At first glance, minimalist websites might look like they’ve just been slapped together as quickly as possible. After all, they’re plain and simple, and most people tend to associate lots of detail with good craftsmanship. But the same rules just don’t apply to the online world.
It only takes a small amount of user interaction to quickly reveal the quality of a minimalist site. This is because the original idea that fueled the rise of minimalism was that functionality is inherently beautiful. A design that clarifies and reveals the structure of a website can be just as appealing as one that obscures its purposes behind fancy decorative additions. Furthermore, it often yields a much better user experience, because those unnecessary distractions are eliminated.October 2nd, 2013 Posted in Graphics
Design kits seem to be everywhere these days. From UI kits, to templates and grids, to complete design kits, what makes these tools so popular (and what are the disadvantages)?
Today we’re going to take a look at the pros and cons of using different types of design kits, and even show you a few kits in the examples that might be worth trying out for various purposes.September 23rd, 2013 Posted in Graphics
More designers are working across platforms these days, switching back and forth between print and digital projects. Although much of the theory is the same, in practice there are a lot of technical differences when it comes to working on something that will be printed versus a website. It takes a specific set of knowledge and skills to work effectively and efficiently in both environments.
But it is possible. Here we share eight tips for print designers making the switch to digital projects. (And I can vouch for every single tip as a designer who has made the switch.)August 12th, 2013 Posted in Graphics
Of late, you may have noticed a crop of new site designs have a softer and lighter look. After all the rainbow brights and even neon or fluorescent hues that have been so popular of late, it seems that some designers are taking a more subtle approach by using lighter or muted colors.
Although the same basic treatments are still being utilized — like colorized photography or color blocking — the new hues are making for a more refined and understated variation on these themes. Today we’re going to delve into this trend a little more, and explore various design examples and approaches.July 30th, 2013 Posted in Graphics
Ever wonder why your colors don’t look quite right in some situations? It could be a simple as the color choice. Certain colors tend to take on the characteristics of other hues, while others always look pure. In addition, the human eye perceives color in different ways based on whether it is in the foreground or background.
This phenomenon can be explained through dominant and recessive colors. Join us as we take a closer look at these two terms today, and delve into deeper understanding of how they can guide your design choices and decisions.July 11th, 2013 Posted in Graphics
Weddings can be an expensive business. Photographers, venues, food, drink, entertainment, and all manner of other things to consider. But it’s also a fun opportunity for some design work! Wedding “branding” and stationery has the potential to be another big wedding expense, but by thinking a little creatively, you can not only give your special day a personal touch, but also cut down on the cost.
Today I’ll be sharing a little insight into how you can use your copy of Photoshop, and Moo.com, to create a fantastic array of different wedding stationery. We did it for our wedding a couple of weeks ago, and it went down brilliantly.July 8th, 2013 Posted in Graphics
Icons can be considered one of the universalities of web design; almost any website benefits from the addition of at least a few of them. So it’s tempting to assume that if you sprinkle in a handful of these little pictures, your job is done. But there’s a lot more to it than that: good icons should feel like they’re visually integrated into the group of images that they’re in, as well as into the site design as a whole. They need to have a conceptual clarity and purpose that goes beyond being mere eye candy. Any icon that doesn’t serve a stated purpose, or doesn’t convey the right concept in its imagery, is one that needs to be reconsidered.
Of course, there’s room for interpretation and generalization with any kind of imagery, but icons are not mere illustrations that are used purely to break up space and add interest: they’re visual metaphors that can invest meaning into a subject at a single glance; and as such, they’re a powerful tool for improving user experiences.May 20th, 2013 Posted in Graphics
Every brand, from the smallest website or startup, to corporate giants such as Nike or McDonald’s, need a set of branding guidelines and rules to maintain their identity. This document, which can range from a couple of pages, to several hundred, is the thread that holds together what the public sees from a company.
A brand bible establishes the voice and personality of a company, as well as who the public will see, and it governs every aspect of communication from the company. The brand bible is the basis for all interactions on behalf of a company – personal communications, social media, advertising and design. While a brand bible focuses on many things, we are really going to look at how it affects design.May 13th, 2013 Posted in Graphics
Web apps are becoming ever-more prevalent on the internet. Some may argue that they are simply more complicated websites. Regardless of their definition; what happens when you are designing for large amounts of constantly fluctuating data?
There are a few examples of data driven interfaces and they all have to handle a lot of varied data that is constantly changing. The most common are admin areas and analytic dashboards. The data can take many forms; graphs, charts, tables or text. Each can be displayed in a variety of different ways depending on the context and meaning you are trying to convey with the data. One thing to remember is that you can rarely be sure of the length or amount of data you need to cater for; so think simple to start…April 15th, 2013 Posted in Graphics, Layouts
Most people who need to create an exciting presentation are not design experts. Fortunately, there are a number of really neat tools and websites that can assist you in creating a captivating, professional look for your slides.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at five such tools. While I can’t promise that these tools alone will turn you into a design professional, they will certainly point you in the right direction.February 20th, 2013 Posted in Graphics