Friday, 14 November 2008

Nypocreative in a design book

I am pleased to say my portfolio site has appeared in a new design book by Patrick McNeil called Web Designers Idea Book. It is actually the old version of this site that you can access here. It appears in the Muted Colours section and I would like to thank Patrick for including my work in his very useful resource that you can buy here.


Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Pixel Perfect - an amazing tool

I colleague recently told me about a firebug plugin called Pixel Perfect. I thought the idea sounded good so had a look - creating looks of concern from the surrounding developers who already think I pixel push too much already. I was amazed. This simple tool creates another tab in your Firebug extension and allows you to overlay a jpeg visual in the actual browser. This has two benefits:

1/From a designer/bug checking point of view it allows you to overlay the visual and see what is out of place.

2/From a developers point of view it ensures precision by allowing them to overlay the visual when creating a layout, lower the opacity so they can see what they are coding below and ensure the visuals are met exactly. This will result in fewer visual issues needing to be fixed at the end of the project.

This tool seems to be feared by many developers who are happy enough to make it close enough to the design. However, they know deep down that the designer will only come along and say move that 2px up please so they might as well start harnessing the power of this tool and improve their accuracy and standard before it's spotted.


Thursday, 31 July 2008

BT Challenge Cup Site goes live

BT run a competition called The BT Challenge Cup every year that rewards it staff for creating ideas that will improve the service in some way. It required a pop up site that would fit in seamlessly with the BT Intranet and provide the ability to register teams for the competition and update information about your team members, travelling details etc etc as the final was in Portugal.

As this was to be based on the BT Intranet there was relatively little design work involved as many of the styles had to come form their existing style sheet. However, it was still nice to work on a job for such a large client and to try and insert a bit of creative flair and general tidying up of certain styles.


Smart City futures goes live

The website for Smart City futures is now live. This was a great job to work on and I enjoyed the simplicity and cleanliness I applied to the visual treatment. It was nice to create a site with such nice imagery. The site is completely content managed down the the main pages in the navigation (only Home and Contact Us are set in the navigation structure). The site was built in .NET and couldn't have gone better really.


PRINCE2 Practitioner

I am now a fully qualified PRINCE2 Practitioner.

PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is a process-based method for effective project management. It is a de facto standard used extensively by the UK Government and is widely recognised and used in the private sector, both in the UK and internationally.

As part of my Project Manager and Design Manager role I thought it might be useful to attend the week course. This involved 5 intensive days of learning and a 1 hour foundation exam and 3 hour practitioner exam. The end result is a basis to work from for managing projects with less probability of failure.

It is a 50% pass mark and I received 248 / 360 which is 69%.

This course was provided through Sianti by Ian Proctor - one of the co-founders of Prince1.


Wednesday, 25 June 2008

North West Biodiversity goes live

The new North West Biodiversity site is now live much to the appreciation and applaud of the client. This completely content managed site displays huge amounts of quite complicated data in a friendly, unobtrusive way.


Wednesday, 18 June 2008

My site is going to appear in the Design Meltdown Book

The Nypocreative site appeared in the minimalist section of design trend and gallery site Design Meltdown over a year ago now and although the design of my site has changed since then I am still looking forward to seeing my work in print.

Check it out here >


Tattoo design

I was recently asked to design a tattoo for a colleague which I have enjoyed doing so far as it's not something I have done before. Luckily he is into the vector type stuff that I like and I used some vectors from to create this. I also like it as a t-shirt design.


Tuesday, 27 May 2008

New site design

[update - 04.06.08] - I have now implemented this new design across the entire site.

As you can see the layout and design of the blog has changed dramatically over the past day. I have been working on a redesign for the whole Nypocreative site and thought I'd implement this on the blog before anything else. I have kept to my principles of simplicity is key and have basically gone for the opposite to what I had. I have had a clean, crisp, white site for far too long now and thought I'd go for the darker with vibrant colours approach.

I also wanted to see if it was possible to create a completely new design and cross over from the whole site on a very tight deadline which I accomplished so am happy.

Feel free to let me know what you think.



