The Tools Of A Web Designer’s Trade


Editor’s note: We asked CatholicMatch’s talented designer Bob Travis, the guy behind the waving emotigram, to shed a little light on his creative process.


So what is actually involved in creating graphics for the CatholicMatch website?

The answer is more varied than you may think.

Designing graphics, in general, can involve quite a few different programs. The main ones I use are Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver.

Many are familiar with Photoshop. It is the primary photo editor of any designer’s tool box and a powerful way to alter images.

Less known is the program Illustrator. Illustrator can be thought of as more of a drawing program, though it is different in the sense that you can manipulate what you have drawn. I can draw a line and then manipulate it afterwards to change its color or shape. It’s a great way to create graphics non-destructively.

Lastly there is Dreamweaver. No, that’s not the popular rock song penned by Gary Wright. It’s a program that helps me to lay out a web page before it is posted on our site.

Many of you have probably heard of HTML. For those of you who haven’t, HTML is the code behind the scenes of almost every web page you see on the web. Dreamweaver provides me with a visual way of dealing with the code. I still need to manipulate the code when necessary, but I get visual feedback at the same time, which makes my job much easier.

While all of these tools are wonderful, simply owning them and being adept at using them won’t magically produce a well-designed web page or graphic. Web and graphic design is also about knowing how to arrange information in a way that easily communicates to our customers.

We have all experienced sites that have information we need but are impossible to navigate through. Often this ends in frustration – and abandoning the site for another that does a better job.

At CatholicMatch we put a lot of thought into how all of our information is presented to our users. The easier we can make your search for a match the better experience you will have.

This is something that is never really done. We are always looking to make improvements. That’s part of the fun.



Additional reading

Creative types like Bob, Catherine and Dan (and those who are hoping to transition into more creative work, like Anthony-715703 and Victoria-717049), indulge yourself in Pope John Paul II’s beautiful 1999 letter to artists.


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