Creating Exciting And Unusual Visual Hierarchies // thnxz smashingmagazine.com – @smashingmag


Layout, for both print and screen, is one of the most important aspects of graphic design. Designs that extend across multiple pages or screens, whether containing large or small amounts of type, must be carefully controlled in a way that is enticing and is easy for all to access.

Creating Exciting And Unusual Visual Hierarchies With Typography

By 

Careful control of visual hierarchy is a key aspect of the design decisions we have to consider. In this article, we will look at how frequently type needs to be broken down into different levels, such as topic, importance and tone of voice.

Read more…

21 Examples of Beautiful Color Use in Web Design // @webdesignledger


There is no doubt that choosing the right colors for a design is a very important step of the creative process. We need to think about the message and the style we want to communicate, besides also thinking about the best combination to please our viewers eyes and to deliver a nice result. Today we gathered some good examples of color use in web design. From subtle colorful details to colorful background images or bold colorful type, there are different styles here to show you how to add color to your next project.

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Showcase of Incredible Design Portfolios From All Over the World


http://www.noupe.com

 

No matter when or why you find yourself browsing the internet, there is no short of different logos, websites and print designs filling the web. Having experience in the fields helps one to distinguish the visual candy from the beauty of great web design. In this information age the competition remains fierce, always causing the bar to be raised. With so many creative people focused on web design, it takes a log to stand out from the crowds.

Generally speaking, some of the most unusual and amazing websites belong to designers. Of course, there are a lot of designers who have no site or one that doesn’t show off the full power of their skills. As the saying goes, “the cobbler’s children go unshod”.

A designer’s website should be surprising. Looking at a designer’s or web studio’s site should allow a potential customer to draw a conclusion about their talent and technical skills. Portfolios are an extremely important part of a designer’s website, but that doesn’t mean that any other parts can just be thrown together. Think about it. If you were a customer, you wouldn’t choose a designer whose site doesn’t impress you.

Today we’d like to share with you an showcase of incredible design portfolios from all around the world. A lot of effort and time has been invested since the designer’s first sketch was created to the wonderful design you can see now. So take a look, and get inspired.

[Note: Have you already ordered your copy of our Printed Smashing Book #3? The book is a professional guide on how to redesign websites and it also introduces a whole new mindset for progressive Web design, written by experts for you.]

Talent and Skills Put into Practice

Domani Web Studio

designers sites

Iji Digital Web studio

designers sites

Pianofuzz Web studio

designers sites

Cafundoe Web Studio

designers sites

Carsonified Web Studio

designers sites

Ica Lab Web Studio

designers sites

XHTML Kitchen web Design and Development Studio

designers sites

ONY Web Studio

designers sites

Nile Web Studio

designers sites

Just Be Nice studio

designers sites

Creative People Agency

designers sites

Instinct Web Agency

designers sites

73dpi Ukrainian Web Studio

designers sites

FabWebDesign by Fabrizio Michels (CSS winner)

designers sites

Liechtenecker is Germany Web Agency

designers sites

SiteSoft Design Studio

designers sites

SmallStudio Creative Agency

designers sites

StudioBreakfast Design and Web Studio

designers sites

Florian Bernard’s Portfolio 13flo

designers sites

The California design studio 2Advenced Leer más “Showcase of Incredible Design Portfolios From All Over the World”

Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: April 2012 | Varieté de Abril, pasen y vean


 

By  | smashingmagazine.com

We always try our best to challenge your artistic abilities and produce some interesting, beautiful and creative artwork. And as designers we usually turn to different sources of inspiration. As a matter of fact, we’ve discovered the best one — desktop wallpapers that are a little more distinctive than the usual crowd. This creativity mission has been going on for over four years now, and we are very thankful to all designers who have contributed and are still diligently contributing each month.

We continue to nourish you with a monthly spoon of inspiration. This post features free desktop wallpapers created by artists across the globe for April 2012. Both versions with a calendar and without a calendar can be downloaded for free. It’s time to freshen up your wallpaper!

