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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.

Why I Love Ampersands & You Should Too

Typography / 10 Feb 2014

Why I Love Ampersands & You Should Too

Without a doubt, the most beautiful character in the English language is the ampersand. The single character comes in so many fashions – from the simple & to the casual E- to t-style representations.

But where did this character come from? What does it mean? And most importantly how can you take advantage of using it in your design projects? Here we will take a look at my favorite character from its history to uses and a gallery of great ampersands to inspire you.

This Week in Design: Feb. 7, 2014

This Week in Design / 7 Feb 2014

This Week in Design: Feb. 7, 2014

Nothing tends to create more buzz than a popular website undergoing a redesign or design tweak. And that’s just what happened with Twitter earlier this week as the major news in the world of design. So much so that Twitter is still dominating many design conversations around the globe.

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].

10 Design Trends I Don’t Want to See in 2014

Layouts / 3 Feb 2014

10 Design Trends I Don’t Want to See in 2014

We talk a lot about emerging trends and how to make them work in a variety of design projects. But there are some design techniques that I am, quite frankly, sick of seeing. They are overused, overdone and just not effective anymore. (And if you use them, you risk having a design that looks like a lot of other stuff out there.)

Today, we’re going to take a look at 10 design trends that have outlasted their time. Do yourself a favor and really think about removing each of these tricks from your 2014 projects.

This Week in Design: Jan. 31, 2014

This Week in Design / 31 Jan 2014

This Week in Design: Jan. 31, 2014

This week the talk in the design world has hopped around from everything to a new logo-making tool, to the announcement of this year’s Smashing Conference, to the breakup of a pair of typography icons. And we even found a few great design deals to share as well.

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].

Understanding Design Copyrights and Trademarks

Business / 27 Jan 2014

Understanding Design Copyrights and Trademarks

Not that long ago we entertained a discussion about design plagiarism here on Design Shack, but what does it mean if your work is stolen? How do you even know if your work is protected? And moreover, what can you do about it?

That’s where the protection of copyrights and trademarks come in. But what are they? And how do they apply to your designed work? Let’s take a look.

This Week in Design: Jan. 24, 2014

This Week in Design / 24 Jan 2014

This Week in Design: Jan. 24, 2014

Today, we are starting a new feature at Design Shack and plan to bring you a roundup of everything new, cool and fun in the creative sphere each week. We’ll take 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].

Why You Should Be Sketching (Even if You Can’t Draw)

Inspiration / 13 Jan 2014

Why You Should Be Sketching (Even if You Can’t Draw)

The first part of any project, print or digital, should start on paper. Sketching can be an integral part of any design process — even if you can’t draw.

But who needs to sketch? Just artists and illustrators are required to put pen to paper, right? Wrong! Today we’ll take a look at why sketching can be an integral part of everyone’s design and brainstorming process.

Why Does User Experience Matter?

Articles / 30 Dec 2013

Why Does User Experience Matter?

User experience – notably poor user experience – has been a hot topic in recent months with the much-publicized launch of HealthCare.gov and its subsequent issues. User experience is a part of the design process that you don’t hear about unless something goes wrong. But it is something that should be an integral part of the design process, from early concepts to the final product.

So with this renewed – and very public – discussion about user experience, why does it matter to designers?

Radiant Orchid Named Pantone Color of the Year: Now What?

Inspiration / 19 Dec 2013

Radiant Orchid Named Pantone Color of the Year: Now What?

Unless you have been hiding from the design community for the last few weeks, you know that Pantone released its annual color of the year: Radiant Orchid.

The reviews are mixed. But there really are a lot of ways to incorporate this color into design projects if you want to be on-trend, and enjoy the challenge of crafting a design around a specific color!

Gift Guide for Designers – the 2013 Edition

Inspiration / 11 Dec 2013

Gift Guide for Designers – the 2013 Edition

What do you get for the designer who has it all this holiday season? The options are almost limitless with so many cool items out there for work and play.

From items under $10 to some rather pricey toys, Design Shack has the perfect gift ideas for every creative on your list this year. There are also plenty of digital options that are great if you have waited until the last minute to start shopping. (The hardest part will be not buying everything for yourself.) Happy holidays… and happy shopping!

Was My Design Plagiarized (Or Is That Just Flattery)?

Business / 3 Dec 2013

Was My Design Plagiarized (Or Is That Just Flattery)?

Is nothing original anymore? It’s a concept we designers talk about all the time. All original ideas “have been used already”. But is that true? (I, for one, am not sure I actually believe it.) And if it is true are we all plagiarizing other designs on a daily basis?

All of these are ideas that are thrown around loosely, but have quite serious implications. So how do you know if your design idea was plagiarized? Or is a similar concept just the most sincere form of flattery? Let’s dig a little deeper today…

10 Tips to Gain More Confidence as a Designer

Business / 25 Nov 2013

10 Tips to Gain More Confidence as a Designer

Sometimes when a project fails, it can be hard to get back on your feet again. We all take the occasional confidence knock from time-to-time. But to see continued success in this tricky industry, it’s important to be able to regroup and recover gracefully.

Here, we’ll look at ten things you can do to gain confidence as a designer. These tips can work for experienced designers after a troubled project, or new designers looking to break into the market. It’s advice worth taking to heart.