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.





Typography / 19 Dec 2016

Typography in Shared Spaces: A Trend You Need to Know

It seems like such a simple concept, but this trend is just starting to take off. Designers are allowing typography to cross planes between elements.

The trend is exemplified by type starting in one part of the canvas and then it extends into the space of something else, such as overlapping part of a photo or encroaching on another colored box or image. The layering technique is interesting and can help add a bit of creativity to a design in a number of ways. Here’s a closer look at ways to use typography in shared spaces.

Graphics / 14 Dec 2016

Designing With an 80s Trend: Memphis Design 101

Every trend eventually makes a comeback. Sometimes that even applies to trends that are more difficult to understand.

Memphis design – exemplified by an 80s aesthetic with bright colors and lots of shapes and lines – is one of those concepts that has come back around again. Not many people have ever said they love the 80s design style. Love it or hate it, the bright design pattern can be a lot of fun and direct attention to the design. Here’s everything you need to know about Memphis design.

Business / 12 Dec 2016

3 Professional PowerPoint Templates (and How to Use Them)

Do you ever look at your presentations for work or clients and just think they need more pizazz? It’s one of those tasks that can fall by the wayside.

You can save time (and money) by using a professional PowerPoint template to get started. They are easy to use, super affordable and you’ll have everything you need to create a rock-star style presentation without any hassle.

Today, we’re going to look at three great professional PowerPoint templates and how to use them, starting with a beginner option all the way to a template that includes everything but the kitchen sink.

Business / 8 Dec 2016

Design Techniques to Imply Scarcity

How can you use design techniques to make things feel scarce? It’s an important concept, particularly in terms of creating a sense of urgency for e-commerce or clicking a call to action before it is too late.

Flash sales, limited editions, “only 2 remaining” – these are all triggers of scarcity that make a user feel the need to complete a call to action immediately. If not, the purchase or offer might not be available later. Designing for scarcity is an important concept in design, particularly for e-commerce and even in-person sales.

Graphics / 6 Dec 2016

Design Trend: Photos That Come Alive

A live photo. Cinemagraph. Moving pictures. Still motion. There are so many names for this trend in web design, identified by a hero image that seems to come alive in a subtle way.

It’s not quite a photo, but not quite a video either. The movement is often restricted to one action in the image to help grab user attention and draw them into the image. Regardless of what you call it, this trend is making an impact and popping up everywhere in web design, as shareable gifs and on social media.

Reviews / 5 Dec 2016

Never Run Out of Images Again With StockUnlimited

Worried about running out of stock image downloads before the month ends? You can eliminate that feeling forever with StockUnlimited.

StockUnlimited is a stock image service that allows subscribers to download an unlimited number of images and vectors each month. That’s what makes it different from many of the other stock image options available. Here’s a look at StockUnlimited and how you can use it for your design projects.

Layouts / 30 Nov 2016

How Does a User See Design?

There’s often a disconnect between the way a designer looks at a website or brochure or package and the way users see it. As a designer, you can appreciate trends and attention to typography and details in a way that the common user might not.

Users only know whether they understand something when they interact with it. The details of how that interaction happens or why it is pleasing are often lost. It’s a pretty harsh reality.

But there’s a nugget of wisdom in understanding that disconnect. If you think about what users are thinking, you will be a better designer. (Even if you don’t particularly like their thoughts on design.)

Inspiration / 28 Nov 2016

2016 Gift Guide for Designers and Creatives

Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Holiday shopping! Where do you start? Sometimes finding the perfect – and perfectly unusual – gift for the designer in your life can be a challenge.

We’ve found 15 great gifts for designers or the design-minded so you can check shopping off your list early this season. Prices range from stocking stuffer items to a few more expensive gifts, but nothing on this list is too extravagant.

Business / 23 Nov 2016

Thinking About Design Thinking: Is It Important?

Design thinking is the biggest buzzword in the design world since flat design. Everyone is talking about it… even non-designers. So what is design thinking? Is it important? Should you care?

Here’s the good news: design thinking is something that’s probably part of what you “just do” even if you didn’t have a name for it. Design thinking is another way to think about problem-solving. Let’s take a closer look, and delve into what it means, and why it can be useful!

Layouts / 22 Nov 2016

How to Design for Long-Form Content

Forget what you think about user attention spans. Long-form content can be a valuable part of your design strategy (and doesn’t have to be a boring block of ongoing text). Users love a good story and long-form content is a great way to create an immersive and engaging experience.

To keep users interested – and scrolling – you have to design interactions that are visually pleasing and create a consistent experience from the first glimpse to the final act. Here are a few ways to design long-form content that meets those goals with a few examples that are anything but boring.

Business / 16 Nov 2016

Design a Better Logo: 5 Key Concepts to Consider

Logo design is tough. There’s so much pressure to come up with a perfectly iconic symbol. It has to be original, fresh and interesting. And it’s probably going to be around for a while.

Before you break out in a cold sweat trying to develop the next Nike Swoosh, stop and breathe. While some of the most successful logos of all time did come with a little luck, most follow a few key concepts that you can apply to your thought process.

Take a minute, think it through and you can design a better logo using these five key concepts (with examples from the Design Shack gallery).

Reviews / 14 Nov 2016

Depositphotos Takes the Guesswork Out of Stock Photography

One of the toughest things about working with stock images is actually going through the process to buy them. Not with Depositphotos.

Depositphotos, a stock image provider, has a new flexible plan with straightforward pricing and downloads. (Each download is counted by the image, not confusing credits.) Today we’re taking a look at how the new plan works, and why this might be a great solution for your stock photography needs!