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Smashing Conf Barcelona

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Category: Designinformer

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How To Become a Better Reader

There are literally dozens of articles online about how to write better articles, but I've never come across one with tips on being a better reader. This is a shame, because it's not all about the writer; for every writer of a Web design blog, there are 10,000 readers. So for something a little different, here are six tips for you to bear in mind the next time you're reading something online.

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Why Intellectual Property Rights Are So Important

Intellectual property rights are often confusing and sometimes the topic of heated debates. There are those who question the worth of creative products and projects, claiming design and art are something anyone can do, regardless of training, experience, or any inherent ability. As creatives, a deterioration of intellectual property rights is a dangerous possibility. By going public with our work, we have no recourse to prevent others from using our designs, our photos, or our other artwork without paying us or even offering proper credit.

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Increasing Innovation With Hack Nights

If you work at an agency or design house, chances are that most of your time is spent working on client projects. After months of bending over backwards to meet your clients’ demands, work may start to get a little stale. At this point, it’s okay to become a little selfish and ask yourself: “When was the last time that we have done something for ourselves?”

Seriously. When was the last time that an idea was expressed that interested everyone within earshot? When was the last time that the thought of a side project made you excited? If you can’t remember when that last time was, or worse, you have never taken part in a company side project… well, you might have a little problem.

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The Process Behind Good Illustration (Part 3)

In Part II I started a list of some personal process-oriented thoughts on illustration—more specifically about some ways to help broaden the creative process and make its execution more effective. In this Part III, I'll wrap up the list in the same vein as Part II's, with a few more of my thoughts on the subject.

Once again, while I hope these tips strike the right chord with readers from all creative fields and levels, I share them partially because many of them are still so freshly new in my head, and I can recall vividly their having planted themselves there during my time as a student. That said, there's plenty more learning to be done on my end as well, and I invite you to share your responses and your own additions to the list in the comments, no matter what corner of the creative world you are from.

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The Process Behind Good Illustration (Part 2)

In Part I we skimmed the surface on a few points regarding when an image becomes an illustration. But, of course, this knowledge isn't very useful if we don’t know how to apply it to our work when the pencil hits the paper! Or, stylus hits the tablet, whatever it is you do.

In this second part of the article, I'd like to share some of these practices that have been invaluable to me as an illustration student, and ones that I will carry with me for a long time to come.

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10 Ways To Beef Up Your Website’s Security

Hacker attacks across the web are getting more sophisticated every day – after all, they have to. With the increased sophistication of anti-virus protection, firewalls, and application-based updates, hackers who want to stay in business have needed to get more creative. And they have, responding with increasingly sophisticated attacks that have forced the online security industry to scramble to keep up.

So how do the hackers stay ahead of the security experts? One reason is obvious – if they didn't, they'd be out of a job. Another reason is institutional – a lone hacker working in a basement will be more innovative and faster moving than a large software company, thus more likely to come up with effective hacks.

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My Favorite Free Icon Sets

I've been receiving a few emails lately asking me for some of the web design resources that I personally use. Well, I'd like to start sharing my resources with our readers so today, I've gathered up a collection of the icon sets that I have personally downloaded and use on a daily basis.

One thing that I've emphasized before is to have a collection of resources at your disposal. There are a lot of different icons out there and choosing which ones to download and save in your resources can be difficult. I used to just be download happy and download every icon set that I found and I found that to be very ineffective as I would still end up having to sort through hundreds of folders looking for the right icons.

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The Process Behind Good Illustration (Part 1)

“Art” is something philosophers have spent centuries trying to define, sadly with no satisfactory result (a debate that is far beyond the scope of this article). But illustration, while it covers a broad range of image-making, does have very distinct meanings, and it is very different from just artwork. [Links checked March/10/2017]

In this two-part article, I’d like to share some tenets behind what I think good illustration is, and what I learned about the process and technique behind how to execute it. Hopefully some fellow aspiring illustrators out there will find some of these helpful — or maybe even identify with some as part of their own process, too!

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Insights Into the Running of a Design Business

When I left my job almost 2 years ago to start my own graphic design business, there were a few, let’s say, surprises. The biggest of which was that the majority of my time was being spent running the business, and not actually designing. It is quite difficult to put a number to it, but as a rough guess, I spend around 30% of my time designing. The remaining 70% is spent on other activities such as; advertising, sending emails, tracking expenses, invoicing clients, having phone conversations, writing articles, solving problems, etc.

Being a self-employed graphic designer can be quite a juggling act. If you are unprepared for the task of actually running a business, your dreams of success can quickly fall by the wayside. To be a successful self-employed designer, you need to be much more than a great designer. You also need to be a savvy business person. In this article, I will discuss some of the non-design related tasks that a self-employed designer faces. I will also offer you a few tips to help you run a more efficient and effective design business.

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Awesome Mother’s Day Designs

It's been a while since I've posted an inspiration post and I thought I would do one today. Well, I have something special for this post. As we all know, today is Mother's Day (in the US, not sure about other countries). Mother's Day happens once a year and it's a day when we celebrate and recognize mothers and motherhood in general. In this post, I've gathered up some awesome Mother's Day designs for your viewing pleasure.

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CSS Posters

I've always stressed the importance of practice and experimentation. If you want to get better at something or if you want to learn something, you have to keep on doing it over and over again. This is very true with web design as well. We've even published an article here on Design Informer about the benefits of experimentation.

I'm very busy as I work a full-time 9-6 job as a web designer, then I go home and work on Design Informer, soon to be Coding Informer, and I also do a variety of freelance work. With all these on my plate, it's very hard to find time to relax, open up Photoshop and design, or open up Dreamweaver (code view of course) and just mess around with some code.

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7 Tips for Your Design Job Interview

I'm not the best web designer or graphic designer out there and I don't claim to be, but I do have experience in getting jobs in the industry. I've worked for all kinds of companies since graduating from high school. I've worked as a web designer, graphic designer, and also a front-end developer. In this article, I'd like to share with you some pointers that have helped me in my job interviews.

I've noticed that a lot of people struggle with this area of the job interview. Considering you have the experience and the skill for the job, then the job interview should be something that you look forward to. It should be something that you are confident in, and it should be something that you don't shy away from. You can be the most talented web designer out there, but if you don't do well in your job interview, it can cause you to lose out on that excellent position that you have always wanted. So let's get started. I'd like to give you 7 important pointers to help you on your next job interview.

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