Joshua Johnson

Equal parts editor, writer, designer, & photographer. Hit me up on Twitter, read my Mac tutorials or check out my photos.





Graphics / 26 Jul 2017

10 Awesome Places to Download Free Vector Art

Despite what many would think, the term web designer does not always imply 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 is a tone 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.

CSS / 19 Jul 2017

12 Fun CSS Text Shadows You Can Copy and Paste

Typography is everyone’s favorite toy in web design. One particularly fun tool that CSS gives you to play with your type is text-shadow, which seems simple enough at first but can be used to create some remarkable effects with a little ingenuity and creativity.

Today we’re going to run through several text-shadow examples that you can copy and paste for your own work.

CSS / 13 Jul 2017

10 Great Google Font Combinations You Can Copy

The average man considers which flavor of Doritos will taste good with his Heineken. The sophisticated man considers which cheese will pair well with his choice of wine. The designer of course considers which two fonts will look great on the same page.

Today we’re going to use the Google Font API as a playground for mixing fonts and finding ideal pairings. You’ll be able to skim through and instantly grab out selections that you think are appropriate for your projects. The best part? You need only to copy and paste our code to implement these fonts on your site. It’s completely free and there are no downloads required.

Business / 6 Jul 2017

6 Portfolio Design Mistakes That Drive Me Nuts

Your public portfolio is one of the most important things you’ll ever design. It presents you to the world and, if you’re a freelancer, tends to play a major role in whether or not people choose to hire you.

I’ve viewed a ton of online portfolios and today I’d like to walk through some of the weaknesses I see time and time again. Read on to see if you’ve made some of these mistakes.

CSS / 28 Jun 2017

5 Ways to Learn Web Design: Which Is Right for You?

The web design education industry has exploded from a small niche to a powerful, continually expanding force. Countless people all over the planet are interested in learning about how to build and design websites, and tons of companies are cropping up promising the ultimate solution.

The good news for you is that increased competition in this field is a great thing for customers. You have more options than ever for learning just about anything you want to know concerning web technologies. The big question though is, with so many options available, which is the right one for you? We’ll go over a number of different strategies being used to teach web development and discuss how you can figure out the most appropriate for your unique learning style. We’ll also include some resources to get you started on each available path.

Business / 23 Jun 2017

10 Awful Client Cliches That Make Every Designer Cringe

This is the third part in our series all about making fun of design related clichés that drive us all crazy. We put out the word on Twitter and asked for some of the worst things that you hear again and again from clients. The following are some of our favorites!

We’ve already picked on designers plenty with 5 Former Design Trends That Aren’t Cool Anymore and 5 Cliché Logo Design Trends to Avoid, now it’s time to turn around and give some attention to all the crazy things that clients say to their designers. There’s no shortage of cliches to choose from!

Graphics / 21 Jun 2017

5 Cliche Logo Design Trends to Avoid

Logos are one of the trickiest things to get right in the graphic design world. It takes almost zero talent to make a logo — virtually anyone can do it. However, making a good logo requires a lot of insight, artistic skill and patience.

Too often we see designers falling into the trap of rushing into a logo design project and coming up with ideas that are so overused that they’re downright cringe-worthy. Today we’re going to take a look at five logo trends that fit this description. Read on to see if any of your go-to techniques are on the list (and make a mental note to avoid them in the future!)

Graphics / 15 Jun 2017

5 Former Design Trends That Aren’t Cool Anymore (So Stop Using Them)

If you’re like me, looking at your own design work from a few years ago can often result in some laughable or even cringe-worthy moments. Design styles have been steadily evolving and most of us can’t help but be affected by these changes. Who among us hasn’t piled on the cheesy Photoshop layer effects, all the while thinking the result was downright awesome?

However, some of us are a little slower to evolve than others. Today we’ll be taking a walk down memory lane and looking at five design trends that used to be super cool, but now simply tend to make your design look outdated and even ugly. If you’re currently still stuck on these trends, it might be time to move along! We’ll help you out with some modern alternative practices that you can use to bring your design skills into the current year in a hurry.

Graphics / 8 Jun 2017

Design an Ambigram Logo With Your Name

Ambigrams are a particularly complex type of typographical art that can be read identically in different orientations. They typically take the form of a word that reads the same way upside down as it does right side up.

Today we’re going to see what’s involved in creating ambigrams and walk through creating a basic one on our own.

Freebies / 3 May 2017

20+ Brushes and Images for Creating Grungy Edges

Creating complex edges manually in Photoshop can be an arduous task. Fortunately, there are tons of free brushes and images online that will make this process a breeze.

Keep reading to see our collection of 20 brushes and images with torn, burned and grungy edges!

Inspiration / 13 Mar 2017

20+ Examples of Creative WordPress Sites

Looking for inspiration to build your own beautiful WordPress website? You’ve come to the right place.

A great thing about building a project with WordPress is that there’s no shortage of themes for styling your website with any type of design. But, since there are so many themes out there, finding a design with a unique and a creative look won’t be easy.

So, to help save your valuable time, we decided to curate some of the best WordPress themes with unique and creative designs. Have a look, be inspired, and build your own creative WordPress websites using these beautiful examples!

Inspiration / 24 Sep 2015

Use Abstract Geometry to Create Stunning Designs

If you’ve ever found yourself in a design rut, wondering how to come up with some fresh ideas, then you’ve no doubt experienced how refreshing it can be to experiment with a new design style that’s completely outside of what you typically produce.

Today we’re going to do exactly that. I’ve been fascinated with a particular style lately and just itching to give it a test drive. We’ll start by analyzing this style’s characteristics through the work of others and then proceed to building something on our own using what we learn. Read on to see the step by step process.