Author Archives: John

Here’s How to Save A Web Page Screenshot in Firefox

Saving A Web Page As A Screen Shot

Firefox browser bar

Look for the ellipsis menu icon to the right of the URL search display field.

Saving a screen shot of a web page usually means being able to capture only the visible portion of the page, including all the unwanted browser tabs that might be open, along with any toolbar bookmarks, neither of which have anything to do with the web page itself and can even prove embarrassing if left in place.

Saving a web page screenshot is not the same as “save web page as”, which downloads the HTML code and can include the resources. Firefox now has the screenshot widget in the toolbar, and it’s a simple, three-step process of selecting the action, choosing the content desired, and downloading the file format.

Browser Controlled Screenshot Selection

save full page option

Usually choose “full page” option, but occasionally “save visible” is preferable.

What’s great about the Firefox solution, aside from speed, is that unlike (Mac) command+shift+4’s select area or shift+command+3 capture full screen, Firefox captures the web page (or the visible area) and only the web page. If, as in the case of many flat or single page designs, the scroll goes on and on, the resulting full page image may not be what you’re looking for because of the height property. In that case, using the “save visible” option to capture the page portion you’re viewing is a work around.

Either way, you’ll see a clean capture and your choices, which besides downloading the image locally also offers copying to the clipboard for direct edit>paste versatility. Note—the entire page width is captured, not just the displayed width.

Firefox’s Built-In Screenshot Widget Is Fast, Efficient

download or copy the selection to the clipboard

Choose to download (with a choice of formats) or copy to clipboard for instant placement.

There are apps that provide the same functionality, with a few extra benefits. Skitch includes basic editing tools that can be used to add and highlight text, draw basic graphics, and crop without having to open the image in a full-fledged imaging program. And, if you have a premium account in Evernote, it’s fully synched.

But Firefox’s built-in shortcut is just to the right of the toolbar, at the bottom of the Page Actions icon. For documentation and gathering visual content, it’s simple, fast, and efficient.

Using SEO to Successfully Target Local Business

jack the shop dog

Jack, the Jack Russel terrier that owned the shop, quickly became the face of the brand and was successfully incorporated across all social channels.

Local SEO Grows Austin Plumbing Contractor’s Business

Locally focused social media marketing and local SEO is the great equalizer that enables independent retailers and service providers to compete against major national brands and regional franchises. The reality, though, is that for many, using Google to gain advantage all too often ends up being occasional posts to a personal Facebook page.

Projects included the design and implementation of an original brand identity, a website, a self-hosted blog, several social channels that were maintained with both created and curated content, publicity and promotion, and one-off design projects.

Last spring a 10-year relationship with Austin, TX plumbing contractor Wilson Plumbing came to an end. During that time, a company with no prior social footprint, no internet presence, and no paid marketing or advertising, grew to over $2M in sales, all derived from a narrowly defined by zip code local market of a relatively few square miles.

web banner updated by season

Animated GIF featured a seasonal banner to promote services, upgrades, and remodels.

The initial goal was to become locally visible to Google in every way possible, so that whenever any Austinite—we weren’t concerned with hits from Chicago—Googled “plumber” Wilson Plumbing would turn up early on SERP, ideally page one. Continue reading

“Workplace” – A Look at Office Design Before Covid

R/GA founder Bob Greenberg

R/GA founder Bob Greenberg had no idea that four years later COVID would become the pandemic he didn’t mention.

R/GA Documentary Ambushed by COVID

Documentary filmmaker Gary Hustwit’s examination of global agency R/GA’s decision to consolidate their New York City headquarters in Workplace couldn’t have been more prescient. Released in 2016, the movie explores the creative push that resulted in the open concept, two-floored new home to hundreds, in the world before Covid.

Hustwit’s reputation for delivering award-winning quality insight into the intersections of design and type with culture and society is unique. Workplace joins Objectified, Rams, Urbanized, and Helvetica in shedding considerable light on how our immediate environment influences our shared experiences.

Until there’s a real social or political revolution, the office will be a feature of global capitalism for a long time to come.

Is #WFH a Permanent Address?

In Workplace, Hustwit examines the thinking behind R/GA founder Bob Greenberg’s ideas for a unified office atmosphere that can physically drive creative inspiration, the agency’s lifeblood. The architectural firm Foster + Partners is tasked with delivering a functional concept that solves both the physical and psychological needs of one of the world’s top digital agencies that showcases technology and fosters collaboration.

