THE TH DESIGN BLOG

A Font Primer

by Ted | May 17th, 2013

A Basic Font Primer A couple of years back, I put together a basic primer (intended for the non-graphics professionals) on typography terminology, the types and varieties of typefaces and a few general rules concerning how to use fonts in documents, etc. While we had previously made this PDF available for download, somewhere in the process of creating and launching our newly re-designed site, we forgot about including this font primer.

So, for those who might be so inclined as to seek some guidance on how to use fonts, you can download our guide by right-clicking on this link Font Primer and choosing the “save link as…” option in the pop-up menu.

eBook Conversion

by Paula | March 17th, 2016

Recently we had the pleasure of converting a print book to an ebook. In the early days of eBook creation, physical books were literally scanned, and images of their pages were shown in eReaders. Things have changed.

Today new ebooks are, in their essentials, little websites. Ebook reader interfaces are like web browsers, and eBooks themselves are built out of XHTML files. (XHTML is a very narrow, strict version of HTML.)

Taking a manuscript and making it usable as an eBook is a multi-step process. First, you have to remove a bunch of stuff your word processing program generates in the background, then you need to lay it out in a series of simple, clean, HTML/CSS documents. In much the same way website developers have to deal with the vagaries of various browsers and viewport sizes, writing HTML and CSS for eBooks requires knowledge of the limitations of different eReaders and their display capabilities. Ebooks, even more than websites, allow the viewer to control aspects of the display such as font, font-size, page background color (white, black or sepia), and whether the text is broken up into screen-sized pages, or just flows continuously. Font options, by the way, are few. Newer Apple devices allow for greater variety in font choices and will even honor choices made by the book designer; Amazon Readers do not. The bottom line is, if you already have a print book, the eBook will be able to reflect some of the overall design scheme of the print book, but can’t be an exact replica.

Once the HTML version is completed it gets converted into an EPUB file, which can then be adapted or converted by Amazon, Apple (iBooks), Barnes & Noble, and others, to be readable on their specific devices or via their software.

Many people, manuscript in hand, head over to Amazon to create their eBook and quickly discover the process is more complicated than they expected. There are “how-to’s” available, and, like so many things on the web, you can do it yourself if you have the time and motivation to figure it out. Or you can call us!

Google to highlight Mobile-Friendly sites in Search

by Paula | November 19th, 2014

If you’ve been wondering whether it’s time to make your website mobile-friendly (responsive), this development may nudge you to a decision: Google Will Highlight Mobile-Friendly Sites In Search Results.

This means that when people do a google search they will see a badge on those listings Google considers to be easy to navigate on a smartphone or small tablet.

According to the article, google will consider sites to be mobile-friendly using the following criteria:

  • Site does not use mobile-UNfriendly software like Flash;
  • Text is large enough to be readable without zooming;
  • Links are spaced far enough apart to be easily tappable without overlapping other links;
  • Content can be seen without the need for left-to-right swiping.

As of this writing Google is expected to begin implementing this in the next few weeks.

Google offers a page where you can check your site and see if it will earn a badge: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

All of our responsive sites passed! If your site doesn’t, give us a call (330) 869-4680, or send us an email: info@thdesigninc.com.

Responsive Design Navigation

by Paula | April 9th, 2014

One of the biggest challenges in responsive website conversions is reworking complicated site navigation bars. When you have sufficient screen real estate you can use multilevel navigation bars and tool around, mouse-clicking away, with ease. But when your site is viewed via a smaller tablet or smartphone a deep navigation scheme can become difficult to use. So one of the first things we go to work on with a responsive transition is an analysis of the existing navigation scheme with an eye on reduction and simplification.

What can you do to simplify your navigation?

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How to Change the Author’s Tooltip Text in WordPress

by Paula | June 19th, 2013

I read an article today that discussed various ways to enhance a website’s “trust score” in Google and one recommended step was to provide biographical information about the authors of blogposts. Well the authors here are Ted and myself, and we do have an About TH page with background information, but is that sufficient?

After some research I determined that I could link my author names in blogposts to an author’s page which could contain bios, photos and all the author’s posts. That seemed like overkill to me, given that there’s only two of us blogging here and posts are already findable by category, publication date, etc.

I decided an acceptable compromise would be to link our author names directly to the About Us page, which was easy enough to do; I just needed to adjust my code slightly in the index.php and single.php template loops from
<?php the_author() ?>

to
<?php the_author_link() ?>

In addition I needed to change the “website” address listed in our author profiles from thdesigninc.com to thdesigninc.com/about/ and I was done!

Except…

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