it as a featured photograph on our home page for a week.

So what are you waiting for! Get snapping!

Stay tuned in for our updates from Vivid Sydney during the Festival and we would love to see some of your own photographs.

To find out more about Vivid Sydney please visit www.vividsydney.com

Making your ideas a reality

Thanks to the very respectable team over at Smashing Magazine they have posted a great article which directly relates to the industries we all live and work in. These industries I am talking about of course are those little ideas in our heads that we start yet never complete. From the article at Smashing Magazine we have picked up and decided to focus on these five major points for making your idea a reality.

Keep your mind and your self free – Avoid a reactionary workflow
This is basically about keeping yourself free from the everyday distractions of email, sms etc… Taking a day to yourself to clear your mind of these distractions will make for a much more creative and focused mind.

Limit your thinking to 3 steps
Limit your idea to stem from 3 steps, the first step being the required tasks to begin and enhance your idea. The second step should be the collection of ideas which came to create your idea, these should be the brainstorms, sketches and inspirations which helped you bring together your idea. The third step should be the documents, articles and research findings that helped accompany those brainstorms and sketches.

Make meetings don’t waste meetings
A lot of the time we will make meetings just for the impression that things are moving along. This can be a mistake as the reason to hold a meeting is to complete our steps from my point above. The main step being step 1 which is our required tasks, these need to be completed in order to further our idea and use steps 2 and 3 to bring it to reality.

Utilise our time wisely
To utilise our time wisely we need to focus our attention on the task/s at hand, and as most of us will find this is difficult to do with such increasing bombardment of real time information as outlined on Smashing Magazine. We have Google Analytics which we always check to see how many hits are coming to our website, we always check our bank accounts to obtain and confirm our security.

These tasks can be minor and not take much time but doing them repeatedly throughout the day can distract our attention from our set task/s.

Getting by without getting down
Getting through the project life cycle of your idea is tough as with any idea you will have the energy and excitement of a 10 year old but as the project and your idea proceeds through the weeks on it’s way to reality we tend to plateau out and leave our idea hanging in limbo.

The best way to get by this is to try and think of how you will plan the big execution of your idea and thinking of how the public will view your idea will surely boost your motivation to see it through the tough stages.

It is these five points that I believe if we can master them that we can turn any idea into reality no matter how small or large. My personal aim is getting the satisfaction of being able to help bring your idea to reality.

Taking a step forward for email standards

It’s finally time to start looking at email standards and the companies who provide these so called standards. EST (The Email Standards Project) is an organisation dedicated to highlighting and improving email standards across the globe.

They provide a full listing of all the major email clients and what there capabilities are which allows you to build and focus your EDM campaigns on your customers capabilities so they see what you want them to see without any issues.

Unfortunately the rumours are set for Microsoft to take yet another backward step in their next release of Microsoft Outlook by basing the platform that reads the HTML Emails on Microsoft Word rather than Internet Explorer which was bad enough as we all know! Please check the facts and join in the protest to bring back the standards here!

But thankfully not all is lost – a recently received notification from Microsoft has them listening to our cries for standards. Please read the full write up here.

Look forward to more good news like this!

Say Goodbye to SIFR Techniques and Hello CSS3

Finally I believe it is now safe to say goodbye to all of your SIFR and Javascript Font Replacement techniques. Now thanks to CSS3 and font embedding we can successfully embed fonts for all browsers such as firefox (3.5 onwards) Safari 4 and all versions of IE with a little tweak.

This will allow web designers to finally break free from the restraints of the “Web Safe Fonts” with more flexibility.

Let me now explain how this all works:
Basically for your browsers such as Safari and Firefox you can use any TrueType Font or OpenType Font and for all the IE users out there don’t fret there is something to cover you guys as well!

IE Users must use the .eot font format for Internet Explorer to render these fonts.

Here is an example for embedding the Helvetica Neue font which is required in your css:
@font-face {
font-family: HelveticaNeueUltraLight;
src: url("fonts/helvetica-neue/HelveticaNeueUltLt.eot") /* EOT file for IE */
}


@font-face {
font-family: HelveticaNeueUltraLight;
src: url("fonts/helvetica-neue/HelveticaNeueUltLt.ttf") /* TTF file for CSS3 browsers */
}

Please note: The actual font files are required to be uploaded to your server. Also please take into account that you will need to check licensing agreements on your fonts to see if your allowed to embed the fonts.