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Steven Snell is a Web designer and blogger. In addition to maintaining his own blog and writing for a number of other top design blogs, he also manages an online shop that offers premium graphic design resources.

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Group Interview: Expert Advice For Students and Young Web Designers

Our readers have requested that Smashing Magazine conduct an interview with industry leaders on issues that are relevant to students and those just starting off in their design career. With the help of our panel of 16 designers, we'll dispense advice that should help new designers get their career off to a promising start. We've asked a few different questions to each of the designers; you'll see all of their responses below.

laptop

For students who aspire to work in design, what would you recommend they study? David Leggett suggests: "Finding a good university-level design program that interests you will greatly increase your chance of finding awesome opportunities down the road, but it’s very beneficial to get experience before and outside of the education system. Find projects to help with, start your own, read up and apply as much as you can as you’re learning on the side. The extra experience will never hurt, and at the very least you’ll get to see if design is something you really enjoy."

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Showcase of Case Studies in Design Portfolios

Portfolio websites are critical for designers who want to get exposure for their work and attract new clients. While all portfolio sites will showcase the work of the designer, some have chosen to provide additional information about the project through case studies.

In this post we will be featuring more than 30 portfolio sites to show how they are using case studies from their own design projects to communicate with potential clients. Not all of them are referred to as "case studies" on the site, but all provide much more information than just giving a screenshot with the client's name.

Keystone Design Union

If you are considering ways to make your existing work more relevant or appealing to visitors who may be potential clients, providing case studies is one option. Take a look at the sites featured here and you may come up with some ideas of how they could be used on your own site.

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Showcase of Government and Political Websites

Government websites are generally considered to be boring and unattractive in terms of design. While this may be true of the majority of government websites, there are some notable exceptions. In this post we will feature some of the best websites from government agencies and from politicians involved in government. This represents a small sample showing the most appealing sites, although there are hundreds and thousands of different government sites in existence from many countries (a report from 2008 revealed that there may be as many as 2,500 government sites from the UK alone).

The White House

Regardless of whether a site uses an attractive design or not, government and political sites typically will contain large amounts of information, and that content must be the priority if the site is to effectively serve its purpose. Some government sites serve as portals that direct visitors in different directions in order to help the find the sites of specific agencies or entities that will include the information that they need. Other sites serve a specific purpose, such as providing information about a museum, a park, or an exhibit. Of course, politicians and political parties also have their own websites to spread their messages, communicate with their party members, and to help find new supporters.

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Showcase of Fresh and Well-Designed Online Shops

E-Commerce websites are often thought of as typically being unattractive or poorly designed. In this post we will feature 35 appealing designs of online shops. Those featured in this post include examples from a variety of different industries and showcase several different styles of design.

Madsen Cycles

Throughout this showcase the most noticeable trend of well-designed e-commerce sites is the use of high-quality photos. Many of the sites use large images on the homepage, and product and model photography is always important for creating interest from visitors.

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TV Show Web Designs: Trends and Examples

Looking at websites from major industries that involve various forms of media can be interesting practice. In the past we have showcased websites from movies and from musicians on the Billboard charts, and today we'll feature the websites of more than 50 TV shows.

The websites of TV shows are intended to generate interest in the show to improve ratings, and to provide information about the show (and sometimes past episodes) for those people who are already fans of the show. To accomplish this they attempt to create an attractive, interactive website that appeals to visitors.

Californication

As you browse through the sites that are featured in this showcase, here are some of the trends that you may notice. Many, but not all, websites of TV shows are located on the networks domain. This helps to unify the websites of the various shows on the network and can even help visitors of the site to remember what network a particular show is on.

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Corporate Blog Design: Trends And Examples

With tens of millions of blogs online today, major corporations have started to recognize the value of a corporate blog for communicating with customers. However, corporate blogging is far different than the more traditional blogging that most of us encounter on a daily basis. Corporate blogging brings its own unique set of challenges and opportunities that must be considered and addressed by the company in order for its users to have a positive experience.

Best Buy

In this article we’ll examine the issues that face corporate blogs, we’ll observe some current trends, and we’ll look at a large sample of blogs from companies of various sizes in a wide variety of industries.

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Beautiful Hand Drawn Typography

Beautiful and creative typography can come in a variety of different forms. Hand drawn typography can be an excellent source of inspiration for graphic designers and typography lovers. In this post we will feature 40 creations that use hand drawn type. Some have been created completely by hand. Others have been sketched and scanned into Photoshop or Illustrator. Another option is to use fonts that create a hand drawn effect.

Hand Drawn Typography

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