Popular Design News of the Week: November 19, 2018 – November 25, 2018

Every week users submit a lot of interesting stuff on our sister site Webdesigner News, highlighting great content from around the web that can be of interest to web designers.  The best way to keep track of all the great stories and news being posted is simply to check out the Webdesigner News site, however, in case you missed some here’s a quick and useful compilation of the most popular designer news that we curated from the past week. Note that this is only a very small selection of the links that were posted, so don’t miss out and subscribe to our newsletter and follow the site daily for all the news. 10 Small Design Mistakes We Still Make   The State of JavaScript 2018   25 CSS Color Palettes Template Width Codes   Mute all Background Noise During your Calls   “The World’s Gone Flat!” -  Evolutions in Interface Design   Sketch Vs. Sketch   23 Clever Typographic Logos   10 Skills that Make a Great Designer   Use Adobe Draw to Get your Illustrations, Art and Drawn Designs into 3D   Why are Micro-Experiences so Important to UX Design?   Site Design: Humen   21 of the Most Beautiful Objects and Designs in the World   How to Create Compelling Content for your Portfolio Site   New Storybook.js in the Browser   A Small French Privacy Ruling Could Remake Adtech   Armchair VGUX: No Man’s Sky   This is the Most Complex Generative Design Ever Made   9 Steps in the Lifecycle of a Design Trend   Less is More – Using Lean UX to Assess Product Viability   This is (almost) Everything I Learned in Design School   Editorial Layouts, Floats, and CSS Grid   How to Build a WordPress Theme from Scratch   The Most Complete Design Thinking Tools & Resource Collections   The Mystery Font that Took Over New York   The 6 Rules to own Design   Want more? No problem! Keep track of top design news from around the web with Webdesigner News. Add Realistic Chalk and Sketch Lettering Effects with Sketch’it – only $5!

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The Importance of Rebranding Your Business 

In the business of branding, knowing when to rebrand and when not to may just be one of the most important lessons to learn. In order to avoid an immature approach – rebranding just to please an emotional itch – it’s essential to realize that not all rebranding efforts will result in big, revolutionary, blow-your-socks-off change. But really, for some brands, the kind of sweeping change many would expect is not exactly the most efficient solution. Of course, companies considering this option will want to get their money’s worth, but before any decisions are made they should understand that sometimes small change makes the most sense. That’s where branding firms come in, to determine how much of a change would really help the brand because sometimes, too much change can even be a bad thing. The most minimal modifications could include maintaining everything but a typeface.  On the other hand, sometimes the brand image can be completely transformed while, for example, maintaining only a specific color. But for those organizations with assets worth keeping, rebrands are a chance to reposition, to create alignment and relevancy, and to communicate growth to the market, thereby becoming more competitive. When is it time to re-brand your business? The moment you become aware that your brand no longer achieves the results you aiming for, you ought to try and revive it back and package the whole thing with a new look, new feeling to it and even a new direction. Slowly turning into an old, washed up brand would only get you to leave a wrong impression on people. What is important is that you don’t let your guard down and you maintain that it-factor. Revive your brand in order to maintain that appeal to your audience, on top of your game and ahead of your competitors as well as create excitement on what you have to offer.  The main idea is that you maintain the freshness of your brand. Rebranding provides you the opportunity to reestablish yourself as a larger and even improved force that everyone else should be vigilant of. Refreshing one’s brand could be composed of everything from brand new name, web design, logo, as well as packaging, to a new-fangled and better philosophy, market placement, character, as well as customer experience. For example, in 1997, tech mammoth Apple was near to declaring bankruptcy, yet somewhat...

