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Tips for a Better Checkout Page Design

To design a positive check out page, you have to be an experienced designer. The more layout pages you design, the better you get at creating good experiences. If you are designing a check out page, there are many things to consider — functionality, usability, security, and design. To design an effective checkout page, you have to take the time to learn about conversion rate, cart abandonment, billing information, and many other practicalities. This page is about numbers, profit and sales. So it cannot be designed as an afterthought as it is one of the most important pages in the online shopping experience.

To create a great online checkout page experience, you have to be able to create a digital environment that can improve the income growth for a particular business. We have gathered some important suggestions for you to consider when designing a check out page.

Study the audience

It is important to keep in mind that you are not designing the page for your client but for customers who will be using their product or services. So take the time to learn and understand the audience. So when you set up a meeting with your client, make sure to ask him necessary questions like

  • Who is your target user?
  • What is the cart abandonment rate?
  • What are their needs?
  • What are some of the problems they have encountered so far?

Once you are able to understand the goals of the company, you will find yourself designing an effective check out page that is well aligned with the voice and values of the business.

Functionality

As a designer, you are not just responsible for creating the layout and other elements of the page but also the overall functionality of the design. Here are some important points to consider

  • Provide a progress status indicator on the top of the form. This lets the users know where they are in the checkout process, so they are able to make informed decisions while shopping for a product. Try not to break the process by inserting a required form in the middle of it. This breaks the smooth and linear process of the overall shopping experience.
  • Don’t use the update button to modify the value. Give the freedom for the customers to be able to adapt things in their cart without having to refresh the entire page.
  • Display the gross price of every product they purchase from the start. This will help bring more clarity to the purchase and help eliminate any unwanted frustrations that may arise later on.
  • Design for the smallest screen. When are designing for mobile, you will be working with the most essential features of the design. It is easier to scale your designs to a larger screen once you have worked out a way to fit the content into a mobile screen
  • Show descriptive texts as much as you can. Most users are often confused about the data entry so having your descriptive texts can help them complete the form with ease.
  • Include country-specific payment options. This means that by offering local payment options relevant in the countries they reside in, you are widening your customer base.

Visuals

It is important to make the check out page of an e-commerce page visually appealing. It is also important to remember to design it in a way that it remains consistent with the rest of the site. This establishes consistency and helps with brand credibility. Now, let us take a look at some of the essential elements that need to be on the page.

  • Use high-quality images that catch the eye of the user. It should also be accompanied by an icon and a descriptive text that lets the user know what they are buying.
  • Incorporate the main logo on the page. This way the users are able to click on it to find their way back to the home page.
  • Call to action buttons like ‘Add to Cart’ ‘Update Cart’ and ‘Buy Now’ should be designed in a way to grab attention. This means that you would have to play with the text, colors, and their shape to make them stand out on the page.
  • It is okay to use color on your check out page but be sure to keep it consistent with the colors of the rest of the site.
  • Typography – It is advised to use simple text to make the content more readable. Novelty fonts are harder to read, to stick to sans serifs for readability and legibility of the text.
  • Consider making the product images bigger. This allows their users to take one last look at an image to check the color, sizing and other details. If the user has to go all the way back to the main page to check or modify these details, cart abandonment rates are bound to increase. Using a hover functionality can help in this area as well.
  • Organize the information you have inside tables with precision. Having each product displayed vertically within the box can help you take a look at all the items on a page without having to move across screens.
  • Add payment logos and security seals to your check out page. Including these visuals next to the payment options reinforces the idea is a visual cue for the users and helps eliminate any confusion when making the purchase.

Conclusion

When designing a check out page, it is important to focus on usability. The key is to keep it simple. If you design a page with organized content and visuals that are able to engage the user you are increasing your chances of it being effective. Running A/B tests are another way to figure out how it performs against its competitors. Strive to design a page that has engaging visuals, organized content, reassuring icons and descriptive text that can guide and promote sales.

  Image Inq   Feb 13, 2019   Design   0 Comment Read More

8 Unexpected Career Paths for Graphic Designers

As graphic designers, we often have to wear multiple hats and  work on numerous things, like marketing, advertising, designing to name a few. Advancements in technology have drastically changed this industry, and to keep up with the changes, in addition to being the jacks of all trades, graphic designers today have to be specialized in their skills and find a niche that is relevant to their work. Just because you studied graphic design in school doesn’t mean that you have to be a graphic designer. You’d be surprised to know that there are a lot of other job opportunities open to people with artistic flair. Familiarizing yourself with the different options that are available to you will help you shape your future career path. In the article, we will be exploring the many choices you may not be aware of and how they can help inspire your creative career.

1. Creative services manager

Creative services managers are usually paired with design talent and management skills. They usually act as a liaison between management teams and creative professionals. They have to make sure the projects are completed on time and budget is honored. They usually are experienced creative professionals or graphic designers who were promoted from the ranks of junior designers. They don’t work on creative production tasks on a day to day basis but are able to handle hands-on design jobs when needed. They work in both managing marketing teams and promoting their products and services.

2. Email marketing manager

The content of an email, its length and send times are all factors in determining the company’s success. Email marketing professionals are people who are tasked with sending out engaging email communications for an organization. They work closely with a team of copywriters, marketing managers, and UI specialists. They usually have to have a basic understanding of the principles of design and learn HTML, CSS to be able to design an effective email.

3. UI Designer

UI designers help create beautiful interfaces that connect users to a device. To be able to create an effective and engaging site layout, they would have to understand the fundamentals of visual design. They usually would have to work closely with the development team to build interactive web applications. They are responsible for creating a good user experience while interacting with a web or mobile application. UI designers focus on the surface level of an interface while UX designers work on the back end processes.

