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We all should pay a little more attention to style…

Modern Layouts: Getting Out of Our Ruts by Jen Simmons—An Event Apart video from An Event Apart on Vimeo.

Watching this video literally made my mouth water. Jen Simmons is right. Web Designers have made so many design compromises since responsive layout came out that we have forgotten why we even signed up.

The Vogue September issue had a lot to do with my career decision to become a Designer. First off, I love clothes. This will date me, but the ESPIRIT and Benetton ads… I thought they were amazing! So I went to school, became a Graphic Designer, even worked 8 years for a company in the fashion business, then 3 years at a magazine.

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I decided to go into web design back when websites looked like this:

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Then websites looked like this where sidebars were all the rage:

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And now we are here, stuck in the single layout used for responsive layouts, because the layout has to look good on all sizes of digital screens:

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I’ve spent my fair share of time reading and whining about the lack of creativity in websites today. However, this speaker, Jen Simmons, gave me a glimmer of hope in this video. She reminded us of an era gone by showing some of these great magazine layouts:

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Then she showed us how to create responsive layouts using a few CSS tricks called: “shapes“, “rotation“, “regions” and “display flex” which look like this:

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She also gave web designers a few words of encouragement like: “Translate don’t Transfer” which means when we are given printed content to put on the web, it doesn’t mean we have to make the content look like we just transferred the content. Instead, keep some fun design elements, or create some that help visually get the point across.

She also encouraged us to “look back at print and see what we left behind”.

When I first came to AWG I looked at old grocery store ads that have long been sent to storage. At the time it was almost impossible to recreate those unique designs which represented hours of layout done with linotype and a exacto knife. But with new code being developed everyday, creativity just may become the new black? I can’t wait!

Why do I work at AWG? “It’s hard to find a native Kansan who doesn’t have family living in a small town community... and I am no exception. My family tree is full of farmers who have helped put food on our tables for over 100 years. So when I hear of a small town’s only grocery store closing down it hits home. Even though I now live in a big city, I like to know through my work I can help keep small independent grocery stores stay open for future generations to enjoy.” -Sharlyn