Articles

Browse our articles, inspiration, news, and tips for the design community.

Business / 6 Feb 2013

Do Art Schools Ultimately Fail Their Students?

I admit I loved being asked to speak at art schools throughout my career. It said that I was a professional with something worth saying. My comedic, entertaining style of speaking about the industry and how to prepare to enter the business put me in great demand and as many of my peers taught at area schools, I found myself speaking at every NYC area school each spring semester to graduating seniors.

Sometimes I would show samples of my work and speak about the battle to get them through committees or why they were turned down. I discussed interviewing, portfolios, finding work, contracts, selling and other professional practices students would need to survive and thrive in the creative industry. For my trouble, I usually was treated to lunch by my friends and stories of their students who had no chance to make it in the field.

CSS / 4 Feb 2013

Creating a CSS Thumbnail Grid With a Dynamic Flyout Menu

When presenting data in a grid you often lose the ability to include extra information. Aside from appending dynamic menus or hover effects there is very little room to include metadata on each item. I want to use this tutorial as a thought process into the user experience of image thumbnail grids.

We will create a small flyout menu holding additional information on the image. This includes the image name, original source URL, and author URL. The beauty of this example is that we will be creating the dynamic effect using only CSS3 properties. Mostly all standards-compliant browsers will support dynamic CSS3 animations and these look fantastic! But even without animations, the flyout content will still work properly and degrade naturally for an all-around enjoyable user experience.

CSS / 1 Feb 2013

Gridpak Revisited: A Closer Look at the Responsive Grid Generator

One of the most interesting and useful responsive grid generators around is a tool called Gridpak, which allows you to use a simple and fun UI to create fluid, media-query driven grids. We reviewed Gridpak around a year ago and came to the conclusion that, although useful, it came up short in the area of user friendliness when it came to implementing the code.

The developers have made some progress in this area and I think it’s about time we took another look. Join us as we dive into how Gridpak has improved its code offering and structure to provide a better, more streamlined experience for users.

Inspiration / 30 Jan 2013

20 Fresh Sites With Amazing Scrolling Effects

Scrolling effects are becoming more and more popular as a means of increasing interaction and user interest. Through clever background positioning, animations and a little JavaScript, you can bring your page to life in ways that will surprise and grab your users’ attention.

There’s a wide variety of tactics that you can use to create a unique scrolling experience on your site. Join us as we take a look at twenty fresh sites and how they use scrolling effects in different ways.

Software / 28 Jan 2013

Top 10 Apps for Designers Right Now

If you are like me, apps are becoming an essential part of your workflow – from mapping out sketches, to gathering ideas, to taking notes and filing invoices.

But there are just so many options out there. How do you filter through them all to find applications that work for what you do?

I have a handful of “old faithful” apps that I use on my phone, iPad and online as well as a few app only tools that are rather new. By using a mix of software applications, I have been able to work more efficiently and hopefully save time. Here are 10 great apps for designers – some may be familiar but hopefully you’ll find something new that you love.

Graphics / 23 Jan 2013

Check Out the New American Airlines Logo

American Airlines has had the same logo for forty-five years. That’s definitely a pretty impressive stretch! They’ve decided to hang up their Helvetica though and look to not only a new typeface, but a new eagle and even a new livery design.

Read on to see the logic behind the new design and whether or not I think it’s another chapter in a long line of recent brand redesigns gone bad.

CSS / 21 Jan 2013

Build a Fun True or False Quiz With CSS

I’m constantly surprised by what you can achieve using only HTML, CSS and a little ingenuity. I love to think outside the box and attempt creative experiments just to see if I can pull it off.

Today’s random challenge is to create a fun little true/false quiz. Questions will be presented to the user and answers will be revealed only on click. To make the magic happen, we’ll turn to some pretty crazy methods and use features like active, focus and even tabindex! You’re bound to learn some quirky stuff so hit the jump and follow along.

Critique / 18 Jan 2013

Web Design Critique #95: WPMU DEV

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 in addition to those that could use some work. Finally, we’ll finish by asking you to provide your own feedback.

Today’s site is WPMU DEV, a marketplace for WordPress Themes and Plugins. Let’s jump in and see what we think!

CSS / 17 Jan 2013

6 Awesome Emmet CSS Time-Saving Tips

Emmet is one of the most useful text editor plugins that you’ll ever come across for developers. It has the seemingly magic ability to turn a tiny bit of work into a ton of code, which can save you an incredible amount of time and effort in the long run.

Previously, we took a look at some of the best features of Emmet from an HTML perspective, today we’re going to follow that up with some tips for how Emmet can improve your CSS workflow.

CSS / 16 Jan 2013

Code a Spinning Circular Menu With CSS

Don’t be a square, break outside your boring box and try on a circle for size. Today we’re going to build a circular navigation menu that spins to different points as the user hovers over an anchor.

Along the way we’ll have to overcome several obstacles like how to structure our HTML to be conducive to a remote hover and how to position all of the elements just right so that everything works. It’s a fun challenge and there’s a lot to learn, let’s get started!

Competitions / 15 Jan 2013

Giveaway: 3 Premium WordPress Themes From ThemeFuse

ThemeFuse has decided to share 3 WordPress themes licenses with our readers. How would you like some free stuff? What better way is there to start the day off?

The three winners of today’s giveaway will receive access to one premium WordPress theme of their choosing – at absolutely no cost whatsoever. If you run a WordPress site, you’re in for a special treat here. We’ve got 3 vouchers to give away. Here’s what you need to do to get one!