Articles

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

CSS / 24 Oct 2011

What Is CSS? Back to Basics

This is the third article in our back to basics series where we’re taking a look at the absolute beginning concepts of web development. If you’re a designer with little to no knowledge of web programming, this series is for you.

In our first article, we went over what HTML is and in our second article we outlined the basic anatomy of an HTML document. Today we’ll jump to a new topic and answer a very important question: What is CSS?

Graphics / 20 Oct 2011

Tips for Designing Sleek iPhone App UI Layouts in Photoshop

Graphic design for the web has been a popular trend for ages. And with the invent of Apple’s iPhone back in 2007 the app store has grown a tremendous amount. Now we have iOS app designers and developers coming together to build some really fantastic conceptions into reality.

But if you’re not fond of learning Xcode and programming Objective-C, Photoshop may hold more interest. Below I’ll offer some of the tips I’ve picked up for designing killer iOS app mockups. And since there are always new trends emerging the design community is constantly redefining how to create apps. Think of this as more of a beginner’s resource guide to designing for Apple devices.

News / 18 Oct 2011

Design Shack Is Evolving!

If you’ve taken a look at our site design in the past few hours, you might have noticed a few changes! We’ve taken the design paintbrush for a spin, streamlining and simplifying the layout and re-focusing on the parts of Design Shack that we particularly love.

All this comes hand-in-hand with a change to the Design Shack brand, and a funky new logo courtesy of Aaron Mahnke. Read on to find out a little more about the design, branding, and the changes we’ve made to the site.

Inspiration / 18 Oct 2011

50 More Beautifully Designed Tumblr Themes

Way back in 2009 we posted a collection of 30 Beautifully Designed Tumblr Themes. Back then the Tumblr library of themes was much smaller than it is today and in light of the huge growth in the platform as a whole we decided to bring you fifty more themes perfect for anyone with a designer’s eye.

This time we’ve switched things up by not only featuring a ton of great free themes, but an additional selection of premium themes for anyone who needs to go that extra mile. Let’s take a look!

Business / 17 Oct 2011

Running Your Internet Business With Google Products

Google has become a powerhouse industry for digital professionals. It seems just a decade ago Gmail was still a newcomer to the field. And now in-browser webmail is commonplace, along with IM Chat and file storage/upload in your browser as well!

For the average webmaster these tools provide a very powerful and free resource to setup as your backend. Google can be used to fuel your company and track visitor stats, revenue, plus tons of other metrics! We have gone over some of the most prosperous services and how you may benefit from them. With just a single Google account you have access to all of their apps completely 100% free. Talk about a sweet business deal.

Business / 13 Oct 2011

Is This Spec Work? Should Designers Be Asked to Prove Their Worth?

Let’s discuss a topic that gets your blood boiling: spec work. What is it and why do designers hate it? This will give us a foundation to discuss some legitimate practices that many are labeling as spec work hiring tactics.

Do you think a designer should be asked to prove himself/herself before being hired? Is this debate an example of employers going too far or designers not willing to go far enough? Let’s find out.

Business / 10 Oct 2011

Establishing a Hierarchy of Goals for Everything You Design

What one thing above all else makes for a great design? Where should your focus lie? More importantly, is it possible or even desirable to focus on a single goal at the expense of others?

Today we’ll take a look at why goal-oriented design is good design and discuss how being a designer means weighing several competing factors. We’ll also discuss how to decide which goals are the most important and how establishing a hierarchy for each project will make for a better experience for the client, the user and the designer.

HTML / 10 Oct 2011

What Is HTML? the Anatomy of an HTML5 Document

This is the second article in our series on the absolute fundamentals of web development. Our first article explained in detail what HTML is on a conceptual level. We looked at what a markup language is, what tags are and how HTML compares to other important pieces of the web development puzzle such as CSS.

Join us today as we move on and take a look at each basic piece of an HTML document. I’ll explain all that stuff at the top of an HTML file that confuses you and outline the basic structure that you’ll follow for creating your own HTML files.

HTML / 8 Oct 2011

What Is HTML? Back to Basics

Since I have a background in print, I’m always eager to help designers from other areas get a start in web design and basic development. I know from experience that the transition is an extremely intimidating one that many people simply don’t think they can manage.

Fortunately, I can also attest to the fact that it’s probably not as difficult as you might imagine. In the world of hardcore coding, HTML and CSS rank pretty low on the barrier to entry scale.

Today we’re going to start a series that examines the basic building blocks of web development. HTML, CSS, JavaScript; if you’re a complete and utter beginner who might not even have a basic grasp of what these technologies are much less how to wield them, then this series is for you.

Freebies / 7 Oct 2011

Weekly Freebies: 25 Awesome Free jQuery Image Sliders and Carousels

No matter what type of site or page you’re building, a jQuery carousel or image slider is an indispensable tool that allows you to put tons of information and content in a relatively small and user-friendly space.

Every web designer should have a full arsenal of jQuery sliders to choose from. Bookmark this page of 25 awesome free plugins and come back the next time you need one on a project.

Graphics / 5 Oct 2011

Five Fascinating Things You Didn’t Know About Famous Car Logos

Automobile logos represent some of my favorite emblems. I recently became curious as to the origins of several of these popular icons and came across some incredibly interesting facts!

Join us as we look back at some of the most well known logos around and uncover some of their unbelievable secrets!