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Create Awesome Animations in Photoshop
Graphics / 16 Sep 2010

Create Awesome Animations in Photoshop

After Effects is the go-to Adobe application for creating both simple and complex animations. However, for those users that either don’t have the time to learn an entire new application or simply don’t own a copy of After Effects, Photoshop has incorporated very similar, albeit scaled back, functionality.

Today we’ll go over the basics of how animation works in Photoshop and then build a basic animation from scratch. Let’s get started!

Are You Using These Two Simple Elements to Ramp Up Conversion Rates?
Layouts / 15 Sep 2010

Are You Using These Two Simple Elements to Ramp Up Conversion Rates?

There are two things you can add to just about any site to increase readership: drop caps and hero shots. These aren’t anything new, and they’re by no means “secrets”. But a lot of designers don’t realize that they’re used for more than just aesthetic reasons. Today I’m going to explain why they work—and show you to best implement them.

Just before I dive in, a word of warning. Using these elements will increase readership rates. That is, more people will read your copy. But if your copy is poor, using drop caps and hero shots will also decrease response rates. So you need to have strong copy to use these elements effectively. Otherwise you’ll actually get fewer conversions. You can check out my previous article here at Design Shack for a quick-start guide to spotting and writing persuasive copy.

Designing a Professional Business Card
Graphics / 14 Sep 2010

Designing a Professional Business Card

Before websites, email blasts and banner ads, business cards were the central piece of design work for countless small businesses. This simple little piece of cardstock was a major representation of your company. In China, business cards are so highly regarded that it’s considered poor etiquette to write on someone’s card or even put it in your wallet! Typically upon exchange business cards will be placed into a small card case.

Though the digital age has dawned, business cards remain a fairly popular way to quickly provide someone with information about how to reach you or find out more information about your company. Today we’ll go over some common mistakes in business card design and explore a few practical techniques you can use to bring style and professionalism to your cards.

Web Design Critique #16: Run Addicts
Critique / 11 Sep 2010

Web Design Critique #16: Run Addicts

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 RunAddicts a blog for anyone who loves to run.

Mastering Photoshop History and Layer Comps
Software / 9 Sep 2010

Mastering Photoshop History and Layer Comps

Sometimes the key to moving ahead in Photoshop is to look back.

There are a number of different tools, features and methods in Photoshop that you can and should be using to track and manipulate the history of your designs as they progress.

Today we’ll take an in-depth look at the Photoshop history palette and how it can help you diversify your designs and keep track of various ideas. We’ll also learn how to use the History Brush and those incredibly handy but difficult to figure out Layer Comps.

15+ Beautiful and Classy Headline Designs
Graphics / 9 Sep 2010

15+ Beautiful and Classy Headline Designs

Creating beautiful type treatments is hard work.

Though it has become quite trendy to claim that typography is ignored on the web, the reality is that typography is a booming fad at the height of its game in the online realm.

Countless web designers have really stepped up in recent years and created some absolutely beautiful typographical works, particularly in website headlines. Below we’ll look at over fifteen meticulously crafted headline designs that are sure to inspire you to think twice before slapping some boring type wrapped in an h1 tag on your site.

10 Tips for Designing Presentations That Don’t Suck: Pt.2
Graphics / 7 Sep 2010

10 Tips for Designing Presentations That Don’t Suck: Pt.2

Last week we looked at part one of our two part series on designing better presentations. We learned practical tips on using photography, typography, color and more to create stunning results.

Today we’ll wrap things up with tips six through ten and teach you how simplifying your designs can lead to drastically improved results. Let’s get started!

Web Design Critique #15: We Can Service Your Car
Critique / 4 Sep 2010

Web Design Critique #15: We Can Service Your Car

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 We Can Service Your Car.

10 Tips for Designing Presentations That Don’t Suck: Pt.1
Graphics / 3 Sep 2010

10 Tips for Designing Presentations That Don’t Suck: Pt.1

Powerpoint has produced more bad design in its day that perhaps any other digital tool in history with the possible exception of Microsoft paint.

In this post we’re going to address the epidemic of bad presentation design with ten super practical tips for designer better looking and more professional presentations. Along the way we’ll see a number of awesome slide designs from Note & Point along with some custom examples built by yours truly. Let’s get started!

25 Brilliantly Simple Web Page Designs
Graphics / 2 Sep 2010

25 Brilliantly Simple Web Page Designs

Sometimes a site can be visually stunning not so much because of the content but because of the lack of content. Though often attractive, this is a tricky style to pull off correctly without just looking like you’ve got a boring page.

Today we’ll look at 25 sites that we think got it right. First we’ll discuss why these designs work well under certain circumstances and then we’ll jump into the examples.

Build an iPad-Themed Image Slider With jQuery
JavaScript / 31 Aug 2010

Build an iPad-Themed Image Slider With jQuery

If you’re not a seasoned web developer, it can be quite intimidating to approach a project where your client is looking for something trendy and interactive such as an Apple-centric slideshow.

Today we’ll teach you how you can create just such a project in mere minutes using some awesome free resources from around the web. We’ll walk you through ten super simple steps so even if you have little to no web experience, this project should be a breeze!

Web Design Critique #14: WebAppers
Critique / 28 Aug 2010

Web Design Critique #14: WebAppers

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 WebAppers.

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