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Smashing Conf Barcelona

You know, we use ad-blockers as well. We gotta keep those servers running though. Did you know that we publish useful books and run friendly conferences — crafted for pros like yourself? E.g. our upcoming SmashingConf Barcelona, dedicated to smart front-end techniques and design patterns.

Author:

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.

Twitter: Follow Steven Snell on Twitter

100 Beautiful Free Textures For Your Design

Use of texture in Web design is extremely common. Part of the reason textures are so useful to designers is the relative ease of the integrating one into a design if a high-quality textured image already exists, not to mention the endless possibilities. Fortunately, plenty of photographers and designers are willing to share their work with the rest of us so that we can use them in a number of different ways.

Modern Texture

In this post, we'll look at 100 different textures in a wide variety of different categories. Of course, each image is linked to the source where it can be downloaded. As with any type of freebie, be sure to read the terms and conditions or stipulations by the owner before using it in your work.

For more on textures see:

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Clear And Effective Communication In Web Design

Communication is one of the foundational elements of a good website. It is essential for a positive user experience and for a successful website that truly benefits its owners. All types of websites are affected by the need for good communication in one way or another. Regardless of whether the website in question is an e-commerce website, a blog, a portfolio website, an information website for a service company, a government website or any other type of website, there is a significant need to communicate effectively with visitors.

Because of the significance of communication with visitors, it is an essential consideration for every designer and website owner and the responsibility of both. Unfortunately, communication is sometimes overlooked and takes a backseat to the visual attractiveness of a website. Ideally, the design and other elements that do the communicating work together to create a clear, unified message to visitors. [Content Care Nov/29/2016]

Umbrella Today?

In this article, we'll take a broad look at the subject of clear communication in Web design. We'll start with a discussion of the primary methods of communication for websites and typical challenges that designers face. From there, we'll move on to look at what specifically should be communicated to visitors and tips for implementing this in your own work. At the end, we'll look at some of the goals that should be established in terms of communication when developing websites, as well as some of the results of having a website that communicates effectively.

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Colors In Corporate Branding And Design

Color is a major consideration in any Web design. Whether for an individual, small company, or major corporation, color scheme is one of the most significant factors in the overall look and appearance of a website. In some cases, the designer may have the sole discretion in making color choices, but many times a color scheme has already been established and needs to be followed. In situations where a company already has a strong brand, color usage for the website can either build or take away from this. [Content Care Nov/25/2016]

Best Buy

In this article, we'll take a look at the impact that website color schemes have on the overall branding of a company, and we'll also look at plenty of examples. We won't be going into the subjects of color choices for branding or the psychology of colors, but rather we'll look at established companies to see if the colors in their website branding are consistent with the rest of their marketing.

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35 Free High-Quality E-Commerce Templates

For website owners who are evaluating e-commerce solutions, there are several good options for powering websites and shopping carts. Regardless of which option you chose, deciding on a design brings with it even more decisions to make. Of course, a custom design is always an option, but for those who want to keep costs down, templates are a popular choice. Premium e-commerce themes are easy to find, but they can be expensive. Free e-commerce templates are difficult to find, and quality free templates are even harder to find.

Screenshot

We've done the research for you, and in this post we present 35 of the highest-quality free e-commerce templates available. There are templates specifically for WordPress, Prestashop, osCommerce, Magento, Zen Cart, CubeCart, and CRE Loaded, as well as a number of general e-commerce templates. Please notice that these templates aren't intended to be used 1:1, but should rather be used as a skeleton for your own shop and hence saves a lot of work, because otherwise you would have to start from scratch.

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The Ultimate Collection Of [Free] Vector Packs

Designers love freebies that make life easier and help them create higher-quality work. Free vectors are useful, free vector packs even more so. Fortunately, there are plenty of talented graphic designers who are willing to give away their work (or samples of it) to benefit the rest of us. In this post, we feature 60 of the best and most useful free vector packs. [Content Care Nov/25/2016]

Live Music Vectors

Many of the vectors featured here would be useful for particular styles of design and specific types of websites. Take a few moments to browse through them, and you may find something that's perfect for a current or upcoming project. Before you use any of the freebies, be sure to check the license designated by the creator to stay within the stated guidelines.

