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Date: Wednesday, 19 Mar 2014 03:34
Hope everyone had a Happy St. Paddy's Day! This week sure is flying by, so to slow it down a bit, let's take a look at some of the new premium files added in the Shop this past week.

Blue Flash UI PSD Kit

UI kits are just about the all around, catch all, perfect resource for web designers, and this new Blue Flash UI PSD Kit is no exception. Download and see for yourself how simple creating user interfaces can be. Blue Flash UI Kit
Author: "Steven Snell" Tags: "Products"
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Date: Friday, 14 Mar 2014 08:00
Typography is a critical aspect of web and graphic design, but finding the right font can often be a challenge. If you're looking for a quality thin or light font, this post should be an excellent resource for you. Here you'll find 35 free thin fonts. These fonts can help you to create elegant, high-quality designs that feature beautiful typography. When you're using them to design something for yourself or for a client, they can prove to be extremely useful. If you find yourself looking for fonts frequently, bookmark this page so you can reference it the next time you need to find a thin font. Most of these fonts allow for commercial use, but as always when dealing with freebies, be sure to check the license before using it in your own work.

District Thin

District Thin
Author: "Steven Snell" Tags: "Design, fonts, typography"
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Date: Wednesday, 12 Mar 2014 19:52
Do you feel like you are drowning in a sea of information? Blog posts, articles, ebooks, videos, podcasts, images, and more. Like most web designers and other freelancers, you're probably flooded with information. You probably receive newsletters and blog posts in your email inbox every single day. You also check several important industry blogs and news sites daily. In addition, you have to keep up with what's going on with your clients and in your personal sphere. Whew! Don't feel bad if you're overwhelmed. That's a natural response to information overload. If you tried to absorb everything that was thrown at you, you probably wouldn't be able to do it. Even if you spent the entire day reading and listening to podcasts. overload1 In this post, I share a brief overview on information overload. I also share four tactics for overcoming it. If you liked this post, you may also like 45 Design Blogs on Facebook.
Author: "Laura Spencer" Tags: "Business, information overload, learning..."
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Date: Monday, 10 Mar 2014 08:00
Ease of navigation is one of the biggest keys to the usability of a website. If visitors can easily find what they are looking for they will be more likely to stay on the website rather than leaving and going to some other site. Effective navigation can help to increase pageviews, improve the user experience, and even increase revenue and profit. As more and more users are accessing sites via mobile devices, responsive web design has continued to increase in popularity. One of the challenges of designing and developing responsive websites is to create a user-friendly navigation menu that works equally well for visitors on all types of devices. While a few years ago navigational menus were a primary visual element in almost every web design, many responsive websites are now opting for a navigation menu that is much less dominant visually. These sites typically use a familiar icon of 3 horizontal stripes to indicate that a menu will be opened on click. Of course, this is only one approach and other websites use totally different approaches. In this post we'll showcase 40 different navigation menus of responsive websites. This will showcase many different styles and approaches, and should provide some inspiration that can be put to good use in your own design and development work.  The best way to experience these navigation menus is to click through and see how it works in the browser. Grain & Mortar Grain & Mortar
Author: "Steven Snell" Tags: "Galleries, Design, graphic design, inspi..."
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Date: Friday, 07 Mar 2014 04:54
When was the last time you met in person with a client or prospect? That long, huh? Like many freelancers, web designers understand the importance of networking. And in this digital age, most of us tend to do our networking online. It's faster. It's easier. But it's not always the best choice. The Internet is filled with advice on how to network online. There's a good reason for that. There are at least half a dozen excellent social media tools available that can help you with networking. Each social site has its own set of rules and standards, so there's room for plenty of articles offering advice. In the rush to join the social networking crowd, many of us have neglected an old school networking technique that still works--face-to-face networking. If you rely only on virtual networking, you may be missing out on some great opportunities. face-to-face This post is for those freelance web designers who want more from networking. I'll discuss the importance of face-to-face networking. I'll even provide a few tips on how (and where) to get started with face-to-face networking. If you liked this post, you may also like Are You Overlooking These 5 Proven Methods for Networking Online?.
Author: "Laura Spencer" Tags: "Marketing, Body language, Face-to-face n..."
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Date: Wednesday, 05 Mar 2014 00:13
Happy Wednesday! On this first Wednesday in March, we'd like to once again bring you the newest files uploaded to our Shop this week!

