Articles

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

Graphics / 29 May 2017

4 Reasons Why Your Body Text Should Be Bigger

The body text on your website is too small. While desktop monitors and phone screens seem to be increasing in size, body font sizes have seemingly shrunk. While their original size is the same, they feel smaller than ever.

Too often, I find myself squinting at the screen to read content. And it shouldn’t be that way. Today we’re looking at the reasons for this increasing problem, and how you can fix it!

Navigation / 24 May 2017

Design Trend: Side Navigation Is Everywhere, but Does It Work?

There’s a trending topic in website design navigation: sidebar menus. More designers are working with vertical side navigation for projects, with a specific location on the left side for many of these website designs.

And while it looks nice and can help streamline clutter in the overall canvas, does it really work? Will users respond to side navigation? Is it a design trend that you should consider? Today, we’ll try to get to the heart of the questions with some practical and usable answers.

Graphics / 23 May 2017

50+ Best Minimal Logo Design Templates

How much does it cost to design a professional logo? $500? $1,000? Or $5,000? What if we told you that you can get a great-looking minimal logo design for the price of lunch?

The strategy we’re talking about here is to try using a pre-designed logo template to base your next logo mark or branding project on. Will it be as perfectly tailor-made as a high-end custom logo? Probably not. But it’s a great solution for getting your branding project started fast. To show you how amazing these logo templates can be, we picked some of the best minimalist logo designs from Envato Elements.

With some basic Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop knowledge and a $29 subscription to Envato Elements, you can download any (or all) of these logo templates to design your own creative logo all by yourself. It’s a great, flexible way to experiment with your next logo project!

Business / 22 May 2017

15 Skills Every Design Client Expects You to Have

While every design project is a little bit different, almost every client expects you to be a jack of all trades to some degree. Regardless of the project, designers are often expected to provide a complete solution for clients, even though most of us don’t have all the same skills.

In addition to design, clients may ask for expertise in marketing, code, or illustration. It can be a difficult balance at times. But knowing what clients might expect can help you have a plan for how to deal with specific requests, whether it is offering a referral to someone else or adding a new skill to your portfolio.

Most of these examples come from personal experience. And while I didn’t fulfill all the requested needs, seeing what a client expects from their perspective is an interesting exercise!

Business / 17 May 2017

How Many Design Options Should You Show a Client?

You’ve been working on a client project for a little while now. It could be a website design, brochure, or something else altogether — but you’ve spent some time on it. You like the concept. Is that all you need to go back to the client with? Or do you need to create a couple more options for the design review?

There’s a balance of creating enough for a client to choose from, and avoiding work that you know will certainly just get thrown aside. If you know the client well, chances are you can present just one design option. (Seriously!)

Graphics / 15 May 2017

3 Tips for Developing a Unique Logo Design

Every business or website needs one – a logo. A logo is how users and customers will identify your website or brand. And a good logo is identifiable, readable and leaves a lasting impression with users.

Your logo is how people see you across different mediums, from online to social media to printed materials. So how do you develop this key piece of branding if you don’t already have one? (Or how do you rethink the one you have but don’t like?) Here are three tips to help you get started!

Graphics / 10 May 2017

Brutalism: A New Trend in Web Design

Some designs aren’t polished and clean. They are rough, jarring and ragged. Yet they still work and communicate effectively. This class of websites makes up the raw trend called brutalism.

While it is somewhat new to web concepts, it’s been around for decades as a popular technique for posters and art in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Today’s brutalism is starkly different from what you are used to seeing… and that’s why it’s likely to catch your attention. Let’s take a look at what it is (and I’ll share why I’m already over it!)

Graphics / 8 May 2017

How to Start and Promote an Illustration Project

Illustration projects can be tough. But if you are an illustrator, it is your job (duty even) to keep drawing and promoting illustration projects. But how do you do it?

How can you sell a client on the concept of an illustration when it can be difficult for them to imagine? You can do it. Here are some tips for getting started. (Plus, this post includes illustration projects to help jumpstart your creativity.)

Freebies / 3 May 2017

20+ Brushes and Images for Creating Grungy Edges

Creating complex edges manually in Photoshop can be an arduous task. Fortunately, there are tons of free brushes and images online that will make this process a breeze.

Keep reading to see our collection of 20 brushes and images with torn, burned and grungy edges!

CSS / 3 May 2017

How to Add Touches of Magic to Your Interactions

Every time a user does something with your design, an interaction is created. Some interactions, such as clicks, go almost unnoticed by the user. But other interactions include a certain bit of magic that makes the user want to play with the design even more.

There’s a fine line between an interaction that has the touch of magic and one that can be completely overwhelming. The most magical interactions are a bit unexpected, simple, create an emotional response and make the user want to use it again.

Graphics / 1 May 2017

Stunning Examples of White Space… That Aren’t White at All

When you think of white space in web design, examples such as Apple or Google are probably the first ones that come to mind. While these companies do a great job of using white space in their designs, there are plenty of other ways to make the most of space.. even if it isn’t always white.!

White space is an important part of your design plan. Here, we’re going to look at the importance of space as a design tool and five examples of websites that are making great use of white space (that isn’t white at all).

Accessibility / 26 Apr 2017

How Do We Design Hard Stuff for the Big Problems People Hate Most?

Design exists to solve problems. As you’ve likely heard before, design isn’t an act of creative self-expression but rather a process of problem solving. So why aren’t we hearing about amazing design breakthroughs that address the world’s biggest problems?

As legendary ‘I Love New York’ designer Milton Glaser once said, “Design is the process of going from an existing conditions to a preferred one.” But what existing condition does the world need our help with?

There are several respected global organizations who work towards great causes, in areas such as Food and Water Security, Economic Opportunity, Climate Change and the Environment, Social Equity and Good Governance (Healthcare, Safety, Security and Education).

You’ll notice how none of these items are addressed by selfie apps in the top ten of your local app store. So why aren’t we hearing about amazing design breakthroughs that address the world’s biggest problems?