Articles Archive


Design Dilemma: The No-Win Magazine Startup Situation


Sandra G. writes:  A startup approached me to do all their graphics (the owner says I’ll be their creative director) and I am getting paid, so it’s not the usual “great-opportunity-do-it-for-free,” but the owner is… well… an idiot. He has these ideas that make no sense, unreal expectations and although I made it clear what I would do for what I’m being paid (30% up front, 30% after all the material is approved and the rest once everything is at the printer), he keeps adding things I have to do. How do I protect myself from further growing responsibilities?

This email started a two-month back and forth between Sandra and me, so it gets even more interesting. Join us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design…

July 18th, 2013 Posted in Design Dilemma

7 Lovely Flat Freebies for Designers


The concept of “flat” design is fairly prevalent at the moment and, although you should never stick with a trend just because it’s the “in thing”, there’s certainly some merit to stripping back unnecessary design flourishes and focusing on the basics.

Today we’re featuring seven freebie packs that can help to give you a useful starting point when designing something with a flat, minimal look and feel. From icons to complete web templates, there’s plenty to get your teeth into!

July 17th, 2013 Posted in Freebies

Introducing Creative VIP: The Exclusive Membership for Creative Professionals


As one of our awesome Design Shack readers, we wanted to let you know about a new project we’ve just launched — Creative VIP. It’s an exclusive membership club for creative professionals, and we’d love to welcome you as one of our first members.

Our members receive special privileges and discounts on world-class products and services, access to hundreds of design resources, and creative goodie bags on their doorstep. Keep reading to find out more about a Creative VIP membership, and to grab an exclusive 25% discount for Design Shack readers!

July 16th, 2013 Posted in Design Shack

Coding an Ajax-Style Paged Document Viewer With jQuery

featured photo document viewer ajax jquery tutorial preview

Recently, I’ve have seen a number of websites using this JavaScript-powered paged document interface. Users are presented a multi-page document set starting on the first page, and they have the ability to switch between pages dynamically. This can be a much better solution than linking directly to a PDF document. Or this may even be an alternative where you have a PDF download link, plus the embedded document images for easy access.

In this tutorial I want to demonstrate how we can build a small script which handles any set number of documents. The JS code is a little bit tricky since we need to adapt for a large number of pages. However it is not very difficult to customize and get the design looking exactly as you would need it! Check out my sample demo below to get an idea of what we will be creating.

July 15th, 2013 Posted in JavaScript

Understanding Color: Dominant vs. Recessive Colors


Ever wonder why your colors don’t look quite right in some situations? It could be a simple as the color choice. Certain colors tend to take on the characteristics of other hues, while others always look pure. In addition, the human eye perceives color in different ways based on whether it is in the foreground or background.

This phenomenon can be explained through dominant and recessive colors. Join us as we take a closer look at these two terms today, and delve into deeper understanding of how they can guide your design choices and decisions.

July 11th, 2013 Posted in Graphics

Design Dilemma: Negotiating Logo Copyright Issues


Stayce L. writes:  My client, whom I’ve worked with for many years, is doing her own logo design, but wants me to do a sketch of their business ‘mascot’ that will be included in the design. The sketch would be a significant part of the logo. How should I handle the fee/rights in this situation?

I was asked to look into this question posted on the LinkedIn Graphic Artists Guild group and weigh in with other designers. Join us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design…

July 10th, 2013 Posted in Design Dilemma

Giveaway: $500 Worth of PSD to HTML Services Up for Grabs


We’re excited to bring you another great competition today, from, who are giving away $500 worth of their services. It’s a great chance to save your time and energy on coding and get clean, valid and fast-loading markup developed.

Read on to find out a little more about how to enter — it just takes a couple of seconds!

July 9th, 2013 Posted in Competitions

Using for Your Wedding Stationery


Weddings can be an expensive business. Photographers, venues, food, drink, entertainment, and all manner of other things to consider. But it’s also a fun opportunity for some design work! Wedding “branding” and stationery has the potential to be another big wedding expense, but by thinking a little creatively, you can not only give your special day a personal touch, but also cut down on the cost.

Today I’ll be sharing a little insight into how you can use your copy of Photoshop, and, to create a fantastic array of different wedding stationery. We did it for our wedding a couple of weeks ago, and it went down brilliantly.

July 8th, 2013 Posted in Graphics

Create a Hidden Sliding Navigation Bar Using CSS3 Transitions

css3 transition sliding box tutorial preview

Typically web developers have been using JavaScript to create dynamic page animations. Hidden menus and subnavigation are just a couple examples for how these techniques would be used on a live website. Thanks to the addition of CSS3 transitions we can now mimic these animations, with no JavaScript in sight.

In this tutorial I want to demonstrate how to build an inner hidden content bar which slides down when hovering. You can place this into your header, footer, or even somewhere inside the page content. It is a very flexible technique which does not require a whole lot of time to get working. Plus all the modern web browsers will support CSS3 transition effects.

July 3rd, 2013 Posted in CSS

Grab the Beautiful Samantha Script Font for $17


Today we’re featuring a fantastic offer from Mighty Deals. Fonts can make or break a project. Whether it’s on a T-shirt an ad or a headline on a website, if a font is boring or really hard to read, you’ve already lost your audience. Finding the right elegant font can be particularly tricky, though, since the intricate detail can often render your words illegible.

That’s why Laura Worthington’s Samantha Script font is so perfect. Elegant and easy to read, this beautiful font is also significantly marked down for a limited time. Read on to find out more.

July 2nd, 2013 Posted in Deals