Articles

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

Freebies / 18 Nov 2011

Weekly Freebie: Printable Productivity Mousepad

Today’s freebie is incredibly simple but also incredibly useful. It’s a custom-made calendar, todo and notes sheet that you can print and use as a mousepad. I use it myself every day and thought I’d share it!

Business / 17 Nov 2011

The Ten Commandments of Writing Copy That Wins Clients

Web design companies and freelancers should never underestimate the power of good copy. Likewise, they should never doubt how much bad copy can hurt their chances of winning clients.

Follow along as we discuss then ten commandments of writing simple and effective copy that will convince your potential clients that you can successfully meet their needs and blow away their expectations.

Software / 16 Nov 2011

10 Ways Photoshop Actions Can Improve Your Workflow

Photoshop actions are an extremely easy way to automate all of the mundane daily tasks that have made their way into your design workflow. Whether you’re in web or print design, odds are there are a few repetitive tasks that you could let Photoshop handle for you.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle to automating your workflow is simply coming up with ideas for where Photoshop actions could help you out. Today we’ll help you solve that problem by going over 10 ways Photoshop actions can improve your workflow.

CSS / 15 Nov 2011

6 Things I Learned About Print Stylesheets From HTML5 Boilerplate

Print stylesheets can be a pain if you don’t know what you’re doing. Before you even approach one you need to make sure to do some solid research into how to go about it.

Today we’re going to help you along by first discussing the conceptual considerations that you need to keep in mind when creating a print stylesheet. Then we’ll dive into some code from the famous HTML5 Boilerplate to see some modern solutions for addressing the problems that arise when printing from the web.

Business / 14 Nov 2011

Going Global: Leveraging Cultural Dimensions for Better Design

The world is a widely varied place and it’s naive to imagine that a design that resonates well with one group of people will be equally effective with another group on the other side of the globe.

Today we’ll show you how to wield Geert Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions to better tailor your designs to different cultures through a basic understanding of the values that they tend to pursue.

Inspiration / 10 Nov 2011

Close Photoshop and Grab a Pencil: The Lost Art of Thumbnail Sketches

Long before web UI mockups came along, print designers would hone their ideas using a tried and true method called thumbnail sketching. This practice seems to be somewhat of a lost art so we’re going to shed some light on it!

Today we’ll briefly discuss what thumbnail sketches are, some tips for creating them and how to effectively implement them into your already busy workflow.

Inspiration / 9 Nov 2011

15 Great Gadgets and Gifts for Designers

The holidays are quickly approaching, which means it’s almost time for the annual awkward tradition of giving and getting gifts. Whether you’re shopping for a designer or you are a designer working on your wish list, these fifteen gadgets and gifts are so awesome that you won’t want anything else.

Chopsticks, pens, gloves, these all sound like every day boring items but wait until you see the amazing high tech versions we found!

Layouts / 8 Nov 2011

How to Design a Tour Page: Examples and Best Practices

Tour pages are one of the most important components for websites advertising apps and/or services. The tour page is often where interested users will either make the firm decision to sign up or move on to something else.

Needless to say, there’s a lot of pressure as a designer to get this right! Fear not however, many talented designers have gone before you and we can learn a lot by looking at their examples. We’ll dive into tour pages from giants like Mozilla, 37Signals and Mint.com and see what common tricks they all use to win conversions.

Layouts / 7 Nov 2011

Design History: The Art of Playing Cards

Great design inspiration is all around us. Sometimes the best examples are so common that we see them all the time without a second thought. The cars we drive, the advertisements in our mailbox, the cover art on that new album you just downloaded, all of these are teaching their own little design lessons and if we would but listen, we just might learn something.

Today’s subject is playing cards. At least one pack can be found in almost every home in America, which means they’re a perfect example of ubiquitous design that we take for granted. We’ll take a fresh look at why they’re so perfectly designed and learn a little history along the way.