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Carrie Cousins

Carrie Cousins

Carrie is the chief writer at Design Shack, with years of experience in web and graphic design. Sports fanatic. Information junkie. Designer. True-believer in karma.

10 Tools for Improving Website Accessibility

Accessibility / 20 Mar 2019

10 Tools for Improving Website Accessibility

There’s no doubt that you understand the need for your website to be accessible for as many users as possible. But reading through all of the guidelines and standards can be a little overwhelming. You can find the latest W3C recommendations here, but do you need to know every word, and follow every guideline?

Today, we’re going to try to make it all a little bit easier with some tools and resources to help you improve website accessibility (and maybe even some checks to consider that weren’t on your radar!).

Whether you’re looking to ensure you have enough visual contrast, a site that’s accessible to screen readers, or even create accessible emails, we’ve got you covered!

What’s the Best Font for Subtitles? 5 Examples Compared

Typography / 18 Mar 2019

What’s the Best Font for Subtitles? 5 Examples Compared

When it comes to choosing the best font for subtitles (or any other captioning), nothing matters more than readability. Clear subtitles are more than just identification on the screen, they can be a means of accessibility for many users.

You’ve probably seen a fair share of good – and bad – subtitle font options. (I remember watching a movie where the subtitles were yellow and nearly unreadable in some scenes. That’s not a good choice!) Closed captions are also common for viewing video on social media – who wants to play the sound at work? – and to understand content in another language.

Today, we’ll look at some of the best fonts for subtitles, and tips for creating small text elements on a moving video background that people will actually want to read.

The Democratization of Logo Design

Graphics / 17 Mar 2019

The Democratization of Logo Design

It’s getting easier all the time for you to create a logo design. It’s no longer purely the realm of expensive design agencies, those with years of Illustrator knowledge, or marketing teams.

Better tools are making it easier all the time for you to put together icons and text for a logo design that works for you. Not sure where to start? We have some ideas that can jumpstart your creativity and help you create a logo design.

Will it be a logo that ignites a global brand for decades to come? Possibly not. But it might be the perfect logo for your startup, local business, or website.

T-Shirt Design Software: 3 Options & Approaches

Software / 13 Mar 2019

T-Shirt Design Software: 3 Options & Approaches

Almost every brand, website or even individual has a custom t-shirt. It’s one of the best ways to promote a product, message or just a cool design. But where do you start? Do you need t-shirt design software to get your creative idea on a shirt? Let’s compare a few options.

Today, we’re going to explore three different approaches to t-shirt design (from beginner to advanced), as well as three different ways to get your design from the computer to a wearable format.

For each of these, we’ll look at a software option that can help get you started.

How to Find the Right Name for Your Small Business

Reviews / 12 Mar 2019

How to Find the Right Name for Your Small Business

One of the toughest challenges for a startup can be actually coming up with a great name – and website domain – for the business.

While the brainstorming process can be a lot of fun for some, it can also get taxing. Using a tool to facilitate the process can help. That’s where a tool like Business Name Generator can come in.

Here’s a look at the tool and how it could help your small business or startup.

Phones Keep Getting Larger: Here’s How to Design for Them

Mobile / 11 Mar 2019

Phones Keep Getting Larger: Here’s How to Design for Them

Phones keep getting ever-larger, there’s no denying it. Looking back at the original iPhone today, it seems incredulously small. But large phones come with new design considerations and requirements. Let’s dive into them.

The highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S10 5G comes out later this year. If your website design ready for it? The phone will feature a massive 6.7-inch display — the iPhone XS Max comes in at 6.5 inches, and many common devices are 5.5 inches or larger – making it important that you are creating something that renders well on what we used to call “phablets.”

Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when it comes to designing for phone screens that just seem to keep getting bigger.

9 Key Logo Design Trends of 2019

Inspiration / 11 Mar 2019

9 Key Logo Design Trends of 2019

Need a new logo? Whether you’re starting from scratch or just planning a tweak to a current mark, understanding shifts in logo design trends can help you create a design with a modern touch.

The big 2019 theme in logo design is to create something that’s just a little bit different. With so many new websites and brands and companies coming online almost every day, it’s no wonder that logos are trending toward designs that stand out.

Here’s a look at a few logo design trends for 2019, and how you can make them work for you (and while you’re at it, be sure to look through our full guide on how to design a logo!)

After Effects vs. Premiere: What’s the Difference?

Software / 6 Mar 2019

After Effects vs. Premiere: What’s the Difference?

Video has likely become an important part of your website design or marketing strategy. From video hero images to short YouTube videos that help explain a product or service, video is a growing aspect of design.

Have you been asked to edit, create or adjust video for a client yet? Chances are it will happen. Here, we’re going to look at two popular video tools from Adobe to help you get a crash course what tool is best to use for video projects – Adobe After Effects or Premiere?

How to Use & Install Photoshop Actions

Graphics / 6 Mar 2019

How to Use & Install Photoshop Actions

If you aren’t taking advantage of Photoshop actions for editing and image effects, you’re missing out on one of Photoshop’s best features. Here, we’ll take you through how to use Photoshop Actions, and the best steps to install and apply them in seconds.

Photoshop actions can save you time when it comes to repeated tasks, and condense entire paths of editing into a single click. (While it might sound too good to be true, Photoshop actions are a very real thing.) We’ve previously hand-picked the best Photoshop actions out there, and today we’re explaining how to use them!

Choosing a Resume + Cover Letter Font? 10 Tips & Examples

Typography / 4 Mar 2019

Choosing a Resume + Cover Letter Font? 10 Tips & Examples

What is the best font for your resume? It’s not a loaded question. Too often people over think typography choices for resumes or cover letters because they think the type has to look “designed.” The reality is that it just needs to be highly readable.

So where do you start? Today, we’ve got ten great options to help you choose a readable, well-designed typeface to help your resume or cover letter stand out.

All these fonts stand out from the crowd, while also keeping your resume clear, classy, and readable!

Create Banner Ads Online With Bannersnack

Reviews / 1 Mar 2019

Create Banner Ads Online With Bannersnack

Building banner ads doesn’t have to be a chore. From static ads to animated HTML5 banner ads, Bannersnack is a tool that allows you to create quick and visually appealing ads for any application.

Here, we’re going to look at this tool and how you can make the most of creating stunning banner ads in just a few minutes with Bannersnack.

Forget firing up Photoshop, figuring out ad dimensions, and starting from scratch. This is a new way of approaching the whole process.

How to Create Your Own Stock Photos With Photo Creator

Reviews / 1 Mar 2019

How to Create Your Own Stock Photos With Photo Creator

The problem with stock photos has always been that they are never quite what you envision. The new Photo Creator tool from Icons8 solves that dilemma.

This neat tool actually allows you to create stock photos with elements that you can choose, move, and place inside a basic scene.

The result is a “semi-stock” photo that does exactly what you need to tell a story in your design project. Here’s how it works, and how to use it to create a stock photo that perfectly fits your needs.