Creating a Website with SEO and Conversions in Your Mind

If you’re running an online business, you’re not alone. Millions of other online entrepreneurs are out there trying to earn livings. To stay ahead of the competition, you need to get educated about search engine optimization(SEO) and social media. You also need to know how to design your site to be as conversion-friendly as possible. If terms like “SEO” and “conversion rate” throw you off, take heart: It’s easy to get on track. You could also enlist the help of a digital agency, one such example is GearyLSF.

Keep it Simple

Drawing visitors to your site is just the first step in the online sales process. After all, they can just as easily click themselves away from your website. That’s a lot less likely to happen when your site has a clean, stylish design. In keeping with the theme of simplicity, you shouldn’t ask too much of your visitors. If they have to jump through a bunch of hoops just to get to the shopping cart, you are doing it wrong. The simpler and less cluttered your site is, the more likely someone is to stay and

Best Design & Tip Program

A question I often get asked via email is “Which graphic design school / university should I attend?”. To be honest it’s a very hard question to answer as everyone has different needs, however, today we haveBrian Jenkins* here to highlight some of the top US design schools. If you are not from the US please do share the top design programs in your country, in the comments below.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2008, there were about 286,100 graphic design jobs in the USA . Employment growth for graphic designers from 2008 to 2018 is forecasted by the BLS to be about as fast as the average for all occupations. Keen competition is expected for positions in the field. According to the BLS, those with website design and animation experience will have the best job opportunities.

Recent college graduates will have to depend on their educational credentials and portfolio to convince employers to hire them so it’s vital to select a recognised graphic design degree program to ensure you get the education you need. Some important factors for employers – after your

How to Guide How Freelancers Can Compete with Large Studio Designs

Let’s face it, being a freelancer is just plain tough. In what other arena is one person responsible for answering the phones, balancing the books, paying the bills, designing the website, creating the graphics, and working with the customers throughout the entire process? Yet, despite our amazing ability to juggle all of these duties, we still face one large barrier. We don’t have that glowing brick building that somehow screams, “We are a successful company!” As a result, it can be difficult to “capture” large clients.

We Have To Beat the Big Guys

Today, freelancers are becoming more and more prevalent. Why not? It is a fantastic job. We set our own hours, we take on only the jobs that we desire, we have artistic freedom, etc. But, the biggest gripe I hear repeated time and time again is the fact that the main client pool consists of people with tiny budgets. You also may want some tips on how to get your first job.

We’ve all done the local work for far less than we would normally charge. We’ve all received the email from the

Tips and ways of Photography For Designers

Throughout your career as a designer you will be required to use a camera at some stage so it is vital you know how to use one, and at the very least, know the basics principles & elements of photography. So I present to you photography tips for designers.

6 Elements of Photography:
Colour, Form, Texture, Pattern, Line, Repetition

6 Principles of Photography:
Light, Subject, Focus, Background, Exposure, Composition

Elements of Photography

There are six main elements that create a picture and you can use a variety of these to create stunning photography.

Colour

If you’re shooting for colour, make sure that the colours compliment each other. If they don’t, change up the wardrobe, the setting, etc… until they do. Painters don’t choose random colors for their paintings. Why should photographers allow outside forces to dictate color choices?

Form
Form is the structure of the shapes that comprise the photo. It gives it a 3rd dimension to the photo. Form is constructed by the use of light and shadow and makes a photo ‘pop’ off the page.

Texture

Photographs are two dimensional, which makes it challenging to get a

How & Where You Pay Freelance Jobs, While You Are Still a Student Designer

As some of you may know I am a third year graphic design student and an active freelancer so I am going to share my tips on how and where to get freelance design jobs while you are still a graphic design student.

For most 1st, 2nd or 3rd year students, finding a part time or even casual job in the design industry is quite frustrating and nearly impossible and most resort to working at their local store, however, there is hope – I am living proof that a design student can get a job in design while still studying, here are my tips…

The Problems

The problems most design students will face is they do not yet have the skills needed to be a professional designer (1) as they are still trying to figure out the ins and outs of the software (2) and to top off this they still are yet to have a reputable portfolio (3) or (4) any knowledge about dealing with clients, budgeting or time management. Let’s have a look at these problems and their solutions.

1. No Basic Design Skills

This of course, is the reason

10 Signs You are a Bad Graphic Designer

Yes, this is a controversial topic, however I hope to raise awareness of some mistakes you may be making in your graphic design pieces that are making you look like an amateur, but please keep in mind that none of these are hard and fast rules, this is only a general guide of things you should be aware of.

