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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.

Icon Design in 2021: The Key Trends

Trends / 17 Dec 2020

Icon Design in 2021: The Key Trends

Icons might be one of the most important – and underrated – examples of design in your portfolio. Here’s a look at icon design with some inspiring examples.

Icon elements are shown almost everywhere, but sometimes get produced as an afterthought. That shouldn’t be the case. Great icon design can be distinctive and add finesse and flair to a project.

Let’s take a look at what’s new, and what’s hot in icon design in 2021!

7 Tips to Manage Scope Creep in Design Projects

Business / 17 Dec 2020

7 Tips to Manage Scope Creep in Design Projects

It might be the worst thing to happen to a design budget. Scope creep can bash timelines and obliterate budgets.

The best way to avoid this chaos is to beware of the causes of scope creep so that you can better manage projects.

But we all know that things are bound to go off the rails at some point, and we have some advice for how to manage those scope creep issues when they do happen.

Get Online Fast With the Duda Website Builder

Reviews / 15 Dec 2020

Get Online Fast With the Duda Website Builder

Get ready to create a website in half the time it takes to build a WordPress site. Seriously! The Duda website builder is a professional-level tool that can help you get online fast, with all the performance and search engine optimization capability you need.

Here’s a look at Duda and everything the web design platform offers, including the key features, pricing, and more.

Design Trend: Imagery Without People

Trends / 14 Dec 2020

Design Trend: Imagery Without People

Where did all the people go? In the same way streets are a little less crowded, so are design projects. It’s a design trend that’s rooted in practicality – what kind of imagery is appropriate in the world we live in now?

With so many rules and changing norms, the easy answer can be to eliminate images that focus on people and faces altogether. And while it is a little different than what we might be used to, it’s not a bad solution to a current design problem. It’s also something you can probably deploy with existing image assets if you need to retool a current design.

Projects that feature imagery without people can have other practical applications as well that aren’t pandemic-related. Let’s take a look.

The 10 Best Photoshop Alternatives for Mac (2021)

Software / 10 Dec 2020

The 10 Best Photoshop Alternatives for Mac (2021)

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 2021, but not in any particular order. Have a read through to find the one that’s right for you.

When (And How) to Outsource Design Work to Someone Else

Business / 10 Dec 2020

When (And How) to Outsource Design Work to Someone Else

If it has ever crossed your mind that a certain element of a design project would be better if you had help, then outsourcing work could be a viable option.

Design agencies, small shops, and freelancers can all benefit from having a bench of partners that can help with projects. Successful outsourcing is based on a mutual relationship between parties that have a similar design style and work ethic.

This guide will take you through everything you need to know about outsourcing graphic design work.

15+ Most Helpful Affinity Designer Tutorials (+ Reviews) in 2021

Affinity Designer Templates / 8 Dec 2020

15+ Most Helpful Affinity Designer Tutorials (+ Reviews) in 2021

Affinity Designer is a vector or raster app. It’s a competitor to Adobe’s Illustrator and allows you to design various elements for print or digital publication.

It’s part of the Affinity package of design tools made by Serif. Use it to do anything from making a business card to mock up an app. Affinity Designer is made for Mac iOS, Windows, and the iPad.

Here, we’ve collected some of the best for everyone from beginners to more seasoned pros, a mix of video and written tutorials. It’s a great place to start for upskilling with your first steps in Affinity Designer!

Showcase Your Creativity With a Free .Design Domain Name

Reviews / 8 Dec 2020

Showcase Your Creativity With a Free .Design Domain Name

Highlight your skills and improve your branding with the right domain name. The right .design domain is waiting for you.

Some of the biggest names in design, including Adobe, Spotify, and Airbnb already use a .design domain for creative projects.

Now is the time to grab one for your business while you can get the first year free.

50 Best Website Color Schemes of 2021

Trends / 7 Dec 2020

50 Best Website Color Schemes of 2021

Does it ever seem like certain website color schemes just get all the attention? As with every other aspect of web design, there are color schemes that tend to trend more than others. Bright colors, stark palettes, and even some mismatching schemes are elements of color that are trending.

Here’s a look at some of the best website color schemes of 2021 (in no particular order). For each, we’re also sharing the color codes that make up the key elements of the design, so it’s easy to play around with these color schemes yourself too!

One of the biggest trends in color schemes that you might notice are the use of dark blue and navy, particularly as a dominant color, and shades of gold and bright red or pink hues for accents. This dark/light combo is an evolution of black and red in many minimal designs of a few years ago with a more modern touch.

Here are some great examples of color choices done right, to inspire your next project.

Best Free T-Shirt Design Software in 2021

Software / 3 Dec 2020

Best Free T-Shirt Design Software in 2021

When it comes to designing a shirt, you have two primary options – design it yourself using graphic design tools such as Adobe Illustrator or use software made for the job. The good news is that there are plenty of free t-shirt design software options to consider!

There are a growing number of platforms that specialize in t-shirt design and can help you create something that people will want to wear. Some of these tools integrate with a t-shirt sales portal as well, making the process even easier.

Here, we’re going to look at some of the best free t-shirt design software options available and how you can make these tools work for you.

11 Tips for Creating a Usable Website Contact Page

UX Design / 3 Dec 2020

11 Tips for Creating a Usable Website Contact Page

Peek at the analytics. Chances are that your contact page is among the most visited on our website.

It’s for good reason. Visitors will seek out a contact page to get additional information about your company or business, find your location, or get in touch.

Now the bad news. This is an often-neglected part of the website design. Too many websites don’t take care of the contact page, resulting in missed opportunities and conversions.

You can remedy that right now with these tips for creating a usable contact page.

8 Tips to Nail Your Design Presentation

PowerPoint Templates / 30 Nov 2020

8 Tips to Nail Your Design Presentation

Presenting your design to a client is often a chance to make a key first impression. It can set the tone for how the project will be received. A spot-on design presentation can help you set the stage for success.

There’s a lot that can go into a design presentation – the work itself, slides or a presentation, how you talk about and define the work, and even your skills as a presenter.

Here, we’ve got plenty of tips (and even a few tricks) to help you nail every design presentation every time.