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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.

Design Trend: We’re Still in Love With Gradients (And They Keep Evolving)

Trends / 8 Apr 2021

Design Trend: We’re Still in Love With Gradients (And They Keep Evolving)

If you are looking for a design trend that can hold up over time, consider using a gradient. Every time I seem to think this trend might be over, designers come up with new and even better ways to use color variations for immense impact.

I’m not sure this trend will ever get old because there are so many ways to use it.

Here, we’re going to look at 10 different ways to make the most of gradients with projects that do it exceptionally well. All completely varied, and all completely unique!

Seobase: A New SEO Tool to Help You in Search

Reviews / 8 Apr 2021

Seobase: A New SEO Tool to Help You in Search

Almost every website owner knows that search engine optimization is important, but they don’t all have the tools to get there.

Seobase solves that problem with the most complete free SEO platform available to track your rank, research, and analyze keywords and create reports. Everything is quick and easy to set up and you can start making reports in just a few minutes.

Here’s everything you need to know about Seobase to help figure out if it is the right tool for you.

Love, Hate & Pop-Ups: How to Use Them Well

Accessibility / 6 Apr 2021

Love, Hate & Pop-Ups: How to Use Them Well

The first response you’ll hear from others about using pop-ups on your website is a long sigh.

Many people discount the idea before it really gets off the ground, but when done well, pop-ups are a valuable conversion tool for websites. (Note the phrase “when done well.”)

They get a bad reputation because so many people use them poorly or implement pop-ups with dark patterns that trick and annoy users.

A good pop-up is actually helpful and helps users on their website journey. Let’s dive in and learn how you can still use these well.

10 Things Freelance Designers Should Not Be Doing

Freelancing / 1 Apr 2021

10 Things Freelance Designers Should Not Be Doing

Working as a freelance designer is amazingly rewarding, but also hard. After more than 10 years of working in a solo space, I’ve learned a lot of things. (Some of them the hard way.)

This post is designed to help you avoid some of the mistakes that many of us have made on your path to a strong freelance career.

We always talk about the things you should be doing. Today, we are diving into 10 things freelance designers should not be doing.

You can thank us later!

7 Tips for Establishing a Visual Brand Identity

Graphics / 29 Mar 2021

7 Tips for Establishing a Visual Brand Identity

Whether you are working on a design for a client at a major corporation or posting to your own social media account, a visual brand identity makes it easy for people to see – and know – a company or person at a glance.

Establishing a visual identity is more than popping a logo on something. It’s a collection of elements – from color to typography to imagery – that establishes who you are visually.

Plenty of companies take the time to set brand identity guidelines, but have you thought about how it all comes together visually? This set of tips can help.

SlideUpLift Can Help You Create Amazing Presentations With Ease

Reviews / 25 Mar 2021

SlideUpLift Can Help You Create Amazing Presentations With Ease

Designing a presentation can be a challenge, and no one wants to head into a meeting using the default presentation deck for slides.

You need to create presentations with impact, while keeping a professional feel. Thankfully, this is an easier balance to strike than ever before (all without any technical design knowledge).

SlideUpLift is a collection of complete editable presentation decks and individual templates that use vision science to help you tell your story in just the right way. Here’s a look at the tool.

Jumpstart Design Prototypes With Wondershare Mockitt

Software / 24 Mar 2021

Jumpstart Design Prototypes With Wondershare Mockitt

If you’ve ever wanted to build a prototype quickly, Wondershare Mockitt is the tool for you.

The new online prototyping tool is made to help you create interactive prototypes in a hurry – as little as 10 minutes – using drag and drop tools.

Here, we’ll take a look at Wondershare Mockitt and how you can make it work for you. You’ll learn how almost anyone with visual design skills can create a prototype easily, with just a few clicks!

How Do You Turn a Digital Design Into Print? 7 Useful Tips

Graphics / 22 Mar 2021

How Do You Turn a Digital Design Into Print? 7 Useful Tips

It’s probably happened more times than you’d like to think about: You finish a presentation or website design and the client asks you to make it into a brochure or poster.

Wait… what?

Turning a digital design into something for print can be a challenge for sure. But there are a few things you can do to tweak your workflows to account for this “unexpected request” and make it a little more seamless.

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

Font Collections / 19 Mar 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.)

How to Create an Invoice in Word (In 3 Simple Steps!)

Software / 18 Mar 2021

How to Create an Invoice in Word (In 3 Simple Steps!)

From small businesses to one-off needs for freelancers, Microsoft Word can be a reliable – and easy – option for creating quick invoices. Most people have it, and you can get a surprisingly well designed invoice made with relatively little effort!

You can use a template that comes with the software by default, create your own, or download a predesigned option from a marketplace such as Envato Elements. (The latter option is the easiest by far.)

Here, we’ll walk you through how to create an invoice in Word using an example template. You can download it here and follow along.

20+ Instagram Color Trends + Palettes to Stay on-Trend

Instagram Templates / 15 Mar 2021

20+ Instagram Color Trends + Palettes to Stay on-Trend

Your Instagram color scheme can say a lot about your brand and design style. A unique color scheme can help your posts and stories stand out in a cluttered Instagram feed so that more of your followers visually know when you create content.

So, what kind of color scheme should you pick? Should you be aiming for bright and bold, or subtle and understated? Wouldn’t it be great if you could see a helpful collection of different examples? Look no further.

Here, we’ve rounded up 20 trendy options. (Plus, you can download any of these templates from Envato Elements if they strike your fancy.)

How to Open, Use & Edit a Template in Microsoft Word

Software / 11 Mar 2021

How to Open, Use & Edit a Template in Microsoft Word

Templates are the super tool of regular Microsoft Word users. Templates establish a set of style rules and visual guidelines so that your documents have a unified look and feel.

Templates are a great starting point for elements such as letterhead other documents.

Here, we’ll look at how to open, edit, and use templates in Microsoft Word. The whole process is really simple, and can open up a whole new level of flexibility for how you work with Word.