Podcast 31: Working with style guides

Paul Boag

Taking a corporate identity and making it work online can be a challenging process. This week Paul and Marcus look at how to take a style guide and make it work on the web.

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The majority of larger organisations have some kind of style guide. Normally this was put together by the print design agency that created their brand identity. Unsurprisingly therefore, it refers heavily to the use of that identity in printed material with often only a passing reference to the web.

It is not unusual for style guides of this type to be full of references that are either not relevant online or which cannot be adhered to for technical reasons. References to Pantone colours or centimetres have to be reinterpreted for the web as does the choice of fonts and size/positioning of the logo.

This podcast discusses the various problems that can occur when working with print style guides and looks at possible solutions. It also stresses the need for flexibility and compromise between client and designer.

Question time

This week’s show is also packed with listener questions. Paul and Marcus discuss questions relating to:

  • The use of images for headings
  • Whether clients care about web standards
  • The use of interactive site features like forums
  • Setting up an online business

Techno-buster: PNG

The techno-buster this week looks at the PNG image format. Paul and Marcus compare PNG with JPEG and GIF, discuss its advantages and disadvantages as well as looking at some solutions for poor browser support.

Web resource review: Bite sized standards

This week’s web resource review looks at a new site to emerge called Bite Sized standards. This site is aimed at busy designers and developers who struggle to keep up with all of the latest web standards techniques. It collects together all of the latest approaches, strips out the discussion and provides the raw code in a nice digestible form.

We’ve been immortalised!

Finally we wanted to let everybody know that some enterprising group has turned the boagworld podcast into a range of merchandise. Although the design needs some improvements and they didn’t consult us first, the boost to our egos is enough for us to let them off! Check them out and buy one if you are brave enough to face the ridicule!