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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.

No Coding Necessary: Build a Striking Website With Breezi

Software / 19 Dec 2012

No Coding Necessary: Build a Striking Website With Breezi

Breezi is the website design application for beginners. It is a great tool for those who maybe don’t have the coding ability to produce a site that looks like they would hope. The tools are easy to use, there are almost limitless options for customization and even a few templates to help you get started.

Here we look at the web-based tool. And if you think Breezi is for you, you can enter to win one of five pro licensees that the company is giving away to Design Shack readers. (Enter using the Rafflecopter at the end of this post.)

Sketchpad to Screen: Testing Your Next Prototype With ZURB’s Solidify

HTML / 6 Dec 2012

Sketchpad to Screen: Testing Your Next Prototype With ZURB’s Solidify

ZURB, the company behind Foundation and apps Notable and Verify, has introduced a nifty new product in Solidify, which allows early-stage prototype testing.

What’s neat about the application is that it allows you to upload prototype images (from almost any stage of a project) and submit them for real user testing. And we’re not just talking finished designs here; you can actually upload and test based on a sketch.

How to Create a Visual Brand for Yourself

Business / 13 Nov 2012

How to Create a Visual Brand for Yourself

Getting work is about more than your portfolio. Designers must also know a bit about marketing. This is especially true for freelancers. Your marketable self can, and will, help you land (or lose) work before it even hits your radar.

It is important to create a consistent brand for yourself today. Look at the channels you are using and how you are identified online, decide how you want to be identified and what your name and image should be, and then go out and make it happen. Here are a few tips to get you started.

8 Design Books You Should Own

Inspiration / 23 Oct 2012

8 Design Books You Should Own

Think back to when you first learned design. Where did you start? Likely it in some way was connected to a book, whether on your own or in a classroom. And you still need books today. Having a great stack of reference materials on hand as I work is a must.

Need a little inspiration? Grab a book. Looking for a color combo that you have not tried? Grab a book. Need a new way to present some information? Grab a book! Here are eight of my favorite resources – and items that I just could not work without.

Art vs. Design: Are They the Same Thing?

Articles / 29 Aug 2012

Art vs. Design: Are They the Same Thing?

Every project is created by design. It is thought out, analyzed and finally, designed and executed.

But is every design project also a work of art? How similar (or different) are the processes and results? You may find that every designer or artist has a different definition. Here I will share my characteristics of each. (Feel free to agree with or even challenge me.)

Seven Online Infographic Builders That You Have to Try

Software / 16 Aug 2012

Seven Online Infographic Builders That You Have to Try

The world is becoming increasingly visual – especially the online world. Thanks to social media and the explosion of sites such as Pinterest, displaying information in a visual way has become even more important. But it can be time consuming and even brain-boggling.

There are a host of tools out there though that can help you turn information into pretty good (and Pinterest-friendly) infographics in a matter of minutes. Here we take a look at some of the top contenders, how they work, what they cost and if they are worth your time (and money).

Think Vertical: The Influence of Mobile Design on Orientation

Layouts / 23 Jul 2012

Think Vertical: The Influence of Mobile Design on Orientation

Mobile design has me sketching more vertically. And I don’t think it is just me.

I am seeing more and more sites across platforms incorporating more vertical components into their overall design. Forget “above the scroll,” let’s talk about going vertical.

Intentional or Not: Mathematical Theory in Design

Articles / 18 Jul 2012

Intentional or Not: Mathematical Theory in Design

Some of the principles may be hundreds of years old, but they are still powering good design today. Time-tested mathematical theories have long-shaped our collective definition of what looks good.

You may plan to use some mathematical theories as part of your design project from the early stages, others can be unintended. Either way, mathematical rules still apply to almost every project, from print to web design. It is important to understand the role of math in design and account for how it can affect the look and feel of your projects.

You’re a Designer and Don’t Have a Website? Get Started Now

Business / 12 Jun 2012

You’re a Designer and Don’t Have a Website? Get Started Now

It is still hard for me to imagine that there are print and even web designers who don’t have their own websites. It is imperative in today’s business climate that everyone has a digital portfolio and that it is up-to-date. The hard part is just getting started.

What you don’t need is a world-class website filled with animations and color and gimmicks. What you do need to have is a clean, easy to navigate site that showcases your work. You can go all out and design a site from scratch or for a quick fix, use one of the many (and often free) host sites available to create get your portfolio and be online by the end of the week.

Think About Images and Text Together

Layouts / 28 May 2012

Think About Images and Text Together

Good design centers on good content. Good content needs good design to survive and stand out among all the other choices out there. The most successful design projects come together because of content-driven design.

It is easy though for designers get stuck in an image or text rut. This frequently happens because people tend think about text and images on their own. What we should be doing is writing copy with images in mind and preparing design projects with the text in mind. Think about how images and text will work together as you plan your next project.

Preparing Your Web Design for Print

Layouts / 11 May 2012

Preparing Your Web Design for Print

When was the last time a client asked you to design something for print? Did you feel comfortable meeting the request? There are a few key standards that you should understand to make the successful jump from online to printed design.

When planning a print project you really have to take the medium, format and printing press in mind when putting together a project. It is also important to understand the differences in how color works, font embedding and other just preparing your flier, magazine cover or business card for print.

Above the Scroll: Does It Matter Anymore?

Articles / 4 May 2012

Above the Scroll: Does It Matter Anymore?

There is an ever-growing argument in the design community about whether designing for the scroll on your website is necessary. The arguments for producing stellar design concepts for the first part of the website a viewer will see and those against are wide ranging and are greatly affected by changes in technology.

Where the scroll lands on the screen is even changing with wider monitors and great variances in the size viewers open their web browsers. How can a designer account for all of it?