Articles - Page 203

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

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 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 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!

Layouts / 15 Sep 2010

Are You Using These Two Simple Elements to Ramp Up Conversion Rates?

There are two things you can add to just about any site to increase readership: drop caps and hero shots. These aren’t anything new, and they’re by no means “secrets”. But a lot of designers don’t realize that they’re used for more than just aesthetic reasons. Today I’m going to explain why they work—and show you to best implement them.

Just before I dive in, a word of warning. Using these elements will increase readership rates. That is, more people will read your copy. But if your copy is poor, using drop caps and hero shots will also decrease response rates. So you need to have strong copy to use these elements effectively. Otherwise you’ll actually get fewer conversions. You can check out my previous article here at Design Shack for a quick-start guide to spotting and writing persuasive copy.

Designing a Professional Business Card

Business Card Templates / 14 Sep 2010

Designing a Professional Business Card

Before websites, email blasts and banner ads, business cards were the central piece of design work for countless small businesses. This simple little piece of cardstock was a major representation of your company. In China, business cards are so highly regarded that it’s considered poor etiquette to write on someone’s card or even put it in your wallet! Typically upon exchange business cards will be placed into a small card case.

Though the digital age has dawned, business cards remain a fairly popular way to quickly provide someone with information about how to reach you or find out more information about your company. Today we’ll go over some common mistakes in business card design and explore a few practical techniques you can use to bring style and professionalism to your cards.

Critique / 11 Sep 2010

Web Design Critique #16: Run Addicts

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 RunAddicts a blog for anyone who loves to run.

Software / 9 Sep 2010

Mastering Photoshop History and Layer Comps

Sometimes the key to moving ahead in Photoshop is to look back.

There are a number of different tools, features and methods in Photoshop that you can and should be using to track and manipulate the history of your designs as they progress.

Today we’ll take an in-depth look at the Photoshop history palette and how it can help you diversify your designs and keep track of various ideas. We’ll also learn how to use the History Brush and those incredibly handy but difficult to figure out Layer Comps.

Graphics / 9 Sep 2010

15+ Beautiful and Classy Headline Designs

Creating beautiful type treatments is hard work.

Though it has become quite trendy to claim that typography is ignored on the web, the reality is that typography is a booming fad at the height of its game in the online realm.

Countless web designers have really stepped up in recent years and created some absolutely beautiful typographical works, particularly in website headlines. Below we’ll look at over fifteen meticulously crafted headline designs that are sure to inspire you to think twice before slapping some boring type wrapped in an h1 tag on your site.

10 Tips for Designing Presentations That Don’t Suck: Part 2

Keynote Templates / 7 Sep 2010

10 Tips for Designing Presentations That Don’t Suck: Part 2

Last week we looked at part one of our two part series on designing better presentations. We learned practical tips on using photography, typography, color and more to create stunning results.

Today we’ll wrap things up with tips six through ten and teach you how simplifying your designs can lead to drastically improved results. Let’s get started!

10 Tips for Designing Presentations That Don’t Suck

Keynote Templates / 3 Sep 2010

10 Tips for Designing Presentations That Don’t Suck

PowerPoint has produced more bad design in its day that perhaps any other digital tool in history with the possible exception of Microsoft paint.

In this post we’re going to address the epidemic of bad presentation design with ten super practical tips for designer better looking and more professional presentations. Along the way we’ll see a number of awesome slide designs from Note & Point along with some custom examples built by yours truly. Let’s get started!