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Website Building Tools You Should Try in 2019

Website builders are not new. But they have evolved through the years to become more powerful and more flexible. They are more efficient, and better able to meet the demands of new technologies. Today’s website-building tools can help individuals, teams, and businesses. They help to build anything from a simple single page site to a large online store.

The current crop of new and improved website builders is very useful. It enables designers and businesses alike to create a website without a developer.

It can sometimes be a challenge to find the best product to fit your needs, especially if you’re a beginner.

You can be relatively new to the game or you’ve been building websites for years. Either way, you’ll find our recommendations helpful in your search for a website or page builder. It will be flexible, easy to use, efficient, and meets your needs.

  1. Elementor

Don’t want to settle for anything less than the best website builder on the market? For WordPress users, it’s Elementor. This WordPress website builder currently has more than 2 million active installs around the globe; it’s especially popular in the UK, Europe, and the US.

The multiple reasons for Elementor’s popularity can be summed up in one word: Efficiency. Everything is WYSIWYG, every design element is fully customizable; no coding needed.

Say goodbye to the headaches of working around a theme’s limitations. Perhaps you’ve come close to fully transforming an idea into reality, but haven’t quite been able to do so. That’s history. Work your magic right from Elementor’s design panel – here the options are endless. Design your own header & footer, create dynamic content, design a blog bit by bit with Blog Archive, integrate custom fields from WordPress, and more.

With Elementor, if you can imagine it, you can build it.

  1. Mobirise Website Builder

One of the advantages of an offline website builder is you can use it in any way you want to. You’re not tied to any particular platform and you can host your site anywhere.

Mobirise is such a website-building tool. Since everything is drag and drop, it’s an amazingly simple tool to work with. Your sites will be 100% mobile ready and super-fast. You can thank Google AMP/Bootstrap 4 framework for that.

No coding is required, and you’re provided with plenty of design aids to work with, including more than 1,500 professionally-designed templates and blocks and a host of icons, fonts, and free images.

Mobirise is free for commercial and personal use, and over 1.5 million sites have already been created with this offline builder.

  1. Portfoliobox

You can build any type of website with Portfoliobox (it’s not theme-based) but this website builder really shows its stuff when used to create portfolio websites.

That’s not surprising since it was created with photographers, artists, and other creative professionals in mind. It’s so easy to work with than anyone can create an attractive, professional-looking website in a few short hours.

Three plans are available. The Free plan includes hosting of 10 pages, 10 products, and 30 images. It’s ideal for small to medium-size portfolio sites, or to learn more about Portfoliobox prior to upgrading to the Pro plan with its hosting of an unlimited number of pages, products, and blog posts and 1,000 images. The Pro plan also includes a personalized domain, Google Analytics, and custom CSS/IS.

The Student Plan is free and features everything in the Pro plan except the domain. Portfoliobox’s complete set of templates comes with each plan.

  1. WP Page Builder

A modern and pleasing UI, full control of your design, state of the art elements and real-time frontend website building characterize the WP page builder. Everything is drag and drop, no developer or design skills are required, and WP Page Builder will be compatible with your themes.

Any page you create will be 100% responsive and mobile ready, and you can save your design blocks for future use.

  1. 8b Website Builder

The 8b Website Builder is brand new, it features a slick, modern UI that’s super simple to work with, and you can create your websites from your desktop or from any mobile device. The 8b builder is Google Amp-based so you can count on your site being super-fast and 100% mobile friendly.

This futuristic website builder is free of charge during this launch period.

  1. Webflow

Webflow gives you everything you need to visually design, build, and launch responsive websites, and create a custom CMS for every website you build — all without coding.

You’ll also enjoy super-fast managed hosting of your sites, without all the laborious setup. Start your designs from a blank canvas, a free or premium template, or from a third-party UI kit.

  1. Quix – Joomla Page Builder

Quix is the first responsive visual Joomla page builder and theme builder on the market. Use Quix to control every Joomla component, to design headers and footers, create forms and much more. Real-time SEO analysis is built into Quix, as is image optimization to ensure fast page ranking and loading.

All your work is done on the front end, and an excellent selection of fonts, icons, layouts, and design blocks is included. Save your time and money with Quix.

3 Key Tips for Building a Successful Website

1 – Make your site mobile responsive

Making your site responsive used to be just a recommendation before. But today, a majority of shoppers make purchases over their cellphones. Most of them use their smartphones while shopping to compare prices.

2 – Be sure to put your contact details in a place that is easy to find

People may want to contact you or your business. So, you need to put your contact information above the fold, or anywhere it can be easily located. If you have social media accounts, link to them in the header or footer for the same reason.

3 – Respect the need for fast page loading and a well-behaved website

A busy shopper will have little patience with a slow-loading site page. Or, a site that’s buggy and does strange things, the wrong things, or does nothing at all. Most shoppers won’t tolerate a slow loading page or a buggy website. They will seek out a competitor’s site and may never return.

Make certain to keep your site updated and in tune so it runs smoothly. Videos and photos should be optimized for fast downloads. Make certain you’re using a host that can adequately manage your site’s bandwidth demands.

Conclusion

Finding just the right website builder that will meet all of your requirements can frequently be challenging. If only because there are so many to choose from. Finding the right one can be especially hard for a web designer who is just starting out. Novice designers may not always know what they should be looking for.

The purpose of this website building tools roundup is to help guide you in the right direction. We hope that it will make it much easier for you to find a top-quality website builder that meets all of your needs.

