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.





Serif, Sans, Script & Slab: 4 Font Types Explained
Typography / 5 Mar 2018

Serif, Sans, Script & Slab: 4 Font Types Explained

Always wanted to know the difference between serif, sans, script, and slab fonts? Look no further. Take your typography game to the next level, and quit guessing if certain typefaces or font pairs work together. Back your logic with a little design theory!

Having a better knowledge of fonts and typography can make explaining your choices to clients easier (always a bonus), and will give you more confidence when selecting font pairs. Here’s a primer (or refresher) on four common font types and how to use them in your design projects.

5 Reasons to Be Counting Your Words
Reviews / 2 Mar 2018

5 Reasons to Be Counting Your Words

Almost everyone is a writer in some way. Whether you’re crafting copy for a website, working on a paper for a class, or a content marketing professional trying to develop the perfect tweet, Word Counter is a tool that can make your life easier.

A good word counter helps you stay on target with your writing without wasting time trying to guess how much you’ve written by eyeballing it on the screen (or even worse, counting words manually.)

If your writing tools don’t have built in word counters (or you want something a bit more powerful), we’ve got a helpful suggestion for you.

6 Finance Apps for Your Freelance Business
Business / 28 Feb 2018

6 Finance Apps for Your Freelance Business

A great set of financial apps and tools can make it easier to manage your freelance business. From tracking receipts and invoices for clients, to making sure you’re ready for tax season and have all your expenses accounted for. There are plenty of great apps to help you manage your freelance business.

Characteristics of great finance apps are that they are secure, cloud-based, include automation tools to help you work more efficiently, are affordable, come with financial accounting and reporting that you can understand and customer support when you need it. All of the apps on this list fit the bill.

13 Best Ways to Learn CSS Grid
CSS / 26 Feb 2018

13 Best Ways to Learn CSS Grid

CSS Grid an increasingly popular method for creating complex responsive web design layouts that render more consistently across browsers. Now is the time to familiarize yourself with CSS Grid, so we’ve collected 13 of the best ways to get started learning today.

Rather than old-school methods such as tables or the box model, CSS Grid allows you to create more asymmetrical layouts and more standardized code that is cross-browser compatible. Most major website browsers already support CSS Grid and it is a W3C Candidate Recommendation, which would formalize it as a standard practice. It’s widely believed that CSS Grid will be the future of website layouts.

5 Fun Augmented Reality Apps for Design Inspiration
Mobile / 21 Feb 2018

5 Fun Augmented Reality Apps for Design Inspiration

Augmented reality is a growing trend in application design and development. Apple has invested in the technology with recent updates (ARKit), and plans to include even more AR features. So how do you start planning to design for augmented reality?

It starts with playing with apps already on the market to see how they work. What do you like (or dislike)? Here are five AR apps to help jumpstart your design inspiration and hopefully get you thinking about this next generation technology. (And how to make it look great and function well.)

30 Tips to Learn Web Design in 30 Days
Business / 19 Feb 2018

30 Tips to Learn Web Design in 30 Days

Is learning the basics of web design still on your “someday” list? Why haven’t you got started yet? We’ve put together 30 tips and resources to help you start learning web design this month (and maybe even find yourself a new career path!)

Graphic designers, print designers, and creatives looking to learn something new or break into website need to quit procrastinating. Every day that you don’t take that first step leaves you one day further behind everyone else!

Follow these steps to begin learning how to create your first website, industry best practices, and much more—all in 30 days!

How to Design Readable Content for the Web
Typography / 14 Feb 2018

How to Design Readable Content for the Web

Designing content is more than just making something look great. You have to create a design that people will actually read, and help them engage with the content. Sometimes, that’s easier said than done.

People generally have short attention spans, and you shouldn’t expect them to digest every word on the screen. But you can use certain design techniques and elements to help users read as much as possible.

20 DIY Projects to Improve Your Freelance Office
Business / 12 Feb 2018

20 DIY Projects to Improve Your Freelance Office

A creative workspace is good for your creativity. That’s why companies such as Apple and Google have open and innovative workspaces. While you probably don’t have that kind of budget, there are some great DIY projects you can take on to improve your freelance or home office!

So grab your hammer, paint and creative thinking to make your workspace somewhere you’ll want to spend most of the day. Some of these projects take a few minutes, some a few hours, or some a few weeks or months. But it’s a great starting point for some creative thinking!

The 3 Cs of User Interfaces: Color, Contrast, and Content
Inspiration / 7 Feb 2018

The 3 Cs of User Interfaces: Color, Contrast, and Content

There’s an old business model that many business strategists live by—the 3 Cs. It’s a reminder to focus on the company, customers and competitors. Many small businesses and websites also use this model. But for designers, the three Cs are a little different.

When creating user interfaces, you should focus on color, contrast, and content. These three elements are the foundation of good design. But each is a little more complex than it might seem from the surface. Here’s how to think about–and incorporate–the three Cs of user interfaces into your design projects.

5 Ways to Network as a Remote Freelancer
Business / 5 Feb 2018

5 Ways to Network as a Remote Freelancer

One of the toughest areas of working as a freelancer is that there’s a sense of professional loneliness. Most of your work days are spent alone in a home office. While local networking opportunities exist, they may not be geared toward the creative industry. You need to get out!

You need to meet more creative workers. You need to develop a method to network as a remote freelancer, to create relationships that will help you grow in your career—and keep from feeling like you work on an island!

How (& Why) SVG Is Going to Take Over in 2018
Graphics / 31 Jan 2018

How (& Why) SVG Is Going to Take Over in 2018

2018 will be the year of SVG. The image file format has been growing in popularity and usage steadily over the last few years, but 2018 is when it will really break through.

You have the combination of users with high-resolution displays and the need for a lightning fast load time to thank. And while the switch to SVG might sound like a big deal; it’s not.

SVG is easy to use and implement, and you don’t really have to change existing files; just add new images as SVG. Here’s everything you need to be in the know when it comes to SVG.

30 Tips to Be More Productive in 30 Days
Business / 29 Jan 2018

30 Tips to Be More Productive in 30 Days

Whether you work alone or as part of a large team, everyone is looking for ways to increase productivity. You’ll feel less stressed and get more done each day. Let’s see just how much you can change in 30 days—you’ll be amazed.

So how do you do it? First, changing any habit takes practice. Doing something one time doesn’t make it part of a new routine. You have to do it repeatedly; make it part of who you are. Here, we’ve got 30 tips to help you be more productive 30 days from now.

You aren’t going to do all of these things at once. Start with one or two, once they are part of your embedded routine, add another change and slowly build until you are feeling like your most productive self. Good luck!