Please note that:

[Note: Have you already pre-ordered your copy of our Printed Smashing Book #3? The book is a professional guide on how to redesign websites and it also introduces a whole new mindset for progressive Web design, written by experts for you.]

Noisy Neighbors

Designed by Katerina Bobkova from Ukraine.

Smashing Wallpaper - April 2012

Bird Songs

“”Spring would not be spring without bird songs.” – Francis M. Chapman.” Designed by Raymond Lopez from USA.

Smashing Wallpaper - April 2012

Bear On The Moon

Designed by Oxana Kostromina from Germany/Russia.

Smashing Wallpaper - April 2012

Retro Light Wall… Leer más “Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: April 2012 | Varieté de Abril, pasen y vean”

Exceptional Dribbble Invite Shots

What To Do To Become a Player?

First of all, prepare several mind-blowing designs or make screenshots of your best of the best previous works. Type of design does not matter. Your samples can be dedicated to website design, graphic design, icons design, typography, illustrations etc.

Secondly, sign up as a prospect and surf for a spare invitation in order to enter into the game. Be prepared, there will be a plenty of people who want to become a Dribbble player so you have to be very quick since invitations tend to go like hotcakes.

But never fear, members give away at least one invitation fairly often so you can bump into it anytime and someday become a proud part of all the action.

So What Should You Look For?

In order to facilitate your search we want to give you an idea of what these Dribbble invite shots tend to look like. With so many talented people involved in the community it should be no surprise that they create really unique and remarkable “invite to give away” shots. Many of them use this opportunity to create something special and show their creativity. Below is a showcase of some of these fantastic designs.


 

By  |  noupe.com

Dribbble is one of the most famous online designers community. It’s an amazing gallery where people can show screenshots of their recent or upcoming works and share high-quality freebies with others. But Dribbble is not only place where you can show off your skills, it is also a source for inspiration, and a place where you can ask for an opinion or help from professionals in the field. Thus, this community can help you to become a more mature designer.

Since this site is a concentration of serious people not everyone can become a part of it. This is an invite only community, so the only way to get in is to earn a special invitation that can come either from players (invited members) or team.

[Note: Have you already pre-ordered your copy of our Printed Smashing Book #3? The book is a professional guide on how to redesign websites and it also introduces a whole new mindset for progressive Web design, written by experts for you.]

What To Do To Become a Player?

First of all, prepare several mind-blowing designs or make screenshots of your best of the best previous works. Type of design does not matter. Your samples can be dedicated to website design, graphic design, icons design, typography, illustrations etc.

Secondly, sign up as a prospect and surf for a spare invitation in order to enter into the game. Be prepared, there will be a plenty of people who want to become a Dribbble player so you have to be very quick since invitations tend to go like hotcakes.

But never fear, members give away at least one invitation fairly often so you can bump into it anytime and someday become a proud part of all the action.

So What Should You Look For?

In order to facilitate your search we want to give you an idea of what these Dribbble invite shots tend to look like. With so many talented people involved in the community it should be no surprise that they create really unique and remarkable “invite to give away” shots. Many of them use this opportunity to create something special and show their creativity. Below is a showcase of some of these fantastic designs.

The Invite Shots

Lots of designers use brand colors and logos to draw attention.

1. By Eddie Lobanovskiy
Dribbble invite shot by Eddie Lobanovskiy

2. By Mike
Dribbble invite shot by Mike Leer más “Exceptional Dribbble Invite Shots”

Showcase of Rainbow Elements in Web Design

One of the best sources of inspiration for artists and designers is nature. You can see lots of artwork inspired by nature, artists and designers use colors, textures, objects and photos of nature in their work. The rainbow is definitely one of the most colorful nature objects which inspires everyone. In this showcase I have collected some colorful websites with rainbow elements. Some of these use lots of colors, others use colorful lines similar to those of the rainbow while others use actual rainbow images.


 by | http://www.onextrapixel.com

-.-

One of the best sources of inspiration for artists and designers is nature. You can see lots of artwork inspired by nature, artists and designers use colors, textures, objects and photos of nature in their work. The rainbow is definitely one of the most colorful nature objects which inspires everyone. In this showcase I have collected some colorful websites with rainbow elements. Some of these use lots of colors, others use colorful lines similar to those of the rainbow while others use actual rainbow images.

