Awesome Mother’s Day Designs

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an inspiration post and I thought I would do one today. Well, I have something special for this post. As we all know, today is Mother’s Day (in the US, not sure about other countries). Mother’s Day happens once a year and it’s a day when we celebrate and recognize mothers and motherhood in general. In this post, I’ve gathered up some awesome Mother’s Day designs for your viewing pleasure.

* http://designinformer.com/awesome-mothers-day-designs/
* By: Jad Limcaco

Men are what their mothers made them.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let’s face it, without our mother’s we all would not be here. I’m thankful that I have a mother who raised me and took good care of me and cared for me when I was growing up, and by the way, I love her to death!

So for all the mother’s out there and to my mom, this post is for you.
Happy Mother’s Day

Note: Please click on the images to see them in their websites and to learn more about their artists.


http://designinformer.com/awesome-mothers-day-designs/

Happy Mother's Day

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an inspiration post and I thought I would do one today. Well, I have something special for this post. As we all know, today is Mother’s Day (in the US, not sure about other countries). Mother’s Day happens once a year and it’s a day when we celebrate and recognize mothers and motherhood in general. In this post, I’ve gathered up some awesome Mother’s Day designs for your viewing pleasure.

Men are what their mothers made them.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let’s face it, without our mother’s we all would not be here. I’m thankful that I have a mother who raised me and took good care of me and cared for me when I was growing up, and by the way, I love her to death!

So for all the mother’s out there and to my mom, this post is for you.

Happy Mother’s Day

Note: Please click on the images to see them in their websites and to learn more about their artists.

Mother's Day

There is only one pretty child in the world,
and every mother has it. — Chinese Proverb

Mum

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child. Sophia Loren

Mother's Day

Never marry a man who hates his mother, because he’ll end up hating you. Jill Bennett

With Love Leer más “Awesome Mother’s Day Designs”

Insights Into the Running of a Design Business

When I left my job almost 2 years ago to start my own graphic design business, there were a few, let’s say, surprises. The biggest of which was that the majority of my time was being spent running the business, and not actually designing. It is quite difficult to put a number to it, but as a rough guess, I spend around 30% of my time designing. The remaining 70% is spent on other activities such as; advertising, sending emails, tracking expenses, invoicing clients, having phone conversations, writing articles, solving problems, etc.

Being a self-employed graphic designer can be quite a juggling act. If you are unprepared for the task of actually running a business, your dreams of success can quickly fall by the wayside. To be a successful self-employed designer, you need to be much more than a great designer. You also need to be a savvy business person. In this article, I will discuss some of the non-design related tasks that a self-employed designer faces. I will also offer you a few tips to help you run a more efficient and effective design business.


Running of a Design Business

When I left my job almost 2 years ago to start my own graphic design business, there were a few, let’s say, surprises. The biggest of which was that the majority of my time was being spent running the business, and not actually designing. It is quite difficult to put a number to it, but as a rough guess, I spend around 30% of my time designing. The remaining 70% is spent on other activities such as; advertising, sending emails, tracking expenses, invoicing clients, having phone conversations, writing articles, solving problems, etc.

Being a self-employed graphic designer can be quite a juggling act. If you are unprepared for the task of actually running a business, your dreams of success can quickly fall by the wayside. To be a successful self-employed designer, you need to be much more than a great designer. You also need to be a savvy business person. In this article, I will discuss some of the non-design related tasks that a self-employed designer faces. I will also offer you a few tips to help you run a more efficient and effective design business.

Marketing and Self-Promotion

Marketing and Self-Promotion

Unless you are one of the lucky ones who can solely rely on word of mouth referrals, to run a successful design business, you are going to need to do a substantial amount of marketing to attract clients. While traditional means of advertising can still work (flyers, newspaper advertisements, etc), I have found that online promotion offers a far greater return on investment.

