Articles Archive

Detecting Location Using Google AJAX API

Detecting Location Using Google AJAX API

mapThere are times when one needs to find out which part of the world a particular visitor is coming from. There are plenty of IP-to-Location lookup providers out there, who offer this service at a reasonable cost (depending on how much detail you require).

Google’s AJAX Maps API offers this look up for you free of cost (so long your needs are non-commercial). You can even use the latitude and longitude information returned by the API to plot the user’s location on a Google Map. Nifty eh? Let’s now look at a simple example – we will be detecting the user’s location based on his IP address and rendering it on a map.

Before we begin, you might want to check out the demo.

July 13th, 2009 Posted in JavaScript
37 Beautiful Letterpress Business Cards

37 Beautiful Letterpress Business Cards

Designing business cards can be tricky, because it’s always difficult to make one which stands out from the hundreds of others in circulation! Letterpress definitely brings a new dimension to business cards.

If you are looking to have a few printed, here are a range of catchy letterpress designs for inspiration. The idea of depth and an embossed logo add a completely new element, and could well be the best way to really make an impression.

June 5th, 2009 Posted in Articles, Inspiration
Introducing Typekit

Introducing Typekit

typekitFont support on the web has long been a topic of debate. Recent years have seen the emergence of various techniques for embedding fonts through flash, a method known as Cufon, or various plays on the new @font-face CSS properties emerging slowly through CSS3.

The main limiting factor to date is that of font licensing. Understandably, foundries are reluctant to allow web designers to publicly host their font files for anyone to download. A few typefaces have been licensed for use online, but designers are severely limited in choice.

This week saw the announcement of a breakthrough system – Typekit.

May 30th, 2009 Posted in Typography
27 Inspiring Letterpress Posters

27 Inspiring Letterpress Posters

There has been a rather sudden revival of letterpress artwork in the past few years. No matter how much technology advances or how fast our laser printers get, one can’t help but admire the texture and beauty of this medium.

This week, we want to show you some brilliant letterpress posters. Some of these are printed using handmade wooden reliefs, some using metal type, some even using photopolymer plates (the preferred medium for letterpress plates these days). Whichever medium is employed – all of them are most certainly breathtaking!

May 12th, 2009 Posted in Graphics
Defend Your Design

Defend Your Design

We all know that acute rush of adrenaline experienced before submitting a design for review or approval all too well. You click down on that “Send” button, take a deep breath and look at the design one more time before releasing your mouse. It’s gone.

You’ve sent your design out into a cruel, critical world. Will it succeed or will it fail? Perhaps that depends less on the design itself and more on whether or not you’ve set it up to succeed. As designers, we need to be advocates for the craft by explaining what we do and educating clients on our method.

April 17th, 2009 Posted in Articles, Business
Creating a Shaking Login Form

Creating a Shaking Login Form

Tired of the plain old boring login forms? How about we add some jazz! If you have ever typed in your password wrongly on your Mac, you would have seen that the login screen will vibrate and kinda shriek to indicate that the password you entered is wrong. I always found that rather cool! It’s surprising how little this trick is being used in web applications today. So, I thought I will write up a tutorial on how to get this going.

March 18th, 2009 Posted in Articles, JavaScript
Good Design, Now What?

Good Design, Now What?

Here at Design Shack, we’ve built up a solid archive of the best designs the web has to offer. When browsing through the 3,000+ sites featured, it’s hard to fully grasp the amount of time and effort put into the design and development of each one.

That’s why it breaks my heart when I see a brilliant site screenshot taken the day it was launched, but when clicking to visit the live version, I find a shell of what it used to be.

March 11th, 2009 Posted in Business
Becoming a Productive Designer: An Interview With Leo Babauta

Becoming a Productive Designer: An Interview With Leo Babauta

Leo Babauta, a blogger famous for the philosophy of keeping life and work simple has kindly allowed us to interview him about blogging, design and how we can all work with less clutter.

We’ll be talking about a regular day for Leo, how blogging has launched his career, and the principles he suggests for a designer to be more productive. It’s great to speak to someone so genuine and passionate about their philosophy, and I hope you enjoy reading what he has to say.

March 3rd, 2009 Posted in Interviews
Correctly Displaying Your Logo With CSS

Correctly Displaying Your Logo With CSS

Every site has a logo, and whether it’s a page filling feature or a small design element, it often forms the primary title feature of your page. This article will show you how to implement a logo using correct semantic markup and simple HTML code, with all the presentation done via CSS.

It’ll ensure that those browsing your site without images will see a decent alternative, and provide search engines with a correct representation of your page title.

February 26th, 2009 Posted in CSS
Smart File Type Detection Using PHP

Smart File Type Detection Using PHP

padlockIn most web applications today, there is a need to allow users to upload images, audio and video files. Sometimes, we also need to restrict certain types of files from being uploaded – an executable file being an obvious example.

Security aside, one might also want to prevent users from misusing the upload facility, e.g. uploading copyrighted music files illegally and using the service to promote piracy! In this article, we’ll look into a few ways in which we can achieve this.

February 9th, 2009 Posted in PHP
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