Along the way, you’re introduced to euphemisms like huddle rooms and floor plate, as Hustwit covers the journey from existing quarters to imagined outcome through move-in day. Continue reading

Riding Sierra National Forest’s Bald Mountain

photo ©John Siebenthaler

My Best Ride Ever

Dirt Rider magazine offered up perspective on what it’s like to ride offroad in the Sierra National Forest just outside Yosemite for the first time. My first dual sport adventure remains a vivid memory, an awesome moment in time that rivals the perspective from another newbie to the granite slabs that are the foundation for Bald Mountain’s abandoned forest tower just east of Shaver Lake, California.

In 2004, digital photography was still chiseling away at film, and smartphones with cameras their equal weren’t yet on the horizon, which means my visual record of a one-time-only first time ride is a little sparse.

Atop Bald Mountain

One thing that hasn’t changed since my inaugural off-road dual sport experience in the dirt, at high altitude, with breathtaking scenary around every turn, was the time-tested, steady-as-she-goes Honda XR650L. Sturdy, dependable, predictable, and perfect for the task at hand, which was hauling a Big Twin and Sportster mostly Florida riding profile throughout the fir and spruce forests of the West.

With a nod towards a simpler time, when digital distractions were non-existent and Saturdays meant itching to get out of the house and on the road, this piece does a little off-roading into the unique geography that makes up the Oakhurst-Yosemite-Huntington Lake triangle in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

I.M. Pei — Design That Endures

National Gallery of Art atrium

photo ©John Siebenthaler

The National Gallery of Art East Wing

News of architect I.M. Pei’s passing this week at the age of 102 touched off memories of my early years spent as a commercial photographer shooting everything from rock bands to cookie-cutter real estate housing developments to a nightmarish oxy-acetylene catalytic torch that could melt concrete. One of those adventures included two days in Washington, D.C., for an assignment at the then still new National Gallery of Art East Wing.

Though usually associated with his unconventional Egyptian pyramid inspired design solution at the Louvre, my path crossed his for a very brief moment the time I photographed his landmark atrium, with its signature Calder mobile floating lazily overhead while my client’s grove of ficus trees softened the sharp angularity of the structure’s beautifully polished marble surfaces, in the nation’s capitol.

If It’s Thursday It Must Be Washington

National Gallery of Art East WingThe gallery shoot was part of an extended romp around the heartland, with previous stops on the road that week in Wichita, Milwaukee, and the still under construction Minneapolis Zoo. It was the last leg of an exhausting schedule, which perhaps explains why I failed to take advantage of the unique access I was granted to this memorable national landmark. Continue reading

WYSIWYG Cloud App Makes CSS Simple

Gridlover CSS type

Gridlover CSS Type Styling App

File this one under the header of why I love the web. Gridlover’s simple, powerful, and free app lets you style your site CSS for type directly in your browser, and the WYSIWYG user interface make the experience pleasant, fast, and easy.

Typically, CSS type coding for your web site or individual page requires imagining what the results will look like, and that’s not always easy. Switching views back and forth in Dreamweaver can be tiresome, and introducing variables like line height, scale (between tags), and font size tend to get bogged down, if not impossible when you’re dealing with thousandths of whatever metric you prefer – pixels, ems, or SCSS.

What About Web Fonts?

Web fonts? Previewing the results typically requires updating the code and previewing online, which isn’t exactly elegant. Seeing the end result in Gridlover simply requires pasting in the HREF link and you’re there.

Try it yourself and see why using Gridlover to set up your type style sheet is a no-brainer. It puts the fun back in designing your site’s typography, instead of a chore that has to be dealt with.

Saul Bass — America’s Designer

Saul Bass — Contemporary Graphic Design

In the latter half of the 20th century, when it came to movies, TV, print, and corporate branding, nobody was busier – or better – than graphic designer Saul Bass.

His title design work for the movie blockbusters of the day — films like North By Northwest, Anatomy of A Murder, The Man With The Golden Arm, Vertigo, and many others — is still revered for its attention demanding content and arresting concepts.

Saul Bass was the graphic force that single-handedly changed the look and feel of American popular and corporate culture. His signature style was applied to virtually everything that had to do with print, film, or television, long before branding became a thing.

Before Apple, It Was All Done By Hand

Students today should be reminded that his complex and complicated movie title sequences were concepted and produced before digital could even be imagined, let alone implemented. Then, accuracy was measured with a wooden ruler, a stopwatch, a film cutter, and some tape. A minor note, he did all this without Google and YouTube for reference.

His unique approach to title sequences was a spectacular break from the cookie-cutter template marketing methods cranked out by studios that had evolved little from the early days of film. His dramatic style used static design elements to convey mood, feeling, and focus to what had been traditional for the sake of tradition — and it worked.

