Entries by admin

Ending Soon: Get the eBook Self-Publishing Bundle for Only $25

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Designrfix/~3/kPbc2F4jDJo/ebook-self-publishing-bundle

Writing a book is hard. But getting a book deal with a publishing house is even more difficult. Gone were the days when self-publishing was seen as a route for authors who couldn’t get published. After the success of self-published authors like EL James, Robert Kiyosaki, and James Redfield, more and more authors are looking […]

The post Ending Soon: Get the eBook Self-Publishing Bundle for Only $25 appeared first on designrfix.com.

15 Unbeatable Font Combinations That Can Boost the Aesthetics of Your Design Project

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Designrfix/~3/0VqMmxLXP5Q/15-unbeatable-font-combinations-boost-aesthetics-design-project

  There’s a saying in the field of designing that “the best designs are those which you don’t notice”. But how are you going to appreciate the aesthetics of a design if it does not stand out? If you want your audience to admire your work, you need to start working on something that is […]

The post 15 Unbeatable Font Combinations That Can Boost the Aesthetics of Your Design Project appeared first on designrfix.com.

5 tips for better typesetting

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CreativeBloq/~3/r6tTthQ-0b0/5-tips-for-better-typesetting

Typesetting – the business of putting text on a page – is one of those design disciplines that might look straightforward enough to the casual observer, but which is actually full of potential pitfalls. There's more to it than choosing a decent font pairing and hoping for the best.

The secrets of typesetting

Bad typesetting can be just as hard on the eye as an ill-considered palette or a poorly-executed logo design, and there's no way around it: you have to take your time learning the basics. If you follow these expert tips, though, you should find that the path to typesetting expertise becomes much easier to follow.

01. Take your time

"Getting typesetting right is something that will largely come with time," says Michelle Stocks of Nelson Bostock Unlimited. "So just keep practising, and don't get put off when it doesn't look good immediately. I recommend looking at a lot of inspiration too, because it helps you get an idea of what works well together."

02. Keep studying 

"First you need to learn the tools: font size, leading, tracking, horizontal and vertical scaling, paragraph styling, language settings and grid systems," says Maya Walters of Hogarth Worldwide. "Then you need to extend your knowledge: there's always something new to learn. Read a book on typography and set challenges for yourself to put your new skills into practice, such as working on a personal project."

03. Read books

For reading matter, Luke Tonge of LIFE suggests Type Matters! by Jim Williams and Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton. And if you really want to treat yourself, he adds, The Visual History of Type by Paul McNeil is "the best book on type this year". 

04. Use online resources 

"There are countless online resources to help you improve your skills too," says Tonge. "They include ilovetypography.com, typographher.com, letterformarchive.org, typewolf.com and fontsinuse.com. Plus, on Twitter there are heaps of amazing foundries, magazines, designers, publications and organisations to follow, to further immerse yourself in the world of type." 

05. Clients come first

"Above all, find out about the client's needs when it comes to typesetting," says Walters. "Do they have guidelines and styles? If so, they should be made a prime consideration for the typography you create."

This article was originally published in issue 274 of Computer Arts, the global design magazine. Buy issue 274 here or subscribe to Computer Arts here.

Related articles:

10 pretty fonts to glam up your projectsThe rules of responsive web typography14 best-practice rules for striking editorial design

5 Examples of Visual Storytelling in Web Design

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/1stwebdesigner/~3/QRpxLSW_MSM/

There is no denying that people are visual by nature. They love simplicity and familiarity. So it should come as no surprise that people will form an impression of your website within seconds of landing on it.

As a result, websites today are in high competition with one another, no matter the niche.

Storytelling through web design, one of the most compelling ways to grab a site visitor’s attention without overwhelming them, has recently emerged as one of the biggest design trends to hit the market.

It is not easy to master the art of storytelling using web design. It takes a keen eye, an understanding of your target audience, and a well thought-out storyline that will resonate with visitors. However, when done right, people will remember your brand, your website and your beautiful story.

In this article, we are going to share with you some of the best examples of storytelling in web design.