4.Web Designer

Graphic designers are well suited for web design. They can also be done by creative professionals who are visually savvy. Besides having a strong aesthetic understanding, it is also important for them to be able to code. As web designers, you often end up working with web design and development teams to create and build a website. Professionals in this industry end up working for a company in creating and maintaining their website or for a collective that specializes in creating websites for a number of different companies. Its often advised finding your niche as a web designer and companies prefer designers who are able to design and build your web applications.

5. Art Director

Art directors usually have years of experience working as graphic designers or other creative fields. They are responsible for creating the overall feel and mood of the project or campaign. This requires them to have incredible attention to detail as they would have to make sure every element of the design fits in with the overall vision of the project. They usually work with a team of creative professionals and guide and lead them to create different elements of the design. They are responsible for creating the vision for the marketing campaigns, advertisements and other brand imagery for the company. It takes years of practice to inspire and educate your team and your clients.

6. Packaging designer

Packaging designers have to determine the best packaging for the product they are designing – from materials used for the design, its structural form, ease of opening and environmental concerns should be taken into consideration when designing a package. Graphic designers and illustrators with a foundation in design are ideally the best candidates for this career opportunity. Packaging designers are always on the lookout for the best and creative ways to package a product. To market a product effectively, it requires them to make engaging artworks for their packaging.

7. Book designer

Printed pages are still very popular among book lovers all over the world. This means that there is a high demand for eye-catching book covers that will draw in potential readers. They are also responsible for designing and developing every element of the book except its content. Authors and writers create the actual storyline while book designers create the physical product. They design book covers, pick typography, craft end pages and convey the author’s message using the overall design of the book.

8. Instructor/Teacher

A high number of students who graduate out of graphic design schools go on to become lecturers. After years of experience in the field, they are usually ready to offer their expertise and learning to the next generation of budding designers. Graphic design instructors may teach at high schools, community colleges and career colleges training students in graphic design and other related programs. Teachers usually are tasked with not only following the teaching curriculum but also to inspire, engage and challenge the students — this means that they should be able to create a class environment bursting with creative energy.

Interested in any of the above? If you are looking to switch careers, it is a great time to start thinking about it now. This will help you forge a career path by choosing a specialty that you think you will be good at. There are so many ways to grow as a graphic designer. Being aware of the different opportunities you have will help you make an informed decision and forge a career path that you think will help you the most.

  Image Inq   Feb 11, 2019   Design   0 Comment Read More

15 Graphic Design Projects to Inspire You to Enter Design Awards

There are many great design competitions that give you the chance to be internationally recognized. A’Design Awards is one of them. It happens every year and projects that push the boundaries and focus on innovation and creativity usually secure a place in the finals. There are plenty of other design competitions that can help you build your reputation as a young designer. Let us delve deeper into some of the best projects that were showcased by different designers around the world. Hopefully, this should give you the inspiration you need to get your work out there. Make your way through this article to see how different each style is, and if this gives you the encouragement you need then scroll down all the way to the bottom to find out how you can enter.

1. Calendar 2018 Puzzle by Katsumi Tamura

This calendar is designed to look like a toy. The form can be shifted freely to form other objects.  This 3D calendar consists of various pieces that can be put together to form patterned pieces in any way you like. It is designed by Katsumi Tamura.

2. Anti-Glitch Foundation by André Arruda at Papanapa

Brazilian studio, Papanapa developed a new visual identity for Anti glitch foundation.  Inspired by the 8-bit language, its incomprehension and the inconsistency left by the glitches, Andre Arruda set out to design a whole new visual identity for the brand. They incorporated many concepts such as fragments, conflict, montage and exaggeration to convey technological, creative and automated processes behind its services.

3. Licha Packaging by Uvisual

Licha is a Taiwanese tea brand that embodies the characteristics of the different flavors they sell. Uvisual expands this idea and created colorful packaging integrating different characteristics of the products.

4. Maker Oats brand packaging by PepsiCo Design

This packaging embodies simple, high quality and natural design principles. The choice of color, contrast, and iconography is used to communicate the brand’s message. This modern interpretation of a traditional design is what makes the brand unique.

5. Tropical Lighthouse vinyl record by Robert Bazaev

This vinyl record is designed by Robert Bazaev inspired by the sounds of the tropical rain forest. The record is by the artist Mtendere Mandowa, whose music contains beats in combination with a light vibe of retro creating an alien-like landscape.

6. Soul drops Detergent by Réka Baranyi

This beautiful packaging really stands out from the crowd. This laundry detergent bottle is reimagined by Reka Baranyi in pastel colors and creates a unique look and feel that can’t be replicated.

7. Omdesign 2017 promotional packaging

Om designs promotional packaging has won many international awards over the course of three years. Using sustainable materials they have created this packaging that is shown in the image below

8. Amaro 33 packaging by YG Design

This packaging is a modern interpretation of their older design. The look of the packaging varies throughout the day. It looks modern during the day while the letterforms brighten up in the dark. It is designed by YG Design.

9. Excalibur by Fengsheng Cai

The inspiration behind this design comes from the movie the legend of the sword of King Arthur. The packaging is designed to look like his armor and shaped to look like a teardrop. The bottle is featured inside the packaging and it rises up slowly as your open it.

10. Santaren Rum Bottle by Estudio Maba

Estudio Maba is the designer behind this packaging of the rum bottle. Inspired by the old engravings, the packaging of the bottle suggests that the drink inside it took a long time to make. It looks old and full of feeling and history.

11. Flo Alkaline Water by Matter Branding

This premium brand of alkaline water was first released in Egypt. The creator behind this project states that they set out to create an intricate brand that embodied their values, vibrancy, boldness, and sophistication.

12. In The Mood for Coffee packaging by Salvita Bingelyte

Salvita Bingelyte, the designer behind the packaging label says that she was inspired by monkeys and their behavioral patterns when she created this label. Their expressions, much like us humans reflect their moods. The illustration of the monkey with the hat seems to reflect his mood.

