Layouts Archive

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Photo Effects and Manipulations: Do These Tricks Work?

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Are you looking to add a little something extra to a photo on your website? Did you purchase new photo editing software and feel the need to use some of the bells a whistles? Don’t get too pulled in by all the photo manipulation gimmicks out there. Typically the best images are those that are composed and shot well, not a bad image with tricks added to it.

There are, though, some manipulations that can benefit your project when used in moderation. But there are many more so-called photo tricks to avoid if you want to produce professional-looking work.

March 19th, 2012 Posted in Articles, Graphics, Layouts
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Mastering Multiple Photo Layouts

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Working with multiple photos and images can be a tricky prospect. Done carefully, the use of multiple images can help create an effective and masterful design for both print and web design projects. Some of the best examples of design using multiple photos can be found in the websites of professional photographers.

Consider dominance, number of photos, color, grouping and image quality when working with a variety of photos. Look at details and consider the feel of a project to get the best results when using many images in your project.

March 2nd, 2012 Posted in Layouts
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Using Pinterest for Design Inspiration

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Although Pinterest launched nearly two years ago, it has really hit the mainstream in the last couple months and is cracking top 10 website lists. The site, which allows users to “pin” or save their favorite images and videos on virtual boards by topic, had 40 times the number of visits in December than it did at mid-year, according to Mashable.

The site though can be a great place for designers to organize their thoughts and cobble together bits of inspiration. But you have to have a method to all the pinning so it does not become a time hog.

February 23rd, 2012 Posted in Articles, Inspiration, Layouts
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Practical Tips for Utilizing Columns of Text in Your Layouts

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Designing around large blocks of type can be tough and more designers are taking the “fewer-is-better” approach when working with columns and large blocks of text. When using a mass of type, such as in a book, text-laden website or print project, much of the emphasis is more on the readability than the actual look of the type.

Typefaces are important but even more important can be the number of columns used in combination with the words. The number of columns you use in a project can vary depending on a number of factors such as typeface and style used, type of project, font size and gutter width and proportion of other elements.

February 10th, 2012 Posted in Layouts
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How to Create a Facebook Timeline Cover Photo: Examples and Best Practices

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Facebook announced Jan. 24 that it will be moving all users to the timeline format in the next few weeks. Although the change will be mandatory soon, you can make it early as some users have been doing since it was launched in September. Timeline is the new Facebook “wall” and highlights your personal information based on when it happened.

The biggest visual change included in Facebook timeline is creation of a cover photo. When someone lands on your page they not only see a small square profile image but also a large photo that you have selected for the top of your page. The shape can a little intimidating and includes a hole where the profile image rests. But you can crop or create your own timeline cover photo in just a few minutes. Follow along as we take a look at some great examples and advice for creating the perfect cover photo.

February 2nd, 2012 Posted in Layouts
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Is It Time for Your Business Cards to Go Digital?

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Are traditional paper business cards becoming obsolete? Have you considered a digital option? The type of card you use and how it looks can say a lot about you and your work. The style of card – from simple embossed text on a white card to ornate colors and fonts – can be a client’s first impression of your work.

You want to use a card that represents your style and works with the kind of clients you work with. When looking for a business card, consider both digital and paper options and integrate your digital self into paper cards. A business card does more than provide your contact information, it is a gateway to your portfolio as well.

January 10th, 2012 Posted in Articles, Business, Layouts
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Utilizing Grids in Print Design

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The basic organization of a design project typically begins with a simple concept – the grid. Whether you decide to work within its constraints or intentionally move away from it, deciding how to use a grid tends to be one of the first steps in the design process.

Print designers have been working on grids since the first newspapers rolled off the presses hundreds of years ago. Most magazines also employ a grid; books are put together using the grid format. The grid can be part of a publication’s identity and helps create a sense of space and organization. Understanding the basics of grid design – from how it originated, to developing your own grid and using it in your workflow processes – will make working within vertical and horizontal constraints a snap.

December 27th, 2011 Posted in Layouts
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Tips and Ideas for Designing With Blurred Images

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“The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.”
- Arnold Toynbee

The topic of today’s discussion is blurry photos. No, not the kind that you accidentally take because your kids won’t sit still. The intentional kind, the use of which can serve several practical purposes in design.

We’ll learn all about how to use blur effects to help make text more legible, direct the viewer’s attention, and just make backgrounds more fun. We’ll also take a look at some different types of blurs and how to properly apply selective blurring.

December 15th, 2011 Posted in Layouts
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Designing Engaging Header Images: Think Outside the Box

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One of the first things you do in designing a site is to decide what that first chunk of pixels that users will see looks like. You’ve got to grab their attention and communicate your message above the fold or risk that person moving on to their next open tab.

Unfortunately, many of us fall into predictable patterns for this piece of the site. We use the same old tricks, shapes and plugins and come up with a result that might look great, but isn’t really that exciting. Today we’ll take a brief look at how you can make your header images more interesting. Along the way we’ll see some live examples from sites that have implemented these techniques successfully.

December 12th, 2011 Posted in Layouts
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Popular Web Design Trends in 2011: Over 50 Inspiring Examples

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December is here and it seems we’re finally wrapping up 2011. It’s been a year filled with new and exciting forefronts for the web. CSS3, HTML5 and responsive design were at the top of the most-discussed topics. We also mark the passing of the old ways. Flash, Silverlight and similar proprietary plugins received an all out assault in 2011, one that they may never recover from.

To end the year with an informative retrospective, we’ve scoured the web in search of patterns and trends that emerged or became increasingly popular throughout 2011. Follow along as we examine over fifty websites in an attempt to spot similar tricks and themes. I guarantee it’ll be difficult to read without spotting a few trends that you jumped on in your own projects this year!

December 8th, 2011 Posted in Layouts
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