The importance of colour in design can never be overstated. Colour choices influence mood, emotion and tone; a carefully chosen colour scheme can clearly express a specific design style.
When I begin work on a new design project, I usually work at length on creating a good colour scheme. You’ll find more detail on this side of colour selection in my post Steps to choosing a successful colour scheme. To begin with, I have collected several examples of interesting colour schemes online for inspiration.
When I wrote about seamless websites it was done with the intention to showcase designs which I thought were cleverly bridging the gap between designing for small and large resolution computer screens. It proved to be a very popular topic, one of the most popular to date on this blog.
I’m revisiting the subject now because of the launch of a new site design which stylishly demonstrates the seamless principle. (more…)
Image by Foxtongue
We live in interesting times. The worldwide financial downturns have led to a great deal of uncertainty for small business owners and independent contractors (freelancers), including designers. On the plus side, small operators are in a better position than their larger counterparts to adapt to changes in business conditions, even drastic ones.
In recent months there has been a wealth of advice and discussion on how to weather the economic storms, chiefly by working smarter and keeping abreast of new opportunities which may emerge as businesses tighten their belts and seek to outsource work instead of hiring new staff. Reassurances like this are very encouraging, and I am now adding my ideas on what to consider in adapting your business to the current climate.
Designers wanting to advance their careers are sometimes advised to concentrate on creating a personal brand. With this in mind, I decided to look at how some renowned graphic designers present themselves and their work online.
Most of the designers shown here have personal websites to showcase their portfolio. There are a few sites representing studios operating under the designer’s name. The common thread for all is the use of absolute simplicity in layout. In some cases, there is very little or no visual evidence of any personal “branding”.
Image by kennymatic
Preparation is key to successful management of any project, and design projects are no different. The more preparation that both client and designer do right at the start, the more smoothly the work will go.
I find checklists can be very useful, so I’ve prepared a checklist of things that clients should provide their designer at the outset. To follow this list will ensure the client and designer are dealing professionally as well as creating an efficient workflow.
Image by kevindooley
Designing for blogs, creating blog themes and building websites with Content Management Systems (CMS) make up probably the fastest growing aspect of web design. The measure of a web designer who is keeping their skills up to date is that they offer at least one of these services.
A good web designer should also have a working knowledge of XHTML and CSS, the fundamentals for quality, standards-based web design. Additionally, it’s expected that they will be able to demonstrate their knowledge and ability via their own website. But how about a blog? Is it necessary when working in the creation of blogs, for a design or developer to be maintaining a blog themselves?
Image by Mr. Kris
Recently I wrote a post about making a bigger impact with your design skills, which provides lots of ideas and avenues for designers to work with charities and non-profit organisations.
Since then I’ve been on the lookout for designers and bloggers who have come up with their own great ideas to generate awareness or fundraising for worthwhile causes, much like James West did earlier this year.
Have you ever thought about how you could use or donate your skills to help the world’s disadvantaged? If you’ve heard about Blog Action Day (October 15), then chances are that you’ve given some thought recently to what contribution you could make to alleviating poverty, by donating money or blogging to raise awareness about the event.
But what if you could use your professional skills or a winning idea to benefit others? It’s great to see that Blog Action Day is already inspiring some great initiatives, and I’m happy to give a shout out to the people behind them.
When I put together the resources for my series on Irresistible Websites, I looked through hundreds of sites, CSS Galleries, designers’ portfolios and blog articles for ideas. This was a whole lot easier than it may sound, because great web design is one of my passions. It was also very gratifying to see all of the traffic that the series generated for my site. I want to thank everyone who visited, subscribed, commented and linked to articles in the series, and indeed on my blog overall in the three months that it’s been in existence.
Moving onto the purpose of this post. One of the things which has struck me over the past few weeks is the number of great articles by fellow designers which similarly feature inspiring website designs. I have put together a list of ten of the best resources published on design blogs in recent months.
What gives a website design energy? The way I see it, a website displays energy if the design is not only well crafted but also generates its own atmosphere. The design elements may be simple (even minimalist) or bursting with detail, but with one aspect in common: they create an ambience based on a sense of location, time or mood. This kind of energy is exciting, and is a great way to round off this series on irresistible websites.
Since the early days of the web, designers have looked for ways to improve on the very flat nature of the medium. Textures are one way to create depth without a site becoming very graphics-heavy. The third part in this series on irresistible websites looks at the use of textures and layering as appealing design features.
What makes a website irresistible? In other words, what visual elements are most successful in enticing the viewer to take a closer look? This post begins a series looking at websites employing striking design techniques to attract visitors.
To better understand the factors at play in the range of sites featured, each post will focus on a particular style or theme. In the very first installment, the theme is Lush: websites which employ rich, detailed arrangements of graphics to showcase their content.
For the next two weeks this website can expect to get among the highest traffic numbers on the planet. It’s the official website for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
Competition schedules, results, video highlights will all be available here, as you’d expect from the online presence for a world-class sporting event (and this is the granddaddy of them all).
The challenge for a major sports website is to meet the demands for real-time information updates and multimedia platforms without breaking the bandwidth. The design must look dynamic and exciting, while accommodating a large amount of content in a limited (screen) space.
Image by ElektraCute
Recently I featured an interview with James West, the designer behind Fifty Designers’ Current Favourite Typefaces which raised money for UNICEF’s appeal for Burma. James’ idea resonated with a notion I’ve had for a little while now, to investigate what avenues exist for designers to use their skills for the greater good. I’ve compiled a list of resources which I hope will provide some inspiration (let me know if they do).
In case it seems like my little corner of the RSS reader has gone quiet in recent times, I want to assure you that it’s not entirely true. My RSS feed is causing some problems; this appears to have been prompted by a new redirect from my RSS URL to Feedburner. I have raised the problem with Feedburner and I am waiting to see if they can offer a solution. Cancelling the redirection doesn’t appear to fix anything, either.