Articles Archive

Web Design Critique #41: Rachilli

Web Design Critique #41: Rachilli

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 Rachilli, the personal portfolio of photographer and designer Rachel Shillcock.

March 12th, 2011 Posted in Critique
How Dogs and Rats Can Make You a Better Designer

How Dogs and Rats Can Make You a Better Designer

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Today we’re going to venture far outside of the designer’s typical learning bubble. We’ll leave Photoshop behind and pick up the tools of a marketing executive studying consumer behavior.

This article will teach you two distinct approaches to impacting your target audience. Knowing these terms and theories will not only help you become a more effective designer, they’ll also make you look super smart at work!

March 11th, 2011 Posted in Business
25 Professional and Incredibly Powerful Photoshop Plugins

25 Professional and Incredibly Powerful Photoshop Plugins

Freebies are awesome, and design blogs are full of them, but sometimes you need a professional tool to handle professional tasks. There are a wealth of extremely powerful and high quality photoshop tools that can dramatically improve your workflow and are worth every penny you have to spend to get them.

Today we’ll look at a number of the best tools available for making color adjustments, adjusting focus, enlarging images, transforming layers in 3D, reducing noise, creating textures, applying complex masks, and even taking that PSD into full-blown HTML.

March 10th, 2011 Posted in Software
5 Quick and Easy Photoshop Textures You Can Make From Scratch

5 Quick and Easy Photoshop Textures You Can Make From Scratch

The web is full of free texture resources. Unfortunately, we’ve all used them before and hate all the inherent restrictions that come as a result of using borrowed art. For your next project, why not just use textures that you make yourself from scratch? You skip the restrictions and the end product is much more unique because you’re not using the same resources used by everyone else.

Today we’re going to get you started by teaching you how to use a couple of basic Photoshop filters to create five completely different textures. Each texture should only take you anywhere from one to three minutes to bust out and can therefore be quickly applied without eating up your crucial design time. Let’s get started!

March 9th, 2011 Posted in Graphics
Weekly Freebies: 12 Gorgeously Grungy Fonts

Weekly Freebies: 12 Gorgeously Grungy Fonts

Who doesn’t love a good collection of free grunge fonts? These twelve are some of my favorite free fonts around and can really add character to whatever project you’re working on. I downloaded each to build the custom previews below so I can attest to them all being perfectly functional.

Browse through and download a few and leave a comment below letting us know which are your favorite! Also let us about any we missed that you particularly like.

March 8th, 2011 Posted in Freebies
Book Review: Smashing Book 2

Book Review: Smashing Book 2

It’s been over a year since we took a look at Smashing Magazine’s very first publication, and the web industry has come a long way in twelve months. Today, we’re going to offering our thoughts on The Smashing Book #2, hailed as “sharing valuable practical insight into design, usability and coding”.

With a great range of contributors and big steps forward in shipping and physical design, let’s see how Smashing Magazine’s latest release stacks up!

March 7th, 2011 Posted in Reviews
Web Design Critique #40: FanExtra

Web Design Critique #40: FanExtra

Welcome to our 40th design critique! 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 FanExtra, a fantastic resource site for designers.

March 6th, 2011 Posted in Critique
Free Websites: Who Has Them and Which You Should Use

Free Websites: Who Has Them and Which You Should Use

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It’s the dream isn’t it? A completely free website! No paying greedy designers, no web hosting free, no purchasing of a domain; just a pure and simple free presence on the web.

The world of free websites has come a long way in recent years, there are some truly viable options that just might suit your needs. However, there’s always a catch! Below you’ll find out which services have restrictions that you can live with and which you might want to avoid.

March 4th, 2011 Posted in Business
Tackling Online Menus: Tips and Examples

Tackling Online Menus: Tips and Examples

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Restaurant websites are quite frequently disasters of both design and usability. Even good designers can go very wrong on this particularly tricky task.

Before you attempt your next restaurant website design, check out this article. We’ll go over some super practical tips for success in addition to a few pitfalls to avoid.

March 3rd, 2011 Posted in Inspiration
CouchCMS Creator Kamran Kashif Explains His Designer-Friendly CMS

CouchCMS Creator Kamran Kashif Explains His Designer-Friendly CMS

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This week’s awesome Design Shack Deal allows you to snag a commercial license of the awesome CouchCMS for a mere $9! CouchCMS offers designers the option of creating custom CMS-driven sites for their clients without any knowledge of PHP.

We sat down with the developer behind CouchCMS to learn what it’s all about, why he created it and why you should consider using it on your projects. If you haven’t picked up your copy already, you won’t want to miss this!

March 2nd, 2011 Posted in Interviews
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