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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 Amazingly Bizarre Minor League Baseball Logos

Inspiration / 16 Jul 2012

25 Amazingly Bizarre Minor League Baseball Logos

Being familiar with my love of logos and tendency to point out crazy design, a friend of mine recently showed me a fascinatingly bizarre niche of design of which I had, up to now, been entirely ignorant: Minor League baseball team logos.

When I tell you to prepare yourself for some of the zaniest examples of professional logo design that you’ve ever seen, I’m using neither exaggeration nor hyperbole. Buckle your seat belts, you’re in for quite a ride.

Breaking Free of Design Crutches

Graphics / 12 Jul 2012

Breaking Free of Design Crutches

You don’t want to talk about this topic, you don’t even want to think about it. That’s because, like most of us, you’re probably guilty of using quite a few “crutches” to get you by. Those little things that you default to in almost every design with almost no thought.

Let’s bring them to light. Let’s talk about what I see designers doing again and again and what I struggle with myself. Let’s stop hobbling along and start running towards great design.

Awesome Design in the Wild: Sevenly.org

Inspiration / 10 Jul 2012

Awesome Design in the Wild: Sevenly.org

Every now and then I come across a site that has one or two really inspiring bits of design and UI that are good enough for me to write about them. On even rarer cases, I find a whole site that’s just so overflowing with uniquely awesome design ideas that I have to share it with you. This article is about one such site.

Sevenly.org is a site dedicated to helping charities through the sale of limited edition custom t-shirts. Beyond the fact that I love the organization and what they stand for, I’m blown away by what they’ve done with the site and think it serves as a learning tool for web designers. Let’s take a look!

Designing on a Retina Screen: My Thoughts on the Retina MacBook Pro

Graphics / 9 Jul 2012

Designing on a Retina Screen: My Thoughts on the Retina MacBook Pro

220.5 pixels per inch: 2,800 wide and 1,800 tall for a total of over five million pixels. That’s the screen that I work on now, full time. This gives rise to tons of questions: does Apple have any business making such a screen? Will it help or hinder the industry? Can you really do design work on that thing if you’re designing for non-retina screens?

Today I’m going to tell you all about my experience with the machine that threatens to change the way you do your job. I’ll hold nothing back as I rave about what I love and rant about what drives me nuts. Read along and see if you agree with my conclusions.

Web Design Critique #83: Tech Cores

Critique / 6 Jul 2012

Web Design Critique #83: Tech Cores

Every week we take a look at a new website and analyze the design. We’ll point out both the areas that are done well in addition to those that could use some work. Finally, we’ll finish by asking you to provide your own feedback.

Today’s site is Tech Cores. Let’s jump in and see what we think!

How to Organize Your Shoots and Catalogs in Lightroom

Lightroom Presets / 5 Jul 2012

How to Organize Your Shoots and Catalogs in Lightroom

Typically I stick to strictly design related topics, but today we’re going to stretch that a bit with a quick discussion on Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Tons of designers take photos for their projects whether they consider themselves “photographers” or not so I’m sure lots of you will find this to be a useful topic.

The main struggle that I see with Lightroom users is simply organization. How can you keep multiple shoots separate? Where should you import your files? These are important questions and the answers aren’t very intuitive so today I’ll walk you through my basic process for keeping various shoots organized.

Help Prevent User Screw-Ups With These Awesome Tips

Software / 2 Jul 2012

Help Prevent User Screw-Ups With These Awesome Tips

As a user, don’t you hate it when you click a button, only to realize that the resulting action really isn’t what you wanted at all? Sometimes this is a minor annoyance and sometimes it’s a complete disaster that ruins hours or even days of work.

As a designer, it’s up to you to help your users avoid these tragic mistakes whenever possible. Today we’ll look at some methods that you can use to achieve this goal.

Web Design Critique #82: Paul O’Rely

Critique / 29 Jun 2012

Web Design Critique #82: Paul O’Rely

Every week we take a look at a new website and analyze the design. We’ll point out both the areas that are done well in addition to those that could use some work. Finally, we’ll finish by asking you to provide your own feedback.

Today’s site is the personal portfolio of Paul O’Rely, designer from Brazil. Let’s jump in and see what we think!

The 30 Best Web Design Gallery Picks of 2012

Inspiration / 28 Jun 2012

The 30 Best Web Design Gallery Picks of 2012

We’re well past the half way point of 2012, and it’s been an absolutely amazing year for web design. CSS3 and HTML5 are at the height of their game, responsive design is the poster child of modern web practices and we’re beginning to wrap our minds around new concepts such as serving up retina quality images to high resolution devices.

With all of this great stuff happening in the industry, the Design Shack Web Design Gallery is positively bursting with awesome new inspiration and I think it’s a great time to highlight the best sites that we’ve seen in 2012 so far. Read on to see our hand-picked selection of the thirty best sites submitted this year.

Brackets: Adobe’s Innovative Text Editor Project

Software / 27 Jun 2012

Brackets: Adobe’s Innovative Text Editor Project

Unlike Apple, Adobe seems to love sharing its product ideas when they’re in their infancy. This is both a good and a bad thing. As a user, it’s fun to see what Adobe has up its sleeve. Admittedly though, it’s frustrating to spend time working with a project only to see it vanish completely, never to come to full fruition. There’s also the frustration involved with using any sort of early beta project. Allowing users to check out the barely functioning version of your product might dissuade them from ever trying the finished one.

For better or worse, Adobe often shows its burgeoning products to the public, and the latest app in this trend is a text editor called Brackets. Adobe claims this new text editor will be innovative, open, focused and extensible. Will brackets live up to these lofty promises? Read on to find out.

Pull Off Awesome Scroll Effects With Stroll.js

CSS / 26 Jun 2012

Pull Off Awesome Scroll Effects With Stroll.js

Scrolling effects are all the rage these days. As the user moves down the page, content does more than move up the screen, it comes alive and becomes more interesting. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to pull these effects off with pure CSS. If you don’t know JavaScript, you’re out of luck.

That’s where Stroll.js comes in. It’s a super easy to implement library that makes applying mind-boggling scroll effects a breeze. All you have to do is paste in a couple of brief lines of JavaScript, the rest is all handled with HTML and CSS. Keep reading and I’ll show you how it works.