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  2. Carrie Cousins

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.

Minimalist Design Is Taking Over: Here’s Why

Minimalist Graphic Design / 15 Jun 2015

Minimalist Design Is Taking Over: Here’s Why

Everywhere you turn, another designer is releasing a project featuring a minimalist design style. This focus on space, simplicity and beautiful typography is refreshing. And it’s a great option for a number of design projects. That might be one of the reasons minimalist design is so popular.

But the trend is not brand new. Minimalism has been around almost as long as design itself. It’s a technique that ebbs and flows, but always remains as one of the classic styles, making it a design choice that almost always works.

How to Make the Jump From Employee to Full-Time Freelancer

Freelancing / 10 Jun 2015

How to Make the Jump From Employee to Full-Time Freelancer

So you’ve been doing a little freelance work on the side and are toying with the idea of making it your primary gig. But how do you know if you are actually ready to make that leap? Can your freelance job support you financially?

There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to switching jobs — of any kind — and freelancing is no different. You just need to think about some of the numbers and considerations a little more closely than you would if an employer was handling all of the details for you.

Interaction Design: What Is It, and How Can You Use It?

Graphics / 8 Jun 2015

Interaction Design: What Is It, and How Can You Use It?

Interaction design might be the most talked about design concept of 2015. It’s something you should be thinking about and planning for in all of your digital projects.

But how can you make the most of interaction design? How can you design something people want to interact with? While some of those answers are changing with technology, one element remains the same – people want to use design that is intuitive, functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Asymmetrical Design: Creating Beautiful, Balanced Layouts

Layouts / 3 Jun 2015

Asymmetrical Design: Creating Beautiful, Balanced Layouts

How do you feel about asymmetrical design? That simple question can sometimes spark a lot of debate among designers. Asymmetrical design can be one of the more complicated techniques to pull off, but when done well results in beautiful and eye-catching designs.

While the definition of asymmetry is the lack of symmetry or equality between two halves; it is not a lack of balance as some wrongly assume. Designers can use asymmetry to create balance and harmony even though two sides of the design do not mirror one another. Here’s how to get started.

The Importance of a “Leave-Behind” for Clients: Top Tips & Advice

Freelancing / 1 Jun 2015

The Importance of a “Leave-Behind” for Clients: Top Tips & Advice

As a freelancer, your name – or business name if you have one – is your brand. Just like with any other company, it takes marketing chops to make sure clients know about you, your services, and how to make contact if they are interested in working with you.

That’s where having a good leave behind comes in. Don’t have a good leave behind yet? Here’s everything you know to get started. (Bonus: This post is full of fun leave behind items from designer portfolios, make sure to click on the links and explore for even more inspiration.)

Neatly Coded, Elegant WordPress Plugins From Chop-Chop.org

Software / 29 May 2015

Neatly Coded, Elegant WordPress Plugins From Chop-Chop.org

Most WordPress users are familiar with just how flexible it can be as a CMS. Right out of the box, it can be used for a variety of different website designs. But one of the tools that helps developers – from experts to beginners – is a good set of plugins for additional functionality.

That’s where the new set of WordPress plugins from Chop-Chop.org come in. Today we’re going to take a look at their collection of plugins, and showcase how they can power-up your WordPress website!

Visual Composer: A Drag-and-Drop WordPress Page Builder

Layouts / 28 May 2015

Visual Composer: A Drag-and-Drop WordPress Page Builder

WordPress powers a large percentage of the web, and it’s a famously easy-to-use content management system. But creating immersive, in-depth pages and layouts can be a tricky process.

Visual Composer is a plugin that lets you take full control over your WordPress site, and build any layout you can imagine. It’s all based around adrag and drop page builder interface, doesn’t require any programming knowledge, and is really simple to get started using. Today we’re going to be taking a look at how it works, and sharing a few examples of how it’s powering some lovely WordPress designs!

10 Reasons Why the Best Design Is Invisible

Graphics / 27 May 2015

10 Reasons Why the Best Design Is Invisible

Good design is not something the average user look at and says “wow, that’s a great design!” Good design is something that is easy to use, read and interact with. It makes users want to engage and experience your website, app or physical material and evokes a specific emotional response.

As a designer you may spend days, weeks or months working on a project that does not look like anything especially spectacular to those outside the design community, and that is probably a good thing. Good design is pretty much invisible.

10 Tips for Becoming a Better Designer

Inspiration / 26 May 2015

10 Tips for Becoming a Better Designer

I don’t think there’s a single designer out there that thinks he or she can’t get any better. This is not the day when you are as good as you will ever be. Design and designers are constantly changing, growing and evolving. Some of it is technology, some of it is trendy; but all change happens by choice.

If you want to be a better designer, you have to do something about it. Whether that’s learning something new, trying a different type of project, or thinking about feedback and criticism. So let’s start getting better together, today!

10 Mistakes Every Designer Makes… and How to Avoid Them

Business / 18 May 2015

10 Mistakes Every Designer Makes… and How to Avoid Them

We all have them – design projects we’d like to take back. Some of them you can attribute to a bad design brief or youth; others you just want to hide forever. The good news is that you can often avoid design mistakes; the bad news is that every designer will fall in at least one of these traps at some point in his or her career.

But part of the key to avoiding designer mishaps is knowing what they are, so you can be aware if you feel yourself slipping into one of these bad habits.

20 Design Quotes… and What They Can Inspire

Inspiration / 14 May 2015

20 Design Quotes… and What They Can Inspire

Some days are just about inspiration. This is going to be one of those days. There are so many good ideas and thoughts and design practices out there that deserve to be shared.

So we have put together a roundup of 20 quotes that pertain to design or the creative process or the business itself as a conversation starter. This collection is from all over the world, from a wide range of sources and across various eras. Here are 20 great thoughts about design… and what they can inspire in each of us.

The (Sometimes Hidden) Meaning of Shapes

Layouts / 12 May 2015

The (Sometimes Hidden) Meaning of Shapes

The shapes of objects in your design may be sending a message to users that you aren’t even aware of. Whether you put an image inside a square or circle or triangle can have an impact on what people think about that image.

Sometimes a shape is more than just a group of connected lines. The use of shapes can be obvious or subtle and appear within images or as elements in a design. Here, we will look at common shapes used in design projects and the signals they may convey.