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Articles - Page 169

Browse hundreds of articles, tips, and inspiring design collections. Find helpful design advice, or the perfect resource for your next project.

Software / 8 Oct 2010

Mastering Variable Width Strokes in Illustrator CS5

Photoshop CS5’s fancy new feature set has garnered a lot of attention and tutorials, but Photoshop was by no means the only app to gain a little awesomeness. Illustrator CS5 has a few really stellar new features that make it even easier to create complicated vector art.

Today we’ll go over how to use one the many new features in Illustrator CS5: variable width strokes. With the new “Width Tool” you can make complex line shapes in seconds using only a few quick click and drag motions.

Graphics / 7 Oct 2010

Designing With Strong Simple Focal Points

In design, we tend to think of simplicity in terms of recent trends towards minimalism. A simple design by this definition is one with lots of literal whitespace and very little on the page outside of what is absolutely necessary.

However, instead of blindly following this trend, it’s important to understand the ideas behind it so that we don’t find ourselves trapped in a minimalist box with obvious grid-based layouts, white backgrounds and newspaper-style typography (not that this is bad, it’s just not good to be stuck in this idea). When you consider the principles of design that are at work in minimalism, you can successfully break out of the box and create clean designs that aren’t bound by an obvious and strict visual style.

Software / 5 Oct 2010

50 CMS Alternatives to WordPress

Is WordPress a CMS? Many developers say “no” while countless others continue to use WordPress as a content management system regardless of its definition or intended use as a blogging platform.

Regardless of which camp you fall into, you should know that there are a lot of robust and powerful alternative CMS options that have been built from the ground up to help you manage the content on your site. Below you’ll find 50 content management systems perfect for designers, end users, churches, media sites and more!

Critique / 2 Oct 2010

Web Design Critique #19: Redka3d

Every week we take a look at a new website and analyze the design. We’ll point out both the areas that are done well as well as those that could use some work. Finally, we’ll finish by asking you to provide your own feedback.

Today’s site is Redka3d, the personal portfolio of a web designer from Indonesia.

CSS / 1 Oct 2010

35 Awesome Fluid and Elastic Layout Examples, Templates and Tutorials

Fluid and elastic layouts are extremely useful for creating websites that function perfectly on a wide variety of screen resolutions. However, they can be a bit tricky to wrap your mind around when you’re just starting out.

To aid you in your quest to understand these tools, we’ve rounded up as many examples, templates, tutorials, and frameworks as we could find. Whether you’re a fluid layout pro looking for some fresh design ideas or a complete novice that doesn’t know where to begin, there’s something here for you!

CSS / 30 Sep 2010

Create Complex Layouts in Minutes With EZ-CSS

If you’re like many developers, you’ve had your fill of grid-based CSS frameworks. Well you’re in luck because today we’re going to look at a fresh take on the concept of a CSS framework.

EZ-CSS seeks to address many of the things you hate about grid-based frameworks while retaining the functionality of aiding in the creating of cross-browser multi-column layouts.

Graphics / 28 Sep 2010

6 Tips for Designing With Lines

Today we’re going to look at one of the simplest possible design elements: a line. We’ll learn how to wield lines properly as well as what to avoid when implementing them.

Adding a few simple lines to a design can bring structure and graphical flair to an otherwise boring design. It’s a dead simple trick that, when used effectively, has the effect of adding a layer of finish your design.

Critique / 25 Sep 2010

Web Design Critique #18: Two Chaps

Every week we take a look at a new website and analyze the design. We’ll point out both the areas that are done well as well as those that could use some work. Finally, we’ll finish by asking you to provide your own feedback.

Today’s site is Two Chaps Branding a Baltimore based web design and marketing firm.

Graphics / 24 Sep 2010

How to Make Your Spreadsheets Less Lame

Spreadsheets are lame. There’s no two ways about it. We designers hate spreadsheets because they’re a shining example of boring data presented in a boring manner.

Unfortunately for designers, spreadsheets are a necessary evil and could even be called a great and essential tool in the business world. Today we’re going to see how to improve both the aesthetics and readability of your spreadsheets with a few super basic design principles that literally anyone can follow. Let’s get started!

CSS / 22 Sep 2010

Free 960.GS CSS Photography Template and Tutorial

Love it or hate it, the 960.gs makes for some incredibly fast prototyping. By utilizing preset classes you can accomplish fairly complex layouts with little to no effort.

Today we bring you a free single-page template, fully coded using the 960.gs. The template has a few nifty CSS3 effects and uses @font-face to implement some beautiful custom typography. Below you’ll find the download and a basic step-by-step tutorial for how to build your own.

You can download the template completely free of charge and use it however you like with zero attribution.

Critique / 18 Sep 2010

Web Design Critique #17: ToonyTuts

Every week we take a look at a new website and analyze the design. We’ll point out both the areas that are done well as well as those that could use some work. Finally, we’ll finish by asking you to provide your own feedback.

Today’s site is the ToonyTuts coming soon page.

Graphics / 16 Sep 2010

Create Awesome Animations in Photoshop

After Effects is the go-to Adobe application for creating both simple and complex animations. However, for those users that either don’t have the time to learn an entire new application or simply don’t own a copy of After Effects, Photoshop has incorporated very similar, albeit scaled back, functionality.

Today we’ll go over the basics of how animation works in Photoshop and then build a basic animation from scratch. Let’s get started!