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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.

The 8 Best Photoshop Alternatives for Windows (2021)

Software / 24 Nov 2020

The 8 Best Photoshop Alternatives for Windows (2021)

Looking for a faster and better alternative to Adobe Photoshop? While Photoshop has been a standard for years, that’s starting to change with plenty of new tools for Windows that make easy work of photo editing. Many of these new tools include smart functions that will speed up workflows.

The best Photoshop alternatives pack in just the features you need without a lot of fluff you won’t use. Here’s a list of the best Photoshop alternatives for Windows in 2021.

Take note of special features to find the one that’s right for you.

Best Data Recovery Software for 2021: 7 Top Picks

Reviews / 24 Nov 2020

Best Data Recovery Software for 2021: 7 Top Picks

It’s inevitable: At some point you will lose a project due to a crash, virus, or by accident.

But you can be ready to recover information and data quickly with the right data recovery software. There are a plethora of tools on the market – some paid, some free – that can help you bet lost files back.

Here, we’re going to look at 7 of the best options so you have one of these tools at the ready when you need it. Perfect for designers, developers, or anyone who wants to have a magic tool up their sleeve when the worst happens!

15+ Top Graphic Design Trends for 2021

Trends / 23 Nov 2020

15+ Top Graphic Design Trends for 2021

What’s hot in graphic design? One of the things people always want to talk to me about is graphic design trends. Here’s preview of what’s going to be hot in 2021.

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 our industry.

What Is Modern Web Design in 2021? 20 Stunning Examples

Inspiration / 19 Nov 2020

What Is Modern Web Design in 2021? 20 Stunning Examples

What are the characteristics of a modern website design? It’s a pretty common question.

From clients asking at the start of web projects to designers trying to figure out how to incorporate the newest and trendy elements, figuring out what modern web design looks like is one of our greatest challenges.

The reality is that it is easy to say what modern web design is not. You know an outdated design when you see it for sure. Here, we’ve collected 20 examples of modern web designs to help shape a better idea of what it looks like.

30+ Inspiring Personal Portfolio Websites in 2021

Inspiration / 17 Nov 2020

30+ Inspiring Personal Portfolio Websites in 2021

I just love digging around portfolio websites for design inspiration. You can learn so much about the personality of a designer from the way a portfolio looks, and the interactions therein.

A portfolio site is also a great playground because it gives you the creative freedom you can’t always express with a normal client project.

Here, we have a roundup of personal portfolio websites that can impart a dose of instant inspiration. Explore new ideas, design trends, and themes that you can take and use in your own projects.

15 Photography Trends in 2021

Trends / 17 Nov 2020

15 Photography Trends in 2021

Photography trends can be a major influence on how print and digital designs come together. From filters to styles to photo angles that are trending, this part of the visual aesthetic can greatly impact how a project comes together.

Photography trends are dictated by a few things: Visual style of photographers, techniques that are gaining popularity in projects, the ability for images to work with other design elements, and even things such as social media filters.

The same photography trends that you might see in stock images (which we use as examples here) parallels to custom photos as well. Understanding photography trends is important for any designer because you’ll want to discuss photo options (and looks) before you begin a photoshoot for any design project to ensure that your visions are on the same page.

15+ Video Marketing Trends for 2021

Trends / 16 Nov 2020

15+ Video Marketing Trends for 2021

Almost every marketing prediction, resource, or how-to guide for 2021 includes the same advice: video needs to be part of your strategy. But what type of video marketing is most important right now?

From super-short (micro) video clips, to live video on social media, to full-production ads and stories, we’re going to look at some of the top video marketing trends for the year and how you can incorporate them into your design and marketing plans.

And here’s why it matters, since 2019 the average user has jumped from watching 84 minutes of website video content per day to a projected more than 100 minutes per day this year.

Let’s dive in, and embrace video as the new marketing channel you need to get right!

10 Best Free Stock Video Sites in 2021

Freebies / 10 Nov 2020

10 Best Free Stock Video Sites in 2021

Need video? From moving images for your own website, to b-roll for clients, having a solid place to find quality stock videos is a must. Today, we’re going to help you “stock” your toolkit with ten places to find amazing, free stock video for a variety of projects.

We are giving you basic information about using stock videos from each vendor; make sure to check specific license agreements before using any stock image or video. These can vary quite a bit, and it’s worth making sure that any video use is a good fit for your project license-wise!

Brochure Design Ideas & Inspiration for 2021

Brochure Templates / 10 Nov 2020

Brochure Design Ideas & Inspiration for 2021

Almost every designer has created a brochure at some point. And there’s a strong possibility you’ll be asked to design another! Whether it’s for a client or to promote your own business, there’s an art to designing a brochure.

And then there’s an added challenge: brochure design isn’t just for print anymore. Digital brochures are just as popular as the hard-copy versions. It’s quite common for clients to request a printed brochure with a digital shareable file of the same design.

Don’t sweat this design challenge though. We’ve put together some classic and modern tips so you can create a brochure design that looks great, and is easy to read.

15+ Web Design Trends to Watch in 2021

Trends / 9 Nov 2020

15+ Web Design Trends to Watch in 2021

The average life of a website is three years. And design elements – such as color and typography – often get updated more frequently than that. That’s why it is so important to keep up with web design trends.

Doing this allows you to make small tweaks to your design today so that it won’t be out of date tomorrow. This guide will help you create an on-point design plan for 2021!

Prototype Faster & Easier With Justinmind 9

Reviews / 6 Nov 2020

Prototype Faster & Easier With Justinmind 9

Justinmind 9 is revamped and ready to help you create website and app prototypes faster. The new release is packed with features that will make work life easier. (And that’s something we could all use right now.)

Here’s a look at Justinmind 9 and all the features you’ll find with this tool.

Whether you’re looking to take your UX design to the next level, save time with the array of tools you use, or start building fully interactive prototypes, Justinmind is a tool very much worth considering.

How to Be a Freelance Graphic Designer in 2021: A 10 Step Plan

Business / 5 Nov 2020

How to Be a Freelance Graphic Designer in 2021: A 10 Step Plan

Do you have dreams of ditching your day job and becoming a full-time freelance graphic designer? Start putting your plan in motion.

Most freelancers start with graphic design as a side hustle, but with determination, business planning, and a solid work ethic, you can build as much business as you want to create a sustainable career.

Here are 10 steps to help you get started.

Trust me, I’ve tested them all in my decade as a freelancer!