Here are some tips for promoting yourself and your design business online…: Leer más “Insights Into the Running of a Design Business”

CSS Posters

I’ve always stressed the importance of practice and experimentation. If you want to get better at something or if you want to learn something, you have to keep on doing it over and over again. This is very true with web design as well. We’ve even published an article here on Design Informer about the benefits of experimentation.

I’m very busy as I work a full-time 9-6 job as a web designer, then I go home and work on Design Informer, soon to be Coding Informer, and I also do a variety of freelance work. With all these on my plate, it’s very hard to find time to relax, open up Photoshop and design, or open up Dreamweaver (code view of course) and just mess around with some code.
The Inspiration

A while back, I tweeted about this CSS experiment. Well yesterday, I had some free time on my hands and I decided to do some experimentation with CSS myself. We’ve all seen some amazing things done with CSS3 and I wanted to play around with it myself. I looked around first to see what else I can find that’s been done and I found some really great experiments.


CSS Posters

I’ve always stressed the importance of practice and experimentation. If you want to get better at something or if you want to learn something, you have to keep on doing it over and over again. This is very true with web design as well. We’ve even published an article here on Design Informer about the benefits of experimentation.

I’m very busy as I work a full-time 9-6 job as a web designer, then I go home and work on Design Informer, soon to be Coding Informer, and I also do a variety of freelance work. With all these on my plate, it’s very hard to find time to relax, open up Photoshop and design, or open up Dreamweaver (code view of course) and just mess around with some code.

The Inspiration

A while back, I tweeted about this CSS experiment. Well yesterday, I had some free time on my hands and I decided to do some experimentation with CSS myself. We’ve all seen some amazing things done with CSS3 and I wanted to play around with it myself. I looked around first to see what else I can find that’s been done and I found some really great experiments.

Click the images to view the actual CSS experiment… Leer más “CSS Posters”

Getting Started with Banner Advertisements

Banner ads, also known as display ads or image ads, are image-based advertisements that are widely popular online. Why are banner ads so popular? They are a cost-effective way to allow advertisers to attractively display their products and services online across an array of websites. Additionally, banner ads allow for increased brand recognition and ad targeting.

Before jumping in and creating multiple banner ads there are a few recommendations to review first. You need to take into consideration the size and position of the advertisement, the context of the ad, the call to action, the file size, and other components. Outlined here are recommendations to help you design suitable ads, effective, and profitable advertisements.
Popular Ad Sizes and Positions

Banner ads come in different sizes and are used within different positions on a page. Most commonly a website will have an array of sizes and positions from which you can choose to advertise on. Additionally, it is possible to have more than one ad on a page in different sizes or positions. Finding the right size and position for your ads can be a crucial part in determining how successful they are.
Size

Every website is going to have its own requirements when it comes to the size of an ad. Typically these sizes are going to be standard sizes set by the many years of practice and existence online. These sizes can often be found present in many different graphic software programs, including Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Flash. Over time ad sizes have changed slightly, with the dismissal of pop-up advertisements, however the general sizes have become rudimentary consistent. Determining what ad size will be the most beneficial depends on the product or services of which you are advertising. Ideally, you want to reserve two-thirds of the ad for a picture or the main value proposition. The other third should be dedicated to the primary call to action. In the chart to follow you will see the most common ad sizes, of which are strongly recommended for creating any banner ad.


http://designinformer.com | By: Shay Howe

Getting Started with Banner Advertisements

Banner ads, also known as display ads or image ads, are image-based advertisements that are widely popular online. Why are banner ads so popular? They are a cost-effective way to allow advertisers to attractively display their products and services online across an array of websites. Additionally, banner ads allow for increased brand recognition and ad targeting.

Before jumping in and creating multiple banner ads there are a few recommendations to review first. You need to take into consideration the size and position of the advertisement, the context of the ad, the call to action, the file size, and other components. Outlined here are recommendations to help you design suitable ads, effective, and profitable advertisements.

