Frogged and the Winds of Change
”He is an Art Director, designing catalogs, flyers and book jackets. For that reason I'm going to be a bit hard on him. Why? Because he should know better. Because he should be used to true critique and be able to absorb it and evolve.”
Sensitive as I am, often overly so, I've been developing a thick skin since elementary school. Aesthetics are subjective, and you can't please all the people all the time. I am used to having weak spots in my designs pointed out and surpassing them in revisions and future new creations. I'd also read many of the reviews on the site, and knew what to expect. For example:
”Reverse type is evil, Graphic Design 101 says you can use it in titles and small blurbs of text but general content? On the web? Smack on the hand with my handy Wacom Stylus for that.”
She goes on to explain reverse type in detail. Light color on a dark background is something every graphic designer struggles with at one point or another, especially working in certain genres where it just feels appropriate. In a way, keeping the white on black on my personal site for so long was a stubborn show of rebellion, since I'm never allowed to do it anywhere else. It's fine for headings but not for large blocks of copy. I'd heard the complaint from various readers before about the site as well, but I'd been reluctant to change it.
I've finally caved. I'm still learning CSS, but through trial and error, and some technical support from Rey when I got stuck with something, I think I got things to look almost the way I want them to. Maybe when I learn more, I'll get fancier and have a cloak billowing around the edges of each post, but for now I think things are legible, while keeping the darker elements in the frame work.
”The long paragraphs however I shall take issue with and again an Art Director working with catalogs should know this.”
This is a tougher fix. Around sixth or seventh grade, an English teacher drilled in to me the notion that a paragraph had to be a minimum of eight sentences, varying in length for flow and interest. Dialogue was the only exception. Rules are guidelines though, and vary depending on the medium. There is a difference in writing for the web, but to break up my paragraphs would require a major change in my natural writing style. That probably won't happen overnight, but I have made my posts slightly wider. Too wide and they would be too long to read horizontally, but I think I've diminished the vertical issue a bit.
”And speaking of art lets see more of it.”
I consider this more of a personal blog and not an art blog, even though I am an “artist” by trade. She does admit to skimming because of the legibility issues, so I can see how a blog by an art director with few photos or drawings could be perceived as an oddity. I've gotten better responses to personal stories than photographs, and a sense of my audience after nearly two years. Lately, the response to the pictures has been so sparse that I'd considered doing away with it completely. There may be more of a balance in the future, or it may be a moot point.
I've made small changes, and a few behind-the-scenes edits that will allow me to make changes in the future far easier. Some of my older posts might seem weird until I've had a chance to fix some color problems, but going forward I expect I'll be happy with the way things look. Hopefully, all this housekeeping stuff isn't too boring. If nothing else, this post is a good historical documentation for my own future reference.
What do you all think? Is it easier to read this way? Did anyone like it better the old way?