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Drag and Drop WordPress Layout With Platform Pro
Layouts / 18 Mar 2011

Drag and Drop WordPress Layout With Platform Pro

Building and even slightly altering WordPress themes can be a real hassle. You could buy a book or watch hours of video tutorials until you’re an expert on WordPress, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could skip all this and jump into building your own theme today?

Today we’re going to take a look at an impressively innovative product that allows you to use the simplicity of a drag and drop interface and basic forms to completely customize a WordPress site. The product is called Platform Pro and you’ve simply got to see it…

A Freelancer’s Guide to Preparing for Retirement
Business / 17 Mar 2011

A Freelancer’s Guide to Preparing for Retirement

Life is tough as a freelancer, especially when it comes to planning for the future. Today we’re going to discuss some hard facts about how to financially prepare for your retirement on your own.

You won’t find an article filled with vague tips on being frugal, instead we’ll introduce you to some basic financial instruments that you should be familiar with so you can decide which are best for you.

10 Tips for Troubleshooting a Lackluster Design
Layouts / 16 Mar 2011

10 Tips for Troubleshooting a Lackluster Design

One of the biggest problems that designers struggle with is how to improve a design that didn’t quite hit the mark. Sometimes we’re on our game and can bust out a beautiful design in minutes, other times we struggle to complete something that should be simple.

Today’s post is a checklist that you can bookmark and refer back to for those times when you need a fresh perspective. Browse through the list for inspiration on how to improve a design that’s lacking in an area that you can’t quite identify.

Building a Constructive 404 Error Page (With Examples)
Inspiration / 15 Mar 2011

Building a Constructive 404 Error Page (With Examples)

The error page is a common facet in web design often overlooked by the mainstream crowd. Generally when a user finds themselves on an error page it constitutes as a failure on their part. Something about their actions have caused an error on the site, and all hope seems lost.

As generations are advancing we’re seeing the youth of today much more applicable to deal with technological errors and trace the routes to one source issue. When dealing with the majority it’s important to understand user experience is everything. This goes double for new-age web applications and distracting mobile games. While constructing these pages always keep the end user in mind – and remember there’s a vast difference from person to person!

Weekly Freebies: 10 WordPress Portfolio Themes That Aren’t Ugly
Freebies / 15 Mar 2011

Weekly Freebies: 10 WordPress Portfolio Themes That Aren’t Ugly

In putting together this week’s freebie post I noticed two things. First, everyone has a free WordPress portfolio theme roundup. Second, though the titles may boast 50 or more themes, most or even all of the selections are so ugly that no designer in his right mind would go near them.

Consequently, I set out to find ten completely free WordPress portfolio themes that actually look like they were designed in this decade. Whether you’re a web designer or a photographer, these portfolio themes will give you a quick and easy way to show off your work in a professional manner.

Winners Announced: 500 Free Printed Business Cards: Win One of Three Sets!
Competitions / 14 Mar 2011

Winners Announced: 500 Free Printed Business Cards: Win One of Three Sets!

We’ve randomly selected our three winners, each of which will receive 500 free business cards from AllBusinessCards.com! If you are one of the lucky winners listed below, you will be receiving a Twitter DM shortly with further instructions (make sure you’re following both Design Shack and AllBusinessCards).

This Week’s Deal: Picons Ultimate Icon Set – 50% Off!
Deals / 14 Mar 2011

This Week’s Deal: Picons Ultimate Icon Set – 50% Off!

We’re really excited about this week’s deal – you’re going to love it! Picons Ultimate isn’t your average skimpy icon set. The hand-crafted collection packs 500 gorgeous icons, all supplied in their original vector format.

Picons Ultimate is an essential source of icons and symbols for every web, interface, and print designer. The icons also fit great with your iPad, iPhone or Android app interface.

Usually priced at $42, today you can grab the whole icon set for just $21!

Read more and see a larger preview of all the icons you’ll receive.

Web Design Critique #41: Rachilli
Critique / 12 Mar 2011

Web Design Critique #41: Rachilli

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 Rachilli, the personal portfolio of photographer and designer Rachel Shillcock.

How Dogs and Rats Can Make You a Better Designer
Business / 11 Mar 2011

How Dogs and Rats Can Make You a Better Designer

Today we’re going to venture far outside of the designer’s typical learning bubble. We’ll leave Photoshop behind and pick up the tools of a marketing executive studying consumer behavior.

This article will teach you two distinct approaches to impacting your target audience. Knowing these terms and theories will not only help you become a more effective designer, they’ll also make you look super smart at work!

25 Professional and Incredibly Powerful Photoshop Plugins
Software / 10 Mar 2011

25 Professional and Incredibly Powerful Photoshop Plugins

Freebies are awesome, and design blogs are full of them, but sometimes you need a professional tool to handle professional tasks. There are a wealth of extremely powerful and high quality photoshop tools that can dramatically improve your workflow and are worth every penny you have to spend to get them.

Today we’ll look at a number of the best tools available for making color adjustments, adjusting focus, enlarging images, transforming layers in 3D, reducing noise, creating textures, applying complex masks, and even taking that PSD into full-blown HTML.

5 Quick and Easy Photoshop Textures You Can Make From Scratch
Graphics / 9 Mar 2011

5 Quick and Easy Photoshop Textures You Can Make From Scratch

The web is full of free texture resources. Unfortunately, we’ve all used them before and hate all the inherent restrictions that come as a result of using borrowed art. For your next project, why not just use textures that you make yourself from scratch? You skip the restrictions and the end product is much more unique because you’re not using the same resources used by everyone else.

Today we’re going to get you started by teaching you how to use a couple of basic Photoshop filters to create five completely different textures. Each texture should only take you anywhere from one to three minutes to bust out and can therefore be quickly applied without eating up your crucial design time. Let’s get started!

Weekly Freebies: 12 Gorgeously Grungy Fonts
Freebies / 8 Mar 2011

Weekly Freebies: 12 Gorgeously Grungy Fonts

Who doesn’t love a good collection of free grunge fonts? These twelve are some of my favorite free fonts around and can really add character to whatever project you’re working on. I downloaded each to build the custom previews below so I can attest to them all being perfectly functional.

Browse through and download a few and leave a comment below letting us know which are your favorite! Also let us about any we missed that you particularly like.