Questions about web design, web fonts, and web development.

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8
votes
2answers
15k views

How to design sleek magnifying glass effects like these?

I'm wondering how I can create the magnifying glass effect I've seen a lot lately on pages that sell software (either desktop or web-applications). Here are two examples. I really like the first one ...
8
votes
4answers
6k views

Photoshop Color Settings for web design

What color profile settings should be used in Photoshop for web design? Does monitor calibration effect save for web images? I keep my monitor calibrated with a colorimeter and want to make sure my ...
8
votes
3answers
951 views

Is there a trend away from left aligned web site designs?

Most web sites that I see are centered, and I'm wondering if there's some sort of unwritten (or written) trend away or against left aligned sites?
8
votes
4answers
391 views

Sources of inspiration for the graphical design of a business intelligence web application

I'm looking for sources of inspiration for the graphical design of a web application. The application is used to display historical information on industrial processes. In the back end there is a ...
8
votes
4answers
153 views

AIGA - Worth it for web designers?

I haven't been to an AIGA event in a few years, and I've only been to a handful between the VT AIGA and Philly AIGA. What I remember between the two were they seemed great for students, and maybe ...
8
votes
3answers
313 views

Literal versus indirect imagery

I have a client who is pushing the use of very literal imagery for her website: waving hands for success, a finishing line for the end of a process, and so on. We're trying to make more use of ...
7
votes
7answers
10k views

Designing A Website from Scratch – Illustrator or Photoshop?

If I'm designing a website from scratch and I intend to slice it and code it up in Adobe Dreamweaver later, should I create the design of the website in Illustrator or Photoshop? Why?
7
votes
6answers
292 views

How can I ensure that users will think a button is clickable?

I had to make a page with a couple links on it, so I thought I would try to make the links big and decorative: But I ran into the problem that people didn't realize it was a button, so they didn't ...
7
votes
3answers
338 views

Common mistakes that we make while designing for web & how to avoid them

What are some common mistakes to avoid while designing? I know color, text and images play a major part in designing, but there are so many other things that we need to take care of! I don't know ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

Are dotted pictures a new trend in Web Design?

I've noticed lately that some of the websites I visit regularly are adopting a new and bizarre trend in Web Design: "the dotted pictures". Not sure what to call it. It looks as if a pattern of ...
7
votes
3answers
152 views

Is it a bad idea to change a single - major - element in isolation?

Our team just had a rather strong argument over an issue. The issue: Some team members want to "update" one of our websites by changing the colors of the left navigation bar, and maybe also the ...
7
votes
9answers
3k views

How to present web design mockups to a client?

I'm working on a website redesign project. I will need to present a few different mockups to the client for review. Besides sending images in an email, what is a typical way of presenting mockups to a ...
7
votes
4answers
301 views

What are good general typeface principles based on target audience age?

Everyone knows that as people get older their vision deteriorates. At 20 years old, few have trouble seeing and reading 8 or 9pt type in print or 10-11px type on the web. However, the older an ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Which is a better design pricing model?

I'm curious which pricing model other feel best fits freelance design, in what situations, and why. I am not seeking dollar values. There are a few basic pricing models a freelancer can use: ...
7
votes
4answers
15k views

What browser width should I use to design a website?

I am working on graphics part of the website and been asked to design a website in Photoshop. I wonder what are an average dimensions and browser widths for a website so i can create my mockup with ...
7
votes
2answers
171 views

Is there a graphic design specification system?

Is there a commonly used design specification system to present a graphic design to a customer before we start the implementation? My challenge is specifically on mailings (PDF A4, html sent per ...
7
votes
4answers
431 views

reasoning behind black and white color scheme of perfume sites

In preparation for an upcoming project, I've been looking over a lot of different sites for high end perfumes and/or high fashion. Noticed that most of them (at least the perfume ones) have almost ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Save for Web using Photoshop Actions

I would like to create an action, at the end of which I would like to save the file using Save for Web option. The problem is the action is not being generic as it is remembering the static path of ...
7
votes
2answers
98 views

How to address a flaw in a client project

In a large company environment client projects are delegated to teams. That said, if your team is completing a website for a client and you happen to run across a large design and code issue but your ...
7
votes
4answers
7k views

What should I do regarding color profile when designing for the web?

I have read this article by Doug Avery where he explains how to disable Color Management in Adobe Photoshop and the follow-up article in response to the uproar of the commenters arguing against it and ...
6
votes
13answers
838 views

Why do people keep telling me my site looks awful?

I've developed a website, and recently was looking for a job. Practically all interviewers, after taking a quick glimpse at it, told me my site was designed awfully (but liked the concept). I should ...
6
votes
3answers
404 views

What's this style called, with blocky text and strong circle shapes?

What's this style of design called? http://www.mademyday.de/ Thanks. [UPDATE:] I should have posted more examples, here's another and I'll look for more: http://www.fajnechlopaki.com/ I'm ...
6
votes
7answers
200 views

How do get what you want to say into such a few words?

It seems fairly well agreed that people glancing at a site won't read proper paragraphs, only bullet point lists. I'm really struggling how to say all the things I want in a few bullet points... it ...
6
votes
3answers
243 views

Do you have a “formula” for the webfont vs graphic type threshold?

Disclaimer: I realize there is not a perfect "formula" for this question. I'm looking for your experiential working practices. If you don't have any, I won't hold it against you. Over the last ...
6
votes
2answers
169 views

How to solve the tragic fate illustrated in the article: How a web design goes straight to hell?

