The Herb Ritts Foundation

The Herb Ritts Foundation

This week, my design and development studio, ERA404, launched the new web site for The Herb Ritts Foundation. The press release is below.

Los Angeles—HERBRITTS.com features the largest collection of the late photographer’s work online, while offering the opportunity to explore every aspect of his career.

Dozens of editorial examples, advertising tear sheets, book spreads, and museum installation photos mixed together demonstrate how Ritts’ work embedded itself into popular culture.

In addition to producing portraits and editorial fashion for Vogue, Vanity Fair, Interview and Rolling Stone, Ritts also created successful advertising campaigns for Calvin Klein, Chanel, Donna Karan, Gap, Gianfranco Ferré, Gianni Versace, Giorgio Armani, Levi’s, Pirelli, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Valentino among others.

The site features an interactive timeline of Herb Ritts’ life. For the first time, visitors are able to see examples of Ritts’ directing work including award-winning music videos and commercials. Further insight is offered into the Foundation’s history and mission: to advance the art of photography and support HIV/AIDS causes in a manner that reflects the spirit and values exemplified by Herb Ritts during his lifetime.

Designed and developed by ERA404 Creative Group, the site allows visitors to conduct advanced searches through Ritts’ vast archives and follow the Foundations social media presence.

Herb Ritts’ iconic images have been exhibited in museums worldwide, including hugely popular exhibitions at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

(via ERA404.com)

Mobile Websites vs. Applications

Mobile Websites vs Applications

There’s no denying that mobile phones have grown to become an increasing part of our lives. In fact, there’s a 42% likelihood that you’re reading this newsletter on your phone or tablet device, up 10% from last March. And in most cases, mobile applications would probably be overkill for your business or brand, where a beautifully designed, responsive newsletter (such as this one) will more than suffice. However, if you’re looking for something more than emails, here are some things for you to consider.

There’s a big difference between a mobile website and a mobile application. Before you can evaluate the benefits of either, it’s important to understand the key differences between the two. Both apps and mobile websites are accessed on a handheld devices such as smartphones (e.g. iPhone, Android and Blackberry) and tablets.

Read the rest of the newsletter here

era404 2011 Creative Reel

My design studio, ERA404 Creative Group, was pleased to launch our 2011 Creative Reel this week. Information about the reel can be found in the supplementary ERA404 newsletter (Season X, Issue II), the Press Release (ERA404: Commemorating10 Years) as well as the [d]online blog post about the rebranding effort.

Read more

ERA404 Rebranding

You may’ve noticed a new logo up there in the right corner of [d]online. To celebrate 10 years since I created my studio, era404 Creative Group, and because my stationery was finally running out, we felt it was time to update our brand.

Over the last decade, era404 has truly transformed from a design and development shop to one that provides comprehensive, strategic campaigns. Our best projects—the most rewarding and enjoyable ones—have spawned from relationships with clients that have fully embraced our nature as an ideas company. This is to say that when clients approach us with ideas, they hire us for more than just implementation. Rather, we’ve been privileged to be involved from Day One concepting through the complete process of strategy, design, development and continued maintenance of their campaigns. With these projects, we’ve had the pleasure of not only participating in the growth of their ideas and bringing them to life, but helping shape them with our knowledge and experience in the industry. Read more

A Pledge to Tom’s of Maine


A few days ago, an ad came on Hulu where Tom’s of Maine talked about their company’s philosophy. I’ve always loved this company, find their products to be top notch, and admired their philosophy. Though I’ve become increasingly irritated with companies lately making open promises about becoming green, caring about the environment and helping communities. Read more

Guaranteed Value vs. Value Assessments (or MyPanera vs. My Starbucks Rewards)

Due to recent conversations that I’ve had with clients in friends, I’ve been thinking a lot about consumer behavior surrounding discounted items. One of my clients attests the following, which I found the be pretty interesting:

The current emphasis on web coupons and social site tie ins neglects another fundamental rule of retailing: guaranteed value. We tend to buy high-priced items at discount because we perceive that we are getting a good deal. But the same psychology works in reverse sometimes. We believe we are being overcharged unless we are getting a discount. Without guaranteed value, we tend to decide to purchase at the last moment, or decide not to purchase in advance because we assume or fear the price will be too high.

In this argument, he goes on to note spending habits on airline tickets, hotel rooms, Netflix and other luxury items like those offered by Groupon. Granted, I’m giving you a snippet of this client’s argument without the full context, but the point is pretty clear. The notion of discounts genuinely changes buying habits for certain items and services. It’s absolutely true that I may decide which mode of transportation (much less which airline) to book for a family vacation. The airline industry, particularly with the emergence of discount fliers like Ryan Air and jet blue, show a pristine example of buying habits and how discounts dissuade consumers from spending money on what once was a pretty average price. However, this mentality certainly doesn’t work for all purchases. Read more

Vector Scrollbars

I consistently needed a standard vector scrollbar for the browser in UI/UX mock-ups in Adobe Illustrator as I got tired of creating screenshots and tweaking lengths in Photoshop. If you do, too, grab this zip. It includes the CS4 .AI, .EPS and .PDF version of both the horizontal and vertical scrollbar. You’re welcome. I’m also thinking that someday it might be beneficial to create a vector version of the mouse hand and arrow, though I’m debating whether I should keep the stair-stepping of pixelation at that size, and how best to handle the drop shadows. If anyone has a suggestion, let me know what you think.