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.





10 Ways to Simplify Your Design
Graphics / 25 Jul 2018

10 Ways to Simplify Your Design

It’s no secret that simple is often better when it comes to website design. An interface that’s simple to understand—and just as simple to use—is more likely to turn visitors into active users who will return to your site later.

But how do you simplify your website? Even if you aren’t building something new from scratch, the trick is to set goals and then look at the path to reaching them for users. Anything that gets in the way of that path should be eliminated. Anything that makes understanding what a user is supposed to do should be removed from the design.

That’s what we’re going to look at today – a few tricks that you can use to simplify your website design. And these ideas work for existing sites and new builds. (This article features examples of stellar simple designs, visit each site for even more inspiration.)

Graphic Design Internships: 5 Places to Begin Your Search
Business / 23 Jul 2018

Graphic Design Internships: 5 Places to Begin Your Search

Most students know that the right internship can get them on a path to the right job after graduation. Internships provide valuable work experience that help you get an idea of what daily life as a graphic designer looks like—and what skills you need to be successful.

The main difference between an internship and a job is the temporary nature of an internship, which is limited to a specific time frame or a number of hours worked.

The challenge with internships is that not all of the “jobs” are posted in regular job search locations, although some companies do post internship listings on job search websites. So where do you begin your search for the perfect internship? You’re going to have to do some homework.

How Do You List Freelance Work on Your Resume? (We Have the Answer)
Business / 23 Jul 2018

How Do You List Freelance Work on Your Resume? (We Have the Answer)

Congratulations, your freelance business is proving successful. But how do you handle talking about it or explaining freelance work to potential employers, or on your resume? It can be a hard subject to explain as a single entry on paper, and you don’t want freelance work to look like an employment gap.

There are some things you can do to on paper (and on LinkedIn) to help present freelance work in a way that is more understandable to others. The key for many freelancers – especially those working part-time – is remembering to include freelance work as part of your resume and design portfolio. Sometimes those jobs can be just the thing you need to help land the next big gig!

Brizy Takes the Stress Out of WordPress
Reviews / 19 Jul 2018

Brizy Takes the Stress Out of WordPress

Creating a website shouldn’t be a chore; it can actually be fun if you use the right tools. Brizy is a WordPress page builder that looks great, features drag-and-drop tools and helps you create a website quickly and easily. What more could you want?

Brizy is great for beginners because you don’t need to dive into the code. But more experienced designers also like it because the tool can help you build advanced designs quickly and easily. Here’s a look a Brizy and how the WordPress page builder works.

Graphic Design Is My Passion: 20 Meme Picks
Inspiration / 18 Jul 2018

Graphic Design Is My Passion: 20 Meme Picks

Graphic design is my passion. Seriously. Isn’t it yours too, if you are taking the time to read Design Shack? Whether you use the phrase seriously or in jest, there’s a pretty fun movement on the web of memes that depict this statement. And they probably don’t look like what you’d expect.

The lesson in this ironic meme is that you need to maybe take it down a notch. Graphic design should be fun.

Vector vs. Raster: What Do I Use?
Layouts / 18 Jul 2018

Vector vs. Raster: What Do I Use?

With all of the image options and file formats out there, it can be a little overwhelming when you are choosing what file type to use (and send to clients). Compatibility is always a concern when you are working with different file types, but when it comes to graphics and images the type of computer graphic format you use is essential to how the image renders.

There are two types of digital graphics files – vector and raster. Vector images are made of hundreds of thousands of tiny lines and curves (or paths) to create an image. Raster images are composed of pixels. But how do you know what format is best for your next project?

4 Unique Placeholder Image Services for Designers
Software / 16 Jul 2018

4 Unique Placeholder Image Services for Designers

A placeholder image service is a quick and easy way to find images to insert into web projects so that a wireframe or prototype looks more real. It can help other people envision the project and help keep it moving forward.

Most designers try to do everything they can to help a client or non-visual team member see a project during the design, mockup and prototyping process. Often that means putting something together before the content itself is complete.

Here, we’re going to look at four different (and unique) placeholder image services for designers to help you move projects along as efficiently as possible. (Plus, we have a list of reasons why a tool like this might be helpful.)

80s Fonts: A Retro Typographic Trend (+ Examples)
Trends / 9 Jul 2018

80s Fonts: A Retro Typographic Trend (+ Examples)

Everything about my childhood seems to be cool again. The Netflix hit Stranger Things seriously evokes feelings of the 1980s, people are buying classic Nintendo game consoles again, and everything 80s is totally rad, even when it comes to design projects.

And what makes that 80s connection quickly? It’s typography. This decade definitely had a pretty distinct feel. We’re taking a look at the 80s retro font trend with plenty of great typographic options for your projects.

25+ Real-Life Tools for Web Designers and Developers
Inspiration / 9 Jul 2018

25+ Real-Life Tools for Web Designers and Developers

There are countless resources for web designers and developers on the market, but which stand out? We’ve tried to pick some that are new and interesting, based on our experience with web designers and developers.

Below you’ll find short reviews and recommendations of real-life tools for web designers and developers. There are WordPress themes, website builders, design bundles and many more links that we hope you’ll find useful for your next project!

How to Become a UX Designer
UX Design / 4 Jul 2018

How to Become a UX Designer

So you think you want to be a UX designer? But maybe you don’t know exactly where to start. Whether you are a student thinking about the future, or in the midst of your design career looking to make a change, the process is pretty similar.

If you put in the work and time, you can develop your skills and start doing more UX work. Today we’re exploring what a UX designer does, along with tips, ideas, and suggestions for how to start out on your journey to becoming a UX designer.

The 10 Best Photoshop Alternatives for Mac (2018)
Software / 2 Jul 2018

The 10 Best Photoshop Alternatives for Mac (2018)

You don’t have to use Adobe Photoshop on your Mac to edit images like a pro. There are plenty of Photoshop alternatives for Mac that you can download or use in-browser to create just the right images and graphics for your projects. And some of them are completely free!

None of these are necessarily one-size-fits-all solutions. Each tool tends to serve a specific purpose; Do you want to edit online or on a desktop? Are you editing photos or multiple file types? Is all the work for web or will images get printed?

Here’s a list of the best Photoshop alternatives for Mac in 2018, but not in any particular order. Have a read through to find the one that’s right for you.

7 Tips for Designing a Large Footer
Layouts / 28 Jun 2018

7 Tips for Designing a Large Footer

Not all website footers are made equal. While footer design might not be a sexy part of the web design process, a great footer can help users find information, contact you, and better engage with a website. Here’s how you design one that’s functional, and beautiful.

A large footer can also help organize information and make navigating a complicated website that much easier – think about the massive, multi-layer footer on Amazon’s website.

The trick to a large footer is content organization. Once you figure out what the footer design should help users do, it is easier to design a bottom-of-the-page element that you can be proud of. Let’s dive into some footer design tips.