  Image Inq   Mar 20, 2019   Design   0 Comment Read More

Copyright Basics for Graphic Designers

As designers, it is crucial to know and understand some of the copyright laws, design patents, and trademark issues that exist today. Copyright laws exist to protect artwork, illustrations, photographs, and other graphical imagery. This doesn’t apply if you are a painter or if your work is a fixed form of creative expression. Under these circumstances, you own the copyright in your work the moment you create it. For any designer, it is imperative to get their seal on all the original pieces they create and they should also cite any borrowed graphics to avoid any unnecessary legal issues.

We have gathered some helpful tips about copyright laws straight from the people who know it best- lawyers.  We hope that these 10 tips on copyright laws will train you the basics on properly citing your work.

1. What can be copyrighted?

As designers, it can be helpful to know what can and can’t be copyrighted. Some of the things that can’t be copyrighted are – Titles/Slogans, names, measurement Charts, calendars, symbols, color, and letter variations. Even though the listed elements can’t be copyrighted, they can be protected by trademarks. When you trademark something you are assigning a particular name, figure or symbol to it so that it remains unique to a merchant or a manufacturer and can easily be distinguished in the marketplace. Copyright, on the other hand, is when you use something trademarked in the form of a written text to convey a viewpoint while citing it as yours.

2. Registration

You own copyrights for your work as soon as you put your work in print. So registration is not necessary to claim the work as your own.  Although you do need to register if you want to represent your claim in the marketplace and to let people know that they can’t claim it as their own. As a designer or an artist, you don’t have to go to the US Copyright office in order to obtain a copyright in the work, it arises as soon as you put your pen/brush on paper. Registering your copyright, however, brings additional benefits.

3. Creative work and copyright protection

Creative work can be protected by the law but an idea does not receive any kind of protection. This legal protection of the creative work allows the copyright owner to have exclusive rights to reproduce artwork, use it to create similar works of art, share copies of work and publically display their work. When you work for a company, they usually would have you sign an NDA form so your work is only theirs but it is a good practice to get shared rights to your work so that you can use it as a reference for future.

4.  What is copyright infringement?

When someone copies your design without giving you credit for your work or uses it without your permission, they are infringing on your copyright. The two basic elements of copyright infringement are the following: – Owning valid copyright and copying by the defendant. Exact standards vary from country to country. Filling out an application and registration online is not going to protect your work from being infringed. It is important to understand the ramifications and what else you need to know to protect yourself and your work.

5.  Defining original work

When your work is easily distinguishable as your own effort, then it is considered original. It doesn’t necessarily have to stand out from the crowd but it has to be different enough to be called an original. If a design is slightly modified or customized from the original, it still has the right to be called an original. For example, a Cadbury chocolate wrapper with a different color scheme and without its logo can be called an original even if the artwork/ design remains the same.

6.  Creative Commons licenses

Creative Commons is a type of copyright that is available to content makers who would like to share their works with a community. It comes with a condition that their work is properly attributed. You can get one of the 6 available licenses through the site – some of them allow you to use them for commercial and non-commercial purposes and then some only for non-commercial purposes. Creative Commons allows artists and designers to share their work online and get a license while they are at it. This allows you to guard your work within that license.

7.  Duration of copyright protection

Copyright protection usually lasts long after a person’s death. Sometimes it lasts even up to 50 years. In the US it lasts 20 years longer. Although the copyright laws vary from nation to nation.

8.  Copyright protection outside the United States

General laws of copyright protection are accepted by most countries in the world. All the countries that have signed the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works should follow the same conventions although deadlines, duration, and court processes may vary slightly.

Conclusion

When someone takes credit for the artists work, he or she is taking more than just the artwork itself. They are taking away all the processes that led the artist to be inspired to create that work. If you are inspired by someone else’s work then use it to make something unique and acknowledge the person behind the work when you can. Take your copyright infringement seriously, this way you will be able to meet the challenges head on before it gets worse. Artists and designers work long hours to come with their work, so it is important to preserve their integrity and give the credit where its due.

  Image Inq   Mar 19, 2019   Design   0 Comment Read More

11 Best Adobe Illustrator Plugins for Designers

Adobe Illustrator is a powerful vector based program that lets you create and customize vector-based shapes, text, and artwork. Even though it comes with many built-in features there are areas where it falls short. It doesn’t necessarily work with all programs and sometimes lacks the shapes and elements that designers often need. Plugins and add-ons can help add in the functionalities that may be lacking in illustrator. By installing these third-party programs you are able to customize the tool to fit your needs. They not only provide necessary elements but also enables you to work quickly and improve your overall workflow. We have gathered a list of incredibly useful plugins to help customize your illustrator experience. In this article, we will talk about plugins that you can either download or purchase from the third party websites.

This plugin is compatible with different models of Adobe Illustrator. With this plugin, you are able to measure the interlocking area or a singular path using a built-in feature that is embedded in the software. This way you are able to calculate the surface area of the printed graphic. In order to do this, you have to search for relevant content in the grey dialog box and scan for the right information. This is a free plugin that can be downloaded on their site.

This plugin lets users access closed paths, open paths, filled paths, stroked paths, unstroked paths, compound paths, groups, dashed paths and undashed paths on an object. It can also be used for flattening images and keeping transparencies. It is compatible with almost all models of Illustrator and is available for download for free.

With vectorscribe you are able to control shapes, points and handles more easily. The reposition point tool lets users maintain the shape of the original path, the extend path tool lengthens or shortens the path, the ghost handles allows more control over a path while dynamic corners allow better control of the corners. You can either download the 14-day trial or pay £69 for the software.