Please forgive me for the graphic and bad grammar / spelling in the picture above as I’m sure you can see it is a joke (rainbow gradients, comic sans, bevel emboss, 13 not 15, bad grammar, off centered type – yuk)

Anyway, I have compiled 15 tell tale signs that you may still be considered a (don’t quote me) bad graphic designer. Some of these have been taken from Robin Williams great book “The Non-Designers Type Book” that I recommended in the top 5 typography resources of all time.

1. Helvetica

Do you use Helvetica in everything?

Ok, yes I know, it is the most popular font of all time – but that is the downfall of Helvetica. Just because it is there, it doesn’t mean you have to use it. Try something else

15 Description of Designer Duty

As a student, I often hear other students asking their tutors “What is the difference between a creative director and an art director?”. To be honest I didn’t know at first however luckily enough I was given a linkby one of my teachers answering just that question. So I present to you 15 designer job descriptions.

Solo designer
A freelance or self-employed design professional who works independently of a company and has no employees.
Owner, partner, principal
An owner, partner, principal holds an equity position and has major business responsibility for a firm having employees.
Creative/design director
A creative director or design director is the creative head of a design firm, advertising agency or an in-house corporate design department. In all of these areas, key responsibilities can include the development of graphic design, advertising, communications and industrial design publications.
Art director
The art director establishes the conceptual and stylistic direction for design staff and orchestrates their work, as well as the work of production artists, photographers, illustrators, prepress technicians, printers and anyone else who is involved in the development of a project. The art director generally selects vendors and, if there isn’t a creative director on staff,

5 Good Fonts, Used By Professionals In Graphic Design

Top 7 Most Used Fonts Used By Professionals In Graphic Design

1. Helvetica

Without a doubt, Helvetica is the most heavily used font by professionals (and also by the not so professional) in graphic design. Although some praise the font, many believe that it is spaced too tightly.

And as Vivien pleas in her 16 most overused fonts article, “Understand that you can’t always rely on Helvetica to illustrate and deliver your every message. Helvetica is not perfect for everyone and every occasion.”

2. Trajan

Trajan finds its way into many Hollywood movie posters and anything remotely to do with religion, law, marriage, class or the past. You can check out the flickr pool for more uses of Trajan.

A bit of history on the font Trajan… Trajan is an old style serif typeface designed in 1989 by Carol Twombly for Adobe. The design is based on Roman square capitals, as used for the inscription at the base of Trajan’s Column from which the typeface takes its name.

3. Garamond

Although there are many versions of Garamond, the most used version today is the Adobe Garamondversion (as seen above) released

10 Typography Tools, Templates and Libraries Web Designers Need to Know

Typography is indeed one of the most crucial components of every good web design. As a novice or professional web designer, knowing about the best typography tools, frameworks and libraries is definitely a plus point.

All these resources can aid you in dealing with web design typography in a better manner, offering you extensive control over fonts used on the web. Enjoy!

1. FlowType

As a handy plugin, FlowType will dynamically adjust the font size in accordance to the width of the wrapper under focus. Additionally, you can use the plugin for applying an ideal count of characters per line along with screen of variable width specification. FlowType can be easily downloaded from GitHub and plays a vital role in accomplishing the most legible typography which includes 45 and 75 characters on a per line basis.

2. Typeplate

As a complete framework for setting up typography in a web design, Typeplate is shipped with some stunning basic typographic styles that address critical elements within web design such as colors, scaling, dropcap, small capital, hyphenation, code block, blockquote, scaling and a lot of other interesting stuff.

3. Gridlover

As a

How Your Portfolio Works in These 5 Simple Steps

Recommended Materials & Equipment

1) Daylight Bulb

The main reason we use a daylight bulb is because it matches the colour temperature of ‘daylight’. This keeps the photo looking natural and balanced, which makes it pleasing to the eye.

2) Desk Lamp

A flexible lamp is needed to control where the light is facing. This allows us to control the types of shadows that we create in our photos.

3) Backdrop Paper

The color of the backdrop paper will dictate the mood and atmosphere of your portfolio piece. Be sure to use a smooth paper instead of textured.

4) DSLR or Point and Shoot Digital Camera

Both types of cameras are great, however a DSLR camera offers more flexibility and functions that will be discussed later. In this post, the camera that I’ll be using is the Canon 1100D. I highly recommend this camera for anyone who doesn’t have much experience in using DSLR cameras. It’s low cost, has tons of functions and as you’ll see later it takes great photos. You can see some some photos that I’ve taken with this camera here.

5) Tripod

A tripod

Where to Sell Your Design Online & How

Art Web

The basic objective of Art Web is to sell art online throughout the world as it works as the central point for both buyers and sellers. In reality it is an ecommerce website that provides opportunity to creative artists and buyers so that they can interact with each other in the form of community. As a result, they can make money from this process.

Bouf

Bouf is an interesting and innovative platform where creative people sell their unique products and designs. This website is selective in a sense that you have to go through an application process and after that you will be able to sell quirky accessories or designs. The main focus of this site is to target the niche market who is interested in buying home and garden stuff.

