Ultimate Guide to Designing Brand Guidelines

guide to branding

Whether sculpting a new identity or working with an existing one, brand guidelines can be exceedingly important to the whole creative process. A branding guide (also known as a style guide or brand book) offers a set of rules about a company’s brand to anyone who may need them. To whom might these rules be directed?

Basically anyone who may need a company’s branding added into their own work. Authors, editors, copywriters, marketers, web designers and/or graphics designers are just a few examples. The purpose of a branding guide is to offer a step-by-step process for duplicating the company’s identity.

Although it may seem like a rudimentary process, brand guidelines need to be super clear and relatively specific. Each company will make up their own rules based on how their identity should be used out in the wild. Since this type of project can easily lapse into a state of disarray I’ve put together this handy guide for designers. You’ll find a metric ton of great examples along with practical tips which can be applied into your own branding guide…

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45 Amazing and Free Photoshop Actions

free photoshop actions

Photoshop actions allow designers and photographers to automate common sequences for increased efficiency. If you do much work with photo editing you can certainly benefit from the time saved by having a good library of Photoshop actions. There are so many different types of actions that you can use from vintage effects, to black and white, to HDR and much more.

There are countless actions available that can be downloaded for free, and in this post we’ll feature 45 of them. Some of these are individual actions and others are sets that include multiple actions. These actions have been created by various designers and photographers and have been made available for free download.

Keep in mind that while Photoshop actions can be extremely useful and helpful, the results will vary from one photo to the next. Not every photo will look great with every action. Experiment with them and you’ll get a good feel for which actions work best with certain types of photos…

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Presentation Tips That Will Win You Clients

how to give a presentation

So you have been shortlisted for that project that you are desperate to win. All that stands between you and your dream project is a presentation followed by a question and answer time. How do you ensure you give the best pitch of your life?

There is no single approach to giving a successful pitch. It depends on the client, the project and your own personality. But there are some things you can bear in mind. These presentation tips are about more than what goes on your slides and how to make them look pretty.

When a client asks you to attend a pitch they want to know two things: can they work with you and can you deliver. This means any pitch is about making a connection and instilling confidence…

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15 Fabulous Options for Selling Digital Downloads

selling digital products

There are no shortage of options for managing an e-commerce website. There are all kinds of shopping carts and e-commerce content management systems that have a wide variety of strengths and weaknesses. Finding the right option for selling digital downloads, however, can prove to be a challenge. Fortunately, there are a lot of great options available, you just need to find the right one for you…

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10 Brilliant Design Quotes That Inspire Us

design quotes to inspire

Working in an industry that allows us to produce new and thrilling designs everyday is something most people would be envious of. But, just like any other career, graphic and web designers still need a little inspiration every once in a while. Lucky for us, there have been many talented artists, designers, businesspeople and dreamers who have encouraged us with their words of wisdom.
In this post, we’ve compiled 10 design quotes that inspire us to dream bigger, create more, and not be afraid to take chances on our work…

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16 Awesome Examples of Website Testimonials Done Right!

website-testimonial

Testimonials can be very powerful for helping to establish trust and encouraging visitors to buy, sign up, fill out a form, or take whatever action you are after. For websites and online businesses testimonials can be even more useful than traditional businesses because visitors are often skeptical or hesitant to trust someone online.

Website testimonials can be displayed in different ways, and we’ll take a look at more than 15 examples in this post. Hopefully these examples will give you some ideas that can be useful for your own projects. Here you’ll find some that use video, photos of customers, quotes from reviews, and more…

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Top 2015 Internet Trends To Watch Out For

internet-trends-2015

After the holidays and welcoming the New Year we feel elated and inspired to start the year off right. Soon, after a few days or weeks, we get caught up in the routine again and lose focus on all the opportunities and positive changes we had envisioned. In this post, I’ll discuss some of the biggest internet trends to embrace in 2015…

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35+ of the Best WordPress eCommerce Themes

Ecommerce Website Theme

While there are plenty of options available when choosing an eCommerce platform, the possibility of using WordPress for eCommerce has become more enticing in recent years due to continued development of plugins and themes. Today there is no shortage of quality themes that can be purchased, or in some cases downloaded for free, to use WordPress for powering an eCommerce website.

One of the main benefits of having WordPress as an eCommerce option is that so many users and developers are already familiar with WordPress, so the learning curve can in some cases be shorter than with another platform. Another advantage is that WordPress is free to use and can be hosted anywhere. Many of the leading eCommerce options require your site to be hosted with them, which can be a good thing, but it’s not what every user wants.

Having a custom theme designed and developed is always an option, but the improving quality of available premium themes makes it possible to start a professional-looking eCommerce site with very little upfront investment. In this post we’ll showcase more than 40 of the best WordPress eCommerce themes, and every one of them sells for less than $100…

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30 Best Free Calendar & Datepicker jQuery Plugins

calendarjqueryplugin

Some might assume that an Internet loaded with free code would breed indolence. Yet it seems developers are willing to contribute their help to projects more than ever before. JavaScript libraries are a microcosm of the larger open source community – specifically jQuery with its ever-growing popularity and easy learning curve.

One such area of broadened potential would be jQuery-based calendars for websites. Although date & calendar interfaces have sparse usage, they come in handy for very specific circumstances. And when building a site that requires this type of interface you’ll be happy to know there are dozens of open source plugins available.

I’ve catalogued the 30 best free jQuery plugins that offer datetime functionality. Some are more developed than others and each plugin has its own set of benefits. The best part about using open source code is that it’s easy to customize for your own purpose. So peruse through this collection and take a look at any plugins which pique your curiosity…

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Is There a Sense of Visual Balance in Your Web Design?

visual-balance

Balance is all about harmony. So, when you see something that looks nice with a sense of consistency and similarity, most likely you observe a perfectly balanced composition. It can be an object in nature, a painting, a building, a photography or even a website.

In this article, we’d like to draw your attention to visual balance in web design. You probably already know what balance is, but visual balance in web design may sound tricky to you. When you were a kid, you learned to ride a bicycle and fell down several times due to a lack of a balance (though your body remembers the importance of balance). However, let’s take a look at this phenomenon from another point of view–i.e. as it relates to web design…

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