Texturino allows designers to apply natural and artistic effects to an artwork. Instead of having to switch back and forth between different applications and tools, you are able to apply texture effects simply by painting over an image. It comes with an opacity brush that efficiently masks various elements in an artwork providing better control and greater depth for the user. This is not a free tool but can be purchased for £29.00

How many times have you had to clean an image or an artwork after you have imported it into your illustrator file? This plugin can help you clean up your file. It is designed to take out the excess data that you would otherwise have to manually take out. It also has a text handling feature that lets you change the characteristics of an imported text. It also has options to break text apart and remove text transforms. It costs £29 to purchase this plugin.

This tool lets your position shapes and elements accurately on an artboard. It includes rotating to collision tool and space fill feature tool that lets the user distribute the shapes accurately within a container. It is compatible with different models and can be purchased for £15.

This plugin is a relevant tool in the packaging industry. It allows users to import artiosCAD files in illustrator and convert and flatten them. Once you have positioned your file on the artboard, you are able to apply swatches and move it around as needed. This is a free plugin and is compatible with all AI models.

This illustrator plugin is specifically made designers looking to transition into 3D. It lets you import files, adjust the view, adjust textures and highlights to integrate 3D elements to your design. The trial version is available on their site and is compatible with Adobe CC 2017-2018 models.

This is a specialized tool created for repeat graphics and complex patterns. You are able to create repeating graphics and edit the patterns to grow your patterned vector swatch. Once you have created a pattern, it can easily be saved as a swatch. You are able to reverse colors on geometric patterns creating positive and negative spaces that balance the overall pattern. It costs $364 to buy the full version and is compatible with AI 10 to 2017.

With this plugin, you are able to turn your handwritten fonts into vector fonts. This plugin is perfect for type designers who are looking to create their own lettering styles. When paired with illustrator, you can add colors, edit shapes and format the text to your liking. All you have to do is drag and drop the files into the program and create a version that suits your design project. It costs up to $49 to purchase this font and is available for both Photoshop and illustrator.

You are able to control vector halftones and duotones easily with this tool. The best part about this tool is that you can easily adjust levels, saturation, hue, and curves without having to use Photoshop. This intuitive tool can smooth out your workflow and costs about $89. It is compatible with CS6 and CC

Conclusion

Illustrator plugins can expand the capabilities of the Adobe software. There are a lot of available options to choose from. Finding the right one, although takes time and effort. Not all plugins are worth the expense, so it is important to choose one that is specific to your project and your workflow. We hope that this list helps you in your search. Do you have an Illustrator plugin that you keep using? Let us know in the comments below.

  Image Inq   Mar 15, 2019   Design   0 Comment Read More

14 Best Isometric Mock Up Templates

As designers, you are always looking for new ways to present your work to your clients. Isometric templates can help showcase your work in a realistic way. As a creative professional, you know that your work is only done after the presentation. With the help of isometric mockup templates, you are able to feature your design work with 3D realism that can engage the audience in a unique way. This way of presenting is more effective than a traditional front and back view that can sometimes fall flat.

We have gathered a strong list of 14 isometric mockup ideas that can engage the viewer and help make your designs stand out from the crowd. The mockups created with these templates should allow you to showcase your websites, apps, logos, business cards and much more.

This beautiful mockup template by Graphic river helps you showcase your work with the help of unique mock-up scenes. You are able to easily move the objects to create your own scene as well. The main features of this template are -28 layered object file that is easily editable, items in separate folders, customizable backgrounds, adjustable shadows, effects & colors, and isometric views. This package includes – A4 Letterhead, Envelope, Mug, Calendar, Folder, ID Card, Flag, Clock, iPad, Mac Book, Lighter, Catalogue, Shopping Bag, Stapler, iPhone X, Pen, business cards etc.

This template features smart objects and easily editable backgrounds that can be customized to fit your project. It features 32 mockups with different views and device colors. This kit features 8 PSD files with a clay model. The device color options are space Grey, Silver, and the new Gold.

This scene generator lets you create mockups with different elements that are all accessible in the isometric design view. It contains over 160+ design elements and product views that lets you create a stationary mockup, laptop mockup, iPhone mockup and other packaging mockups, and much more. The package includes electronics such as (Apple iPhone, iPad, iMac, MacBook Air etc), Packages (plant, box, paper coffee cups), paper (corporate blanks, visit cards, envelopes, notepads, glasses, turntable, headphones etc.) and other miscellaneous offerings.

This bundle comes with a collection of different business card templates to showcase your business offerings. It comes with the following features -4 flat-style and isometric business card mockups, Perspective-view, top-view, jpeg for quick previews, 4 edge color combinations. You are able to easily edit and customize the objects and the backgrounds as needed.

This template features a layout with an interesting perspective to showcase your flyer designs. It offers easily editable smart objects, pre-made PSD files, changeable backgrounds, separated shadow, editable shading/shadows, and organized layers and folders.

Here is a mockup template to showcase your designs on an iPad Air. This mock-up includes right and left perspective angles and can be viewed on all 3 color models. You should be able to download this for free if you are an Envato elements subscriber.

Present your business card ideas using this layered mockup template. This template features 10 layered mockups that can be customized to fit the project. These mocks ups are specifically designed to be fully editable. You are also able to play with different elements and change the background color.

This multipurpose mock-up can be used to showcase a variety of projects. It comes in 3 depth sizes ranging from 5 px, 10 px to 15 px. If you are looking to create a 3D view of an app, website, brochures or a flyer. This mock-up is for you.

