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April 04, 2008

Changing perceptions...

Eduservclientlist It's funny how our interpretation of design and text layout changes over time and is influenced by the Web.

Looking at one of our current paper flyers - the list of Eduserv clients (shown here) - one is struck, now, by how much it looks like a tag cloud.  Yet I'm pretty sure that isn't how it was intended to be viewed when it was designed - at least, I don't believe that the relative sizing and coloring of words carries any accepted 'tag cloud' semantics.

But, increasingly, I guess that is how it will naturally be interpreted?

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It looks like it was 'inspired' by the look of tag clouds without any real understanding of how they work...but you are right to many people it will look like it was intended to be a 'true' tag cloud and the larger clients are the most important?

Or the clients you do the most work for?

It doesn't surprise me. Actually at my last public libary job we did something similar when designing a bookmark to promote the resources in our digital library. The irony producing something paper to promote something digital wasn't lost on us, so we came up with the idea of it looking like a tag cloud.

I have to admint to having done something similar at least once... perhaps not quite as bluntly, but in preparing a page of information about institutions doing 'a thing', instead of a table or regular layout, a scattered layout with names of different sizes looked more interesting.

Having the important institutions in large type, and less important as fillers makes for a convincing effect, if not necessarily the most honest presentation.

Thats marketing for you.

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