13. Death by Chocolate by Alain Aebersold

The designer behind this brand is Alain Aebersold. Inspired by the album name, he set out to create a crooked and surreal landscape. He took inspiration from old sci-fi movies and other surreal worlds. The album artwork matches the interpretation of the songs and is strangely reminiscent of other iconic album artworks like The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd.

14. The way of Knowledge book design by Yuta Takahashi

Yuta Takahashi looked at unlikeliest places for inspiration when creating this packaging for this book. Inspired by leather bound bibles and the images of the ‘doors we imagine when we visualize the human thought process’ he set out to create this work. By playing with these concepts, he was able to create textured surfaces with engraved letterforms that evoke the same feeling of an old leather bound diary.

15. Different Every day by Bao Xiying

The inspiration behind this university comes from the Tongji University in Shanghai, China. As each day passes, you can join the dots until you have created a full-scale drawing of a building. Modern and architectural styles are visible in his designs and the structure of the buildings is different every month.

Inspired? Looking to submit your work and enter the contest? Look no further. There are plenty of wonderful opportunities to flex your creative skills. Here are some of the best design contests and competitions you can enter this year:

  1. Adesignwards
  2. Book Cover (deadline: February 28th)
  3. commarts (deadline: May 3rd)
  4. RGD Awards

Winning the coveted prize will help add credibility to your work and gives you the chance to work with some of the best artists, designers and industry professionals in the field.

  Image Inq   Feb 07, 2019   Design   0 Comment Read More

11 Important TED Talks Every Freelance Designer Must Watch

Freelancing is tough work and it comes with its own share of problems. Managing finances to the psychological toll of having to find new projects can handicap a beginner. But when done right, it can be so rewarding. There is a lot of free advice online, but how do you find the one that works for you?  Whether you are a veteran or a recent college graduate, finding the right resources and inspiration can fuel your creative career.

Here is a list of amazing TED talks that combine complex concepts and incredible storytelling to inspire your freelancing endeavors. It is always rewarding to watch a human talk about their real-life experiences, you would be able to gain a fresh perspective and useful tips while you are at it.

1. Embrace the near win

This talk by Sarah Lewis is about understanding and living through the turbulence and disappointments of an artists life. During her time at the Museum of Modern Art, she noticed the trials of a student whose artwork only met the mediocre standards of beauty. Her study on this student and his artwork made her think about our own reactions to failures and its place in our society and our lives. She talks about how our almost-failures push us towards mastery. “Success is a moment, but what we’re always celebrating our creativity and mastery,” she points out. If you are a freelancer with a few failures under your belt, then this talk is for you!

2. Grit: The power of passion and Perseverance

In this talk by Angela Lee Duckworth, she examines how self-control and grit can be helpful in predicting professional success. If you are looking to learn how to build grit and use it fuel your creative career, then this TED talk is a must watch

3. The puzzle of motivation

In this brilliant video, Dan Pink the author of Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us – explains how our work often has less to do with extrinsic motivation. What motivates people to create their best work is a feeling that your work matters and has a purpose. So if you are a freelancer trying to delve deeper into the abyss of freelancing business then this talk is for you.

4. What makes us feel good about our work?

Dan Ariely is a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University. In this talk, he explains why it is important to find meaning and purpose in the work you do. He presents us with two eye-opening experiments where he shows how the nuances in attitudes towards your work can change your relationship with it. As a freelancer, how do you motivate yourselves? What makes you wake up every morning and work? If you find yourself asking these questions, then give this short video a watch.

5. Inside the mind of a master procrastinator

If you are about to start a freelancing career this talk is for you. Blogger Tim Urban talks about how we procrastinate the most important things in our lives because they don’t have deadlines. In this short video, he takes us on a journey through various habits and makes us think about why we procrastinate the way we do.

6. How to find work you love

Scott Dinsmore was on a quest to understand why 80% of the working class men and women hate the work they do. By studying the remaining 20% of the population, he was able to distill the results down to a framework that is based on passion. He talks about practicing 3 simple techniques on finding and working a job you love.

7. How frustration can make us more creative

This is a great clip to watch when you are low on motivation. In this talk, economist Tim Harford talks about how frustration can actually help fuel your creativity.

8. A guide to freelance art

Molly Heady-Carroll lives in the Netherlands and makes pixel art, comics, and illustrations for a living. In this short video, she talks about how to effectively work with teams and best practices for freelance work.

9. Why do ambitious women have flat heads?

Stephanie Shirley is a tech entrepreneur. She made millions by founding an all-women tech company in 1960’s. In this insightful and inspiring talk, she talks about her life in Nazi-occupied Europe and her time and some tips on finding ambitious women. If you are en route to starting a business and entrepreneurship, then this talk is for you.

10. The year I was homeless

Most people don’t choose to freelance because of the many unknowns associated with the nature of work. If you ask a salaried person why they don’t freelance, the answer always revolves around the fear of an unstable income. In this insightful talk, Becky Blanton shares her story. She talks about how her freelance job ended after a death in the family and how she turned her life around.

11. Why work doesn’t happen at work

For freelancers, getting work done is a sure-shot way to a better income. But more often than not work doesn’t work in places we imagined it would. In this video, Jason Fried talks about productivity and why people can’t get their work done at work. In this fascinating talk, he introduces a radical way of thinking about work. He identifies the problems and lays out suggestions to make it work. If you are about to start the project you have been putting off, this video will motivate you to start it today.

  Image Inq   Feb 04, 2019   Design   0 Comment Read More

19 Best Logo Kit Samples

Logos are the simplest and the most effective way to promote your business. This graphical representation of a brand raises its awareness in the marketplace and are usually used across various documents and print collateral. A well-designed logo usually tells a story that is meaningful and resonates with their audience.

