Archive for the ‘General’ Category

5 Things Your Ex Can Teach You About Web Design


Are you a professional Web designer? If so, we have a few business tips for you today. And do you know what? They’re things you could’ve already learned from your ex! (I bet you never thought your ex-girlfriend — or boyfriend — knew a bit more about business than you.)

Sure, some designers already have a handle on these freelance design issues. But many don’t. So let’s explore some things you might have heard during a break-up that apply equally to your Web design work. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Its Better to Avoid Web Templates With a Lot of Stock Images

Years ago, when I first started working online and long before I learned how to design my own sites, I relied heavily on Web templates. I loved them. They made my life easier and they were an affordable option for a new start-up. Over time I came to realize that the most attractive Web templates were also often the most problematic for a new site owner — they relied too heavily on images (stock images to be exact). Today I’d like to talk about how stock images can pose problems for new site owners, and why designers might benefit more from creating less image-intensive designs.

What I Mean by “Stock Photos”

I want to be clear. When I’m talking about stock photos in Web templates causing a problem for the webmasters using them, I’m not talking about images that make up the basic site structure (like buttons or navigation link backgrounds). I’m talking about those creepy corporate smiling faces and very niche-specific photos so many designers love to use.

Most often I see these types of photos used in headers of Web templates. However, I’ve seen a few with stock images peppered throughout. Let’s look at why adding them might not be the best idea.

Why Stock Photos are a Problem

There are a few reasons stock photos can be a problem for people using a Web template. But first, let’s look at a common target market for these templates. Yes, some more experienced site owners still like to use templates and just customize them for their own use. But many Web template users (whether buyers or users of free templates) are new to managing their own websites. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Make Any Designer the Designer of Your Dreams

It isn’t always easy to find the right designer for your projects, whether we’re talking about Web designers, logo designers, ad designers, or any other type. But is that really designers’ faults? In many cases, no. It’s ours (as the buyers).

Let’s assume that we’re not talking about newbies, but truly competent and experienced designers here. They can get the job done. So why does your designer not give you exactly what you want? Simple. Designers aren’t mind readers. Problems with design projects can easily stem from a lack of communication (from both parties), but especially in cases where the buyer takes a “I’ll know what I want when I see it” approach.

As a writer I deal with the same thing on the service provider side. As a client of designers I know I’ve caused my fair share of problems too — it’s why I do much of my design work myself and simply outsource the coding these days. It’s not that I don’t trust the designers I know. It’s that I know myself — I can’t always visualize exactly what I want from a design and sometimes I can’t express what I want well enough to help a designer visualize it either.

Many buyers don’t come to this realization though. They expect a design professional to magically be able to figure out what they want and give it to them. Now don’t get me wrong. Not all buyers are like that. My point is just that even if you are fussy about designs like I am, there’s still hope. You can not only find the right designer for your project, but you can help any competent designer be that “right” designer. It starts with you! Read the rest of this entry »

The Most Important HTML and CSS Tips for WordPress Newbies

I know that some of you are probably designers yourselves, or are at least somewhat familiar with CSS and WordPress theme styling. However, I usually work with writers. Many of them love WordPress for hosting either blogs or professional websites, but they often aren’t sure how to make simple CSS and HTML changes to improve their designs or alter a free theme they’d like to customize.

I’m sure there are plenty of bloggers outside of the writing community with the same problem. They use themes out-of-the-box not necessarily because they want to but because they don’t know how to change things. With those WordPress or CSS newbies in mind, let’s take a non-technical look at some quick HTML and CSS tips and tricks a new WordPress user can use to improve their blog design. Note: I’m not a designer — these are meant to be practical tips to help non-coders work around common WordPress design issues on their own. I do not claim that they’re necessarily the best solutions in all cases. If you’d like to share other methods, please do so in the comments.

