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.





Business / 23 Oct 2017

Is the Static Logo Dead?

There’s a bit of disruption happening in the world of logos. The single static logo isn’t enough to carry your brand anymore. You actually need a library of logos to meet all the needs of your brand.

This idea has been evolving for a while; just think of the variations for a website, social media and even that tiny favicon in web browsers. It can be a lot to think about. So let’s try to organize those logo thoughts.

Inspiration / 20 Oct 2017

30 Beautifully Designed Ghost Themes

Are you ready to jump into the world of web design with Ghost? This simple and powerful platform is designed for bloggers (and other websites) that are looking to create using a simple platform and structure.

The framework could be roughly compared to something such as WordPress, because of the number of options and amount of flexibility available with this system. And Ghost is gaining popularity. Publishers such as Square, Envato, NASA and Bitcoin are using it to power their websites. Today, we’ll round up 30 great themes (including free and paid options) for Ghost so you can get started in no time. And these are more than just themes that work great; we focused on themes that are beautifully designed.

Graphics / 16 Oct 2017

Design Trend: Vivid Rainbow Colors

If nothing else, 2017 has been a year of color in website design. Color trends have dominated the conversation about design, with brighter, bolder hues as a large part of the landscape.

There’s a new color trend that combines a lot of those bright options into bigger color palettes that you might now expect – rainbow color patterns. That’s right, more designers are taking a change with a lot of color and incorporating vivid rainbow, gradient colors into design projects. And it’s pretty cool!

Here’s a look at the trend and some ideas for how to use vivid color that aren’t garish.

Layouts / 11 Oct 2017

Coming Soon Landing Pages: Tips and Best Practices

What do you do when your website is under construction and you aren’t quite ready for launch?

Whether you’re generating buzz to release a new product or app, or just waiting for a new website project to be ready, a coming soon page can be the fix.

When used well, coming soon pages can help generate leads (with an email signup form) and drum up some interest for your website.

Graphics / 9 Oct 2017

Tips for Creating a Modern Monochrome Color Palette

A monochrome color scheme isn’t always the first idea that comes to mind when starting a new design project. But single-color design projects can have a lot of impact and give the opportunity to branch out and try some new techniques.

Monochromatic projects, which consist of a color palette with just one color, can be striking because they aren’t as commonly seen as projects with more color variances. This alone can make your project stand out.

Graphics / 4 Oct 2017

DPI vs. Pixels: What Do I Use?

You hear these phrases tossed around by everyone today – from amateur photographers, to the iPhone salesman, to some of the world’s most acknowledged visual creators and designers. But what do image size specs really mean? And what should you use?

Simply, it all depends on your project. Knowing what medium you are creating for and how your images will be used is key to sizing and picking the right number of pixels or DPI. Before you begin your next project, though, make sure you are familiar with all the image-quality jargon.

Business / 2 Oct 2017

5 Tips for Creating a Memorable Logo Design

A logo might be the single most important visual connection a brand makes with users. It identifies the company or organization and sets a basic tone for interactions with users.

From color to shape to words, every element in a logo design says something. (That’s why such a small element is so important to your brand.)

Logo design takes a lot of planning and thought and it is important to create a mark that represents your business and is something that users can identify and remember. It’s doubtful that you’ll develop the next Nike swoosh, but with the right approach you can create a memorable logo design.

Graphics / 28 Sep 2017

How & Why Faces Increase User Engagement

There’s a lot of science and psychology that goes into design. Even if you don’t consciously think about it, choices that you make when selecting imagery and user interface elements can establish a connection with users (or not) and even lead to higher engagement rates.

Using actual human faces in the design is one way to do this. Seeing a face can make people more likely to engage with a design because it makes the app/website/poster feel more human. It creates a more distinct emotional connection.

Here, we’re going to look at designs that use faces in different ways and how you can up user interaction with some of the same design techniques.

Graphics / 25 Sep 2017

What’s a Logo Grid, and Why Should You Use One?

So you need to design a logo. Where do you start? Shapes? Typography? A grid?

A logo grid or construction guide is a popular starting point for many designers looking to create a logo. The use of a grid system, especially for a design that might often render at extreme sizes – very large or small – can help you create something that has visual harmony, an organized aesthetic and purposeful design.

Layouts / 20 Sep 2017

Vector vs. Raster: What Do I Use?

With all of the image options and file formats out there, it can be a little overwhelming when you are choosing what file type to use (and send to clients). Compatibility is always a concern when you are working with different file types, but when it comes to graphics and images the type of computer graphic format you use is essential to how the image renders.

There are two types of digital graphics files – vector and raster. Vector images are made of hundreds of thousands of tiny lines and curves (or paths) to create an image. Raster images are composed of pixels. But how do you know what format is best for your next project?

Graphics / 18 Sep 2017

5 Tips for Designing the Perfect eBook Cover

People are going to judge your eBook by its cover. The cover is the first impression and first chance you have to hook a reader. It has to be visually appealing, include lettering that’s easy to read and entice users to download (and read) your book.

The perfect eBook cover stands out from all the other books available, communicates what the book is about and sells a benefit to readers for downloading.

That’s a pretty tall order for a design that users are likely to only see for a few seconds (if that) when deciding to make a purchase. But there are design elements you can use to help encourage downloads. Here are five tips to help you design the perfect eBook cover.

Business / 14 Sep 2017

5 Tips for Working With Squarespace as a Designer

Squarespace isn’t just for non-designers and small business owners. Regardless of your skill level, the platform can be a quick and easy way to get a site online in a hurry. The website builder is packed with tools and integrations so that everything you need is right there from the start.

But the biggest complaint from designers is that while the templates look good, there’s just not enough flexibility. You just have to dig a little deeper. Squarepsace offers options so that more advanced designers and developers can do even more with the tool.