Every brand has a logo, the sheer number of existing logos that are out there can seem overwhelming and can set us on a search to find a graphic that hasn’t been represented before. As humans and as designers we are consuming the same information and working for the same clients, so its only natural to find the logos to look and feel similar in their form and composition. Finding a balance between simplicity and uniqueness seem to be the way of creating and solving this identity paradox.

Your brand matters and to be able to build a great logo, you should be able to build a logo design process that can clearly represent the values and the story of the company. To help, we have summarized some concepts and logo design template kits to build the perfect logo.

Here is a pack of minimal logo designs with single strokes, clean white spaces, and handwritten fonts. These templates let you choose or re-work pre-made shapes and symbols to adorn your corporate emblem. It includes the -100 Minimal logos, + 20 Minimal logo with Watercolor, + 20 Png File Watercolor background (Wide 2000+ pixel), 100% Vector fully editable, Ai, Eps, PSD files

This logo kit features a deer logo in a variety of ways. You are able to choose one from their diverse collection of background and fills. Different styles can be used to represent your business category and add vibrant color to finalize your design. It includes 4 version in a pack, Live Stoke, don’t outline (file only illustrator in CS5 & EPS CS5), 100% Resizable, 100% Text is editable, the Only free font used, Color is easily changed

Use of textured backgrounds can help create a faded/vintage effect. Choose one from the many options from this icon kit and add a text arrangement at the bottom to create a unique graphic. It features 100% vector, Customizable: colors and shape,26 different symbols and Texture included

Design a health logo with this logo kit. This kit can be used to create logos for the Health Industry or Event, Fitness or Gymnastic Club, Spa Treatment, Yoga or Meditation Center etc. (general business)

Make a logo with this flower symbol. This file is vector based and can be used with Illustrator.

This logo kit can be used on photoshop and illustrator. It is super easy to use and can be customized to fit your needs. It features 32 different animal shapes and can be customized to changes stroke lines, filled shapes and background colors.

Free vintage logo kit with beautifully crafted free vintage themes.

This free logo kit template lets you create gorgeous labels for branding projects. It is very easy to use. You can create logos with the shapes, brushes and other toolsets or just use pre-made templates that are included in the kit.

Logo creation kit bundle is a collection of various logo templates, font families, vector templates and blurred backgrounds. This is a good kit to use if you are looking to hand-made illustrations and textural backgrounds.

You can use this kit on illustrator and photoshop. All of the logos are fully editable and are available in PSD, AI, and EPs formats. It contains about 40+ basic elements, 13 pre-made frames, and about 40+ frames.

This logo kit has about 14,400 pieces in it and can be used to create fun, and feminine logos. It contains about 240+ decorative elements and 60+ name based text combinations. Use this kit to make feminine logos for women’s businesses like blogging, photography, and graphic design

Create mandala style logos easily with this kit. You can start by using their pre-made templates or start creating one from scratch. It comes with its own fully narrated video tutorials and illustrator files.

This kit comes with its one built-in templates and logo files. It includes over 300 elements and 12 pre-made logo templates. It also comes with a variety of graphics like illustrations, patterns, decorative elements and more.

DF Logo design kit allows you to put together your ideal logo in minutes. It contains about 240 elements, frames and other decorative elements that can be used to make the logo. It also comes with a manual on how to use the files with illustrator and Photoshop.

Typographic logo creator is a logo design tool kit for typographic logo projects. All of the typography fonts and the decorative elements are handmade. The files are editable in both photoshop and illustrator. It contains about 170 Handmade items, 40 Premade base logo typography and 100+ Doodles for logo design.

Looking to create a design for your brand. Branding kit for photoshop comes with 12 pre-made logo templates that come with its own matching monogram options and logo versions. It also includes a variety of graphics like illustrations, decorative elements,  and patterns.

This is a fun and young logo kit designed for online advertising businesses. It comes as a grayscale & colored version, and 3 file formats.

This kit features a K letter logo. It is built on illustrator and is fully editable. The simplistic shapes with clean vector lines and colored fills create an impactful logo design.

Create unique logos with the help of this logo design kit. It comes with 120 pre-made shapes, 60 brushes, and 40 text combinations. Mix and match various elements to create the perfect logo design for your business. It includes 24 brand new Ready to Use Logos, 24 new Brushes, 74 additional Ready to Use Logo Bases and 20 new Text combinations.

  Image Inq   Jan 31, 2019   Design   0 Comment Read More

An Introduction to Structural Typography

Typography plays an important role in design. To communicate a brands message effectively, designers have to spend time understanding the nuances associated with each typeface. There are a lot of variables that can affect the overall readability and legibility of a typeface. Rhythm is one of them. Just like music, text can flow like a symphony or be scrappy and disjointed like a persistent scratchy sound from an old vinyl record. A well-designed text with harmonious rhythm is easier to read than a scrappy one. There are two types of rhythm in typography – horizontal and vertical.

Both affect the overall reading experience. Horizontal rhythm effects readability whereas vertical rhythm effects legibility this, in turn, impacts the overall visual hierarchy. To make the act of reading effortless, designers should pay attention to a set of rules that can help improve the overall reading experience of the user. To help make typography work for you, here are a few practical recommendations that you can use in your projects.

1. Selecting a typeface

Start your project by selecting a typeface. This is an important decision, so make sure to take your time to find one that works for your project. The look and feel of the typeface you chose will have a strong impact on the quality of your design. Once you have chosen a typeface, take the time to learn it. Modern typefaces come with a variety of styles – play with different weights and styles. Once you have mastered the typeface, you should be able to use it in special contexts — like on a button or labels.

2. Use no more than 3 font types at one time

When combining fonts, it is better to stick to 2 or 3 types. If they are all placed in the vicinity of each other, they are going to make your site look busy and unstructured. Font combinations should create a contrast when paired together. Here is an example of a harmonious pairing. The text on the right, however, doesn’t quite work as well as the one of the left. Mostly because the one on the bottom overshadows its counterpart.

