Questions about designing the aesthetic look of websites, both practical and theoretical. For questions about coding the structure of a website, please go to Stack Overflow. For questions about the user experience, please go to UX.SE. Ask anything related to designing graphics and visual layouts ...

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13
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11answers
14k views

Should I (a web designer) stick with gimp, or buy Photoshop?

I am a web designer. I do not use/own any adobe products... except for watching flash videos online of course. I currently use gimp 2.6 for my graphic needs. It's free and I know how to use it. The ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

How can a design be balanced and yet have a focal point?

The concept of a focal point seems to be a fundamental one in web design, yet doesn't a focal point mean a page cannot be balanced? Surely by definition a focal point means that the page's 'weight' ...
13
votes
1answer
5k views

How to make a color appear the same on different backgrounds?

Background on color perception: Due to the nature of the human eye and visual processing by the brain, there's an optical illusion that the same color will look different depending on the background. ...
12
votes
10answers
4k views

Which should be designed first: logo or website?

I am about to ask someone to create a website design for me but I am not sure if the website should drive the logo design or the logo drive the website design. Should I have a logo design first or ...
12
votes
10answers
3k views

How can I work with a client that doesn't know what they want?

I am helping a client/friend with a website design. He is a conceptual thinker. Yet his ideas are always inspirational but not practical. He is always wanting a different direction after I show him ...
12
votes
2answers
8k views

What's the best way to animate an illustration for the web?

I have a couple of illustrations done in Illustrator and I am planing to animate it for a website that I am working on, I've heard of Create.js toolkit with flash, but is it the best way to go or is ...
12
votes
10answers
25k views

Good color palette, usable for the color blind.

I'm designing a chart right now, that will slowly have more items added to it. I'd like to create an list/order of colors for the items, that will be most usable for the color blind to differentiate ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

With the invention of CSS3, should a web designer use Photoshop?

I see that many designers create beautiful web design works in Photoshop, but now with the arrival of CSS3, when they want to change that to HTML & CSS, they simply start from scratch and create ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the best way to indicate that you can scroll in an area when the area doesn't have a scrollbar?

The only thing I could think of was saying: "Scroll to see full menu" above. What are some other ways people are doing it?
12
votes
9answers
570 views

What's a good (and easy) way to show that a screenshot is a screenshot?

I'm using Mac OS X 10.6 and I like the system screen grab tool. By default when you grab an entire window it will put a bit of a shadow / gradient below it, with transparency, using a PNG image - ...
12
votes
7answers
4k views

Is online freelancing a viable source of income?

Fed up with the university life, I thought I would try to be a freelancer. I am familiar with coding. How can I earn money online as a web designer? Is there any reliable way to earn money? I saw ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

What are the best practices for dealing with desired line breaks in responsive web design?

I design a great deal of simple single page web items for sales or email. I often find I run into issues with headlines and my desired line breaks at different media widths. For example, I could ...
12
votes
2answers
29k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
399 views

What are good places to start learning web typography and layout?

I have been a digital designer since 1999. I am self taught. However; my biggest weakness is spacing, grids and developing pages that feel balanced, as well as have strong typographic hierarchy. I ...
11
votes
7answers
35k views

Where can I get images for commercial use?

I am running a web site design service for local small business owner. I want avoid legal issues on the images I use. Usually, the images found on Flickr are forbidden for commercial use. Where would ...
11
votes
3answers
607 views

How should you web design with foreign typography

Some web design and development projects client's will request capabilities for a foreign translation in their site. How can you account for this and what are some good practices for content ...
10
votes
9answers
2k views

Is it ethical to copy the work of other designers?

I am neither a graphic designer nor do I consider myself one. I have little grasp of colour theory, and basic knowledge of design principles. I do possess a sense of what looks good, though, and I am ...
10
votes
9answers
3k views

I already have LinkedIn, DeviantArt, Dribbble, and Behance. Do I need a personal website?

With the presence of different social networking sites that allow anyone to easily create a web presence, as a graphic designer do I still need a personal website? What is the pros and cons of having ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

How do I handle large paragraphs of centered text?

I've been working on a very simple portfolio website for myself and the template I'm using is center justified for all the text. I have a bit of a blurb about myself and I don't know if this is the ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

What materials should a web designer using Photoshop send to a developer?

I have been implementing mainly web and desktop applications and this is the first time that I actually started working with a graphic designer on a web site that is for public use. In this case the ...
10
votes
4answers
698 views

Do high-content areas of a website need to be white/light-colored?

Many websites that are designed to be easy to read (eg. nytimes.com or ilovetypography.com) use white backgrounds with black fonts to make the content easy to read. Is it necessary to only use light ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

How do you animate SVG for the web?

Vector graphics are now taking over the web and even mobile applications. Icons, buttons and elements of web pages or mobile apps are now becoming increasingly vector based, dropping bitmaps because ...
10
votes
4answers
57k views

How do I get my vector logos to look super sharp on the web?