This isometric mockup lets you easily edit and showcase your designs. It comes with the following features – easily editable smart objects, fully separated shadow, fully editable shading and shadows, changeable background Via Smart Objects – Automatic Perspective and organized layers and folders. It comes with fully Separated Shadow option.

This kit includes square envelopes and comes with the following features – window shape customization, 3 layer styles, 3 paper textures, 4 photo filters, 5 background images, changeable background via smart objects, separated shadows, and reflections, fully organized layers and folders, photo=realistic files.

This template is ideal for your UI projects. It offers a few different perspectives. This template lets you place your designs using smart objects and comes as a layered PSD format.

This mockup template lets you create stationary mockup scenes to showcase your designs. It is fully customizable and easy to use. It includes the following features – items that are fully customizable, changeable stationery designs via smart Objects, changeable background texture & Color, organized and named layers, separated and transparent shadows / moveable Objects.

With this bundle, you can showcase your websites in different isometric perspectives. You can easily edit your presentation ins seconds and change the background if needed. It includes the following features – Stack up your websites and present them as needed. You are able to easily create your own perspective workflow, drag and drop elements, use Photoshop to edit and customize files, edit smart objects and view your designs in different perspectives.

This tool helps create Fully editable phone mockups. Some of the most notable features include one-click installation, left and right transform,  8 styles for the 3D volume, 3 offset options, well-documented user guides, and layer customization options. If you are looking to turn your images into fluffy mockups then this mockup tool is perfect for you.

  Image Inq   Mar 13, 2019   Design   0 Comment Read More

10 Best Corporate Website WordPress Themes and Templates

If you are looking to download a versatile corporate theme, you would want to check out the multipurpose and beautiful themes featured in this roundup. In this article, we have gathered some handy tips and features that come with each theme (or a template) to help you find the best one for your business. Getting a theme specific to your business is not a decision you should take lightly. A WordPress theme is responsible for not just the aesthetic part of your design but the functionality aspect of a website as well. So scroll your way down through this post to see which one of these is best suited for your corporate website.

Netbizz is a business and corporate template. It comes with 8 HTML pages and with 4 homepage variations. Its fully responsive design and cross-browser optimization make it work on a variety of devices and platforms. It comes with a documentation folder with code structures and best practices for web design and development. You are able to create a great website based on Bootstrap or Grid 1170px. Support requests are answered within 24 hours, making the creator of this theme a reliable service provider.

This WordPress theme is specially designed for creative agencies. It comes with a variety of feature and also has a built-in page builder. You are able to create a customized sidebar and are able to choose from over 450+ fonts. It is SEO optimized and comes with clean and minimal design. Some of the important features to note are unlimited color choices, 6 footer layouts, 4 Blog styles 15 pre-defined background patterns, price table, built-in translator, font and, logo uploader.

Crizal is a multipurpose template that is best suited for an agency, accountant, financial firms, consulting firms etc. It features neoteric web technologies that let you create a unique website. It is fully responsive and works well on different devices. Some of the interesting features to note are google font integration, eye-catching design,  W3C validated code and easy customization.

Wesal is a premium corporate HTML template that lets you create websites just the way you imagined it. It offers easy color management and supports google fonts. It is compatible with tablets and full browsers. It is best suited for corporate, entrepreneurs, web agencies, and other arts agencies.

C-Biz is a clean, multi-page corporate and business template that is easily customizable and editable. It is fully responsive and works well on a variety of devices. It includes clean and well-commented code that is organized in a folder. It comes with multi-page layouts and special gallery and portfolio section. Some of the other features to note are google map integration, detailed help documentation,  fancy box image gallery, and well-commented code.

Sanabel Theme is a corporate WP theme specifically developed for medical, startup companies, consulting firms, tours operators, travel companies and more. The available demos are easy to import and you don’t have to be an expert to build your business. You can also replace the demo data with your own content to create a professional website that suits your needs. It also has a built-in page builder that lets you drag and drop page templates to build your own. It comes with 6 Header styles and 11 footer layouts that enables you to manage widgets as you like.  Some of the other key features to note are – slider revolution, layer slider, woocommerce compatibility, vector icons, typography options, unlimited color options, boxed and wide layouts, child theme support, and RTL support.

It is easy to customize and edit this site. It comes with retina ready features and supports WMPL and Woocommerce. With the drag and drop builder, you can build and manage different elements easily. It comes with boxed and full layout options. Advanced admin panel lets you control and manage colors, google analytics, favicon etc. With the live color changer, you can explore the unlimited color options and try a different setting for themes of your choice. Some of the key features to note are 15 overlay patterns, 3 blog styles, 500+google fonts, built-in shortcodes, blog/portfolio thumbnail options, 5 custom post types, price table, process bar, and video tutorials.

The best part about this corporate WordPress theme is its slider – with the drag and drop module you are able to create and set easing style and time out options for each slider element. It is a clean and minimal theme that lets you choose between multiple page layouts. You are also able to build your own templates with the help of the drag and drop builder. Some of the key features to note are built-in shortcodes, 4 blog styles, 6 footer layouts, 15 pre-defined background patterns, 450+ available fonts, built-in translator, price table, thumbnail options, layer slider, video tutorials, font and logo uploader. All the support is connected through the website and is responded to within 14 hours.

This business and corporate theme comes with a page builder that can be used to create custom page layouts. It is fully responsive and has a custom CSS box. It has an advanced color box gallery that supports lightbox gallery and built-in shortcodes. Some of the key features include unlimited color and sidebar options, 6 footer layouts, 350+ available fonts, thumbnail options, 3 sliders, and video tutorial to set up the demo site. All the support is conducted through the site and answered within a 14-hour time frame.

