domingo, 30 de mayo de 2010

Eco-Regeneration Website

Website design and development for Eco-Regeneration. Built on the Wordpress platform with a custom theme for ease of use and updating.

Visit the Eco-Regeneration website

Standby Soldier Promo's

viernes, 28 de mayo de 2010

wp-e-commerce upload adding images to CSV upload

We've covered uploading multiple categories in wp-e-commerce, but what about images?

It stands to reason that if you are uploading a bunch of products, you will want images to accompany them. This takes a little more work than adding multiple categories, but is significantly easier than adding them one-by-one.

1. Preparing the Images
If you are happy doing bulk resizing/cropping in whichever graphics package you use, then do it! Process your product images so that you have a thumbnail that matches the size defined in your wp-e-commerce installation (96px X 96px is the current default).

Next process your source images again so that you have a large image that is either a manageable size, or sized to your wp-e-commerce product image size settings (128px X 128px is the current default). Once you have thumbnails and full-size images, upload the thumbnails to "wp-content/uploads/wpsc/product_images/thumbnails/" and the full-size to "wp-content/uploads/wpsc/product_images/". You can now move onto step 2 "Importing".

If you aren't happy batch-processing images you can create a directory called "'wp-content/uploads/wpsc/product_images/temp" and upload all your product images there. Please ensure that the images are at a manageable size (i.e. less than 1000px wide or high).

Next download and save a copy of the "imgprocess.php" script we cobbled together (remove the XXX from the extension) - n.b. this script is largely based on a great function here

Adjust the thumbnail size variables ($thumbwidth and $thumbheight) on lines 3-4 to correspond with the thumbnail sizes specified in wp-e-commerce (default is 96px X 96px). If you want your large images processed as well then add the relevant dimensions to the $largewidth and $largeheight variables on lines 6 and 7. Alternatively, leave them at 0 if you don't want to resize your large images. Please note that this is a basic script so it only crops images to the exact sizes specified. If you want your large images to be scaled, you will have to add that functionality yourself.

Once you have made your adjustments, upload the script to the root of your WordPress installation (in most cases Please note that this script has not been extensively tested, and you run it very much at your own risk. We highly recommend running it in a test environment first and take no responsibility for anything (from server failure to hives or plagues of locusts) that occurs from the moment you run it!!

If you chose to continue, run the script by entering the location into your browser (in most cases The script will take a while to execute, but all being well you will see a big ugly message saying "Images processed". Your thumbnails directory should now be populated with the thumbnails you created.

If you chose not to resize the large images then simply copy the images from "wp-content/uploads/wpsc/product_images/temp" to "wp-content/uploads/wpsc/product_images". Otherwise, your resized large images should be in wp-content/uploads/wpsc/product_images/'.

Next delete "wp-content/uploads/wpsc/product_images/temp" and delete imgprocess.php.

2. Importing
Open wp-e-commerce/wpsc-admin/includes/settings-pages/import.php
locate the option list:

Product Name

and add the following option value:


Next locate the line

$existing_name = get_product_meta($id, 'url_name');

and add the following above it so it reads:

$image_query = "INSERT INTO `".WPSC_TABLE_PRODUCT_IMAGES."` (product_id,image ) VALUES ('$id','".$cvs_data2."')";
$wpdb query($image_query);
$imageid = $wpdb get_var("SELECT LAST_INSERT_ID() as id FROM `".WPSC_TABLE_PRODUCT_IMAGES."`");
//now add image id to product
$image_query2 = "UPDATE `".WPSC_TABLE_PRODUCT_LIST."` SET image = ".$imageid." WHERE id=".$id;
$wpdb query($image_query2);
$existing_name = get_product_meta($id, 'url_name');

Now add a column to your product list csv that you wish to upload and add the name of each image uploaded to the relevant image
SKU, Name, Price, Image
001, Shoe, 100, shoe.jpg
002, Hat, 20, hat.jpg

Upload the csv as normal remembering to assign 'Image' to the relevant column, and your products should now be loaded complete with images.

domingo, 23 de mayo de 2010

Goldfields Weed Management Website

Client: Goldfields Weed Management

Click the image below for a screenshot.

Visit the Goldfields site

So, you need a typeface?

Quite a quirky little guide into helping you select that typeface for your next project.

Click below to make it a tad larger!

Elithia Skincare Website

Client: Elithia Skincare

Visit the Elithia website

viernes, 21 de mayo de 2010

new Thesis samples

I have 4 sample Thesis layouts prepared. I have utilized many different customization techniques throughout each one. You'll see (if you're in Firefox, Safari or Chrome) rounded corners and special typography. Microsoft is promising that Internet Explorer 9 will support these functions.

