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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.

What Is Universal Design? Everything You Need to Know

Business / 23 Sep 2021

What Is Universal Design? Everything You Need to Know

Universal Design is not new, but the conversations around it are reinvigorated in an effort to create more accessible and equitable design projects.

The concept isn’t specific to websites or printed creative work, it extends to every field of design.

Universal design is rooted in a set of core principles that – when used as a foundation for creative work – can help you design in a way that helps minimize the need for assistive technology and makes products more usable by everyone, not just people with disabilities.

What Is a Web Design Proposal? (And How to Write One)

Business / 22 Sep 2021

What Is a Web Design Proposal? (And How to Write One)

The most successful design projects often start with a successful business foundation. Whether you work on an agency team with other creatives or are a freelancer trying to sell your own products and services a solid web design proposal can help you win clients and set expectations for work.

Here’s everything you need to know about creating a web design proposal that will help you land new clients. We’ll discuss what a web design proposal is, how to write one, and share some helpful templates to get you started fast.

The Design Anatomy of a Good Icon: 10 Tips

Graphics / 20 Sep 2021

The Design Anatomy of a Good Icon: 10 Tips

An icon is a picture, image, or representation of another thing. So if you are looking to create a great icon, it needs to have a visual presence that’s understandable.

There’s more to designing a great icon than just a quick visual element. You have to think about shape, color, usage, and even what device or operating system it might appear on.

Here, we have 10 tips to help you make the most of icon design.

What Is a Font License? (And Do I Need One?)

Font Collections / 8 Sep 2021

What Is a Font License? (And Do I Need One?)

Almost every design project you encounter will include type of some kind. And it’s very likely that that type will start as a font on a computer, unless you create it yourself. With using specific computer fonts, come some very specific rules regarding their use, which can vary by project.

So what is a font license? Do you need one? And where can you find the tools and resources you need to make sure you are using fonts properly?

Lucky for you, we have a primer. (And the images in this post include fonts that you can license to use in your projects.)

Breaking Down the Costs of a New Website: Tips & Rules

Business / 7 Sep 2021

Breaking Down the Costs of a New Website: Tips & Rules

It’s a common question: What does a new website cost?

It might be for a new brand or company that’s never had a website before or for an existing organization looking for a website design refresh. And the answer is a bit complicated.

It all depends on the path you want to take and your timeline for getting a new website online. Here, we’re going to break down the options available to you and the costs associated with a new website.

Plus, a few tips and rules to follow as you begin the process.

Pitch Deck Design: 10 Tips to Stand Out

PowerPoint Templates / 3 Sep 2021

Pitch Deck Design: 10 Tips to Stand Out

A good pitch deck is designed for specifically one thing – to help your startup get funding from investors. But how do you stand out from the crowd, and make a memorable impression?

There’s a delicate balance to creating a deck with just enough slides to entice potential funders, without providing so much information that they are overwhelmed.

Most pitch decks contain less than 20 slides. So how do you create a pitch deck design that stands out? Here are our ten tips to help you get started.

Everything You Need to Know About Design Tokens

UX Design / 2 Sep 2021

Everything You Need to Know About Design Tokens

Design tokens are a way to easily identify and understand the elements in a design system. As more designers and companies adopt use of design tokens, their value will continue to grow.

The key to design tokens is that they facilitate cross-disciplinary collaboration. More people on a team can understand and use design values without specificity, but with accuracy. They’ve already been adopted by design giants such as Adobe.

Here’s everything you need to know about design tokens.

Get All the Design Assets You Need From Creative Fabrica

Reviews / 2 Sep 2021

Get All the Design Assets You Need From Creative Fabrica

Almost every designer is on the lookout for tools and resources that can make work quicker and easier. A solid fonts and graphics library platform can be just that resource.

Creative Fabrica is packed with design tools for designers, crafters, and more. Whether you’re a crafter, a hobbyist, or a professional designer, there’s something that’s worth taking a look at.

Here, we’re going to take a closer look at the platform and how you can use it in your daily routine, all while building up your library of graphics, assets, and more.

Design Trend: Frosted Glass Effect in Web Design

Trends / 30 Aug 2021

Design Trend: Frosted Glass Effect in Web Design

With just the right combination of blur and transparency, you’ve got one of the hottest trends in website and app design – the frosted glass effect.

It is a design technique that uses a gaussian blur, shadows, and transparency to create an element that mimics looking through real-life frosted glass.

Let’s dive into seven different ways to use this design trend.

And, if you need more inspiration, it’s no surprise to know that Dribbble is packed with frosted glass design ideas!

10 Tips for Working With Bold Colors in Web Design

Graphics / 26 Aug 2021

10 Tips for Working With Bold Colors in Web Design

Designing with bold color is a lot of fun.

It’s also a little dangerous.

Bold color choices can evoke emotion, draw attention, and create just the right vibe for a design. On the other hand, bold color can feel frenzied or off balance. Users are instantly drawn into color or turned off by it.

Here’s a look at a few ways to use bold color in web design. We’ll walk through how to bring personality and vivid style into your projects, while keeping a sense of balance and accessibility that makes the site easy to use.

How to Balance “Good Design” vs. a Functional Website

Graphics / 23 Aug 2021

How to Balance “Good Design” vs. a Functional Website

It’s the chicken and egg debate of website design: What comes first “good design” or functional design?

Both answers are right… and wrong.

Unlike much of what we share on Design Shack, this is more of a personal essay on the benefits of each type of thinking and why I’ll design with function over “good design” almost any day of the week.

And I’ll back up my thinking with some examples that have made a difference for real-life projects.

7 Reasons You Need to Be Using Landing Pages

Layouts / 19 Aug 2021

7 Reasons You Need to Be Using Landing Pages

You’ve come across them everywhere: Landing pages that take you to a website but aren’t the homepage.

It’s a great strategy that helps get visitors directly to the information they want to see from a marketing source – social media, advertising, etc. – and is generally designed for a specific goal.

If using landing pages isn’t already part of your website strategy, it’s time to consider them. Here, we’ll look at seven reasons you need to be using landing pages to help drive the right kind of conversions on your website.