Popular Ad Sizes and Positions

Banner ads come in different sizes and are used within different positions on a page. Most commonly a website will have an array of sizes and positions from which you can choose to advertise on. Additionally, it is possible to have more than one ad on a page in different sizes or positions. Finding the right size and position for your ads can be a crucial part in determining how successful they are.

Size

Every website is going to have its own requirements when it comes to the size of an ad. Typically these sizes are going to be standard sizes set by the many years of practice and existence online. These sizes can often be found present in many different graphic software programs, including Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Flash. Over time ad sizes have changed slightly, with the dismissal of pop-up advertisements, however the general sizes have become rudimentary consistent. Determining what ad size will be the most beneficial depends on the product or services of which you are advertising. Ideally, you want to reserve two-thirds of the ad for a picture or the main value proposition. The other third should be dedicated to the primary call to action. In the chart to follow you will see the most common ad sizes, of which are strongly recommended for creating any banner ad. Leer más “Getting Started with Banner Advertisements”

Good Process and Good Design (Continued)

Once again, while I hope these tips strike the right chord with readers from all creative fields and levels, I share them partially because many of them are still so freshly new in my head, and I can recall vividly their having planted themselves there during my time as a student. That said, there’s plenty more learning to be done on my end as well, and I invite you to share your responses and your own additions to the list in the comments, no matter what corner of the creative world you are from.

Part III: A Few More Tips and Tricks


by Natalie Sklobovskaya for DesignInformer

Once again, while I hope these tips strike the right chord with readers from all creative fields and levels, I share them partially because many of them are still so freshly new in my head, and I can recall vividly their having planted themselves there during my time as a student. That said, there’s plenty more learning to be done on my end as well, and I invite you to share your responses and your own additions to the list in the comments, no matter what corner of the creative world you are from.

Part III: A Few More Tips and Tricks Leer más “Good Process and Good Design (Continued)”

The ProcessBehind Good Illustration – According to a Young Illustrator (Part II)

Good Process and Good Design

It’s easy to think there’s no way you can make anything look good because you don’t know how to use Adobe Illustrator, or can’t draw people worth beans, etc. And if that’s your concern, don’t worry one bit — skill-related knowledge is nothing that can’t be built up with practice and time. Those that have natural gifts will get there faster, but the doors are closed to no one. There are, however, staples to illustration that have nothing to do with how good you are at drawing or using Photoshop — they transcend into the realm of good process and good design, and I’ve believed that studying illustration is much more about this than about the former.

In this second part of the article, I’d like to share some of these practices that have been invaluable to me as an illustration student, and ones I think I will carry with me for a long time to come.

This part deals a lot more with actual practice, technique, etc. — so, not everyone will think and work this way best. My goal here is not to provide an exhaustive and definitive list, but just to share a few tips that I felt have really pushed my own learning leaps and bounds.

Without further ado…
Part II: So how do we do it?


by Natalie Sklobovskaya for DesignInformer

Good Process and Good Design

It’s easy to think there’s no way you can make anything look good because you don’t know how to use Adobe Illustrator, or can’t draw people worth beans, etc. And if that’s your concern, don’t worry one bit — skill-related knowledge is nothing that can’t be built up with practice and time. Those that have natural gifts will get there faster, but the doors are closed to no one. There are, however, staples to illustration that have nothing to do with how good you are at drawing or using Photoshop — they transcend into the realm of good process and good design, and I’ve believed that studying illustration is much more about this than about the former.

In this second part of the article, I’d like to share some of these practices that have been invaluable to me as an illustration student, and ones I think I will carry with me for a long time to come.

This part deals a lot more with actual practice, technique, etc. — so, not everyone will think and work this way best. My goal here is not to provide an exhaustive and definitive list, but just to share a few tips that I felt have really pushed my own learning leaps and bounds.

