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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.

20+ Stunning Photoshop Photo Effect Tutorials

Photoshop Actions / 8 Jun 2020

20+ Stunning Photoshop Photo Effect Tutorials

Working with Photoshop effects can be one of the most fun things you can do to transform images for design projects. From simple edits to major changes, effects can make all the difference. These Photoshop photo effect tutorials will help you learn, while also creating something stunning.

Many tasks in Photoshop, though, are a multi-step process that takes some work until you get used to it. You can create effects step-by-step on your own, or jumpstart the process using a Photoshop action or preset.

Working through tutorials can help, so here we’ve collected 20 photo effect options to help you get started.

Upgrade Your WordPress Website With Kinsta

Reviews / 3 Jun 2020

Upgrade Your WordPress Website With Kinsta

If you are running a website on WordPress, then you likely understand the value of managed WordPress hosting. Managed hosting helps keep your site up and running smoothly, often comes with backups, core and plugin updates, and monitoring security.

That’s a pretty expansive package that helps provide website peace of mind.

And you can get it all with Kinsta, a cutting-edge managed WordPress hosting provider with everything you need to take care of your website. (We trust it so much that we’re running this website on Kinsta.)

How to Edit a PowerPoint Template: A Quick Start Guide

PowerPoint Templates / 3 Jun 2020

How to Edit a PowerPoint Template: A Quick Start Guide

Whether you’re starting from scratch and building a custom template, or have a PowerPoint template you’ve downloaded and want to customize, knowing how to edit a PowerPoint template is a great skill to have in your kit.

We’re going to walk you through editing a PowerPoint template step-by-step, explaining all the PowerPoint terminology along the way!

If you like the presentation template we are using here—Creativa—you can get it from Envato Elements. It’s a great multi-purpose template that’s great for all types of presentations.

How to Add Text to a Video Online: 7 Tips & Tricks

Graphics / 3 Jun 2020

How to Add Text to a Video Online: 7 Tips & Tricks

Everywhere you look in web design, the hero image seems to be replaced with a hero video. And many of these videos include some type of text elements to provide additional information that draws you into the design.

When done right, the result can be rather stunning. When done wrong, video and text elements fall short of conveying a proper message.

Here, we’re going to look at how to ensure your video and text combinations are understandable, readable, and functional in your next design project.

Let’s dive into our assessment of how to add text to a video online, and the rules you should aim to follow as you do so!

Design Trend: Transparent Text With a Bold Background

Trends / 1 Jun 2020

Design Trend: Transparent Text With a Bold Background

Who said typography has to be boring? Designers are having a lot of fun with interesting type options, including the super trendy method of layering transparent text elements with interesting backgrounds, animations, and images.

There are plenty of ways to incorporate this website design trend into a project (or put your personal spin on it for printed projects as well).

Here are some ideas and inspiration to help you get started with using transparent text on a bold background.

Trend: Retro Serif Typography

Font Collections / 27 May 2020

Trend: Retro Serif Typography

Serif typography is having a moment. From thin lines to interesting shapes and even modern serifs, this trend is taking over new website projects. What’s great about serifs is that they can add a certain flair or mood to a design based on the style of letterforms.

This trend is using retro-style serifs in a number of ways. (Our favorite option is for display text that pairs a retro serif with a simple sans serif, to create some eye-catching contrast and variety).

Here’s how to use this trend with some examples that do it exceptionally well, covering a range of different design styles and niches.

8 Tips for Designing Instagram Stories That Don’t Suck

Instagram Templates / 25 May 2020

8 Tips for Designing Instagram Stories That Don’t Suck

Instagram stories are one of the hottest social media formats. The vertical format allows creators to share videos, photos, and mixed media content in a streaming medium, and introduces an entirely novel layout to design for.

The tricky part is creating stories that are enjoyable, shareable, and help people engage with your account, brand, or even get clicks to your website.

Here, we’re going to look at eight ways to create Instagram stories that help you meet goals, and stand out from the crowd.

Bonus: You can apply these design tips to Facebook stories as well.

How to Add Fonts to Photoshop (Mac and Windows)

Font Collections / 21 May 2020

How to Add Fonts to Photoshop (Mac and Windows)

There’s no need to be intimidated when it comes to adding fonts to Adobe Photoshop for use in projects. Whether you’re on a Mac or Windows, adding a font to Photoshop can be a straight-forward process.

Any designer will regularly need to be working with new fonts and typography, and knowing how to quickly get them working in your design app is a key part of your workflow.

Today, we’ll walk you through how to add fonts to Photoshop (using a few different methods) so that you can speed up your workflow like a pro.

How to Loop a PowerPoint

PowerPoint Templates / 20 May 2020

How to Loop a PowerPoint

A self-running or looping PowerPoint presentation can be great for using in booths at conferences, displaying information on screens before a live event/presentation, or even to use in the waiting room of a business to showcase information.

The great thing is that if you can create a PowerPoint presentation, saving it for a looped playback is a breeze.

You can loop a PowerPoint in two different ways depending on playback method – as a PowerPoint or as a video file.

Here’s how you do it.

5 Reasons to Avoid the Desktop Hamburger Menu Icon

Navigation / 18 May 2020

5 Reasons to Avoid the Desktop Hamburger Menu Icon

A hamburger icon as the only source of navigation on a desktop website sucks. It’s frustrating, confusing, and violates unwritten rules of navigation and user flow best practices. Why would you do it? Other than to maintain or establish a certain aesthetic, it’s hard to find an answer that makes any sense.

The often-debated hamburger icon can be a great complement to website navigation or even for small screens, but it shouldn’t be the only option for desktops. You are doing yourself – and the website design – a huge disservice if this is your only menu option.

Take note of the different desktop menu styles throughout this post. Some of the best uses of the hamburger icon come with other menu items.

Get Free SSL Protection With ZeroSSL

Reviews / 14 May 2020

Get Free SSL Protection With ZeroSSL

Until now, there haven’t been many options when it comes to free security certificates for your website. ZeroSSL offers completely free SSL certificates that are easy to use thanks to an intuitive user interface and API.

Here, we’re going to take a look at this viable alternative to Let’s Encrypt and how you can make ZeroSSL your website security solution.

This is a tool you can use and trust. And you won’t be alone. Companies such as Slack, Uber, and Shopify use ZeroSSL.

What Is a Font License? (And Do I Need One?)

Font Collections / 14 May 2020

What Is a Font License? (And Do I Need One?)

Almost every design project you encounter will include type of some kind. And it’s very likely that that type will start as a font on a computer, unless you create it yourself. With using specific computer fonts, come some very specific rules regarding their use, which can vary by project.

So what is a font license? Do you need one? And where can you find the tools and resources you need to make sure you are using fonts properly?

Lucky for you, we have a primer. (And the images in this post include fonts that you can license to use in your projects.)