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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.

Simplify Scraping Jobs With Scrapestack API

Reviews / 7 Oct 2019

Simplify Scraping Jobs With Scrapestack API

There are plenty of scenarios where you need to scrape and collect data from across the web. An API can take a lot of the work out of this chore for you so that you don’t have to handle it (with IP blocks, CAPTCHAs, and a huge amount of manual work on your own).

scrapestack is an API solution that can scrape webpages around the world in the blink of an eye, to power information on your website, database, research project, or product.

Here’s a look at how to use this tool and how to make it work for you.

20+ Best Illustrator Logo Templates

Inspiration / 7 Oct 2019

20+ Best Illustrator Logo Templates

So you need a logo right now? That’s where an Illustrator logo template can come in handy. A logo template is often a kit of pieces to build a vector logo with a few tweaks—such as changing colors or fonts. These are our top picks!

Some of the better logo template options might include multiple elements in a file that you can piece together for a design that’s a little more custom.

Logo templates are best for small, quick projects that need something cost-effective and visually pleasing. While a logo template won’t give you all the flexibility and design choices as a custom logo, they create a significantly less expensive option. (Which can be great if you have some design skills and an idea of what you want your logo to look like.)

Just make sure when you are hunting for that perfect logo template, that you find a vector set to work with. Adobe Illustrator files are the most common and will give you the tools you need to create a design that will work at any size when you are finished making the logo design.

Here are 20 of the best Adobe Illustrator logo templates we could track down, as well as a few helpful tips for using an Illustrator logo template.

8 Things to Stop Doing With Typography (Right Now!)

Typography / 7 Oct 2019

8 Things to Stop Doing With Typography (Right Now!)

Good typography is an art that shouldn’t be messed with too much. Letterforms flow together to form words and phrases that are readable and have subtle visual meaning.

But if you aren’t careful, it’s easy to ruin typographic beauty in an instant.

If you have slipped into any of these design traps, this is the time to stop doing anything on this list to type and clean up your design pieces. (Your portfolio will thank you.)

10 Website Design Trends That Are Fading (Thankfully)

Trends / 2 Oct 2019

10 Website Design Trends That Are Fading (Thankfully)

Website design trends can be a lot of fun to experiment with and incorporate into projects, but if you aren’t careful these elements can add a dated look to projects. Sometimes trends fade out as quickly as they rush in!

Here, we’re going to look at some website design trends that are fading. (And that’s a good thing.)

If you have these elements on your site, it might be time to consider a refresh.

Should Analytics + Stats Impact Web Design? Pros + Cons

Business / 30 Sep 2019

Should Analytics + Stats Impact Web Design? Pros + Cons

Do you take an analytical approach to website design? Most designers understand the logic behind connecting an analytics tool such as Google Analytics to a website. It helps you better understand traffic patterns, user behavior, and what people are looking for on your website.

But analytics can also help shape the design. If a page isn’t converting users, analytics can help you understand why to change the way the page looks. If people aren’t buying a specific product, analytics could help show a usability flaw that you can fix.

But you can also get mired in the numbers and bring website development to a screeching halt.

Today, we’re looking at the pros and cons of using analytics to shape website design.

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

Typography / 25 Sep 2019

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.

What Is a Website Privacy Policy (And How to Write One)

Business / 25 Sep 2019

What Is a Website Privacy Policy (And How to Write One)

Maybe you first noticed it in WordPress, when the admin started settings asking for a link to a privacy policy. Maybe you’ve been following news and the passing of GDPR. Or maybe you’ve just been talking it over with peers. Regardless, it’s probably time to include a privacy policy in website projects.

But with so much legalese, where do you start? What is a privacy policy? How do you write one?

Here, we have help! Since we aren’t lawyers, it’s always a good idea to have your counsel read over your policy, particularly if it gets complicated in any way.

The good news is that it doesn’t need to be earth-shatteringly complex to fairly quickly have a privacy policy on your site that covers off the most common issues.

20+ Cutting-Edge Personal Website Designs to Inspire You

Inspiration / 23 Sep 2019

20+ Cutting-Edge Personal Website Designs to Inspire You

Want to create a portfolio that wows? Or maybe you just want to freshen up your personal website or blog. We’ve gathered 20 stellar (and cutting-edge) personal website designs to inspire you and help push the envelope when you tackle new projects.

These designs cover a range of professions, design aesthetics, and industries.

So whether you’re a web designer, illustrator, medical professional, or product designer, we’ll have a personal website design to inspire you!

Pitch Deck Design: 10 Tips to Stand Out

Business / 19 Sep 2019

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.

Show Real Time Weather Data With Weatherstack

Reviews / 16 Sep 2019

Show Real Time Weather Data With Weatherstack

What’s the forecast? Answer the question on your website, or in your app, with weatherstack, a freemium API that gives you access to real-time and historical weather information.

Weather information can be beneficial for several different website types and applications, but all weather data isn’t equal. weatherstack goes into a greater level of depth than many other options and surfaces the data in a super easy-to-use way.

Here’s a look at how to use this tool and how to make it work for you.

10+ Best Free Portfolio Website Tools & Templates in 2019

Software / 16 Sep 2019

10+ Best Free Portfolio Website Tools & Templates in 2019

Do you need a portfolio website right now? There are a variety of online tools and templates that can help jumpstart the process so you can feature your work online quickly.

This list is packed with options that provide free plans to help you get started. (Note that many do also offer paid options with the ability to customize or add premium features.)

Here are a few tools that can help writers, designers, photographers, artists, or pretty much anyone get their portfolio online this week.

How to Convert PowerPoint to Video

Software / 11 Sep 2019

How to Convert PowerPoint to Video

Did you know that you can turn a PowerPoint deck into a video that plays automatically? This can be a great option for online sharing or creating a video loop to play at events or as a background collage.

The best part is that you don’t have to have extra tools because you can convert your slides right into a video file from PowerPoint.

We’re going to walk you, step-by-step, through how to convert a PowerPoint template to a video. We’ll also pay special attention to video settings, formats, and conversion options to make sure you wind up with just the right type of video for your project.