Category Archives: Web Design

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, and tablets as well. This website actually helps the independent artists from all around the globe in selling their designs.

Unbound

This website is helpful for those designers who want to publish books about art or graphic design. This is the right platform where you can easily connect with people who will support your ideas and provide funds in order to accomplish your dreams.

Big Cartel

This is a different website as compared to other websites that provide opportunity to sell designs online. On this platform, a designer can build his or her own store and can customize or make changes according to his or her needs. This site also provides tools so that designers can enhance their social networks as well.

Threadless

On this platform, an art work is sold through the help of online voting. During this process, an art work or design is placed on the website and through voting and social networking.

Society 6

Society 6 is also a popular online website that sells art work provided by creative and imaginative people. This website focuses on the provision of cost effective art designs including iPhone cases and T-shirt prints. This site also charges a percentage of products or designs sold by designers but in return provide great value.

Etsy

Etsy is the website that offers it services to different buyers and sellers all over the world. This site actually focuses on the selling and buying of handmade stuff or products to a large extent. This platform also supports vintage products or crafts.

Zazzle

This platform provides the opportunity for creative people who come from different parts of the world. It supports the idea of selling different designs on various products such as T-Shirts, posters, business cards, mugs, and others. This is also helpful for designers as it helps in creating an online store for free.

PixApp

Sell your pics and designs to a global audience. What makes them different is that they distribute 90% of commissions to the sellers/designers, ship worldwide within 3-5 days (unlike any other!) and are completely mobile.

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 their minds aren’t cluttered with what they have to do that day or what they have to do when they get home.”

Pretty much this is a great time to get your creative juices going as you have an uncluttered mind. You may also want to check out How To Boost Your Creativity.

1pm – Nap Time

The best time to have a power nap is at around 1pm when your body temperature naturally dips. An ideal power nap should last for 15 to 20 minutes.

2pm – No One Can Touch Me Time (FIG JAM)

This is the time that we have the highest pain threshold so it is a good time to ask for a promotion or get that dental filling you were meant to have last month but ‘accidentally’ missed.

3pm/4pm – Strength and Mood Time

Hand and eye coordination is at its peak and mood levels are high during this period so this would be a good time to have a break. Maybe go for a short jog or for the lazy… maybe some Photoshop Tennis.

This is also the time that people are most awake and alert so how about you do that one last proof now before sending your job to the printer. 4pm is also known to be the time in which you are least creative.

5pm – Happy Hour Time

We all know what 5pm means but did you know that your liver metabolises alcohol most efficiently at this time of the afternoon? After work drinks never sounded so good.

8.30pm – Sweet Sweet Food Time

Despite what many people think, eating late will not necessarily make you fat says Nigel Denby of the British Dietetic Association. “A calorie is a calorie whenever you eat it.” Dig in.

10.30pm – Sleep Time

A warm shower helps to make people fall asleep as body temperature needs to fall in order to help us sleep… I don’t think I have ever met a designer who does go to bed at 10.30… 10pm is also known to be the time in which you are most creative.

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 you to go back in time based on every change you make. I usually have my history settings set at the default of 20, but often take ‘Snapshots‘ so I can easily come back to previous states with a simple click. Take note that snapshots do not save with the PSD.

4. FontShop & Extensis Web Font Plugins

FontShop & Extensis allow you to view and use web fonts right within Photoshop. I only click this icon when needed as it often can slow PS down. Also, take note for Extensis you will need the Suitcase Fusion font management software, which is available for 30 day trial.

5. Folders & Layers

A large Layers window allows for easy scanning and organisation which boosts productivity while designing. I break down each ‘page’ down into 4 general folders; Header, Content, Footer & Background.

I also have ‘Auto Select’ set as ‘Layer’ and the ‘Show Transform Controls’ checked on. See the very top left toolbar in the screenshot to toggle these to your liking.

6. Swatch Palette

The Swatch palette ensures that the colors you use are consistent through the document. Simply add colors to the Swatches palette and then when needed, highlight your text or layer and change the color.

7. Styles Window

Similar to the Swatch window, the Styles window allows you to easily change colors and add effects to elements throughout your document. Handy for buttons, forms, rectangles, navigation, etc.

8. Character

The Character window allows you to easily change the most common text settings on the fly such as the font, size, leading, tracking and color. Pretty much essential for web layout.