Rainbow Elements in Web Design

Showcase of Rainbow Elements in Web Design

In this web design showcase you will find 25 impressive examples of rainbow inspired websites with short descriptions.

Designfabrika
Designfabrika uses a beautiful combination of a wood texture and a rainbow inspired background.

Designfabrika

Instagallery
A small accent of rainbow on the left side of the website adds some identity and makes it stand out.

Instagallery Leer más “Showcase of Rainbow Elements in Web Design”

Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: February 2011

We always try our best to challenge your artistic abilities and produce some interesting, beautiful and creative artwork. And as designers we usually turn to different sources of inspiration. As a matter of fact, we’ve discovered the best one — desktop wallpapers that are a little more distinctive than the usual crowd. This creativity mission has been going on for almost two years now, and we are very thankful to all designers who have contributed and are still diligently contributing each month.

We continue to nourish you with a monthly spoon of inspiration for the next 12 months. This post features 40 free desktop wallpapers created by artists across the globe for February 2011. Both versions with a calendar and without a calendar can be downloaded for free. It’s time to freshen up your wallpaper!


We always try our best to challenge your artistic abilities and produce some interesting, beautiful and creative artwork. And as designers we usually turn to different sources of inspiration. As a matter of fact, we’ve discovered the best one — desktop wallpapers that are a little more distinctive than the usual crowd. This creativity mission has been going on for almost two years now, and we are very thankful to all designers who have contributed and are still diligently contributing each month.

We continue to nourish you with a monthly spoon of inspiration for the next 12 months. This post features 40 free desktop wallpapers created by artists across the globe for February 2011. Both versions with a calendar and without a calendar can be downloaded for free. It’s time to freshen up your wallpaper!

Please note that:

(Update): you may want to take a look at February 2011 Windows 7 Themes3 as well.

For the Birds

“An old birdcage in the sky.” Designed by Kristen Cook from USA.

For The Birds 93 in Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: February 2011

Quantcast

Madonna And Chihuahua

“Dog is the new Child.” Designed by Olivia Osik15 from Estonia.

Madonna And Chihuahua 18 in Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: February 2011 Leer más “Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: February 2011”

Doreen Lorenzo: Clients Don’t Deserve Surprises

A World of Tweets: Data visualization Frog created to show tweets from across the globe.
According to advertising maven David Ogilvy, “Great hospitals do two things. They look after patients, and they teach young doctors. We look after clients, and we teach young advertising people.” It’s an apt comparison. Like doctors, creatives are regularly called upon to educate their clients, and a good bedside manner is crucial.
Client relationships are the bedrock of innovation at Frog Design, a global innovation firm founded in 1969. To name just a few of Frog’s accomplishments: they partnered with Apple to create the revolutionary Apple IIc in 1982; they designed the highest grossing e-commerce site of its time, Dell.com, in 2000; and, more recently, they created the popular Roku Netflix video player.

So how do they do it? We sat down with president Doreen Lorenzo for a conversation about how Frog “looks after clients” and “teaches young designers” – and how both of these elements play into the company’s remarkable ability to create break-through products.


 

A World of Tweets: Data visualization Frog created to show tweets from across the globe.
According to advertising maven David Ogilvy, “Great hospitals do two things. They look after patients, and they teach young doctors. We look after clients, and we teach young advertising people.” It’s an apt comparison. Like doctors, creatives are regularly called upon to educate their clients, and a good bedside manner is crucial.
Client relationships are the bedrock of innovation at Frog Design, a global innovation firm founded in 1969. To name just a few of Frog’s accomplishments: they partnered with Apple to create the revolutionary Apple IIc in 1982; they designed the highest grossing e-commerce site of its time, Dell.com, in 2000; and, more recently, they created the popular Roku Netflix video player. 