This is a simple and straight-forward business WordPpress theme that is best suited for corporate websites. It comes with different color scheme options and homepage layouts. This template features – 6 pages, valid XHTML that works well on multiple browsers, layered PSD file, 960 framework, lightbox for portfolio pages and HTML code that is SEO friendly.

  Image Inq   Mar 11, 2019   Design   0 Comment Read More

Best Practices for Combining Typefaces / Fonts

Combining typefaces is an art. The best part about art and design is that once you give shape to a form, you are free to explore different styles, techniques, and combinations to communicate a message. That being said, you have to understand the basics of typographic design to be able to move beyond these rules. Designers usually work with multiple fonts to create visual interest and establish information hierarchy. While there are no rigid and scientific rules to follow, it is important that you understand some tried and tested techniques to create a good typographic structure. By looking at some of the best practices in type design, you will be able to see what typefaces can be paired together and why they work well.

1. Complementary fonts

Most typefaces are able to evoke an emotional response in a user. Since they tend to have distinct moods and personalities, they should be combined only if they work well together. You want to ensure the mood of the typeface matches the mood of your design. Sometimes typefaces in the opposite sides of the spectrum work well together. Their differences in detail usually tend to balance each other and create a harmonious design.  For example, if you are working with a specific font with a bold personality such as the font in the image above, pair it with something thin and elegant. This way you are able to create a balanced design. You’ll often find yourself relying on instinct or a gut feeling when making this decision – this is ok. Getting better at finding and pairing fonts that work well together takes practice but is easy to master with time.

2. Combining serifs and Sans serif

This is a classic combination that works really well for both web and print projects. If you are short on time, then mixing serif and sans serif fonts will always ensure great readability. Although it is advised not to pair fonts with strong personalities together. For example, if you look at the article below, you’ll be able to tell that Trade Gothic is a dynamic and elegant typeface while Bell Gothic, on the other hand, has a strong presence. Putting these two together may not be the best choice for readability.

3. Create Contrast

One of the reasons why serif and sans serif typefaces work is that they are are able to create a visual contrast when paired together. Contrast can be achieved in a variety of ways – using color, styles, weights, size, and spacing. If you look at the above example, you’ll see how rounded and curvy letters look better when paired with their leaner, thinner and cleaner companions.

4. Establish a visual hierarchy

When you are working on a design project, you would have to establish hierarchy not just for layouts and imagery but also for the body copy. This way of arranging words will help the viewer read the most important parts of a page. One way to approach this is by taking a look at what information is an essential part of the design. When you know the parts that have to stand out, you will be able to make more informed design choices. Traditional publishing formats such as newspapers, magazines, and zines all offer good examples of how to apply a hierarchy to a page layout.

5. Limit the number of fonts

It is usually a good idea to limit the number of fonts to 2-3 per design. This will usually ensure better overall readability and legibility. Although some projects may require you to go elaborate on your font combinations. If that is the case, then your design should look cohesive and harmonious and not messy and cluttered.

6. Consider Context

Your text considerations should depend heavily on your design project. It should be readable and displayed in the right font size. Font styles also play an important role in setting the tone of the overall project. The traits of the typefaces should match the attributes of the intended message. Sometimes you would want something that really pops and other times you would want to go with something neutral.

7. Assign distinct roles

One easy way to combine typefaces is to assign a distinct role to a typeface. You could do this by assigning a bold typeface for the headlines, something conservative for the copy, and back to neutral for the body copy. In the end, they should all be pulled together to form a cohesive design. When you assign distinct roles to these fonts, you are able to define a typographic hierarchy that can help draw the viewers attention to the most important elements of the design.

8. Use different point sizes

One of the best ways to create contrast and distinction is by varying point sizes. This basic principle can drastically improve the reading experience. If you look at the example below, you’ll see how the text on the right is considerably more readable than the one on the left. The size of the body copy can be adjusted to create a suitable contrast and help establish the typographic hierarchy.

Conclusion

There are many ways to combine typefaces, the fact that there are no rules that are set in stone can make the whole process time-consuming. This handy set of best practices will help you create typefaces of your own. The more you practice it, the better you will get at it. The art of pairing fonts is all about using your intuition, experimenting and taking risks.  We hope that these tips give you a better understanding of the basic rules and what typographic situations to avoid to create the best possible combination.

  Image Inq   Mar 07, 2019   Design   0 Comment Read More

7 Best Photoshop Actions for Web Designers

Photoshop is a powerful tool that can help you create great work. Designers usually use this tool to create custom graphics, web layouts, sometimes even to sketch prototype ideas for clients. One of the best aspects of Photoshop is its action feature. If you are looking for ways to automate those complex tasks that you use on a regular basis, then make sure to add Photoshop to your web design tool kit.

So what exactly are Photoshop actions? They are a series of actions or steps that are carried out by the program that is recorded and saved as a single action. It can also be interpreted as a programming code that can run against your existing artboard. These actions help transform your work into a unique design at the simple click of a button and save you a lot of time and effort.

This could include some of the tasks that you use on a regular basis – like creating a document, resizing an image, applying a filter, sketching out a wireframe which can be recorded and played back at any given time. These actions can be easily exported and imported making it easy for people to share files with each other. Once you have built up a library of time-saving actions, they can be played back at the touch of a button.

Make your way through this article to find out more about the different Photoshop actions and how to use them in your existing projects. These actions are incredibly useful for web designers and implementing them can speed up your workflow and the overall design process.

