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This category features articles on general design principles, Web design, typography, user interface design and related topics. It also presents design showcases and practical pieces on the business side of design. Curated by Alma Hoffmann.
With the lovely weather we've been having here in Belgium, all of my senses actively engage when I'm riding my bike. I find myself picking up colorful sceneries while the smell of fragrant flowers and the birds' singing somehow doesn't manage to escape me. Oh yes, it's Summer alright!
Not sure about you, but this is the period when I usually feel most inspired, probably, because I'm spending way more time outside. After all, nature is where I find most of my inspiration as it sets my mind free and I feel at ease. Hopefully, you're enjoying some sunny days, too. Give yourself a moment of repose. Sit back, relax, have a refreshing drink and let the stream of inspiration come in.
As designers, we often use imagery that resonates with our audience. Yet, often we also end up with stock photos and generic icons that come across as mere decoration. Or we bypass imagery altogether. But custom images are a powerful design tool. They can tell a story and convey a distinct personality.
Custom illustrations can be especially impactful. They can make our audience feel personally connected to an app or website, while being an integral part of the design.
Editor's Note: In the world of web design, we tend to become preoccupied with the here and now. In "Resilient Web Design", Jeremy Keith emphasizes the importance of learning from the past in order to better prepare ourselves for the future. So, perhaps we should stop and think more beyond our present moment? The following is an excerpt from Jeremy's web book.
Design adds clarity. Using colour, typography, hierarchy, contrast, and all the other tools at their disposal, designers can take an unordered jumble of information and turn it into something that’s easy to use and pleasurable to behold. Like life itself, design can win a small victory against the entropy of the universe, creating pockets of order from the raw materials of chaos.
The Book of Kells is a beautifully illustrated manuscript created over 1200 years ago. It’s tempting to call it a work of art, but it is a work of design. The purpose of the book is to communicate a message; the gospels of the Christian religion. Through the use of illustration and calligraphy, that message is conveyed in an inviting context, making it pleasing to behold.
Sometimes we tend to think of our designs as if they are pieces of art. But if we think of them this way, it means they won’t be ready to face the uncertain conditions of the “real world.” However, there is also beauty in designing an interface that is ready for changes — and, let’s admit it, interfaces do change, all the time.
One of the things I like most about designing a mobile app is that, from the initial concepts to the time when you are fine-tuning and polishing all of the interface details, this is a process with many steps.
It's almost time to leave winter behind us here in the Northern Hemisphere. Most of the time, the weather can't quite make up its mind, and so the days pass by with half of the sky sunny while the other half gray. Nature usually tends to have a strong impact on my mood, and so these days I feel like I'm literally in a gray zone — between winter and spring.
I'm not sure about you, but with springtime lurking around the corner, my need for extra inspiration is even bigger. So, I hope that this month's set will give you just that spark you need to cheer you up and boost your creativity.
Typography is a primary element of composition. Being a designer, I pay a lot of attention to its quality. Operating Photoshop is easy for me; however, to level up my skills, I am always learning to work with letters, using my hands, without any computer programs.
The first time I took a calligraphy course was about a year ago, and the decision was quite hard. I was sure that it would be painstaking and that I would need excellent handwriting to learn this art. How mistaken I was!
If it's still snowy where you live, then you're probably tired of the cold weather by now. Winter may be in full swing but that shouldn't stop us from hunting for inspiration. While the gray days always seem to find a way to make us more and more anxious for springtime to finally arrive, it's also a time we can use to reflect on our work and perhaps better decide what it is that we hope to improve or change in the next months.
Believe it or not, some of these photographs and illustrations are the starting point of a design that I create. They are the spark that sets the process of creation in motion. It doesn't take much; it can be any part of an element that catches my eye, be it a particular color, style, texture, or anything really. You'll find a bit of everything in today's selection: Architecture, colors, some of the best photographs from 2016, and more. I hope you'll like my playground! ;)
When I first visited Paris, it took me a while to get oriented and put together a route using the official map of the Paris metro. That’s all it took to spark the flame inside me to redraw it according to an entirely different set of principles. The goal was extremely ambitious, but why not try?
In this article, I will attempt to describe the principal solutions involved in the development of my own version of the Paris metro map. But for a moment, I’ll just jump ahead to the result.
Color is arguably the second most important aspect of your app, after functionality. The human to computer interaction is heavily based on interacting with graphical UI elements, and color plays a critical role in this interaction.
It helps users see and interpret your app's content, interact with the correct elements, and understand actions. Every app has a color scheme, and it uses the primary colors for its main areas.
As the saying goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words." Human beings are highly visual creatures who are able to process visual information almost instantly; 90 percent of all information that we perceive and that gets transmitted to our brains is visual.
Images can be a powerful way to capture users' attention and differentiate your product. A single image can convey more to the observer than an elaborate block of text. Furthermore, images can cross language barriers in a way text simply can't.
Many people find it difficult to get their minds back into work after a holiday season filled with love, food, and friends. May 2017 bring you a healthy and inspiring adventure. As for that kick-start inspiration, I hope this article will help get you back in the creative mindset.
The above illustration has a style that I'm sure everyone will admire. The combination of colors used is simply marvelous — so simple, yet so complex.
The blank Photoshop document glows in front of you. You've been trying to design a website for an hour but it's going nowhere. You feel defeated. You were in this same predicament last month when you couldn't design a website for a project at work. As a developer, you just feel out of your element pushing pixels around.
How do designers do it? Do they just mess around in Photoshop or Sketch for a while until a pretty design appears? Can developers who are used to working within the logical constructs of Boolean logic and number theory master the seemingly arbitrary rules of design?