Category: Layouts


Business / 19 Mar 2015

How to Design a Killer Annual Report

Regardless of when your company’s fiscal year ends, you probably want to start thinking about the dreaded annual report today. Yes, “dreaded.” But it does not have to be. While annual reports are often seen as a design drag, there are plenty of ways to turn this report into a fun and memorable design project. And with better design comes more reading and retention, two positives for your brand.

You need to start thinking about it now. Don’t wait until the report hits your desk to determine a design strategy. Start talking to your team about your story for the year and how to create an annual report that will get people talking.

Layouts / 18 Mar 2015

The Complete Guide to an Effective Card-Style Interface Design

Card-style architecture is one of the biggest things in web design, and mobile design in particular. From apps to responsive websites, the card-style format is popping up everywhere.

And for good reason. Mobile card design looks nice, works well on a variety of devices and creates distinct organization and a method for content delivery. That’s why many large, well-known brands are using the card format and many smaller design and development groups are following suit.

Layouts / 2 Mar 2015

How to Design an Email People Will Actually Read on Their Phones

Email marketing is one of the most popular ways to reach an audience. Wait, that’s probably not new information. But did you know what a majority of those views will be on a mobile device? So if you are not designing your emails for phones, this is the day to start.

Designing a mobile email takes planning and thought. Many third-party email software clients include responsive templates in their packages, but not every tool will automatically convert your message to the idea design. You need to think out how your email will look and make sure the message is focused. It might even be the perfect place to start with a mobile-first design strategy.

Layouts / 23 Feb 2015

Minimal Design: How to Design More With Less

Minimalism and the use of whitespace are big design trends right now. Mastery of these techniques might look easy at first glance, but it is actually quite difficult to design with so much open space and so few objects. It can be hard for clients to come to terms with because they often want as much information as possible on a canvas.

But many designers like the look of minimal styles and maximizing whitespace can be a fun challenge. It’s a technique that translates well across mediums and can be used in print, web design and on packaging. Here, we’ll look at the trend and how to design more with less.

Layouts / 17 Feb 2015

Understanding and Working With Aspect Ratio

Every image, every canvas, every frame has a shape. And often that shape is a rectangle. Even more common is a rectangle of a particular proportion based on medium.

From cameras to television to movies to computer screens, every medium has an almost distinct shape on to itself. That can be a challenge for designers, especially when you have to crop and convert content and information to fit a variety of mediums. Because of all these different shapes, understanding aspect ratios can help you easily move images and designs from one medium to another.

Layouts / 9 Feb 2015

Looking at Images: Phi Grid vs. Rule of Thirds

When you are thinking about images, do you consider framing and the shape of the crop? The answer does not lie in the shape of the box you just created on a design canvas. It has a lot to do with the content of the image itself.

How you frame and crop images can impact engagement and even how a person looking at the image feels about it (whether they know it or not). Here, we’re going to look at two different ways of thinking about images – using the phi grid and rule of thirds — and how you can apply them to your work.

Layouts / 22 Dec 2014

How to Balance Text and Visual Content in Design

We’ve all heard the phrase “sex sells” but when it comes to design, what does the selling? Text or images? The reality is that both are essential parts of almost every design project. What makes the difference between a project that works and one that falls short is striking the right balance between the two.

While visuals are often processed faster, text can provide greater understanding. Creating balance between text and visual content is a combination of understanding your project and the best method of delivery for content, audience expectation, weighting of elements and delivery.

Layouts / 10 Nov 2014

Empathy and Design: What You Should Consider

Do you need to think about empathy when you design? (The answer is yes.) It may seem like a pretty common sense answer, but too often we get caught up in the design and message and not the user.

Who are you creating the design for? How will they connect with it? That’s where empathy comes in. Thinking about it from the start of the process can help you put together an even more successful project. (As you read through this post, look at the examples and think about the emotions these sites make you feel.)

Layouts / 27 Aug 2014

15 Tips for Creating a Great Website Footer

One of the most important locations on your website is the footer. Yes, seriously. It may not be the area of the greatest design or most impressive content but it is a place where users frequently look for information. So it is vitally important that you don’t neglect this area when planning a web design project.

But what elements should you include? How can you keep the footer organized and in line with your overall aesthetic without being obtrusive? You’ve come to the right place. Here we’ll look at tips for creating a great footer with examples of some websites that are doing it well.

How to Create Patterns in Design Projects
Layouts / 20 Aug 2014

How to Create Patterns in Design Projects

Think of how many patterns you follow in your daily routine. From waking up and getting ready for work to falling asleep each night, the day is filled with these small repeating elements that create order and calm. Patterns in design do the very same thing: These repeating elements can bring order to a project and create a sense of calm (or chaos) to set a tone.

That’s the true appeal of a pattern. It helps direct users through an aesthetic by following the pattern or series of objects and tells users how to interact with something. Designers can create patterns in a number of ways – with backgrounds, objects, color, words, panels or by using a combination of these elements.

Layouts / 18 Aug 2014

Designer’s Guide to Printing Book-Style Items

One of the most complex jobs you can take on as a designer is getting something ready for book-style printing. Not only will this type of project include a lot of pages, it can also come with options not available for other types of design projects and its own set of terms and lingo.

What are the terms you need to understand when getting something ready to be printed book-style? We’ve got the answers so you can tackle your first book-style or bound printing job.

Layouts / 23 Jun 2014

10 Ways to Use Mapping in Web or App Design

Almost everywhere you look these days, you find a map or location-based nugget of information. Almost every app asks for a location and it is becoming more and more common on desktop websites as well.

But if you have not branched out into the world of mapping or location data, it may seem a little intimidating. How can you effectively use mapping services for your website or app? We’ll take a look at 10 ways you can integrate a map today.

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