Archive for the 'Website Designers' Category
In my opinion, there are two types of designers in this world – trained and untrained. Those that have been trained are well equipped to handle challenges ahead and tasks at hand. In an effort to be fully prepared, web designers attend school and spend countless hours in design labs. That design diploma, along with a portfolio, is their key to seek new design opportunities.
While school teaches you the main foundations of your field, there are important skills that you can only learn from experience in the design field.
1. Difference between School & Design Projects
Web design schools do their best to give assignments that closely resemble the practical world. However, they tend to be a few steps behind. One reason is because the constant advances in technology and updates in design trends. This creates a big gap between a school project and a design project. Your grade depends on one, but your career depends on the other.
2. Become an Expert
There are thousands of web designers out there vying for the same job. Becoming an expert will distinguish and establish you as the go-to source in web design. If you have a certain talent, always be sure to highlight it. Master your craft in every aspect and market yourself to become a well-known expert in that niche.
3. Low Budget Equals Hands on Client
All companies have a budget they must follow, web design included. Professional designers agree that clients who have a higher budget for web design tend to allow more freedom during the design process. A company with a lower budget tends to be more hands on. They’ll probably analyze and critique the design process because of the limited budget. Now, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work for clients on a low budget; you’ll have to work with smaller companies to build your portfolio. Take it step by step and work your way up.
4. The Design Project is the Client’s
Designers sometimes lose sight of this. Once a project is finished, clients are free to make changes which can alter or distort the overall look of the website. Those designers who tend to get frustrated with this, remember, that it is the client’s website after all. Give them advice, guide them and provide additional services but don’t get mad if they want things their way.
5. Keep the User in Mind
This is a big one. Web designers keep their client in mind when designing a website, but they should also consider the user. After all, user experience is what counts the most. The more comfortable users are with the website design and its navigation, the more likely they are to return to it. Develop a thorough understanding of the users’ needs and requirements.
These points are good ones, but do not confuse the message behind this post. It is not meant to discourage people from learning about web design, it’s meant to give an idea of the professional world that awaits designers after school. Don’t be intimidated; just understand how big this industry is. You can accomplish a lot, all you need to do is work harder and stick with the basics.
September 18th, 2012
It’s no secret that designers absolutely love the iPad. It enables them to take their creativity anywhere, allowing them more flexibility with how they go about a design project and when. However this is not the only element that makes the iPad such a great tool to have for web designers. There are numerous cool iPad apps that designers use almost on a daily basis. Today we are sharing 10 iPad apps that are great for web designers.
1. Adobe Photoshop Touch
This one is a no brainer. Every web designer uses Adobe Photoshop whether they use a MAC or a PC. Photoshop Touch is the iPad version of Photoshop. With it designers can create and edit images, build layered designs and more. They can also share their images on Facebook using Photoshop Touch.
2. Adobe Color Lava
Choosing a great color combination is without a doubt the most challenging task for a web designer. It is mostly done by trial and error. Adobe Color Lava makes the task much easier by giving designers the capability to blend different colors ideas and schemes directly into the design draft.
3. Sketchbook Pro
This app is unique because it provides a large number of presets and symbols that can be directly embedded into the design, instead of creating them from scratch. While designing new patterns is encouraged, using pre-designed templates and symbols saves time and money. But only as long as designers use them as a building block to create something unique.
4. Zen Brush
This app enables users to draw or write using a comprehensive ink brush. This tool is particularly handy for calligraphy-style artwork. It comes with 50 different types of background style templates and a brush size adjustment slider.
Dropbox is a lifesaver. Giving users the ability to access their files from anywhere in the world makes this iPad app a must-have for the active designer. You can also share your files online with others on different social media platforms.
6. Art Rage
If you use Art Rage after using Sketch Book Pro, you will find many notable differences between the two. ArtRage is overall better software when it comes to advance digital painting and real drawing simulation. While Sketchbook Pro can do almost the same, ArtRage puts the focus on artistic painting, in order to create real-life simulation and graphics.
7. Adobe Ideas
This app is for those designers who are vector drawing fans. True, it doesn’t have that many prominent features but it allows users to draw smoothly as if they were using a pencil. Adobe Ideas allows users to save their work as PDF format and to share their image as galleries with others.