Analysing London 2012

Analysing London 2012

With the 2018 Winter Olympic Games underway, it seems fitting to showcase this beautiful celebration of the 2012 London Games. Using smooth parallax scrolling, which makes following the timeline easy, fascinating facts to give the story continuity, and clear, simple imagery to complement the story, GoSquared Analytics does an incredible job of bringing the site visitor into this piece of history.

Patagonia

Patagonia

Patagonia’s marketing efforts are geared towards a very specific audience, and they do this well with their visual appeal. Their imagery focuses on everyday people, rather than high end fashion models, which makes their products more relatable.

Not to mention the visual story they tell on their site supports their core values and dedication to finding solutions to the current environmental crisis. It’s powerful enough to convince anyone to get involved.

Internet Live Stats

Internet Live Stats

Internet Live Stats takes a unique approach to storytelling on their site. Using startling statistics, such as the fact that 7,927 Tweets go out every second, paired with just as startling imagery to complement their statistics, this is undeniably more effective than a simple sentence stating the facts.

And, to make matters even more interesting, there is a timer on the page adding up how many Tweets have been Tweeted since opening the page x seconds ago. Talk about putting things into perspective.

Twoodie

Twoodie

Twoodie draws on the heartstrings of parents from all over, while focusing on the fact that they, as a company, put families first and want health to take precedence. They show that imagination, creativity and minimalism lay at the heart of their brand.

And when it comes to imagery, Twoodie takes an effective approach. Using beautiful black and white photos of children playing with their toys (that are showcased in color) gives the reader a sense of nostalgia and warmth – which not many toy shops can say they do for their customers. In addition, this non-traditional approach of highlighting toys in such calming colors only adds to their brand message and solidifies their promise to simplify your life.

The Wild Unknown

The Wild Unknown

When it comes to storytelling in web design, brand promotion is not limited to websites. In fact, visual platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram can have powerful effects on people’s desire to take action and buy or subscribe based on the images they see in their social media feed.

The Wild Unknown has a visually stunning Instagram feed that not only promotes their products, but relates images to the current time, how people feel, and what may drive people to want to do better things with their lives. This is much more effective than simply saying “Buy me because I’m great.” Instead, they make the visitor feel great – and that is enough to encourage them to take action.


Collective #391

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/tympanus/~3/Qn-CA6ayUeQ/

C391_parallax

basicScroll

BasicScroll updates CSS variables depending on the scroll position, which allows you to use them to animate anything.

Check it out

C391_pro

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Create prototypes that feel real. Without coding.

Turn your static designs into beautiful interactive prototypes. Import directly from Sketch/Photoshop or design directly in Proto.io. Add interactions, gestures, and animations in no time and get valuable feedback.

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C391_Blotterjs

Blotter.js

A JavaScript API for creating interesting text effects. Powered by Three.js and Underscore.js.

Check it out

C391_ordering

Variable Order

A brilliant table ordering experiment powered by CSS custom properties and flexbox. By Roman Komarov.

Read it

C391_ProtonNative

Proton Native

With Proton Native you can create native desktop applications in React syntax for all platforms.

Check it out

C391_Kuttit

Kutt.it

A tool with many features for creating and monitoring shortened links. Even custom domains can be used.

Check it out

C391_gradient

GradPad

A great tool for creating CSS gradients intuitively.

Check it out

C391_webmaker3

Web Maker 3.0 is here!

Read about the 3.0 release of Web Maker, the web playground for your browser.

Check it out

C391_cssvariables

Everything you need to know about CSS Variables

Ohans Emmanuel’s complete guide on CSS variables.

Check it out

C391_vuejs

Replacing jQuery With Vue.js: No Build Step Necessary

Sarah Drasner shows how to easily replace jQuery with Vue.js and use it the same way, directly in the HTML.

Read it

C391_waves

Waveforms

Josh Comeau’s fantastic interactive guide on waveforms.

Read it

C391_sketchiso

Sketch Isometric Plugin

Automatically generate isometric views from artboards and rectangles in Sketch with this useful plugin.

