Are you a member? Register or Login

Open Menu
  1. Authors
  2. David Appleyard

David Appleyard

David Appleyard

David Appleyard helps to build fun things for the design community, including Design Shack, Creative VIP, and Themelantic.

5 Traits of Successful Minimalism

Graphics / 2 Oct 2013

5 Traits of Successful Minimalism

At first glance, minimalist websites might look like they’ve just been slapped together as quickly as possible. After all, they’re plain and simple, and most people tend to associate lots of detail with good craftsmanship. But the same rules just don’t apply to the online world.

It only takes a small amount of user interaction to quickly reveal the quality of a minimalist site. This is because the original idea that fueled the rise of minimalism was that functionality is inherently beautiful. A design that clarifies and reveals the structure of a website can be just as appealing as one that obscures its purposes behind fancy decorative additions. Furthermore, it often yields a much better user experience, because those unnecessary distractions are eliminated.

Our Latest Membership Benefits on Creative VIP (And a 48 Hour Offer!)

News / 30 Sep 2013

Our Latest Membership Benefits on Creative VIP (And a 48 Hour Offer!)

In July, we introduced a new membership club for designers and creatives — Creative VIP. Since the launch, we’ve been working hard to increase the collection of exclusive discounts, benefits, and resources offered to members. MediaTemple, FontDeck, GatherContent, PixelKit — the list of benefits for our members keeps growing every week.

It’s been a pleasure getting to know some of our first members over the past few months, and we’ve been thrilled with the response so far. We’d like to give you a quick update on some of our new benefits and discounts today, as well as a one-off, 48 hour discount, if you’re thinking of joining.

Giveaway: Win PSD to HTML Coding From Markup-Service

Competitions / 12 Sep 2013

Giveaway: Win PSD to HTML Coding From Markup-Service

We’re excited to bring you another great competition today, giving you the chance to win one of three awesome packages from Markup-Service.com.

This is going to be a real treat for busy web designers and developers out there who need a little help with their PSD to HTML conversions. We have $600 of packages up for grabs, so read on to find out a little more about how to enter — it just takes a couple of seconds!

Current Color Trends: Muted Pastels

Graphics / 30 Jul 2013

Current Color Trends: Muted Pastels

Of late, you may have noticed a crop of new site designs have a softer and lighter look. After all the rainbow brights and even neon or fluorescent hues that have been so popular of late, it seems that some designers are taking a more subtle approach by using lighter or muted colors.

Although the same basic treatments are still being utilized — like colorized photography or color blocking — the new hues are making for a more refined and understated variation on these themes. Today we’re going to delve into this trend a little more, and explore various design examples and approaches.

Just 24 Hours Left to Claim Your Creative VIP Discount!

News / 23 Jul 2013

Just 24 Hours Left to Claim Your Creative VIP Discount!

Last week, we let you know about a new project we’ve just launched — Creative VIP! It’s an exclusive membership club for creative professionals, with special privileges and discounts on world-class products and services, hundreds of design resources, and lovely creative goodie bags.

We’re offering all Design Shack readers a 25% discount on their membership, but there’s just 24 hours left to take advantage of the offer! Read on to find out more about why you should become a member…

7 Lovely Flat Freebies for Designers

Freebies / 17 Jul 2013

7 Lovely Flat Freebies for Designers

The concept of “flat” design is fairly prevalent at the moment and, although you should never stick with a trend just because it’s the “in thing”, there’s certainly some merit to stripping back unnecessary design flourishes and focusing on the basics.

Today we’re featuring seven freebie packs that can help to give you a useful starting point when designing something with a flat, minimal look and feel. From icons to complete web templates, there’s plenty to get your teeth into!

Introducing Creative VIP: The Exclusive Membership for Creative Professionals

News / 16 Jul 2013

Introducing Creative VIP: The Exclusive Membership for Creative Professionals

As one of our awesome Design Shack readers, we wanted to let you know about a new project we’ve just launched — Creative VIP. It’s an exclusive membership club for creative professionals, and we’d love to welcome you as one of our first members.

Our members receive special privileges and discounts on world-class products and services, access to hundreds of design resources, and creative goodie bags on their doorstep. Keep reading to find out more about a Creative VIP membership, and to grab an exclusive 25% discount for Design Shack readers!

Using Moo.com for Your Wedding Stationery

Graphics / 8 Jul 2013

Using Moo.com for Your Wedding Stationery

Weddings can be an expensive business. Photographers, venues, food, drink, entertainment, and all manner of other things to consider. But it’s also a fun opportunity for some design work! Wedding “branding” and stationery has the potential to be another big wedding expense, but by thinking a little creatively, you can not only give your special day a personal touch, but also cut down on the cost.

Today I’ll be sharing a little insight into how you can use your copy of Photoshop, and Moo.com, to create a fantastic array of different wedding stationery. We did it for our wedding a couple of weeks ago, and it went down brilliantly.

5 Premium WordPress Themes Up for Grabs

Competitions / 25 Jun 2013

5 Premium WordPress Themes Up for Grabs

We’re excited to let you know that we have 5 premium WordPress themes up for grabs this week from TemplateMonster. Entering is easy, and the lucky winners will be able to choose any theme from a library of over 1,600 WordPress themes (including over 200 responsive templates).

Read on to find out how to enter, and be in a chance with winning your own theme — complete with 24/7 support from TemplateMonster!

Understanding Agile Design and Why It’s Important

Business / 19 Jun 2013

Understanding Agile Design and Why It’s Important

It’s no secret that the agile development process has been hurtling through the development world for several years now, swatting aside the older, clunkier waterfall development method. To be fair, whether it was agile or something else, waterfall really had it coming, as its risk-averse, top down approach just can’t keep pace with the demands of today’s marketplace.

While similar changes are occurring in the design world, the agile design process should necessarily look and feel a little different than agile development; they are, after all, different disciplines. Let’s take a deeper look first at what agile development is, and then at a few great ways to adapt the process to the design world.

How to Choose Effective and Attractive Icons in Your Designs

Graphics / 20 May 2013

How to Choose Effective and Attractive Icons in Your Designs

Icons can be considered one of the universalities of web design; almost any website benefits from the addition of at least a few of them. So it’s tempting to assume that if you sprinkle in a handful of these little pictures, your job is done. But there’s a lot more to it than that: good icons should feel like they’re visually integrated into the group of images that they’re in, as well as into the site design as a whole. They need to have a conceptual clarity and purpose that goes beyond being mere eye candy. Any icon that doesn’t serve a stated purpose, or doesn’t convey the right concept in its imagery, is one that needs to be reconsidered.

Of course, there’s room for interpretation and generalization with any kind of imagery, but icons are not mere illustrations that are used purely to break up space and add interest: they’re visual metaphors that can invest meaning into a subject at a single glance; and as such, they’re a powerful tool for improving user experiences.