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.





gift-guide
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.

design-thinking
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!

long-form-content
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.

better-logo-design
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).

depositphotos
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!

bitcatcha
Reviews / 9 Nov 2016

Is Your Website Up to Speed? Bitcatcha Can Help

We talk a lot of about design, development and user interfaces and experience and how they contribute to a successful website. These are all givens for designers and developers. We know an interface that looks nice and is highly usable will be popular among users.

But did you know that something such as server speed is just as important? No matter how great your website looks, if it is slow to load, users will turn away. That’s why a tool like Bitcatcha is so important. The server speed checker can help you see if you have hidden issues that you need to address.

copy-writing
Business / 7 Nov 2016

Content Strategy & Web Design: Connecting the Dots

What comes first? The chicken or the egg? The website or the content? Developing a cohesive content strategy during the web design process can present quite the conundrum.

Designers want content to start work on the design, while many copywriters want a preview of the visuals to develop content. So how do you come to a resolution? With a solid content strategy that involves the whole team.

photos-and-illustrations
Graphics / 2 Nov 2016

5 Tips for Mixing Photos & Illustrations in a Single Design

Ready to take a design risk? Try mixing photos and illustrations in the same design project. A hand drawn element can add whimsy and interest to a design that includes photography. Conversely, a photo can make a more lighthearted illustrated design seem more real or important.

This technique can be a little difficult to imagine until you see a few examples of how it can work beautifully. Today’s we’re looking at this trend and providing tips and examples to help you develop creative ways to come up with a design of your own.

display-typeface
Graphics / 31 Oct 2016

Choosing the Right Display Typeface: 5 Tips for Success

One of the biggest trends in web design is a large hero image or video at the top of a page with a few words to guide users into the site. This kind of aesthetic puts a lot of pressure on the designer to come up with just the right display typeface to pull the design together.

With so many typefaces to choose from, this can be a bit of a daunting task. But you can find a great typeface with a little planning and luck. Here are five tips to get started with a few beautiful examples of display typography.

skillshare
Business / 25 Oct 2016

Get 3 Months of Skillshare Learning for $0.99

Keeping up with technology and maintaining your design skills has never been more important. From learning how to make the most of software and tools to learning how to create a watch app, there are plenty of opportunities for any designer, developer or freelancer to take advantage of on the path to success.

And right now Design Shack wants to help you better your skills. Right now, all Design Shack readers can take advantage of a stellar deal – 3 months of Skillshare for just $0.99! You can cram in all the training you want for less than the cost of the sugar in your coffee. Here’s a look at what you can do with Skillshare.

color-overlay
Graphics / 24 Oct 2016

How to Make Color Overlays Work in Your Design

Color is an important part of almost any design. Whether you are a fan of bright, bold hues or prefer a more minimalist black and white, how you use color can have a great impact on the overall design.

One way to use color to make a statement is with a design that incorporates a color overlay. This means that you cover an image or video with a semi-transparent colored box. The effect can add meaning to an image, bring attention to a design and help you make most of limited art choices.

Today, we’re going to look at a variety of color overlays to serve as a bit of inspiration for creating your own.

emotive-ui
Graphics / 19 Oct 2016

A Beginner’s Guide to Emotive UI

We talk about designing something that connects to a user emotionally. That connection can be a key component in establishing trust and relatability. It’s a lot harder than it sounds. There are so many things to consider. Emotions are broad, complicated, and often very difficult to influence or change.

That’s what we will think about today. What is emotive (or emotional) UI? How can you create a user interface that actually evokes that emotional connection? And is that something that you should consider more carefully in your next design project?