9. Paths / Channels

I break up the Character and Paragraph windows with Paths & Channels as a personal preference so the type tools don’t seem so cluttered. The Paths window allows you to easily create paths, shapes & selections and Channels is mainly used for photo editing.

10. Paragraph

The Paragraph window controls the justification of text, as well as margins, spacing, hyphenation (set this as off by default) and roman hanging punctuation.

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 what does it mean?

The FSC logo goes on any piece of design that is printed on FSC certified paper and is printed through an FSC certified printer. It is also appears on timber and other items that are FSC certified.

Once you have completed your own design and you have put the FSC logo in its place, you then submit your design to the printer… the printer then needs to submit the piece and all specs to FSC to get the green light to print.

In most cases, underneath the FSC logo it will contain a certification number. This contains the printers ID number, percentage of post consumer waste plus any other recycled information. This information helps verify that the Chain of Custody process has been followed.

What can you do to help support FSC?

FSC’s mission is to improve the management of the world’s forests. There are many ways you can support:

  • as a consumer you can buy FSC certified products
  • as a business in the forest products business, you can become FSC certified
  • you can promote the FSC by using the FSC logo on your products (you must be authorised to do so – information here)
  • everybody interested in the fate of the world’s forests can become an FSC member and actively contribute to the future of the organisation.

Worth mentioning

And just so you know… only 7 percent of the world’s productive forests are FSC certified. This global organisation, active in 79 countries, has an extremely ambitious agenda, a long way to go and must do everything possible to keep itself above reproach.

In saying that, worth mentioning is FSC Watch – an independent website (not associated with FSC) dedicated to encouraging the scrutiny of the FSC’s activities. FSC Watch aims to increase the integrity of the FSC’s forest certification scheme.

Have you ever been involved in an FSC project? Have you got any more information to share? Please let us know in the comments below.

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 my part to save the world from them, i made a list of things you can do when working with a graphic designer, to assure that they have a burn-out and leave this business FOREVER.

Graphic Designer’s Judgment Clouded By Desire To Use New Photoshop Plug-In
The aesthetic judgment of Paul Gaskill, a graphic designer working on a brochure for Valley View Apartments, was “severely clouded” by a desire to use a new Adobe Photoshop plug-in, coworkers at Blue Moon Design said Monday.

Hillarious Entertainment Fort Smith Magazine Front Page Graphic Design Error
This really ‘rights’ itself. The major magazine of Fort Smith, Arkansas’s partners in education issue that just came out has the following front page. Partners in Education help our local public schools educate (indoctrinate) our children often working with an elementary school or other individual school. Try to find the huge typo.

 25 Reasons You Might Be A Hardcore Graphic/Web Designer
A list of signs that you might be a hardcore designer. A lot of these signs can overlap other professions too. From my experience, the following list contains mostly truths, mixed in with a little humor.

Another You Know You are a Graphic Designer When
Another list of ways to know that you are a graphic designer

 You Know You’re a Graphic Designer When
A list of ways you know that you are a graphic designer.

Mac / PC Commercial Parodies
A Parody of the well known Mac / PC commercials.

You Know You’re a Font Fanatic If
A top 42 list for font fanatics.

The UnSpoken Rules of Graphic Design
37 funny rules for being a graphic designer.

The Patron Saints of Graphic Design
A humorous and beautiful page about the unknown saints of Graphic Design.

The Way Graphic Designers Used to Work
Pictures of the tedious way graphic design and layout used to work. Not funny, but put a smile on my face because I’m so happy that things aren’t like this anymore.

Ad-Agency Print Buyer Can’t Believe They Want To Add A Perf This Late In The Game
A fake news story by The Onion.

Area Man Knows All The Shortcut Keys
A fake news story by the Onion

Indexed
Makes fun of his life as a graphic designer.

AdVerbatim

Pay attention, professionals or not- in Communication, Marketing and Advertising. These things happen almost every day; sometimes we don’t even notice them. But they’re here to stay. They are verbatims. And yes, they’re REAL.

Murphy’s Graphic Design Laws
A cute set of laws for graphic designers.

This is What Happens When Your Dad is a Graphic Designer
Look to see what this baby’s dad does to her pictures. Cute.

Worst Company URLs
Want a laugh? Look at these web site URLs that spell things a bit different than what the owner was hoping.

