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Effective Package Design Does More Than Look Good on the Shelf
Graphics / 23 Mar 2011

Effective Package Design Does More Than Look Good on the Shelf

Package design is deceptively simple. Many designers wrongfully approach this task as merely a matter of aesthetics and give no thought to the fact that packaging has to succeed on many variables.

Today we’ll go over some basic principles to keep in mind the next time you’re designing either the package itself or merely the artwork. Along the way we’ll see a few amazing and not-so-great examples to learn from.

Weekly Freebies: 30 Seriously Useful Seamless Textures
Freebies / 22 Mar 2011

Weekly Freebies: 30 Seriously Useful Seamless Textures

A designer can never have too many seamless textures and patterns in his arsenal. These resources make it effortless to flood a background with something more interesting than a solid color.

Today we’re showcasing an awesome collection of over 30 fully tile-able textures and patterns that you can download free. Some are raster images for Photoshop others are vector swatches for Illustrator, all of them will make great additions to your resource library!

Developing Over the Dribbble API With PHP
PHP / 21 Mar 2011

Developing Over the Dribbble API With PHP

Dribbble is the design networking app sweeping the digital revolution by storm. This collection of creative individuals offer pictures, or “shots”, of their latest works and share criticism through the rest of the community. It’s a great learning environment for studying web designers, illustrators, and icon makers.

The community has been intricately planned and opened with an API. This stands for Application Programming Interface and would dramatically widen the range of adaptation to anybody who can understand the framework.

Web Design Critique #42: Peter and James
Critique / 20 Mar 2011

Web Design Critique #42: Peter and James

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 Peter and James, an online jewelry retailer.

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.