3. Font Sizing

Text sizes impact the overall reading experience. When the text is too small, the users have to strain their eye to read. As a result, most of the information will be skipped. When the text is too big, it poses a different set of problems. So set the font size to a comfortable size to ensure maximum readability. Modular scale technique can help you find the best font size for the project you are working on.

4. Horizontal and Vertical Rhythm

Letter spacing can have a huge impact on the legibility of words. When it is not done right, it can have a negative impact on the overall reading experience as it makes it hard to be deciphered by the brain. Kerning aka the space between letters is another issue that makes the words hard to read. To set a vertical rhythm, you have to have a basic rhythmic unit. This is called line height. The block of text needs to visually connect with the text underneath it, this is what we want to achieve with vertical rhythm and visual hierarchy

5. Mind the Gap

The text is easier to read when it is left justified. The vertical edge to the left assists readers in reading the content from left to right. It is also important to look for gaps to avoid having a single word at the bottom.

It is also important to choose a typeface that works well on various devices. Try to avoid cursive scripts that have uneven rounded edges. This makes the text difficult to read on various devices.

6. Define your goals

When you begin a typography project, it is important to establish design goals. By defining goals ahead of time you are able to create a structure with the help of design principles. Design principles are abstract concepts that can help communicate the look and feel of your work. Setting clearly defined boundaries can help you narrow down a typeface from a plethora of typestyles. For example, typography that is clean and modern should look and feel different from a type that is stable and trustworthy. Different typefaces evoke different emotional responses in the user. So when choosing a type, having a clear understanding of the objective will help you find a suitable one.

7. Content Hierarchy

Once you have defined your goal, the next step should be reserved for understanding the content layout and hierarchy. If you have to design and don’t know what the content is, then it is still better to use a readable text than a lorem ipsum placeholder. Go through the copy and layout different instance of every unique type of content.

Picking typography is hard. It helps to lay them out in an artboard matrix to see how different layout combinations look like. Once you have the content layout, take time to look at the different options and compare one to its neighbor and see which one adheres to your brand objectives/principles. This should help you narrow down the typeface that can represent the look and feel you are going for.

Crafting good typography takes practice. Typography should not only be readable, but it should also make you feel. Designers should take the time to master this skill and this is only possible through daily practice. The more typefaces and styles you try out, the more you will understand different combinations and how best to use it in your project. We hope you take this practical guide to make your process better and faster.

  Image Inq   Jan 29, 2019   Design   0 Comment Read More

Best Visual Design Trends of 2019

It is important for brands to have a distinct style. To create an effective brand, designers must keep a close watch on trends that populate the marketplace. They have to be able to get more creative with how they display their products and services. By studying trends, designers can get a better understanding of what the consumers naturally gravitate towards to. Trends are incredibly difficult to spot at the time but they become a lot more visible years after they have happened.

We have gathered a list of predictions from companies like Adobe and Shutterstock to help you get a better understanding of visual trends coming your way this year.

Color Trends 2019

Color can help communicate ideas and give life and meaning to everything we see. Its power to invoke an emotional response in the viewer can help form a visceral connection between the object and the viewer. Shutterstock gathers data every year by looking at what the users are downloading most frequently. Keep scrolling down to get an in-depth look at some of the best color trends from around the world.

UFO Green, Plastic Pink, and Proton Purple seem to be the most popular choices to look out for this year. UFO greens bright and neon like quality seem to exude an otherworldly quality while plastic pink, on the other hand, has a sharp intensity while proton purple can represent the imminent change in our daily lives. On a global level, Japan’s pink, Brazile’s green and Germany’s Aquamarine where some of the stand out colors this year.

Branding and Design 2019

Colorful, loud and plastic trends are coming back again this year. The pinks and purples from the 1990s are making a huge comeback too. Another trend to catch on to is 80’s opulence. Animal patterns, gold chains, and other mixed media collage prints dominate the market.

Languages of Protest is another trend that will pick up momentum this year. This, paired with bright and bold colors, can represent and showcase a wide variety of ideas that are centered around politics, media, and culture.

Creative Democracy is all about catching on to the creative trends on social media. Brands are tapping into this trend by going after user-generated content. Creative Democracy is about bright colors and diverse subjects that move people.

It is important for brands to be able to instill a sense of trust in their consumers. It is important for them to be able to state their values and have a commitment to transparency. To be able to reach a wide variety of customers, they should be able to incorporate their values into their messaging. This will help them become more ethically aware of themselves.

Abstract Art

Paper cut-outs, unpolished designs, and rough-edged layer and grain textures define the raw look that easily stands out in the midst of polished, pixel-perfect designs. Suggested shapes and objects have replaced well-defined and photo-realistic elements. Shutterstock predicted that 3D patterns are going to be huge this year.

Playful patterns, bright colors and raw home crafted styles have made a comeback. The sheer amount of liveliness of colors and elements show us just how loud and playful designs can be.

Photography and Graphics

This year’s photography trends are going to be inspired by art history and famous paintings. Adobe stock has predicted that there is going to be a lot of nature photography coming our way this year.

With technology seeping into our daily lives, it is becoming increasingly important to surround us with photographs that evoke feelings of well-being and peace. Wellness is another trend that has continued to rise in popularity this year. You would be seeing a lot of graphics related to yoga, mandalas, chakras and other elements related to this theme.

Complex, futuristic Imagery

Futurism is another trend to look out for this upcoming year. The use of AR and VR has created a necessity for futuristic imagery. It celebrates the technological advances of the current year and also draws inspiration from last years futuristic landscapes.

Minimalist Photographs

Photographers are experimenting with minimalism and meaning. We will be seeing more imagery with elements and metaphors that will inspire meaningful discussions this year. By experimenting with form, function, meaning, and metaphors, photographers are taking on projects that contribute to deeper thinking and introspection.

