In design, we tend to think of simplicity in terms of recent trends towards minimalism. A simple design by this definition is one with lots of literal whitespace and very little on the page outside of what is absolutely necessary.
However, instead of blindly following this trend, it’s important to understand the ideas behind it so that we don’t find ourselves trapped in a minimalist box with obvious grid-based layouts, white backgrounds and newspaper-style typography (not that this is bad, it’s just not good to be stuck in this idea). When you consider the principles of design that are at work in minimalism, you can successfully break out of the box and create clean designs that aren’t bound by an obvious and strict visual style.October 7th, 2010 Posted in Graphics
Today we’re going to look at one of the simplest possible design elements: a line. We’ll learn how to wield lines properly as well as what to avoid when implementing them.
Adding a few simple lines to a design can bring structure and graphical flair to an otherwise boring design. It’s a dead simple trick that, when used effectively, has the effect of adding a layer of finish your design.September 28th, 2010 Posted in Graphics
Spreadsheets are lame. There’s no two ways about it. We designers hate spreadsheets because they’re a shining example of boring data presented in a boring manner.
Unfortunately for designers, spreadsheets are a necessary evil and could even be called a great and essential tool in the business world. Today we’re going to see how to improve both the aesthetics and readability of your spreadsheets with a few super basic design principles that literally anyone can follow. Let’s get started!September 24th, 2010 Posted in Graphics
Despite what many would think, the term web designer does not always imply artist. There are many very capable web developers and designers that are lucky to pull off a quality stick figure on most days. For those that are able to create complicated artwork, there are plenty of times when you’re up against a deadline need something generic.
For either of these situations, you can’t beat free vector art. Though the quality varies dramatically depending on the source, there is a tone of great work out there that you can download and use in your projects immediately. Below we’ll take a look at ten websites offering free vector downloads of various types.September 23rd, 2010 Posted in Graphics
After Effects is the go-to Adobe application for creating both simple and complex animations. However, for those users that either don’t have the time to learn an entire new application or simply don’t own a copy of After Effects, Photoshop has incorporated very similar, albeit scaled back, functionality.
Today we’ll go over the basics of how animation works in Photoshop and then build a basic animation from scratch. Let’s get started!September 16th, 2010 Posted in Graphics
Before websites, email blasts and banner ads, business cards were the central piece of design work for countless small businesses. This simple little piece of cardstock was a major representation of your company. In China, business cards are so highly regarded that it’s considered poor etiquette to write on someone’s card or even put it in your wallet! Typically upon exchange business cards will be placed into a small card case.
Though the digital age has dawned, business cards remain a fairly popular way to quickly provide someone with information about how to reach you or find out more information about your company. Today we’ll go over some common mistakes in business card design and explore a few practical techniques you can use to bring style and professionalism to your cards.September 14th, 2010 Posted in Graphics
Creating beautiful type treatments is hard work.
Though it has become quite trendy to claim that typography is ignored on the web, the reality is that typography is a booming fad at the height of its game in the online realm.
Countless web designers have really stepped up in recent years and created some absolutely beautiful typographical works, particularly in website headlines. Below we’ll look at over fifteen meticulously crafted headline designs that are sure to inspire you to think twice before slapping some boring type wrapped in an h1 tag on your site.September 9th, 2010 Posted in Graphics
Last week we looked at part one of our two part series on designing better presentations. We learned practical tips on using photography, typography, color and more to create stunning results.
Today we’ll wrap things up with tips six through ten and teach you how simplifying your designs can lead to drastically improved results. Let’s get started!September 7th, 2010 Posted in Graphics
Powerpoint has produced more bad design in its day that perhaps any other digital tool in history with the possible exception of Microsoft paint.
In this post we’re going to address the epidemic of bad presentation design with ten super practical tips for designer better looking and more professional presentations. Along the way we’ll see a number of awesome slide designs from Note & Point along with some custom examples built by yours truly. Let’s get started!September 3rd, 2010 Posted in Graphics
Sometimes a site can be visually stunning not so much because of the content but because of the lack of content. Though often attractive, this is a tricky style to pull off correctly without just looking like you’ve got a boring page.
Today we’ll look at 25 sites that we think got it right. First we’ll discuss why these designs work well under certain circumstances and then we’ll jump into the examples.September 2nd, 2010 Posted in Graphics