Articles Archive


Design Dilemma: How Do You Know When You’ve Been “Fired” By a Freelance Client?


Hans G. writes: A regular client of mine hasn’t returned any of my emails since I finished a project two months ago. He said he liked the finished site, and there weren’t any problems with payment or anything else. He mentioned another project coming up at the time, but I haven’t heard anything yet, despite a few emails and a couple of phone messages. I just don’t know if he’s done with me as a designer. I was really counting on the regular work for my income, and I have to pay my bills… really soon!

Well, Hans, we all go through this. I get regular payments as a retainer for ongoing work from several clients, and I sweat those payments every month if one is a day late. A little paranoia, a little worry, and I always wonder what I can do to stop the crazy feeling I get every month. Perhaps there’s a way of doing business so you know exactly when payments will be received? So, join us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design…

September 16th, 2013 Posted in Design Dilemma

10 Awful Client Cliches That Make Every Designer Cringe


This is the third part in our series all about making fun of design related clichés that drive us all crazy. We’ve already picked on designers plenty with 5 Former Design Trends That Aren’t Cool Anymore and 5 Cliché Logo Design Trends to Avoid, now it’s time to turn around and give some attention to all the crazy things that clients say to their designers.

We put out the word on Twitter and asked for some of the worst things that you hear again and again from clients. The following are some of our favorites.

September 13th, 2013 Posted in Business

Giveaway: Win PSD to HTML Coding From Markup-Service


We’re excited to bring you another great competition today, giving you the chance to win one of three awesome packages from

This is going to be a real treat for busy web designers and developers out there who need a little help with their PSD to HTML conversions. We have $600 of packages up for grabs, so read on to find out a little more about how to enter — it just takes a couple of seconds!

September 12th, 2013 Posted in Competitions

Design Dilemma: Dealing With Language Barriers


Dina T. Writes: I deal with several foreign clients who speak English fairly well, but I find that even though terms and fees are approved, at the end of the project, they act like we never agreed to anything. Are they doing this on purpose? Is it a cultural thing, or just language differences, lost in translation?

Dina asks a very good question. As we become a globalized economy, every party involved has to understand culturalisms that drive certain ways of negotiating. Once you accept the differences, working across borders is a great thing, and the future for freelancers, as well as corporate entities. So, whatever your language or nation, join us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries, and concerns about the murky world of design…

September 11th, 2013 Posted in Design Dilemma

10 Popular Trends in Modern Web Design Elements

modern web elements

Trends in web design can change and fade almost as quickly as they become fashionable. But so far in 2013, a handful of trends have really seemed to take web design by storm, and seem to be sticking.

Today, we’re going to examine ten trends in modern web elements and showcase some great examples of each — everything from vintage typography and circles, to vibrant colours and handy vCards. Even better for you is that all of the examples below are available for download (some free, some paid).

September 9th, 2013 Posted in Inspiration

Use Abstract Geometry to Create Stunning Designs


If you’ve ever found yourself in a design rut, wondering how to come up with some fresh ideas, then you’ve no doubt experienced how refreshing it can be to experiment with a new design style that’s completely outside of what you typically produce.

Today we’re going to do exactly that. I’ve been fascinated with a particular style lately and just itching to give it a test drive. We’ll start by analyzing this style’s characteristics through the work of others and then proceed to building something on our own using what we learn. Read on to see the step by step process.

September 5th, 2013 Posted in Inspiration

Code a Single-Page Sliding Website Layout With Fixed Navigation

preview single page sliding navigation tutorial howto

When constructing a simple webpage, it can often make sense to fit the content into a single layout rather than multiple pages. These single-page websites are beneficial when you have a small project or portfolio which needs some online presence. If you split up content into neat sections, then visitors might use a small sliding navigation to quickly advance along the page.

In this tutorial I want to demonstrate how you can build a custom sliding navigation with jQuery. There are many alternative plugins which provide these features and will also save time. But I want to show how we can make this effect using only jQuery and the scrollTo plugin for optimized performance. Check out my live sample demo to catch a glimpse of what we will be making.

September 4th, 2013 Posted in JavaScript

Do You Need a Style Guide?

style guide

It’s a simple question: Do you need a style guide? And it has a simple answer: Yes. Any brand, company, blog or webpage that wants to create and maintain consistency and a professional feel should have a style guide.

Style guides are a must for any publisher with multiple employees. This is especially important if more than one person will work on any brand elements (from the website to printed materials), and to ensure that transitions between employees are seamless in the eyes of users. Today, we take a look at well-documented style guide from MailChimp, and highlight things you can take away in creating your own document for the first time.

September 2nd, 2013 Posted in Business

How to Build a Dynamic Imgur Upload App Using jQuery & PHP

preview tutorial imgur mirror upload jquery php

Many new online web services are providing backend APIs for developers. These allow anyone to connect into a web app and pull out specific information (or push or change bits of data). Today we’re specifically looking at the API for Imgur.

In this tutorial I want to demonstrate how we can remotely mirror an image found elsewhere online and auto-upload to Imgur. It’s possible to create a form handling user-uploaded images as well. But I wanted to keep the demo clean without needing to move user content onto the server. This process is very simple once you understand how APIs work. Take a peek at my live demo to see exactly what we will be making, then follow along!

August 29th, 2013 Posted in JavaScript, PHP

10 Digital Design Terms You Need to Know


Design jargon is everywhere. And you need to be able to speak the language. Working on digital projects has its own set of terminology. From dither to color values to fluid or fixed layouts, there are a few terms every designer needs to have a grasp of.

So we’ve made it easy for you, and put together a list of digital design terms you need to know. This list started as a top 10, but we added some bonus jargon for comparative purposes. How many of these terms are you already familiar with?

August 27th, 2013 Posted in Business