Today, two-plus decades since his death, his work from a half-century ago remains vital, and is itself a continuing source of inspiration across a variety of media.

Logos to Trademarks

Chermayeff Geismar & Haviv Set The Bar

60 Years of Logos: Chermayeff & Geismar from Dress Code on Vimeo.

Two Legendary Designers On Memorable Careers

In one short (~3′) video, design legends Ivan Chermayeff* and Tom Geismar discuss their founding, the early days, what makes a mark memorable, and how they’ve planned for their iconic firm’s future.

If you watch television, use the post office, have a checking account, buy gasoline, or enjoy modern art, you’ve seen their work. Driven by research and pure instinct, the duo is responsible for a library’s worth of abstract marks and recognizable logotypes that continue to withstand the test of time.

In this video the unassuming pair go on record about the formative years, their staying power, and what they bring to the highly competitive table of corporate communications and graphic design.

Born in London in 1932, *Ivan Chermayeff died in December, 2017, at age 85.

History’s First Press Release Defines PR’s Role

Pennsylvania railroad

After a Penn Railroad train ran off the rails, PR pioneer Ivy Lee gained the upper hand over reporters covering the story with a subtle account of the accident that minimized the reputational damage to his client.

Public Relations Born When A Train Derails

The modern era of managed information began with a succinct press release written by a former newsman on behalf of his industrial client, a northeastern railroad that had just suffered a derailment resulting in multiple deaths. To be sure, ten eyewitnesses if asked to describe the accident would have ten different accounts of the exact same facts. But the one that made it into the New York Times that day is the only one that counts.

The first press release of the modern era was crafted in 1906 by Ivy Lee, one of public relation’s original founders, for his client the Pennsylvania Railroad. Following a derailment that resulted in multiple deaths, Lee arranged for reporters to be transported to the accident scene – under his watchful eye – and at the same time released an account of what happened, complete with asides, misinformation, and human interest.

The Power of The Press Release Is Established

What ran in the paper that day wasn’t Fake News, but it wasn’t a totally objective, unbiased account of what actually happened either. It was a subjective report presented as an objective story on behalf of a client in exchange for income.

#FakeNews isn’t a new concept. Public relations is, among other things, an extension of the psychology of people, and towards that end is best known as a communications tool that can shift public opinion from Point A to Point B while operating beneath the radar.

How You Interpret News Isn’t Always Transparent

Like any profession its goals aren’t always in everyone’s best interest. Lowlights include the extensive campaigns, often presented as news, that promoted smoking, especially when the marketing goal was to convert women’s attitudes towards the habit.

All news is not created equally, and the modern concept of so-called Fake News is somewhat of an oxymoron. News that’s fake by definition isn’t news at all — it’s propaganda.

In a consumer culture we seldom come to a conclusion strictly on merit, as opposed to being nudged in ways subtle enough as to escape detection as a motivating factor for any particular decision that is made. Ford? Or Chevy? What’s your choice?

Ace Cafe Opens Orlando Outpost

Ace Brings Boogie Woogie to Land of Mickey

Ace Cafe opens Orlando Florida outpost

A swelteringly (and typical) Orlando, Florida evening greeted several hundred VIP guests as Ace Cafe London opened their first North American outpost celebrating legendary British food, bikes, and music just a few blocks up from Church Street Station.

Ace Cafe Orlando’s new home is a pair of century-old historic supply warehouses, the perfect environment for the fabled biker mecca that was born of industrial roots at the dawn of rock ‘n roll but couldn’t survive drowning in the soft rock and disco wave that followed.

Resurrection of An Iconic Brand

The original Ace was shuttered in 1969, a victim of changing times and tastes, before being resurrected in 2001 by Believer-In-Chief Mark Wilsmore and friends in the image of the golden era of British Twin dominance. From that rebirth the Ace has spread out internationally, now finally crossed the Atlantic to what some might think an improbable landing in Disney World’s back yard.

Vincent(s) decorate the museum hall.

Although Orlando is already home to virtually every kind of entertainment concept and half-baked attraction imaginable, including Holy Land a few miles down I-4, Ace Cafe Orlando offers a distinctly different environment to a targeted community, beckoning bikers and hot rodders to get together and swap ideas over traditional British fare served in several restaurants and bars that surround the main stage and flank the museum and retail stores.

Anchoring the north edge of Orlando’s downtown redevelopment district and light years away from the homogenized banality of International Drive a few miles to the west, the Ace is a comfortable fit for this multi-ethnic Florida town that’s pulsing with energy.

Read more here. See more here.