This action by Pixel Industry helps you create 1200 px wide canvases with a 12-column grid layout. It can be downloaded for free and can speed up your web design process.

This tool lets you create artboards that are 1600 px wide with a bootstrap grid system for responsive layout design. It can be downloaded for free and is ideal for web designers working on responsive web design projects.

Looking to apply long shadows to your icon designs? This tool will help you create just that. It is available to download from Web3Canvas and can instantaneously transform your designs and add the depth you are looking to create. This package includes 4 actions that help you create 45- 120-degree shadows and comes in handy for web design projects.

This tool lets you create transparent screens with a click of a button. With this tool, you can build designs that blur screen effect on IOS 7 screens.

This action lets you apply  3D perspective to your images. You can easily access three different types of 3D depths and angles. Just hit play and you’ll see how your designs get transformed into stylized imagery.

This action lets you create unique filters to your images. With the help of this action, you are able to create a perfectly composed image for a blog post, or an article The package comes with the following features – One click Image Filtering, 50 instant photo filters, Instagram-like, Integration in WordPress Post Editor, filtered image preview, infinite possibilities to combine filters, and friendly Support

This bundle contains a variety of amazing Photoshop actions that allows you to create custom graphics and other website content. This package includes Light Actions, B&W action set, Vintage Bundle, 28 Season Actions, HDR, Free Facebook Timeline Covers and many other interesting effects that can take your websites from standard to amazing. It is not free but you can get it for a discounted price of $34

How to create your own Photoshop action?

If you are a regular Photoshop user, you probably work with a bunch of set tasks that you repeat on a daily basis. Instead of having to redo them every day, you can easily create a custom Photoshop action that will help you save a lot of time and effort. If you crop/resize images on a daily basis, you can now easily record and automate this action by simply clicking on the window button and choosing actions panel. Now name the action and click on the record button, and walk through the steps you would like to automate.

Once you are done, hit the stop button next to the record button in the actions panel.

How to use premade Photoshop actions

Photoshop actions can also be imported and exported out of Photoshop. The individual Photoshop action files can be downloaded as zip folder files and can easily be installed imported into Photoshop. Once you have extracted the contents from the file, you have a few ways to import it into Photoshop. You can either click on the action file or copy the actions into the Photoshop action folder on your desktop or drag and drop action files into the action panel within Photoshop. Once you have imported the files you need, you can hit play and watch your designs get transformed into interesting visuals. These actions are also highly customizable and can be edited at any given time.

Final thoughts

We hope that these tips and tricks come in handy when you are working on your next web design project. Creating your own Photoshop action and using them can speed up your overall design process and lets you skip the boring tasks you find yourself working on every day. Trying out other peoples actions can help you tap into interesting techniques, beautiful effects and learn more about post-processing styles.

  Image Inq   Mar 05, 2019   Design   0 Comment Read More

What is a web design proposal? How do you write one?

Writing a web design proposal is a time-consuming and monotonous task – when done right, it can be a successful business foundation for your design business. Knowing and building your copy around important aspects of the work will help you craft an effective proposal that will match the complexity of the proposal to the complexity of the project. Whether you are working for an agency with a team of other creatives or a freelancer trying to sell your own products and services, writing a strong proposal can help you set the right expectations, find work and win clients.

In this article, we will discuss how best to tailor your projects to win the right clients, present your work and make your case as to why you are the best person for the job. You will take away some important tips, best practices for your presentation and a free template to help you get started.

What is a web design proposal?

A web design proposal is a document where you outline your services, pricing, and details on how you are going to bring value to their team and the project. It is basically a summary of what you are going to do for the client and a detailed break down of how you are going to solve their existing problems. Writing your proposal is an important part of winning a client so it should include your understanding of their company, their goals, the project and why you are the best person for the job.

There is no definitive formula for writing a great proposal but here are some important rules to consider when writing one.

  • It is important to understand your client and the needs of the project in mind when writing your proposal. Clients with a smaller budget and project scope do not need a detailed break down of your process- writing a few pages about what they are going to get, your pricing details and anticipated timelines should do. Generally, the larger the company, the scope of the project and the budget, the more detailed your proposal should be
  • Ask questions about the nature of work, timelines, budget, and other details. Once you have these details hammered out and out of the way, you will be able to focus on the work itself and find ways to deliver your promise. Here are some important questions that can help you better understand the nature of your work. 1. What are your budget expectations? 2. What is your timeline expectation? 3. What is your design aesthetic? 4. What integrations are required?
  • Understand your client’s needs before writing your proposal. Understanding their challenges will help you to put yourself in their shoes. This will help you create a highly effective and personalized proposal that will ultimately help you win clients.

These rules are not set in stone but putting yourself in the shoes of a prospective client, asking the right questions up front can help you tailor your project proposal that can help you land clients.

Building blocks of a great proposal

It is important to showcase that you clearly understood the needs of the client, the business, the budget, timeline, and other expectations. You don’t want to overwhelm your client with unnecessary details. Breaking your proposal down to these sections can be helpful to show them that you have clearly understood their needs.

