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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.

The Golden Ratio in Design: Examples & Tips

Layouts / 24 Jun 2020

The Golden Ratio in Design: Examples & Tips

This might feel like a math lesson but hang in there. The golden ratio combines a little bit of math, a little bit of nature, and a lot of practical application for designers. Let’s take a look at what the golden ratio means for design, and a few tips for using it in your design projects.

The golden ratio has been used throughout history to create design elements that have an ideal visual appeal. Because the shape is rooted in nature and mathematics, it’s the perfect combination of balance and harmony. And it’s a superb tool to have up your sleeve as a designer.

Design Trend: Geo Shapes & Patterns (With Animation)

Trends / 24 Jun 2020

Design Trend: Geo Shapes & Patterns (With Animation)

Stylish geometry is a design trend that keeps coming back around. This time the new twist is that shapes and design elements include touches of animation to bring shapes and patterns to life. It’s easier than ever to implement animation on the web, in a simple and widely-supported way.

It’s also a nifty little design technique that can add visual interest to almost anything and works for all types of elements, from logos or icons to backgrounds to hero images.

Let’s take a look at this website design trend in action.

How (And Why) to Design for Local Businesses

Business / 22 Jun 2020

How (And Why) to Design for Local Businesses

Designing for a local business can be one of the most rewarding projects that you take on. When done well, you create a relationship with someone in your community that helps them grown and succeed.

Whether you’re creating a website or designing menus or flyers, working with a small business can stretch your creative muscles but it will make you think about the process a little different. Small businesses can be quite different than some of your bigger clients. They have a lot more on the line when it comes to design services and return on investment, they may have more questions, and they need to know how design can help them grow.

When you take a small business client, your approach to design will likely be a little different. Here’s how to think about it.

15 Procreate Tutorials (For Drawing, Lettering, Sketching + More)

Procreate Brushes / 17 Jun 2020

15 Procreate Tutorials (For Drawing, Lettering, Sketching + More)

Procreate is one of the hottest drawing apps on the market. It’s a robust tool that you can use for fun, personal projects as well as professional and client work on your iPad.

With a tool that has so much functionality, it can be a little overwhelming to think about it all. Working through tutorials can help, so we’ve collected 15 for Procreate to help you get started. These cover off all different levels of knowledge, and help you learn how to draw, letter, sketch and more in Procreate. Grab your iPad, pencil, and dive into some creative work!

And the best part is that every one is free.

Split Screen Web Design: The Trend That Keeps Growing

Trends / 15 Jun 2020

Split Screen Web Design: The Trend That Keeps Growing

Website design with a split-screen aesthetic is a trend that keeps evolving and growing. A split-screen design can be good for a number of reasons, including mobile compatibility and user-friendliness. Plus, many of these designs just look great!

Shifts in the trend show that there are so many different ways to create an effective split screen design that users will love. Consider this your introduction to split-screen design in the new and improved era!

20+ Stunning Photoshop Photo Effect Tutorials

Photoshop Actions / 8 Jun 2020

20+ Stunning Photoshop Photo Effect Tutorials

Working with Photoshop effects can be one of the most fun things you can do to transform images for design projects. From simple edits to major changes, effects can make all the difference. These Photoshop photo effect tutorials will help you learn, while also creating something stunning.

Many tasks in Photoshop, though, are a multi-step process that takes some work until you get used to it. You can create effects step-by-step on your own, or jumpstart the process using a Photoshop action or preset.

Working through tutorials can help, so here we’ve collected 20 photo effect options to help you get started.

Upgrade Your WordPress Website With Kinsta

Reviews / 3 Jun 2020

Upgrade Your WordPress Website With Kinsta

If you are running a website on WordPress, then you likely understand the value of managed WordPress hosting. Managed hosting helps keep your site up and running smoothly, often comes with backups, core and plugin updates, and monitoring security.

That’s a pretty expansive package that helps provide website peace of mind.

And you can get it all with Kinsta, a cutting-edge managed WordPress hosting provider with everything you need to take care of your website. (We trust it so much that we’re running this website on Kinsta.)

How to Edit a PowerPoint Template: A Quick Start Guide

PowerPoint Templates / 3 Jun 2020

How to Edit a PowerPoint Template: A Quick Start Guide

Whether you’re starting from scratch and building a custom template, or have a PowerPoint template you’ve downloaded and want to customize, knowing how to edit a PowerPoint template is a great skill to have in your kit.

We’re going to walk you through editing a PowerPoint template step-by-step, explaining all the PowerPoint terminology along the way!

If you like the presentation template we are using here—Creativa—you can get it from Envato Elements. It’s a great multi-purpose template that’s great for all types of presentations.

How to Add Text to a Video Online: 7 Tips & Tricks

Graphics / 3 Jun 2020

How to Add Text to a Video Online: 7 Tips & Tricks

Everywhere you look in web design, the hero image seems to be replaced with a hero video. And many of these videos include some type of text elements to provide additional information that draws you into the design.

When done right, the result can be rather stunning. When done wrong, video and text elements fall short of conveying a proper message.

Here, we’re going to look at how to ensure your video and text combinations are understandable, readable, and functional in your next design project.

Let’s dive into our assessment of how to add text to a video online, and the rules you should aim to follow as you do so!

Design Trend: Transparent Text With a Bold Background

Trends / 1 Jun 2020

Design Trend: Transparent Text With a Bold Background

Who said typography has to be boring? Designers are having a lot of fun with interesting type options, including the super trendy method of layering transparent text elements with interesting backgrounds, animations, and images.

There are plenty of ways to incorporate this website design trend into a project (or put your personal spin on it for printed projects as well).

Here are some ideas and inspiration to help you get started with using transparent text on a bold background.

Trend: Retro Serif Typography

Font Collections / 27 May 2020

Trend: Retro Serif Typography

Serif typography is having a moment. From thin lines to interesting shapes and even modern serifs, this trend is taking over new website projects. What’s great about serifs is that they can add a certain flair or mood to a design based on the style of letterforms.

This trend is using retro-style serifs in a number of ways. (Our favorite option is for display text that pairs a retro serif with a simple sans serif, to create some eye-catching contrast and variety).

Here’s how to use this trend with some examples that do it exceptionally well, covering a range of different design styles and niches.

8 Tips for Designing Instagram Stories That Don’t Suck

Instagram Templates / 25 May 2020

8 Tips for Designing Instagram Stories That Don’t Suck

Instagram stories are one of the hottest social media formats. The vertical format allows creators to share videos, photos, and mixed media content in a streaming medium, and introduces an entirely novel layout to design for.

The tricky part is creating stories that are enjoyable, shareable, and help people engage with your account, brand, or even get clicks to your website.

Here, we’re going to look at eight ways to create Instagram stories that help you meet goals, and stand out from the crowd.

Bonus: You can apply these design tips to Facebook stories as well.