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Web Design Trends for 2012: Social Media Integration

We are doing a series of 2012 web design trends, and our sixth prediction for web design trends in 2012 is social media integration.

Social media is everywhere. It's on our computers, phones, televisions and even in our cars. Social media integration will not be going away any time soon (at least not in the next few years).

My favorite websites with social media integration are from local designers (located in central Indiana). When I began this blog topic, I knew exactly which three websites I would showcase:

Our website (TBH Creative) puts an emphasis on social media integration linked from the bottom of each page as well as the left sidebar on interior pages. We link to our client's social media pages as well under our portfolio. Custom social media icons that match your website design are an excellent option. They blend in well with the design and don't look like they were just thrown in there.

TBH Creative's home page. Visit the site for the full experience.

Kevin Thornbloom's website has very unique social media integration. You will need to visit the site to get the full experience. When you click on the buttons, it changes the title accordingly. Kevin uses kthornbloom as his username on every social media site, so it makes it very easy to use this technique!

Kevin Thornbloom's home page. Visit the site for the full experience.

The Basement's contact page is very entertaining. The social media birds hop around on the telephone wire as you're on the contact page. They also have custom social media icons, which makes the website flow together very well.

The Basement's home page. Visit the site for the full experience.

Social media integration is key in web development this year. Now, more than ever, people are spending more time on social media sites than any other site on the web. For example, four out of the seven tabs on my browser are social media sites. News stories, friend updates, funny pictures: you name it, you can probably find it on a social media site.

Web Design Trends for 2012: Large High Quality Photograph Backgrounds

We are doing a series of 2012 web design trends, and our fifth prediction for web design trends in 2012 is large high quality photograph backgrounds.

Large, high quality photograph backgrounds can add a lot to a company's website. It is important that they are high quality images. You do not want a large, pixelated background; it is not enjoyable for the user. Just a tip from graphic and web designers everywhere: never enlarge a photograph. Be sure to only size images down. If your picture is not large enough to use as a background for a webpage, then don't use it. Below are a few websites that use the large, high quality photograph technique for their backgrounds:

Smoking Takes Lives features a story of Mick Roberts (whose life was changed by smoking). This large photograph will help to grab the user and have them watch the video before accessing any other part of the website.

Smoking Takes Lives' homepage. Visit the site.

Simon & Comet's website features his motorsport photography. After translating the webpage to English, I noticed that he also is a web designer. He has a passion for motorsports. It is a great way to combine the two things he is passionate about.

Simon & Comet's homepage. Visit the site.

Poco People's homepage has a very nice "pop" of color. Your eyes are immediately drawn to Travis and Kelly (the owners) in the middle. Just a simple red scarf and red jacket are all they needed to attract the user.

Poco People's homepage. Visit the site.

Just remember, not every website will look great with a large photograph background. When in doubt, ask a web or graphic designer. A company that sells kitchen knives will probably lose customers if there is a very large butcher knife pictured on their homepage. What looks great to you might not look great to the user.

Web Design Case Study: Franciscan Alliance Foundation

We launched a new website for the Franciscan Alliance Foundation today and it can be viewed at

TBH Creative worked with the Franciscan Alliance Foundation this Fall to help with their new website. The purpose of the website is to serve a 'home' for all Franciscan Alliance Foundations and receive support through donations.
We proposed a clean design that was very similar to the new Franciscan Alliance brand and complimentary to the Ceommunity Benefits website graphics and arrangement. We build the HTML framework to work with their Content management system and including some custom JQuery for rotation of stories, main ideas, and pop up window for donations. The application work was completed by their IS department with our support for graphics and arrangement.

Web Design Trends for 2012: Typography

We are doing a series of 2012 web design trends, and our fourth prediction for web design trends in 2012 is typography.

Typography is probably my favorite trend in web design (if I had to choose just one). I could spend hours looking at beautiful typography on the Internet. There are several examples out there; Google gave me 31,200,000 results for "typography web design". I found it incredibly difficult to only pick three websites to showcase.

Web Design Case Study: Anne Reese Photography

We launched a new website for Anne Reese Photography today and it can be viewed at

TBH Creative worked with Anne Reese Photography this Fall to help with her new website.

Anne hired TBH Creative after consulting with another firm for 1 1/2 years and not seeing results. We were able to reuse the basic design ideas as a starting point. From there, we coded and paid special attention to browser compatiblity which was very important to Anne. We included some JQuery to re-scale photos based on screen size, allow for scrolling and pop up window for a larger view. We also developed a custom application to help her manage her photos into categories and random display. With her software, she can upload photos that will resize and arrange as she specifies into the front-end design.

Anne Reese Photography's homepage. View the site.

Here is an interior page from Anne Reese Photography's website. View the site.

About the Anne Reese Photography

After receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Photography from The Columbus College of Art & Design, Anne moved to New York to master the techniques used by the very best in the field. For a few years she assisted, prop styled, and retouched her way around New York City working for high-end photographers and food stylists. Ultimately, she realized that just taking a great photo would not be enough to set her apart from the rest of the food shooters.

Anne spent the next three years working full-time as the Digital Asset Manager and Photographer for The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York. Along the way, Anne was fortunate enough to have met and photographed some of the best chefs in the world. She took full advantage of her opportunities at the CIA and left New York with greater understanding and mastery of her two true passions-food and photography.

Web Design Case Study: Indy Connect

We launched a website for Indy Connect today, and it can be viewed at
TBH Creative worked with Indy Connect this December to help build their new website.

Phase 1 of this project was completed very quickly and included recoding for up-to-date markup (removing a lot of tables, image maps and OLD coding techniques that made maintenance very difficult) and applying with our Content Management System software for easy future changes and additions. In the old static version of their website, changes had to be made on every page of the website and all text titles were graphics. We added font replace technology to eliminate the need for so many graphics.

Web Design Trends for 2012: Responsive Web Design/Fluid Grids

We are doing a series of 2012 web design trends, and our third prediction for web design trends in 2012 is responsive web design/fluid grids.

Responsive web design and fluid grids are important in this mobile world. There are more tablets and smart phones in the hands of consumers (New Study Predicts that Mobile Web will Rule by 2015). Unlimited data packages have made smart phones even more appealing. As a business owner, it is very important to make sure your website is up to date and looks great on any platform.

Web Design Trends for 2012: Design Below the Fold

Our first prediction for web design trends in 2012 is design below the fold. We are doing a series of 2012 web design trends.

Designs below the fold, also known as large footers, are becoming a very common trend in web design. Footers are no longer a boring place at the bottom of a website. Just the copyright and a handful of links are not cutting it anymore. There are several ways to spruce up your footers: beautiful graphics, extra navigation (sometimes the entire sitemap), contact forms, videos, social media icons and more!

2012's best Web-focused conferences

2012's best Web-focused conferences

Training recommendations for learning the latest news and information about interactive design, online content strategy, and web development

C.R. Lawton once said, "Unless you try to do something beyond what you have mastered, you will never grow." Growth is easy to talk about as a goal, but it's much harder to actually make a priority to work toward as a goal when deadlines and other day-to-day demands occupy your thoughts. To make sure you make time for you next year, why not plan ahead and get your 2012 professional development scheduled now? To help get you started, here's a round-up—sorted by focus—of options to consider:

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