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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.

25 Clever and Funny Christmas Print Ads

Graphics / 12 Dec 2018

25 Clever and Funny Christmas Print Ads

Christmas is nigh upon us. You’re likely rushing around like a crazy person this week trying to get all your work done, finish up your shopping, preparing to travel, etc. Let’s take a minute to slow down and absorb some solid Christmas-themed design inspiration.

In this post, we’ll take a look at over twenty-five clever and/or funny Christmas ads. Some will make you laugh, others might earn an approving nod or even a roll of the eyes. All are definitely worth a look and are sure to get your brain in a creative mode.

Icon Design in 2019: The Key Trends

Trends / 10 Dec 2018

Icon Design in 2019: The Key Trends

Icons might be one of the most important – and underrated – examples of design in your portfolio. Here’s a look at icon design in 2019, plus some great examples of inspiring icons and design work.

Icon elements are shown almost everywhere, but sometimes get produced as an afterthought. That shouldn’t be the case. A great icon design can be distinctive and add finesse and flair to a project.

Let’s take a look at what’s new, and what’s hot in icon design in 2019!

10 Typography Trends for 2019

Trends / 5 Dec 2018

10 Typography Trends for 2019

Want to give your design a quick facelift? Using new and interesting typography trends might be the answer. Designers are opting for less elaborate typefaces and pairing them with bold color, cutouts, gradients, and even customizations to create lettering that stands out.

Changing typefaces or recreating an image or header in a trending style can give a design a fresh look without a full-scale overhaul. Not sure where to start? This list features eight of the biggest typography trends of the year with examples to use as inspiration for how to use them.

Here’s a look at the top typography trends for 2019.

25+ Christmas Desktop Backgrounds & Wallpapers

Inspiration / 3 Dec 2018

25+ Christmas Desktop Backgrounds & Wallpapers

Decorating for the holidays can include more than putting up a tree and adding tinsel. Decorating can extend to the digital space as well with great Christmas desktop backgrounds and wallpapers.

We’ve collected dozens of great Christmas desktop backgrounds, so you can change your screen every day during the holiday season if you like. While many of these desktop backgrounds and wallpapers are free, others can be found using stock image services or graphic design asset tools or marketplaces. Happy holidays!

The 2019 Christmas & Holiday Gift List for Designers

Inspiration / 28 Nov 2018

The 2019 Christmas & Holiday Gift List for Designers

The countdown is on. There are just weeks, days even, remaining until the holiday. We all know that designers can be tough to shop for, so our gift list should be a life-saver!

We’ve collected a list of super cool gift ideas for designers, to help you be the perfect secret (or not-so-secret) Santa this holiday season.

We’ve got you covered with everything from 3D printing pens to metallic artwork!

Find something unique and different for the person close to you, with these wonderful gift ideas.

Christmas Graphic Design: 5 Tips for Classy Festive Design

Graphics / 26 Nov 2018

Christmas Graphic Design: 5 Tips for Classy Festive Design

From holiday cards to party invitations, to sales promotions, to baubles on a website design. It’s time to start thinking about ways to spruce up your graphic designs for the Christmas season!

The trick is creating something that looks classy and festive, not gaudy and overdone. You want Christmas to be threaded through your design, not being garishly overwhelming!

Here are five tips to get you on your way with ideas to get you thinking about Christmas graphic design projects with some downloadable elements you can make your own.

10 Tools & Apps for Testing Your Responsive Design

Mobile / 21 Nov 2018

10 Tools & Apps for Testing Your Responsive Design

It’s never been more important to ensure your design is ready for every type of user—and device—before launch. While it can be tough to physically test on every device, there are some tools and apps to help you replicate a variety of responsive scenarios.

With free and premium tool options, there’s no reason not to test your responsive design before deployment. Just make sure to use that information to many necessary design adjustments! Today we’re running you through a selection of tools for testing a responsive design.

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? Should you always stick with one, or use different apps for different presentations?

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.