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This Week in Design: Jan. 2, 2015

week in design

Happy New Year! As we roll into 2015, it only felt appropriate to tackle some new ideas, techniques and concepts this week in design. So what makes for a good user experience? How can you create better type? And what are some myths to get over this new year? Read on to find out.

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at carrie@designshack.net.

January 2nd, 2015 Posted in This Week in Design
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Design Dilemma: Why Are Job Ads So… Weird?

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Have you wondered why job ads for designers have become a laundry list of impossible requirements or why job titles have become so diverse? Instead of “web designer” or “graphic designer,” titles read “graphic communications specialist,” “marketing creative associate,” “social media designer,” or “art-thingy person to abuse.” All of these, however, demand full experience and job requirements of an experienced designer.

At a design organization meeting, we all tend to share job postings we have seen and laugh about the ridiculous list of required skills and wonder who among us could ever fill these God-like positions. The answer is: No one! So, join us as we delve into another weird Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design.

December 29th, 2014 Posted in Design Dilemma
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This Week in Design: Dec. 26, 2014

week in design

With the new year comes plenty of new updates and design tools. This week in design as we bid farewell to 2014, we’ll look at some trending updates from Adobe and Bing. We’ll also look back at a few things that we loved in 2014, including some of the best-designed maps of the year.

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at carrie@designshack.net.

December 26th, 2014 Posted in This Week in Design
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Designing Hover Styles and the Future of the Technique

hover styles

Despite arguments that hover styles are dead, these small boxes that pop-up over images, text or other elements on websites are still found all over the web. Designers like them for an added bit of style and information; users like them for functionality. (They are only “dead” because hover styles don’t work without a mouse-over).

The UI function is still there for now. And if you opt to use it, you’ll want to create well-designed hover styles that engage users. You’ll also want to think about how to alter these areas of your website for responsive sites.

December 24th, 2014 Posted in Web Standards
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How to Balance Text and Visual Content in Design

text and visuals

We’ve all heard the phrase “sex sells” but when it comes to design, what does the selling? Text or images? The reality is that both are essential parts of almost every design project. What makes the difference between a project that works and one that falls short is striking the right balance between the two.

While visuals are often processed faster, text can provide greater understanding. Creating balance between text and visual content is a combination of understanding your project and the best method of delivery for content, audience expectation, weighting of elements and delivery.

December 22nd, 2014 Posted in Layouts
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This Week in Design: Dec. 19, 2014

week in design

Are you in the holiday spirit yet? This week in design we are. From creative thinking during the holiday season to tools for a great photo book and even tips for hiring a designer, this week the theme is looking forward during this busy time. We’d also like to take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate our Design Shack readers. (And if there are things you’d like to see more of in the upcoming year, let us know.) Happy holidays.

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at carrie@designshack.net.

December 19th, 2014 Posted in This Week in Design
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How to Make Stock Art Work in Your Design Projects

graphic stock

Sometimes it’s hard to create just the right image, texture or illustration for a design project. It might be a result of resources or time, but there is an option – stock art. There are plenty of places where you can buy and download photos, textures, illustrations and user interface elements that can be used or adapted for your projects.

But how can you most effectively use stock art and ensure that you don’t end up using the same images as another company or website? Here we’ll look at some ways to help you choose the best stock images or vectors for your projects and a tool, GraphicStock, where you can find some great images.

December 18th, 2014 Posted in Software
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Design Dilemma: No… You Can’t Be a Creative Director!

chess-concept-124

Every beginning designer has the dream and goal of ascending to the position of creative director, and it’s very attainable for most. All it takes is hard work, a great design or copywriting talent, and the ability to manage a staff of creatives.

There are others, apparently, who have the same dream and goal but without the required experience or abilities. Such is the case of a man who wrote to ask how he could attain the position of creative director—with no experience at all! So, join us as we delve into another slap of reality Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design.

December 16th, 2014 Posted in Design Dilemma
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This Week in Design: Dec. 12, 2014

week in design

Color. It’s something that impacts every bit of design work you do. This week Pantone released its annual Color of the Year. (And this year’s rich hue is a nice one.) With the holiday season in full swing there are also a few design projects worth your attention to check out this week in design.

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at carrie@designshack.net.

December 12th, 2014 Posted in This Week in Design
create-background

Choosing and Creating Backgrounds for Design Projects

backgrounds

From patterns, to videos, to images, there are a lot of things to choose from when it comes to selecting the perfect backdrop to any design project. While the texture or image you choose is not necessarily intended to be a main part of the overall message, it can have quite an impact.

Backgrounds can be subtle, bold, static, dynamic or non-existent. And backgrounds in today’s projects are often more than just a beige canvas, and are an integral – and integrated – part of the overall design scheme. The trend in background design may even lead some to ask where the background ends and the foreground begins. Today we’re sharing a few tips and tricks for how to choose an effective background.

December 8th, 2014 Posted in Graphics, Inspiration
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