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)
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)
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.
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. Image Source: ON THE AIR by Rochelle Hartman CC by 2.0
Date: Monday, 24 Feb 2014 15:28
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!
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:
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.
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. 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.
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 […]
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Date: Friday, 07 Feb 2014 15:21
Does this sound familiar? You're busy with web design work, so busy that you don't have time to market your freelancing business. You have multiple projects going on at the same time,so many that you can barely get them done. Then, when you've finished your last project, there's a deadening silence. Projects aren't coming in. You aren't hearing from potential clients. And you're starting to panic. What's happened is simple. Your web design client pipeline has simply dried up. Seasoned freelancers refer to this as the feast or famine cycle. The fact is that your slowdown happened because you stopped marketing your business while you were busy. You may think that you don't have time to market your freelancing business, but you can continue to market your business when you are busy without spending a lot of time. In this post, I'll share five mostly quick marketing tips that you can use even when you're very busy. By using one or several of these tips, you can keep your client pipeline flowing. If you liked this post, you may also like Facts About Marketing for Freelance Designers.
Date: Thursday, 06 Feb 2014 16:02
Parallax scrolling has been around since the 80s when video games used the effect to make foreground images move at different speeds than background images. It wasn't until about 2011, though, that parallax scrolling became popular on the web after Nike released its Better World microsite in January of 2011. At that time, parallax was new and exciting. It made a huge impression on first time visitors because of the stunning effects. Now, it has become an overdone effect that is (hopefully) slowly dying down. Just because an effect has been abused, however, does not necessarily mean it should be thrown to the wind. Some websites use parallax scrolling in just the right amount and the right way - to pique the interest of viewers but point them to the right places. Even ecommerce sites can create some pretty excellent parallax that lends, rather takes away, from conversions. For other websites, parallax scrolling ruins the entire experience of the visitor, turning their site into something very un-usable and confusing. So how do web designers know how to correctly implement this effect? The first bit of advice to remember is that there are plenty of other ways to make a site stand out and draw visitors in to an experience without parallax scrolling. But if you must use it, then make sure to keep the following points in mind.
Use It for the Right WebsiteNot every website will benefit from parallax scrolling. In fact, parallax is not beneficial for any website on which users want fast information. Parallax requires scrolling patience, especially if in between helpful information are a bunch of added graphics and cutesy animation. These distractions will usually end up annoying visitors who are in a hurry. Storytelling websites, however, can benefit greatly from parallax scrolling. Again, you don't want to create so many extras that getting to the right information is almost impossible. But a parallax effect can really add to the experience and emotional response of a story.
Date: Monday, 03 Feb 2014 04:44
Choosing the right e-commerce platform for your website is now easy task. There are hundreds of different options available with options in all different price ranges and with varying features. If you're overwhelmed at the process of choosing the right platform for your site, or for the site of a client, the decision usually becomes much clearer once you've determined what is most important for your site. In this article we'll look at some specific questions to ask yourself, or your client, to help lead to the right choice. Make sure that you take the time to make a wise and informed decision, because changing platforms down the road can often be a time consuming and costly experience.
General Categories of E-Commerce OptionsBefore we look at the factors that you need to consider, let's first take a look at the general categories of e-commerce platforms. Most of the hundreds or thousands of e-commerce platforms out there will fall into one of these six categories.
1. Enterprise E-CommerceEnterprise e-commerce systems like Magento's Enterprise Edition are feature-rich and robust systems that are typically used by large or fast-growing companies. Of course, with the advanced features and capabilities comes a higher price tag.
Date: Friday, 31 Jan 2014 10:00
Personal websites are becoming increasingly popular. They can be used effectively for promotion, job searches, personal branding, and just for communicating with friends and family. These personal websites can often serve as a creative outlet and allow the site owner more freedom than they would have with a website that is tied to their business. Personal websites also allow the owner to change directions easily if their interests or purpose for the site changes at some point in the future. In this post we'll feature 25 examples of well-designed personal websites. This showcase presents a variety of different styles. You'll see mostly blogs and/or social streaming sites, but there are a lot of different approaches and design styles. Some are minimal and clean, some use bright and vibrant colors, and others use more artistic and eye-catching designs. Hopefully this showcase will serve as great inspiration if you are considering designing a personal website of your own. Brady Williams
Date: Thursday, 30 Jan 2014 16:20
You have the web design skills. You have the knowledge. You have the experience. Yet, you could still be missing a critical element that is crucial to your success in running a freelance web design business. Having a business mindset means that you treat your freelance business like, well, a business. Freelancers who don't take care of the business end of things often face obstacles and struggles as result. Sadly, some freelancers who lack a business mindset wind up paying for it in the long term when their web design business runs into trouble. Fortunately, there are some pretty easy signs to tell whether you bring a business mindset to your work. In this post, I'll identify ten such signs. If you find that you lack a business mindset, it's not too late to make a few changes. If you liked this post, you may also like 7 Ways to Kill Your Freelance Career Before it Starts.
Date: Tuesday, 28 Jan 2014 15:09
Asking the question, "Is responsive design still king in today's mobile age?" requires some explanation. The first bit of information necessary for this question to make sense is the fact that mobile device use has increased exponentially in the last few years. According to an infographic from DigitalBuzzBlog, in May 2011 only 35% used a smartphone and 17% still had no cell phone, but by May 2013, these numbers had increased to 56% smartphone users and only 9% without a cell phone. In fact, mobile web use is growing 8 times faster than use in the 90's and 2000's. And half of average global mobile users access Internet primarily or exclusively on a mobile device. So a website that works for a mobile device, which include tablets, is necessary for any company to remain accessible and competitive today.
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