Browsing through collections of websites, such as those from Awwwards or The Best Design, you often notice a common theme – great photography. A great image can make your website (or any design project for that matter) look amazing.
But what if your images are less than stellar or you have a limited number of images to work with? You can still create something with a lot of visual impact. With editing, creative use and a few design “tricks,” you can create something special with as little as a single image. Here are 10 techniques to try.July 21st, 2014 Posted in Graphics, Inspiration
Every project you complete connects with users in some way. The design communicates a message and a tone. The emotional tone is what we are going to take a deeper look at and try to better understand.
Emotional connections fall into four basic category pairs – joy and sadness, trust and disgust, fear and anger, and surprise and anticipation. Understanding this range of emotion and how it relates to a visual message is important so that your design projects are received as they are intended. As you read through this post, take a look at the featured websites and think about how each one makes you feel and what parts of the visual aesthetic contributes to that emotion.July 9th, 2014 Posted in Graphics
Some of the most subtle parts of a design can be the most important. Think about some of the details in design projects such as lines and curves. These simple shapes can be used in the foreground, background lettering or as a dominant art element.
Not every line is created the same. From thickness to orientation to amount of curvature, these simple shapes can have quite a bit of meaning. So before you draw that first line, here’s a primer and tips for using lines and curves in design projects.July 7th, 2014 Posted in Graphics
Color resonates with people in different ways. We all have a favorite color or color that we use more during specific periods of life. But the color you use in a design project can say a lot about the work itself. That’s a scientific fact.
The science behind our emotional connections to color is a complicated one. But it is becoming more clear through anecdotal knowledge and scientific experimentation. Here are five hypotheses and a fifth-grade level experiment you can try to help us better design with color and understand its emotional impact.June 30th, 2014 Posted in Graphics, Inspiration
While most principles and tenets of design are pretty universal, printing is not. For anyone jumping to a different medium (online to print) or even one medium to another, it is vital to know just what you need and will get when working on a print job.
Elements such as paper stock, paper size, coating and fold can significantly impact how a design is put together for a printed project. Here’s a guide to help you get started and better understand the ins and outs of printed projects.April 15th, 2014 Posted in Graphics
Today we’re going to be taking a look at the Startup Framework from Designmodo — one of the most polished and professional component frameworks we’ve seen for a while.
It’s a set of graphics, blocks, and components that are designed to help you plan and conceptualise your design, without spending weeks on starting from scratch. We’ll take a look at what’s on offer in the framework, and share a few examples!January 7th, 2014 Posted in Graphics
One of the most powerful tools that you can use to improve any design is repetition. Repeating colors, shapes and other visual elements throughout a design increases consistency and familiarity so that the design feels more attractive.
But what about the flip side of this idea? Is it possible to wield inconsistency in such a way that it improves the quality of a design? It turns out that lots of well known logos use this very tactic. Read on to see what they are.December 29th, 2013 Posted in Graphics
Rules. They keep our designs clean, consistent, aligned, and focused. The core principles upon which good design is built are absolutely essential to the education of any designer.
The great thing about design rules though is that they can and should be broken, granted that you know what you’re doing. Read on to see some examples of effectively breaking design principles in order to improve a project.December 6th, 2013 Posted in Graphics
Today’s topic is a delicious one: restaurant and food websites. Small businesses pay the bills for freelance designers and local restaurants can serve as a major source of revenue. If you’re embarking on your first restaurant site design though, there are a few things that you should know.
In this article, we’ll learn by example as we take a look at lots of mouthwatering food and restaurant websites. By examining what these designers got right, you’ll help ensure your own success in this area.November 22nd, 2013 Posted in Graphics
Once shunned by designers, circles seem to be making a comeback. The perfectly round shape – and its oblong counterparts – can be difficult to work with. The shape does not stack as well as the more standard rectangle and creates a much different overall feel.
The circle is a perfect shape, meaning that it is the same no matter how you look at it. It is complete and in harmony with nature – consider how many natural elements are circle-based. So, as a designer, how can you make circles work for you?October 3rd, 2013 Posted in Graphics, Layouts