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.





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.

SVG vs PNG vs JPG: Image Format Pros & Cons
Graphics / 1 Nov 2018

SVG vs PNG vs JPG: Image Format Pros & Cons

When it comes to creating images for the web and other digital purposes, what file formats will give you the best result? You have to think about speed versus image quality and scale. So what should you use: SVG vs PNG vs JPG?

There was a time when you just used a JPG sized to fit the space at 72 dpi and moved on. Not anymore. High-resolution screens, multiple viewports and a need to have a snappy website have made it a much more complex process. Let’s dive into the pros and cons of each of these formats!

How to Get Web Design Clients: 10 Ideas to Try Today
Business / 31 Oct 2018

How to Get Web Design Clients: 10 Ideas to Try Today

Who was it that said working as a freelance web designer was easy? While the work might not be a problem, the business of finding new web design clients is another issue. It can be tough to keep a steady number of clients coming through so that you stay busy and maintain the right income level.

It can be challenging for new and seasoned freelancers. (Everyone has experienced at least one dry spell.) So what can you do? We’re sharing ten tips for how you can get new web design clients. Today!

20+ Halloween Pumpkin Carving Ideas for Graphic Designers
Inspiration / 29 Oct 2018

20+ Halloween Pumpkin Carving Ideas for Graphic Designers

The spookiest day of the year is right around the corner. Take your Halloween pumpkin game up a notch by showing off your graphic design skills with a custom carving, and get inspired with these Halloween pumpkin ideas!

It’s not too late to find the perfect pumpkin at a local patch and spend some quality time (along or with your family) crafting a carving that no one else on your street will have. Not sure where to start? Here’s we’ve collected 20 creative Halloween pumpkin carving ideas, from simple scenes to iconic graphic design elements to a few customized spooks.

Ipapi: A Simple, Scalable IP Lookup Tool
Reviews / 25 Oct 2018

Ipapi: A Simple, Scalable IP Lookup Tool

One of the tools powering great user experience is IP location data. This information can do everything from making forms easy for users to fill out, to ensuring that the correct language is used on a website to help prevent fraud online.

It’s a tool that more and more website developers are turning to. And if you want to get all of this functionality in a single solution, ipapi could be the tool for you. Here’s a look at what it is and how it works.

Minimalist Graphic Design: 10 Examples & Tips
Inspiration / 24 Oct 2018

Minimalist Graphic Design: 10 Examples & Tips

Minimalist design is simple. But it is not boring. Just because a minimal style design often lacks some of the embellishments or color palettes or crazy typefaces in other projects, doesn’t mean it isn’t great to look at. In fact, designs featuring minimalism can be some of the most beautiful and usable websites around.

And even though minimalism is a design style of itself, what types of elements show up in these projects and how they are used tend to change over time. You might call them minimalism trends. Here’s a look at 10 tips for creating a modern minimalist graphic design with examples.

How Much Does a Website Design Cost? (+ How to Think About Pricing)
Business / 22 Oct 2018

How Much Does a Website Design Cost? (+ How to Think About Pricing)

It might be the most controversial question in the design business: how much does a website cost? I’ve had clients drop their jaws, balk and practically stomp their feet upon getting an estimate for website work. I’ve had other that couldn’t believe the deal they were getting. So what gives?

The price of a website design is a moving target and depends on a lot of factors. Here’s we’ll look at costs to think about if you are in the market for a new website design, and ways to think about pricing if you’ve been asked to quote a project.

Top 5 Graphic Design Trends of 2018 (+ a Preview of 2019)
Trends / 17 Oct 2018

Top 5 Graphic Design Trends of 2018 (+ a Preview of 2019)

What’s hot in graphic design? One of the things people always want to talk to me about is graphic design trends. Here’s a recap of the top graphic design trends of 2018, plus a little preview of what’s likely on the horizon for 2019.

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 your industry.

30 Best Website Color Schemes of 2018
Trends / 15 Oct 2018

30 Best Website Color Schemes of 2018

Does it ever seem like certain website color schemes just get all the attention? As with every other aspect of web design, there are color schemes that tend to trend more than others. Bright colors, stark palettes, and even some mismatching schemes are elements of color that are trending.

Here’s a look at some of the best website color schemes of 2018 (in no particular order). For each, we’re also sharing the color codes that make up the key elements of the design, so it’s easy to play around with these color schemes yourself too!

Choosing the Best Logo Fonts: 10 Tips & Examples
Typography / 10 Oct 2018

Choosing the Best Logo Fonts: 10 Tips & Examples

The font a brand selects for their logo can evolve into lettering that people identify with a company or product. Just think about the typefaces for Coca-Cola, Disney or even eBay. Even if you see those typefaces without the brand names, there’s still an immediate connection.

That’s the value of choosing the best logo font for your brand. So how do you do it? Here are ten tips to help you choose the best logo font you can with examples of logos that feature amazing typography.

Halloween Graphic Design: 10 Spooky Tips & Ideas
Inspiration / 8 Oct 2018

Halloween Graphic Design: 10 Spooky Tips & Ideas

Witches, goblins, and ghouls can make for some pretty amazing design projects. While Halloween might not be top of mind when it comes to design, it’s an opportunity to do something a little different with projects.

Halloween graphic design centers around something that will be around for a short time. It might be different than the typical vibe of a brand or project and often has a theme that’s fun and friendly.

Adding a spooky element to a design can delight users and show that the design is new and timely. It gives users reasons to come back to your projects because they know that it will change again after the holiday. You can use holiday-themed graphic design as a trick to keep users coming back!

Choosing the Best Font for Business Cards: 10 Tips & Examples
Typography / 3 Oct 2018

Choosing the Best Font for Business Cards: 10 Tips & Examples

One of the smallest things that can be the most difficult to design is a business card. Due to its small size and a need to include a lot of information, choosing the best font for your business cards is important. It has to set the right tone for you (and your business) and maintain a high level of readability.

While there are a lot of amazing fonts out there, not all of them are super easy to read and understand at small sizes. Most printers recommend that the font on a business card not drop below 8 points (that’s pretty small), so a highly readable option for anything this size is vital.

Here, we’ll look at 10 of the best fonts for business cards and ways you can make the most of these typefaces. Plus, we have a few examples of business card designs that are sure to inspire you.