Articles tagged as ‘Design’

32 Stunning Creative Commons HDR Photos

One of my favorite photo manipulation effects is High Definition Range, better known as HDR. The colors this effect brings out along with the depth created through unusual lighting tricks adds an almost magical look to any subject. HDR photos work for unique product photos, landscapes, waterscapes, stills, and occasionally portraits.

However, most photographers lock down their HDR photos with a firm copyright, and with good reason. Anyone can create an HDR photo, but not everyone can create one that is truly stunning. Sometimes, though, an artist will provide a few creative commons HDR photographs simply as a way to get noticed. If people can share in the right way (i.e. by attributing the work to the artist with a link to the source), the more willing photographers are to provide photos for us to use.

Mai 2013 - Débordement de la Seine à Marnay sur Seine (Aube)
Mai 2013 – Débordement de la Seine à Marnay sur Seine (Aube) by B@rberousse
Attribution

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30 Fresh Websites with Modern, Clean Design

So much is possible these days in web design with CSS3, jQuery 2.0, etc, which is why so many websites include animated imagery. You can design a website with all of the bells and whistles and it can still be mobile-friendly, most of the time.

However, my favorite designs still tend to be the ones that have a clean, modern look to them. Clean design doesn’t necessarily mean minimalist, although many are to a certain degree. A clean website often has simple navigation and well-organized elements on a page. The content is easy to read, find, and browse. Some clean websites include minimal animation. Many have a single page design, while many more include several pages, all with a clean look and feel.

What do I define as both clean and modern? By modern, I included the latest trends of this year. Parallax scrollling, full-page images, retro illustrations, and creative typography are all modern trends you’ll find in the collection below.

Very often, a clean design is used by design agencies, freelancers, photographers, artists, bloggers, and other creatives with limited content. The amazing feat is when a website with tons of content is cleanly designed. The list of modern, clean website designs include those with brief content and a few of the awe-inspiring ones with a plethora of content organized incredibly well. Keep in mind that for many of these, you will need to visit the site to get the full affect.

Playful – New Finnish Design

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A Comprehensive Guide to Effective Portfolio Websites

The web/graphic design industry is highly competitive. With so many designers out there competing for clients it can be difficult for freelancers and independent designers to find enough work to stay busy and to pay the bills. The level of design ability and experience doesn’t always correspond with the amount of success in running a freelance business in the industry. There are plenty of talented designers that struggle to find enough clients. Likewise, there are plenty of freelancers with lesser design skills that are more effective at running their business.

One of the keys to success for most freelancers is their portfolio website. Most potential clients will visit the website of a designer before hiring him or her, and often times the portfolio site is actually how the client finds the designer in the first place. Essentially, the online portfolio acts as a salesperson for the freelancer. An effective portfolio site can be invaluable to a freelancer, so it’s important enough to warrant plenty of time and attention for designers who are looking to be able to land more clients.

In this article we’ll take an in-depth look into the topic of portfolio websites. We’ll start by looking at keys to effective portfolio sites. Then we’ll move on to look at the options for creating your own portfolio site. And we’ll finish by providing some tips for getting more exposure to your portfolio site. If you’re interested in getting more out of your own existing portfolio site, or if you’re planning to create your first one, the details covered in this article should be able to help.

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45 Photo Editing Tutorials for Photoshop

This post was originally published a few years ago, and since that time many of the tutorials that were featured in the post are no longer online. So we’ve revamped the article with a fresh selection of tutorials, some old and some new, that should prove to be very helpful.

Photoshop allows designers and photographers to improve photos in countless ways. Some photos are edited in a subtle way that the viewer may not even notice unless it is side-by-side with the original photo, and others are edited in more drastic ways. The good news is that there is a tutorial for just about anything you would want to do in Photoshop. Here you’ll find a collection of 45 different tutorials that teach the art of photo editing.

Telling Stories with Shadows

Telling Stories with Shadows

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40 Photoshop Tutorials for Lighting and Abstract Effects

This post was originally published a few years ago, and since that time many of the tutorials that were featured in the post are no longer online. So we’ve revamped the article with a fresh selection of tutorials, some old and some new, that should prove to be very helpful.

Photoshop gives designers the ability to create some amazing effects that can accomplish just about anything you can image. Lighting effects and abstract effects can be some of the most engaging and powerful effects created in Photoshop, and they’re also a lot of fun for designers. Fortunately, there are plenty of Photoshop experts who are willing to write detailed tutorials to show off the potential. Here is a look at some of the best tutorials for using various lighting and abstract effects. Follow a few of these tutorials to learn different techniques, and then put your creativity to work and find some ways to use lighting effects on your own.

Add Light Streaks to a Photo with Photoshop

Add Light Streaks to a Photo with Photoshop

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Why Pinterest Is Important to Designers and What You Need to Know

It’s been only two and a half years and Pinterest has risen quickly to become one of the most popular social networks. In fact, according to a recent article from Anthony Myers on CMSWiRE, Pinterest is now the fifth most popular social network.