Check it out

C391_moleskine

Pure CSS Moleskine Notebooks

Some beautiful CSS Moleskine notebooks.

Check it out

C391_handlebars

Handlebars in UI Design

An article that studies the nature of interaction of ‘handlebars’, a new kind of element which has risen in UI design. especially on touch based operating systems.

Read it

C391_githubfonts

Shipping system fonts to GitHub.com

Mark Otto writes about GitHub’s font upgrade process.

Check it out

C391_classy

Free Font: Stay Classy

An elegant handwritten font designed by Solid Type.

Get it

C391_ssl

SSL Certificate Expiration Alerts

Get notified when the SSL certificate of a website expires.

Check it out

C391_Memphis

8-bit Memphis Patterns Pack (EPS, AI, JPG)

A set of 15 trendy Memphis vector patterns by Softulka for Pixel Buddha.

Check it out

C391_Polacode

Polacode

Take screenshots in Visual Studio Code with this smart plugin.

Check it out

C391_grid

CSS Grid for UI Layouts

Josh Marinacci shows how to use CSS Grid for practical UI layouts.

Check it out

C391_gradientpara

Gradient for EVERY line of a para

An interesting technique for adding a gradient to every line of a paragraph.

Check it out

C391_react

Minimal React.js Without A Build Step (Updated)

In case you missed it: an updated tutorial on using React.js without a build step.

Read it

C391_Descartes

Descartes

A small plotting library as a JavaScript alternative to matplotlib, made for TheoremJS.

Check it out

Collective #391 was written by Pedro Botelho and published on Codrops.

12 professional fonts for designers

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CreativeBloq/~3/vRnc3r-Dn_A/professional-fonts-31619557

There's no shortage of paid-for and free fonts available for designers to choose from these days. But what if you want a typeface that's really special and stands out? 

Whatever the project, these professional fonts are certain to give your designs an air of sophistication.

01. FF Din

FF Din serif font sample

FF Din is a popular choice among designers

Price: From $65/£51.99 per fontFormat: OTF

Added to MOMA's digital typefaces for its Architecture and Design collection back in 2011, FF Din is a popular choice among designers. Created by Dutch type designer Albert-Jan Pool between 1995 and 2009, this sans serif is ideally suited to advertising and packaging, logos and branding.

02. Oswald

Oswald serif font sample

We’re big fans of professional font Oswald here at Creative Bloq
Price: FreeFormat: Google web font

Oswald has become a popular choice of font for designers, especially for those working in the world of of the web. A reworking of the classic style historically represented by the 'Alternate Gothic' sans serif typefaces, this professional font has been re-drawn and reformed to better fit the pixel grid of standard digital screens. 

03. Brandon Grotesque

Brandon Grotesque sans serif font sample

Brandon Grotesque won the Type Directors Club Award in 2011
Price: $40/£27.99 per fontFormat: OTF

Designed by Hannes von Dohren in 2009, Brandon Grotesque was influenced by the popular geometric-style, sans serif typefaces of the 1920s and 30s. Equipped for complex, professional photography, Brandon Grotesque won the Type Directors Club Award in 2011.

04. Aviano

Aviano serif font sample in gold

Aviano typeface is inspired by the power and timeless beauty of classic letterforms
Price: $24.99/£15.99 per fontFormat: OTF

Named after a small town at the base of the Alps in Northern Italy, Aviano typeface is inspired by the power and timeless beauty of classic letterforms. A gorgeous design, Aviano was created by type designer Jeremy Dooley, owner of one-man foundry Insigne.

05. Proxima Nova

Proxima Nova sans serif font sample

Proxima Nova is used by over 25,000 websites, including Buzzfeed, Wired and Mashable
Price: $29/£19.99 per fontFormat: OTF/TTF

Used by over 25,000 websites, including Buzzfeed, Wired and Mashable, Mark Simonson's professional font Proxima Nova is an extremely popular choice amongst designers. The extensive family is available in seven weights (thin, light, regular, semi-bold, bold, extra-bold and black), with matching italics, small caps and condensed and extra-condensed widths. 

