Articles Archive


Create Five Awesome Hover Effects Using CSS Multiple Backgrounds

Today we’re going to have all kinds of fun with the CSS multiple backgrounds feature. You’ll learn how to use multiple backgrounds in a simple way and how to go much further by combining the technique with hover actions and CSS transitions to create some really cool effects.

Follow along as we code five different applications of this idea that you can copy and paste to create your own awesome hovers.

November 29th, 2011 Posted in CSS

Black Friday Web Design: The Good, Bad and Ugly


Last week our U.S. readers celebrated Thanksgiving and its subsequent shopping madness known as Black Friday, where retailers dramatically reduce their prices for a day of pure shopper mayhem.

Instead of joining the stampede of frantic shoppers, I followed my annual tradition of hiding away in my home office. However, I couldn’t resist a look around to see how various stores were handling the design side of the event. Let’s see which top name retailers pulled out all the stops and which ran with cliché, generic and even ugly designs.

November 28th, 2011 Posted in Layouts

Weekly Freebies: Flourishes and Ornaments

This week’s set of freebies is a fantastic collection of flourishes and ornaments. Together, these nineteen sets contain well over one hundred unique and creative pieces of art that you can use to bring your designs to the next level.

You’ll find some awesome vectors that are perfect for importing into Illustrator as well as some great Photoshop brush sets. Go grab them now and start increasing the awesome factor in your work.

November 26th, 2011 Posted in Freebies

Web Design Critique #70: Lake Gibbs Estate

Every week we take a look at a new website and analyze the design. We’ll point out both the areas that are done well in addition to those that could use some work. Finally, we’ll finish by asking you to provide your own feedback.

Today’s site is Lake Gibbs Estate. Let’s jump in and see what we think! When you’re finished looking over this article, be sure to check out our huge collection of other web design critiques.

November 25th, 2011 Posted in Critique

How to Build a Responsive Frankenstein Framework With LESS


CSS layout frameworks are super helpful, but they can be a mess. You always have to conform to someone else’s system, whether or not it makes sense to you.

Today we’re going to ditch this notion and build an ultra-lightweight framework that can be implemented wherever and however you want to achieve complex multi-column layouts in seconds flat. You build this Frankenstein Framework as you go so there are zero unused classes and absolutely no code bloat. Did I mention that it’s also easy to make to make it responsive? Read on to see the monster come to life.

November 23rd, 2011 Posted in CSS

Design Shack Is Hiring! Apply Today


Good news! Design Shack is growing and we’re looking for some rockstar designers and developers to join the team. Read on to see what type of talent we’re after and how you can apply!

November 22nd, 2011 Posted in Design Shack

Three Quick Design Tricks: Break Out Screenshots, Easy Starbursts and Vector Grunge Textures

Today we have a small collection of completely random but very useful design tricks that you should keep in the back of your mind the next time you need a new idea.

I’ll show you a quick way to make a software screenshot more interesting, how to create awesome vector grunge textures and a super fast way to build a vector starburst.

November 22nd, 2011 Posted in Graphics

5 Simple Steps to Stunning Portraits in Photoshop


Today’s article points out a harsh but true reality: just because you know how to use Photoshop for design work doesn’t mean you know how to edit photos. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered.

Follow along as we show you five simple and lightning fast steps you can take to transform your plain, boring portraits to stunning images that look straight out of a professional photographer’s portfolio. Along the way you’ll learn several important tips such as how to properly sharpen an image and how to draw the viewer’s attention to where you want it to go.

November 21st, 2011 Posted in Software

Web Design Critique #69: Okay Geek

Every week we take a look at a new website and analyze the design. We’ll point out both the areas that are done well in addition to those that could use some work. Finally, we’ll finish by asking you to provide your own feedback.

Today’s site is Okay Geek, a delightfully geeky tech blog that we’ve seen before on Design Shack. Let’s jump in and see what we think of the new design!

November 19th, 2011 Posted in Critique

Weekly Freebie: Printable Productivity Mousepad


Today’s freebie is incredibly simple but also incredibly useful. It’s a custom-made calendar, todo and notes sheet that you can print and use as a mousepad. I use it myself every day and thought I’d share it!

November 18th, 2011 Posted in Freebies