Logo Design Services Contract Template

Lots of times in the past when we've worked on logo projects (or projects of any kind, for that matter), we ran into problems with the clients and their expectations that sometimes turned a bit ugly. Wouldn't it be awesome if you could prevent that kind of confrontation? With this new Logo Design Services Contract you can. Use this contract template to clearly spell out services that will be rendered, payment expectations, and more, all while keeping your hair in your head, where it belongs. Logo Badge PSD Pack Three
Author: "Steven Snell" Tags: "Products"
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Date: Tuesday, 04 Mar 2014 07:31
We frequently publish posts on this blog that feature tutorials for learning how to do various things with Photoshop, but we have rarely focused on just the basics. This post is intended for designers or aspiring designers who either want to get started with Photoshop or have limited experience and are looking to improve. While there are plenty of great learning resources available online, it’s often difficult for beginners to know where to get started because everything seems to be scattered. With this post you’ll find links to plenty of resources to teach you all the basics and fundamentals of Photoshop. Most of the resources and tutorials listed in this post will focus on teaching one particular aspect of Photoshop, such as how to use a specific tool. Everything is broken down into sections so you can find exactly what you are looking for.

Intro to Photoshop’s Tools and UI:

The resources in this section will serve as an introduction for those who are new to Photoshop. They will help you to learn your way around the interface and with some of the basics of Photoshop. The Photoshop Workspace (video) The Photoshop Workspace
Author: "Steven Snell" Tags: "Design, Photoshop Tutorials, basics, gra..."
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Date: Sunday, 02 Mar 2014 08:00
Email newsletters are an important marketing and communications tool for many businesses. You can stay in touch with past customers, market your products to those who have expressed interest but haven't yet purchased, and get extra exposure for your sales and promotions. Email is an extremely cost effective marketing method and it is likely to produce a higher return on investment than any other type of marketing or advertising. The appearance of your newsletter can be enhanced with an attractive design, but having a custom design isn't the only option. Templates can be purchased for very reasonable prices. Here we'll showcase 35 different templates, and each one sells for less than $20. All of these templates are responsive, so they'll look great on desktops, tablets, and mobile phones. Most of them are HTML templates, although some come with alternate versions already coded for specific mailing list managers, such as MailChimp and Campaign Monitor. Other leading options for managing your list include GetResponse, AWeber, Constant Contact, and iContact. Pure ($18) Pure
Author: "Steven Snell" Tags: "Marketing"
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Date: Friday, 28 Feb 2014 15:18
And you just won...nothing. That, right there, is the first truth that you need to know about design contests. Not everyone who enters a design contest will win. Yet, it seems like contests are everywhere. It's easy to be enticed to enter contests with the shiny offers of exciting prizes and in some cases, cash. But if you do enter a design contest, don't count on winning. Most entrants never place high enough to win a prize. And some contests are outright scams. Is it worth it to enter a design contest? It depends. If you're thinking about entering a contest, you should consider all the risks before you put serious effort into a contest entry. In this post, I share four vital questions you should ask yourself before entering a design contest. If you liked this post, you'll probably also like 7 Practical Ways to Gain Exposure as a Designer. contest1
Author: "Laura Spencer" Tags: "Business, Design Contests, Scams, Spec W..."
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Date: Wednesday, 26 Feb 2014 14:24
Blog content is important, right? If you have a web design blog for your freelance web design business, you already know how having a blog can help you attract traffic and establish yourself as an expert. (If you don't have a blog on your freelancing website, why don't you?) Blogs need content, but not all content is writing. Podcasts are an important type of content that is often overlooked. Consider adding a podcast to your freelancing blog to give it more variety. Podcasts are audio or video files that you add to your blog. You can also submit your audio file podcasts to iTunes. While some podcasts contain music, many successful bloggers present informative material with podcasts and you can too. For the purposes of this post, we'll be discussing audio podcasts. Podcasting is not for everyone. But adding a podcast to your blog may be just the thing you need to set your web design business apart from the rest. In this in this introduction to podcasting, I'll explain how podcasting can help you promote your web design business. I'll also identify some tools to help you to get started with podcasting. Finally, I'll include some tips and tutorials so that you can learn more about podcasting. podcasts1 Image Source: ON THE AIR by Rochelle Hartman CC by 2.0
Author: "Laura Spencer" Tags: "Blogging, Marketing, Tools, Content, mar..."
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Date: Monday, 24 Feb 2014 15:28
MD A graphic artist's best friend is the designer's toolbox. Full of a vast collection of textures, brushes, actions, vectors and more, the toolbox is always expanding. The more elements, the more choices. The more choices, the more varied you'll find the designs. Whether you're just starting out or looking to beef up your own toolbox, this Mighty Deal is for you! The Design Kickstarter Bundle from Matt Borchert will keep you busy for a long time!
Author: "iulia" Tags: "Design"
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Date: Monday, 24 Feb 2014 04:14
Web design and web development are popular career choices right now. One of the great things about getting into the industry is that there are a variety of different ways to build your knowledge and gain experience. You can attend a college or university and pursue a degree in a related field, you can learn on your own, or you can taken advantage of a growing number of resources that provide online training. In this article we'll look at the best websites that offer online training to help you learn how to design and/or develop websites. We'll look at free resources as well as others that require payment. Of course, the free resources are generally more limited, but they can still provide a good starting point. For those that require payment, there are a few different varieties. Many of the websites operate an a membership bases, where you will pay a monthly or yearly fee in order to get unlimited access to their training materials. Others will sell a variety of different courses, and you can select the specific course that you want to purchase.