If the titles confuse, they are numbered in German, Dutch, Spanish and French respectively. Rabbit breeds are also in the title and rabbits photos in the image rotator. We're rabbit breeders, what can I say?

Sample Page One
Sample Page Two
Sample Page Three
Sample Page Four

All of these samples can be customized further with your colors and fonts. The possibilities are endless!

miércoles, 19 de mayo de 2010

RDC Lends BEN a Hand

Red Deer Creative has teamed up with BEN to bring their branding up to scratch before their 2010 award ceremony.

BEN, the Ballarat Environment Network, is an umbrella group representing the landcare and environment groups of the South-west region of Victoria. BEN has roughly 80 member groups. BEN:

• Assists groups with environmental activities and increasing memberships
• Raises awareness and improve understanding of environmental issues
• Conducts a range of projects to solve environmental problems
• Promotes the Ballarat Environment Awards
• Encourages communication and networking between groups
• Provides a single voice on issues

BEN actively works with government agencies, non-government organisations, community groups, councils, industry, schools, landcare members, landholders and the general community to achieve improved environmental outcomes.

Keep a close eye on our portfolio for the new BEN Branding!

wp-e-commerce upload adding multiple categories to CSV upload

How to bulk upload to more than one category with the excellent Wp-e-commerce plugin.

In our case, we needed to assign each product to a category and a brand (e.g. Category: Jeans, Brand: Levis). To do this, we removed the bulk 'add to category' dropdown from the bottom of the import page and added a category and brand option to the dropdowns that are used to assign columns in the uploaded .csv file. Here's how...

Open wp-e-commerce/wpsc-admin/includes/settings-pages/import.php

As we are going to assign each item to its own category and brand, the category dropdown at the bottom of the upload page is no longer relevant. So, we remove lines 77 - 85:

Please select a category you would like to place all products from this CSV into:



Next we add the category and brand options to the dropdown list of assignable fields.
lines 61 - 69 show:

Product Name
Additional Description
Weight Unit
Stock Quantity
Stock Quantity Limit

We are going to add to these so we now have:

Product Name
Additional Description
Weight Unit
Stock Quantity
Stock Quantity Limit

now we change (what is now) line 122 - 123 to read:

$category_query = "INSERT INTO `".WPSC_TABLE_ITEM_CATEGORY_ASSOC."` VALUES ('','$id','".$cvs_data2."')";
$wpdb query($category_query);

and add the following two lines underneath:

$brand_query = "INSERT INTO `".WPSC_TABLE_ITEM_CATEGORY_ASSOC."` VALUES ('','$id','".$cvs_data2."')";
$wpdb query($brand_query);

This is simply adding the category and brand id to the WPSC_TABLE_ITEM_CATEGORY_ASSOC table.

Remember to add the Category IDs to your csv file and NOT the category name. Alternatively you could extend this tutorial by looking up the Category ID using the Category Name and inserting that.

martes, 18 de mayo de 2010

What ethics should apply in the digital world?

The Internet is forever. A terrifying prospect, indeed. But if data on the Web has an infinite shelf life, do the same rules and ethics abide as in the real world? They do, says computer programmer and digital artist Zach Gage.
Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.
Where does it come from?
There are many variations of passages of Lorem Ipsum available, but the majority have suffered alteration in some form, by injected humour, or randomised words which don't look even slightly believable. If you are going to use a passage of Lorem Ipsum, you need to be sure there isn't anything embarrassing.

qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet
vel illum qui dolorem
consectetur, adipisci velit

All the Lorem Ipsum generators on the Internet tend to repeat predefined chunks as necessary, making this the first true generator on the Internet. It uses a dictionary of over 200 Latin words, combined with a handful of model sentence structures, to generate Lorem Ipsum which looks reasonable. The generated Lorem Ipsum is therefore always free from repetition, injected humour, or non-characteristic words etc.
Where can i get some?
The standard chunk of Lorem Ipsum used since the 1500s is reproduced below for those interested. Sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 from "de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum" by Cicero are also reproduced in their exact original form, accompanied by English versions from the 1914 translation by H. Rackham.

miércoles, 12 de mayo de 2010

Now designing Tumblr and Posterous!

I have been buzzing all over the blogosphere. With the explosion of microblogs, I have spent a considerable amount of time learning the codes for Posterous and Tumblr.

Both platforms are excellent for sharing links and posting photos while on the go.

