Category: Layouts

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aspect-ratio
Layouts / 17 Feb 2015

Understanding and Working With Aspect Ratio

Every image, every canvas, every frame has a shape. And often that shape is a rectangle. Even more common is a rectangle of a particular proportion based on medium.

From cameras to television to movies to computer screens, every medium has an almost distinct shape on to itself. That can be a challenge for designers, especially when you have to crop and convert content and information to fit a variety of mediums. Because of all these different shapes, understanding aspect ratios can help you easily move images and designs from one medium to another.

phi-thirds-lede
Layouts / 9 Feb 2015

Looking at Images: Phi Grid vs. Rule of Thirds

When you are thinking about images, do you consider framing and the shape of the crop? The answer does not lie in the shape of the box you just created on a design canvas. It has a lot to do with the content of the image itself.

How you frame and crop images can impact engagement and even how a person looking at the image feels about it (whether they know it or not). Here, we’re going to look at two different ways of thinking about images – using the phi grid and rule of thirds — and how you can apply them to your work.

u-strands
Layouts / 22 Dec 2014

How to Balance Text and Visual Content in Design

We’ve all heard the phrase “sex sells” but when it comes to design, what does the selling? Text or images? The reality is that both are essential parts of almost every design project. What makes the difference between a project that works and one that falls short is striking the right balance between the two.

While visuals are often processed faster, text can provide greater understanding. Creating balance between text and visual content is a combination of understanding your project and the best method of delivery for content, audience expectation, weighting of elements and delivery.

dog-empathy
Layouts / 10 Nov 2014

Empathy and Design: What You Should Consider

Do you need to think about empathy when you design? (The answer is yes.) It may seem like a pretty common sense answer, but too often we get caught up in the design and message and not the user.

Who are you creating the design for? How will they connect with it? That’s where empathy comes in. Thinking about it from the start of the process can help you put together an even more successful project. (As you read through this post, look at the examples and think about the emotions these sites make you feel.)

footer-lede
Layouts / 27 Aug 2014

15 Tips for Creating a Great Website Footer

One of the most important locations on your website is the footer. Yes, seriously. It may not be the area of the greatest design or most impressive content but it is a place where users frequently look for information. So it is vitally important that you don’t neglect this area when planning a web design project.

But what elements should you include? How can you keep the footer organized and in line with your overall aesthetic without being obtrusive? You’ve come to the right place. Here we’ll look at tips for creating a great footer with examples of some websites that are doing it well.

How to Create Patterns in Design Projects
Layouts / 20 Aug 2014

How to Create Patterns in Design Projects

Think of how many patterns you follow in your daily routine. From waking up and getting ready for work to falling asleep each night, the day is filled with these small repeating elements that create order and calm. Patterns in design do the very same thing: These repeating elements can bring order to a project and create a sense of calm (or chaos) to set a tone.

That’s the true appeal of a pattern. It helps direct users through an aesthetic by following the pattern or series of objects and tells users how to interact with something. Designers can create patterns in a number of ways – with backgrounds, objects, color, words, panels or by using a combination of these elements.

binding
Layouts / 18 Aug 2014

Designer’s Guide to Printing Book-Style Items

One of the most complex jobs you can take on as a designer is getting something ready for book-style printing. Not only will this type of project include a lot of pages, it can also come with options not available for other types of design projects and its own set of terms and lingo.

What are the terms you need to understand when getting something ready to be printed book-style? We’ve got the answers so you can tackle your first book-style or bound printing job.

mapping
Layouts / 23 Jun 2014

10 Ways to Use Mapping in Web or App Design

Almost everywhere you look these days, you find a map or location-based nugget of information. Almost every app asks for a location and it is becoming more and more common on desktop websites as well.

But if you have not branched out into the world of mapping or location data, it may seem a little intimidating. How can you effectively use mapping services for your website or app? We’ll take a look at 10 ways you can integrate a map today.

horiz-harm
Layouts / 6 May 2014

Horizontal Harmony in Design: Keep It Between the Lines

Horizontal harmony. It’s one of those things that you seem to only notice when it is missing. Horizontal harmony is the relationship between elements across a design. It’s more than lines and rules; it’s also an invisible grid creates a sense of place for design elements.

How can you create horizontal harmony? While some techniques are easier than others, it is not an overwhelming concept. It just takes a little planning. By thinking about things such as a baseline grid, space between lines of text, positioning of elements and the overall aesthetic, horizontal harmony is just part of the design process.

parallax-lede
Layouts / 17 Feb 2014

2014 Will Be Year of Parallax

A somewhat bold prediction: 2014 will go down as the year of parallax. Before you downplay this reemerging trend, think about it. With developments in HTML, CSS and jQuery, and more people running on high-speed internet connections it is not a stretch to think this nifty technique will really explode this year.

Parallax scrolling effects are fun, user friendly and allow for new types of creative thought in the website design process. The end result is a technique that can be fun to create and can create a highly visual and interactive experience for users.

long-shadow
Layouts / 3 Feb 2014

10 Design Trends I Don’t Want to See in 2014

We talk a lot about emerging trends and how to make them work in a variety of design projects. But there are some design techniques that I am, quite frankly, sick of seeing. They are overused, overdone and just not effective anymore. (And if you use them, you risk having a design that looks like a lot of other stuff out there.)

Today, we’re going to take a look at 10 design trends that have outlasted their time. Do yourself a favor and really think about removing each of these tricks from your 2014 projects.

elements-lede
Layouts / 19 Nov 2013

10 Crucial Elements for Any Website Design

While every designer may have a different plan when it comes to building a website, they do have a common checklist. No matter how you try to avoid it, there are a few elements every website should (and usually does!) include.

From plenty of whitespace and great images, to search functionality and clear calls-to-action, these common elements are the things that users expect when it comes to using a site with ease. Today we’re taking a look at ten elements you should prioritise on your website, perfectly designed examples of each, and tips on how to use each in your next website design project. As the saying goes, “the devil is in the details.”