  • Cover Page – Try to keep this page simple. This should be addressed directly to the client with the project name with your name and date. Include an overview of the suggested brand colors, themes, and other brand elements. You can also add a 2-3 paragraph overview of the proposal.
  • Confidentiality Statement – A brief statement outlining your need to keep the information you have provided confidential will help them agree to the required terms.
  • Project Overview – This section includes the general framework of your proposal. It should include your understanding of the project, requirements, goals, your objective, the vision of your project and why you are the best person for the job.
  • Approach – This section should include your process. By breaking down your approach, you are letting your client know your methodology and this transparency will help you and them be on the same page. This section should usually include – Process, capabilities, fee/rate structure, team composition
  • Fee/Estimate costs – All the listed information provided in your proposal should tell your client why your estimate is what it is. Breaking down your pricing will make it easy for them to digest it.
  • References – You want to include people you have worked with here. Add their names, titles, email addresses, project name and a testimonial under each section.
  • About – This section should include the history of your Company, Key team bios, Values, Client list, and selected work.

Making your case

In order to communicate effectively about your designs and approach, it is best to secure some time with your client. This will give you the opportunity to showcase to your client why you are the best person for the job. Clients usually chose a person they can trust and have a good working relationship with. So it is important to share the details about the project in person if possible. Here are some presentation tips you can follow when you are going to meet a prospective client:

  • Get the key stakeholders in the room
  • Understand your audience
  • Focus on the important parts of the project
  • Check in with your client on key points

As designers, we have a huge responsibility to create a positive influence in our industry. A good design proposal gives your client an overview of the project and how you can help solve their design challenge. A well-written proposal is a selling document that can push someone to hire you. So make sure to structure your content effectively by following the above guidelines. By now you should have a better idea of what a web design proposal is and what it should include.

  Image Inq   Mar 01, 2019   Design   0 Comment Read More

Top Productivity Apps for Design Teams to Achieve a Perfect Workflow

The world is preoccupied with productivity. Do more in less time; do what you’re doing better; or simply do both. The digital age has given us a wealth of tools to do both. Thereby enabling us to lead more productive and fulfilling lives.

Except – the digital age has also given us more tasks to do, tasks that are more complex, and less time to do them.

Some people, including web designers, are able to make use of tools and processes. They keep up with and stay ahead of the game. Others are treading water, and still others are slowly falling behind.

A well-chosen productivity app can handle your scheduling or time management tasks. Or, it can help you complete complex tasks and relieve you of chores. They might be necessary but are secondary to your key responsibilities.

We’ve pulled from our files the best productivity apps for 2019. We supplemented them with 5 productivity tips you’ll find invaluable.

  1. Mason

The first of these productivity tools may be somewhat different than what you would normally expect. Radically different might be more accurate. Instead of managing time-consuming or repetitive tasks for you or taking on tasks that don’t necessarily add quality to the product you’re designing – Mason simply ignores them!

Mason enables teams to come together to create pixel-perfect front-end features for their apps; and helps them do so quickly and economically. With Mason, designers can bypass a need for wireframes, prototypes, and coding. There’s no need for QA inspections, and since Mason manages a feature’s HTML/CSS, developers are freed up for other, more complex work.  Also, there’s no need for waiting for the next deployment cycle.

Any authorized person with a Mason account can add features or make changes to software that has already been deployed.

There’s much more to this UI/UX tool than can be covered in such a short space, so we recommend you give Mason a good close look; especially if you’re constantly hung up awaiting a product’s next deployment cycle.

  1. Proto.io

While we just described a productivity tool that skips prototyping as a design aid, most larger projects find prototyping not only useful but often essential.

More than a few software design project teams follow a rapid prototyping approach, and mobile device app designers rely heavily on high-fidelity prototypes to conduct user testing.

Proto.io is made up of three major features; an Editor, a Dashboard, and a Player.

The Editor does the heavy lifting for you whether you’re building a low-fidelity prototype to test a concept and get feedback, or you’re creating an exquisitely-detailed high-fidelity interactive prototype featuring all the bells and whistles of the real thing.

The Dashboard helps you manage your projects and team members, while the Player comes into play during testing and lets you view results on your browser. Proto.io caters to designers, developers, team leaders, and cross-functional teams of any size.

  1. monday.com

 

monday.com is a centralized team management tool that helps teams manage every aspect and detail of their work from central planning to the specifics of daily tasks.

This powerful tool is not something that goes about its business in the background. What teams both large and small especially like about it is the way it helps to boost collective productivity and transparency; thereby empowering all its users by providing the same information to employees and managers alike.

monday.com is simple to install and use, but it is by no means simplistic with respect to what it does to centralize workplace processes and streamline workflows.

monday.com’s CEO states that “to effectively change how teams work, they must actually love the tools they do” and that was the goal in developing this team management tool. More than 50,000 paying teams obviously love monday.com.

  1. ActiveCollab

ActiveCollab has long been popular with creative professionals. The new version of this project management software is now bigger and better than ever, with a slew of new and enhanced features. They include an array of theme customization options and a totally redesigned UI.

The star of the show is ActiveCollab’s task dependencies with automatic rescheduling. Make a change to a parent task, and all the child tasks will automatically be updated and rescheduled accordingly.

  1. Nutcache

This all-in-one productivity tool was designed with teams in mind to help them collaborate better, streamline their workflows, and complete tasks on time. Nutcache also serves as a definite asset for freelancers looking for a way to boost their productivity. Nutcache integrates all aspects of a project from start to finish. It’s particularly adaptable to teams that subscribe to Agile principles and methodologies.

  1. Lucidchart.com

Countless hours can be lost when presentations are poorly received, or the content is poorly understood. This often happens when technical information must be shared with non-technically oriented audiences.

Lucidchart helps people understand and communicate complex ideas through visualization by enabling its users to clearly present technical flows. It features a custom shape library for any type of flow diagram a user wants to share with others. Superior communication just got easier.