Environmental Awareness

Brands are being more aware of their environment and their impact on a global level. On a survey taken this year, we found out that about 9 in 10 millennials would switch to brands associated with a cause. The visuals like the one below, showing the true state of our environment is bound to inspire change.

Typography

With the emergence of 3D design, type designers have started experimenting with typefaces that have depth and dimension. Vector-based lettering and whimsical typography is a trend that we will be seeing more of this year. Serifs are making a come too. If you are using serifs for your web projects, make sure to use fonts with thick strokes. This will help easily differentiate the ascenders, descenders, serifs, and ligatures. Making the whole sentence a lot easier to read. Above all serif styles help add a sense of character and charm to the overall design, making them a good choice for your web projects.

We live in times of fast-paced visual change, to keep up with the ever growing needs of the economy, brands have to find ways to find visuals that are able to reach their customers. The purpose of learning about trends and their role in shaping the visual culture we see today has never been more relevant. We hope that this year’s predictions will give you a preview of the visual trends that will shape our visual landscape and inspire messy cultural conversations about values and how we express our individuality.

  Image Inq   Jan 25, 2019   Design   0 Comment Read More

15 Must-Try WordPress Themes for 2019

There’s usually a better way to build a mousetrap. The same applies to building a website. WordPress is the most popular CMS on the market. It provides a better way, and the right WordPress theme can make website building even easier. You can do it faster, and with superior results.

Are you already a WordPress user? Then, you know that finding a WordPress theme that best suits your needs. There are just too many WordPress themes on the market. Since your needs are bound to change over time, you end up being stuck with an ongoing trial and error approach.

We’ve made finding a top quality WordPress theme easier. It will be a perfect match for your web design requirements. Plus, the themes we’ve selected will keep up with your changing needs.

That said – Happy Shopping!

  1. Be Theme

If you need to build a website of a special type or one that will serve a special business niche Be Theme can do it; which is why this premier multipurpose theme tops our list.

With its 40 core features that include a library of 400+ pre-built websites, Be Theme is the biggest WordPress theme on the market. It’s Be’s overall performance and flexibility however, that warrants our giving this theme a little extra attention.

These pre-built layouts aren’t merely 2-dimensional designs. They’re responsive, easily customizable, they incorporate functionality that serves as a foundation for your website’s UX, they can be installed with a single click, and they cover more than 30 different industry sectors and website types.

With respect to the remaining core features, there’s the popular Muffin Builder editor/page builder, a powerful Admin Panel, Layout Generator, Shortcode Generator, tons of design elements, grid layouts, a new Header Builder and much more.

In short, Be Theme gives you a formidable web design toolbox to work your magic with.

  1. Bridge

Bridge is a best-selling creative WordPress theme that warrants a good, close look as the possible solution to your website-building needs. Bridge’s open-ended customizability, its host of website design options, and its 5-star rated support have made it the most popular creative WordPress theme on the market, at least in the eyes of its more than 100,000 happy customers.

With Bridge’s library of 376 and growing pre-made websites and its multi-purpose selection of design modules you have everything at your fingertips needed to create listings, online shops, magazines, and just about any other website type; and setup is easy.

You can also pick and choose features from several demos to help create an overall design.

Visual Composer is Bridge’s page builder of choice and other plugins in the package include Layer Slider, Revolution Slider, and Timetable Responsive Scheduling.

  1. Brook

Brook is another multipurpose creative WordPress theme worthy of consideration as it will serve you well no matter what purpose or topic your website might be. Brook has it all in terms of website-building features and capabilities, but its performance is what sets it apart from the majority.

Brook’s developers made a point of double checking their code entirely, so as to provide you with a website-building theme that you can count on with its seamless and smooth performance.

Brook’s extensive collection of frequently updated homepage layouts are constantly kept pace with the current design standards and trends. There’s also a wealth of premium plugins, together with a complete set of highly stunning features namely infinite & one page scrolling, parallax effects, Retina HD sliders, mega menus, off-canvas menu, breadcrumbs and so on.

  1. Kalium

A wealth of layout designs, drag and drop content-building elements, and rich theme options make it both possible and easy to showcase your work as you’ve always hoped to. Kalium is a visually stunning, uniquely well-organized, and highly popular WordPress theme that always support the latest WordPress recommendations.

Its many features include a set of full-concept design demos, premium bundled plugins and premium fonts. Kalium is constantly evolving and improving through its periodic updates.

  1. TheGem

TheGem’s authors seem to have mastered the concepts of beauty and flexibility as applied to creating websites. This multi-purpose toolbox has all the tools you’ll ever need to create stunning websites and the necessary flexibility to create those websites for any purpose you can think of.

ThemeForest users will tell you TheGem is the most beautiful theme on the market from a design aspect – and they should know.

  1. Uncode – Creative Multiuse WordPress Theme

There’s so much to like about Uncode that all of it can’t be covered in a small space. Uncode is fully integrated with WooCommerce, creatives find its layout management options to be extremely useful, and this theme features a wealth of blog and portfolio options.

We suggest you visit the unique creative showcase that highlights what Uncode’s users have accomplished. You’ll find it both helpful and inspiring.

  1. Houzez – Highly Customizable Real Estate WordPress Theme

Few if any multipurpose themes can cut it when it comes to providing the tools necessary to create real estate-oriented websites. You really need to invest in a theme like Houzez if you have any hope  of incorporating the functionality a realtor needs without extensive coding.

No coding is necessary with Houzez. It’s advanced property search, flexible listings, unique property management system and payment gateways are ready to be put to use.

  1. Avada WordPress Theme

Avada is a #1 best seller and the most trusted and complete WordPress theme on the market, and for a good reason. This WordPress theme’s powerful website-building tools and many design options, responsive framework, and first-class support are the reasons Avada’s users have fallen in love with it and why you will too.

