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Graphics / 8 Jun 2017

Design an Ambigram Logo With Your Name

Ambigrams are a particularly complex type of typographical art that can be read identically in different orientations. They typically take the form of a word that reads the same way upside down as it does right side up.

Today we’re going to see what’s involved in creating ambigrams and walk through creating a basic one on our own.

UX Design / 7 Jun 2017

Are You Mentally Overwhelming Users? (And How to Stop Doing It)

The internet is a tangled mess that’s visually overloaded. There’s so much to look at… and read… and comprehend, that it can be difficult to find focus and figure out what is important.

If your design is visually overloaded, chances are that you are overwhelming users and they are leaving your website or app. So how do you know if you are doing it? We’ve got a list of warning signs for you, plus a few ways to strip some of the weight out of the design and make it more manageable for users.

Inspiration / 6 Jun 2017

40+ Best Big, Poster Fonts of 2017

When it comes to designing posters and banners, there’s one thing that matters the most: the font. A poster without a great, attention-grabbing title is simply not an effective poster.

A great poster font has the power to turn even the simplest layout into a powerful design. As Irene Etzkorn once said, “There is no such thing as a boring project. There are only boring executions.”

If you’re still searching for that perfect poster font, you’re in luck. We found a set of amazing poster fonts that’ll be perfect for any kind of a poster design. They’re big, bold, and creative enough to turn heads!

Graphics / 5 Jun 2017

Poly Shapes: A New Design Trend We Love

There’s a new favorite shape in design these days – the polygon. These affectionately called “poly shapes” are popping up on websites, posters and in printed projects. And one of the best parts of this versatile trend is that each of these designs is so different.

Polygons are shapes that are defined in elementary geometry as a “plan figure that is bounded by a finite chain of straight line segments in a loop to form a closed polygonal chain.” The shapes can have any number of sides or orientation, can be filled or hollow and can have paths and strokes that intersect. Ploygons are typically flat, two-dimensional shapes, although in website projects some polygons animate move and seem to have more 3-D characteristics.

Polygons are a fun technique for new projects or can bring new life to a design that’s feeling a little stale. Here are a few projects with poly shapes to help jumpstart your next brainstorming session.

Deals / 1 Jun 2017

How (And Why) to Grab a .design Domain for $5

Choosing a domain name is a tricky thing. You want something smart, original, and easy-to-remember. And you’re trying to find something that hasn’t already been snapped up.

Today we have a great deal for Design Shack readers, on a smart new TLD for designers — .design. Usually $35 per year, today’s your chance to grab your choice of domain for just $5! Read on to find out more.

Typography / 31 May 2017

Color Fonts: A Beginner’s Guide

So what in the heck is a color font? It’s a term that keeps popping up and is starting to gain traction, although use in large design projects is still in its infancy.

Vendors such as Adobe’s Typekit have started to release some color font options with browser support, so there’s some movement toward wider use. Some have even called color fonts “the next big thing in web design.”

Here, we’ll look at the trend and let you decide how big – or not – this concept will be.

Inspiration / 30 May 2017

70+ Corporate & Creative Business Card Mockups

The design of your business cards is vital if you’re looking to make a good first impression. In this post, we’ve collected over 70 of the best free and premium business card mockups that you can use for your next client meeting or design project.

We’re not only covering corporate professional designs, but also profession-specific business cards like those designed for photographers, doctors or even writers. All the mockups are designed to perfection, and come in a variety of easily editable formats!

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!)