Have you ever picked up a printed work and taken a minute to admire the feel of it? You hold the paper and get a feel for the thickness and texture while noting the impressions of each letter? That is the beauty of letterpress. This style of printing presses the image into the paper in a technique that has a special feel and quality to it.
While letterpress looks and feels sophisticated, it is something that is an option for most designers working on print projects. You just need to find a printer in your area (or invest in letterpress machinery yourself) and understand the intricacies of preparing a design for this printing method.September 29th, 2014 Posted in Inspiration
We all have them – design projects we’d like to take back. Some of them you can attribute to a bad design brief or youth; others you just want to hide forever. The good news is that you can often avoid design mistakes; the bad news is that every designer will fall in at least one of these traps at some point in his or her career.
But part of the key to avoiding designer mishaps is knowing what they are, so you can be aware if you feel yourself slipping into one of these bad habits.August 26th, 2014 Posted in Business, Graphics, Inspiration
Design is a method of expression. It communicates a visual message to those who see it. It also communicates a story, whether implied or clearly stated.
As a designer, it is your job to make sure that story is clear. The design story should fall in line with the story of the company, brand, website, game, bottled drink or whatever you are working with. Telling a story is important to create a lasting impression and make your “thing” more memorable than all the others out there.July 30th, 2014 Posted in Inspiration
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
For the last month, most of the world has been enthralled by the World Cup, which concluded Sunday in Brazil. (Germany won the title, 1-0, if you missed it.) The world’s largest sporting event made me think about the lessons football (or soccer for those of us in the USA) can teach us about design.
Sport is a lot like design. It’s competitive. It’s timed with deadlines. It leaves a lasting impression. The similarities are quite fantastic and here are 10 lessons I learned while watching the World Cup this month. (As a bonus, you’ll find World Cup design goodies featured with this article.)July 14th, 2014 Posted in Inspiration
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
If you are like me, it’s been a while since you finished you last formal design class. (And some of us never had any formal design classes.) So a refresher in some of the science behind design seems important. What is gestalt theory and do I really need to understand it?
Today, we’ll focus on one of the guiding principles of design. Gestalt theory is something you likely encounter and use almost every day. But do you understand the theory behind your actions? And how can you make even better use of this concept in your design work?June 18th, 2014 Posted in Inspiration
Cool and warm colors. These descriptions are commonly used to describe hue choices in a variety of conversations – fashion, beauty, decorating and design. But while we commonly talk about warm and cool, do you really know what these terms mean and how to use the colors?
Today, we will look at using cool color in design projects and create a few color palettes with cool hues. (Also make sure to check out the recent Design Shack article featuring warm colors.)June 10th, 2014 Posted in Inspiration
Warm and cool colors. These descriptions are commonly used to describe hue choices in a variety of conversations – fashion, beauty, decorating and design. But while we commonly talk about warm and cool, do you really know what these terms mean and how to use the colors?
Today, we will look at using warm color in design projects and create a few color palettes with warm hues. We’ll also investigate the theory and meaning behind different choices.June 2nd, 2014 Posted in Inspiration
The official start of summer is just around the corner. Longer days, warmer temperatures and splashing in the lake or pool are just a few of the things that come with the change in season. When it comes to design, a change in seasons can create the urge to update your color palette as well.
With warmer days, warmer colors, brighter hues and even the use of more color are popular. And while you may not want to change the color scheme of an existing project — although you can – this season can be a great inspiration for designing a project with a summer-inspired color palette. Here are five tips for creating a great color palette with a few swatches to try based on each concept. Happy summer!May 19th, 2014 Posted in Inspiration