Without further ado…

Part II: So how do we do it? Leer más “The ProcessBehind Good Illustration – According to a Young Illustrator (Part II)”

Illustration is not the same thing as art.


by Natalie Sklobovskaya for DesignInformer

“Art” is something philosophers have spent centuries trying to define, sadly with no satisfactory result (a debate that is far beyond the scope of this article). But illustration, while it covers a broad range of image-making, does have very distinct meanings, and it is very different from just artwork.

This is not a tutorial. It’s not about how to make a glossy Twitter icon, how to replicate that anime pic step by step, or how to make 30 awesome heavy-metal texture effects in Photoshop (linked is an article that inspired me very much). While studying illustration in college and exploring it on my own, the biggest lesson that I’ve learned so far hasn’t been how to vector the best darn shiny things you’ve ever seen. What I learned was that to be good at illustration means to first understand exactly how it differs from just putting down nice-looking doodles on paper, and that the rest just flows from there.

In this two-part article, I’d like to share some tenets behind what I think good illustration is, and what I learned about the process and technique behind how to execute it. Hopefully some fellow aspiring illustrators out there will find some of these helpful — or maybe even identify with some as part of their own process, too!

If any of my professors are reading this: I hope I didn’t disappoint you, please don’t fail me in your classes.

Part 1: What is illustration? Leer más “Illustration is not the same thing as art.”

Giving users some credit | Users are Not Idiots

Websites are designed to be used by people of varying backgrounds, educations and technical levels. One of the challenges we face when designing for the Web is finding a way to create sites and applications that can be accessed by a widely disparate audience while avoiding the pitfall of sacrificing the quality of our work to cater to the dreaded ‘lowest common denominator.’
Users are Not Idiots

Even though it happens to me with some frequency, being told by a client that one of the requirements for their project is that it must be ‘idiot proof’ never fails to give me pause. The sentiment itself is offensive enough, but the concept also seems somewhat misguided to me. Do we really want to begin a project by assuming our site’s users are idiots?


//designinformer.com
By Jeremy Girard

Websites are designed to be used by people of varying backgrounds, educations and technical levels. One of the challenges we face when designing for the Web is finding a way to create sites and applications that can be accessed by a widely disparate audience while avoiding the pitfall of sacrificing the quality of our work to cater to the dreaded ‘lowest common denominator.’

Users are Not Idiots

Even though it happens to me with some frequency, being told by a client that one of the requirements for their project is that it must be ‘idiot proof’ never fails to give me pause. The sentiment itself is offensive enough, but the concept also seems somewhat misguided to me. Do we really want to begin a project by assuming our site’s users are idiots?

Websites for Dummies

Creating designs that are intuitive and easy to use is something we should continually strive for if we want our sites and applications to be visited and used by as many people as possible. Ultimately, making those sites easy, as well as enjoyable, to use is a critical part of helping them be successful and it starts by abandoning outdated opinions on what users can, and cannot, understand. It starts by giving our users some credit and realizing that they are not ‘idiots.’

When Best Practices Go Bad

Anyone who has designed for the Web for a period of time has amassed a bank of best practices and favored solutions that they use in their work. In and of itself, this is a good thing, but the ever-changing nature of the Internet means that we have to continually evaluate these best practices to ensure they are still relevant. As Web users’ proficiency and technical comfort levels grow, we must abandon solutions that no longer help visitors use our sites, but instead may actually start to hinder their experience.

As a communication medium, the Web may still be the ‘new kid on the block,’ but let’s face it – the Internet isn’t new anymore. Web users are more advanced today then they were even a few years ago. This is great news for those of us who work on the Web! It means that we can continually push our work forward, but it also means that we not only have to be willing to embrace change, but that we need to be proactive in identifying when that change is necessary.

User Testing is Not Always the Answer

User Testing

There is no question that user testing is an invaluable part of the web design process, but any user testing we do for a project has limitations. Oftentimes, those limitations are due to budgetary and time constraints. This being the case, we focus our tests on key aspects of our projects where user input will help shape our decisions and positively impact the success of our design.

