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web-design-diy
Business / 11 Jan 2016

DIY and Web Design: What We Can Learn From Home Renovation

If you’re anything like me, you see design everywhere. It’s not just on websites, posters, or business cards. All the same concepts you use for work also get used in other aspects of your life.

So, what about the other way around? Have you ever thought about how projects around the house inspire you to become a better designer? What tricks and techniques carry over from do-it-yourself projects to design work? Let’s dive in and take a peek at a few things you can be on the look-out for!

melanue
Graphics / 6 Jan 2016

7 Ways to Design a Killer ‘First Screen’ for Your Website

It’s time to talk about first screen design. The first screen is that initial glimpse that a user gets into your website. It’s everything above the scroll, whether the user accesses a website from a desktop, tablet or mobile device.

The information you include on this “first screen” is the key to website success. The design can entice and keep users clicking, or force them to navigate away from the page. What needs to be on the screen before users start scrolling? Let’s take a look.

constraints
Graphics / 4 Jan 2016

Designing With Constraints: Thinking Inside the Box

It’s one of those fundamental parts of design we don’t talk about much: Designing within the rules. We talk a lot about creativity and innovation, but sometimes leave out one of the ideas that pushes most projects along, and that’s actually creating something with a lot of rules attached. It’s thinking “inside the box.”

Design constraints are those little keys to consistency that help brands establish visual identity and guide voice. These restrictions can come in a number of forms, and like them or not, it’s something you are going to have to deal with.

And here’s the good news: Constraints can actually help you become a better designer.

hierarchy
Layouts / 30 Dec 2015

9 Tips for Better Typographic Hierarchy

Every project requires a system and hierarchy for text elements. Just think about all the small pieces of text that are used throughout a design – headlines, body copy, navigation elements, legal information, captions and so on.

But how do you create that hierarchy so that every text element flows smoothly to the next? Today, we’ll take you step-by-step through building a system of typography hierarchy that can be used for almost any design project. (And we are pairing the tips with beautiful examples of great typography to help you gather a bit of inspiration.)

split-lede
Layouts / 22 Dec 2015

Design Trend: How to Create a Cool Split Screen Aesthetic

One screen divided in two. This might be one of the bigger design trends emerging right now. More and more websites are using design patterns that include two vertical or square panels placed side by side.

And it’s a nice aesthetic. The look is user friendly, can be adapted for a variety of needs, and helps guide navigation. It’s a trend that we are likely to see more of – and design – in the coming months. Today we are looking at a few great examples of split screen design with mini case studies and finding out how you can make the most of this design trend.

sleep
Business / 21 Dec 2015

10 Things Every Web Designer Should Be Able to Do in Their Sleep

Some skills, you just need to know. And you better know them so well that you can do them almost without thinking. When it comes to web design, many skills can change and evolve over time, but there are a few basics that you should be able to do in your sleep.

And even if you aren’t a “web designer” by trade, each of these skills is becoming must-have for all designers working today. How many are you already comfortable with? Let’s dive in and take a look at what you should be able to do on “auto pilot”!

extra-theme
Reviews / 16 Dec 2015

Need a Better WordPress Theme? Try Extra

Whether you’re a WordPress developer or newbie, a theme can make building a site and getting it online and functioning quick and easy. And with WordPress as the most popular blogging platform out there, there are plenty of sites that use this type of set up.

The new Extra theme from Elegant Themes, powered by the Divi Builder, is an excellent option if you are ready to build a new site or want to give your old design a refresh. Today, we’ll take a deeper look at this theme and how you can make the most of it in your projects.

mockup-generators
Inspiration / 14 Dec 2015

15+ Feature-Packed Mockup and Scene Generators

How to effectively showcase your work can always pose something of a dilemma. There are plenty of one-off mockups available for different purposes, but we’re starting to see the release of more and more incredible “scene creators” that let you create your own mockup scene.

These provide unique sets of multiple items that let you combine your design work with multiple items and products, achieve all manner of different presentations — something really unique! Today, we’ve gathered over 15 scene creator packs that provide an awesome starting point — for office, corporate, kitchen, Christmas, or fashion mockups!

pantone-2016
Graphics / 10 Dec 2015

How to Use the Pantone Color of the Year in Design Projects

So Pantone threw us a curveball this year and announced a pair of colors as the “Color of the Year” for 2016. To create the actual hue, Pantone is blending Rose Quartz and Serenity.

This pairing of soft colors will likely be one of the color trends of the coming year. As with previous Pantone selections, the colors often become a staple in design, fashion and other projects. Pastels can be a little uncomfortable to work with for some designers. But today we’re going to take a look at ways you can make the most of these colors in your design projects.

grid-first-design
Layouts / 8 Dec 2015

Grid-First Design: How to Create Vertical Rhythm and Harmony

When you hear grid, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For most designers, it is often a horizontal based concept with columns across the canvas. This is especially true when thinking about web and digital design projects.

But what about vertical grids? It is just as important to create flow up and down the page as well. And there are a number of ways to do this with grid systems.

christmas-design-resources
Inspiration / 7 Dec 2015

70+ Christmas Mockups, Icons, Graphics & Resources

Christmas is on the way! Wether you’re designing festive party flyers, looking for Christmas mockups, or a holiday icon set, we have a great collection for you today!

We’ve pulled together a fantastic collection of Christmas flyers and templates, mockups, icons, vectors, and much more. Some of them are completely free, some cost a few dollars, but all of them will get you in the festive spirit. Have fun looking through this selection of resources, and we hope you find a few that help out with your holiday design work!

5-logo
Business / 2 Dec 2015

Should You Ever Design a Logo for $5?

So what is the deal with all these $5 logo sites? I don’t know about you, but as a designer I am seriously losing money (and credibility) the minute I think about giving away a design for five bucks.

Would you do it? Have you already done it? Today, we’re looking at all the issues that come with $5 logos, for you and for your clients. And how you can stay away from getting caught in the cheap design trap.

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