1. Replace your blog title with a logo

By default, your WordPress theme might include a blog title link in the header, but to customize and brand your site you want to replace it with a logo. Here’s how to do that. First upload your logo image and have the URL / address for the file on-hand. Then go to the WordPress templates editor in your admin panel and find header.php. You might see something like this:

<h1><a href=”<?php echo get_option(‘home’); ?>/”><?php bloginfo(‘name’); ?></a></h1>

That code adds a link to your home page (with the text of your blog title). On my business site, this is what the site name looks like without a logo: Read the rest of this entry »

The Secret World of Cats

I’m a big cat lover but I have to wonder: do I actually know my cat? Do I know what it does when I’m not at home, when I sleep, or even when I’m at my computer and it’s not sitting next to me?  Cats can do some strange things when we aren’t there to watch them. The creators of the artwork below were an exception to the rule. They managed to capture cats in all of their occasional craziness (or at least what we imagine they really do when we’re not looking). Enjoy!

Cat Alley

Software: Painter, Photoshop

That sweetheart of a kitty begging its owner for some milk? This is what he does to the neighbor’s dog when you’re away.


What Your Cat Wants

Software: Painter

This one is definitely my kitty! My computer is turned on all day. It’s no wonder I found a file on world domination!


Fish And Cat at Granny’s House

Software: CINEMA 4D

Looks like the cat of the future, but personally I prefer real cats to their mechanical brothers.


Read the rest of this entry »

Amazing Examples of Typographic Style

Typographica — Review of typefaces and type books

Typographica is an excellent review of typefaces and type books with occasional commentary on fonts and typographic design. The site was founded.


Louis Verhoeve


Louis Verhoeve is a Dutch designer who has a unique showcase on his portfolio website. He creates great font-based printed designs and book covers.


Silva! Designers

Silva! Designers is an editorial design agency based in Chiado, Lisbon, old city. They do typographic design work for magazines, book covers, and catalogs. Their art is definitely stylish and original.

silva Read the rest of this entry »

Demonic Girls: Digital Art Through Photomanipulation

Demon Inside?



Harpy Demon

demon3 Read the rest of this entry »

My Dance For You. 3D Art.

It’s beautiful when you can dance beautifully :) Dancing is a complicated body science that requires lots of your time, efforts, patience and passion. It’s a real science to move in a dance and that’s a real art to create the dancers in 3D. Today we are glad to present you a showcase of some amazing 3D works featuring the dance. Girls look so real that I couldn’t first believe that’s not a photo or photo manipulation effects. Dance and enjoy with us!

A Fairy’s Dance


The Dance


To Dance




Let Your Body Dance

3d_dance_5 Read the rest of this entry »

Sophisticated Fashion Illustration. Part1.

Kelly Smith lives and works in Tasmania, Australia. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Tasmanian School of Art and has since gone on to pursue of a freelance career in both portrait and fashion illustration.



kelly7 Read the rest of this entry »

CSS Hosting Design. New Trend In Hosting Business.

We are all used to the look and feel of the hosting websites that seem to have been designed in this same style for ages now. Since there’s lots of important info that needs to be placed on the home page, the home pages of the hosting websites usually look crowded and sometimes even like a mess and all this info gives a feeling that hosting is something very complicated. Most of us are familiar with the GoDaddy hosting company and the first glance at their website makes me think that I will never make it.

After the web 2.0 stream and during the last year some of developers started rethinking the usual approach to design of the hosting website. The clean CSS style with the 2.0 accent was obviously their aim. Nowadays CSS and web 2.0 approach to hosting website design is the new tendency that is getting stronger and stronger. Just think about it, if we find the website with the large fonts, lots of white space, clear icons and big buttons convenient, pleasant to the eye and easy to understand, why don’t we apply same concept to hosting website design.

I’ve prepared some CSS hosting designs that I personally like. Each one has it’s own unique style and stands out from the crowd. Follow the stream and be one of the first to join, as this is the key for success.

Littleoak Hosting


Hostnexus Hosting


Virtualspirits Hosting

virtual Read the rest of this entry »