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Sean Hodge is the creative mind behind AiBURN, a weblog about design, creativity, inspiration and graphics.

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Grid-Based Design: Six Creative Column Techniques

Grid systems bring visual structure and balance to site design. As a tool grids are useful for organizing and presenting information. Used properly, they can enhance the user experience by creating predictable patterns for users to follow. From designer's point of view they allow for an organized methodology for planning systematic layouts.

After creating a well-structured and usable grid, consider allowing it to breath. A page without a grid is a usability nightmare. On the other hand, a grid that has creatively overlapping, escaping, or energizing columns leads to a more enjoyable user experience. Discovering or planning areas of the design that will have some freedom will lead to more interesting and appealing design solutions.

We Eatt

Like skyscrapers in city centers, overwhelmingly, columns dominate Web design grids. Once you've mastered the grid as a tool then it's time to get creative with it. Work on establishing a visual rhythm in your design. Then you can step in and break the visual flow for effect. The techniques discussed in the next section present effective ways of getting creative with your columns in grid-based Web design.

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Adobe Fireworks Tutorials and Downloads – Best of

Adobe Fireworks is the industry leader for prototyping and rapid site building. Some of you may not be aware of this, as you may be using Photoshop for each phase of web-site production. The articles, tutorials, and resources gathered here will convince you of the power of this application.

Adobe Fireworks Logo
For rapid prototyping and site layouts Adobe Fireworks is definitely an option worth considering.

Fireworks is an optimal tool for quickly prototyping and building web-sites. It is more intuitive and more light-weight compared to other titans of the industry. It is also included in the Adobe's Creative Suite 3. Below you'll find Fireworks tutorials which will help you to improve your skills and become more efficient when designing web-sites. Hopefully, they'll also help you to produce professional and maintainable results.

You might also want to take a look at the following tutorials round-ups which we've presented in our previous posts:

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Creating A Successful Online Portfolio

Your portfolio is the showcase of your work, your skills and your potential for your future employers. The more time and effort you dedicate for a usable and nice-looking design, the higher are your chances for getting better account balance in the end of the month. So how can you make sure your portfolio is better than the portfolios of your competitors? How can you point employer's attention to your works?

Mathew Robinson Portfolio

Creating a successful portfolio is easier than you think. Focus on simplicity, ease of use, hitting your objectives, professionally managing the project, and you'll end up with a successful portfolio. In this article we'll review 5 pitfalls that commonly plague portfolio design. Then we'll cover Portfolio Tips that if carefully considered and well executed will deliver quality results for your portfolio.

There are some common mistakes designers make in their portfolios. Let's review these common pitfalls first to make sure you don't fall into one of these traps.

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