The Secret Handshake is a fabulous project, aimed at helping young designers (18–25) find their way into the industry. You should always quantify the advice you take based on who’s giving it to you, and The Secret Handshake — set up by Bright Bright Great — offers advice from some hugely successful industry names, as well professionals who’ve looked through thousands of job applications. The advice is filterable based on résumés, application processes and organizing your portfolio. There’s also a series of events, although to date these have mostly taken place in Bright Bright Great’s backyard of Chicago.
When I was first introduced to graphic design, I was extremely young and a member of a pretty popular message board. Posters showed respect for other members by presenting them with these things called “sigs” — they were little rectangular graphics that fit in the reserved area for a person’s signature. If you’re familiar with message boards and forums, you know exactly what I mean. If not, it was just an image that showed up at the bottom of someone’s message. This wasn’t an exclusive concept for these message boards, as many did use this feature. Back then, I downloaded either Adobe Photoshop 4 or 5 (it was so long ago, I can’t recall the version). I went to work and eventually taught myself how to do many of the things these other designers were doing. The designs we made were elaborate and colorful. They were fantastical and made people feel like they were mystical creatures hidden by the cloud of reality. These sigs were nothing but decoration and the more fun you had, the more the receiving member loved it.
Every week we tweet a lot of interesting stuff highlighting great content that we find on the web that can be of interest to web designers. The best way to keep track of our tweets is simply to follow us on Twitter, however, in case you missed some here’s a quick and useful compilation of the best tweets that we sent out this past week. Note that this is only a very small selection of the links that we tweeted about, so don’t miss out. To keep up to date with all the cool links, simply follow us @DesignerDepot
146 Shares/ Jun 16, 2013
Every week we feature a set of comics created exclusively for WDD. The content revolves around web design, blogging and funny situations that we encounter in our daily lives as designers. These great cartoons are created by Jerry King, an award-winning cartoonist who’s one of the most published, prolific and versatile cartoonists in the world today. So for a few moments, take a break from your daily routine, have a laugh and enjoy these funny cartoons. Feel free to leave your comments and suggestions below as well as any related stories of your own…
145 Shares/ Jun 15, 2013
It was only a matter of time before Apple’s recent updates by hardware design chief Jony Ive became fodder for talented jokesters and spoofers alike. A new Tumblr blog, aptly named Jony Ive Redesigns Things, is a sampling of mockups by web users around the globe of familiar items redone in Ive’s colorful iOS7 motif. LA-based designer Sasha Agapov started the blog with a Google redesign. Items posted range from the Mona Lisa, to a Coke bottle, to Microsoft; along with every social media logo imaginable. There’s also a particularly humorous take on iTunes, the Apple logo and the Apple campus.
Most of the time, the first contact a customer will have with your business is through your website. Consequently, the website could make or break your business. To ensure that the website makes it, having it be both aesthetically pleasing and user friendly is imperative. Look for five main features in a corporate WordPress theme before purchasing it: responsive design, colorization capabilities, browser compatibility, an advanced options panel, and support. First, a responsive design will allow your users to view the website from any device (smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc). Colorization capabilities free you to select any colors you like for the website. This is important because you want to match your brand’s colors. Hence, choose only a WordPress theme that offers unlimited colors. The theme should be supported by most internet browsers, including Firefox, internet Explorer, Safari, Opera and Chrome. Nowadays, many theme developers sell their themes with an advanced options panel, which enables you to set a myriad of preferences without the hassle of learning code. Don’t go for a theme that doesn’t offer support into the future, including periodic updates and email support.
A good cursive typeface is hard to come by; most have a tendency to look like either a hand-written note from the Marquis de Sade, or a grocery list written in haste by a particularly harassed doctor. Consequently, a script with both clarity and character, suitable for extended use in a project is worth its weight in gold. This week, our sister site MightyDeals.com have arranged a deal on one such font: Thirsty Rough.
Responsive design is a relatively new term in web design. It was only coined three years ago in May of 2010, when web designer Ethan Marcotte used the term in his article for A List Apart. Today, there’s even a mini debate going on regarding whether responsive design is here to stay or whether it’s just a flash in the pan. Only time will tell, but for now, it’s clear that responsive design strives to make the user experience as comfortable as possible. Responsive design is a web design philosophy that focuses on creating sites that give users an enhanced viewing experience. This includes features such as effortless navigation and reading, and a minimum of browser resizing, scrolling and panning. All of this takes place across a range of different devices, from desktops to smartphones.
There has been furious debate in the last twenty four hours on the merits and failings of Apple’s iOS7 update, and the most hotly debated subject is the new icons. They’ve been hailed as a daring, and radical move, and they’ve been condemned as a half-hearted Android rip-off. Apple are hoping that they’ll mark the start of a sustainable alternative to skeuomorphism that isn’t constrained by flat design.
Modus Versus is a free multi-purpose PSD template, designed on the 1170 grid system. Excellent for use with responsive frameworks like the popular Twitter Bootstrap, it could form the basis of a good corporate site. Designed by Dimitar Tsankov, aka Outlinez; 12 PSD files are included, fully layered and organized into folders. Unfortunately the stock images aren’t included. It would be an ideal choice for a marketing or professional services company, or you could pick it apart and use elements of it in other projects.
A couple of weeks ago the famous Foundation framework released its fourth version. If you have never heard of Foundation we’re going to guide you through using this responsive framework. Since version 3 of Foundation was built from the ground up using SASS — a CSS pre-processor that helps in the writing of more efficient CSS — this new version is also mobile-friendly and provides a lot of features in its grid that you don’t get from other frameworks. Let’s dive into Foundation and see why it’s so popular…
There were plenty of announcements at yesterday’s Apple WDDC keynote speech: the new Mac Pro; MacBook Airs; and of course, iOS7. But the announcement that seems to be universally well received is the new version of MacOS X, Mavericks. With lots of little tweaks, notably tags and tabs in the finder, improved notifications and updates to a number of key applications Mavericks is one of the most eagerly anticipated updates ever on the Mac platform. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to wait until the Fall to update to Apple’s new OS… but that doesn’t stop us updating our wallpaper.