Articles by Paddi MacDonnell

All designers need a little inspiration from time to time. So it’s lucky for us that there are thousands of designers, educators, philosophers, writers, and business people willing to hand out advice for free. What is more, the Web is packed...
It’s been a great year for fonts. New, more affordable, options in font design software, and more and more designers moving over to font design has produced a great crop of typefaces that are absolutely free to use for personal and commercial...
By now, most Apple fans have their hands on an iPhone 6, and they do look pretty incredible — even if Apple have accidentally introduced curved screens. The iPhone is a wonderful example of iterative design; each model is an evolution rather...
WordPress 4.0 is now available, and millions of sites worldwide are in the process of upgrading. Despite the fact that WordPress themselves have talked down the significance of the .0 version number, WordPress 4.0 may be the most significant...
The hamburger icon—three little bars used to indicate a link to a menu—is one if the most controversial techniques on the Web right now. Designers, we are told, all hate it; customers, we tell everyone, hate it too. Why then, is it everywhere?...
We might be inclined to think of highly decorative and multi-colored fonts as belonging to the digital type age. Not so. Chromatic Type which enabled the use of outlines, shadows, and multiple colors (among other things) go back to the mid-19th...
The pinnacle of web development is hand-coding. No other approach delivers the same bespoke quality, performance and all round job-well-done-ness as rolling up your sleeves and digging into source code. As a result, most of us spend all day...
It's looking to be the hottest trend to hit web design since large text: inline typefaces are the perfect marriage of character and clarity. Perfect for flat design, inline typefaces create texture without using bevels or drop shadows. Typically...
Designers often find themselves in a chicken-egg situation when it comes to content: you need the content to design, but the client wants to write content for finished designs. This is where placeholder text comes in. Since the 1500s the role...
As designers we seem to have lost our courage, churning out identical brand 'solutions', posting Dribbble shots of the same regurgitated formula. Perhaps it's the lack of control on the web. Perhaps it's the increasing need for an international...
A few weeks ago Alex Cornell, posted what he describes as "The Worst Portfolio Ever" a page of clichés, overused trends and boring copy. His motivation was presumably to educate the masses as to how a portfolio should look. Cornell's amusing...
One of the biggest trends right now is animation. It's smaller than video, more engaging than still images, and the range of talent worldwide seems to grow daily. Just a couple of years ago, web animation meant Flash, and when Flash lost credibility...