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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.

Fractal Art: A 101 Design Intro

Trends / 21 Jan 2021

Fractal Art: A 101 Design Intro

Art elements rooted in math and algorithms might seem like a futuristic idea, but it’s a growing and popular concept.

Fractal art has been around since the 1980s but it seems to be having a moment with more designers looking to this style for backgrounds and main art elements. Another reason for the growth in popularity? Use of this style as an interior design element for wall hangings and more.

This can be a fun design element to think about and incorporate into projects. Here’s everything you need to know to get started with fractal art.

5 Tips for Working With Design Influencers (Or Becoming One!)

Business / 17 Jan 2021

5 Tips for Working With Design Influencers (Or Becoming One!)

Who do you look to on social media when you need extra design inspiration? Those are the people that you see as design influencers.

Have you ever thought about working with designers, illustrators, and photographers with a strong social media presence (or becoming one yourself)?

There are things you can start doing online now that will make it easier to work with influencers and show that your accounts are on trend in the design space.

Here are a few tips, plus a tool for helping you get started.

9 Tips for a Successful Design Retrospective

Business / 14 Jan 2021

9 Tips for a Successful Design Retrospective

Sometimes the best way to inspire a creative team is by looking back at projects. A design retrospective can help you evaluate projects upon completion, look back at workflows and results, and take lessons learned to future work.

Too often there’s a negative association with a design retrospective, while constructive criticism should be welcome, there should also be plenty of opportunities to highlight wins, big and small, from a project.

Here, we’re going to look at tips for making your design retrospectives more successful. You want them to be a welcome experience.

10+ Best Free Portfolio Website Tools & Templates in 2021

Software / 13 Jan 2021

10+ Best Free Portfolio Website Tools & Templates in 2021

Do you need a portfolio website right now? There are a variety of online tools and templates that can help jumpstart the process so you can feature your work online quickly.

This list is packed with options that provide free plans to help you get started. (Note that many do also offer paid options with the ability to customize or add premium features.)

Here are a few tools that can help writers, designers, photographers, artists, or pretty much anyone get their portfolio online this week.

How to Design With User Privacy in Mind (Tips and Best Practices)

UX Design / 7 Jan 2021

How to Design With User Privacy in Mind (Tips and Best Practices)

When it comes to UX, how often do you connect it to privacy?

It’s a big part of the design process. From connected apps to e-commerce to forms, data collection is happening all the time. Users are accustomed to it and generally ok with these practices unless something goes wrong.

It’s your job to include privacy checkpoints and best practices in the design architecture of every website project. Not only will these protections help users, but they can help you feel better about the digital products and services you provide.

20+ New Year’s Resolutions for Designers in 2021

Inspiration / 4 Jan 2021

20+ New Year’s Resolutions for Designers in 2021

Happy New Year! Today, we’ve got a nifty guide to resolutions that are specifically for designers. What changes do you hope to make in 2021?

Did you know that people have been making resolutions to improve themselves and their lives since the time of ancient Babylonians? I’ll admit to making a few of these myself… now if I could only manage to keep them all year!

Good luck with your resolutions and have a wonderful New Year.

20+ Typography Trends for 2021

Font Collections / 31 Dec 2020

20+ Typography Trends for 2021

Want to give your design a quick facelift? Using new and interesting typography trends might be the answer. Designers are opting for less elaborate typefaces and pairing them with bold color, cutouts, gradients, and even customizations to create lettering that stands out.

Changing typefaces or recreating an image or header in a trending style can give a design a fresh look without a full-scale overhaul. Not sure where to start? This list features typography trends with examples to use as inspiration for how to use them.

Here’s a look at the top typography trends for 2021.

15+ Key Logo Design Trends of 2021

How to Design a Logo / 29 Dec 2020

15+ Key Logo Design Trends of 2021

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 theme in logo design is to create something simple and distinctive. 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 2021, 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!)

20+ Portfolio Design Trends in 2021

Trends / 24 Dec 2020

20+ Portfolio Design Trends in 2021

When was the last time you updated your design portfolio? (If you’re like me, it’s probably been a while.) Maintaining a fresh portfolio is a good way to show off your skills to potential clients and can be helpful when looking back on work for annual contest entries.

If you’ve fallen behind with your portfolio design, or just need a new portfolio in general, this is a great opportunity to create something using trendy techniques and visuals.

A modern portfolio using design trends can make a great impression. A portfolio is also a representation of your skills — so design wisely! Here’s a look at some of our favorite portfolio design trends for 2021.

15+ Background Design Trends & Styles for 2021

Background Textures / 22 Dec 2020

15+ Background Design Trends & Styles for 2021

One of the most important early design decisions you will make is what kind of background will carry a project. Should it be a single color, colorless, use trendy elements such as geometric shapes, gradients or wood grain patterns? Or would a solid background design can help make a project shine?

Staying on trend with background design styles is important as well. A trendy background choice shows that a website design is modern and the content is new. A modern visual framework can even signal a user that you are thinking about their needs and making the most of the tools that will make their experience better.

So how do you do it? Here’s a look at background design trends and styles for 2021, with a few great options to try.

8 Trends for Pairing Fonts in 2021

Font Collections / 21 Dec 2020

8 Trends for Pairing Fonts in 2021

Trends in typography seem to evolve more quickly than many other design trends. For a long time, website designers stuck to font palettes packed with sans serif typefaces. But that feels like ancient history now!

Today’s range and variety of web fonts make for much more interesting design possibilities, font pairings, and visual themes.

We’re taking a look at eight trends for pairing fonts with a beautiful example of each, covering a wide range of font families and aesthetics.

Icon Design in 2021: The Key Trends

Trends / 17 Dec 2020

Icon Design in 2021: The Key Trends

Icons might be one of the most important – and underrated – examples of design in your portfolio. Here’s a look at icon design with some inspiring examples.

Icon elements are shown almost everywhere, but sometimes get produced as an afterthought. That shouldn’t be the case. Great icon design can be distinctive and add finesse and flair to a project.

Let’s take a look at what’s new, and what’s hot in icon design in 2021!