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Category: Inspiration

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.

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Informative And Usable Footers In Web Design

Website designs have so many different elements that work together to convey information in a usable and organized manner. For a website to be effective, every element on the page, from the header to the footer, needs to add to its overall usability and readability.

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In this article, we'll take a look at the footer and see what exactly makes for a good website footer. Keep in mind that just because the footer is at the bottom of the page doesn't mean you should slack off with good design practice.

We'll look here at what to include in footers, the importance of site maps, usability practices and styling ideas and trends. We've also compiled almost 50 well-designed footers to give you ideas and inspiration for your own footer designs.

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60 Rare and Unusual Vintage Signs

In the U.S., most outdoor signs made between 1890 and and 1950 were constructed of a base of heavy rolled iron, which was die cut into the desired shape, then coated with layers of colored powdered glass and fired in a kiln. This process made them durable and weather-resistant. Signs made this way were known as porcelain enamel signs or simply enamel signs. [Links checked February/10/2017]

Whistle Soda

Porcelain enamel signs originated in Germany and were imported into the U.S. They quickly became a staple of outdoor advertising across the country. Around 1900, designers experimented with bold colors and graphics on the signs and they were used to advertise everything from cigarettes and beer to farm equipment and tires. Early designs were stenciled, but American designers switched to silkscreens and started using a steel base instead of iron. Later, when porcelain enamel became too costly, tin bases were used instead of steel.

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Effective Website Maintenance: Examples and Best Practices

Every website has to perform maintenance at some point or another. Whether it's just to upgrade a portion of the site or because of some problem with the site, it's an inevitable fact of website ownership. And in many cases, maintenance requires taking your site offline for at least a few minutes. [Content Care Dec/20/2016]

Maintenance Page Screenshot

So what should you do if your site is going to be down for maintenance? You don't want users coming to a 404 or other error page. And hopefully you'd like to encourage them to come back to your site sooner rather than later, right? If that's the case, you'll need to build a custom maintenance page. Below we present a list of best practices to building effective maintenance pages that will help keep your visitors, whether new or returning, happy.

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50 Beautiful Flash Websites

Flash enabled designers and developers to deliver rich content over the browsers, creating motion, interactivity and an impressive visual experience. Good Flash-sites do not require too much bandwidth, load fast and allow for a smooth interaction; besides, beautiful Flash-based sites are Photoshop masterpieces, transporting some kind of reality and fantasy to the Flash movie.

Hewlett-Packard - Wake up your feelings with the power of touch

In the showcase below we present 50 colorful, creative, interactive and beautiful Flash-based web-sites. Hopefully they will serve you as an inspiration for your future works or just entertain you on a lousy, boring Sunday.

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Modal Windows In Modern Web Design

Web design is essentially the organization of information into a readable, usable, functional and accessible format. Good organization of content is crucial, and you need a strong layout that you can build a website upon. You can use numerous interface elements and structures to organize content, such as jQuery-based content sliders and modal windows, which are basically windows that float above the page.

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The modal window has many advantages. For example, when a modal window contains a smaller element, the user doesn't need to load an entirely new page just to access it (another way to achieve the same effect is e.g. by using AJAX-based tabs). By providing modal windows, you improve the usability of your website. Having to load pages over and over will annoy most users, so avoiding that is definitely a good thing. Modal windows also allow you to save space by getting rid of large elements that don't need to be on the main page. For example, rather than putting a full video on a page, you can just provide a link, thumbnail or button of some sort.

In this article, we'll go over best practices and trends for working with and building modal windows. We'll also provide numerous examples of well-constructed modal windows and a few scripts to get you started with building them.

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67 Gorgeous Examples of Floral Typography

Floral typography is the technique that combines typography, calligraphy and lettering to create dynamic, "flourishing" designs. With the help of floral elements you can create very tempting and vivid artworks in which the typography seems to be shaped by plants and flowers. In this way you can convey your message in a very artistic way. In fact, various floral ornaments – which are the essential component of floral typography – can make the design stand out and help the artist to create inspiring, refreshing and thought-provoking pieces of art.

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Below you'll find a beautiful collection of floral typography and also some outstanding tutorials that will help you to master the technique or at least get some understanding of how this technique can be used. Please feel free to explore the further works of the artists presented below as well.

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Business Card Design: Better Than A Plain Ol’ Business Card

Going to web conferences is a great opportunity to make new contacts and exchange business cards. Unfortunately, we have an industry filled with creative people who have no creative marketing for themselves. Sure, many have business cards, but one in a hundred have something really cool. These unique treasures, cards, items etc. get kept, talked about and usually photographed and shared. This post is an inspiration for all you creatives to step up your game, either by getting things made or by making them yourselves.