Logo Design Humour

Redesigned Logos 2.0
Redesigned Logos in Web 2.0 Format

Make The Logo Bigger Song

Listen to the song made for logo designers.

 Most Unfortunate Logos Ever

Hmmm…some of these logos are um…just look for yourself.

Flickr Photos Tagged with yay2dot0logoparody

Well known logos redesigned for web 2.0 for fun.

Ironic Sans

Logos designed for terrorists

How to Fake a Web 2.0 Logo

Web 2.0 sites are all the rage and if you’re lucky enough to be bought out by Google or Yahoo there are millions of dollars to be made, but how do you fake it as a Web 2.0 site? Well, all Web 2.0 sites have one thing in common : they look the part.

 Fake Google Logos

Like fake google logos?

KFC’s Logo First to be Seen From Space

KFC Created a logo to be seen from space. Not that funny but still cool.

The Worst Logo Ever Gasp

Gasp, this is the worst and most shocking logo ever.

Rejected Google Holiday Logos

Here are some funny rejected holiday logos.

 Naughty Logos

Logo design gone wrong.

The Worst Logo Ever

Really seems like it is a joke, but this logo is for real.

Corporation’s New Logo Changes Everything

A fake news story by The Onion.

Font humour

America’s Most Fonted

Ugly fonts, cutesy fonts, unreadable fonts, bad fonts . . . they have terrorized us for far too long, infiltrating our homes via e-mail, IM, and low-rent ValPak ads. Here, LMNOP presents the seven worst fonts–and the people who use them.

Type Obituaries

During a late night online conversation with another black, white, and orange website fan, it was decided that certain fonts should be retired. They’ve had a good run, but some things must come to an end. Whether, by overuse, obscurity, or just plain ugliness, here are some that just don’t make the cut.

Extra-Slanty Italics Introduced For Extremely Important Words

A fake news story by The Onion

DT&G Typography: Ask Yourself How it Will Read

Choose font and kerning well.

Helvetica Bold Oblique Sweeps Fontys

A fake parody news story by The Onion.

 A List of Design and Fonts Jokes

Another list of design jokes and fonts jokes

Song Parody: I Like Big Fonts

A parody of the song, ‘Baby Got Back’

Alpha-Bits Now Available In Serif Font

A fake parody news story by The Onion.

Fontly Speaking

Another fake news story by The Onion

2 Cheesy Font Jokes

These are cheesy jokes, but enjoy anyway.

Another Cheesy Fonts Joke

Even cheesier fonts joke than the one above it.

You Know You Are a Fontaholic When…

Much of the following has been ‘floating around’ the USENET comp.fonts list for a couple of years.

Your Monkey Called – White and Sajak on Fonts

Not really so funny, but cute.

Adobe Photoshop Jokes & Humour

Black Guy Photoshopped In

A fake news story by The Onion.

Photoshop Jokes

It all started with this, the hilarious Marquis de Sade picture, which was made in a flash of inspiration at work, one day. Within minutes of sending it to friends, jpegs started coming in thick and fast, as everyone began jumping on the comedy bandwagon. T

You Know You’re Addicted to Photoshop When

A list of ways to know that you are addicted to Photoshop

Fark

Photoshop Thread on Fark

If Leonardo Had Photoshop

A comic of what Leonardo Da Vinci Would have Been Doing if he had access to Photoshop

Acquired Paint Shop Pro Syndrome

The Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta today announced the identification of a new disease.

Jokes for freelance designers

Difference Between Freelance Designers & Onsite Designers

The difference between working in-house and freelance:

Gaping Void

This smart entrepreneur thought of this great idea, putting cartoons on the back of business cards to be remembered. They are called ‘blog cards’ and some of the cartoons are funny:and if you ask me, a great idea for freelancers.

Printers Humour

Guide to Using Printers

A very funny document giving advice on printers that will just make things much worse.

Aggression Against a Printer

Have any of you ever reacted this way?

Xerox Commercial

Cute Xerox commercial

A New Way to Print

A picture that will make you smile.

Hope you enjoyed the list, there is many hours worth of humour here so don’t view it all at once.