8. Web Designer Magazine
Finally, an app that keeps you up-to-date on the latest web design trends! With Web Designer Magazine (available only in the UK iTunes Store), designers get the latest developing news in the web design arena.
9. Touch Draw
Touch Draw is similar to Adobe Ideas, but with more features and functions. It is a great tool in a designer’s arsenal. From simple logos to complex floor plans, this iPad app can do it for you. Designers have the option to save their work in different formats and to share their work through Dropbox and other mediums.
10. HTML 5 Reference Guide
Why carry a 500+ page manual when you can have everything you need on your iPad? The HTML 5 Reference Guide is a free app that designers can use as reference anytime they want. It includes everything from standard attributes, tags and event attributes, basically everything a web designer might need during a project.
These are just 10 of some of the most efficient and useful iPad apps for web designers. There are plenty more, but the ones mentioned above are extremely popular among the designer circles and have received the best feedback. If you are a designer by profession and own an iPad, make it designer-friendly by downloading and installing these apps. You’ll be glad you did.
August 14th, 2012
When it comes to graphic design, it can be safely said that if you don’t know your tools, you will not last long in this field. While creativity and vision are two of the most valuable attributes for any designer, if you aren’t familiar with the latest tools you will not be able to achieve the designs you want.
With that being said, we’ve put together a list of five productive design tools that every designer should master before embarking on any projects. These tools have been tested in the field and are guaranteed to boost your productivity.
We might as well start with the basics. Mastering Adobe Photoshop should be the very first thing on any designer’s list. Photoshop allows designers to create website templates, new or modified graphics and also to edit pictures. These features make Photoshop an invaluable tool. For the technically inclined, some of the advanced features of this software include layering, color correction and more.
What you can’t do with Photoshop, you can easily do with Illustrator. This is the bread and butter for designers today and an absolute must when it comes to boosting graphic design productivity. Using Adobe Illustrator, you can tackle large-scale complex projects that rely heavily on cool nifty graphics, make amazing graphical reports and create logos.
If you are a web designer than you should already be using this tool. It’s easy to use and since its release it has become the primary tool for web design. Fireworks allows users to work with a variety of images, giving them a blend of vector and bitmap tools, safe file import options and built-in prototyping options. Designers can use the full range of options for creating beautiful designs.
Adobe InDesign is a versatile page designing and publishing application. It gives graphic designers complete control over graphic design, whether its print or digital. Its close integration with Flash Professional has helped simplify making web versions of documents and its latest versions help create e-books and adapt content for tablets. InDesign has simplified exporting and supporting various image files, adjusting resolution and image sizes, and tagging audio and video files for e-publishing.
Creating, modifying and altering images are some of the tasks that come as second nature to designers. Shrink-O-Matic is a great tool that enables resizing an image as you see fit. This tool has an extremely simple UI and can handle many of the popular image formats such as GIFs, JPEGs and PNGs.
If you ever find yourself working on 3D animation projects, this should be the first design tool that you get your hands on. It has a number of features that helps designers create breathtaking 3D animations. By default, the software comes with a node-based compositor, stimulation tools, textures and much more. Blender has a very user friendly UI and best of all, it’s completely free!
Dropbox may not be a graphic design tool but nevertheless, almost every designer uses it. This cloud-based data storage service can sync multiple hard drives at multiple locations. This makes it easy for designers to carry their work around. It saves time and time is money.
We hope that you will find the above tools to be useful and beneficial to you. There are dozens more to list, however for new and experienced designers these design tools will provide a multitude of help.
June 21st, 2012
Graphic design is a field that is always changing and evolving. The constant changes require graphic designers to stay up-to-date on the latest graphic news, trends and developments. This prompts novice and expert designers to visit online blogs and forums quite frequently.
CSS, as you may already know, has become an integral component of web design. CSS has helped to make websites more visually appealing and has contributed to making them more interactive and user friendly.
Stepping Into the Realm of Programming
So, should graphic designers take up CSS? For those designers that want to be versatile and work in web design, the answer is yes. We have recently seen a new trend emerge; designers have presented their graphic design portfolio to include web design. This is great news for companies looking for brand identity design and a new (redesign an existing) website to match. Having both designs assigned to one designer makes the entire project seamless and cohesive. This also helps to make the communication from client to designer much easier.
What Can You Learn In CSS?