According to a July 2013 study from research firm, Semiocast, Pinterest now has 70 million users… That means that Pinterest is a significant player in social media. Web designers can’t afford to ignore it.
Pinterest-3

For designers, though, there’s more to Pinterest than just networking. The design of Pinterest itself has influenced web design. Pinterest is a source of inspiration for many, and some use Pinterest as a sales tool. Pinterest can even drive search engine traffic.

Pinterest can be a powerful tool for web designers, yet many designers overlook the many of the advantages of having a presence on Pinterest.

In this post, we’ll talk about the various aspects of Pinterest that web designers need to understand. At the end of the post, you’re encouraged to share your favorite Pinterest boards.

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25 Beautiful Minimalistic Website Designs

Minimalism is a style appreciated by many designers. While it is not appropriate for every web design project, when a minimal design is done well it can be clean, striking, and it keeps the focus on the most important content.

A design with a minimalist style seems like it would be easy, but many designers find it to be very challenging to create a minimal design that looks great. White space, balance, and typography are all important elements for pulling off this look. Many minimal designs use simple color schemes, but as you’ll see below there are some exceptions.

Here are 25 websites that make use of very little unnecessary design elements but still manage to pull off a beautiful appearance. When it comes to design, if you feel that less is more, I’m sure you will find inspiration from these sites.

Rainfall Daffinson

Rainfall Daffinson

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10 Brand New and Free Tools for Designers

Looking for some surefire ways to bring your web design project in under budget without sacrificing quality? By the nature of the job, Web designers are at the mercy of their clients when it comes to costs. Go over a quoted budget, and you could be forced to eat the overrun or risk losing the client. To help you keep costs low, earn cash back, or just save time, here are 10 new and absolutely free tools that every designer needs to know about.

Free New Tools for Designers

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Website Builders: A Complete Guide to WYSIWYG and Drag-and-Drop Options

Drag-and-drop WYSIWYG website builders have always been a topic of mixed opinions, and strong feelings, in the web design and development industry. While WYSIWYG editors and builders have been popular for quite some time, in recent years new options have emerged and in some cases the quality of code produced has improved. With the massive numbers of users that industry leaders like Wix have been able to amass, it’s not a wise decision for most designers and developers to simply ignore WYSIWYG website builders.

If you’re a designer or developer that focuses on larger, more costly projects it is highly unlikely that your clients will decide to build their own website with a drag-and-drop editor. However, the vast majority of freelance designers and small studios work with many clients on small projects with very tight budgets. In these situations the clients may be looking at do-it-yourself options as real alternatives to hiring a designer/developer to create the site for them.

The potential of losing clients to do-it-yourself alternatives isn’t the only way that these website builders can impact designers. Some of the options are created specifically with designers in mind, with the goal of allowing designers to be able to create websites for clients in a more efficient way that will lead to better profitability for the designer. Because the quality of these options, for example Squarespace, have improved in recent years, a growing number of designers are using these drag-and-drop builders to create websites for clients rather than coding everything from scratch. With small projects and limited budgets, these options may allow a designer to turn a profit on a project that would otherwise not be worth their time.

Additionally, other website builders exist specifically to allow designers to create their own portfolio website and show off their work. These options can be great for designers that don’t code, for students who want to show their work to help land a job, and for designers who need to get a portfolio online quickly.

In this article we’ll take a detailed look at the topic of website builders. We’ll look at 13 of the leading options, along with pros and cons of using a website builder. This is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of every website builder that is available. There are literally hundreds of options out there. In this article we’ll look at some of the most popular options, and we’ll also look at some that are created and marketed more towards designers. Of these options 3 of them work with WordPress and 2 of them are specifically for creating portfolio websites.

Leading Website Builder Options:

Wix

Wix

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Some Interesting Possibilities with CSS4

CSS4 is definitely still a work in progress, meaning that many of the new features that the WS3 editing team is working on still have the possibility of removal and others may be added on. Does this mean it is time to quit working with CSS3? Of course not! CSS4 builds on CSS3, so certainly continue your path to becoming a master CSS3 developer. In addition, CSS4 is still a long way from being released and implemented on browsers. So why are we even reviewing this futuristic version?

For one, taking a look at some of the possibilities with CSS, Level 4, is quite exciting. Two, you may be more encouraged to hang onto some designs that seem utterly impossible right now. And, three, maybe it will give you a head start on learning CSS4 so that it doesn’t seem too overwhelming when it is finally released.

The WS3 folks have edited drafts available for preview for both Selectors and Media Queries. You can view the Media Queries Level 4, Editor’s Draft 30 August 2013 and the Selectors Level 4, Editor’s Draft 21 August 2013, which is pretty cool of the team to let us in on the work in progress. The team is a bit farther ahead on Selectors Level 4, with a latest working draft of Selectors Level 4, released on 2 May 2013. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

Media Queries Level 4

Simply put, media queries allow for responsive design. Media queries were first introduced to CSS in version 3 and allowed developers to create styling decisions based on the browser on which the web page loaded. Level 4 queries are very new, as in less-than-a-month new. You may not have even known that the WS3 team publicly released their editing draft. Some of the changes being made to existing CSS3 features are as follows:

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