Since we often can’t evaluate and test every aspect of our project, some decisions will inevitably be driven by our best practices and favored solutions. If those practices are up to date and relevant, this isn’t a problem, but if they are outdated – well, I’m sure you can follow the line of reasoning here. Leer más “Giving users some credit | Users are Not Idiots”

Grid-Based Web Design, Simplified | Design Informer

This iconic poster by Josef Müller–Brockmann epitomizes early grid-based print design. It was created in 1959 to list showtimes for the Stadttheater (State Theater) of Switzerland in Zurich.

Use of the typographic grid in print design quickly achieved ubiquity following its popularization by modernist graphic designers in postwar Switzerland – the same school of thought that created our venerable Helvetica. While grids became entrenched in the culture of print design, factors such as the inconsistent interpretation of CSS across browsers and a lack of formal graphic design training among Web designers stifled the implementation of grids on the screen.

Times are changing, however. The Web standards renaissance has ignited interest in grids among innovators in the community, and a whole slew of CSS-based grid frameworks (like 960 Grid System and Blueprint) have emerged and gained popularity, claiming to greatly reduce development time, all the while providing the same structure and unity that grids have afforded print layouts for so long. Problem solved, right? Not so fast.

While these prefab frameworks perform admirably if used as advertised, the problem is that many designers aren’t taking full advantage of them! From what I can gather based on observation and conversation with colleagues, some among us are deliberately avoiding the use of grids for fear that they will be limited in what they can do with the design. Nothing could be further from the truth!


by Chris Brauckmuller for Design Informer

A holistic approach for the typical workflow

Grid-Based Web Design, Simplified

A grid at its barest is nothing more than a series of intersecting horizontal and vertical lines spaced at regular intervals, but its innate propensity for creating order out of chaos makes it one of the most powerful tools at a designer’s disposal. If you want to reap their benefits of grids on your next project but are unsure of the specifics, this article is for you.

Introduction

Washington DC Grid plan
Grids are everywhere in our society, and have been for centuries, as this city plan for Washington, DC drawn in 1792 by Charles L’Enfant demonstrates.

If you’re even vaguely acquainted with the fundamentals of graphic design, you’ve probably worked on some kind of a grid or at the very least seen examples of grid-based layouts. Grids are an established design tool, and a wealth of knowledge exists in the literature discussing the theory of grids and extolling their benefits. I will make no attempt to summarize them here (if you want a good primer on grid theory, have a look at this piece by Mark Boulton).

Instead, this article will attempt to explain how to put the theory of grid-based design into practice, taking into account the typical workflow of a Web design project. We’re not redesigning the BBC here, just looking for a flexible, effective solution for the small to medium-sized projects that a freelancer or small agency is likely to tackle.

The status quo, as it were

Josef Müller–Brockmann's Stadttheater Poster
This iconic poster by Josef Müller–Brockmann epitomizes early grid-based print design. It was created in 1959 to list showtimes for the Stadttheater (State Theater) of Switzerland in Zurich.

Use of the typographic grid in print design quickly achieved ubiquity following its popularization by modernist graphic designers in postwar Switzerland – the same school of thought that created our venerable Helvetica. While grids became entrenched in the culture of print design, factors such as the inconsistent interpretation of CSS across browsers and a lack of formal graphic design training among Web designers stifled the implementation of grids on the screen.

Times are changing, however. The Web standards renaissance has ignited interest in grids among innovators in the community, and a whole slew of CSS-based grid frameworks (like 960 Grid System and Blueprint) have emerged and gained popularity, claiming to greatly reduce development time, all the while providing the same structure and unity that grids have afforded print layouts for so long. Problem solved, right? Not so fast.

While these prefab frameworks perform admirably if used as advertised, the problem is that many designers aren’t taking full advantage of them! From what I can gather based on observation and conversation with colleagues, some among us are deliberately avoiding the use of grids for fear that they will be limited in what they can do with the design. Nothing could be further from the truth! Leer más “Grid-Based Web Design, Simplified | Design Informer”