Online Courses and Training for Web Design/Development:

Treehouse

Treehouse
Author: "Steven Snell" Tags: "Design, Web Development"
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Date: Thursday, 20 Feb 2014 16:39
Do you want a eye catching theme for your next mobile app and get more sales? Look no further. Glow is a trendy landing page for your next product or service. It comes complete with a fully layered psd file and can be edited to fit your exact needs. With its modern flat look and pixel perfect design you are sure to have a great landing page for you next mobile app or product. You can use this theme for personal and commercial uses. Today's exclusive freebie comes from our friends at www.bestpsdfreebies.com, where they provide high quality free web design resources. Glow App Launch PSD Theme
Author: "Steven Snell" Tags: "Free Resources, psd template"
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Date: Wednesday, 19 Feb 2014 00:00
While there are plenty of options available when choosing an eCommerce platform, the possibility of using WordPress for eCommerce has become more enticing in recent years due to continued development of plugins and themes. Today there is no shortage of quality themes that can be purchased, or in some cases downloaded for free, to use WordPress for powering an eCommerce website. One of the main benefits of having WordPress as an eCommerce option is that so many users and developers are already familiar with WordPress, so the learning curve can in some cases be shorter than with another platform. Another advantage is that WordPress is free to use and can be hosted anywhere. Many of the leading eCommerce options require your site to be hosted with them, which can be a good thing, but it’s not what every user wants. Having a custom theme designed and developed is always an option, but the improving quality of available premium themes makes it possible to start a professional-looking eCommerce site with very little upfront investment. In this post we’ll showcase more than 40 eCommerce themes for WordPress, and every one of them sells for less than $100. Some eCommerce themes come with their own eCommerce functionality built in to the theme, but most are designed and developed to integrate with one or more of the leading eCommerce plugins for WordPress. Those plugins include WooCommerce, Jigoshop, WP e-Commerce, Cart66, and Easy Digital Downloads.

Looking for hosting? WPEngine offers secure managed WordPress hosting. You’ll get expert WordPress support, automatic backups, and caching for fast page loads. Visit WPEngine.

