Joshua Johnson

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





CSS / 8 Oct 2012

Battle of the LESS Mixin Libraries: LESS Elements vs. LESS Hat vs. Bootstrap

LESS is a friendly, easily-approachable CSS preprocessor. Though ultimately, Sass and Stylus are more powerful and robust, LESS has a certain charm that keeps it as a forerunner in the battle of the preprocessors.

If you’re a Sass fan, then you can take advantage of Compass, an incredible framework that makes coding with complex CSS3 properties a breeze. But what about LESS users? Where’s their Compass? Today we’ll look at three awesome mixin libraries that will help fill that void.

CSS / 4 Oct 2012

How to Use Adobe Edge Web Fonts on Your Site

Adobe recently launched a free web font service to complement Typekit, their amazing premium service. Adobe Edge Web Fonts currently gives you around 500 free font families that you can use on your site today with little effort. How great is that?

The process for implementing these fonts isn’t quite as straightforward as some of the other services that you might be used to, so today we’re going to dive in and take a look at how it all works.

JavaScript / 2 Oct 2012

40 Awesome MooTools Plugins You Need to Check Out

Recently, we published an outstanding collection of 40 jQuery plugins that every developer should check out. Today we’re following that up with some love for the MooTools crowd.

Like jQuery, MooTools has an awesome community of developers that constantly churn out stellar free plugins for all types of tasks and interfaces. In this collection you’ll find plugins for sliders, lightboxes, tags, navigation and a lot more.

Software / 1 Oct 2012

How to Avoid Stupid Screw-Ups With Adobe Template Files

Don’t you hate it when you use some important file as a template and then accidentally save over it? I used to do this all the time and it frustrated me to no end.

Fortunately, Adobe has invented these great little template file types that fundamentally function differently than your normal files to make sure you don’t screw anything up. Read on to see how they work.

Critique / 28 Sep 2012

Web Design Critique #89: Discoveries Magazine

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 Discoveries Magazine, a medical research publication. Let’s jump in and see what we think!

Inspiration / 27 Sep 2012

Design a Vintage Typographic Wedding Invitation

Today we’re going to take a step back from the web to embark on a good old fashioned print design project. Wedding invitations have become a major target for home-grown design experiments so we’re going to dive into one and see what we can come up with.

We’ll use a major typography focus combined with some simple icons to give the finished product a sophisticated vintage appeal. We’ll also do the whole thing using just two spot colors.

Software / 26 Sep 2012

Adobe Edge: Does Adobe Finally Understand Developers?

Adobe and web design. They have a complicated history. I can never quite tell if Adobe is an estranged partner of web developers or an active advocate. Are they focused on empowering developers or replacing them with clunky WYSIWYGs?

Today we’re going to take a look at Adobe Edge Tools and Services, a new initiative from Adobe that might be enough to change your mind about how Adobe views coders.

Software / 25 Sep 2012

Finally, Collect for Output in Illustrator

For over a decade, a fierce debate has raged on about whether or not Adobe Illustrator is an appropriate tool for page layout projects. Should you really be building ads and brochures in an application meant for illustration?

The question is an interesting one, and those in the “yes” camp have always been held back by the simple lack of a “Collect for Output” feature. This has finally changed in CS6. So is the debate over? Not remotely. Read on and join the discussion.

Inspiration / 24 Sep 2012

30 Great Looking Web Designs Built With Diagonal Lines

Too often, we fall back on the same old design techniques and aesthetic feel. Why not mix it up every now and then and try something new? One technique that really seems to be gaining traction lately is the implementation of strong diagonal lines in web design.

After years of strict, standard grids that utilize clear vertical and horizontal directionality, a bold diagonal design can make a refreshing statement that’s eye-catching and attractive. Read on to see thirty recent examples of designers using diagonal lines in their work.

Graphics / 20 Sep 2012

How to Design the Perfect Twitter Header Image

Twitter recently rolled out an updated design for profile pages, which allows you to insert a new “header photo” that sits on top of your feed, much like Facebook’s timeline cover image.

Today we’re going to dive in and see some examples of good Twitter profile images and discuss how you can design your own. I’ll even toss in a free template so you can get started right away.

Business / 19 Sep 2012

Compromising With Clients: Play Nice or Take a Stand?

I was recently put in an interesting position where I had to choose between my professional principles and a paycheck. As a designer, you’re probably no stranger to this situation.

What’s the right course of action? When is compromise a laudable action and when is standing firm and refusing a request the better way to go? I’ll share my thoughts through a real and personal story.

Critique / 14 Sep 2012

Web Design Critique #88: SeaWorld

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 we have an awesome client that I’m sure we all love: SeaWorld! How cool is that? Let’s jump in and see what we think of their site.