I do a lot of work with Illustrator, but I've never been super happy with how my work looks on our website. I've tried various techniques - saving from Illustrator, and opening in Photoshop and saving ...
10
votes
3answers
789 views

How do I work with a logo that has what seems like too many colors?

The company I'm designing a site for has an logo that I must work with. All of my ideas for standard color palettes and layouts are challenged by this logo.. Most [good looking] logos I've worked with ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Styling clean flat-design buttons so they show affordance, and look 'well designed'

I started a tiny CSS framework recently. (http://mincss.com if anyone's interested) I quickly banged out an initial design for some buttons. After asking for feedback on UX StackExchange (and ...
10
votes
3answers
604 views

Should text indent be used on the web?

I thought of adding text indent to my website (-having the first line of paragraphs indented), but first searched a bit, and discovered that many sites do not have any text indent. Why is that? I ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the general process for planning and developing a new website?

I work at an agency mostly focused in software development however sometimes a microsite is accessory to one of our solutions and we need to build it. I'm trying to define a clear process for ...
10
votes
4answers
20k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
947 views

What are some common mistakes that a designer can make when designing for web, and how can they be avoided?

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 ...
9
votes
5answers
734 views

Mockups: Coding vs Drawing?

This isn't about web design but about interface design in general. Is better to code Interface Mockups or "draw" them in a graphics program, like GIMP, Photoshop, etc.?
9
votes
5answers
73k views

Text in my Photoshop image looks “blurry”

I am creating a website header in Photoshop CS5, however when I look at it, the text looks very blurry and I have no idea why. I use the Web preset. What do you recommend for the sharpest and best ...
9
votes
5answers
20k views

How can I make my Photoshop text appear like it does on the web?

Do I really have to design everything in Photoshop with anti-aliasing set to "none"? I'm sure there is a better way. I'd like to have a setting so that when picking a basic web-safe (such as ...
9
votes
3answers
8k views

What are the responsibilities of a web designer

HI All - I am a Coldfusion developer with over 2 and half years of experience. I have some experience with Javascript, jquery and sql. I was thinking to learn Web designing too in my free time. What ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How to avoid the tragic fate in the Oatmeal cartoon “How a web design goes straight to hell”?

This is a famous web comic about a common experience in web design: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/design_hell It's based on the author's personal experiences and describes a typical / caricature ...
9
votes
4answers
755 views

How can a popular free site with minimal budget obtain quality UI/UX design support?

I'm the dev of a web-based music player called TheParade. I listen to music on youtube often, and wanted a better experience, so I created the app, which I've been incrementally coding up over the ...
9
votes
3answers
992 views

What to do when a client is not managing the project and costing you time / money

I've been a freelance designer for about 7 years, but more recently have been functioning more as an agency with private project and a few staff....I wanted to get some advice on some issues that keep ...
9
votes
3answers
7k views

Gutters - Padding and Margin for Columns with Background or Border

What are the recommended design guidelines for gutters when a column (or box, or any layout module) has its shape clearly visible because it has its own background or border? Typically one would put ...
9
votes
4answers
371 views

Critique: Tritium website design

In follow up to this question: Critique: Tritium software logo design. For reviewing the website code (performance, bugs, related user experience), please visit the sister question on Code Review. ...
8
votes
8answers
17k 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?
8
votes
7answers
12k views

Testing if a BG will Repeat Tile Properly in Photoshop?

I am frequently working to create background textures in Photoshop to be used on the web. Unfortunately I usually have to guess, or just use freebies from other websites. I would like to build my ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

Are graphic designers for web supposed to know JavaScript?

If you were to hire a graphic designer to pretty up your web pages, would you hire him/her if the person has no experience in JavaScript but has a very good understanding of HTML and CSS? How ...
8
votes
2answers
598 views

Why does browser add bluish and brownish colors to a solid font color?

I'm wondering why my browser (Firefox) add blue tints on the right and brown tints on the left of a solid grey (#333333) font color as shown in the image below. Could somebody explain to me why ...
8
votes
12answers
10k 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. I want to make sure the client can see everything in context. I don't want to assume ...
8
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
9k views

The most advanced JPEG image compression on mac?

Sometimes i work with JPEG files for my web designs. There are occasions where the PNG format is not suitable.. There are several optimization techniques for the PNG format, but I noticed that for ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I create hand-drawn style graphics for my website?

I am developing a web page for web based application, i am new to web design, so forgive if i have asked very basic question. i want to create icons and embed into my existing png image file. i have ...
8
votes
4answers
10k views

A good monospace, condensed and open-source typeface?

I'm looking for an optimal typeface for report tables that will contain many columns (the reason for condensed). The reason for monospace is that these reports will contain a lot of numbers and we ...
8
votes
4answers
11k 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 ...
8
votes
9answers
1k views

What's up with the one-page website design fad?

I've seen an influx of websites that put all of their content on one page, ala this site. Even the sites on some of the lists I see in Smashing Magazine do this (like this one, with what seems like a ...
8
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...