Tumblr is very hip. The Tumblr goodies page is loaded with apps for iPhone and Blackberry, widgets and bookmarklets to make microblogging available wherever you go.

Posterous is simple and straightforward. There are iPhone and Android apps. Blackberry users can email links and photos to post. It can be set as a standalone microblog or autopost to your current site.

If you are looking for a custom theme for your  Tumblr or Posterous microblog, contact me!

Most Expensive Domain Names

Being that it’s 2010, it’s safe to say the most of us have heard the term “virtual real estate”. Typically though, this refers to virtual worlds, people blowing tens of thousands of dollars on virtual real estate in a game like “Second Life”. The real virtual real estate, though, is that of the internet itself, domain names. In the mid to late 90’s there was a land grab as numerous popular domains were snagged for $100 two year contracts (later dropped to $70) from Network Solutions. The dot-come bubble arrived and suddenly those same domains were being resold for millions. Surprisingly, the dotcom bubble never burst when it came to the internet’s real estate. Prices today are as high as ever.

Read more at Web Hosting Directory.

viernes, 7 de mayo de 2010

Tin Can Metaphor 5 Art Show

Pencilbox Studios is hosting the fifth (not quite annual) fine art show featuring the artists collectively known as TinCan Group, plus an invited guest artist. This year's show, an eclectic blend of photography, painting, and mixed media, is entitled Tin Can Metaphor 5. Live music will be provided by Peanut. Snacks and refreshments will be served.

jueves, 6 de mayo de 2010

The Value of Hiring a Professional Photographer — A Design Photographer’s Reflection

Lately, I see more and more graphic designers either using their own high-quality cameras and modifying self-shot or using stock photography to fit their design needs. Taking a picture has become easier than ever with availability of affordable and uncomplicated cameras.

I may be a bit biased (seeing as I’m a professional photographer), but I believe that in many cases there are a few key sensibilities missing from the do-it-yourself photographer’s arsenal that will influence the final image’s effectiveness.
“Quick Fix” Shortfalls
In no particular order, some areas where point-and-shoot and stock photography fails:

Assessing mood.
A professional photographer is trained to take into account the visual unity of a group of images within a design as it relates to mood. Ignorance of this can devalue an image even if it is perfectly exposed.
Future use.
A professional researches the project thoroughly, and shoots with the future in mind. Usually, not enough consideration is being given to what happens to the image after it outlives the original design. Deep and careful thought is needed at the point of capture, because it ultimately can be re-purposed in multiple ways if it is true to the brand.
Light and Composition.
A professional will carefully consider light and composition, which work with the image to support the intended style. Amateurs and stock photography often don’t, or can’t, consider this, so the simplified photograph becomes just an element within the design or a background that just frames typography, which now has to work alone to deliver an aesthetic style.
Wider scope — literally.
Amateurs often don’t know to consider the entire composition — even areas outside the crop. Other areas of the composition can be used later; giving cohesiveness that can’t otherwise be achieved. Often, stock photography is cropped for one reason: to get the client to sign-off on the image. This severely limits the usefulness of the image, and is an indicator that the image isn’t really right.

Mental Checklists: Experience is Invaluable
Professional photographers have experience. They spend a great deal of time capturing images — hey, it’s their job, after all — and that experience can be worth more than you might expect.
Some Items on a Pro’s Mental Checklist
Knowledge of:

Industry awareness
Location expertise
Maximizing a shoot location

Experience to:

Shoot both horizontally and vertically (a “guaranteed” horizontal image today could be a vertical image tomorrow!)
Avoid minor, yet costly, mistakes (like knowing to remove the belts from the auto service technicians to prevent scratches on an expensive vehicle
Bring life and believability to any shoot (like knowing to tilt the camera for realism)

Professional photographers also have liability insurance, photo releases, and experience managing talent on set — all things that make a professional shoot go smoothly. These experience checklists usually prove more valuable than the up front cost that you appear to save. A photo shoot may sometimes feel costly, tedious and unimportant, but the true image-maker is working to do exactly that: image making.
Strong Design Thought
To be a great designer you must apply strong design thought to all aspects of your work; in the same way you specify a paper (for it’s eco-friendly nature) or the way you specify a color or type face (for it’s psychological strength), you should be specific with your photography. Don’t let your careful work and reputation be undermined by weak photography!

We have a saying around our office, “the screw in the doorknob matters.” It’s an image that conveys meaning and a story — every detail matters.

Creating great images takes planning, consideration and pre-visualization to really best serve the client’s needs. At Pencilbox Studios we believe custom imagery is worth every penny. Imagery helps us tell better stories, and build stronger brands.