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Layouts / 30 Dec 2015

9 Tips for Better Typographic Hierarchy

Every project requires a system and hierarchy for text elements. Just think about all the small pieces of text that are used throughout a design – headlines, body copy, navigation elements, legal information, captions and so on.

But how do you create that hierarchy so that every text element flows smoothly to the next? Today, we’ll take you step-by-step through building a system of typography hierarchy that can be used for almost any design project. (And we are pairing the tips with beautiful examples of great typography to help you gather a bit of inspiration.)

Layouts / 22 Dec 2015

Design Trend: How to Create a Cool Split Screen Aesthetic

One screen divided in two. This might be one of the bigger design trends emerging right now. More and more websites are using design patterns that include two vertical or square panels placed side by side.

And it’s a nice aesthetic. The look is user friendly, can be adapted for a variety of needs, and helps guide navigation. It’s a trend that we are likely to see more of – and design – in the coming months. Today we are looking at a few great examples of split screen design with mini case studies and finding out how you can make the most of this design trend.

Business / 21 Dec 2015

10 Things Every Web Designer Should Be Able to Do in Their Sleep

Some skills, you just need to know. And you better know them so well that you can do them almost without thinking. When it comes to web design, many skills can change and evolve over time, but there are a few basics that you should be able to do in your sleep.

And even if you aren’t a “web designer” by trade, each of these skills is becoming must-have for all designers working today. How many are you already comfortable with? Let’s dive in and take a look at what you should be able to do on “auto pilot”!

Reviews / 16 Dec 2015

Need a Better WordPress Theme? Try Extra

Whether you’re a WordPress developer or newbie, a theme can make building a site and getting it online and functioning quick and easy. And with WordPress as the most popular blogging platform out there, there are plenty of sites that use this type of set up.

The new Extra theme from Elegant Themes, powered by the Divi Builder, is an excellent option if you are ready to build a new site or want to give your old design a refresh. Today, we’ll take a deeper look at this theme and how you can make the most of it in your projects.

Inspiration / 14 Dec 2015

15+ Feature-Packed Mockup and Scene Generators

How to effectively showcase your work can always pose something of a dilemma. There are plenty of one-off mockups available for different purposes, but we’re starting to see the release of more and more incredible “scene creators” that let you create your own mockup scene.

These provide unique sets of multiple items that let you combine your design work with multiple items and products, achieve all manner of different presentations — something really unique! Today, we’ve gathered over 15 scene creator packs that provide an awesome starting point — for office, corporate, kitchen, Christmas, or fashion mockups!

Graphics / 10 Dec 2015

How to Use the Pantone Color of the Year in Design Projects

So Pantone threw us a curveball this year and announced a pair of colors as the “Color of the Year” for 2016. To create the actual hue, Pantone is blending Rose Quartz and Serenity.

This pairing of soft colors will likely be one of the color trends of the coming year. As with previous Pantone selections, the colors often become a staple in design, fashion and other projects. Pastels can be a little uncomfortable to work with for some designers. But today we’re going to take a look at ways you can make the most of these colors in your design projects.

Layouts / 8 Dec 2015

Grid-First Design: How to Create Vertical Rhythm and Harmony

When you hear grid, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For most designers, it is often a horizontal based concept with columns across the canvas. This is especially true when thinking about web and digital design projects.

But what about vertical grids? It is just as important to create flow up and down the page as well. And there are a number of ways to do this with grid systems.

Business / 2 Dec 2015

Should You Ever Design a Logo for $5?

So what is the deal with all these $5 logo sites? I don’t know about you, but as a designer I am seriously losing money (and credibility) the minute I think about giving away a design for five bucks.

Would you do it? Have you already done it? Today, we’re looking at all the issues that come with $5 logos, for you and for your clients. And how you can stay away from getting caught in the cheap design trap.

Business / 30 Nov 2015

Designing for Trust: How to Build a Relationship With Your Audience

Trust. How often do you think about this concept when working through a design project? Probably very often if you are associated with e-commerce, but what about other types of design?

Trust is a key component of user loyalty, and a reason why people come to your company or brand. While a lot of trust comes from past performance and a brand’s track-record, it also comes from the design. How a website, poster or package looks can impact how users feel about it and whether they take the leap from casual looker to brand loyalist.

Business / 24 Nov 2015

Women in Web Design: A Personal Essay

Look around the room where you are sitting right now. How many women are in your design meeting? How many women are on your design team? How many women are working on web design projects?

We have an industry problem. Web design, particularly, is a quite distinct boys club. But why? It doesn’t have to be. Today, I’m doing something a little different, and writing a personal essay about my feelings as a woman in this business. I hope you’ll read along and join the conversation.

Reviews / 23 Nov 2015

How to Create Instant Mockups With PlaceIt

There’s nothing like a good mockup to help you showcase a design with ease. From realistic iPhone and iPad mockups to desktop computer screens, a mockup makes it easy for you to showcase a website or other digital design to clients in a realistic way. A mockup makes it a lot easier for someone to visualize exactly what the final product will look like.

Mockups can be used in project presentations, and for website or app coming soon or launch pages. And PlaceIt makes it easy for you to find exactly the mockup you need without spending a ton of time creating it yourself. Here’s a look at how PlaceIt works.

Competitions / 19 Nov 2015

Win One of Three Copies of Slides Framework (Worth $249)

We have a great competition for you today, to win one of three copies of the Slides Framework. This set of design templates is a great way to help you to create a beautiful promo or marketing site, with stunning animations and clean code.

Slides contains 60 beautiful slides and 11 quick-start templates that you can combine in various ways to create a quick and easy design. Read on to find out how to enter our competition to win a free copy!