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 I Love Typography
  • 50+ Gorgeous Navigation Menus from Vandelay Design Blog
  • 83 Beautiful WordPress Themes You (Probably) Haven’t Seen from Smashing Magazine
  • 21 Mindblowing Premium-Like Free WordPress Themes from Smashing Apps
  • Unraveling the Secrets of WordPress’ Comments.php File from NetTuts
  • 7 Fresh and Simple Ways to Test Cross-Browser Compatibility from Freelance Folder

Articles

  • Why your web startup will fail from Ideas On Ideas
  • 101 Essential Freelancing Resources
  • Video Game Design Between 1990-2008 from Web Designer Depot
  • 12 Common Photoshop Mistakes, Misuses and Abuses from Design Cubicle
  • Top 50 graphic design blogs from David Airey
  • How to be a good client from SwissMiss
  • Obama logo ideas that weren’t chosen from Logo Design Love
  • 2008 Design Trends from Web Designer Wall
  • The Color Wheel and Color Theory from Creative Curio

What is your most linked to article? Please share with us in the comments below. To do so, type your web address into Yahoo! Site Explorer and look for the article with the most links (not your home page).

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 from a slightly steeper angle of incident.

The GE is a valuable member of any successful design team, and a good engineer can make everyone’s job easier, but they’re not always easy to manage or to work with. Here’s how you might identify, and then accomodate your GE, to get the most out of him, and your team overall.

How to spot a Graphic Engineer

Is obsessed with Details.

Not just the obligatory ‘detail-oriented’ that every job description in the world includes, these people go above and beyond what most folks would consider ‘a closer look’. Spotting a misused Em Dash from 30 meters is just the beginning. Editor: One of the 15 signs you’re a bad graphic designer.

Values the methodology, sometimes over the results or the time frame.

Embodying the philosophy that “anything worth doing is worth doing right,” the GE will go out of his way to ensure that any process is done to the letter, including documentation and feedback, which often go overlooked. He’s the one most likely to create immaculate CSS style sheets, even if it’s just for an internal login page. Table styles in InDesign, layer comps in Photoshop? Most likely put together by a GE. Best practices, after all.

Never accepts good enough.

Along with his obsessive nature, the GE has an overdeveloped sense of duty, and never leaves a job unfinished. For that matter, he re-defines the word ‘finished’, and will take those extra precautions to ensure quality. After all, it’s his butt on the line when something goes wrong. Just like NASA.

Lives in a world that always needs fixing.

Rather than simply striving to make the world more enjoyable or more beautiful, the GE strives to solve problems, correct errors, and iron out all manner of wrinkles in the day-to-day of our profession. It’s a very blue collar approach to graphics but show me where the leak is.

How to get the most from your Graphic Engineer

Now that you’ve identified your groups GE (raise your hand if it’s you! – Editor: You got me spot on!) , you have to understand a few things about how he works. Because GEs are unlike regular employees, a bit of tact is required to get the most out of your engineer.

Give him space.

This is both physical and metaphorical. Clearly, all GEs work better with a larger desk, larger monitor, more sunlight and square footage, and an ergonomic chair, but at the same time, I’ve never met a GE who worked better with bosses hovering and peering over his shoulder. In fact, that’s probably the easiest way to get shoddy work when you need it most. (Editor: Amen)

Ask his opinion.

Personalities aside, GEs always have opinions. And those opinions are often based on independent research, industry knowledge, trial-and-error, prior experience, and good old fashioned gut instincts. In other words, those opinions are valuable and ignoring them simply isn’t smart. GEs want to improve their general situation (they live to fix leaks, remember?), so their advice is usually constructive. Also, ignoring those opinions can lead to bitterness, depleted productivity, and the wording of those same precious opinions and ideas.

Let him rant.

Since engineers are often under tremendous pressure, they may need to let off some steam. (pardon the metaphors) So let them. Do whatever you can to get the most out of your GEs, even if that means shaking things up in your studio. Ranting often brings to light feelings and thoughts shared by many members of the team but why not let your hardest thinker explain why the current situation has gone pear-shaped.

Learn from him.

The engineer is naturally a teacher. By providing knowledge, he helps elevate everyone around him and thus feels less aliented. Also, this makes his job easier because the rest of the crew is meeting him half way (or at least part way). Considering GEs are often well versed on the latest trends, languages, software techniques, and professional happenings, you might actually learn something when he pulls out the “well, actually” during a meeting.

