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.





Top 10 Podcasts for Designers and Creatives
Inspiration / 9 May 2018

Top 10 Podcasts for Designers and Creatives

Ready for a good listen? A great podcast can provide inspiration as well as a mental break while you work or relax. There’s no shortage of outstanding podcasts for designers and creatives, covering web design, creative life, and much more!

Today we’ve gathered a collection of great podcasts for designers and creatives, to give you a quick start with filling up your podcast player for the next commute!

Design Trend: Dark & Moody Designs
Trends / 7 May 2018

Design Trend: Dark & Moody Designs

Good design can really get you in the mood. Today, we’ve got a collection of dark and moody website designs that will help inspire you to create a distinct atmosphere in your design work.

While most dark collections have a bit of a “downer” vibe, not all of these designs have that feel (although color has a lot to do with how you feel when you look at them). This showcase is more than a gallery, we hope it inspires you to create a dark, moody design of your own.

How to Customize a Website Mockup Template
Graphics / 2 May 2018

How to Customize a Website Mockup Template

A website mockup template can be a design life-saver. It makes it easy to show off a website design concept in a setting that represents actual use (on many different devices). But how can you customize a website mockup template and drop in your own design? Here’s how.

There are two ways to get started. You can either create your own website mockup template to use in projects or download one to get started quickly. The great thing is that there are so many template options out there to help clients visualize a new design in real-time.

Here’s everything you need to know about customizing a template (as well and finding a great template, to begin with).

10 Tips for Using Text Effects That Don’t Suck
Typography / 30 Apr 2018

10 Tips for Using Text Effects That Don’t Suck

Adding effects to typography can be a source of heartache for designers. Clients demand a drop shadow or embossing, and you’re stuck with text effects that threaten to ruin a project. What you need is an arsenal of text effects that don’t suck so you can help the client pivot to something a little more classy.

The trick to all of these effects is using them with purpose. Good typography doesn’t need “help.” If a font isn’t working alone, it’s not going to work with a bunch of techniques added either. (You’ll only make something bad even worse.)

The best text effects are nearly invisible to non-designers. Or text effects are used to add meaning to typography or lettering. Here are a few tips for using text effects that don’t suck with some pretty cool examples.

10 Tips for Perfect Flyer Design
Graphics / 27 Apr 2018

10 Tips for Perfect Flyer Design

If you aren’t a print project regular, designing the perfect flyer can be somewhat nerve-wracking. But it doesn’t have to be. With a solid content plan and a great designer (that’s you), crafting the perfect flyer that will entice and engage users is simple.

There’s a wonderful feeling to designing something, then having it printed and feeling it in your hands. This is one reason flyer design can be rewarding and a lot of fun. Here’s how you do it.

10 Examples of Timeless Apple Design
Inspiration / 25 Apr 2018

10 Examples of Timeless Apple Design

When we set out to create a list of ten historic Apple products that feature timeless design, it seemed a little daunting. The reality is that it was anything but.

Apple has been at the forefront of design and product design innovation since the Apple I in 1976. (Yes, Apple really has been making computers for 40-plus years.) There are so many products and designs that continue to shape the way we think about creating things today. Wikipedia has a pretty impressive timeline that shows every release – good and bad.

Let’s take a look at ten of our favorite examples that stand the test of time!

How to Install & Use a Photoshop Brush in 3 Minutes
Software / 23 Apr 2018

How to Install & Use a Photoshop Brush in 3 Minutes

Photoshop brushes can open up a whole new world of creativity. Brushes let you draw and paint in any way imaginable—creating anything from simple textures, to patterns in any imaginable element (from simple leaves to a beautiful night sky!)

If you haven’t used a Photoshop brush before, it can be a little intimidating. But once you start experimenting with brushes, you’ll never look back. Here’s a primer on how to use and install Photoshop brushes, plus ten free Photoshop brushes to kick-start your collection.

10 Tips for a Perfect Facebook Cover Image
Business / 18 Apr 2018

10 Tips for a Perfect Facebook Cover Image

Almost every business and individual – from personal pages to freelance business pages – uses Facebook. It’s likely an integral part of your marketing strategy. It might even be your main professional website.

So it is important that you make the most of this platform to ensure that your social media profile is polished and professional. A sloppy image, bad crop, or text that scales improperly can give the wrong first impression. Here are 10 tips for creating a perfect Facebook cover image that people will want to click.

8 Typography Trends for 2018
Trends / 16 Apr 2018

8 Typography Trends for 2018

Bigger, bolder typography is the go-to type trend of 2018. Designers are opting for less elaborate typefaces and pairing them with bold color, cutouts, gradients, and even customizations to create lettering that stands out.

Each of these trendy type styles is moving away from the flatter, more conservative options that have been popular for a while. These more creative type options can be a little more difficult to execute and should be part of a planned design strategy, not just a cool technique to finish a project.

Here’s a look at the top typography trends for 2018.

7 Tips for Finding the Perfect PowerPoint Presentation Template
Business / 11 Apr 2018

7 Tips for Finding the Perfect PowerPoint Presentation Template

A great PowerPoint presentation template can wow audiences, and help you to build a slideshow quickly and easily. While you can create your own custom template, there’s a whole market of affordable PowerPoint templates that you can customize. But what should you be considering when deciding which one to choose?

PowerPoint templates are a great option for designers – or practically anyone – who wants to create a polished, professional-looking presentation that doesn’t take a lot of time to put together. Here’s what to look for to ensure that you are getting the perfect PowerPoint template for each specific presentation.

7 Tips for Using Background Textures in Web Design
Graphics / 9 Apr 2018

7 Tips for Using Background Textures in Web Design

This is not your typical roundup of textures to use for website backgrounds. If you are looking for a specific texture, we have those here. But what if you want to create your own? Or find a way to customize a texture to fit your project? That’s what we’ll focus on today.

While there are many ways to use textures in web design, you’ll get a lot more mileage out of those backgrounds if you take a modern approach, and follow a few simple rules. Here are seven tips to help you use background textures in web design well (and in-line with 2018 design patterns and trends).

How to Install and Apply a Photoshop Action
Graphics / 6 Apr 2018

How to Install and Apply a Photoshop Action

If you aren’t taking advantage of Photoshop actions for editing and image effects, you’re missing out on one of Photoshop’s best features. Here, we’ll take you through how to install and apply a Photoshop action in seconds, and share a few of our favorite free actions to try!

Photoshop actions can save you time when it comes to repeated tasks, and condense entire paths of editing into a single click. (While it might sound too good to be true, Photoshop actions are a very real thing.)