Articles Archive

Building a Constructive 404 Error Page (With Examples)

Building a Constructive 404 Error Page (With Examples)

The error page is a common facet in web design often overlooked by the mainstream crowd. Generally when a user finds themselves on an error page it constitutes as a failure on their part. Something about their actions have caused an error on the site, and all hope seems lost.

As generations are advancing we’re seeing the youth of today much more applicable to deal with technological errors and trace the routes to one source issue. When dealing with the majority it’s important to understand user experience is everything. This goes double for new-age web applications and distracting mobile games. While constructing these pages always keep the end user in mind – and remember there’s a vast difference from person to person!

March 15th, 2011 Posted in Inspiration
Weekly Freebies: 10 WordPress Portfolio Themes That Aren’t Ugly

Weekly Freebies: 10 WordPress Portfolio Themes That Aren’t Ugly

In putting together this week’s freebie post I noticed two things. First, everyone has a free WordPress portfolio theme roundup. Second, though the titles may boast 50 or more themes, most or even all of the selections are so ugly that no designer in his right mind would go near them.

Consequently, I set out to find ten completely free WordPress portfolio themes that actually look like they were designed in this decade. Whether you’re a web designer or a photographer, these portfolio themes will give you a quick and easy way to show off your work in a professional manner.

March 15th, 2011 Posted in Freebies
Winners Announced: 500 Free Printed Business Cards: Win One of Three Sets!

Winners Announced: 500 Free Printed Business Cards: Win One of Three Sets!

We’ve randomly selected our three winners, each of which will receive 500 free business cards from AllBusinessCards.com! If you are one of the lucky winners listed below, you will be receiving a Twitter DM shortly with further instructions (make sure you’re following both Design Shack and AllBusinessCards).

March 14th, 2011 Posted in Competitions
This Week’s Deal: Picons Ultimate Icon Set – 50% Off!

This Week’s Deal: Picons Ultimate Icon Set – 50% Off!

We’re really excited about this week’s deal – you’re going to love it! Picons Ultimate isn’t your average skimpy icon set. The hand-crafted collection packs 500 gorgeous icons, all supplied in their original vector format.

Picons Ultimate is an essential source of icons and symbols for every web, interface, and print designer. The icons also fit great with your iPad, iPhone or Android app interface.

Usually priced at $42, today you can grab the whole icon set for just $21!

Read more and see a larger preview of all the icons you’ll receive.

March 14th, 2011 Posted in Deals
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
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