Articles

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

Business / 13 Nov 2012

How to Create a Visual Brand for Yourself

Getting work is about more than your portfolio. Designers must also know a bit about marketing. This is especially true for freelancers. Your marketable self can, and will, help you land (or lose) work before it even hits your radar.

It is important to create a consistent brand for yourself today. Look at the channels you are using and how you are identified online, decide how you want to be identified and what your name and image should be, and then go out and make it happen. Here are a few tips to get you started.

CSS / 8 Nov 2012

A Beginner’s Guide to Zurb Foundation 3: The Grid

In the past, we’ve discussed Twitter Bootstrap quite a bit. Much more so than its most worthy competitor: Zurb’s Foundation. Now on its third iteration, Foundation is a robust and responsive front end framework used by hundreds of developers every day.

Over the course of several articles, we’re going to jump in and take a look at its various aspects from a complete beginner’s perspective. Today’s topic is my favorite part: the grid. Follow along to see how it works!

Software / 1 Nov 2012

WebZap: Beautiful Photoshop Web Mockups at Light Speed

WebZap is an awesome Photoshop plugin for helping designers create high fidelity web design mockups faster than you ever thought possible. By combining simple one-click actions with robust customization options, this tool makes the entire layout process not only painless, but actually fun.

Follow along as we take a look at what WebZap does and put it through the paces to see how it performs. I promise, it’s the coolest Photoshop plugin that you’ve seen for web designers since GuideGuide.

Inspiration / 30 Oct 2012

The New Wendy’s Logo: What Went Right

Logo updates are a precarious business. One wrong move and you’ll have an angry mob calling for your head. This is especially true with brands that people have literally interacted with for the majority of their lives.

Today we’re going to take a look at just such a brand. Wendy’s, the self-proclaimed old fashioned hamburger joint, has a brand new logo. Spoiler alert: it’s great, especially when compared to the recent Arby’s update. So what went right here compared with what we saw with Arby’s? Let’s take a look.

HTML / 29 Oct 2012

HTML5: Hype, Substance and Scrutiny

Today we have a special treat: an article from Luke Stevens, author of The Truth About HTML5, that takes a critical look at the past, present and future of HTML5.

What is HTML5, really? How did it come about? Should we really be blindly following what we’re told about it or is some critical thinking required? Read on to find out.

Critique / 26 Oct 2012

Web Design Critique #90: MOO.com

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 Moo, an awesome service for printing business cards, postcards, greeting cards and more. Let’s jump in and see what we think!

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.