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dealspreview
Deals / 18 Feb 2015

Introducing Design Shack Deals (& Save 10%)

We’re very excited to announce the launch of a new section of the site today — Design Shack Deals. It’s our very own store, featuring discounts, deals, freebies, and giveaways from some fantastic companies.

With categories such as Design Assets, E-Learning, and “Under $20“, it’s filled with discounts and deals that can help you become a better design, and add resources to your toolkit. Until the 27th February, you can use the code DESIGNSHACK10 for an extra 10% off all these fantastic products and services, so read on to find out more!

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.

design-signs
Graphics / 16 Feb 2015

6 Tips for Designing Signs and Billboards

Your next project assignment: designing a sign for an upcoming event. It will be displayed on billboards around town and printed on smaller yard signs as well. If you are already panicking at the idea, don’t worry — designing a sign is not much different than any other project.

The big difference is scale. It’s going to be a lot larger in size than what you might be used to. Other things to think about when designing signage are location, color, typography, contrast and material the sign will be printed on. Thinking about each of these factors in advance can make for a better sign design experience.

mood-design
Graphics / 12 Feb 2015

How Color, Type and Space Can Impact Mood

Do you ever think about mood when you are designing? Mood has impact in two ways – the mood of the project itself and the mood of users. Together they create an experience that connects each user to the project.

While you can’t always account for the mood of users, or their good and bad days, you can create an aesthetic that emphasizes the right mood for your project. Three basic design techniques – color, typography and space – are key components for establishing the mood of a project.

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.

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This Week in Design / 6 Feb 2015

This Week in Design: Feb. 6, 2015

Design for many of us is a job. It requires long hours, plenty of stress and dealing with plenty of challenges. But design should also be fun. Sometimes it can be easy to forget that; this week in design is a reminder of all the joy that comes with being a designer.

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at carrie@designshack.net.

creativity-bundle
Deals / 5 Feb 2015

Boost Your Creativity With BundleHunt’s Creativity Bundle

BundleHunt have partnered with the world’s finest web designers and developers to bring you the creativity design bundle. Don’t miss out on this visually stunning creativity Bundle. With Udemy Courses, Themify WordPress Themes, Iconsets, vector design elements, eBooks, Bootstrap Templates, Font Families and more…you can create virtually anything you put your mind to.

We don’t know what you fellow designer think of this bundle, but for us, We love it! You’ll have so much fun with these files, and they’re bound to come in handy on projects.

101-clients
Freelancing / 4 Feb 2015

Freelancing 101: 10 Ways to Make Clients Look Good

A good freelancer does more than just great work, he or she does work that makes every client look good. That simple idea is what will help you get, retain and grow a freelance business of any kind.

But how can you make a client look good? And why does it matter? Making your clients look good will help you create lasting relationships and trust. It can also help you increase your earning potential. Here, we’ll look at 10 ways you can help out clients and possibly grow your freelance business.

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This Week in Design / 30 Jan 2015

This Week in Design: Jan. 30, 2015

A typography algorithm, the Super Bowl, key performance indicators, “normal” design and neon lights – what do they all have in common? Each seemingly different element is part of a design trend that you should be thinking about. And this week in design we’ll take a look at each one.

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at carrie@designshack.net.

Design Dilemma: What Constitutes A “Rush Design Job”?
Design Dilemma / 28 Jan 2015

Design Dilemma: What Constitutes A “Rush Design Job”?

A recent article of mine on why you should charge more for those last minute calls that demand you work overnight, all weekend, or on holidays, brought up several questions from readers. One of them became a back-and-forth Twitter conversation. While the article pointed out that requests for rush jobs with quick deadlines were an opportunity to demand higher rates, one designer asked the definitive question… sort of.

Apparently the concept of “rush” was questionable to one designer. So, join us as we delve into another shocking explanation to a Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design.

prototyping
Business / 26 Jan 2015

How & Why Prototypes Are Mandatory for Good Design

Nothing brings you closer to the functionality of the final product than prototyping. While wireframes sketch out the blueprint and mockups show the feel and texture of the design, it is the prototype that brings to life the “experience” behind “user experience.” That beautiful call-to-action may look great on the screen, but you won’t know if it works on end users until the clickable prototype. Not only do prototypes help provide proof of concept, they more importantly expose any usability flaws behind the wireframes and mockups.

So how do we actually put into the practice this safeguard against emergency stakeholder meetings, endless revisions, and painful late nights in the development phase? While we previously touched upon proper prototyping in the Guide to UX Design Process & Documentation, let’s dive deeper into how prototyping can make or break a product’s success. In this piece, we’ll begin by looking at the most compelling reasons to prototype and how prototypes improve collaboration, design, and usability testing.

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This Week in Design / 23 Jan 2015

This Week in Design: Jan. 23, 2014

Most of what you do as a designer probably starts digitally. The design is drawn with a tool such as Photoshop or InDesign or Illustrator. There aren’t many ways around it. So this week in design, we are looking more at digital and web design … and a bit of what’s next.

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at carrie@designshack.net.