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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.
This category is supposed to help you break your creativity block by exploring galleries of art, design and photography. It also features showcases of web designs (blogs, portfolios and online-shops) and design elements (navigation menus, search boxes). Different from Showcases, here you will more general and abstract ideas. The section covers galleries of beautiful photography, articles about influential artists and their styles as well as showcases of art and digital art.
The future of the Web is everywhere. The future of the Web is not at your desk. It's not necessarily in your pocket, either. It's everywhere. With each new technological innovation, we continue to become more and more immersed in the Web, connecting the ever-growing layer of information in the virtual world to the real one around us. But rather than get starry-eyed with utopian wonder about this bright future ahead, we should soberly anticipate the massive amount of planning and design work it will require of designers, developers and others.
The gap between technological innovation and its integration in our daily lives is shrinking at a rate much faster than we can keep pace with—consider the number of unique Web applications you signed up for in the past year alone. This has resulted in a very fragmented experience of the Web. While running several different browsers, with all sorts of plug-ins, you might also be running multiple standalone applications to manage feeds, social media accounts and music playlists.
A business card in some cases is the most important marketing piece that a company will have. It has the potential to make or break business deals, and is just as important as the way you present yourself during a first impression. In this post, we will cover some of the basics such as typography, layout, object placement and printing standards when designing a business card.
Before you move too far into a fresh design, printing standards should always be considered. Most printing companies now require files to have appropriate bleeds and margins or your might get an email to upload new files and in some cases, incur extra fees. To correctly set up your design, you need to download or create a template. There are two ways to establish what type of template you are going to use, and that is whether you are going to have image bleed or not. Bleed is the area in which an image runs off the edge of your design. If your image doesn't bleed then your job just got a little easier. Use a 3.5×2 document. If you are using bleeds, then make sure your template is set up with a 1/8" margin outside the printable area. You can download a sample template here.
Geo-location was a hot topic in 2009. With so many applications on GPS-enabled smartphones, more maps than ever were accessible to the average person. But how can Web designers and developers take advantage of an increasingly location-aware user base? This article explores existing trends, conventions and the possible future of interactive maps online.
When most people think of maps on the Internet, Google, MapQuest and TomTom might come to mind. These are the giants in the industry, but they are far from the most creative. These companies provide maps as a service. As you'll see from the mapping applications featured throughout this article, Google doesn't own the market. There is still plenty of room for creative map innovation.
Banner ads, also known as display ads or image ads, are image-based advertisements that are widely popular online. Why are banner ads so popular? They are a cost-effective way to allow advertisers to attractively display their products and services online across an array of websites. Additionally, banner ads allow for increased brand recognition and ad targeting.
Before jumping in and creating multiple banner ads there are a few recommendations to review first. You need to take into consideration the size and position of the advertisement, the context of the ad, the call to action, the file size, and other components. Outlined here are recommendations to help you design suitable ads, effective, and profitable advertisements.
College and university websites have a lot of roles to fill. They need to provide information for prospective students (both new and transfer), parents of students and prospective students, current students, and alumni. In many cases, they're also the gateway to the school's intranet and the public face for both academics and athletics. They often need to include reams of information in a way that makes everything easy to find. It's a huge challenge.
And the truth is: most collge and university websites are horribly designed. Either they look like they were designed fifteen years ago and then forgotten about, or they're so overloaded with information that it's almost impossible to find what you're looking for.
But not every college or university website is horrible. There are some excellent sites out there, and below are some of them. If you know others, please share them in the comments to this post!
While trying to balance the different areas of our life, there are things that we often forget and neglect to do. With today's fast-paced society and the busyness of our every day, we tend to overlook some important things. I would like to remind every designer today about some of these tasks that we often put-off but are so important and necessary to get done.
China is a country with five thousand years of civilization. It is a multi-national entity extending over a large area of East Asia. China's cultural influence extends across the continent, with customs and writing systems adopted by neighboring countries including Japan, Korea and Vietnam.
China has gone through numerous ups and downs and twists and turns, from wealthy and prosperous (as during the Tang Dynasty back in 618–907 AD) to powerless and colonized (as during the Qing Dynasty, just around 100 years ago). Now China is reopening its door to the world again, embracing the latest trends, concepts and technologies, the World Wide Web being one of them.
In our interviews with six well-known designers in China, each of whom wears different hats, the recurring theme was that China's Web design industry is rising like a spiral from imitation to innovation and user-centered design.
Every now and again we showcase fantastic favicons, those tiny pieces of art that you’ll find in your browser’s address bar or when rifling through your bookmarks. These little gems are important because they serve as visual indicators to help visitors easily identify content in their browser. That aside, favicons are just nice to look at, and way too many websites don’t make use of them. We want to change that, which is why we are presenting what is now the ninth episode in our favicons series: a small article with tiny images and fast loading time… for a change. [Content Care Nov/11/2016]
Any picture's merit is debatable. But notice that these favicons were chosen not simply for their beauty and originality; it was important to us also that each fit the overall website design and logo. Pay attention to the details of the design.
All favicons are linked, of course, to the websites from where they were taken (if they still exist). Click on them to get more insight into how favicon design relates to overall layout design. The order here does not indicate any ranking.
Do you remember?.. The first time you played with pieces of modeling clay, melting them in your hands and going deeper and deeper into the colourful plasticine world where your imagination was the only limit. Since the 19th century, when Franz Kolb and William Harbutt independently of each other invented plasticine (modeling clay), it has been used in almost all fields of art: illustration, web design, typography, claymation, installation design.
Plasticine artworks can be found just everywhere: advertisements, book/magazine as well as CD/DVD covers, movies / TV series, music videos, computer / console games, and even web design elements. Below you will find a collection of beautiful plasticine artworks that hopefully will inspire you and give you an idea about how this material can be used in your next design project.
As web designers, we all want to create beautiful websites that get noticed. We want our designs to look great and stand out from among the rest. So how do we get the experience and the skills needed to create amazing designs? In this article, we will let you in on a little secret that can greatly impact your path to becoming a great designer.
Inspiration can be a fickle thing. Most designers, when lacking ideas, turn to design galleries to find ideas. But there are a few problems with that approach. The most obvious is that when taking inspiration from similar mediums, there's a fine line between "inspired by" and "copied". To some extent, looking at established website designs can also be somewhat limiting, especially if you're looking for a fresh solution to a problem. [Links checked March/06/2017]
There are so many things designers could be turning to for inspiration outside of design galleries. We've cataloged a dozen of those places below, along with where you can find inspiration for each of them. Share any other inspirational sources you might have in the comments.
Israel is a young country with an old heart. It has been quickly built up over the last 60 years as an independent democratic Jewish state and is shockingly cutting edge for a country so new.
It is a tiny surreal sliver of land smack dab in the middle of the Middle East: a very European, modern civilization… just programmed to Jewish tradition. Israel has great weather, nice beaches along the Mediterranean sea, fresh and tasty food and a warm and friendly culture. It is home to historic holy sites of the world's three major religions, and buses drive down streets whose stones are older than anything you'll find in Europe.
It feels as if Israel has one foot in Silicon Valley and the other in ancient Canaan — with an undercurrent of Middle Eastern hospitality and culture in this already multi-cultural society. And yet, English is commonly spoken here because many Jews from all over the world immigrate here regularly (not to mention the thousands of tourists from around the globe who pour in for sun, falafel, nightlife and a dash of biblical archaeology.) In some areas, you hear as much Spanish, French, Russian and English on the streets as Hebrew.
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