Gather ($49) Gather is an extremely well-designed and responsive theme from ThemeTrust. It comes with an extensive list of features and integrates with WooCommerce.
Author: "Steven Snell" Tags: "WordPress, ecommerce"
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Date: Tuesday, 18 Feb 2014 19:11
It’s Tuesday, and that means it’s time to highlight the newest and best Premier files uploaded to the Shop this week! New Business Logos and Badges As designers, you’re sure to get flooded with new logo work for all kinds of clients. Creating logos without a starting point can be difficult and time consuming, so […]
Author: "Steven Snell" Tags: "Products"
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Date: Monday, 17 Feb 2014 03:34
Shopify is one of the leading e-commerce options for companies and individuals who want to be able to quickly set up a feature-rich online shop. All Shopify users have access to free templates that can be used, plus a large and growing selection of beautiful premium templates that can be purchased for affordable prices. Shopfiy is a hosted system, so you won't have to go through a complicated installation process on your server, and support and billing for e-commerce functionality and hosting is combined and managed in one place. Many designers and developers love Shopify because it's a great system to use for client projects. You can create custom themes for your clients, or even make money by selling your templates in their theme shop. Developers can also create and sell apps in the app shop. Shopify has a partners program that allows designers to earn a commission by referring clients, and they also have an experts section where you can get listed so Shopify users can easily find you for custom work. In this post we'll highlight a number of resources that will be very helpful to designers/developers who want to learn more about Shopify, and also for shop owners who want to find some great resources to make their e-commerce site even better. Shopify Ecommerce
Author: "Steven Snell" Tags: "Business, Design, Tools, Web Development"
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Date: Thursday, 13 Feb 2014 19:15
Oh no! How did you miss it? The client's name is misspelled on the design you turned in. How embarrassing. You spend a lot of time your designs. As a result, your designs look great. And your clients love them. There's something they won't love, though. That's an editing goof. Yet, probably because they're not focused on words, many designers overlook the importance of editing the copy that goes with their design. editing-errors1a
Author: "Laura Spencer" Tags: "Blogging, Design Process, checking error..."
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Date: Thursday, 13 Feb 2014 15:08
If you are a designer searching for a more professional solution on how to create websites for your clients and manage these projects, then we have good news for you. There is a way where you won’t have to jump through loops and take any extra steps in your website design process and production, but simply speak with the client, design and publish. Yes, we are telling you that you can do all of this without having to hire a developer or write a line of code. Let us know take a moment now and introduce you to Webydo. This professional online website design platform is already being used by more than 50K professional web and graphic designers who have published more than 112K websites to date. The community led design platform is growing at a rapid pace, and is picking up significant media attention for their pro design features, attention to detail and user satisfaction.
Author: "Brant Wilson" Tags: "Sponsored"
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Date: Wednesday, 12 Feb 2014 08:14
Adobe Illustrator provides designers with an excellent opportunity for creating amazing effects with text. This post features 30 of the best tutorials on the subject. While there are more tutorials available for working with text in Photoshop, I think you'll see from this selection that there is plenty to be learned for text effects in Illustrator. From this selection of tutorials you'll learn a wide variety of different techniques and you'll be able to create text effects of all different styles. Regardless of what style of text effect you need, you're almost guaranteed to find something that can help within this selection of tutorials. You may also be interested in Learn Adobe Illustrator: All the Basics for Beginners Create an Awesome Chrome Typography Piece in Adobe Illustrator Create an Awesome Chrome Typography Piece in Adobe Illustrator
Author: "Steven Snell" Tags: "Design, graphic design, illustrator, tex..."
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Date: Sunday, 09 Feb 2014 11:06
Educational institutions like schools, colleges, and universities can use an attractive and effective website in several different ways. Quality websites can be helpful for attracting applications from new students, and the websites can also be useful for communicating information to existing students, parents, and even donors. In this post we'll feature 25 well-designed educational websites. Many of them are from universities and institutes of higher education, but other types of schools are represented as well. Hopefully this collection will provide some inspiration that can be put to good use in your own work. Biola Undergrad Biola Undergrad
Author: "Steven Snell" Tags: "Galleries, inspiration, showcase, web de..."
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