06. Rockwell

Rockwell serif font sample says 'Most useful face for jobbing'

An updated Rockwell was published in 1934 by Monotype
Price: $35/£22.99 per fontFormat: OTF/TTF

Geometric slab serif Rockwell was inspired by a 1910 font titled Litho Antique. Designer Morris Fuller Benton revived Rockwell in the 1920s before it was redesigned and published in 1934 by Monotype, in a project headed by Frank Hinman Pierpont.

07. Trojan

Trojan serif font sample

Trojan’s design is based on classic Roman structures
Price: $25.80/£20 for 1 fontFormat: OTF

Trojan is one of many stand-out designs by creative genius Alex Trochut. Created back in 2012, professional font Trojan was used extensively throughout Wallpaper after its initial release. Based on classic Roman structures, Trojan has a very sophisticated set of glyphs, which, in turn, gives this font a classic contemporary appearance.

08. Le Havre

Le Havre sans serif font sample

Le Havre lends itself to all manner of creative projects
Price: $24.99/£15.99 per fontFormat: OTF

Art deco-inspired typeface Le Havre was named after the port where many a famous luxury cruise liner was launched in the 1930s. Compressed capitals, a low x-height and geometric construction give this beautiful typeface a retro look and feel, with the new contemporary update in 2009 lending itself to all manner of creative projects.

09. Mallory

Mallory display font sample

Mallory is the work of s type designer and teacher Tobias Frere-Jones
Price: $50 per fontFormat: OTF

The product of type designer and teacher Tobias Frere-Jones, Mallory is a beautiful professional font, which began as an experiment in mixing typographic traditions, building a new design with British and American traits.

Frere-Jones has a number of best-selling type designs under his belt, but Mallory was the first font he created after splitting with long-time creative partner Jonathan Hoefler.

He comments on his website: "Mallory was built to be a reliable tool, readily pairing with other typefaces to organise complex data and fine-tune visual identities. Each style contains over 1250 glyphs, to anticipate a wide range of content: small caps and old-style figures for running text, lining figures and uppercase punctuation for headlines, tabular figures and over a dozen currency symbols for financial data."

10. FF Meta

FF Meta sans serif font sample

FF Meta was designed by Erik Spiekermann

Price: $59/£45 per fontFormat: OTF

Created by outspoken type designer Erik Spiekermann, FF Meta was first called PT55, a typeface made for easy reading at small sizes for West German Post Office in 1985. Spiekermann continued work on his design to include more weights and styles, later releasing it as FF Meta, one of the first and truly foundational members of the early FontFont library.

With a clean, cheery and distinctive aesthetic, professional font FF Meta flourished in the early 1990s and has been a firm favourite ever since. In 2011, the Museum of Modern Art in New York added FF Meta to its permanent collection, one of only 23 fonts selected to represent typography of the digital era.

11. Soho

Soho is a beefy slab-serif by Seb Lester
Price: $65 per fontFormat: OTF

Beefy slab serif Soho is the product of renowned type designer Seb Lester. The super-family has over 40,000 glyphs and represents three years' worth of work. 

"As a type designer I'm preoccupied with finding ways in which I can address modern problems like good legibility in modern media, and create fonts that work precisely and efficiently in the most technically demanding of corporate and publishing environments," he comments on the Monotype website.

12. Davison Spencerian

Professional fonts: Davison Spencerian

Davison Spencerian is a remains a benchmark of the ornamental script genre
Price: $75Format: OTF/web font

American letter designer Meyer 'Dave' Davison was arguably one of the most distinguished lettering artists of the 20th century. With a library of Spencerian designs, Davison Spencerian typeface made its first appearance in Photo-Lettering’s 1946 catalogue and remains a benchmark of the ornamental script genre.

Tireless hours have been spent by Mitja Miklavčič and House Industries designers Ben Barber and Ken Kiel to preserve the poise and precision of Davison’s masterwork in this faithfully-rendered digital incarnation.

