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
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