Linkware Graphics .com - Luscious Web Graphics, Music Images, and More


About the Visual Design

Field of California poppies and wildflowersThe color palette for the latest design of Linkware Graphics - online late October, 2007 - was inspired by the gorgeous colors of the California foothills during Spring and Summer. I was also inspired by the art of watercolor painting.

The deepest red-orange colors from those gorgeous poppies are used for the section headings and other accents throughout the site, including hints of it within the topmast artwork area. During the early spring, the foothills are a gorgeous green that turn to a golden yellow as summer progresses. All those colors are represented within the topmast and throughout the page designs. Of course, Spring isn't Spring without its beautiful blue sky and billowy clouds!

People have asked about the watercolor painting used for the topmast. It's part of a watercolor painting that I created with Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended, and it's not for sale.

All images at this site are Web-optimized to help keep their file sizes to a minimum and to help the initial page load times, bandwidth use, and server space. As many Web designers and developers already know, images are then in the visitor's browser cache so they're only downloaded that one time, which also helps bandwidth and page load times.



Behind the Scenes

Behind the scenes, the development is based on W3C Recommendations, specifically XHTML 1.0 Transitional and CSS 2.1. The Linkware Graphics website also conforms to the WCAG, the W3C's accessibility guidelines.

Server-Side Programming

The Linkware Graphics website also takes advantage of server-side technologies to provide helpful efficiency and convenience for the website's overall management, maintenance, and changes. Once the design was established, a main template was created utilizing these technologies to centrally serve and customize navigation, headings, and other common page elements. The navigation, for example, is customized for each page, such as highlighting the current section and the current page. Server-side programming is also used to customize the page introductions, images, and breadcrumb navigation trails for each section and each page. (The type of server-side technologies used aren't mentioned for server security purposes.)

Everything that's customized for each page is intended to help the user experience, blending seamlessly into each page, in addition to making the site management easy and convenient behind the scenes.

 Book cover: Don't Make Me Think, Second Edition, by Steve Krug.  You might not notice all the details resulting from the server-side programming and carefully detailed information architecture and layout, but hopefully you'll be able to navigate through the site easily, know where you are at all times within the website, and be able to search for something and find it quickly and easily. As Steve Krug's book title says, “Don't Make Me Think.”

We also welcome and greatly appreciate feedback about Linkware Graphics, so please let us know what you think.


If you click File, then Print Preview in your browser window, you'll see that the print version looks visually different than the screen version. (Just looking at the Print Preview onscreen will show you what I mean - you don't have to actually print a page.)

In addition, the URL references will appear in print in many newer browsers, such as Firefox and Opera. Unfortunately, however, Internet Explorer, including versions 6 and 7, don't support the W3C recommended CSS for this. So don't use Internet Explorer if you want to print paper copies of any of the pages at this site and have the URLs appear.

The use of CSS to specify styles for print helps provide improved printability for each page, while also eliminating the necessity of creating and maintaining duplicate print-version pages.

Tools, Programs

 Photoshop CS3 Extended  After pencil and paper sketches, Adobe Photoshop CS3 was used to create the visual design, all graphic images, retouching photos if needed, and for resampling (resizing) and optimizing photos and images for the Web. Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended has been used since April, 2007 (earlier versions of Photoshop prior to this), along with Adobe Illustrator CS3.

All development behind the scenes was created by hand using TopStyle Pro and validated with CSE HTML Validator and W3C's HTML and CSS validators. This helps to ensure the lean, clean markup based on Web standards.

Updated 25 October, 2007



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