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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.

10 Key Features of an ‘About’ Page

Business / 26 May 2014

10 Key Features of an ‘About’ Page

A great About Us page can make — or even break — your website. For many businesses this can be one of the most visited pages on your website and is a chance for visitors to learn about you and your products.

About Us pages need to be written in clear and simple language and should not be put together as an afterthought. Just like any other page on your site, develop a plan for what message this page should communicate and work from there. Most great About Us pages contain many common elements. Here are 10 things your About Us page needs to include (in no particular order!)

This Week in Design: May 23, 2014

This Week in Design / 23 May 2014

This Week in Design: May 23, 2014

It’s a design smorgasbord. From naming your design business – what does it mean – to a branding evolution and a fun design featuring animal tails, we’ve got you covered with a little something for everyone.

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at [email protected].

GridGum Theme Marketplace Is Open for Business

Software / 21 May 2014

GridGum Theme Marketplace Is Open for Business

The GridGum launch is official. We first told you about the new responsive themes marketplace in April. And now that the shop is open, you can go see for yourself what it’s all about.

GridGum is a marketplace for only responsive, and highly vetted, themes for a variety of platforms. From Bootstrap to Foundation to Gumby or Skeleton to WordPress or Joomla, you can find a theme for almost any site through GridGum.

5 Tips for Creating a Fun Summer Color Palette

Inspiration / 19 May 2014

5 Tips for Creating a Fun Summer Color Palette

The official start of summer is just around the corner. Longer days, warmer temperatures and splashing in the lake or pool are just a few of the things that come with the change in season. When it comes to design, a change in seasons can create the urge to update your color palette as well.

With warmer days, warmer colors, brighter hues and even the use of more color are popular. And while you may not want to change the color scheme of an existing project — although you can – this season can be a great inspiration for designing a project with a summer-inspired color palette. Here are five tips for creating a great color palette with a few swatches to try based on each concept. Happy summer!

This Week in Design: May 16, 2014

This Week in Design / 16 May 2014

This Week in Design: May 16, 2014

This week you should try to get smarter. This is true every week, but our roundup today is focusing on tools, ideas and items that will make you work and feel just a little more educated. That’s what the design community is all about, right?

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at [email protected].

Freelancing 101: How Do I Promote Myself Without Looking Sleazy?

Business / 12 May 2014

Freelancing 101: How Do I Promote Myself Without Looking Sleazy?

One of the toughest things about working as a freelancer can be getting your name out there. How do you connect with the right clients? How can you help those companies find you and your work? And how can you do it without feeling sleazy?

It can be a tough balance. But there are ways to do it. With the right mix of marketing, promotion and word of mouth – and a few design tools – you can find potential clients and feel good about it.

This Week in Design: May 9, 2014

This Week in Design / 9 May 2014

This Week in Design: May 9, 2014

This week has been busy. From a list of the best new typefaces of the year being released to a new PayPal logo, there has been plenty of news in the design world. Add in a few fun topics as well – the Target Photoshop disaster that just won’t go away — and this week in design has been packed with news and information.

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at [email protected].

Horizontal Harmony in Design: Keep It Between the Lines

Layouts / 6 May 2014

Horizontal Harmony in Design: Keep It Between the Lines

Horizontal harmony. It’s one of those things that you seem to only notice when it is missing. Horizontal harmony is the relationship between elements across a design. It’s more than lines and rules; it’s also an invisible grid creates a sense of place for design elements.

How can you create horizontal harmony? While some techniques are easier than others, it is not an overwhelming concept. It just takes a little planning. By thinking about things such as a baseline grid, space between lines of text, positioning of elements and the overall aesthetic, horizontal harmony is just part of the design process.

This Week in Design: May 2, 2014

This Week in Design / 2 May 2014

This Week in Design: May 2, 2014

Sometimes a touch of something old reminds you of something new. This week the reminder of a forgotten book helped jog my creative thought process, while a new Wikipedia design concept really caught the attention of designers around the web.

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at [email protected].

How to Send a Great Email Newsletter on a Budget

Business / 28 Apr 2014

How to Send a Great Email Newsletter on a Budget

It seems like everyone has an email newsletter these days. From design, to maintaining subscribers, to clicking “send,” it can be expensive. But you can send a great newsletter on a budget.

It just requires a little planning. By doing some of the customizations and legwork yourself, you can create a great email marketing list and send a newsletter with a stellar design without handing over big money.

This Week in Design: April 25, 2014

This Week in Design / 25 Apr 2014

This Week in Design: April 25, 2014

Everything is new this week. From a new look for Twitter, a new set of Mother’s Day goodies and digital “paper,” there are plenty of design tools to preview. And if you are anything like me, new tools, trends and gadgets are always something to get excited about.

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at [email protected].

The Complete Guide to Special Characters

Typography / 21 Apr 2014

The Complete Guide to Special Characters

Not everything is as easy as ABC or 123. Sometimes your copy might require a character outside of the basic alphabet. That’s where special characters and glyphs come in. (Look around, they are more common than you might think at first.)

Depending on your workflow, inserting a glyph can be as simple as a keystroke or a multi-step process. Much of it depends on the software you are using, typography palette and how the final product will be published. Here, we are going to take a look at special characters, examples of use and tips for success.