Keeping a Creative Journal

I’m going to share one of the most important tools I have used for my work over many years: a journal of creative ideas. Keeping this journal is a habit I am glad to have developed early in my life; for me it has been a useful and rewarding form of professional development.

Design Inspiration: Pattern-Style Drawings & Busy Illustrations

The crossover between line illustrations and patterns is a trend that’s been developing for a few years. It’s playful, and frequently naive in style. What’s especially interesting is how this style of illustration is successfully being applied across a broad range of design media, from murals and wallpaper to packaging, from t-shirt designs to the […]

What design really sticks in your mind?

image by VoxEfx When was the last time you saw a piece of design which really ‘clicked': where, for whatever reason, you felt such a connection that a little photographic impression of it has been etched inside your brain ever since? Have you even realised it was happening? I recently discovered that those questions can […]

How twitter broadens my horizons

Like many designers, I gain lots of inspiration (large volumes of it, in fact) by going online and looking at the work of others. There are plenty of websites set up to showcase design, but I’m finding that one of the nicest ways to come across great work is through twitter. When I joined twitter, […]

More Fantastic Illustration Resources

Learning how to draw, from the basics to the finer points of illustration, is a popular activity which brings a lot of people online searching for as much information as they can find. A few months ago I wrote about some great drawing tutorial sites I had found, and that post continues to send a […]

Fundamentals of good design: Colour schemes

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 […]

Design blogs making an impact

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 […]

Irresistible Websites Part Four: Energy

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 […]

Irresistible Websites Part Three: Textures

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 […]

Irresistible Websites Part Two: Playful Sites

When it comes to web style, playful is very, very popular. Cartoonish vector landscapes, cuter-than-cute site mascots and retro typography are popping up all over the place. And it’s not only the designers who are having fun: Flash and Javascript, when used well, can also create an interactive space which compels you to keep clicking.

Irresistible Websites: Part One

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 […]

Making a bigger impact with your design skills

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. […]

Interview: Fifty Designers’ Current Favourite Typefaces

James West is a UK designer who earlier this year produced the booklet Fifty Designers’ Current Favourite Typefaces to raise money for people left homeless and starving in Burma in the wake of a devastating cyclone. Fifty of the world’s biggest names in graphic design agreed to take part. To James’ complete surprise, the booklets […]

10 seamless website designs

One of the challenges in designing websites is to create a layout which takes into account all the different screen sizes at which it may be viewed. Some websites use fluid layouts (where sections of content will automatically resize to fit the screen dimensions) to get around this. Not all designers want to work with […]