Joshua Johnson

Equal parts editor, writer, designer, & photographer. Hit me up on Twitter, read my Mac tutorials or check out my photos.

Critique / 4 Aug 2012

Web Design Critique #84: RoyalSlider

Every week we take a look at a new website and analyze the design. We’ll point out both the areas that are done well in addition to those that could use some work. Finally, we’ll finish by asking you to provide your own feedback.

Today we’re going to be looking at the site for RoyalSlider, a popular JavaScript content slider. Let’s jump in and see what we think!

Graphics / 2 Aug 2012

Good Design Taste Test: Three Fast Casual Restaurant Websites Compared

Fast food restaurants are notoriously bad with web design, but the emerging market of “fast casual” eateries thus far is proving to be much better in this area.

Today we’re going to look around the web at the websites for some of the most popular fast casual restaurants to see who is doing the best work and what we can learn from them. Warning: this post will make you hungry!

CSS / 1 Aug 2012

A Beginner’s Guide to Using Google Web Fonts

When Google Web Fonts was first released, we wrote up a quick walkthrough. Since then, the service has been completely overhauled and it’s high time for a thorough walkthrough from scratch.

Join us as we start at the very beginning and discuss what the Google Web Fonts service is and how to get it up and running on your site today. Give us a few minutes of your time and we’ll open you up to the awesome world of awesome free web fonts.

Software / 30 Jul 2012

How to Turn Photographic Textures Into Masks in Photoshop

Texture is a key element of design. Learning how to wield and apply textures effectively will really open up your level of skill and proficiency in Photoshop.

Today we’re going to learn about a super quick and easy way to take a photographic texture and turn it into a mask that affects the transparency of a layer. No matter how proficient you are with Photoshop, you should be able to pick up this technique and begin using it on your projects today.

Accessibility / 26 Jul 2012

Should We Kill the CAPTCHA?

Do you like CAPTCHAs? Don’t lie, of course you don’t. On a fun scale, you rank them right up there with dentists and IRS agents. However, as an intelligent web designer or developer you understand that they are a necessary annoyance.

But wait, are they really? Given the collective talent and intelligence of the web design community, is a fuzzy string of letters really the best that we can up up with? If users hate these things so much, why not come up with something new? Let’s explore this idea and see if we can inject some fresh ideas into the conversation.

Layouts / 25 Jul 2012

Is Microsoft Finally Getting the Hang of Design?

Could it be that the king of clutter is finally beginning to grasp the concept of basic layout principles and consistent branding? Will Microsoft turn into a company known for its attractive design?

Follow along as we compare the downfalls of the past to the bold new direction that Microsoft is taking for its visual messaging. Whether you’re a Mac or PC user, you’ll likely be surprised by how far the boys in Redmond have come.

Typography / 19 Jul 2012

Leveraging Stereotypes in Design: Masculine vs. Feminine Typography

Can type have a gender? Is it even socially acceptable to ask such as question? Putting aside any sort of nonsensical gender bias, it’s absolutely the case that typography can and does suggest a level of masculinity (or a lack thereof).

Today, we’re going to jump into what makes a typeface feminine vs. masculine. More importantly, we’ll talk about why this matters and and how it should influence your design work.

Inspiration / 16 Jul 2012

25 Amazingly Bizarre Minor League Baseball Logos

Being familiar with my love of logos and tendency to point out crazy design, a friend of mine recently showed me a fascinatingly bizarre niche of design of which I had, up to now, been entirely ignorant: Minor League baseball team logos.

When I tell you to prepare yourself for some of the zaniest examples of professional logo design that you’ve ever seen, I’m using neither exaggeration nor hyperbole. Buckle your seat belts, you’re in for quite a ride.

Graphics / 12 Jul 2012

Breaking Free of Design Crutches

You don’t want to talk about this topic, you don’t even want to think about it. That’s because, like most of us, you’re probably guilty of using quite a few “crutches” to get you by. Those little things that you default to in almost every design with almost no thought.

Let’s bring them to light. Let’s talk about what I see designers doing again and again and what I struggle with myself. Let’s stop hobbling along and start running towards great design.

Inspiration / 10 Jul 2012

Awesome Design in the Wild:

Every now and then I come across a site that has one or two really inspiring bits of design and UI that are good enough for me to write about them. On even rarer cases, I find a whole site that’s just so overflowing with uniquely awesome design ideas that I have to share it with you. This article is about one such site. is a site dedicated to helping charities through the sale of limited edition custom t-shirts. Beyond the fact that I love the organization and what they stand for, I’m blown away by what they’ve done with the site and think it serves as a learning tool for web designers. Let’s take a look!

Graphics / 9 Jul 2012

Designing on a Retina Screen: My Thoughts on the Retina MacBook Pro

220.5 pixels per inch: 2,800 wide and 1,800 tall for a total of over five million pixels. That’s the screen that I work on now, full time. This gives rise to tons of questions: does Apple have any business making such a screen? Will it help or hinder the industry? Can you really do design work on that thing if you’re designing for non-retina screens?

Today I’m going to tell you all about my experience with the machine that threatens to change the way you do your job. I’ll hold nothing back as I rave about what I love and rant about what drives me nuts. Read along and see if you agree with my conclusions.

Critique / 6 Jul 2012

Web Design Critique #83: Tech Cores

Every week we take a look at a new website and analyze the design. We’ll point out both the areas that are done well in addition to those that could use some work. Finally, we’ll finish by asking you to provide your own feedback.

Today’s site is Tech Cores. Let’s jump in and see what we think!

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