101
votes
11answers
6k views

Tips and sources for beginning designers

Thanks to the internet, graphic design and programming are becoming increasingly overlapping fields. As a programmer, I constantly find myself needing basic knowledge of Graphic Design, but have ...
77
votes
23answers
15k views

New generation of Save icon that is not a “disk”?

Currently, the save icon in almost all applications represents a 3.5-inch disk from the 20th century. An example from Microsoft Office 2010 is shown below: As we move towards more advanced ...
68
votes
7answers
6k views

Why do some logos look.. old? How does design age?

This drives me crazy. What makes design look old? How subjective is this? Who decides? Look at this Bell logo: It's from 1969. And boy, does it look that way. It's simple and minimal, but.. it ...
66
votes
12answers
7k views

How do I learn to be creative?

I've been a programmer my whole life, and now I've found that I really need to start designing my own stuff. I know how to use Photoshop in and out, but I just can't create anything nice. I often ...
63
votes
9answers
233k views

Is there a way to copy layers from one Photoshop document to another?

Is there a way to copy layers from one Photoshop document to another? I was working on a project earlier on that required this but I didn't know how this could have been done. (Procedure not as simple ...
43
votes
17answers
2k views

What is the single most influential book every designer should read?

What is the single most influential book every designer should read?
41
votes
5answers
4k views

Are “web-safe” colors still important?

Years ago, it was always strongly recommended that web designers should only use web-safe colors. Have studies been done to see if this is still the case? If so, what's the answer? Edited to add… ...
41
votes
6answers
2k views

What are best practices for choosing and pairing fonts?

I've always found font selection to be a little bit of a mystery. What factors should be considered when choosing a font? How does one successfully incorporate two fonts into a design? I realize that ...
40
votes
3answers
116k views

Export photoshop layers to individual PNG files - batch process?

I am a web dev and competent in Fireworks but not so much in Photoshop. I have just received a layered PSD file to turn into a web page. Can anyone tell me the easiest way to export all layers to ...
39
votes
8answers
18k views

What kind of black should I use when designing for CMYK print?

my question is what kind of black should I use when printing. At the moment I use this black (split into CMYK) : C:0% M:0% Y:0% K:100% It looks fine in InDesign or Illustrator but if I save a PDF ...
36
votes
8answers
4k views

Where are some good places to find royalty free stock images?

I'm always on the hunt for free stock images to use while I design, what are some good resources for images that are under a a royalty free or creative commons licence?
34
votes
8answers
3k views

How to handle client requests to violate copyrights?

I know Google image search is not a free-for-all to grab any image needed. However, many, many, many clients don't grasp this concept and often request or send images they'd like to use which are ...
33
votes
5answers
52k views

Point vs Pixel. What is the difference?

What is the difference between points and pixels?
32
votes
16answers
147k views

Web Safe Alternative to Myriad Pro Font?

Is there any font that I can use in my font stack that is more or less similar to Myriad Pro and web safe?
31
votes
18answers
4k views

What would be a good alternative visual way of representing the Push and Pull signs in doors?

It should be quite straightforward, you read the word and follow the instructions. But day after day I see people in my office coming to the door and pushing when they should pull or viceversa. I'm ...
30
votes
6answers
2k views

How can I describe the font I am looking for or looking at?

I have no experience regarding Graphic Design, so this is kind of a intro question. If I have a font I'd like to identify, but cannot describe the details/semantics of it, how would I explain it? ...
30
votes
8answers
1k views

Is there a good resource or tool to help build a palette/color scheme around colors I select?

No matter how nice the composition, flow, and lines of my design are, if I am not copying directly from nature, I have a very difficult time picking a decent color scheme. It either looks too drab, ...
30
votes
8answers
2k views

Sources for Color Theory or Psychology of Color

Does anyone have a recommendation for a good book/blog/forum that focuses on design principles such as psychology of color, specifically where it relates to picking a color palette for a communication ...
30
votes
12answers
146k views

How to open or save as ico in Photoshop CS6

This plugin to open and save as .ico in Photoshop has been around for a while, but I can't seem to make it work for CS6. According to this question in the Adobe Forums, the plug-in works if installed ...
30
votes
5answers
2k views

How often is the Golden Ratio actually used in modern design?

The Golden Ratio is the stuff of legend (and I believe some derision if Pepsi's latest logo change is of any indication) and is purported to have been used in many famous projects. My question is ...
29
votes
8answers
10k views

What is the difference between CMYK and RGB? Are there other color spaces I should know?

I'm a photographer, who dabbles in graphic design from time to time as well. What are the differences between the various color spaces?
29
votes
7answers
1k views

Should web designers make a free mockup?

I have some potential clients that ask to see something before accept the work. Now, should I make, for example, a free mockup or It's better to find another client?
29
votes
6answers
5k views

Designing around an awful logo

I'm looking for some opinions on how to approach an interesting problem I've encounted. I dabble in UX/graphic design, specifically for the web. Mostly static sites. I do this all on my own time as ...
29
votes
7answers
2k views

What are good sources for Open-Source fonts?

What are good sources for Open-Source fonts? Note that by "Open-Source" I don't mean only free, but truly "open, free to modify and published under an Open Source license" fonts. These are still very ...
28
votes
12answers
921 views

What web graphics formats to use?

