Articles by ‘Jake Rocheleau’

Top Photoshop Plugins for UI Designers

Adobe Photoshop is still the premiere editing suite for most graphic designers. It’s been around for over 20 years and has a massive library of Photoshop plugins for all types of creative work.

But of all the graphic design disciplines it seems UI design is one of the fastest-growing markets. This is why I’ve collected the most significant Photoshop plugins as they pertain to interface designers for web & mobile apps. You’ll find 20 recommendations of both free and premium plugins to dramatically improve your typical Photoshop UI design workflow.

Also if you’re a Sketch user then take a look at our list of Sketch plugins made specifically for UI designers…

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The Ultimate Roundup of Resources, Tools, and Print Design Tutorials

It may seem like the design world is all digital but there’s still a tremendous demand for print work. Graphic designers commonly jump around to various print jobs or even shift into digital interface design. But it’s slightly less common to see an interface designer move into print design – however this doesn’t mean print work is any less desirable or less valuable.

In fact, you can earn a good living by juggling print work at an agency or running your own freelance studio. But if you’re a general web/graphic designer who hasn’t really looked into print design, this can be a confusing area to learn.

I’d like to share a collection of helpful resources, tools and print design tutorials for designers who want to make the leap into print design. You may not brand yourself solely as a “print designer” but these skills will give you more leverage to adorn your resume & portfolio with a few print work samples…

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The Ultimate Guide on How to Create a Font

Every digital typeface from free to a $1,000 font pack goes through a similar design process. It’s rigorous for a beginner and does require an understanding of foundational typographic principles. But for what it’s worth, learning how to create a font from scratch is one of the most fulfilling creative endeavors in digital design.

Professional font design takes years to master, but this shouldn’t dissuade you from learning the process. Once you understand the steps needed to create a new font you may be surprised how easily they can be replicated.

This guide is meant for hobbyists and typographers who want to get into the world of font design. Bear in mind I won’t be covering specific techniques in font creation software, but rather the steps necessary to go from initial idea to completed font. At some point you will need a font creation program and I’ll cover the most popular choices to guide you along the way…

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Trends & Examples of SVG Animation in Web Design

Animation on the web has transformed radically over the past 5 years. SVG animation is one of the newest techniques to manipulate graphics on a webpage. Although SVG has been supported for a long time, it only recently gained support in a majority of web browsers.

With greater support comes a greater audience and more safety for developers to test out cool ideas. Over time these ideas turn into common trends as they’re adopted by hundreds of designers. I’ve picked out a few examples that best demonstrate these SVG animation effects and how they can be applied to website layouts…

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30 Trendy Calligraphy & Cursive Fonts

Many designers would attest contempt their rather crude handwriting. Unfortunately it’s one of those things you really need to practice & develop – otherwise it’s chicken scratches all the way to the grave. Calligraphers are people who not only love handwriting, but love it so much they turn it into a career.

Hand-drawn calligraphy is incredibly beautiful and ripe for digital reproduction. I’ve scoured the net in search of the most dazzling calligraphy and cursive fonts to use in graphic & web design projects. This collection features 30 of the most outstanding free and premium font families.

Each calligraphic style is unique with varying intricacies including ligatures, x-heights, and typographic variants. The vast majority of these fonts also come as a webfont to be used in website layouts. If you need a trendy calligraphic font to spruce up your design work these suggestions will get you on the right track…

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Elements of Design: How to Find the Right Composition for Your Web Design

All elements of design – from typography to iconography – relate to the overall composition. Each full webpage offers an intimate feeling to visitors before they even notice smaller details. In this way, compositional design techniques are some of the most important things to learn regarding web design. To internalize composition, you’ll need to practice. A […]

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The Guide to Understanding Micro and Macro White Space in Web Design

Digital interface design follows many of the same rules as print design. Composition refers to the overall layout and white space plays a big role. Many things help to define a composition, but white space is one of the most important concepts to understand.

Learning to use white space is more about hands-on practice and experience. But you can absorb plenty of great ideas by studying how other websites are put together. I’ve organized some tips and general ideas to clarify the overall picture of white space and how it defines composition for website layouts…

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11 Handy Shortcuts for Customizing Any Selectable UI Element

Online forms are some of the most common interfaces for user interaction. Many web fields rely on user input from the keyboard, but others have pre-filled answers waiting to be selected. These may include checkboxes, file inputs, or even select dropdowns.

Although select menus are fantastic they can also be a little boring. All web design should be functional, but great web design incorporates pleasant aesthetics too.

The following ideas center around dropdown select menus for website layouts. Web designers often like to design their own custom fields which best-suit the project at hand. Select menus and similar inputs can be tricky to customize, but modern techniques make the process a whole lot easier. Check out these plugins and code snippets which can be perfect for customizing any form field…

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