Articles Archive


10 Tips for Designing Icons That Don’t Suck

icon design

Almost every designer is thinking about app design these days. One of the smallest features of every app is the icon used to represent it on the screen of every mobile device and in the app stores. Designing a great icon is more than just putting a logo in a box. You need something that stands out among all the other app icons out there.

A good icon can be used in a variety of ways – for apps, social media and even on smaller printed projects or business cards. And all it takes is a little design and planning.

March 12th, 2015 Posted in Graphics

Save 83% in the Web Designer’s Photoshop Tool Bundle


This week’s deal gives you a fantastic opportunity to save 83% on a collection of Photoshop plugins. Usually costing $149 individually, they’re just $24.99 for the next few days.

It’s great chance to accelerate your Photoshop workflow, with CSS Hat 2, PNG Hat, iOS Hat, PSD Cleaner, Subtle Patterns, and much more. A wonderful collection of plugins, that are all yours for this one-off price! Read on to find out more, or check out the bundle now.

March 10th, 2015 Posted in Deals

10 Tips for Designing for Wearables and Watches

design wearables

Every day we are getting a little closer to the release of the highly anticipated Apple Watch. The device is going to further change the way we think about wearable technology and how to design websites and apps for this interface.

Wearables present challenges unlike other design projects. Function is a primary concern, as is size with what will be one of the smallest screens designers have ever worked with. The key is creating a design that is visually pleasing but is user-friendly and provides a functional experience. Here are 10 things to consider as you design for a wearable interface (with examples other designers are already imagining).

March 9th, 2015 Posted in Graphics, Inspiration
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Design Dilemma: Buy One, Get Two More for Free?

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I love giving back by helping designers with their questions and dilemmas. I’ve been successful at using my own dunder-headed mistakes as lessons not only for myself, but for others. There is one mistake, however, I never made — failing to speak up for myself. Yes, there were projects I walked away from because of the low fee, the client appeared to be too sleazy, or a gut feeling told me that the numerous red flags meant I was borrowing trouble, but I never wondered if I made the right choice.

When I hear about a designer who was too afraid to ask for a contract, assert themselves when scope creep started heading for the ridiculous, or they feel working for free will be that great opportunity the client promises, I wonder if this is not the reason the industry and creatives are seen as being weak and foolish. The following dilemma makes me frustrated at the weakness the designer displayed, but there has to be patience and forgiveness in the world, so, join us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the human world of design.

March 5th, 2015 Posted in Design Dilemma

Pay What You Want: Front-End Developer Bundle (Worth $1,042)


This week’s deal is a great opportunity to learn everything you need to know about front-end development. It’s a bundle of seven courses and tutorials, totalling over 93 hours of instruction from industry professionals.

The best thing about this one? It’s another Pay What You Want bundle. You decide how much to pay! Grab a few of the courses for any price, or beat the average selling price to unlock the whole deal. Read on to find out more, or take a look at the full deal now!

March 4th, 2015 Posted in Deals

Save 95% on a Lifetime Ptengine Subscription


Today’s featured Design Shack Deal comes from Ptengine, a service that empowers you to see your website’s traffic in real time and analyze user behavior, with absolutely zero analytics experience required. It is an easy-to-use web app that tells you which pages your visitors like and dislike, and how to fix them.

You can get a lifetime premium subscription, worth over $1,000, for just $49 (a total saving of 95%!). It’s only running for a few more days, so take a look now, or read on to find out more.

March 2nd, 2015 Posted in Deals

How to Design an Email People Will Actually Read on Their Phones

email design

Email marketing is one of the most popular ways to reach an audience. Wait, that’s probably not new information. But did you know what a majority of those views will be on a mobile device? So if you are not designing your emails for phones, this is the day to start.

Designing a mobile email takes planning and thought. Many third-party email software clients include responsive templates in their packages, but not every tool will automatically convert your message to the idea design. You need to think out how your email will look and make sure the message is focused. It might even be the perfect place to start with a mobile-first design strategy.

March 2nd, 2015 Posted in Layouts

Design Dilemma: Can an Employer Claim Rights to Your “Style”?


Everyone has been fired from a job. It’s shocking, depressing and degrading but everyone goes through it. As business author, Harvey McKay pointed out in one of his books, “before you fire someone, ask yourself if you want that person working for your competitor.”

When I was let go from a large greeting card company, the exit interview included ten minutes of why the company had to let me go and fifty minutes of the HR person explaining why I wouldn’t want to go to work for their competitor. Eventually I did go to work for their competitor and, as I explained to the HR person, “unless you are going to kill me, you have no control over my career.”

Yes, there was a non-compete agreement for one year but beyond that, I was free to do anything I wanted to do. Some companies just can’t let go and want to stop you from continuing that career. So, join us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the deadly world of design.

February 26th, 2015 Posted in Design Dilemma

The Comic Book Creator: 100 Layouts for $10


Our friends over at Mighty Deals are currently running fantastic deal for a really cool product that creates comics from your own photos, that’s really worth taking a look at!

Comic Book Creator is great way to create comic book pages using your own photos. Just open the template file in Photoshop, select the frame layout of your choice and paste your desired photo into the Smart Object and let the magic happen! Read on to find out a bit more!

February 25th, 2015 Posted in Deals

Google Material Design: Everything You Need to Know

material design

You probably keep hearing the phrase “material design” popping up in conversations. The concept is pretty new; it was introduced in the summer and references a new design language from the folks at Google.

But material design is more than just an idea; it is likely to cause designers to completely rethink web and app design processes. Sites are already beginning to role out design schemes using Google’s material design documentation. So now is the time to learn what it’s all about and if a material design framework is in your future.

February 24th, 2015 Posted in Web Standards