Articles Archive

Battle of the Burgers: American Fast Food Sites Compared

Battle of the Burgers: American Fast Food Sites Compared

screenshot

Today’s post will be an intense battle as we compare the design and usability of nine major American burger joints.

These corporations pull in millions making me obese with their irresistibly tasty grilled double heart attacks with cheese and should have plenty of revenue to invest into solid web designers. Let’s see how they fare against my inscrutable eye for ugly web design.

August 10th, 2010 Posted in Graphics
How Persuasive Is Your Website’s Copy? A Simple, Five-Step Checklist

How Persuasive Is Your Website’s Copy? A Simple, Five-Step Checklist

As a web designer, you’re probably accustomed to obsessing over the layout and visual appearance of your designs. And if you’re like most, a site’s content is something you’d rather not worry about. But being able to identify weak web copy allows you to offer greater value to your client. By spotting major problems and helping him to solve them, you can position yourself as an expert who works with him…rather than as a labourer who works for him.

And if you know some basic principles for identifying and fixing weak copy, you not only increase your value to your clients—you increase your chances of getting them. Your own website will have stronger copy; more likely to persuade prospects to hire you.

August 9th, 2010 Posted in Business
An in-Depth Guide to Working With Typography in Illustrator

An in-Depth Guide to Working With Typography in Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is a fantastic application for crafting typographical masterpieces. However, whether you’re creating a simple paragraph for a print ad or a complex typographical piece of art for a website, there are several tips and techniques you should know for how to manipulate type within the program.

Below you’ll find a brief overview of some of the basic commands you should familiarize yourself with as well as some must-know keyboard shortcuts and even a few obscure features that you may not even know exist. Let’s get started!

August 6th, 2010 Posted in Graphics
25 Brilliant Uses of Colorful Spectrums in Web Design

25 Brilliant Uses of Colorful Spectrums in Web Design

screenshot

I’ve noticed a recent trend in web design that involves the use of colorful spectrums as a main design element. The uses are widely varied but almost always quite beautiful.

Today we’ll learn how to build amazing spectrum-based artwork in Photoshop and then take a look at 25 brilliant examples of spectrums being used in real websites.

August 5th, 2010 Posted in Inspiration
Web Design Critique #11: Scott Block

Web Design Critique #11: Scott Block

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 as well as those that could use some work. Finally, we’ll finish by asking you to provide your own feedback.

Today’s site is the personal portfolio of Scott Block, a web designer from Maryland.

August 4th, 2010 Posted in Critique
How to Get Your Site Featured in Our Web Design Gallery

How to Get Your Site Featured in Our Web Design Gallery

screenshot

Here at Design Shack we love good inspiration and seek to provide you with daily bits of visual sustenance that will help you become a better designer by expanding your horizons and opening your mind up to different styles of design.

We’d love to feature your work in our gallery and want to make sure you fully understand the process so you can effectively decide whether or not you should make a submission. The following will serve as a basic guide for anyone interested in submitting a site. It will delve into our goals for the gallery, who should submit designs, some tricks to getting in and even how to handle a rejection notice.

August 3rd, 2010 Posted in Design Shack
Dribbble Shots of the Week #1

Dribbble Shots of the Week #1

I’ve definitely become quite sucked into the strange exclusive designer club that is Dribbble.com. Too often “design inspiration” implies ripping off the entire concept of someone else’s work. With Dribbble it’s really easy to find tiny bits of inspirational art that will spark a design idea where the final result is completely different than the work of the artist who provided the inspiration.

I’ve been so inspired by this bite-sized digital art museum that I decided to start a new series where I will hand pick 10 Dribbble “shots” to share with you. To make the selections, I’ll use no other criteria aside from my own off-the-cuff judgement. As a bonus, I’ll pick a “VIP” each week that showcases my favorite shot and what I liked about it.

So here we go! Please enjoy this week’s top ten shots.

August 1st, 2010 Posted in Shots of the Week
27 Utilities for Saving and Sharing Code Snippets

27 Utilities for Saving and Sharing Code Snippets

You’ve got countless bits of HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, and PHP rolling around in your head and on your hard drive that you are forced to try to recall each time you start a project. It’s time to get organized.

This post will briefly point you to 27 great utilities that not only help you store your favorite snippets both locally and in the cloud, but also make sharing with others a breeze. Enjoy!

July 30th, 2010 Posted in CSS, HTML, JavaScript, PHP
The Designer’s Guide to Taking Better Photos

The Designer’s Guide to Taking Better Photos

screenshot

I’ve mentioned several times before that photography is one of the most natural complements to your skills as a designer. We designers are in constant need of very specific imagery and this can and does lead to hours of searching, unnecessary stock fees and ultimately the use of imagery that has a high likelihood of being found on the projects of countless other designers.

Becoming a decent photographer can save you time and money and provide you with a serious competitive edge in the form of truly unique imagery that no one in the world possesses but you.

July 29th, 2010 Posted in Graphics
Web Design Critique #10: Creative Ad Awards

Web Design Critique #10: Creative Ad Awards

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 as well as those that could use some work. Finally, we’ll finish by asking you to provide your own feedback.

Today’s site is Creative Ad Awards, a showcase for well designed advertisements.

July 29th, 2010 Posted in Critique
Subscribe
Membership