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.





How to Create a Beautiful Website With Wix
Reviews / 12 Dec 2017

How to Create a Beautiful Website With Wix

Today, you don’t need a graphic design or computer science degree to create a beautiful and functional website. Thanks to the Wix platform and other website builders, anyone can create a stylish website and manage their business online.

What sets Wix apart from some of the other tools out there is that it allows you full creative freedom to create any kind of website you want. Plus, there are drag-and-drop design tools, artificial design intelligence, and even code options. Wix offers a complete package for anyone needing to build a professional website. Here’s how to do it.

10 Web Design Trends to Watch for in 2018
Inspiration / 12 Dec 2017

10 Web Design Trends to Watch for in 2018

As 2017 winds down, it’s a good time to reflect on the accomplishments of the past year and start thinking about designs yet to come.

Looking at more recent designs, redesigns and even just design tweaks, a few distinct trends are starting to emerge as the front-runners heading into 2018. Here’s a look at some of the web design trends that will likely become popular (and many of these concepts can be used for print design as well).

Are You a Good Designer or a Great Designer? Here Are the 10 Signs
Business / 6 Dec 2017

Are You a Good Designer or a Great Designer? Here Are the 10 Signs

Some people are better suited for certain jobs than others. Skills and personality traits combine to make you good—or great—at your job. When it comes to design, do you know where you fall? Are you a good designer? Or a great one?

The answer might be both. Between good days and bad, and projects that rock and ones that leave you ragged, one of the things that will help you be a better designer all the time is awareness of characteristics that great designers have in common.

5 Web Design Trends We’re Already Over
Graphics / 4 Dec 2017

5 Web Design Trends We’re Already Over

Design trends have to be used cautiously. Just as quickly as many trends come into fashion; they can fall out of favor and make a design feel dated.

Don’t ignore them completely — testing out trends can stretch your creative muscles and help you create something you might not have tried otherwise. But do be aware of what’s fresh, what’s timeless, and what’s out of date! Here are five design trends that are over (or should be anyway).

Challenges Every Freelance Designer Will Face in 2018
Business / 30 Nov 2017

Challenges Every Freelance Designer Will Face in 2018

A new year is looming ahead, which comes with new challenges, even for the seasoned freelance designer. As you look back and celebrate the wins of 2017 – as you deservedly should – it’s time to think ahead to what’s in store for the new year as well!

There seems to be a shift again in trends and technology that could present challenges (and opportunities!) for designers in 2018. Here’s a look at some of the curveballs that might come your way. And how to be ready for them when they do.

Get Your Merchandise Online Today With SpreadShop
Business / 29 Nov 2017

Get Your Merchandise Online Today With SpreadShop

Do you have an idea for a great shirt or coffee mug that you know is destined to sell? Do your social media followers want to see your images or messaging on their gear?

The problem with merchandise sales isn’t always coming up with an idea or design; it’s picking items and dealing with inventory. SpreadShop takes a lot of that hassle and worry out of the equation, so that almost anyone can create an online merchandise storefront and start selling right away — free!

Here’s a guide to SpreadShop and how you can start selling merchandise online in no time at all.

4 Ways a CDN Can Speed Up Your Website
Business / 27 Nov 2017

4 Ways a CDN Can Speed Up Your Website

Is your website moving fast enough for users? Speed is a primary factor when it comes to keeping a user who visits your website for the first time.

Chances are your website could be faster. One way to accomplish that is by using a content delivery network (CDN), which helps deliver static content to users faster. A CDN can be an efficient way to increase page speed and user engagement all at once.

Here’s a look at four ways a CDN can speed up your website. (But before you read on, you can check your website page speed with this Google tool).

Get 67% Off Depositphotos This Month
Deals / 22 Nov 2017

Get 67% Off Depositphotos This Month

Today, we’re excited to be featuring a special promotion from MightyDeals. Depositphotos offers one of the largest stock photo libraries on the web, and by taking advantage of this promotion, you can grab either 100 or 200 images of your choice for up to 75% off the regular price!

You can download any image, at any size (including XXL images), there’s no monthly limit, and no expiration date. It’s a great deal to get your hands on hundreds of high quality images. Read on to find out more!

Design Trend: Obstructed Text
Graphics / 20 Nov 2017

Design Trend: Obstructed Text

Some websites look great, even if they defy conventional wisdom or tenets of design theory. A new design trend is showcasing that very idea with elements that cover or obstruct some of the text in the design.

It’s an interesting trend because it goes against everything we commonly talk about with design – that it must be readable to connect with users quickly.

Needless to say, this can be a tricky technique to pull off effectively, but the designs are striking and impactful when done well. Here’s a breakdown of the trend and some ideas for how you can try it yourself.

Every Design Needs Three Levels of Typographic Hierarchy
Typography / 15 Nov 2017

Every Design Needs Three Levels of Typographic Hierarchy

One of the most important elements for people looking at anything you design is the type. It needs to be clear and readable and it should direct users through a design, from most important elements to least.

And that, in a nutshell, explains typography hierarchy. But to really master the art of type, you need to understand how to layer type throughout a design to achieve maximum impact. Read on to learn how to master typography hierarchy and create effective type in every project.

Parallax Effects Compared: 5 Choices to Consider
Layouts / 13 Nov 2017

Parallax Effects Compared: 5 Choices to Consider

Parallax effects remain one of the hottest web design trends. This animated scrolling technique happens when background and foreground move at different speeds while the user scrolls so that there are two independent layers moving at the same time.

This effect can be used for any number of website types and is a fun way to create – and increase – user engagement. The nice thing about parallax effects is that you don’t have to use them on every page of a design; parallax scrolling is a great homepage technique to help drive users to calls to action or other content.

Parallax effects create an element of depth and distance and a greater sense three-dimension than some other techniques, making users feel like part of the design.

The downside to parallax effects is that they don’t always work on mobile devices. (But there are some workarounds for that as well in the tutorial at the end of this article.)

Here are five parallax effects and styles to consider. (Make sure to click through the links to see exactly how each animation works.)

10 Rules for Perfect Type Design, Every Time
Typography / 8 Nov 2017

10 Rules for Perfect Type Design, Every Time

Do you ever notice that some projects just seem to glow with great type? Some designers have a certain knack for designing perfect typography for every project.

You can do it too. With a handful of simple rules, you can improve the look and design of typography in all your projects, digitally and in print. If you struggle with picking typefaces and pairing fonts, these rules will help you design perfect type, every time. (Just make sure to follow them.)