Thursday, 15 May 2008

Book cover design

As well as being a Graphic & interactive Designer I am also a budding novelist and have completed my first, full length young adult fantasy fiction novel which I am currently revising. I created a cover to go with my book and although it is seen as not very professional to include your own artwork when submitting manuscripts I wanted to do one anyway for the fun of it.

The original idea and design came from Reece over at CFH and I have refined it and created the book name and added some colour etc. I have included the original Reece did and my near-final one to show how a design can evolve from a simple idea.

If you want to learn more visit my Creative Writing network where you can find extracts.

Initial concept:


Finished thing:


Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Manchester Pride 08 goes live

After a competition run by Manchester Pride to create a new brand identity was run this year the site needed sprucing up a little and here is the final outcome with fancy swirly lines, butterflies, sIFR flash replacement text and everything.
Visit the site here:


Thursday, 10 April 2008

Font Creation Online

Amazing idea this. Back in the day at university I had a go with Fontographer and haven't really touched it since. This is similar but online. There are limited shapes so you don't have anywhere near the control you get when created characters in illustrator but it is still impressive. The tools are intuitive and the keyboard shortcuts make it feel like a desktop program. The fact you can download your typeface or view a gallery of others is a great idea. It's the equivalent of, say, Vecteezy but with a stripped down version of illustrator on the site to allow you to create the vectors there and then.

Check it out at:


Thursday, 6 March 2008

Image and video smoothing with actionscript

Image Smoothing

For some reason when Adobe released Flash 8 they gave the user the option as to whether to smooth an imported image or not. In the past this has been done by default and I can't really see why anyone would want the image not to be smoothed when scaling up but maybe that's just me. You now need to right click the image in the library and allow smoothing. This is all well and good when you have the image in your library but if you want to smooth an image that is being dynamically passed in your a bit stuck. Well, not anymore thanks to a recent tutorial I found on Frontend Multimedia .

Simply add this chunk of code to the top of your frame 1 actionscript exactly as is:

_global.smoothImageLoad = function(imgURL, targetMovie) {
var i=0
do { i++ } while (eval("_root.smoothImageLoadTemp"+i) != undefined)
tmc = _root.createEmptyMovieClip("smoothImageLoadTemp"+i, _root.getNextHighestDepth())
tmc.createEmptyMovieClip("ti", tmc.getNextHighestDepth()) = targetMovie
with(tmc) {
tmcl = new MovieClipLoader()
tmcl.onLoadComplete = function() {
ti.onEnterFrame = function() {
pixelData = new flash.display.BitmapData(ti._width, ti._height);
tm.attachBitmap(pixelData, 1, true, true);
tmcl.loadClip(imgURL, tmc.ti)

Then all you need to do is add in:

smoothImageLoad("image.jpg", mytargetmc)

Where image can be the path to your image and mytargetmc is an empty movieclip with that instance name that your image will be passed into. Hey presto - a nice smoothed image.

Video Smoothing

Even more baffling is the fact that the ability to smooth a video seems to be relatively hidden and unknown of. It is as simple as adding in:

flvPlayback.getVideoPlayer(flvPlayback.activeVideoPlayerIndex) ._video.smoothing = true;

Where flvPlyaback is the instance name of your flvplayback component dragged to the stage from your components library. Personally I'd have thought this would be something Adobe would be shouting about as there is far too much bad quality video online that could be improved by this one line of code.

Well, there you have it. Hope you found it useful. Anyone have any experience with this or can further improve this little bit of advice feel free to comment or get in touch.


Friday, 1 February 2008

Manchester Independant Economic Review goes live

Just thought I'd post another site that has gone live recently which I did the lovely design for. It was a fairly basic content managed site that allowed the addition of multiple pages, content, downloads, webcasts etc etc.


Quarantine is now live

Quarantine is an experimental theatre group based in Manchester. They work on the cutting edge of new theatre and production and required an update to their previous site. This involved creating a clean, crisp, stylish site that was unique and utilized white space to maximum effect.

The content management system was pretty intricate for this site as it allowed the client to select any combination of text boxes (size, position and colour), images (placement, size) and allows the client to overlap these elements as they wish.


North West Business Club goes live

The shiny new business club website is up and running now. After a complete redesign and update to the existing content management system we built ensured a happy client and a fresh new look.