Google’s Royalty-Free Images

Free stock photography may be limited, but it’s good to know there are places you can get a free image when you need one.

Google has an advanced search that allows you to find images with varying levels of restriction. The image above was found by adjusting these settings and searching using the keyword “man.” This image is actually the first result in the search when the usage restrictions are completely lifted.

It’s an excellent way of getting a quick, free, royalty-free image.

And if you’re wondering, the image above is a portrait of Daniel Friedman.

Water Your Website

I would argue that if you maintain a website it is your responsibility to monitor the health of that site on a daily basis.

Think of your website like a plant. If you throw a plant in a pot and forget about it, death is the only logical result. Disappointing, yes, but not the end of the world. Toss that plant and get another.

People treat websites like this all the time. Their site dies. They revive it through a redesign. It dies again and this process is repeated over and over.

Plants need to be pruned, watered, and fed. Websites need this as well.

I can guarantee that if you maintain your site in this fashion, you can kiss painful redesigns goodbye.

Raumrot and Mazwai: Free Photos and Videos

I love to share websites that offer free high-resolution images, because as a designer I feel you can’t have access to enough of these.

Raumrot is a site I recently discovered that offers free handpicked stock photos for your commercial and personal use. Their images have a certain feel to them, so they may or may not meet your needs.

Mazwai is a site that offers free short videos. The selection is pretty good and the videos are short, built for looping.

University of Illinois Web Con 2014

Just this past April 28 and 29 we hosted another great University of Illinois Web Conference at the I Hotel in Champaign, IL.

When I say “we” I am referring to the University of Illinois Webmasters Coordinating Committee, which I’ve served on for almost nine years. Currently I’m the chair and I couldn’t be more proud of the work the team did this year in planning and hosting this great event.

Our keynote speakers were Kristina Halvorson and Chris Coyier; both outstanding, dynamic presenters. And once again we were lucky to partner with An Event Apart to host the conference.

Overall, everything went smoothly and I hope that all the attendees found the day as inspirational and beneficial as I did.

24 Hours of Happy

Need a little energy boost? Feeling down? Well, here’s something that might help you out.

Pharrell Williams has created a song that almost instantly makes you feel happy. It’s conveniently titled, “Happy”. It’s also had a lot of air time so chances are you know what I’m talking about.

However, did you know that Pharrell also made a 24 hour long music video to accompany the song?

This isn’t just a fantastic video. The website itself is amazingly simple and elegant, just like the overall concept.

Next time you’re having a bad day, just visit 24 Hours of Happy and turn your frown upside down.

Harry’s: Less Expensiver

Twitter recommended that I follow Harry’s.

Harry’s?

What the heck is Harry’s?

I liked the logo, so I investigated further. Harrys Product Shot

Harry’s sells razors and other shaving products for what they say is “less expensiver” than their competitors. That’s fantastic. Razor blades are indeed overpriced, in my opinion.

Despite this, the real treat of discovering Harry’s was their website. It’s beautifully designed, featuring clean, crisp product shots, fun illustrations (as seen above), stylish typography, and interesting layouts.

I have yet to try their product or experience their service, but their website is great. Anyone that can make a factory look sexy is a winner in my book.