Top 5 Productivity Tips to Achieve More and Create Peace of Mind

  1. Write it down.

Put every task you’re assigned and ever commitment you make in writing. Trying to remember what you haven’t written down is counter-productive. Forgetting things can sometimes be downright dangerous to a project or a career. Write it down.

  1. Do that dreaded task first

It’s easy to put off a task you dread. In doing so, it invariably drops toward the bottom of your to-do list. This is irrespective of its actual importance or priority. Do it first and get it out of the way and you’ll feel less stressed, less guilty, and much better about yourself.

  1. Take breaks

Experts say that taking periodic breaks keeps your mind fresh and boosts productivity. They don’t always agree on what “periodic” consists of. But a typical example is to take a 10-minute break from your work every 45 minutes. You’ll need to see what works best for you. It’s called the Pomodoro or Tomato technique by the way.

  1. Exercise

Healthy mind, healthy body. Without exercise its hard to maintain either. Healthy people tend to be much more productive, so make it a habit to get some exercise every day.

  1. Learn to say No.

Saying yes to every request or every client will eventually wear you down. Trying to please everyone rarely works for anyone. It’s also a productivity killer.

Conclusion

6 productivity tools and 5 productivity tips should have something to offer. You likely won’t have a need for all 5 tools. But if you were to select only one, it could put you well ahead of the game and save you tons of time in the process

As for the productivity tips, don’t pick and choose. Subscribe wholeheartedly to all 5 and see what happens. Prepare to be amazed!

  Image Inq   Feb 27, 2019   Design   0 Comment Read More

10 Great Landing Page Examples

Landing pages are used for one purpose –  to guide the website visitors to the next stage in the buying journey. These pages should be designed to focus visitors attention on a websites value proposition. With all the available options in the market, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd, for this reason, designers should take their time to design striking stand-alone pages that are specifically adapted to your business. Although designing a landing page may seem simple in theory, it actually requires some detailed planning.

We have gathered 10 great examples of successful landing pages that showcase different stages in the buying process. These stand-alone, one-page sites follow the industry’s best design practices for landing pages and implement new ideas to help move people through different stages in the buying journey. There is no one way to design a landing page, but looking at and learning from these examples can give you ideas to build your own.

1. Khan Academy

Academy’s landing page is designed to cater to three types of audiences – those who want to learn something new, those who want to teach and to those who are looking to use the site’s service for someone else. The page is colorful and is designed to have the key benefits at the bottom of the page. It has clear CTA buttons at every section of the page which makes it easier for the viewers to click on it when they feel like they have enough information about the site’s services.

2. Club W

Club W’s landing page makes nice use of the negative space and uses imagery and copy in a delightful way. This humanizes the brand and makes it likable which has a positive impact on their conversion rate. This landing page has gotten everything right except for one thing. It prompts the visitor ‘s email software which drives traffic away from the site and the browser. To keep the user on their site, it might be more effective to use an e-form instead.

3. Elegant themes

This company specializes in building WordPress templates and themes. They also sell a template builder called Divi which can be used to build WordPress templates. This landing page is designed to include social proof. This reassures the visitor about the site’s popularity. Some of the other features are two separate calls to action, a chat bubble at the lower right side of the screen, and the intelligent use of several other value propositions that can be used to discover the product.

4. Edupath

This landing page makes it easy for users to fill out the user’s name, email address and a link to download Edupath and send it directly to them. It is designed to be an easy one-click process.

5. Alexa

The headline of this landing page communicates their clear benefit, and the copy is separated into digestible chunks for easy reading. This site again makes use of a hyperlinked logo, uses a colorful CTA button. The use of minimalistic footer is apparent here – this limits any unnecessary distractions. Although it might be a good idea to add more white space in between sections so that the CTA can get more attention.

6. Codecombat

Codecombat is an educational video game that enables children and adults to learn how to program. Codecombats landing page target audiences are adults and children. Its focus is on teaching and its ease of use. Thus you tend to see two calls to action. The page also states the benefits of the program and also provides screenshots of the actual game.

7. Mailchimp

MailChimp is an extremely popular marketing company. Their landing pages are thoughtful and clear and straightforward. By keeping their value proposition as simple as possible, they try to address visitors globally. This approach allows them to address businesses of all sizes and get straight to the point. The rest of the landing page is designed to showcase the benefits of the service and also provides screenshots to help make the experience more tangible. This way, the users are able to get a clear idea of their value proposition from the beginning.

8. Salesforce

This landing page has two calls to actions – one above the fold that takes visitors to a demo and the other is placed below the fold where the users can sign up for a free trial. When a visitor clicks on the CTA button, the website takes them to the landing page which is designed specifically to sign up for a free trial. Some of the elements that stand out are – their value proposition,  support line, statement’ no download’ and ‘no software’ in capital letters, social proof, and easy sign up with google+, facebook and LinkedIn.

9. Muck Rack

This landing page is designed to be visually appealing and interactive. The page is intuitive and easy to navigate. They use descriptive header and uses quotes from the industry’s professional as social proof. It showcases two services above the fold and as the user scrolls down the page he or she is able to see all the benefits of their services.

10. Cigital

This landing page is designed to have simple and clean imagery. The headline offers clarity and the e-form is descriptive and clear. The users are able to see the value proposition as he or she scrolls down the page. The call to action button stands out in yellow and is able to inform the user of the specific value they will get by downloading the file. Although the navigation bar on top is distracting and removing it will help increase landing page conversion rates.

  Image Inq   Feb 26, 2019   Design   0 Comment Read More
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