Joshua Johnson

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





5 Cliche Logo Design Trends to Avoid
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!)

5 Former Design Trends That Aren’t Cool Anymore (So Stop Using Them)
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memory lane and looking at five design trends that used to be super cool, but now simply tend to make your design look outdated and even ugly.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.

Design an Ambigram Logo With Your Name
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.

20+ Brushes and Images for Creating Grungy Edges
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!

20+ Examples of Creative WordPress Sites
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!

Use Abstract Geometry to Create Stunning Designs
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.

Are You a Right-Brained or Left-Brained Designer?
Business / 17 Sep 2015

Are You a Right-Brained or Left-Brained Designer?

Colors, pictures, creativity; designers are quite obviously a group of people that tend to gravitate towards using the right sides of their brains… right? Or is this simply a stereotype that doesn’t necessarily ring true?

Is design exclusively artistic talent put to productive use or is it possible that the industry is equally full of analytical problem solvers? Let’s take a look at how designers think, whether you’re a right brainer or a left brainer, and how I’ve struggled through being a left brainer in an industry of right brainers.

6 Famous Logos That Leverage Inconsistent Design
Graphics / 29 Dec 2013

6 Famous Logos That Leverage Inconsistent Design

One of the most powerful tools that you can use to improve any design is repetition. Repeating colors, shapes and other visual elements throughout a design increases consistency and familiarity so that the design feels more attractive.

But what about the flip side of this idea? Is it possible to wield inconsistency in such a way that it improves the quality of a design? It turns out that lots of well known logos use this very tactic. Read on to see what they are.

Learn by Example: 6 Lessons for Designing Restaurant & Food Websites
Graphics / 22 Nov 2013

Learn by Example: 6 Lessons for Designing Restaurant & Food Websites

Today’s topic is a delicious one: restaurant and food websites. Small businesses pay the bills for freelance designers and local restaurants can serve as a major source of revenue. If you’re embarking on your first restaurant site design though, there are a few things that you should know.

In this article, we’ll learn by example as we take a look at lots of mouthwatering food and restaurant websites. By examining what these designers got right, you’ll help ensure your own success in this area.

Build a Super Easy CSS Slider With Thumbnails
CSS / 15 Nov 2013

Build a Super Easy CSS Slider With Thumbnails

Today’s project is another exploration of the types of practical applications that you can achieve with a little ingenuity and some fairly basic CSS. You’ll be blown away by how much you can achieve with just a few lines of code.

The final result with be a great way to display a strip of small image thumbnails that the user can hover to see larger images. Let’s dive in and see how it works.

Build a Freaking Awesome Pure CSS Accordion
CSS / 8 Nov 2013

Build a Freaking Awesome Pure CSS Accordion

Who has two thumbs and loves to push the bounds of CSS? This guy. Let’s jump into a project that does just that. It’s pretty experimental and won’t pass the semantic police, but it’ll teach you a heck of a lot about advanced CSS tactics and will be tons of fun.

What we’re going to build is a pure CSS horizontal accordion slider. You’ll be able to insert as many slides as you want, each with unique content and each accessible via a click event, all without a lick of JavaScript. Impossible you say? Never!

How and Why to Build Your Own Design Calculators
CSS / 1 Nov 2013

How and Why to Build Your Own Design Calculators

Design is a complex beast, web design doubly so. There’s a lot more than visual harmony and balance to consider, it’s often the case that you have to dig in and perform some real life mathematics (gasp!).

Oddly enough, I love thinking about this stuff, so much so that I actually build my own calculators rather than use the tools available from other developers. Today I’ll show you how and why to build your own design calculators so that you can master the numbers behind your designs.