Articles

Browse our articles, inspiration, news, and tips for the design community.

Defend Your Design
Articles / 17 Apr 2009

Defend Your Design

We all know that acute rush of adrenaline experienced before submitting a design for review or approval all too well. You click down on that “Send” button, take a deep breath and look at the design one more time before releasing your mouse. It’s gone.

You’ve sent your design out into a cruel, critical world. Will it succeed or will it fail? Perhaps that depends less on the design itself and more on whether or not you’ve set it up to succeed. As designers, we need to be advocates for the craft by explaining what we do and educating clients on our method.

Creating a Shaking Login Form
Articles / 18 Mar 2009

Creating a Shaking Login Form

Tired of the plain old boring login forms? How about we add some jazz! If you have ever typed in your password wrongly on your Mac, you would have seen that the login screen will vibrate and kinda shriek to indicate that the password you entered is wrong. I always found that rather cool! It’s surprising how little this trick is being used in web applications today. So, I thought I will write up a tutorial on how to get this going.

Good Design, Now What?
Business / 11 Mar 2009

Good Design, Now What?

Here at Design Shack, we’ve built up a solid archive of the best designs the web has to offer. When browsing through the 3,000+ sites featured, it’s hard to fully grasp the amount of time and effort put into the design and development of each one.

That’s why it breaks my heart when I see a brilliant site screenshot taken the day it was launched, but when clicking to visit the live version, I find a shell of what it used to be.

Becoming a Productive Designer: An Interview With Leo Babauta
Interviews / 3 Mar 2009

Becoming a Productive Designer: An Interview With Leo Babauta

Leo Babauta, a blogger famous for the philosophy of keeping life and work simple has kindly allowed us to interview him about blogging, design and how we can all work with less clutter.

We’ll be talking about a regular day for Leo, how blogging has launched his career, and the principles he suggests for a designer to be more productive. It’s great to speak to someone so genuine and passionate about their philosophy, and I hope you enjoy reading what he has to say.

Correctly Displaying Your Logo With CSS
CSS / 26 Feb 2009

Correctly Displaying Your Logo With CSS

Every site has a logo, and whether it’s a page filling feature or a small design element, it often forms the primary title feature of your page. This article will show you how to implement a logo using correct semantic markup and simple HTML code, with all the presentation done via CSS.

It’ll ensure that those browsing your site without images will see a decent alternative, and provide search engines with a correct representation of your page title.

Smart File Type Detection Using PHP
PHP / 9 Feb 2009

Smart File Type Detection Using PHP

padlockIn most web applications today, there is a need to allow users to upload images, audio and video files. Sometimes, we also need to restrict certain types of files from being uploaded – an executable file being an obvious example.

Security aside, one might also want to prevent users from misusing the upload facility, e.g. uploading copyrighted music files illegally and using the service to promote piracy! In this article, we’ll look into a few ways in which we can achieve this.

RSS Feed Changes
News / 4 Feb 2009

RSS Feed Changes

With the new design and move to WordPress, there are a couple of changes to note regarding RSS feeds. We’re operating two main feeds as before – one for the CSS Gallery, and one for Articles and Community News. If you’re an existing subscriber to the news feed, you’ll now automatically start to receive community news posts.

If you’d rather not receive community news updates, simply head over to our feeds page and subscribe to the ‘Articles Only’ RSS feed. I hope that you’ll find the new content useful, and am looking forward to keeping your RSS reader updated with daily inspiration!

Onwards and Upwards
News / 4 Feb 2009

Onwards and Upwards

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Design Shack launched proudly in 2003 and has been gradually growing and expanding ever since. Over the past 6 years the site has gained a fantastic readership, I’ve had the chance to meet some great people, and certainly hope that you’ve been a little inspired by the articles and designs we’ve featured.

2009 marks the start of a refresh for Design Shack, and I’m incredibly excited about what the year has in store. The previous site design has been in place for a couple of years and, whilst I was thoroughly pleased with it at the time, I felt that a shift towards a more professional style was required.

Barack Obama Letterpress Poster
Articles / 19 Jan 2009

Barack Obama Letterpress Poster

Barack Obama Letterpress

I’m excited to announce that Kishore – a regular contributor to Design Shack – has today released a Barack Obama letterpress poster to celebrate his inauguration. Inspired by Cameron Moll’s beautiful letterpress design, these 14” by 20” posters are a product of hours of (fun) labour, letterpressed using one of the very few platen letterpress machines still left in Chennai, India.

The poster itself consists of characters from MrsEaves, Bickam Script Pro, Adobe Garamond and the Trajan font families. Instead of using a random set of characters in the artwork, Kishore decided to embed something meaningful; important figures, dates, milestones, words and phrases associated with President Obama.

Best of 2008 – JavaScript
Articles / 12 Jan 2009

Best of 2008 – JavaScript

In the last part of our summary series, it is time to see some of the JavaScript Goodies of 2008. Some of the following are resources, some are useful tutorials, some opinions and others just plain fun interesting stuff.

There is always a lesson or two to take away from these, and it could help you enter the New Year with a variety of new skills in your portfolio.

Best of 2008 – Typography
Articles / 22 Dec 2008

Best of 2008 – Typography

Typography is beginning to come to the fore as one of the most crucial elements of web design as people start to understand its importance. There’s no doubt that if you perfect the size, style and position of type on your page, the rest of the design will flow much easier.

In part one of our 2008 roundup, we saw some of the most useful graphic design tutorials of the year. This second section will walk you through a selection of the best typography related resources and articles of 2008 – tutorials, downloads, fonts, and everything you need to perfect the use of type in your design.