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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.
They say the first bite is taken with the eye. If so, these appetizing restaurant websites succeed in whetting our appetites, inviting us to a savoury next bite. In these designs, color scheme and introductory copy show vastly different aspects of the restaurant experience. Moody warm tones create atmosphere, vibrant greens underscore freshness, and earthy colors communicate a relaxed, friendly attitude.
Because customers are increasingly using mobile browsers to make decisions on the spot, restaurant websites are doing a better job of communicating core information quickly. Similarly, full Flash websites with no mobile alternatives are seeing some decline. Especially interesting is how these businesses are improving their online menus by replacing PDF-only downloads with Web-optimized alternatives that are more readable and easier to navigate.
What do corporate websites have in common with other people's children? Three things: they have their charm, like finger-paintings on the refrigerator; they can be useful, if infrequently; they are usually admired only by the people who created them. [Content Care Dec/22/2016]
While designers know that a user's experience on a website has a large impact on the way that customer will interact with them, impressing that concept on the corporate establishment has taken a very long time. Trends in design are making their way into corporate web, albeit slowly; with patience and a little luck, businesses will soon start to consider carefully coded and appropriately functional design as important as their mission statement and recent sustainability reports.
One unfortunate fact is evident above all else: despite having plenty of money at their disposal, many corporations are lost in sterile MS Word-esque designs that are more stagnant than a museum exhibit… though at least museums have dinosaurs and mummies and stuff. Here's hoping we all will get new corporate clients soon.
Below, we present some interesting corporate websites, although the insight they offer may not be immediately apparent. This review is not about aesthetics or visual appeal, but rather about the design solutions the sites exhibit. In fact, corporate websites aren't as visually arresting as you might think, so if the appeal isn't immediately apparent in the previews below, take a moment to visit and interact with each of them.
I love it when a good story is broken down so that even the simplest of minds can understand. I’m not the smartest, fastest or most creative person in the world, so I don’t like using a lot of big words or fancy jargon to try and impress you — but I’m learning every day, and that is what pushes me on. Let me cut the small talk and dive right in.
When I look out on the hillside of design, all I see are copies of what great designers have done before us. The landscape has become so congested with cookie-cutter homes that seeing the real people living inside has become hard. It’s like watching that movie Pleasantville, in which everything is black and white and no one knows any better, and yet there are those pursuing something different, something original.
My hope is to inspire you to step away from the computer and open your eyes to the world around you. Expand your mind; think beyond the limits of the liquid crystals staring back at you.
With the huge number of design-related conferences and events around the world, the Web gives those of us who cannot attend them a great opportunity to listen and benefit from their great and talented speakers. To aid in this, here we present some of the best videos, interviews and presentations about design and related topics.
Using design to make ideas new. Legendary graphic designer Milton Glaser dives deep into a new painting inspired by Piero della Francesca. From there, he muses on what makes a convincing poster, by breaking down an idea and making it new.
The Internet is a medium that is evolving at breakneck speed. It's a wild organism of sweeping cultural change — one that leaves the carcasses of dead media forms in its sizeable wake. It's transformative: it has transformed the vast globe into a 'global village' and it has drawn human communication away from print-based media and into a post-Gutenberg digital era. Right now, its perils are equal to its potential. The debate over 'net neutrality' is at a fever pitch. There is a tug-of-war going on between an 'open web' and a more governed form of the web (like the Apple-approved apps on the iPad/iPhone) that has more security but less freedom.
So what's the next step in its evolution, and what's the big picture? What does the Internet mean as an extension of human communication, of the human mind? And forget tomorrow — where will the web be in fifty years, or a hundred? Will the Internet help make the world look like something out of Blade Runner or Minority Report? Let's just pray it doesn't have anything to do with The Matrix sequels, because those movies really sucked.
This article will offer in-depth analysis of a range of subjects — from realistic expectations stemming from current trends to some more imaginative speculations on the distant future.
For designers approaching a deadline, coffee is a delicious necessity. Lucky for us, having a coffee break is not really difficult. But it's more than just a 3am fix. With every late-night run to the local coffee house, we contribute to a populous network of coffee trading, sales and experience.
And in fact, coffee houses and suppliers are quite a business, with online presences ranging from simple layouts with striking typography to advanced layouts with remarkable photography. Coffee websites: how do they look like? What do they have in common? What metaphors, visuals and typography are they using? Well, this is where this showcase comes handy: let's take a closer look at tasty coffee websites and examine their distinctive features and peculiarities.
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The word chocolate can be associated with many words: dark, white, milk, hot, sweet, spicy, etc. But have you tried to combine it with the word web design? We did. We searched the Web for websites in any way related to chocolate and what we found is worth to be collected in this showcase. The interesting thing is that you would probably never stumble upon some of the sites, so the overview below may provide you with a unique perspective and get your creative juices flowing.
As one would expect, chocolate website often use an appetizing brown dominant color. If you take time to look at the panel of colors associated with it, you will find out that there is a lot of combination working really well. Apart from this component, each site is unique and features an original identity, depending on product presentation and given information.
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.
Vodka, pickled cucumbers and Pope John Paul II might spring to mind when someone mentions Poland. Obviously there's more to Poland than that. On the world map of design, Poland is marked by creative agencies that produce high-level design and employ some of the best programmers in the world. There's also a crowd of freelancers and visionaries who have received worldwide recognition.
For the people I interviewed, Web design is life. The art directors and freelancers highlighted here work in all sorts of environments, and they answer questions related to our field. You'll have the opportunity to see Polish Web design from a number of perspectives — and to form your own opinion while browsing selected productions.
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.
Members of military and intelligence forces around the world risk their lives daily to defend their countries and assist in peacekeeping and aid missions both at home and abroad. The men and women who make up the world's defense forces make sacrifices that most civilians wouldn't consider to serve their countries.
So, with everything they do for us, shouldn't they be represented online by website designs that reflect the honor and responsibility they undertake every day? Unfortunately, that's not the case in many countries out there. Many military websites out there are some of the worst designs in any industry. Whether they're outdated, broken or designed by amateurs, some of the websites showcased below are bad enough to make you cringe.
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.