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Category Archives: Design


So I have had this problem a few times when exporting from illustrator as a pdf, this hair line shows where the bounding box would show around the edge of objects.  Its just a fustration and it always seems to happen on a deadline! Now I used to use the PDF/x-1 format when I was having the problem.


Use the PDF/x-4:2007 format. This format handles transparency much better and no hair lines!


I have been frustrated as of late, it comes down to the price of cheep ‘Twisted nematic’ (TN) flat panel monitors. Because of the low price and acceptable quality for 90% of users these TN monitors have become the standard.

But for designers, digital artists and webmasters, we require a higher level of colour accuracy on our panels. The problems has always been the price tag that meant that many home users and small offices were priced out of the better quality panels.

Good news is the Dell has now launched two ‘In-plane switching’ (ISP) panels at consumer prices. ISP panels give a high higher level of colour accuracy and consistency across the panel so no more moving your head to try and work out what the colour should look like.

Enter the Dell UltraSharp U2211H (21.5-inch) and UltraSharp U2311H (23-inch) both panels offer:-

H-IPS Panel
10000:1 Contrast Ratio
8ms Response Time
one DVI-D
one DisplayPort
one VGA connectors
a 4-port USB hub
resolution of 1920×1050

They are priced on the Dell website as U2211H – £292 ($279), U2311H – £351 ($319).

Look out for other manufactures following with their own consumer priced ISP panels over the coming months, watch the space.

So I have been using Ctrl+D (Transform Again) in illustrator for many year now and love to be able to quickly copy and repeat. I had throught that it was not posible in photoshop due to its pixel nature but today I found this on

It talks about step and repeat which sounded like what I was after. So it turns out there is a transform again in photoshop and it is:-

Shift-Command-T (Mac) or Shift-Control-T (Windows)

For more info check out the link to planetphotoshop.


So yesterday I was working on an iphone UI design and got desk dropped by the boss and a developer. They proceeded to fire changes at me which I tried to make real time. Now this involved selection multiple layers and shifting them around. I have to say that the workflow felt all wrong at that moment and I wished I was using fireworks or illustrator so I could select and move quickly without having to use the layers pallet.


Now I was aware the move tool had an auto-select option but I have not really used it as much as I should but from now on I will. To make it even better from most other tools you and hold ctrl which will give you move tool. But also you can hold shift which allows you to select multi objects in the document window.

shift + ctrl + click objects in document window.

You need to have the auto-select option ticked and the layer or group selected in the drop down.

There is also the option to Show Bounding Box, which means you can see what is selected. You will need to select the move tool to see these option.

Well hope this helps, I know next time I get desk dropped I will be able to move multiple items briskly without having to use the layer pallet which remain the only pallet I have open 24/7. Maybe one day I will work pallet less!

For further reading have a look here.

So I have recently started to design layouts for smart phones, clearly it is a different world from web design. One thing that struck me was the resolution/pixel density seems to vary depending on the handset in question ranging from 150 to 300 ppi. While looking around I could not find any one source of data for a mix of handsets so I thought I would start at list. If I miss any (and I will) than please feel free to add to the comments section


160 ppi

3.5 inch

480 x 320 pixels


163 ppi

3.5 inch

480 x 320 pixels

HTC Touch Pro


480×640 pixels

Palm Pre


480×320 resolution,

186 ppi


9.7 inch,

1024 X 768

(132 ppi)

For furth reading you might like to see this.

You might also like to try this pixel calculator.

If you have details from other phones please add in comments and I will update the post.

So last year brought out a Mobile App on your iPhone. While still quite basic in it functionality it seems to be quite a nice start. Bellow are some images of the app.

I have given the blog a new look, working on is quite limiting with regards to design. But I have not got the time at the moment to design a blog (no point in using templates if you are using .org). So for now I am still on and have gone for the ‘ChaosTheory’ template.

Let me know your thoughts on this template, I think it is cleaner than the old one. Also I big plus is the extra width of the main column.


So I have been using an .ai tempalte when desiging banners and buttons. It saves me time thinking about sizes and drawing out the shapes. Thought I would make it available for you to download.

This problem relates to the use of texter on vista systems. So after three weeks of pulling my hair out shouting at Vista, banning the keyboard, trying to fix, trying to live with just trying not to put the computer through the window. Finally today I have solved the problem.

The problem:- The keyboard was not functioning correctly on my vista system, shortcuts (hotkeys) did not work, some keys did not work, life was hell!

The cause of the problem:- texter (great little free application that I discovered on lifehacker)

The solution:- Uninstall texter. Now to do this you will need to delete the texter folder in c:\programs. But before you delete the texter folder make sure the program is not active.