Category: Layouts


Layouts / 8 Feb 2013

How to Use Centered Alignments: Tips and Examples

Today we’re going to go back to basics with a “design 101” discussion on alignments. Centered alignments are an easy place to go wrong and if you don’t know how to wield them properly, the result is a very poorly structured page.

Join us as we take a look at why centered alignments tend to be weak, where you should avoid them and how you should be using them.

Layouts / 25 Jul 2012

Is Microsoft Finally Getting the Hang of Design?

Could it be that the king of clutter is finally beginning to grasp the concept of basic layout principles and consistent branding? Will Microsoft turn into a company known for its attractive design?

Follow along as we compare the downfalls of the past to the bold new direction that Microsoft is taking for its visual messaging. Whether you’re a Mac or PC user, you’ll likely be surprised by how far the boys in Redmond have come.

Layouts / 23 Jul 2012

Think Vertical: The Influence of Mobile Design on Orientation

Mobile design has me sketching more vertically. And I don’t think it is just me.

I am seeing more and more sites across platforms incorporating more vertical components into their overall design. Forget “above the scroll,” let’s talk about going vertical.

Articles / 18 Jul 2012

Intentional or Not: Mathematical Theory in Design

Some of the principles may be hundreds of years old, but they are still powering good design today. Time-tested mathematical theories have long-shaped our collective definition of what looks good.

You may plan to use some mathematical theories as part of your design project from the early stages, others can be unintended. Either way, mathematical rules still apply to almost every project, from print to web design. It is important to understand the role of math in design and account for how it can affect the look and feel of your projects.

Layouts / 6 Jun 2012

Vector vs. Raster: What Do I Use?

With all of the image options and file formats out there, it can be a little overwhelming when you are choosing what file type to use (and send to clients). Compatibility is always a concern when you are working with different file types, but when it comes to graphics and images the type of computer graphic format you use is essential to how the image renders.

There are two types of digital graphics files – vector and raster. Vector images are made of hundreds of thousands of tiny lines and curves (or paths) to create an image. Raster images are composed of pixels. But how do you know what format is best for your next project?

Layouts / 28 May 2012

Think About Images and Text Together

Good design centers on good content. Good content needs good design to survive and stand out among all the other choices out there. The most successful design projects come together because of content-driven design.

It is easy though for designers get stuck in an image or text rut. This frequently happens because people tend think about text and images on their own. What we should be doing is writing copy with images in mind and preparing design projects with the text in mind. Think about how images and text will work together as you plan your next project.

Layouts / 11 May 2012

Preparing Your Web Design for Print

When was the last time a client asked you to design something for print? Did you feel comfortable meeting the request? There are a few key standards that you should understand to make the successful jump from online to printed design.

When planning a print project you really have to take the medium, format and printing press in mind when putting together a project. It is also important to understand the differences in how color works, font embedding and other just preparing your flier, magazine cover or business card for print.

Layouts / 10 May 2012

Design to the Power of Three: The Magically Ubiquitous Number

Three is only a number, right? Just one of ten numerals that we use to express value, nothing more. Or is it perhaps a lot more? Is the number three a designer’s best friend? Does it drive art, photography, design, architecture and even the natural order of the universe?

Join us as we take a look at some ways that designers leverage the number three, and more importantly, why you should keep the number three in mind whether you’re designing websites, print ads or even logos.

Articles / 4 May 2012

Above the Scroll: Does It Matter Anymore?

There is an ever-growing argument in the design community about whether designing for the scroll on your website is necessary. The arguments for producing stellar design concepts for the first part of the website a viewer will see and those against are wide ranging and are greatly affected by changes in technology.

Where the scroll lands on the screen is even changing with wider monitors and great variances in the size viewers open their web browsers. How can a designer account for all of it?

Articles / 13 Apr 2012

How to Sell Your Design Idea

Sometimes getting others to visualize your great idea is not so simple and takes some “selling” on your part. It may even take advance (or free) mock-up work to help some of the non-visual people in the room get on the same page with your idea.

Here are a few things you can do to help you get your idea on the fast-track to approval and how to really sell your design concept.

Articles / 23 Mar 2012

Big Design in Small Spaces

It’s easy to get caught up in the big picture sometimes – what your whole site looks like or the message it conveys. Just as important though, are the small spaces. The look of your banner, sidebars and even the dreaded-in-some-circles above the scroll presentation can bring people into or turn people away from your site.

Effective design in restricted, and even constricted spaces can be the key to adding just the right flair to your site. Simple design tools such as cropping, color, text display and contrast can make all the difference when planning the design for the boxed-in spaces of your next project.

Articles / 19 Mar 2012

Photo Effects and Manipulations: Do These Tricks Work?

Are you looking to add a little something extra to a photo on your website? Did you purchase new photo editing software and feel the need to use some of the bells a whistles? Don’t get too pulled in by all the photo manipulation gimmicks out there. Typically the best images are those that are composed and shot well, not a bad image with tricks added to it.

There are, though, some manipulations that can benefit your project when used in moderation. But there are many more so-called photo tricks to avoid if you want to produce professional-looking work.