176
votes
13answers
76k views

What is wrong with Comic Sans?

There's a great TEDxExeter talk by a colleague of mine, Simon Peyton-Jones, about the recent advances in the English lower school 'computer science' curriculum. Like all of his slide decks he uses ...
155
votes
12answers
14k views

Tips and resources 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 ...
133
votes
3answers
673k views

Making the background of an image transparent in Gimp

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 ...
131
votes
10answers
586k views

How 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 ...
117
votes
25answers
37k 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 ...
109
votes
14answers
18k 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 ...
100
votes
9answers
12k 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 ...
97
votes
4answers
310k 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 ...
74
votes
4answers
342k views

Replacing whiteness with transparency in CS6

I want to replace the whiteness in pixels with transparency in the same way as described in this question - i.e. for lighter pixels to be made proportionally as transparent. All solutions found via ...
66
votes
5answers
152k views

Point vs Pixel: What is the difference?

What is the difference between points and pixels?
64
votes
17answers
4k views

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

What is the single most influential book every designer should read?
62
votes
8answers
14k views

What is so good about Helvetica?

For as long as I have known, a majority of designers have been beyond enamoured with Helvetica. While I can see that it's a nice typeface, I really don't understand the hype. Some research into the ...
57
votes
10answers
182k views

Is there a free 'Helvetica Neue' alternative?

Does anyone know any other fonts similar to Helvetica Neue (free for commercial use)? I'm working on a big website project where 'Helvetica Neue' is used heavily. I need a font that looks almost the ...
57
votes
6answers
10k 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? Does anyone know ...
56
votes
5answers
16k views

Why don't upper case numbers exist?

Capital letters add a lot to text in various ways, for names, brands, emphasis (although capitalisation for emphasis is frowned upon) Why then, are there no upper case numbers?
56
votes
9answers
64k 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 ...
56
votes
11answers
350k 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 ...
54
votes
6answers
13k views

Before computers, how did cartographers draw roads with perfectly parallel sides?

If you're drawing a road on a map, and that road happens to be straight, it's easy to draw its two sides parallel: you just move the ruler. But most roads twist and turn, and drawing their sides ...
54
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
52
votes
8answers
7k 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 in a design or ...
52
votes
13answers
19k 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?
51
votes
6answers
242k views

How to modify the corner radius on rounded rectangle in Illustrator?

I always ended up just creating a new rounded rectangle if the existing one don't work. Is there a way to modify the corner radius without having to create a new shape? I know I can modify the bezier ...
50
votes
6answers
69k views

What does the size of the font translate to exactly?

I have a 40 pixel font that I'm trying to translate into custom images. I'm trying to match the size of the image exactly, but I'm having some problems getting exactly the right size. Basically, what ...
50
votes
4answers
221k views

Helvetica Neue Equivalent on Google Fonts?

Does anybody know a font on Google Fonts that is very similar to Helvetica Neue?
49
votes
15answers
248k 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?
48
votes
7answers
7k views

Why do two perfectly adjacent rectangles create black or white lines in between as if they were overlapping or not exactly adjacent?

I have a flat design (well, it's supposed to be), but these black and white lines between the shapes are so annoying... [no stroke] take a look: See these lines between two overlapping rectangles? ...
48
votes
9answers
10k views

Selling a logo to a business who did not ask for one

One of my projects in college was to recreate a logo for a local business. The professor picked the business and I do not believe the business owners know about it. Since my logo has won several ...
45
votes
12answers
106k views

What is the easiest way to export just the selected objects in Illustrator?

The title says it all, I want to know what the simplest way to export the selected objects. In Inkscape, there is a menu option called export selected which does just this. The aforementioned ...
45
votes
11answers
3k 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, ...
43
votes
2answers
36k views

Difference between kerning vs letter spacing?

What is the difference between kerning vs. letter spacing?
42
votes
11answers
8k views

Why is it that people are so surprised that graphics design can be hard?

Why is it that people are so surprised that graphics design requires skill and knowledge*? Sure superficially there is nothing special in graphics design at first glance. Still, there is quite much to ...
42
votes
6answers
151k 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?
41
votes
6answers
4k views

What’s the right character for an apostrophe?

Many times I encounter the so called "typewriter apostrophe" (Unicode character U+0027 and HTML symbol ') to represent an apostrophe: But on the other hand, the "right single quotation ...
41
votes
6answers
9k 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 ...
39
votes
3answers
4k views

Why should I ever use Unicode’s special characters for Roman numerals?

This is to answer a question which arose in the comments on this question on the Unicode characters for Roman numerals: Why is this necessary or preferred over the usual way of typing ai, ai-ai, ...
39
votes
10answers
8k views

Is it frowned upon as a designer if you don't use “top” software?

This question crosses my mind from time to time as I am a Windows user and have often thought about going down the cheaper route by using a Linux based OS such as Ubuntu and getting free software that ...
39
votes
3answers
125k views

How do I stop Illustrator from snapping to pixel increments?

I am working in Illustrator (15.0.2 (CS5) or 16.0.0 (CS6)) and when I try to move objects small distances, they snap to the nearest two pixels on some invisible grid. I can't find anything in the ...
39
votes
8answers
3k 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 ...
39
votes
8answers
10k 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 ...
38
votes
18answers
6k views

Good visual alternatives of representing the Push and Pull signs on doors?

Using "Push" and "Pull" 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 ...
38
votes
13answers
2k views

What web graphics formats to use?

Web sites can contain JPEG, GIF,PNG, SVG format graphics. Which ones should be used, and when?
38
votes
2answers
9k views

What should I do if a potential client claims my pricing is too high?

I gave a possible client a price estimation for concept of a character, and making it 3D as well. Now I find out that my estimation is double what he is paying his current artists. He never mentioned ...
38
votes
10answers
8k views

Is the use of a QR code worth the space it requires?

I recently had a discussion with a client. He asked me if I felt a QR code on a marketing piece would be beneficial. I asked him, "What would the code contain? What information would the code ...
38
votes
6answers
11k 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? ...
38
votes
6answers
7k views

What is the purpose of using a very dark color for text instead of a pure black?

I have seen that some web designs implement an almost black font color (hex #001c00) in their designs instead of a pure black color (hex #000). Does the design actually benefit from this or is this ...
38
votes
5answers
26k views

Where can I find a large palette / set of contrasting colors for coloring many datasets on a plot?

I need large set (20 and more) of contrasted and easily visually-distinguishable colors for coloring different datasets on a scientific plot (the set of colors should not include white or black, and ...
37
votes
24answers
101k 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 ...
37
votes
10answers
232k views

What resolution should a large format artwork for print be?

For wall sized graphics and large banners (e.g 3m x 5m), what is an acceptable PPI for print. As i understand it 300 PPI is the typical for 'small' artworks (esp. for clean text resolution), however ...
37
votes
10answers
48k 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?
37
votes
6answers
6k views

Aligning letters “Wrong” appears more “Right”

I'm currently working on a logo for a client. Here is the work in progress. It seems obvious to me that the S should align with the line above. I feel that the best way of aligning it however is to ...

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