A note of warning though: interesting promotional materials almost always cost more per unit than a white business card or require a lot of prep work, so you're often going to have a limited quantity. Pick the people you give these treasures to wisely. Those people will feel more important for getting a limited edition, and you don't run the risk of spending an absolute fortune (in time or money) producing mass quantities!

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Non Profit Website Design: Examples and Best Practices

Non profit websites share many of the same best practices as any website. They need to be user friendly, easily navigable, and use appropriate fonts, colors, and other design elements. But often a non profit website needs to offer more than your typical corporate site.

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A non profit's website needs to make it easy to find out more about their cause, to donate money, and to become more involved. It needs to make it easy for media contacts to find the information they need and the contact information of key personnel. And it needs to do all this in a way that's inviting to the organization's targeted donors and/or volunteers.

Below are a list of best practices for designing non profit websites followed by some examples of non profit websites that are getting things right.

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100 Obscure and Remarkable CD Covers

While recording artists and bands are busy recording their albums, a separate effort is usually being made behind the scenes to plan for the launch, promotion and circulation of the new tracks. The creation of CD cover art is an intergral part of this process. [Links checked February/10/2017]

Some CD covers feature heavily edited and airbrushed vanity photos of the musicians or recording artists. Thankfully, others are much more creative and work to create a cover image that reflects the mood, attitude or feel of the music it promotes. The most striking designs are those that capture both a buyer's attention and the essense of the music.

Rush - Power Windows

The CD cover art designs and concepts featured in this showcase present dramatic, quirky, unusual or unique artwork. This type of cover art can make a big difference when a little-known band releases an album. Captivating or iconic cover art can make a band instantly recognizable, which increases sales, which in turn boosts airplay and subsequently demand for the music. Mainstream marketing is rarely this attractive, and the wide variety of beautiful CD cover art makes browsing CDs an enjoyable experience that reaches far beyond the music.

It must be noted that a collection of this nature is never complete, and the value of art is very personal and subjective. While we may love the familiar cover art of some classic favourites because we love the bands and the music, a critical look at the cover art can often be a disappointment. For the purposes of this cross-section of remarkable and obscure cd cover art we have chosen to ignore the musical genius of the albums in favor of showcasing brilliant cover art.

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Drawing Inspiration From Music

Instead of getting into the heads of successful designers, we should be getting into the head of the audience we're designing for. There are many ways this can be done, one of which is music. Relying on senses other than your vision can evoke a greater comprehension for what feeling must be conveyed through a design.

Peter and the Wolf

In my early years as a student, I had a difficult time adjusting to the thought process of a designer. I'm a hands-on learner, and developing design ideas is more of an abstract art. Being able to recognize a good design versus a bad design was never the problem, but creating unique designs was for me much like an artist trying to draw purely from memory that doesn't have that capacity. For a couple of years I treated design as purely an art, simply because I lacked guidance in this area and didn't know any better, hitting the ground running with a project without methodically seeking out inspiration appropriate for the task at hand.

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35 Examples Of Masterful Lighting Effects In Web Design

Using a light source the right way can add dimension and beauty to a website design. Strong light sources create a stark contrast between light areas and shadows in a design, making the elements look more realistic and dimensional and less flat. Some websites opt instead for a dim light source to create a soft glow around particular areas of the website, to attract the eye more subtly.

campcreativegroup.com

Lighting can also create a mood for a website. Some websites use bright swirls of light to show energy, while others use a dim glow to create a peaceful mood. In the examples below, you will see a wide range of lighting effects used, from subtle lighting effects to bold rays of light streaking across the page.

You can learn how to better use light and shadow to polish your page designs and make them stand out on the screen in our recent article 5 Simple Tricks To Bring Light and Shadow Into Your Designs.

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Captivating Winery Websites For Your Inspiration

From the Napa Wineries in California to the vineyards of Australia and France, the beautiful designs of these wine maker's websites embody the spirit of the vine. Trends for winery websites have been leaning towards a dynamic Flash introduction, animation and beautiful graphics, which would give the best representation of the products for the target market.

Captivating Winery Websites For Your Inspiration

Unfortunately, winery sites strongly focus on the visual design, while best usability practices are often ignored. For instance, some web-sites do not offer a search functionality and use hardly readable content (and the size of the text can not be increased, because the text is embedded into a Flash-animation). Besides, since many sites are Flash-based, it's also impossible to bookmark a specific page, although (in general) it can be achieved in Flash).

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