If you’ve never spared a thought for the Graphic Engineer, now’s the time. Next you need him to tidy up a messy style sheet, extend a poorly cropped photo, or a revive hand-me-down Mac, show a bit of appreciation and understanding. Graphic Engineers are the glue that hold together the gears of the creative industry. Imagine your life without them.

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 properly; however, the colors with the greatest contrast are generally used together. Therefore, most designers choose bold and bright primary colours for minimalist design.

Effective Minimalist Layout

A minimalist design layout is especially challenging because every element with which you are working, is essential. Content for websites and posters should be laid out in such a way that the viewer can find what they need without much thought. In other words, the page should make sense.

White Space

Negative space serves to give power to the small bits of information that it surrounds. The greater the empty space, the more power an object within it gains. Negative space also serves to structure a group of elements and create balance.

Graphics

The use of images in minimalism is very intentional. Designers choose graphics for their effectiveness and in minimalist design use them when the image is more effective than a written message. Graphics should be used sparingly and strategically, and should be relevant to the topic.

Typography

Typography in minimalism should be just as strategic as any other element. In any design including minimalism, no more than two or three styles of fonts are appropriate. Many designs use one font for headlines, one for body, and possibly one for navigation on websites or for any special text or subheadings. Usually more than three types makes the design look cluttered and hard to understand.

Minimalism on the Web

In the last ten years, minimalist website design has become quite trendy. Unfortunately, some designers have misunderstood the idea behind minimalism and create web pages void of content that simply don’t make sense. However, at the root of the minimalist movement, great designers have created stunning websites that are not only pleasing to look at, but are also easy to navigate. While minimalist design is not practical nor thematically possible for every every website, those websites that can use it should take advantage.

Minimalism in the Media

Brochures, packaging, and ad campaigns have all seen their share of the minimalist design. However, it is in posters and logos that you see it really take hold. Many designers choose to use this streamlined design for everything from movie posters, to band posters, to ad posters. The reason for this is the effectiveness of conveying a strong message quickly and cleanly. Used correctly, minimalist posters are designed to use each of its elements to send one message. The result is usually a poster that is not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing.

Minimalism in logos

Minimalism in logos is an important concept, since the purpose of a logo is to be easily remembered and associated with a company. As a result, minimalist logos are often the most popular type of logo design since it keeps the logo simple enough to be memorable. The tricky part of a minimalist logo is to make a design that is easily recognised for the company it represents, while also reflecting the brand’s goals.

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 definitely worth mentioning. It is a small program that implements colour schemes for you. I havn’t actually tried it myself but the screen shots look great.

 Photo Colour Matcher – This is quite a handy tool as it lets you have a picture and then it matches that picture to get a colour palette. Great for brochures or things that have to match around a central image.

Colour Matching Sphere – Another cool way to choose a colour scheme

Colour Inspiration

Stock Photographs – Use Flickr or iStockPhoto to get some colour inspiration. Try searching for things related to the piece of work you are working on.

 UrbanCowboy and 57Even – These are two of my favourite artists who use great colour schemes in their work.

Other Tools

Web 2.0 Color Palette – If you don’t know about Web 2.0 I suggest you check this out.A great tool for anything Web 2.0

A bit of fun

Some forbidden colour schemes

How room colours can effect your mood

Colour Theory – Great for developers

Quiz – A quiz to find out what colour you are.

Scariest Colours Imaginable – Speaks for itself.

Colours of the Top Magazines

Why Red is so powerful

Colourblind test – A test to see how colour blind you are.

Colours For Christmas – Palettes for that time of year.

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 …

  • Aesthetic – It should get attention so the message is delivered.
  • Focused – It should focus on a single message.
  • Ordered – The sequence should be well-ordered and obvious.

If you then compare the first 3 posters to the poster I designed after the research (below), you can clearly see the difference. The poster now has a clear hierarchy with DRU HILL being the main focus and the date as the 2nd focus. It is aesthetic, focused and ordered thus making it a successful poster.

On a similar note, I have just designed an invite for my 20th birthday. This year, I have a fluoro (it’s spelt fluoro not fluro if you didn’t know) theme for my party as fluoro is in fashion this summer in Australia. Below is the invite that I designed for it. I was influenced heavily by the electric style of the clubs here in Sydney, along with their random combination of images and vector graphics.

What are your opinions? I take constructive criticism well so fire away 🙂 It’s how you learn.

For further tips on poster design check out Effective Poster Design.