So how do they do it? We sat down with president Doreen Lorenzo for a conversation about how Frog “looks after clients” and “teaches young designers” – and how both of these elements play into the company’s remarkable ability to create break-through products.
Leer más “Doreen Lorenzo: Clients Don’t Deserve Surprises”

How would be the future if the present were design thinking?

Clarify the analytical thinking and design

According to Roger Martin, AG Lafley when he was CEO of P&G always made a great effort to explain their thinking. Be transparent “with his logic”, gave those who are below, in the hierarchy of Lafley, the guidance they need to one day succeed him, and to organize all the chances to keep its trajectory.

This is certainly not the posture of many of the leaders of organizations and companies, especially if we consider the financial areas.

Roger Martin considers that integrative thinking should be a key discipline of management. Design thinking is the application of integrative thinking.

However, there are still a large number of designers who would like design to be an art, and are really offended by the concept of design thinking. Martin said: “I had several nasty notes saying,” you’re not a designer, you are not trained in design, how dare to talk about it? “

Firstly it is easy to see that there are not only silos in organizations, where everyone learns well their model and closes in their habitat, without concern for clarify their thinking and its intention to management, but also in designers who hid behind a search of a path that does not converge to the business.

Integrative thinking often arises as a discomfort for both managers and designers when it comes to creating a model that is neither A nor B but can be a new created from the design and business processes.

For example, when speaking to clarify the thought of a manager of a financial area, surely we aren’t waiting for behaviors that are identical to those of AG Lafley, although this was desirable.


Por jabaldaia
http://abaldaia.wordpress.com/2010/12/10/how-would-be-the-future-if-the-present-were-design-thinking/

Clarify the analytical thinking and design

According to Roger Martin, AG Lafley when he was CEO of P&G always made a great effort to explain their thinking. Be transparent “with his logic”, gave those who are below, in the hierarchy of Lafley, the guidance they need to one day succeed him, and to organize all the chances to keep its trajectory.

This is certainly not the posture of many of the leaders of organizations and companies, especially if we consider the financial areas.

Roger Martin considers that integrative thinking should be a key discipline of management. Design thinking is the application of integrative thinking.

However, there are still a large number of designers who would like design to be an art, and are really offended by the concept of design thinking. Martin said: “I had several nasty notes saying,” you’re not a designer, you are not trained in design, how dare to talk about it? “

Firstly it is easy to see that there are not only silos in organizations, where everyone learns well their model and closes in their habitat, without concern for clarify their thinking and its intention to management, but also in designers who hid behind a search of a path that does not converge to the business.

Integrative thinking often arises as a discomfort for both managers and designers when it comes to creating a model that is neither A nor B but can be a new created from the design and business processes.

For example, when speaking to clarify the thought of a manager of a financial area, surely we aren’t waiting for behaviors that are identical to those of AG Lafley, although this was desirable.

Leer más “How would be the future if the present were design thinking?”

The Seven Deadly Sins of Design

In this article, we’ll look at some of the worst offenses committed in design and how to avoid them. When your design project is judged, will you be held accountable for any of these sins?

A design project requires preparation. There are protocols to follow, theories to consider, briefs to dissect and, as we’ll see, sins to avoid!

In any design project, pitfalls are to be expected. These pitfalls can impede progress or even derail the project. Most experienced designers are able to avoid them by recognizing the warning signs.

The following seven deadly sins of design have their warning signs, too. They are worse than your average pitfall, though, because they can kill your design if you are not vigilant. So, stay on the straight and narrow and beware the traps on either side of the path.


thumbhttp://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2010/11/the-seven-deadly-sins-of-design/

In this article, we’ll look at some of the worst offenses committed in design and how to avoid them. When your design project is judged, will you be held accountable for any of these sins?

A design project requires preparation. There are protocols to follow, theories to consider, briefs to dissect and, as we’ll see, sins to avoid!

In any design project, pitfalls are to be expected. These pitfalls can impede progress or even derail the project. Most experienced designers are able to avoid them by recognizing the warning signs.

