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Joshua Johnson

Joshua Johnson

Equal parts editor, writer, designer, and photographer. Hit me up on Twitter, or check out my photos.

25+ Best Google Chrome Extensions for Designers and Developers

Software / 9 Oct 2019

25+ Best Google Chrome Extensions for Designers and Developers

Browser extensions can speed up design workflows, helping you do everything from identifying a font, to pulling a color swatch, to inspecting the code of an element. Google Chrome has edged out all other browsers with the top market share among users, on more than 58 percent of all computers.

And there are plenty of extensions out there to help you optimize the performance of Chrome in your design workflows.

We compiled an awesome collection of 25 extremely useful Google Chrome Extensions for designers and developers.

Should We Kill the CAPTCHA?

Accessibility / 21 Aug 2019

Should We Kill the CAPTCHA?

Do you like CAPTCHAs? Don’t lie, of course you don’t. On the fun scale, you rank them right up there with dentists and IRS agents. However, as an intelligent web designer or developer, you understand that they are a necessary annoyance.

But wait, are they really? Given the collective talent and intelligence of the web design community, is a fuzzy string of letters really the best that we can up up with?

If users hate these things so much, why not come up with something new? Let’s explore this idea and see if we can inject some fresh ideas into the conversation.

The Lowdown on :before and :after in CSS

CSS / 7 Aug 2019

The Lowdown on :before and :after in CSS

We previously took a look at :active, an extremely handy pseudo-class selector that can be used to create some awesome mouse-down effects. Today we’re going to take a step back and explore some other “pseudo” items, this time we’ll be looking at the pseudo-elements :before and :after.

You’re probably beginning to see these used all over the web in advanced CSS examples so you might as well jump in and learn to use them yourself.

What is a pseudo-element and how does it differ from a pseud-class? Why do pseudo-elements sometimes have one colon and sometimes have two?

How are :before and :after implemented in CSS? What are some ways that developers all over the web are using these tools to perform amazing feats of modern coding?

Read on to find out.

The Lowdown on Absolute vs. Relative Positioning

CSS / 6 Aug 2019

The Lowdown on Absolute vs. Relative Positioning

When I was first learning web development, the style side of CSS seemed straightforward and fun, but performing layout feats seemed like a confusing mess. I sort of felt my way around without a solid understanding of how things like positioning and floats worked and as a result it would take hours to perform even simple tasks. If this situation sounds familiar, then this article is for you.

One of the real revelations that I had early on was when I was finally able to wrap my head around how positioning contexts worked, especially when it came to the difference between absolute and relative positioning.

Today we’re going to tackle this subject and make sure you know exactly how and when to apply a specific positioning context to a given element.

25+ Awesome Responsive Blog Designs

Inspiration / 2 Aug 2019

25+ Awesome Responsive Blog Designs

Whether you’re a blogger looking for the perfect design for your next website or a web designer looking to get inspired for your next project, the process always starts the same way—by exploring designs made by others.

We’re here to make that process easier for you. In this post, we’re featuring a roundup of some of the best and most professional blog designs you can find on the Internet. If you’re working on a new blog layout design, or simply planning on making a new blog, you can start your search for inspiration right here!

5 Really Useful Responsive Web Design Patterns

CSS / 30 Jul 2019

5 Really Useful Responsive Web Design Patterns

Responsive web design requires a very different way of thinking about layout that is both challenging and exciting. The art of layout was already complex enough for the centuries that it was defined by fixed elements, now things are becoming exponentially more complicated as layouts become increasingly adaptive.

To help reprogram your brain to consider layouts in new ways, we’re going to take a look at some interesting responsive design patterns that are being implemented by talented designers all over the web.

Mobile First Design: Why It’s Great and Why It Sucks

CSS / 23 Jul 2019

Mobile First Design: Why It’s Great and Why It Sucks

Historically, most web designers and their clients have approached the desktop side of any project first, while leaving the mobile part as a secondary goal that gets accomplished later. Even with the rise of responsive design, many of us begin with the “full size” site and work our way down.

There’s a growing trend in the industry though to flip this workflow on its head and actually begin with mobile considerations and then work up to a larger desktop version.

Why would you ever approach a project this way? What are some of the pros and cons of this strategy? Read on to find out!

Inner Shadows in CSS: Images, Text and Beyond

CSS / 10 Jul 2019

Inner Shadows in CSS: Images, Text and Beyond

Shadows in CSS are quick and easy, whether you’re slapping on a box-shadow or a text-shadow. But how comfortable are you with inner shadows? Can you pull off an inset box-shadow? How do you do the same thing on some text?

Today we’re going to learn some really simple inset shadow techniques that you can pull off with just a few lines of code. I’ll walk you through both the box-shadow and text-shadow syntax and how to change them to pull off an inset shadows.

10 Awesome Places to Download Free Vector Art

Graphics / 19 Apr 2019

10 Awesome Places to Download Free Vector Art

Despite what many would think, the term web designer does not always imply an artist. There are many very capable web developers and designers that are lucky to pull off a quality stick figure on most days. For those that are able to create complicated artwork, there are plenty of times when you’re up against a deadline need something generic.

For either of these situations, you can’t beat free vectors. Though the quality varies dramatically depending on the source, there’s no shortage of great work out there that you can download and use in your projects immediately. Below we’ll take a look at ten websites offering free vectors of various types.

10 Tips for Designing Logos That Don’t Suck

Inspiration / 4 Mar 2019

10 Tips for Designing Logos That Don’t Suck

So you’re designing a logo. It sounds like an easy enough task, right? Draw a circle, type in the company name and you’re done (I’ve literally heard a designer suggest that very process). Unfortunately, if you’re really worth the money the client is paying you, there’s a lot more to it than that.

There are a million people in the logo design industry today dishing out crappy logos in bulk for crowdsourcing sites. How do you as a serious professional stand out from the crowd and produce quality logos that don’t suck? Read on to find out.

Are you in the middle of a logo design project? Don’t forget to check out our in-depth guide on how to design a logo!

50 Wonderful Wedding Invitation & Card Design Samples

Inspiration / 9 Oct 2018

50 Wonderful Wedding Invitation & Card Design Samples

It’s astounding how many people weddings provide employment to: photographers, caterers, florists, and even designers can make a great living by focusing partially or even completely on clients planning their marriage.

Wedding invitation card design is one of the most creative areas of print design today. Talented designers really pull out all the stops and create some amazingly inspirational pieces. Keep reading to see fifty astounding examples of wedding invitation design (and a few trends to watch out for).

The 10 Best Script and Handwritten Google Fonts

CSS / 29 Aug 2018

The 10 Best Script and Handwritten Google Fonts

A good script font is hard to find. I’m extremely picky when it comes to this particular area of typefaces and tend to hate most of what I see. With this post, you can skip the work of sorting through the junk, and cut straight to the best script and handwritten Google Fonts that are readable, attractive and perfect for your site.

All of the fonts are shown with a unique CSS treatment (and provided with the code you need for quick implementation!) They’re also all served up with Google Fonts so you’ll be up and running with a quick copy and paste, no downloads required!