Inspiration Archive

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Best and Worst Design: 50 U.S. State Websites

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In the past, we took a look at fifty of the best and worst university websites from around the United States, a post which launched an interesting discussion about how web design projects can be destroyed by committees and politics, even if talented designers are leading up the team.

Today we’re following that up with a similar discussion on official state websites. Which U.S. states have the absolute best looking websites and which have sites that look like they haven’t been updated since Clinton was in the Oval Office? Read on to see how your state ranked.

May 31st, 2012 Posted in Inspiration
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10 Tips for Awesome Tumblr Theme Design

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Here at Design Shack, WordPress is our bread and butter, but in the world of blogging platforms, we have lots of love for Tumblr as well. It’s simple, gorgeous, and simply enjoyable to use.

Today we’re going to take a look at what makes a great Tumblr theme. With over 1,300 options in the Tumblr theme garden, it can be difficult to stand out. Why do some themes catch so much attention while others are ignored? Good design holds the answer.

May 16th, 2012 Posted in Inspiration
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My Favorite Web Design and Development Podcasts

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Podcasts have been around for a long time, but I’ve really never been able to get into them. That is until recently when I really invested some time into looking around and finding the best design and development podcasts on the web. Now I’m an addict and rarely spend a day slaving over my computer without a few podcasts to keep me company.

Today I’ll share with you some of my favorites so you can finally take the leap and subscribe to some podcasts that are not only enjoyable, but thoroughly educational. This isn’t a list of every web design podcast out there but rather a personal offering of some of the podcasts that I’ve personally checked out and enjoyed.

May 9th, 2012 Posted in Inspiration
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100 Nicely Designed Nautical Logos

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It’s time for another massive collection of inspiring logo designs from Logopond. Nothing gets your creative mojo going quite like a big dose of logos and today we’ve got over one hundred for you to browse through.

The theme for this roundup is all things nautical. We’ve got boats, anchors, lighthouses, pirates and even a few sea creatures. The next time you’re attempting a maritime look, come back here and check out what these great designers have done.

May 7th, 2012 Posted in Inspiration
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Above the Scroll: Does It Matter Anymore?

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There is an ever-growing argument in the design community about whether designing for the scroll on your website is necessary. The arguments for producing stellar design concepts for the first part of the website a viewer will see and those against are wide ranging and are greatly affected by changes in technology.

Where the scroll lands on the screen is even changing with wider monitors and great variances in the size viewers open their web browsers. How can a designer account for all of it?

May 4th, 2012 Posted in Articles, Inspiration, Layouts
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200+ Pinterest Boards for Designers to Follow

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If you love design inspiration, you should be on Pinterest. This free service has really taken off and designers everywhere are using it to collect and archive examples of great design. Whether you’re a typography nut, need some ideas for design books to read, or want some inspiration for out of the box brochure ideas, there are designers on Pinterest who are no doubt pinning exactly what you’re looking for.

Much like, Twitter, the key to enjoying Pinterest is to find and follow users that share your interests. The trick here is that while every user has multiple “boards,” only some of them are actually design related. We’ve spent hours and hours hunting and have found over two hundred of the best Pinterest boards that designers should find useful. Read on to check them out!

April 11th, 2012 Posted in Inspiration
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Have a More Successful Brainstorming Session

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One of the most important aspects of the creative and design process is the sharing and development of ideas. Seldom does a first draft of anything — from an ad concept to a new web layout — see the light of day without planning and revision. Jumpstart the process with more productive and creative brainstorming sessions for your team. The concept sounds simple, right?

The best planned brainstorming sessions take some work. As the leader of the group you must decide how many people to invite and what ground rules will be set. Most of all you want to help bring something positive away from the meeting. Try these tips to spice up your next brainstorming session.

March 30th, 2012 Posted in Articles, Business, Inspiration, Software
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Big Design in Small Spaces

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It’s easy to get caught up in the big picture sometimes – what your whole site looks like or the message it conveys. Just as important though, are the small spaces. The look of your banner, sidebars and even the dreaded-in-some-circles above the scroll presentation can bring people into or turn people away from your site.

Effective design in restricted, and even constricted spaces can be the key to adding just the right flair to your site. Simple design tools such as cropping, color, text display and contrast can make all the difference when planning the design for the boxed-in spaces of your next project.

March 23rd, 2012 Posted in Articles, Inspiration, Layouts
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105 Remarkable Retro Logos

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It’s time for another massive logo collection. This time around we’ve sifted through thousands of great logos to find over one hundred that were designed in a retro or vintage style.

If you’re looking for some good old fashioned logo design inspiration, this post will surely get your creative brain firing on all cylinders. From robots to muscle cars, these logos are flat out cool.

March 21st, 2012 Posted in Inspiration
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Massive Inspiration Roundup: 140 Dribbble Debut Thank You Shots

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Dribbble started as a very small, targeted way for a handful of designers to share the things they were working on. It has since grown into a fairly massive network that houses an unbelievable range of design related talent. Despite its growth, the network remains fairly closed. Unless you can score one of those rarely issued invites from a faithful user, you’re a mere spectator.

Those who do score invites are incredibly appreciative, so much so that it’s become an incredibly popular trend to spend your all important debut shot on a graphic that serves as a thank you message to the person that invited you. Browsing through all of the various ideas that designers come up with to visually thank each other is fascinating. We’ve spent hours looking through these shots and today bring you a massive collection of 140 of them. Enjoy!

March 1st, 2012 Posted in Inspiration
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