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.





How to Make a Poster in PowerPoint: 10 Simple Steps
Business / 14 Nov 2018

How to Make a Poster in PowerPoint: 10 Simple Steps

In addition to creating presentations, did you know you can use PowerPoint to design other elements such as posters? Today, we’re walking you through exactly how to make a poster in PowerPoint.

While not everyone thinks about making a poster design in PowerPoint, it’s actually pretty easy—and is a viable option if you need something quickly, or don’t have other design software available. (Posters made in PowerPoint are frequently used in academic settings for assignments and event promotion on college campuses.) Today, we’re going to take you through the steps of how to make a poster in PowerPoint.

Keynote vs PowerPoint: Which Presentation App to Choose?
Software / 12 Nov 2018

Keynote vs PowerPoint: Which Presentation App to Choose?

It’s presentation time! Whether you are creating a template for your boss or prepping slides for a talk, using the right software can make the job a lot easier. We’re pitting Keynote vs. PowerPoint against one another to lay out the pros and cons of each.

For Mac users, there are two pretty obvious choices – Keynote and PowerPoint. But which do you choose? Each has its own set of benefits and costs, and they’re both great for different uses. Hopefully, we’ll be able to help you make the right choice.

10 Things Only a Designer Would Notice (And Why They Matter!)
Graphics / 7 Nov 2018

10 Things Only a Designer Would Notice (And Why They Matter!)

Don’t think your poor design choices won’t be seen. Keen graphic designers are judging your shortcuts and rolling their eyes.

Just because these are things that only a designer would notice, it doesn’t mean they aren’t important. (Do you really want all that judgement from your peers?) Here’s a list of things that make my skin crawl… Make sure you’re not guilty of these design faux pas!

8 Rules for Creating an Effective Responsive Website or App
Layouts / 5 Nov 2018

8 Rules for Creating an Effective Responsive Website or App

Users are spending a lot of time interacting with websites on mobile devices, rather than desktops. And that number seems to be growing daily. According to eMarketer, adults in the U.S. spend an average of 3 hours and 35 minutes on their phones, and the amount of time engaging on these devices is expected to pass TV viewing next year.

That has significant implications for all web designers and developers. You must be creating effective responsive websites or apps to meet this need. Today, we’re exploring eight rules to make sure you follow whenever you’re designing a responsive experience (whether for a website or an app).

Codester: Web Design at Your Fingertips
Reviews / 5 Nov 2018

Codester: Web Design at Your Fingertips

A design marketplace can be a total lifesaver. From code snippets to graphic design elements, to themes and plugins, a good marketplace has all the little tools that you need in a pinch.

Codester is a marketplace that’s packed with everything you need to keep design projects moving forward. You can buy premium PHP scripts, app templates, theme and plugins to use for website and app design. Plus, they have some pretty awesome freebies and allow designers to sell their own items.

Want to know more? Here’s a look at what Codester is all about.

SVG vs PNG vs JPG: Image Format Pros & Cons
Graphics / 1 Nov 2018

SVG vs PNG vs JPG: Image Format Pros & Cons

When it comes to creating images for the web and other digital purposes, what file formats will give you the best result? You have to think about speed versus image quality and scale. So what should you use: SVG vs PNG vs JPG?

There was a time when you just used a JPG sized to fit the space at 72 dpi and moved on. Not anymore. High-resolution screens, multiple viewports and a need to have a snappy website have made it a much more complex process. Let’s dive into the pros and cons of each of these formats!

How to Get Web Design Clients: 10 Ideas to Try Today
Business / 31 Oct 2018

How to Get Web Design Clients: 10 Ideas to Try Today

Who was it that said working as a freelance web designer was easy? While the work might not be a problem, the business of finding new web design clients is another issue. It can be tough to keep a steady number of clients coming through so that you stay busy and maintain the right income level.

It can be challenging for new and seasoned freelancers. (Everyone has experienced at least one dry spell.) So what can you do? We’re sharing ten tips for how you can get new web design clients. Today!

20+ Halloween Pumpkin Carving Ideas for Graphic Designers
Inspiration / 29 Oct 2018

20+ Halloween Pumpkin Carving Ideas for Graphic Designers

The spookiest day of the year is right around the corner. Take your Halloween pumpkin game up a notch by showing off your graphic design skills with a custom carving, and get inspired with these Halloween pumpkin ideas!

It’s not too late to find the perfect pumpkin at a local patch and spend some quality time (along or with your family) crafting a carving that no one else on your street will have. Not sure where to start? Here’s we’ve collected 20 creative Halloween pumpkin carving ideas, from simple scenes to iconic graphic design elements to a few customized spooks.

Ipapi: A Simple, Scalable IP Lookup Tool
Reviews / 25 Oct 2018

Ipapi: A Simple, Scalable IP Lookup Tool

One of the tools powering great user experience is IP location data. This information can do everything from making forms easy for users to fill out, to ensuring that the correct language is used on a website to help prevent fraud online.

It’s a tool that more and more website developers are turning to. And if you want to get all of this functionality in a single solution, ipapi could be the tool for you. Here’s a look at what it is and how it works.

Minimalist Graphic Design: 10 Examples & Tips
Inspiration / 24 Oct 2018

Minimalist Graphic Design: 10 Examples & Tips

Minimalist design is simple. But it is not boring. Just because a minimal style design often lacks some of the embellishments or color palettes or crazy typefaces in other projects, doesn’t mean it isn’t great to look at. In fact, designs featuring minimalism can be some of the most beautiful and usable websites around.

And even though minimalism is a design style of itself, what types of elements show up in these projects and how they are used tend to change over time. You might call them minimalism trends. Here’s a look at 10 tips for creating a modern minimalist graphic design with examples.

How Much Does a Website Design Cost? (+ How to Think About Pricing)
Business / 22 Oct 2018

How Much Does a Website Design Cost? (+ How to Think About Pricing)

It might be the most controversial question in the design business: how much does a website cost? I’ve had clients drop their jaws, balk and practically stomp their feet upon getting an estimate for website work. I’ve had other that couldn’t believe the deal they were getting. So what gives?

The price of a website design is a moving target and depends on a lot of factors. Here’s we’ll look at costs to think about if you are in the market for a new website design, and ways to think about pricing if you’ve been asked to quote a project.

Top 5 Graphic Design Trends of 2018 (+ a Preview of 2019)
Trends / 17 Oct 2018

Top 5 Graphic Design Trends of 2018 (+ a Preview of 2019)

What’s hot in graphic design? One of the things people always want to talk to me about is graphic design trends. Here’s a recap of the top graphic design trends of 2018, plus a little preview of what’s likely on the horizon for 2019.

It’s such an interesting topic because there are trends that change slowly over time – just look at the long evolution of flat design to where we are now – and others that seem to flip overnight. Should you always rush to use the latest graphic design trends in your work? Of course not. But it’s helpful to pick up new ideas, find inspiration, and see what types of techniques and styles are shaping your industry.