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  2. Carrie Cousins

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.

Procreate vs. Photoshop: Should You Make the Switch?

Procreate Brushes / 2 Jul 2020

Procreate vs. Photoshop: Should You Make the Switch?

Designers are in love with Procreate. The app built for creative professionals makes designing on an iPad easier and more efficient in a completely new way. But can a $9.99 app be a realistic Photoshop competitor?

For some, the answer is a definite yes.

Here are five reasons Procreate could become your go-to design app (and five reasons why it might not). Plus, an introduction to what Procreate is, and why it might be the perfect app for you.

8+ Web Design Myths Busted: Old Ideas & Modern Best Practices

Trends / 1 Jul 2020

8+ Web Design Myths Busted: Old Ideas & Modern Best Practices

There are a few ideas about website design that seem to never fade away, even though they are not so true anymore. Some concepts haven’t stood the test of time, and it’s time to revisit whether we should be adopting them anymore.

Do people love sliders? Does simplicity = minimal design? Do you really need to include every page of your site in the navigation? There’s quite a bit to unpack!

Here, we’re going to look at a few web design myths and share modern best practices so you don’t fall into any of these old-school traps.

SEO for Designers: A 101 Primer

Business / 29 Jun 2020

SEO for Designers: A 101 Primer

Most designers don’t consider search when it comes to building a website. That’s a mistake. Optimizing for search is just as important as information architecture and should be part of the product design from start to finish.

This is true both for your own knowledge that the project stands the greatest chance of commercial success, and for your client too!

Whether you are starting a new project or redesigning your portfolio, working with search engine optimization in mind from the start is a smart idea.

Here, we’ll look at some of the most basic SEO tips to help you get started on the right path.

The Golden Ratio in Design: Examples & Tips

Layouts / 24 Jun 2020

The Golden Ratio in Design: Examples & Tips

This might feel like a math lesson but hang in there. The golden ratio combines a little bit of math, a little bit of nature, and a lot of practical application for designers. Let’s take a look at what the golden ratio means for design, and a few tips for using it in your design projects.

The golden ratio has been used throughout history to create design elements that have an ideal visual appeal. Because the shape is rooted in nature and mathematics, it’s the perfect combination of balance and harmony. And it’s a superb tool to have up your sleeve as a designer.

Design Trend: Geo Shapes & Patterns (With Animation)

Trends / 24 Jun 2020

Design Trend: Geo Shapes & Patterns (With Animation)

Stylish geometry is a design trend that keeps coming back around. This time the new twist is that shapes and design elements include touches of animation to bring shapes and patterns to life. It’s easier than ever to implement animation on the web, in a simple and widely-supported way.

It’s also a nifty little design technique that can add visual interest to almost anything and works for all types of elements, from logos or icons to backgrounds to hero images.

Let’s take a look at this website design trend in action.

How (And Why) to Design for Local Businesses

Business / 22 Jun 2020

How (And Why) to Design for Local Businesses

Designing for a local business can be one of the most rewarding projects that you take on. When done well, you create a relationship with someone in your community that helps them grown and succeed.

Whether you’re creating a website or designing menus or flyers, working with a small business can stretch your creative muscles but it will make you think about the process a little different. Small businesses can be quite different than some of your bigger clients. They have a lot more on the line when it comes to design services and return on investment, they may have more questions, and they need to know how design can help them grow.

When you take a small business client, your approach to design will likely be a little different. Here’s how to think about it.

15 Procreate Tutorials (For Drawing, Lettering, Sketching + More)

Procreate Brushes / 17 Jun 2020

15 Procreate Tutorials (For Drawing, Lettering, Sketching + More)

Procreate is one of the hottest drawing apps on the market. It’s a robust tool that you can use for fun, personal projects as well as professional and client work on your iPad.

With a tool that has so much functionality, it can be a little overwhelming to think about it all. Working through tutorials can help, so we’ve collected 15 for Procreate to help you get started. These cover off all different levels of knowledge, and help you learn how to draw, letter, sketch and more in Procreate. Grab your iPad, pencil, and dive into some creative work!

And the best part is that every one is free.

Split Screen Web Design: The Trend That Keeps Growing

Trends / 15 Jun 2020

Split Screen Web Design: The Trend That Keeps Growing

Website design with a split-screen aesthetic is a trend that keeps evolving and growing. A split-screen design can be good for a number of reasons, including mobile compatibility and user-friendliness. Plus, many of these designs just look great!

Shifts in the trend show that there are so many different ways to create an effective split screen design that users will love. Consider this your introduction to split-screen design in the new and improved era!

20+ Stunning Photoshop Photo Effect Tutorials

Photoshop Actions / 8 Jun 2020

20+ Stunning Photoshop Photo Effect Tutorials

Working with Photoshop effects can be one of the most fun things you can do to transform images for design projects. From simple edits to major changes, effects can make all the difference. These Photoshop photo effect tutorials will help you learn, while also creating something stunning.

Many tasks in Photoshop, though, are a multi-step process that takes some work until you get used to it. You can create effects step-by-step on your own, or jumpstart the process using a Photoshop action or preset.

Working through tutorials can help, so here we’ve collected 20 photo effect options to help you get started.

Upgrade Your WordPress Website With Kinsta

Reviews / 3 Jun 2020

Upgrade Your WordPress Website With Kinsta

If you are running a website on WordPress, then you likely understand the value of managed WordPress hosting. Managed hosting helps keep your site up and running smoothly, often comes with backups, core and plugin updates, and monitoring security.

That’s a pretty expansive package that helps provide website peace of mind.

And you can get it all with Kinsta, a cutting-edge managed WordPress hosting provider with everything you need to take care of your website. (We trust it so much that we’re running this website on Kinsta.)

How to Edit a PowerPoint Template: A Quick Start Guide

PowerPoint Templates / 3 Jun 2020

How to Edit a PowerPoint Template: A Quick Start Guide

Whether you’re starting from scratch and building a custom template, or have a PowerPoint template you’ve downloaded and want to customize, knowing how to edit a PowerPoint template is a great skill to have in your kit.

We’re going to walk you through editing a PowerPoint template step-by-step, explaining all the PowerPoint terminology along the way!

If you like the presentation template we are using here—Creativa—you can get it from Envato Elements. It’s a great multi-purpose template that’s great for all types of presentations.

How to Add Text to a Video Online: 7 Tips & Tricks

Graphics / 3 Jun 2020

How to Add Text to a Video Online: 7 Tips & Tricks

Everywhere you look in web design, the hero image seems to be replaced with a hero video. And many of these videos include some type of text elements to provide additional information that draws you into the design.

When done right, the result can be rather stunning. When done wrong, video and text elements fall short of conveying a proper message.

Here, we’re going to look at how to ensure your video and text combinations are understandable, readable, and functional in your next design project.

Let’s dive into our assessment of how to add text to a video online, and the rules you should aim to follow as you do so!