This is the article: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/design_hell Some of the solutions I thought: Quitting web design and starting an own online business. Only accepting jobs offered by professional ...
6
votes
4answers
4k views

Different Logo Colors for Different Uses, Appropriate?

I am finalizing the last step of my logo redesign process. Is it ok not to have a regular color when presenting my logo? I am thinking about having a defined list of colors for different use cases ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the ideal number of font sizes to use for a website?

I'd like to know how many font sizes can you use for a website. Someone said to me it's better not to use more than 3 different font sizes (e.g. 16px for heading, 11px for text and 13 px for smaller ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Responsive web site mockup tools

I've always done web mockups in Photoshop, recently I switched to Illustrator because I thought it could speed up my work flow (And it did!) As I design more and more for responsive web sites though, ...
6
votes
3answers
596 views

Designing interesting looking websites in greyscale, minimal tones

I know a business that wanted a website to match their brand, and it would seem that they are allergic to colour. I think designs in greyscale can look amazing, especially in print, but it feels near ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Using stock images for mock ups

When making a design (as a freelancer), how do I handle stock images? Do you buy the stock image(s)? Or do you find an image via Google or whatever and later replace it with a similar stock image? ...
6
votes
2answers
816 views

How to design a site without pictures

A site I'm creating is a directory which sorts and displays information for about 300 businesses which are part of a specific business partnership/network. The site is meant to provide information to ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the fastest way to copy a colour in Photoshop as HEX?

A lot of designers use Photoshop as a design and mockup tool. And in doing so, one of the last steps can be to get a lot of the colour information out so things like gradients and dynamic text can be ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Vertical rhythm/baseline grid in Web Design

I recently read some articles about the importance of good vertical rhythm/using a baseline grid for good typography in web design. I decided to try using a baseline grid, like the 960 grid pictured ...
6
votes
2answers
250 views

Graphic Design Conferences

Does anyone know of good/reputable graphic design conferences/conventions in the states? I'm looking to attend one that focuses both on web and print design. Your recommendations are appreciated.
6
votes
1answer
451 views

Font copyright when used in images (Helvetica)

I have a specific Helvetica font that I use for text within graphics I am creating for my website, i.e. buttons, pictures. Do I need a licence or is it sufficient just to have purchased the specific ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

Illustrator EPS File To PNG Web Logo - Print Quality

I have been provided a typographic logo in an EPS format and I am creating a PNG with it (File | Save For Web & Devices) to be used on a web site. One of the pages on the web site is a "print ...
6
votes
3answers
795 views

How to give a site a mockup look?

Edit to clarify Thank you for the existing answers. I am afraid that you misunderstood my question. I don't want to create mockups (I have some, but they are not suited for my current purpose). I want ...
6
votes
3answers
278 views

How should I add a realistic shadow to this?

I'm working on a mockup of a jQuery slider which can be found here. Now, I'm not the best graphic designer by any stretch of the imagination, and I can't seem to be able to get a realistic looking ...
6
votes
4answers
241 views

Text flow - when to say “no”?

What do you folks use as a general rule of thumb for flowing text around embedded images? I know everyone's got different preferences in addition to standard rules; is there any time when you will ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Tools to simulate different DPI screens?

When designing for mobile web, its important to check designs at the physical screen size of target device. Merely looking at your PC / Mac screen at designs of the same resolution isn't enough: * ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the branches of Graphic Design

Does anyone know what is the full-branch of Graphic Design and the title for the person doing it. Graphic Design |- Web Design - Web Designer |- Illustration - Illustrator |- Photo Manipulation - ...
6
votes
3answers
328 views

How can I take my graphic design to the next level?

I'm a full-time professional designer in the early middle of my career -- I have been working as a designer full-time for 15 years. I create lots of work that I am very proud of. However, when I look ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

What makes a design professional?

Can anyone define why something might not look "professional"? What differentiates between professional/unprofessional designs? I have clients who have said my design does not look very ...
5
votes
8answers
2k views

Is there graphic design software made for beginners, suitable for designing websites?

I'm teaching web development to beginners, and it would be useful to show them the basics in design, meaning using a graphic design package to come up with a layout, before turning it into code. To ...
5
votes
4answers
632 views

Is DreamWeaver more efficient rather than coding manually

I have a client who want's me to use Dreamweaver for a project. I've always used Photoshop and Illustrator for mockups and coded the CSS manually (Actually I use SASS/SCSS). Does using a program like ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do logos appear on the left on the overwhelming majority of websites?

The title really says it all. I mean, is there a particular reasons for which logos have to appear at the upper-left corner and not, say, in the upper-centre? Example: all Stack Exchange sites, ...
5
votes
4answers
378 views

Under whose name does an outsourced graphic designer go?

I have a web design company. For artistic graphics I hire a Graphic Designer to do it for me. Obviously it hurts my business if it is known that I outsource so the designer uses an email address from ...
5
votes
9answers
2k views

Tools for *lossy* PNG compression?

I'm trying more and more to get by sans PhotoShop for my personal/freelance work. I do primarily web work these days and don't do enough side gigs to justify keeping up with the Creative Suite beast. ...
5
votes
2answers
9k views

How can I achieve the “bent paper” effect in photoshop?

I've seen design elements on webpages that contain a "bent paper" effect. In other words, it looks like the paper is shaped in an arch, based on the visual perception of the shadow. How do I achieve ...
5
votes
5answers
807 views

Tasteful Alternative to Marquee

So a client of mine is making repeated requests for things that were "cool" when her website originally launched in the late nineties. One feature is a scrolling marquee that just says "welcome to ...