Starting with this theme’s professionally designed demos, you can create virtually any design style without any need for custom coding to get exactly what you want.

  1. Real Homes

17,500 purchasers and a product review 4.66/5-star rating suggest Real Homes has more than a few things going for it. Its users love this real estate-oriented theme’s property advanced search and flexible property listing features.

Add frontend property submission and major payment gateway capabilities and options and you have a winner.

  1. Grenada – Creative Ajax Portfolio Showcase Slider Theme

Grenada is a theme for all those who deserve a stunning portfolio website. It was in fact designed to accommodate all creative types. It’s innovative, minimalist, and elegant, it features include the super-fast Ajax page load, and Granada is fully compatible with Gutenberg, a new WordPress 5.0 feature.

Just choose a favorite layout and start building a smashing portfolio.

  1. ForumPress

Not every website features a forum, and few if any multipurpose themes provide the tools necessary to incorporate one in a website design. ForumPress solves that problem.

Driven by the bbPress forum plugin, this specialty WordPress theme features everything needed to create and manage a successful online forum and encourage community participation and collaboration. A lightning-fast search capability is included.

  1. KnowAll

KnowAll is a knowledge base theme that provides customer support even when your away. You’ll have fewer support tickets to manage and happier customers as a result. Customers like being able to find their answers without having to wait, and if they’re not quite sure what questions to ask KnowAll can offer suggestions.

Customers can access your knowledge base from any device, and you’re provided with information on which knowledge base articles generate the most queries.

  1. MOVEDO – We DO MOVE Your World

MOVEDO will rock your world as a web designer and you can rock your website visitors in the same way. The secret is movement, real and imagined. Movement is a powerful and effective way to engage visitors. MOVEDO’s cutting edge designs include unique animations and mind-boggling ultra-dynamic parallax effects.

If your websites have been lacking a certain amount of pizzazz lately, this fun to work with WordPress theme provides a solution that will positively MOVE you.

  1. Schema

An attractive looking website can still be a dud as far as the search engines are concerned. Schema quickly shows search engines where to look to find the features they are looking for, guiding them through your site content element by content element.

Schema takes into account code quality, Google algorithm friendliness, ad management, built-in reviews, and much more to give you higher ad ratings and search rankings and improved UX.

  1. Pofo – Creative Portfolio, Blog and eCommerce WordPress Theme

Pofo is a modern, creative design theme for artists, bloggers, creative teams and businesses, and anyone in need of a portfolio, blog, eCommerce site or a site featuring all three. You’ll find cost-free bundled plugins including the WPBakery page builder and revolution slider in the package.

Pofo is blazing fast and SEO optimized, super flexible, and features the WordPress Customizer and custom shortcodes.

Conclusion

Picking a premium WordPress theme designed to fit your needs shouldn’t be a problem. That is until you’re confronted with hundreds of them. Browse through them long enough and they begin to look alike. But they aren’t alike

We’ve made it simple for you by offering this list of 15 of the very best WordPress themes on the market today. Just what you need to get 2019 off to a rousing start.

Happy hunting!

  Image Inq   Jan 22, 2019   Design   0 Comment Read More

14 Typography Skills Every Graphic Designer Should Have

Typography is an important part of web design. Its impact on the overall design of the website can’t be stressed enough. To create harmonious and readable web pages, designers should pay attention to two main factors — font size and space. By changing these variables, you can create an engaging experience for the reader. Designers have to also pay attention to how typefaces are going to look on various devices. By keeping aesthetics and functionality of the typefaces in mind,  web pages can be designed to draw in a customer to read the content. Let us dive deeper into the factors that influence typography and learn some tips and tricks to make your content more readable and engaging. 

1. Font Size

As designers, you have to know the appropriate font sizes when designing to multiple screens. Typefaces that work on desktops need not necessarily work on mobile devices. For example, font sizes on a desktop vary anywhere between 11pt-14pts. When the same size is used on mobile screens, it will appear too big or small. For mobile screens, typefaces should be readable when held at a natural distance. So knowing the right/appropriate font sizes will help create a better reading experience for the user. For body text, font sizes fall anywhere between 14-16px while secondary or less important fonts can be anywhere between 13px-14px. It is advised to view your typographic choices on the actual device before committing to a standard. This will help you communicate your message with clarity.

2. Measuring Units

For font sizes for mobile devices, ems is considered to be the basic standard. Designers are able to easily scale the sizes of the typefaces because it is based on percentages.

3. Choose contrasting colors

By placing text on a contrasting background, designers are able to add visual interest to the layout. Contrast can be applied to the heading or sub-heading or in relation to text underneath it. If the background color is dark, you can choose a light colored text that can help make the content more readable.

4. Selecting fonts

It is important to choose the right font to ensure readability of the content. When choosing a font, it is better to pay attention to the overall legibility more than the style of the typeface. For example, headings and sub-headings are usually used to draw visitors to the content. So it would make sense to use stylized or decorative fonts for this section. The body of the text should be more readable, it is better to set it to a classic style. This will make the reader read through the entirety of the content.

5. Alignment

Readers prefer to read the text in blocks, especially on a small screen. Text on a small screen should be designed such that the words on the line are spaced equally. This will help eliminate rags on either side of the block. Left justified alignment often ends up being the best choice since it leaves no room for inconsistent white spaces.

6. Leading

When designing for mobile screens, it is better to stick to consistent leading. Leading refers to the space between the lines. Bu tightening the space between lines, you are able to improve the overall readability on a mobile screen.

7. Combining fonts

Finding the right combination of font size and leading will you create an effective block of text. Experiment with font styles and find the perfect combination that ensures readability and minimizes distortion.

