Category: Articles

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Inspiration / 23 Oct 2012

8 Design Books You Should Own

Think back to when you first learned design. Where did you start? Likely it in some way was connected to a book, whether on your own or in a classroom. And you still need books today. Having a great stack of reference materials on hand as I work is a must.

Need a little inspiration? Grab a book. Looking for a color combo that you have not tried? Grab a book. Need a new way to present some information? Grab a book! Here are eight of my favorite resources – and items that I just could not work without.

Inspiration / 22 Oct 2012

15 Great Gadgets and Gifts for Designers: 2012

It’s that time of year again. The weather is cooling down, everything from candles to coffee smells like pumpkin, and the holidays are right around the corner. Before you know it, you’ll be standing in a shopping mall with absolutely no idea what to purchase for the lovable but oh so nerdy designers on your list. Hint: they don’t want another “fancy” pen set from Staples.

Fear not, my fellow geeks have elected me to inform you of all the things that they’d love to see under the tree this year. Just like last year, I’ve put together a list of fifteen awesome gifts for designers. Take a look and start crossing off some names.

Inspiration / 15 Oct 2012

The New Arby’s Logo: Better or Boring?

Everyone’s favorite roast beef sandwich fast food chain (ok, maybe the only roast beef fast food chain anyone can name) just jumped headlong into a brand refresh. Their new logo, menu and website is meant to bring the admittedly old-timey restaurant into the 21st century.

The question of course is, did they succeed? Follow along as we take a look at the logo and website to see what we think.

Software / 11 Oct 2012

50 Amazing Resources for Dribbble Lovers

Here at Design Shack, we’re huge Dribbble fans. Sort of a Twitter for design, this awesome site is home to beautiful bite-sized work samples from the web’s best designers.

To showcase our love for Dribbble, we’ve put together a collection of fifty fantastic resources for anyone and everyone who uses Dribbble. From open source developer projects and quirky web projects to desktop and mobile applications, we’ve got enough Dribbble goodness to keep you occupied for months.

CSS / 8 Oct 2012

Battle of the LESS Mixin Libraries: LESS Elements vs. LESS Hat vs. Bootstrap

LESS is a friendly, easily-approachable CSS preprocessor. Though ultimately, Sass and Stylus are more powerful and robust, LESS has a certain charm that keeps it as a forerunner in the battle of the preprocessors.

If you’re a Sass fan, then you can take advantage of Compass, an incredible framework that makes coding with complex CSS3 properties a breeze. But what about LESS users? Where’s their Compass? Today we’ll look at three awesome mixin libraries that will help fill that void.

CSS / 4 Oct 2012

How to Use Adobe Edge Web Fonts on Your Site

Adobe recently launched a free web font service to complement Typekit, their amazing premium service. Adobe Edge Web Fonts currently gives you around 500 free font families that you can use on your site today with little effort. How great is that?

The process for implementing these fonts isn’t quite as straightforward as some of the other services that you might be used to, so today we’re going to dive in and take a look at how it all works.

Articles / 3 Oct 2012

50 Shades of Black: Effective Use of No Color

There has been a bit of debate stirring on the web about black. Ian Storm Taylor’s “Never Use Black” has been shared and tweeted and read by designers all over the world.

You can debate whether you should use black or not all day long. But the reality is that you will use black. Every designer does – by choosing or not. So it’s best to understand the color and how to use it properly in a variety of design projects.

JavaScript / 2 Oct 2012

40 Awesome MooTools Plugins You Need to Check Out

Recently, we published an outstanding collection of 40 jQuery plugins that every developer should check out. Today we’re following that up with some love for the MooTools crowd.

Like jQuery, MooTools has an awesome community of developers that constantly churn out stellar free plugins for all types of tasks and interfaces. In this collection you’ll find plugins for sliders, lightboxes, tags, navigation and a lot more.

Software / 1 Oct 2012

How to Avoid Stupid Screw-Ups With Adobe Template Files

Don’t you hate it when you use some important file as a template and then accidentally save over it? I used to do this all the time and it frustrated me to no end.

Fortunately, Adobe has invented these great little template file types that fundamentally function differently than your normal files to make sure you don’t screw anything up. Read on to see how they work.