Articles Archive

Introduction to Developing a Custom Tumblr Blog Theme

Introduction to Developing a Custom Tumblr Blog Theme

Tumblr is the fastest growing blog network on the web today. With the ability to quickly reblog any of your followers’ posts it truly revolutionizes the way we interact with a digtial community. Tumblr has taken the popular dashboard feature and expanded it into a personal blog feed.

Amongst the many popular features of the service is the ability to directly customize the look and feel of your page. Each blog has its own theme which is used to give your page its layout and color scheme. There are plenty of free and paid themes to choose from, but it’s much easier and more fun to create your own.

January 26th, 2011 Posted in HTML
We Design Critique #35: Scentsy Buddy

We Design Critique #35: Scentsy Buddy

Every week we take a look at a new website and analyze the design. We’ll point out both the areas that are done well in addition to those that could use some work. Finally, we’ll finish by asking you to provide your own feedback.

Today’s site is Scentsy Buddy, a site for scented children’s stuffed animals.

January 22nd, 2011 Posted in Critique
10 Website Background Ideas for Your Next Project

10 Website Background Ideas for Your Next Project

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is a variant of what kind of background someone should use for their site. These designers have the basic content and the layout pretty much nailed down, but the background is either too boring or too busy and they don’t know how to fix it.

Today we’re going to take a look at a few live sites to grab some inspiration on how to effectively add interesting backgrounds to a web page. Bookmark this article and come back to it the next time you’re stuck on a background decision.

January 21st, 2011 Posted in Inspiration
Best and Worst Design: 50 University Websites From 50 States

Best and Worst Design: 50 University Websites From 50 States

If you hail from the U.S., which state are you from and how would you rate the level of design from the schools there? Today we’re going to jump into this topic by examining 50 website home pages, one from a university in each of the fifty states.

We’ve divided the schools up into the best and worst and didn’t pull any punches when it comes to calling out bad design practices. Let’s see how your state fared!

January 20th, 2011 Posted in Graphics
Photoshop Reflections 101

Photoshop Reflections 101

Today we’re going to learn all about how to make convincing reflections in Photoshop. Text reflections, 3D reflections, product shot reflections, all kinds of crazy reflections. We’ll discuss everything from custom transforms to blending modes and beyond. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you’ll probably learn a thing or two.

You might be thinking that reflections were all the rage a few years ago, but are currently losing a bit of steam, and you’d be right. However, you can still see plenty of them in practice on Apple.com and other sites. You should definitely beware of over-using them and adding to bad web 2.0 trends, but also know that once in a while they can add class to a boring item.

January 19th, 2011 Posted in Graphics
Weekly Freebies: 10 Rocking Retro Fonts

Weekly Freebies: 10 Rocking Retro Fonts

When you’re working on a retro design, one of the key elements that you have to nail is the typography. Each typeface has an implicit suggestion of a decade and having a full arsenal of fonts helps you prepare for all kinds of design scenarios.

Below we’ve compiled ten of our favorite free retro fonts from around the web. They’re all really beautiful and definitely worth a download.

January 18th, 2011 Posted in Typography
Web Design Critique #34: myRepono

Web Design Critique #34: myRepono

Every week we take a look at a new website and analyze the design. We’ll point out both the areas that are done well in addition to those that could use some work. Finally, we’ll finish by asking you to provide your own feedback.

Today’s site is myRepono, a website backup service.

January 15th, 2011 Posted in Critique
Design Meets Psychology: Putting Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to Work

Design Meets Psychology: Putting Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to Work

In the past, we discussed at length Why Designers Can’t Ignore Marketing. For the most part, commenters agreed with idea that designers should familiarize themselves with basic marketing principles.

Today, we’re going to put this idea into practice and discuss Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, a model born in humanistic psychology and adopted by many marketing professionals as a way to understand consumer behavior. We’ll go over what the model is, how popular companies like Coco-Cola put it into practice and why any of this is relevant to you as a designer.

January 14th, 2011 Posted in Business
Designing a Church Homepage Without the Clutter

Designing a Church Homepage Without the Clutter

Church home pages tend to suffer from many of the same problems that we recently saw with band websites. There’s so much content that gets thrown onto these pages and it all competes for attention to such a degree that most or all of it loses any intended visual significance.

Today we’ll learn how to battle that by designing a dramatically simple and attractive church homepage that still has plenty of room for various messages, announcements and more.

January 13th, 2011 Posted in Graphics
Easily Create a Full Screen Photography Slideshow Website Without Flash

Easily Create a Full Screen Photography Slideshow Website Without Flash

Photography websites nearly always run on Flash. Adobe’s increasingly notorious technology simply does an excellent job of displaying imagery in a dynamic way that’s perfect for photography showcases. However, there are a few downsides.

First, it’s not always easy to find a quality, free slideshow template to start from, and if you’re not a Flash developer, this could lead to significant costs. Secondly, the world is in quite the love/hate relationship with Flash at the moment, with many developers switching to JavaScript, CSS3 and HTML5 where possible.

So today we’re going to build a beautiful, Javascript-powered photography site with a full-screen slideshow. Literally all of the heavy lifting will be done by an awesome free jQuery resource so our job will be mostly customization. Let’s get started!

January 12th, 2011 Posted in JavaScript
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