Click for Art

This website specializes in promoting and selling different art work such as house wares, cushions, canvas prints and others. This platform is quite useful and helpful for those new designers who want to sell their designs for commercial purpose.

Gela Skins

This is a kind of platform that supports art designs suitable for iPods, iPhones,

The Right Time To Design

8am – Face Your Fears Time

This is the quietest time for suicide so this is a good time to face your fears – Know that you have a deadline due at 1pm, know that you have 10 other projects to complete, know that your house needs cleaning, bills need paying and know that there is no end to it. Just make sure you know all this by 11 at night as this is suicide o clock.

9am to 10am – Work Time

Time to tackle your work here, these are the most productive hours (for the majority). Even Darren Rowse thinks so.

10am/11am – Chill Out Time

This is the time that most heart attacks occur so it would be good to chill out or have a break at this time. Coffee or morning tea break anyone?

12pm – Sex & Uncluttered Mind Time (If that can go together?)

If you fancy someone in your office or classroom, now is the time to go in for the kill. As James Sniechowski, author of the The New Intimacy explains: “People are more receptive to advances then, because

Ultimate Web Design Workspace for Photoshop

The Ultimate Web Design Workspace

In this post, I outline how I have personally set up my web design workspace and why I have found it to be the most productive layout for producing web work since I’ve started using Photoshop. Take note that I am using a 27″ monitor at 2560×1440 resolution though this layout should work on monitors 17″ and up.

1. Document Set-Up

This is where the magic happens, the blank canvas. I usually start with the 960 GS and set the width at 1400 pixels. The main Photoshop tools are still on the left (by default) with the canvas in the middle and the other windows on the right of the screen.

2. Layer Comps

If you’re not using Layer Comps already and you’re working as a designer, you’re mind is about to be blown. This isn’t the place to give a tutorial on them but having them in your workflow is pretty much essential, as it saves hours of time. Layer Comps are also very handy for putting together a presentationsvia the ‘Export Layer Comps’ script.

3. History & Snapshots

The History window allows

What You Should Know To design about FSC

What is the FSC (Forest Steward Council)?

FSC is an independent, non-governmental, not for profit organization established in 1993 to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests.

It provides standard setting, trademark assurance and accreditation services for companies and organisations interested in responsible forestry. Products carrying the FSC label are independently certified to assure consumers that they come from forests that are managed to meet the social, economic and ecological needs of present and future generations.

How does FSC implement this?

FSC developed “The Chain of Custody Process” which insures trees cut from FSC managed forests will go through the FSC certified process. This rigorous 5 step process ensures that all environmental and social obligations have been followed and have achieved the stamp of approval – the FSC logo (as seen below).

For example, if you receive a postcard with this symbol on it, you will know that it has gone through 5 different FSC certified processes since it was cut down. The chain goes something like this Pulp Manufacturer > Paper Manufacturer > Paper Merchant > (Designer) > Printer > Approval from FSC.

Where does the FSC logo go and

Funny and Good Design About Graphics Jokes and Humor

Funny Graphic Design Videos

 Original Design Gangsta’ – Great Rap Video

 John Stossel 20/20 – Short & Sweet Humerous Clip

 Enter The Serif – An Asian fight between Serif & Sans Serif.

 Make My Logo Bigger – Parody of clients asking for their work to be the way they want.

Trust Your Graphic Designer – The Graphic Avenger – A video parody.

South Park – Mac vs. Pc – Computer Commercial

PC vs Mac Spoof – Bill Gates vs Steve Jobs

 Holiday Photoshop Advert – A very humerous photoshop.

Paint Shop Pro vs Photoshop

 How Not To Use Powerpoint – A parody of how people use Powerpoint in the wrong way.

Humourous Graphic Design Jokes & Parodies

8 Ways to Drive a Graphic Designer Mad
As everyone knows, graphic designers are the reason there are so many wars in this world. They get inside our heads with their subliminal advertising, force us against our will to spend money on the worst pieces of shit, and eventually, drive us to depression and random acts of violence. And of course, most of them are communists. So to do

Related Pages With Top Design Blog

The pages have been categorised into five broad categories: Freebies, Tutorials, Inspiration, Web Design and Articles.