CSS is designed to make web design more efficient, fast and smooth. Designers have a plethora of tools and features that allows them to create special effects, 3D animations and amazing graphics without needing different platforms like Flash.
With CSS software like Dreamweaver, graphic designers don’t necessarily need to know how to code in order to make an amazing graphic. Dreamweaver allows you to code a web design by using its design tools. At the very least, designers should get familiar with these tools in order to help them with projects.
Learning CSS – Is It Worth It?
There is always the question of whether the whole effort is worth it. Some experts believe that a graphic designer should stick to one field and master it. That can help establish a designer as the go-to person for specific projects, but it does not make them versatile. Adding anything extra to your list of knowledge is always a gain. Expertise in CSS makes you a good web designer, but as a graphic designer you can also suffice on basic CSS know-how.
Becoming a good graphic designer requires hard work. Becoming a great designer demands more time, devotion and dedication. You may have to work twice as hard, but the extra reward will be worth it.
June 14th, 2012
Websites are now more dynamic and interactive because of the changes in viewership trends. People now prefer quick navigation, easily found information and sharing options. With these changes in trends, what worked last year might be considered outdated this year.
If you are a website designer, you must have ample knowledge about the latest web trends so you can offer your clients up-to-date websites. In 2012 we have seen positive changes in design trends, here are ten essential web design trends designers are following:
1. Responsive Interface Design
With the increasing use of mobile browsers, tablets and apps, smart phones have prompted web developers to come up with fluid images that can be seen on the screen sizes of various devices. According to experts this is just one step in the mobile direction, there are more things to come in the future of the website design field.
2. Over-sized Images & Headers
It seems that the use of over sized images on web pages, especially the homepage of a website, is growing. Whether used as background or to highlight certain content, big images grab viewer attention and are a fast growing trend. Examples of industries currently using this trend include fashion, apparel, food and entertainment.
3. Image Slideshows
4. Social Media Sharing Buttons
As social media grows, sharing buttons have become a necessity for websites. Make sharing easy for users by providing social media button options. Do not limit these buttons to just Facebook and Twitter, pick the top 4 or 5 that work best for your client’s business (ask your client if you must). From Pinterest to GooglePlus, make sure not to miss out on relevant networks. Social bookmarking buttons for blog posts also help to allow posts to go viral.
5. Infusion of CSS3 & HTML 5
Flash is becoming outdated because it is not mobile compatible and search engines don’t bother to read it. Though not a stark replacement of Flash, CSS3 and HTML 5 are gradually being adopted as the main web developing languages. Offering better flexibility for mobile devices, these are being used enthusiastically by web designers for creating flexible websites.
6. Custom Fonts & Dynamic Typography
Users are bored of overused fonts, such as Times New Roman and Verdana. Websites are now improving and continue to grow in the typography area. Users can enjoy viewing information in a variety of fonts. If you’re looking for a font library, Typekit and Google Web Fonts are two of the most popular. They’re simple to use, you can just go to the font libraries, pick up font code and add it into your site code. Don’t forget to give reference of each font when declaring it in CSS font-family properties on a HTML element!
Infographics prove that most visitors can convert by viewing rather than by reading. These images have quickly become the most popular in new age media and are driving quality traffic to many websites. However, when creating infographics be sure that they do have relevant information and are easy to follow.
8. Big Footer
Footers are becoming bigger and more prominent. Web designers are now adding eye-catching images, increased content, more links and business/personal information in these.
9. Stylish Popup Boxes
This trend has been popular in desktop software and mobile apps, but it is fairly new to the world of websites. Many websites are now using stylish popup boxes with a stylish light box effect. These have been found being used for user registrations, login, special offers and newsletter signups. This popup box style is a more sophisticated take on the annoying, yet traditional, popup boxes.
10. Increased Artistic Simplicity
Initially websites were loaded with information and tons of navigational units, now things are changing. People prefer a simple, yet artistic, interface. This is why web interfaces with good navigation, impressive colors and visible designs are sticking. The use of artistic banners and ribbons is also growing at a high rate.
As a web designer you need more than just technical skills, you must also have strong aesthetic skills. Learn and understand how a certain industry’s audience would react once visiting your website. The better you know your audience, the easier it will be for you to create an interactive and interesting website.
May 30th, 2012