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Freebies / 20 Jan 2012

Weekly Freebies: 6 Sophisticated and Free Didone Fonts

Didone typefaces (also known as Moderns) are a particularly classy type of font that is characterized by heavy contrast between the thick and thin portions (the vertical parts are thick) and typically very thin, unbracketed serifs. They’re a lot like slab serifs that want to be upscale and fancy.

This particular classification of typeface is one of the rarer breeds to find in the free font world so be sure to take all you can get. Today we’ve got a great little collection of six beautiful and free Didone fonts for you to download and enjoy.

Graphics / 20 Jan 2012

5 Cliché Logo Design Trends to Avoid

Logos are one of the trickiest areas in the graphic design world. It takes almost zero talent to make a logo, virtually anyone can do it. However, making a good logo requires a lot of insight, artistic skill and patience.

Too often we see designers falling into the trap of rushing into a logo design project and coming up with ideas that are so overused that they’re downright cringe-worthy. Today we’re going to take a look at five logo trends that fit this description. Read on to see if any of your go-to techniques are on the list.

CSS / 19 Jan 2012

Create Amazing CSS Buttons on the Fly With CSSButton.Me

Today we’re going to have some fun as we take a look at an awesome new free tool for web developers simply called CSS Button. This web app makes it quick and easy to make the CSS buttons of your dreams using simple and intuitive controls.

I’ve seen quite a few other CSS button makers before and almost none really merit repeated use, but this site has a lot going for it and can genuinely save you a lot of time and frustration. Let’s jump in and check it out!

CSS / 18 Jan 2012

Beating Borders: The Bane of Responsive Layout

Responsive design often requires setting your widths using percentages. This is easy enough to accomplish, that is until you start throwing borders into the mix. If your columns and total width are set using percentages, a static border size wreaks havoc on your layout.

Today we’re going to look at a couple of different ways to beat this problem. You’ll learn how to create a completely fluid layout that doesn’t mind extra borders or padding one bit.

Graphics / 17 Jan 2012

New Logos for the Marlins, Orioles and Jays: Did They Get Better or Worse?

With a new year always comes new branding attempts. Organizations want a fresh face to signal progress and ongoing evolution and branding is the vehicle that designers use to achieve this goal.

As we all know quite well, this is a risky venture with large entities. If it goes well, your customers (or fans in this case) love you for it. If it doesn’t, you’re setting yourself up for plenty of public ridicule. Today we’re going to venture into the world of sports and check out three new Major League Baseball team logo designs. Which teams are updating their look for the new year? Were they successful or is the result a surefire embarrassment? Read on to find out!

HTML / 16 Jan 2012

Keep That New Year’s Resolution and Make the Leap From Print to Web Design

You’ve been designing for print since college and have an eye for what makes visuals work. But the landscape has changed (and for some, might even look a little scary). So when the ball dropped at the start of 2012, your resolution was to learn a little more about the digital side of it all and make yourself that much more marketable.

Now is the time to get started. There are tons of resources out there to help print designers get their feet wet in coding, HTML and digital design. Because of the skills you already possess as a print designer, the transition might even be easier than you think. You already know how to use text, color and images, but need the skills to make it happen in the online format. With a little time and dedication, almost anyone can learn the basics with a few great (and free) tutorials right at your computer.

Freebies / 13 Jan 2012

Weekly Freebies: 12 Fantastic, Fresh and Free Icon Sets

It’s 2012 and time to refresh your stock of web design icons. Stop using the same old sets and add some new resources to the mix. Today we’ve got twelve awesome icons sets that are completely free to download and use.

No matter what type of project you’re working on, we’ve got your covered. From general purpose web design icons to social media and payment methods, these twelve sets cover an impressive range of potential uses.

CSS / 13 Jan 2012

The Lowdown on :Before and :After in CSS

We recently took a look at :active, an extremely handy pseudo-class selector that can be used to create some awesome mouse-down effects. Today we’re going to take a step back and explore some other “pseudo” items, this time we’ll be looking at the pseudo-elements :before and :after. You’re probably beginning to see these used all over the web in advanced CSS examples so you might as well jump in and learn to use them yourself.

What is a pseudo-element and how does it differ from a pseud-class? Why do pseudo-elements sometimes have one colon and sometimes have two? How are :before and :after implemented in CSS? What are some ways that developers all over the web are using these tools to perform amazing feats of modern coding? Read on to find out.

Graphics / 12 Jan 2012

When the Photo Doesn’t Fit the Space: Tips and Tricks for Making It Work

You’ve been there a thousand times, staring at a big empty canvas that simply doesn’t seem to work with the photo that the client has provided. Perhaps you have a vertical space and a horizontal photo (or vice versa), or maybe the image is simply too small to resize without unacceptable quality loss. What now?

Today we’ll go over some tricks of the trade and teach you how to cope with images that don’t fit where you need them to. The next time you run into a problem, you’ll be ready!

CSS / 11 Jan 2012

Build a Fun Trivia Game With the CSS Active Selector

We’ve done a ton of fun stuff recently with the :hover selector. From button hover effects for beginners to more advanced hover tutorials and even onto using hovers with multiple backgrounds. Today we’re moving on and learning about a related but equally awesome selector that often gets overlooked.

With :active, we can control the state of an object while it’s being clicked. Typically, this takes the simple form of changing a link’s color while the mouse is pressed down, but we’re going to do something much more interesting. Follow along as we build a super cool, pure CSS presidential trivia game.

Articles / 10 Jan 2012

Is It Time for Your Business Cards to Go Digital?

Are traditional paper business cards becoming obsolete? Have you considered a digital option? The type of card you use and how it looks can say a lot about you and your work. The style of card – from simple embossed text on a white card to ornate colors and fonts – can be a client’s first impression of your work.

You want to use a card that represents your style and works with the kind of clients you work with. When looking for a business card, consider both digital and paper options and integrate your digital self into paper cards. A business card does more than provide your contact information, it is a gateway to your portfolio as well.

Graphics / 9 Jan 2012

5 Former Design Trends That Aren’t Cool Anymore (So Stop Using Them)

If you’re like me, looking at your own design work from a few years ago can often result in some laughable or even cringe-worthy moments. Design styles have been steadily evolving and most of us can’t help but be affected by these changes. Who among us hasn’t piled on the cheesy Photoshop layer effects, all the while thinking the result was downright awesome?

However, some of us are a little slower to evolve than others. Today we’ll be taking a walk down memory lane and looking at five design trends that used to be super cool, but now simply tend to make your design look outdated and even ugly. If you’re currently still stuck on these trends, it might be time to move along! We’ll help you out with some modern alternative practices that you can use to bring your design skills into 2012 in a hurry.