How Do We Design Hard Stuff for the Big Problems People Hate Most?

Design exists to solve problems. As you’ve likely heard before, design isn’t an act of creative self-expression but rather a process of problem solving. So why aren’t we hearing about amazing design breakthroughs that address the world’s biggest problems?

As legendary ‘I Love New York’ designer Milton Glaser once said, “Design is the process of going from an existing conditions to a preferred one.” But what existing condition does the world need our help with?

There are several respected global organizations who work towards great causes, in areas such as Food and Water Security, Economic Opportunity, Climate Change and the Environment, Social Equity and Good Governance (Healthcare, Safety, Security and Education).

You’ll notice how none of these items are addressed by selfie apps in the top ten of your local app store. So why aren’t we hearing about amazing design breakthroughs that address the world’s biggest problems?

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Business / 24 Apr 2017

Every Freelancer Screws Up; Make Sure to Recover Well

It’s going to happen. Every freelancer makes mistakes. Some of them are big and can impact client relationships, while others are more internal and affect your workflow and processes.

There’s one similarity though – how you recover from these mistakes will say more about your freelance career than making them. But how do you recover from the embarrassment of messing something up? Often it requires just a bit of humility.

Reviews / 19 Apr 2017

Meet AIDA: Your Artificial Intelligence Design Assistant

One of the big topics in design right now is artificial intelligence. Can a computer program actually design a website? Can it help a person speed up or improve the process?

Bookmark is taking the theory to a whole new level with its Artificial Intelligence Design Assistant, or AIDA for short. AIDA learns your needs and desires and uses this knowledge to create the perfect website for you. Today we’re taking a look at how it works!

Inspiration / 18 Apr 2017

20+ Best Condensed & Narrow Fonts of 2017

Contrary to popular belief, condensed and narrow fonts don’t make your text cramped, or crowded. You just have to know the appropriate time and place to use the font. Condensed fonts are widely used these days for headlines and portraying bold messages, and when deployed in the right place, they can give stunning impact!

It takes a lot of testing and experimenting to find the perfect font for a design. This process can be costly at times. The good news is you can download all the fonts in this list for a single price when you subscribe for Envato Elements. It’s only $29 per month, and gives you access to hundreds of beautiful typefaces.

Mobile / 17 Apr 2017

8 Design Tips for a Stellar Email on Small Screens

How many users are opening emails from you on a phone or tablet? It might be a higher percentage than you think. According to Litmus, which provides email tracking software, 54 percent of all emails were opened on a mobile device in 2016.

That means that most of your emails are being seen on a phone. Are you designing an email that makes the most of it? Here are tips to make your email design more mobile-friendly.

Reviews / 12 Apr 2017

5 Benefits of Managed Web Hosting

Managed website hosting can take a lot of the headache out of owning a website. Your host can handle all technical aspects of hosting, including automatic software installs and updates, website themes, and plugin troubleshooting and security.

For most website owners, there are major benefits over using a dedicated server or running a server yourself. Here’s a look at five distinct benefits of managed web hosting, and an insight into our experience at Design Shack of switching over to SiteGround!

Inspiration / 11 Apr 2017

30+ Best High-Quality Photoshop & Illustrator Brushes

We’ve put together a collection of our favourite, high quality Photoshop and Illustrator brushes, to help you put the perfect finishing touch on your next design.

A Photoshop or Illustrator brush is, at its simplest, exactly what you’d expect — a way to draw a particular line or style in a Photoshop or Illustrator document. Click, drag, and paint like you’re using a brush! But in practice, brushes can be used for so much more. From textures and patterns, to lighting and stylish effects, the versatility shown in these examples will give a great idea of what’s possible with a top-notch brush pack!

Business / 10 Apr 2017

Good Design Starts With Real Content

You’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king.” Cliches aside, it really is. When it comes to website design, quality content is the cog that powers usability, user flow and conversions.

You need real and authentic elements to create a connection with users to engage them. The best designs start with content that is close to the final product, and designers should be reluctant to work with anything less. But what is real content anyway? Here’s a guide to get you started.

Business / 5 Apr 2017

Paperless Documentation Is Easy With Eversign

More businesses are trying to find ways to go paperless. Eversign is a great tool that can help you cut the clutter from all those paper documents.

Eversign is a free, online app that helps you create legally binding electronic signatures for work or personal projects. The platform allows users to approve, deliver and sign documents online without printing or scanning a single form. Here’s a look at how it works.

Inspiration / 4 Apr 2017

30+ Stunning Food, Drink & Packaging Design Mockups

Part of your job as a designer is to make sure you present your final design to your clients in a way that they expect (and that makes your hard work shine!). Clearly, they will want to see how your design looks and feels on their actual product — that’s where product mockups can be incredibly helpful.

This week we’re taking a look at food, drink, and packaging design mockups. We’ve tracked down some beautiful examples on Envato Elements so, if you’re currently designing a label or package design for a client, some of these might be the perfect way to present your design when it’s done. Enjoy!

Inspiration / 3 Apr 2017

7 Design Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Content

Design mistakes can happen to anyone. Maybe you’re trying to finish a project too quickly, or you’re working on a complex site design where something simply gets overlooked. But, when they happen, you have to fix them… immediately!

Some design mistakes can ruin your content, cause users to abandon your site, or lose trust in the information you provide. It can be tough to recover from if you don’t make corrections. And so you aren’t confused, each of today’s tips comes with an example of a design that does it right from the Design Shack Gallery!

Freebies / 29 Mar 2017

40+ Stunning Vintage Mockup Packs & Graphics

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Design is all about presentation. You might have spent hours designing a logo or a layout for your client, but in order to fully reap the rewards of your hard work, it can be incredibly helpful to present your work in the perfect manner.

This is where mockup packs come in handy, to showcase the design you’ve poured time and attention into in the best possible light. Today, you can take a look at our huge collection of free and premium vintage mock up sets that would allow you to showcase your work like never before.

Business / 27 Mar 2017

5 Rules for Designing an Effective Ad Campaign

Designers have to wear a lot of hats these days. You might create a website one day, a brochure the next, and an ad campaign for print or social media after that.

And while many of these projects all rely on the same theories of design and an eye for what looks good, there are some differences that can impact the success of certain projects. Designing ad campaigns can be tricky if you haven’t done a lot of it. The canvas is often small and doesn’t give you a lot of room for error. You get just one chance to hook a user with design and information. Here’s how to do it.