The following seven deadly sins of design have their warning signs, too. They are worse than your average pitfall, though, because they can kill your design if you are not vigilant. So, stay on the straight and narrow and beware the traps on either side of the path.

Charging Per Hour vs. Per Project

If you’re a corporate designer, you don’t have to worry about things like how to bill your clients, as you’re likely either on salary or have a predetermined hourly rate and regular work schedule.

But for freelancers, figuring out how best to charge clients for work completed can be a nightmare. After all, you want to charge clients a fair price, make a decent living, and get enough work so that you’re not struggling to find the next project.

In the world of web design, there are two basic ways most designers charge: per hour or per project. There are advantages and disadvantages to each method, and there are situations where one method works better than the other.

In this article, we’ve presented an overview of what’s involved in each method of charging, as well as what you need to consider when choosing a method.
Charging by the Hour

Charging an hourly rate is incredibly common in the world of freelancers, both for designers and other professionals.

It’s a pretty straight-forward way of charging. I just tell you I charge $X per hour and you either think that’s reasonable and agree to pay it or you don’t and you find someone who charges less.

Advantages to Charging by the Hour

As mentioned, hourly charges are very straight-forward. Some designers have a flat hourly rate regardless of the type of work they do. Others have different hourly rates for different functions (designing, coding, testing, etc.).

It’s easy to lay out for your clients exactly what you charge, and they often feel like it’s a more transparent way of doing business. It’s also a method clients are used to dealing with, as that’s likely how their lawyer, accountant, and other professionals also charge.


Written exclusively for WDD by Cameron Chapman.
http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2010/10/charging-per-hour-vs-per-project/

If you’re a corporate designer, you don’t have to worry about things like how to bill your clients, as you’re likely either on salary or have a predetermined hourly rate and regular work schedule.

But for freelancers, figuring out how best to charge clients for work completed can be a nightmare. After all, you want to charge clients a fair price, make a decent living, and get enough work so that you’re not struggling to find the next project.

In the world of web design, there are two basic ways most designers charge: per hour or per project. There are advantages and disadvantages to each method, and there are situations where one method works better than the other.

In this article, we’ve presented an overview of what’s involved in each method of charging, as well as what you need to consider when choosing a method.

Charging by the Hour

Charging an hourly rate is incredibly common in the world of freelancers, both for designers and other professionals.

It’s a pretty straight-forward way of charging. I just tell you I charge $X per hour and you either think that’s reasonable and agree to pay it or you don’t and you find someone who charges less.

 

Advantages to Charging by the Hour

As mentioned, hourly charges are very straight-forward. Some designers have a flat hourly rate regardless of the type of work they do. Others have different hourly rates for different functions (designing, coding, testing, etc.).

It’s easy to lay out for your clients exactly what you charge, and they often feel like it’s a more transparent way of doing business. It’s also a method clients are used to dealing with, as that’s likely how their lawyer, accountant, and other professionals also charge.

Leer más “Charging Per Hour vs. Per Project”

Why Collaborating with Other Freelancers Can be a Great Idea

Being a freelancer is a great way to work for a lot of designers and creatives. To be able to give your clients the best possible package though, you may have to look at doing things a bit differently. By considering to collaborate with other freelancers, you’ll have an even better chance to offer something great, along with getting more social in a job that often is quite lonely. Here are some of the reasons why working with others can be a great idea!

Being a freelancer means a lot of responsibility on your shoulders along with many “lonely” days at work. Being specialized in one field can definitely appeal to clients if you’re good at what you do, but today the ability to be versatile becomes more and more important. Clients know what they want and with all the designers and companies in the market, they can also afford to be a bit picky.
How to collaborate with others?

This can be done in different ways and you need to have a look at your options, who you know, who are available in your area and if they’re interested. A collaboration with other freelancers can mean to share office-space with them, have “unwritten” agreements on helping each other out with things you excel at and pointing clients in the direction of others when getting enquiries that involve projects that are a bit outside your comfort area.