The House Industries website states: 'From automotive exhaust accessories and pirate-themed wedding invites to New Orleans sissy bounce hip-hop CD covers and upmarket bivalve ambrosia packaging, Davison Spencerian offers sober sophistication and unparalleled flexibility'.

Related articles:

20 perfect font pairingsWhat is DPI? The ultimate guide to image resolution30 books every graphic designer should read

Making It Pop — 5 Ways to Combat Subjective Design Feedback

Original Source: https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2018/02/making-it-pop-5-ways-to-combat-subjective-design-feedback/

“It looks great, but can you make it ‘pop’ more?”

We’ve all been there, the dreaded subjective design feedback, no use to anyone; let’s stop a moment and look at what led to this subjective nonsense, what chain of events instigated this horror show of unusable feedback? Actually, how clients receive your work and how you frame the feedback request is often just as much to blame as the person asking you to make your designs ‘pop’.

Ask yourself how often have you simply sent over an email to a client with a .jpg attached and the seemingly innocent request “let me know what you think”.

recognising how your own process often invites completely unhelpful feedback can help you change

The truth is there’s never a 100% right answer when it comes to web design, so everyone is likely to have a different personal opinion. If you really think about it every design is the result of hundreds of tiny decisions that could have gone any one of a thousand different ways (light blue buttons instead of dark blue, 10px padding instead of 14px etc etc).

Design is, by its very nature, is perceived as a subjective exercise. So the truth is we don’t actually want to know if a client or stakeholder ‘likes’ our design or not, we want to know if it meets their business needs. We don’t want to know if the Legal Department gets a warm fuzzy feeling when they see our work, we want to know if they’re able to sign it off.

It’s also important to bare in mind that some subjectivity will always make it’s way through into the feedback you receive and that’s not always such a bad thing. Often at the heart of it is some really well meaning and useful insight but recognising how your own process often invites completely unhelpful feedback can help you change and weed it out.

1. Ask the Right Questions

The easiest way to start preventing subjective feedback on your project is to be clear on what you’re asking for. Instead of flinging over a completed design with a cheery “let me know what you think” email, try and steer the feedback conversation towards what you actually need.

Now this can take a little more effort and sometimes after finishing a super difficult project at 2AM the only thing you want to do it get a design sent off and never look at it again, but believe me in the long run it’s worth it.

if you’re sending your design to a client you should be pleased with it, so don’t be afraid to sound positive

Take some time to think about who you’re sending your designs to and why. Is it a business owner reviewing a design for their new website? If so, be positive, tell them that you’re really pleased with how the design represents their brand and you’re ready to move onto to the next phase of the project, do they agree? If not, which specific elements would they like you to focus on changing. Don’t forget if you’re sending your design to a client you should be pleased with it, so don’t be afraid to sound positive and ready to move on.

Essentially what you’re doing here is trying to frame what you want from people in an objective way. Think ‘yes or no’ questions rather than ‘what do you think’.

This approach can be especially useful if your intended recipient is reviewing your design for a very specific single reason, for example if you need the legal team to sign off you should be asking if there are: “Any reasons the design would not be acceptable from a legal perspective,” rather than: “What do you think? Is this ok for you?”

…you’re actually helping people when you ask for this simple yes or no type feedback.

A lot of the time you’re actually helping people when you ask for this simple yes or no type feedback. You are, for a lot of people, removing the subconscious pressure for them to contribute something if asked. When presented with a blank canvas request for ‘their feedback’ most people will force themselves to think of something even if it’s just a random point that in reality they don’t care about—simply because the alternative feels like they’re saying “nope sorry—I can’t think of anything I’d change—I’m not required—I don’t need to be involved—I’m useless really”. Inviting a simpler yes or no answer is often enough to lift the pressure and gain a positive response.

