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Weekly Freebies: 10 Great Grunge Paper Textures
Graphics / 3 Jan 2011

Weekly Freebies: 10 Great Grunge Paper Textures

You can simply never have too many grungy paper backgrounds at your disposal. Unfortunately, many roundups shoot for quantity over quality in this area so it can be difficult to track down real, usable resources. We sifted through tons of paper textures to bring you ten of the best we could find.

All textures are sourced from Flickr Creative Commons and Lost and Taken. They’re all very large and ready to use. About half require simple attribution in the form of a link while the rest are usable with no restrictions. Enjoy!

Deeper Study Into the WWW’s Document Object Model
HTML / 28 Dec 2010

Deeper Study Into the WWW’s Document Object Model

The Document Object Model is a fundamental part of the World Wide Web. DOM for short, this is a set of API standards which define how a browser should construct a web document and how developers are able to manipulate objects.

We’ll be looking a bit further into how the DOM really works. The model has been around for years and currently resides at DOM level 3 (DOM3 documentation here). There is a DOM4 currently in editor’s draft with some brand new specs coming soon. For now we can focus on a brief understanding of how the object model came into being.

Design Discussion: Brand Advertising vs. Promotional Marketing
Business / 23 Dec 2010

Design Discussion: Brand Advertising vs. Promotional Marketing

Design is not merely the act of creating attractive things for people to look at, that’s art. Instead, every project you work on as a designer has its own set of goals for what it should accomplish. The visuals you create are meant to help lead people in a specific direction.

Below we’ll take a look at two common goals that are pursued in advertising design. First we’ll go over the similarities and differences between brand advertising and promotional marketing, then discuss how these implications apply to your design work, regardless of what field you’re in.

The Totally Made Up Design Awards for Design Blogs
Graphics / 20 Dec 2010

The Totally Made Up Design Awards for Design Blogs

Once upon a time, designers discovered blogging. This changed everything for many long-time designers like me who now pretend to be writers for a living. The rapid explosion of the design blog industry has brought about an unending flow of articles that essentially use 1,200 words to tell you how you should do your job. The question we’ll answer today is, which blogs actually take their own advice?

To highlight those blogs that feature the best design, we’ll be handing out very prestigious awards in several categories that I made up on the spot. All awards are based solely on visual appeal and give no consideration whatsoever to the actual quality of the blog content. Winners can claim their trophies at any trophy store for a small fee. Let’s get started!

10 Fresh Mac Apps With Beautiful Interfaces (and What We Can Learn From Them)
Software / 16 Dec 2010

10 Fresh Mac Apps With Beautiful Interfaces (and What We Can Learn From Them)

Interface design is a valuable skill to possess. Every decision you make, be it something as major as a color scheme or as minor as a stroke width, can potentially have a huge impact on whether or not people decide to use the application, website, etc. We designers know this better than anyone because we tend to be interface snobs, meaning we flat out refuse to use an app with poor design, even if the functionality is stellar.

The next time you’re faced with the task of designing an interface, why not learn from those who have already succeeded? Below we’ll take a look at the interfaces of ten beautiful and fairly new Mac applications and discuss what went right.

Farming Out Extra Work: Thoughts and Considerations
Business / 15 Dec 2010

Farming Out Extra Work: Thoughts and Considerations

Have you ever reached a point where you feel stagnant in your career? Are you working all hours of the night and day for much less compensation than you had hoped for and don’t see any possible way to increase your prospects?

Today we’ll discuss how to increase your income potential while keeping your sanity through hiring other freelancers like yourself to help take on the load. If you don’t think you can afford it or don’t know how to begin, you’ll definitely want to keep reading!

Weekly Freebies: 10 Incredible Icon Sets for Designers
Graphics / 14 Dec 2010

Weekly Freebies: 10 Incredible Icon Sets for Designers

Tired of combing the web for high quality free icons? Your search is over. Below you’ll find literally thousands of hand crafted icons perfect for all your web design projects. Enjoy!

How to Cut the Crap and Actually Be Productive as a Creative Person
Business / 13 Dec 2010

How to Cut the Crap and Actually Be Productive as a Creative Person

Today we’re going to talk about everyone’s favorite subject: productivity. More importantly, we’ll discuss why your current system doesn’t work, why traditional company structures suck and how to wrangle your creative brain into submission.

If you’ve been waiting for an eye-opening discussion into what’s really wrong with your workflow and why your $50 todo list app isn’t fixing it, this is your lucky day.

Web Design Critique #32: Doofyme
Critique / 11 Dec 2010

Web Design Critique #32: Doofyme

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 Doofyme, the personal portfolio of Chris Kinsey.

Freelancer or FTE? 10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Deciding
Business / 10 Dec 2010

Freelancer or FTE? 10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Deciding

As a designer, you have a much higher likelihood of confronting the freelancer vs. full-time employee dilemma than most people. No matter which side you’re currently on or have been on before, there are several key questions that you should ask yourself before deciding where you fit in best.

Below we’ll take a look at ten such questions that you can use to assess your career aspirations and long-term goals. We’ll also offer tons of advice along the way about how to interpret your answers to each question.

Design a Fun Baby Announcement Site in Photoshop
Graphics / 9 Dec 2010

Design a Fun Baby Announcement Site in Photoshop

Designing a baby-centric site isn’t an easy task, especially for people like myself who usually favor masculine themes, colors and textures in their designs. Today we’ll tackle this task head on by creating a fun and unique baby announcement site that’s far from typical.

Feel free to follow along and be sure to download the PSD so you can have a look around or even use it in your own site.

Trends for Creating Extravagant Website Templates
Inspiration / 8 Dec 2010

Trends for Creating Extravagant Website Templates

Website template designs are very popular among modern web developers. Working within a template design can save boatloads of time when under the deadline crunch. Not only this but most source code is created within HTML5/CSS standards and allows for simple customizations.

There are a few techniques which can be utilized to develop the best templates. Designers and developers alike frequently create templates and offer them for free download to the community. Color theory, grid design, layout structure, and content development all play key roles in the creation process. Check out some of the tips below and see how you could integrate these ideas into your work.