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Textures In Modern Web Design

If you look around at well-designed websites in CSS galleries or any other source of design inspiration, you'll see that texture is extremely common in modern Web design. One of the reasons it's so popular is because of its versatility. Textures can be used in countless different ways and in a wide variety of design styles. As you look around, you'll see how textures can be used in so many different ways by Web designers. [Content Care Nov/30/2016]

Jobs on the Wall

Textures in Web design can be very subtle, so that the visitor hardly notices, or they can be a focal point of the design. In some cases, textures are used to emphasize certain parts of the design. Because of the versatility of textures, they can be used in combination with many other design elements, such as typography, lighting and colors.

When examining exemplary Web designs that employ textures, you'll notice that textures are used in background images, headers, footers, sidebars, content areas and even fonts. Although texture is sometimes associated with a grunge style of design, its reach extends far beyond just grungy websites. Texture adds dimension to virtually any style of design, if applied properly. In this post, we'll look at 50 examples of websites that use textures in different ways.

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The Ultimate Collection Of Custom Photoshop Shapes

Photoshop users are able to benefit from the vast amount of high-quality resources that are freely available to the community. Brushes get a lot of attention, but custom shapes are also extremely useful in the right situations. Finding a custom shape that has already been created can save you some time and headaches in your design, and fortunately there is a very wide variety of custom shapes available. [Content Care Oct/31/2016]

Screenshot

This post highlights 80 different sets of custom shapes (over 2,500 individual shapes) in several different categories. If you plan to download and use any of these shapes be sure to check to terms and conditions set by the creator of the shapes.

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Online Advertising And Its Impact On Web Design

In recent years, advertising has become a major revenue source for many websites. Not too long ago, online ads were often met with disapproval from visitors, and advertisers were unsure about their value or effectiveness. Today, most visitors have come to expect ads on commercial websites, and advertisers have recognized the potential of various online ad opportunities. Ads have long been a part of print publications, such as magazines and newspapers, and now they essentially have the same role in online periodicals and publications. [Content Care Nov/09/2016]

Screenshot

Although advertising is a concern for website owners and those pushing products or services, it is also has an impact on Web designers, because they have to be able to design and develop websites that can produce ad revenue and still meet the needs of visitors. Clients with websites that depend on ad revenue need a design that provides the necessary screen space and a proper layout for selling ads, and advertisers need placement that will get them the exposure they seek.

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Newspaper Website Design: Trends And Examples

News websites can be intriguing to examine from a design perspective. Regardless of what type of news they cover, they all face the challenge of displaying a huge amount of content on the home page, which creates plenty of layout, usability and navigational challenges for the designer. The lessons that can be learned from examining how news websites address these challenges can be valuable for designers who work with other types of websites, including ones with blog theme designs. [Content Care Nov/10/2016]

NY Times

Monetization is also a major factor for news websites, and it’s interesting to see how they integrate advertisements in the design. In some cases, the ads are somewhat intrusive or excessive, but most news websites are able to use ads without turning readers away, in part because of the content that’s available.

For the purposes of this article, the term “newspaper website” refers to any news-related website that has the editorial focus of an online periodical. Many of the websites mentioned here are the online versions of major newspapers, but others are standard news websites and some blur the line between news website and blog.

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24 Excellent AJAX Tutorials

AJAX provides Web developers with plenty of opportunities to enhance the user experience and improve the performance of their websites. There are countless ways that AJAX can be used, and fortunately there are plenty of good and useful AJAX tutorials out there to help you with your own implementation. [Content Care Oct/28/2016]

AJAX

This post serves as a collection of useful tutorials on working with AJAX in a wide variety of ways. You’ll find tutorials on working with forms, building shopping carts, creating chat features, working with log-ins and usernames and much more.

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50 Photoshop Tutorials For Sky and Space Effects

Humans have always had an infatuation with the air above us and the space around our planet. With Adobe Photoshop we can create new images or enhance existing photos to include the sky and space as a backdrop. There is virtually no limit to what can be done with some Photoshop skills and a bit of creativity. [Content Care Nov/27/2016]

Awesome space effect

As you will see from the tutorials featured here, some of the most entertaining and practical Adobe Photoshop creations and manipulations deal with the sky and space. Whether you are looking to make adjustments to the sky in the background of a photo or if you want to create an exploding space scene from scratch, Photoshop can meet your needs.

From this collection of tutorials you'll learn all kinds of tricks that can be applied to your own work. Some of them are ideal for realistic photo manipulation and others are more suited for fun and experimentation. Take some time and explore the possibilities when working with the sky and space.

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