5 Tips for Using Curation As a Content Strategy

Every day, thousands—if not millions—of people are all asking themselves the same, simple question: what do I post now? If you’ve been reading for a while, you know what I’m getting at. Regular content: It’s good for your website’s soul. Also its relevance. But what if I told you that you didn’t have to write anything for yourself at all? What if I told you that there are thousands—if not millions—of hard-working people getting paid to write stuff every day? (Who really don’t need the competition, thank you very much.) Okay, that last bit was me (mostly) kidding. My point is that you don’t necessarily need to do a lot of writing to keep your site alive. The alternatives are simple: outright plagiarism, and content curation. Guess which one I’m going to talk about today. Well, both…but I’m going to talk about plagiarism last; if I start now, I’ll go rabid, and I’ll never get around to the curation bit. What Should You Post? Well, the “what” is simple. You want to post links to things that other people have created that directly relate to your industry, product, and/or general subject matter. You want to go looking for the original source, and link to it. If the content is embeddable (like a YouTube video), then go ahead and embed it on your site. Link to everything: tutorials, reviews, meme videos, discussion posts on forums, the works. If it’s relevant and/or makes you look good, link to it. Heck, link to content on your direct competitors’ sites, if they’ve made something good. That’s right, send traffic to competitors on occasion (not all the time). If you truly believe in your own product/service, that’s a hell of a power move. If your competitors respond in kind, that could be the start of some lovely cross-promotion. Where Should You Post? Well, on your website. That’s what this is all about, right? Look, it can help to post some things on your social media accounts as well. After all, it can help to keep your name in people’s social feeds. Don’t post everything, though. Post the best links, and invite people back to your own website to see more. Save some value for the people who make the trip. Besides, if posting links is all you do on social media, people may quickly get bored. It’s called “social” media, after all. You’re supposed to actually interact with your followers, maybe even get to know them a bit. The more they like you as people, the...

Vote for November’s Top 9 at 99

Hot cup of joe, chilly cold brew, frothy mocha—choose your brew and then sit back and take in the best of coffee design. Java makes us happy (and ALERT!) and these excellent designs are equally stimulating. Our Top 9 at 99 competition is back with a fresh batch of nine nominees. This month’s designs include an old timey brand for a Brooklyn coffee cart, a rockabilly barista t-shirt, a photorealistic coffee connoisseur and more! Who will get your vote? Scroll to the bottom and choose your favorite design. We’ll announce the winner on 5pm PST on November 28, 2018. 1. Coffee company mascot
_ Character illustration by ShurashugaThe ideal character for a sophisticated coffee company? A well-appointed gent sipping the perfect cup, of course. 2. Tonic Coffee logo
_ Tonix Coffee logo by Kōun StudioCaffeinate and activate with Tonix Coffee, a brew designed specifically for athletes and adventurers. 3. Barista Nation t-shirt
_ Can you brew a dry half-caf cappuccino? Craft a creamy flat white? Know your single origins from your blends? Welcome to Barista Nation. Here’s your t-shirt. 4. Ritual Coffee illustration
_ Ritual Coffee’s Easy Rider illustration by -Z-Costa Rica, Honduras, Ethiopia—is it a jaunt around the world or the origins of a bag of Ritual Coffee beans? 5. Pimp My Strada illustration
_ La Marzocco Strada AV is the cadillac of coffee machines: handmade, durable and deeply pimp-able. Campos Coffee dares you to pimp your Strada. 6. 205 Coffee packaging
_ 205 Coffee Packaging by K .artThe ideal temperature to brew coffee? 205 Coffee knows! 7. The Greenpoint Peddler branding
_ Giving new meaning to “coffee to go,” The Greenpoint Peddler—Brooklyn’s only three-wheeled coffee cart—brings the coffee to you. 8. Staybuzzed Coffee label
_ Staybuzzed Coffee label by SOMA design dealersLike some ganja with your java? You’re in luck! Staybuzzed Coffee gives you the ol’ two for one with CBD-infused coffee products. 9. Borealis Coffee Co. mug
_ Borealis Coffee Company by St. PelmeniSip in style with a mug designed just for Borealis Coffee Company. Fill out my Wufoo form! Best of luck to this month’s nominees! Voting will close on Wednesday, November 28th at 5pm PST The post Vote for November’s Top 9 at 99 appeared first on 99designs.