2. Let Less Cooks Near the Broth

Another great way to avoid subjective feedback hell is to work hard on limiting the number of people you invite to feedback. Design feedback has a nasty habit of snowballing as more and more people are CC’d into an ever growing email chain of contradicting opinions. Instead, don’t be afraid to limit your feedback loop, you can even separate stakeholders off into groups if needed. For example if two stakeholders are brand and two are legal, why not reach out to the legal sign off team separately for specific legal feedback and vice versa for brand (it can save you the legal person’s often unwelcome brand feedback).

Now it’s not always that easy and there is the risk you can create even more problems for yourself if you exclude people (especially in large organisations). What you can do to combat this is to share design output with a wider group but be specific that it’s purely for their awareness and that feedback is not need at this stage, thank you very much.

3. Position Your Design

Don’t just leave your design to stand on its own, this opens it up to misinterpretation—instead share it with context, easy to understand explanations around why certain decisions have been made. There’s plenty of ways you can do this, the simplest being to provide a version of the designs with easy to follow annotations, but ideally you want to actually talk people through it step by step in a design walk through.

A walk through of your designs moves away from the rather old school concept of sending designs over to clients or stakeholders for feedback like an exam paper being sent off to be marked. The actual best way to share designs and squash unwelcome subjective feedback is to present in person, walk your stakeholders through your design step by step answering any questions as you go. Obviously there’s a number of issues with this, logistically it can be difficult, it can be costly to find the time but not least of all… it can be quite frightening.

But if you’re up for the challenge there are definite rewards. Getting your clients or stakeholders together to walk them through your designs will give you the opportunity to remove even more subjectivity from feedback as you explain not only how the proposed design would work but also the reasoning behind your design decisions. Right off the bat this cuts out any questions in amongst your feedback about “How do you see component X working?” or “Why have you opted to use color Y here?”.

Getting everyone to attend a walk-through can feel like herding cats

Obviously design walk-throughs no longer need to be done face to face either, there are plenty of amazing tools out there to help you walk a client through design remotely. But the most useful tool in this scenario is you as the designer explaining your design decisions and answering questions—sharing your enthusiasm.

Getting everyone to attend a walk-through can feel like herding cats sometimes, getting all your stakeholders in one place at one time is certainly tricky but it’s worth persevering because it helps you out in another key area where subjective feedback often creeps in.

4. The Curse of Contradictory Feedback

This occurs when stakeholder no.1 loves the new header image but stakeholder no.2 hates it. Before you know it you’re playing stakeholder top trumps deciding who is more important and who you should to listen to. If you do find yourself in this situation is can be useful to ask your client or internal stakeholders for a single point of contact through whom any and all feedback is filtered (leaving it to them to have to battle to decide who’s top dog).

Another great way to keep people away from contradictory feedback is to be very upfront and honest around the number of amends that are available or the time impact of unnecessary feedback. This may feel uncomfortable to some but believe me its infinitely better in the long run to be honest and direct early on rather than let people down later after you’ve received 8 rounds of subjective feedback that’s delayed your project and pushed you way way over budget.

5. Too Late it’s Happened…

If after all this you still find yourself on the receiving end of some subjective feedback that you just don’t know how to proceed with with (maybe such classics as “Can you make it pop?”, “Can this page look more exciting please?”, “I’m just not sure about these colors”) don’t despair. A great way to bring your client back on track at this point is to politely ask them to send you some links to sites they’ve seen that do ‘pop’ or do look ‘exciting’. You’ll be surprised how often this works and a client will send you a couple of links to similar sites and you can decipher their meaning and implement something that… ‘pops’ 🙂

Some Key Things to Try

Be specific not general in what you ask for in feedback
Limit the number of people you ask for feedback
Walk through your design with stakeholders to give it context
Limit the number of rounds of feedback available
Ask for feedback to come through a single point of contact
Make it pop

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How to Consume Less Time on Social Media

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Designrfix/~3/7aREFXdcf7Y/consume-time-social-media

The most important drawback in working with social media is that it seems to take up a great deal time. Due to time constraints, businesses are usually not utilizing the benefits that social media can provide. You will discover three factors concerning why social media takes up so much time on the part of the designers:  There are so many […]

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