Web sites can contain JPEG, GIF,PNG, SVG format graphics. Which ones should be used, and when?
28
votes
6answers
51k views

How can I automatically determine fonts used in an image or PDF?

How is it possible to determine the fonts used by text in PDF and TIFF files?
28
votes
4answers
2k views

What technical/objective qualities do good logos have?

What objective (that is, not aesthetic) qualities should (almost) every logo have, that should you take into account when designing a logo or ask for when hiring someone to create a logo for you and ...
27
votes
21answers
11k views

Why are Apple Macs used so much in the graphic design industry?

Why is it that graphic designers more often use an Apple Mac? I am studying graphic design and I am hoping to do some freelance work in my spare time. I have a unit in my studies to discover why Macs ...
27
votes
2answers
109k views

Making the background of an image transparent

I have some jpg images and I need for each of them to have a transparent background. I have GIMP as a graphic tool. I need to put them in a web page and I need to see just the main element and have a ...
25
votes
7answers
4k views

“Serifs improve fast, easy readability for long text” - myth or truth?

It's an old question, but an important one. Let's see if we can get a good, nuanced, ideally evidence-based answer. So, old-school wisdom (certainly, how I was taught back in the day) says that serif ...
24
votes
11answers
5k views

Do interfaces really need to “look good”?

I notice that sites and software with less superficial value (less style, inspiration, or simply "neat-ness") often succeed far above their fantastically, well-designed counterparts. Is the style, ...
24
votes
4answers
450 views

Should in-house clients receive native files to make their own changes?

I am the in-house designer for a company that employs 8 marketing managers. These marketing managers are the ones that supply me with the lion-share of my projects. However, more and more, the ...
24
votes
8answers
12k views

Are graphics tablets worth it?

I've always felt curious about graphics tablets, but I've never even used one. Most people I know either give up or love them. I'm not a big illustrator myself, but I do the occasional doodle and ...
24
votes
8answers
53k views

How do you make a font in illustrator?

I have recently created my own font/typeface in adobe illustrator and I would like to use it as a REAL font (e.g I would like to use it as I type something). Is this possible in adobe illustrator or ...
23
votes
12answers
1k views

How do you break out of current creative mind sets?

All designers hit a roadblock at one time or another. Few designers get those "dream" projects where they are allowed to create anything and everything they want. In most cases we all have to adhere ...
22
votes
5answers
1k views

What is meant by “busy”?

What do web developers mean when they think something will make their site look "busy"? What gives this feel of busy-ness?
22
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I improve my color selection skill?

I'm a web developer, started to become a web designer. However, I think my understanding of colors is not practical yet. There are tools out there that can give you color harmonies, and more stuff, ...
21
votes
4answers
5k views

Why is it that this color gradient is so much more attractive than others?

I've been playing around with some gradients on a site I'm developing, and I'm really interested in the psychology or other meaning behind why certain colors appear more attractive than others. ...
21
votes
2answers
13k views

Difference between kerning vs letter spacing?

What is the difference between kerning vs. letter spacing?
21
votes
6answers
35k views

What font types are good for a technical document?

What are some good fonts to use for a highly technical document? Is there any specific type that should be used/avoided?
21
votes
11answers
13k views

What DPI should be used for what situations?

I've been seeing the word 'DPI' pop up quite a lot when I export my work out in Photoshop and Illustrator. While I know that DPI stands for 'dots per inch', and that if you have too low of a DPI on an ...
21
votes
6answers
644 views

What are some good resource for programmers to design icons?

I'm a computer programmer, and find myself needing to draw icons frequency. Does anyone out there have any good resources for both the tools and how to design icons?
21
votes
2answers
311 views

How to protect against third-party claims when using free stock images?

Today's royalty-free Stock image sites are relatively open, meaning that theoretically, anybody can submit any kind of content, including copyright-protected content created by others. It's even ...
20
votes
11answers
2k views

Do web designers need to know how to code?

As a front end web developer I work with many different designers and sometimes find it frustrating working with design comps where no thought was put into how to accomplish the design in basic CSS ...
20
votes
12answers
33k views

Is there a standard width for designing web page mockups?

Is there a standard size for the width of a website in a mockup? What is that size? Why?
20
votes
4answers
96k views

Helvetica Neue Equivalent on Google Fonts?

Does anybody know a font on Google Fonts that is very similar to Helvetica Neue?
20
votes
1answer
3k views

How do I create Mexican hat potential figure in Illustrator using 3D Map Art?

This is what I'm trying to create in Illustrator. (for those interested, it's a graph of a Mexican hat potential function) Here's what I've done so far, using Illustrator's 3D->Revolve and Map ...
19
votes
9answers
4k views

I need suggestions for an 'undelete' icon

Trying to come up with a undelete icon, the best ideas I've come up with so far are an upside down wastebin with rubbish underneath it. It is going to be placed on a user profile page that lists user ...
19
votes
4answers
952 views

What should you ask the printer?

We get a lot of questions in regards to what should my file spec be, what should I do with X and Y, how should I do my black etc. etc. and a large majority of the time we suggest to ask the printer ...
19
votes
7answers
1k views

How to convince a stubborn client that white space is absolutely neccessary?

We have all been there: you show a client your design and they say "look at all that unused space, we can go ahead and make the text bigger, in fact let me give you more copy. We need to make use of ...

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