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Inspiring advice, tips, and suggestions for improving your graphic design skills, logo design, working with templates, and more.

How & Why Faces Increase User Engagement

Graphics / 28 Sep 2017

How & Why Faces Increase User Engagement

There’s a lot of science and psychology that goes into design. Even if you don’t consciously think about it, choices that you make when selecting imagery and user interface elements can establish a connection with users (or not) and even lead to higher engagement rates.

Using actual human faces in the design is one way to do this. Seeing a face can make people more likely to engage with a design because it makes the app/website/poster feel more human. It creates a more distinct emotional connection.

Here, we’re going to look at designs that use faces in different ways and how you can up user interaction with some of the same design techniques.

What’s a Logo Grid, and Why Should You Use One?

How to Design a Logo / 25 Sep 2017

What’s a Logo Grid, and Why Should You Use One?

So you need to design a logo. Where do you start? Shapes? Typography? A grid?

A logo grid or construction guide is a popular starting point for many designers looking to create a logo. The use of a grid system, especially for a design that might often render at extreme sizes – very large or small – can help you create something that has visual harmony, an organized aesthetic and purposeful design.

Are you in the middle of a logo design project? Learn about logo grids, typography, logo types and more in our in-depth guide on how to design a logo!

10 Best Tools & Tips for Choosing a Website Color Scheme

Graphics / 19 Sep 2017

10 Best Tools & Tips for Choosing a Website Color Scheme

Finding the perfect color combination for a website can be a challenging task, especially when you’re trying to make a particular design fit in with a client’s requirements. We’ve picked out a few great color scheme generating tools for you to easily create the perfect palette!

If you’re stuck trying to find the perfect color scheme for a website design, don’t feel bad. It’s OK if you’re not an expert on color palettes. You just need to find the right set of tools to do that job for you.

But, before you go crazy with the color tools, let’s figure out some of the things you need to consider when choosing the right color combination for a design.

5 Tips for Designing the Perfect eBook Cover

Graphics / 18 Sep 2017

5 Tips for Designing the Perfect eBook Cover

People are going to judge your eBook by its cover. The cover is the first impression and first chance you have to hook a reader. It has to be visually appealing, include lettering that’s easy to read and entice users to download (and read) your book.

The perfect eBook cover stands out from all the other books available, communicates what the book is about and sells a benefit to readers for downloading.

That’s a pretty tall order for a design that users are likely to only see for a few seconds (if that) when deciding to make a purchase. But there are design elements you can use to help encourage downloads. Here are five tips to help you design the perfect eBook cover.

Design Trend: Using Authentic Imagery and Photos

Graphics / 16 Aug 2017

Design Trend: Using Authentic Imagery and Photos

The virtual world has to be authentic to captivate users. Childish imagery or clip-art just won’t cut it. But there are still so many websites out there that use over-the-top stock photos, or images that don’t resonate with readers. It’s a problem.

To connect, you have to feel realistic and use authentic imagery and photos, so that users feel something when they interact with the website. It has to feel real. Join us as explore this trend, and share how you can use it to best effect!

8 Rules for Creating Effective Typography

Graphics / 14 Aug 2017

8 Rules for Creating Effective Typography

Today we’re going to discuss something that is both a hot trend and timeless art: typography. The basic rules outlined below will help you become more aware of how you structure and use typography in your designs.

Being conscious of these rules can improve nearly everything you create that contains a headline or major typographic element. Let’s get started!

8 Ways to Use Hand Drawn Icons & Elements

Graphics / 7 Aug 2017

8 Ways to Use Hand Drawn Icons & Elements

While there’s often a focus on pixel-perfect design elements, they aren’t suitable for everything. Sometimes you want something with a little more… whimsy. Something a little more authentic!

Hand drawn icons or elements can be just the right design technique to add something special to a project. While most designers won’t go crazy with elements that appear to be hand-drawn, a few touches can add a personal feel that users are drawn to.

It’s something that’s trending in web design as well. From a squiggle in an icon, to a full-experience that’s equal usability and art, hand drawn elements are a popular design option. Here are eight fresh ways to use this trend!

7 Tips for Creating a Website Header That Wows

Graphics / 31 Jul 2017

7 Tips for Creating a Website Header That Wows

A website header is often the first thing that a user sees. It can make or break the user experience, your branding, and much more!

To help retain users and keep them moving through the design, you need to create a website header that wows. And not just on the homepage. On every single page of the design. (Remember, a significant number of users don’t go to your homepage first.) Here’s how you do it.

Neon Colors in Web Design: The Do’s and Don’ts

Accessibility / 29 Jun 2017

Neon Colors in Web Design: The Do’s and Don’ts

Neon colors are tough to use without clashing with the rest of your design. They work great for signs and lights in real-world applications, but can present major issues in web design, unless carefully implemented.

Today, we’re going to look at ways to effectively use neon colors in your design work, with a list of do’s and don’ts to help you make the most of bold, bright color choices. You’ll be a neon ninja in no time, weaving it through your design work!

Design Trend: Waves and ‘Soft’ Lines

Graphics / 26 Jun 2017

Design Trend: Waves and ‘Soft’ Lines

There’s a softer design trend taking over website projects – waves and soft lines. Where backgrounds have been dominated by single “flat” color, we’re seeing a shift toward curved lines and waves.

The elements are lighter, softer and evoke a different overall feel for the design. What’s especially nice is that waves and softer lines can be used a lot of different ways so that each design feels totally different. (It’s one of those trends that can almost sneak up on you because it appears in so many forms.)

Here’s a look at the waves and “soft” lines trend in website design.

5 Cliche Logo Design Trends to Avoid

How to Design a Logo / 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!)

Are you in the middle of a logo design project? Learn more about how to make your concept stand out in our in-depth guide on how to design a logo!

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.