8. White Space Visualization

Use space to enhance the design of web pages. By adjusting the space between lines, letters and graphics and paragraphs, you can create a layout that is easy to grasp and in turn, make it more readable. For example, in the case of CTA buttons, the space that surrounds them makes these specialized buttons and links pop.

9. Screen Width and Typography

Screen widths play an important role when designing to devices. For mobile screens, both vertical and horizontal widths must be taken into account to figure out the best alignment and spacing.

10. Use unique font styles

Headings and sub-headings usually have to draw the crowd in. Use decorative or stylized fonts here. This will make the content more distinguishable. Adding some form of visual interest here will enhance the overall visual experience for the user.

11. Functionality

Keep the functionality of the application into account when designing for a mobile web page. Set a particular text to execute a certain function – This will help the users distinguish the text from the other elements on the page and perform specific actions, like send a message or make a call.

12. Font Weight

Experiment with font weights to find the perfect font for your screen. If the trend is all about using big, multiple font weights– text it across different resolutions to ensure minimum disruption.

13. Background

If the background is light, use a darker shade of text color to create the right contrast. For video or for a moving image, try experimenting with color and style. If your page is text heavy, try to minimize the use of interactive elements. If your page involves more hovering, typing, and editing, try to adjust your text and its placement accordingly.

14. Pairing multiple fonts

Combine multiple fonts when designing text for headings, sub-headings and body text. By doing this, designers can create contrast and emphasis to the content that is being designed.  This will not help make it readable but also make the overall reading experience a lot more interesting.

Text being one of the primary ways of communicating, designers often end up devoting their entire careers to type. When choosing and selecting a font, it is important to identify the purpose of your design, as it would have to align with the purpose of your project. We hope that these tips will come in handy the next time you take on a typography project.

  Image Inq   Jan 18, 2019   Design   0 Comment Read More

14 Places to Find the Best Font for your Brand

Branding helps a business form an identity. To create a brand identity, you need to have a visual identity system in place. Core identity of a brand is the following — Color, logo, and typography.    How do you choose the right type? Where will you find it? How do you know if it is going to work? If it is time for you to choose a type for your brand, look no further, we have helped narrow down a list of 10 best free fonts to help inform your font selection process. However, it is advised to check the license for each font before you download them. This is mainly because not all of them offer commercial licenses free of charge. You can still use the ones that come with limited licenses for your personal projects.

Google font is a popular site that helps you share and integrate typography into any design project by simply embedding the link onto your website. Their extensive font library features fonts in over 135 different languages. With over 800 font families in their font directory, google fonts make beautiful typography accessible to their users. The best part of their site is that all the fonts are open source and free to download. In addition to the aforementioned features, they also showcase individual type designers and foundries.  This way you are able to see and learn from people behind each type and their process.

Font squirrel is another great place to download free fonts. They also make it easy to distinguish between the fonts that have a commercial license and the ones that don’t. This is a great place to find free, hand-picked, high-quality commercial fonts. It also comes with a set of amazing tools that helps identify fonts for you. You can do this by simply uploading an image of the font you are looking to find and they will try to find the best match by using a built-in algorithm. Another useful tool is the web font generator.

Dafont is a popular platform that lets you download free fonts. It has a category system that lets you find fonts based on different themes. Fonts on this site can be downloaded for free although not all of them come with a commercial license. In addition to these features, you can also submit a font.

Kimberly Ihres created this site as part of her graduation project. It is a site specifically designed to gather women type designers and their designs. You can submit your designs for free and browse through a collection of beautifully designed fonts.

Creativemarket is an online market place for designers where you can upload graphics, fonts, and templates. It offers a variety of free fonts that can be easily searched for and found. However, you are most likely to find individual fonts than a full family of typefaces. The fonts found here usually provides both commercial and limited licenses.

Looking for unique, high-quality typography? This site offers a collection of curated typefaces. Some of their most notable clients include Apple, Nike, Oprah, Random House, D&G, BBC and Gap

Fontspace offers a collection of over 38,000 different fonts. Fonts are categorized by styles. As a registered user, you are able to explore fonts by style, popularity, and type designers. Create a collection by saving your favorite fonts. To find out the license of the font you are downloading, simply hover over them and see if they offer a commercial license.

Fontspring offers unique typographic designs for premium font families. You can easily find and download free fonts on this site. Fontspring partners with font foundries like EXjLbus, Mark Simonson studio, Canda type, Shinntype and more.

Adobe Typekit offers a complete library of fonts and comes with a creative subscription plan. Find the fonts you need by either exploring a collection of different typefaces from their list or simply upload an image of the font you are looking for and the search engine will try to find the best matches for you. It also houses information about designers and foundries.

Looking for high-quality fonts that are free and comes with a commercial license? Look no further, abstract fonts provide a wide array of free fonts that are easy to access and free to use. You can easily find fonts on this site and the visualized category system makes it easy to look through and find the perfect one.

Fonstruct is a font-building tool that lets you create your own font styles using geometrical shapes. Once you are done building the font, It generates true type fonts, ready to download and can be used in any application. This site showcases more than 40,000 different kinds of fonts all generated by people all over the world. They are all free to download.

This site offers high-quality fonts that can be downloaded with a commercial license. It includes thousands of fonts and is updated on a regular basis. It is easy to find the perfect font by selecting different font style, size, and even the font weight.

Urbanfont is a great platform that offers an amazing collection of free fonts. There are trial versions and full versions that users can browse through before downloading a version that fits your design project. By creating an account, you are able to save fonts and use it later.

Behance is not exactly a platform for free fonts. It is a social network for designers and artists to showcase their work and portfolio. Designers also share a lot of free typography content here. The best part of downloading fonts here is that you come across unique designs that are less used than other sites. By searching for fonts on the website, you are able to see a list of all the available free fonts. By selecting individual typefaces, you are able to download a font free of charge.

  Image Inq   Jan 17, 2019   Design   0 Comment Read More
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