Freebies

  • 30 Essential PDF Documents Every Designer Should Download from Positive Space
  • Ultimate Web 2.0 Layer Styles from DezinerFolio
  • Free High Resolution Plain and Grunge Paper Textures from Fudge Graphics
  • Free Hi-Res Watercolor Photoshop Brushes from Bitt Box
  • 200+ Free Grunge Photoshop Brushes from You The Designer
  • Free Hand Drawn Doodle Icon Set for Bloggers from Spoon Graphics
  • Free Icons: Function Icons from WeFunction
  • 40 Beautiful Free Icon Sets from Six Revisions
  • 50 Most Beautiful Icon Sets Created in 2008 from Noupe
  • 63 Must have Grunge Fonts from OutlawDesign

Tutorials

  • Super Cool Frilly Bits Typography from Abduzeedo
  • Design with Swirls and Flourishes from MyInkBlog
  • 40+ Tutorials for Working with Wacom Tablets from Designm.ag
  • Advanced Glow Effects from PSDTuts
  • Colorful Glowing Text Effect in Photoshop from Tutorial9
  • That Wicked Worn Look ~ The Series from Authentic Boredom
  • Create a Dream Design with 3D Typography from GoMediaZine

Inspiration

  • 50+ Kick Ass Logos for Inspiration from Fuel Your Creativity
  • 92 Must See Creative Photographs from Just Creative Design
  • Another 79 amazing album covers from Inspiredology
  • Business Cards of Bloggers from Brian Yerkes

Web Design (+Inspiration)

  • 15 Excellent Examples of Web Typography. Part 1 from

Spot Tips and Work with Good Graphic Engineers

It is an unfortunate truth that in our society, engineers are underrated. Compared to the scientists, architects, and politicians they work with, the engineers remain relatively unknown and are just those behind-the-scenes ‘elves’ who hold the ship together.

Are engineers disrespected, under-appreciated, overworked? Is their role in society valued and rewarded? This debate is ancient, and it comes back into the light whenever something big goes terribly wrong. NASA scientists landed men on the moon, NASA engineers mixed up feet and meters resulting in the loss of an expensive satellite. You see my point.

What is A Graphic Engineer?

The design profession has it’s engineers too, and they are just as underrated as their sciencey counterparts. Their arena isn’t space tech or tall buildings, but rather packaging die lines and website code. I’m not talking solely about the production people, proofreaders, mechanical artists, programmers, etc., but rather those individuals who dedicate themselves to becoming Graphic Engineers. The Graphic Engineer (GE) is not identified by his job title or his skill with software, but rathey by his mindset, his personality, and his work habits. He is someone who views the world differently and approaches every problem

Introduction and Inspection of Minimalist Design

Minimalism in design has been around for some time, and today it seems to be a welcome alternative to overly busy and unnecessarily cluttered websites, posters, ads, and logos. For those new to this art form, the concept of minimalism is mostly concerned with stripping away excess and strategically placing remaining elements. The result can be a calming, yet powerful design that is streamlined to convey its message. You can find minimalism in all art forms, from architecture to fashion to logo design.

To get the most out of a minimalist design, whether it be for something as small as a logo or large as a billboard, be sure to use the right elements correctly. Color, layout, white space, graphics &  typography all play an important role in minimalism. Below we look at these principles of design and how they relate to minimalism.

Minimalist Color Choices

In minimalist design, color choice is strategic and the amount of colors used, should be kept to a minimum. Black, grey and white are the most powerful colors and allow for a single accent color to have a greater impact.

All colors are acceptable if they are used

The best free tools and colors of Design online

Colour whether you like it or not, is one of the most important parts of any design or artwork. It has the potential to make or break your work and this is why I have compiled a list of the best colour tools online. You can use these sites to help you out as they implement colour schemes for you, provide resources and give you inspiration.

The Ultimate Colour Resource

 Colour Lovers – The ultimate resource in my opinion for colour in general. It is great for choosing a colour scheme and the site also monitors trends and gives power to its users. You can submit news, read articles & interviews and compare colour palettes and add comments. It’s great!

Choosing a colour scheme / palette

KrazyDad – Experimental Colour Picker

Etsy.com – A creative and fun way of choosing a colour

 Color Blender A free online colour matching system including palettes. You can choose one colour and then it suggest a cool blend for you.

Ficml.org Colour Wheel – An addictive and very colourful way of choosing a colour scheme.

Colour Schemer – This one isn’t actually free but

How to Create a Poster Your design and experience

I want to share with you some of my poster design  work and the tips that  I  came across during the process.

Over the past few months I have been working for a Nightclub in Newcastle, Australia designing their in-house posters (you can see a few below) advertising different events held at the club.

The problem with designing these in-house posters was that I had to design them to be printed at A3 and A5 while also being able to be viewed correctly in a square format at 150 x 150 pixels on the web. This was quite a design problem, but I did learn a lot throughout this process.

The 3 posters above were the first ones that I had designed without any knowledge of poster design.

After reviewing these posters on forums and with other designers I learnt that the first 3 posters I had designed were too busy, and there wasn’t a clear hierarchy.

This lead me to do a bit of research on poster design (which I should have done in the first place).

In a nutshell, I found that an an effective poster should be …