Picture by Oliver Tam

The collaborations can be small or big depending on what you prefer. In many cases freelancers can take on bigger projects together, dividing parts of the work between them according to their different skills. As long as you’re able to find a way of billing and time-tracking that can be dealt with in a legal and correct way, you have many options.

Here are some reasons why you should consider working alongside other freelancers to get more clients by offering what they want!
Being able to compete better with bigger companies

Picture by Martin Boulanger

As companies with several designers also have more knowledge and a broader skill-range, collaborating can help you get up to that same level. This means that as you are more people doing the project, you can offer the skills and deadlines that usually are some of the benefits clients get when choosing to work with companies over freelancers.
Offering more

A bit of the same as the first point. If you are a web designer collaborating with a freelance writer, graphic artist or photographer, you will most likely be able to offer the client a more complete package. Clients love it when they don’t have to look around for many different people to work with. If you have a deal with others you can simply tell the client that you’re able to also take the pictures for the website, design the logo and so on.


By Hilde Torbjornsen | http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/design/freelance-collaboration/

Being a freelancer is a great way to work for a lot of designers and creatives. To be able to give your clients the best possible package though, you may have to look at doing things a bit differently. By considering to collaborate with other freelancers, you’ll have an even better chance to offer something great, along with getting more social in a job that often is quite lonely. Here are some of the reasons why working with others can be a great idea!

 

Being a freelancer means a lot of responsibility on your shoulders along with many “lonely” days at work. Being specialized in one field can definitely appeal to clients if you’re good at what you do, but today the ability to be versatile becomes more and more important. Clients know what they want and with all the designers and companies in the market, they can also afford to be a bit picky.

How to collaborate with others?

This can be done in different ways and you need to have a look at your options, who you know, who are available in your area and if they’re interested. A collaboration with other freelancers can mean to share office-space with them, have “unwritten” agreements on helping each other out with things you excel at and pointing clients in the direction of others when getting enquiries that involve projects that are a bit outside your comfort area.

Picture by Oliver Tam

The collaborations can be small or big depending on what you prefer. In many cases freelancers can take on bigger projects together, dividing parts of the work between them according to their different skills. As long as you’re able to find a way of billing and time-tracking that can be dealt with in a legal and correct way, you have many options.

Here are some reasons why you should consider working alongside other freelancers to get more clients by offering what they want!

Being able to compete better with bigger companies

Picture by Martin Boulanger

As companies with several designers also have more knowledge and a broader skill-range, collaborating can help you get up to that same level. This means that as you are more people doing the project, you can offer the skills and deadlines that usually are some of the benefits clients get when choosing to work with companies over freelancers.

Offering more

A bit of the same as the first point. If you are a web designer collaborating with a freelance writer, graphic artist or photographer, you will most likely be able to offer the client a more complete package. Clients love it when they don’t have to look around for many different people to work with. If you have a deal with others you can simply tell the client that you’re able to also take the pictures for the website, design the logo and so on. Leer más “Why Collaborating with Other Freelancers Can be a Great Idea”

Line25 Sites of the Week for September 3rd 2010


View the article

Line25 Sites of the Week is a weekly roundup of the most outstanding website designs that I stumble across during my every day browsing. In this week’s collection, we have designs from Awesome JS, Draftboard, Doodle Pad, Mooze Design and Theme Trust.

Awesome JS

View the website Leer más “Line25 Sites of the Week for September 3rd 2010”

Weekly Web Design and Development Inspiration

This is our selection of our favorite web designs from the past week or so, some sites we discovered, but the most of them have been recommended by our readers.
Thanks for all your recommendations, and we hope you like this selection of sites as much as we do, feel free to comment and let us know what you think.



This is our selection of our favorite web designs from the past week or so, some sites we discovered, but the most of them have been recommended by our readers.

Thanks for all your recommendations, and we hope you like this selection of sites as much as we do, feel free to comment and let us know what you think.

Paul Bennett

Paul Bennett

Leer más “Weekly Web Design and Development Inspiration”