Sunlight, Fresh Air and Exercise: How to Stay Creative

The autumn air is fresh and clear, the light is soft and uplifting and the autumnal forests are at their most beautiful. Combined with some smooth Swiss tarmac under my wheels, cycling conditions are perfect and I’m often out enjoying the hills in the middle of the day. But I’m not skiving, this is an important part of my work routine. Cycling doesn’t require a lot of engagement of the brain, so it’s a great time for thinking. The rhythmic motion of feet on pedals seems to literally crank up my brain, so that soon it’s racing way ahead of the road in front of me, seeing angles in stories nobody had realised were there, or picking quotes that offer the key to explaining a complex issue. With creative tasks, inspiration is crucial and most people can’t achieve that…sat in the office When I return home to my desk, I often hit the keyboard straight away. Showers, food and checking emails can wait: I have words in my mind that I want to get down. Whether you’re a web designer, writer, marketer or programmer, you need to feel refreshed and positive in order to do your best work. With creative tasks, inspiration is crucial and most people can’t achieve that for 8 hours a day, sat in the office. The Science of Breaks Most of us naturally tend to take a break every so often, because we get bored, fatigued or just fancy a coffee or snack. But there is solid science behind allowing yourself such moments, and indeed encouraging yourself and your employees to take them. Summarising recent research that backs up the benefits of breaking up the work routine in Psychology Today, retired professor and author of ’Changepower! 37 Secrets to Habit Change Success’ Meg Selig says that for “think-work,” the prefrontal cortex needs to recharge regularly. Meg found studies showing that short ‘movement breaks’ are essential in sedentary jobs; that leaders easily suffer from ‘decision fatigue’ if they work too solidly; that resting helps learning; and that we are more motivated to focus on long-term goals after a pause. Perhaps most importantly, working for long stretches without breaks leads to stress and exhaustion. Taking breaks refreshes the mind, replenishes your mental resources, and helps you become more creative…‘Aha moments’ came more often to those who took breaks, according to research. At the same time, productivity is also an issue for those that work for themselves...

Web and Graphic Design Trends – 2018 Wrap Up

How does your website stand out from your competitors in the web space? What will further define design in 2019? These are questions designers ask themselves to keep up with the ever-changing world of web design. While strong search engine optimization will draw in customers, if the users don’t find the content interesting, they will not stay.  What looked good to users a year ago wouldn’t work for the audiences today. These subtle changes in design that happen each year have contributed to defining the visual culture of the web we see today. Let’s dive into some trends, techniques, and tools that are being used to deliver user-friendly, impactful and meaningful web experiences. Big, Bold typography Big bold fonts can draw in a customer with their strong presence and emotive qualities. Choosing a font with personality can help make your website stand out more in a space cluttered with generic typefaces and ordinarily used layouts. Playing with size and style and using it to enhance important words on your page is a good way to draw attention and invite visitors to read the content and in effect use other interactive elements that may be present on the page.
With having big, bold and variable fonts take center stage, we are able to invoke emotion from the user while setting the tone of a website. The trend of sticking to sans serif fonts in your web interfaces have made sense recently. If you look the example below, you’d be able to see how the typeface sans serif steals the scene. The trend of using contrasting typefaces on a clean background can help invoke interest and keeps the user reading your site.  Illustrations take center stage
Another sure shot way to add personality and originality to your website is to apply custom illustrations in place of a photo-realistic imagery. The artwork usually comes with the power to transform the style and create an entirely unique experience for the user. Illustrations can convey an idea playfully while still communicating the story of the brand and the product. When compared to editorial/lifestyle photography, illustrations are able to reach a wider array of human beings as they are not limited by the photorealistic nature of an image. As we continue to build products for a staggeringly diverse array of human beings, it would make sense to understand the impact and usefulness of illustrations in both...

How to get started with SOPs and be more productive

The term Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has been known to create an instant workplace Pavlovian response that manifests in a big, wide yawn requiring a hurried apology. To avoid the psychological baggage, Dan Martell refers to it as a playbook instead. Regardless of terminology, setting up SOPs to improve your processes can have a huge positive effect on productivity—if you implement them properly. In this article we’ll show you how to introduce SOPs into your workflow and actually get stuff done. If you find yourself managing from disaster to disaster, and a typical work day consists of putting out fires with one hand while fending off a pack of wild dingoes with the other, it might be time to take a new, unbiased look at SOPs. They just might save your sanity. Here’s how to implement SOPs properly—and get stuff done
— 1. Come up with good SOPs Design by OrangeCrushFirst things first, you need to come up with a good set of SOPs that help make processes clearer and easier for everyone. Despite a knee-jerk reaction tendency to bring everyone into the SOP creation strategy sessions, resist the temptation. Research has shown that teams lose effectiveness as they increase in size. In fact, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has a two pizza rule. If a group can’t be fed on a couple of pizzas, it’s too big. The point is that you should select a test group from among your better (however you choose to define that) employees. These people will be charged with creating and testing the SOPs before they are distributed to the company at large. Only after each new process has been properly vetted should you make it part of the office culture. There’s nothing wrong with adjusting SOPs as needed, but it could be a problem if they are in a constant state of revision, which can be maddening to those trying to follow them. By the time employees learn one thing, it changes. Hold off a bit. Get the thing right, make it a policy, and then only change it if there is an overriding reason to do so. 2. Get people on board All a-board the SOP train! Design by Pandawa_Design.Let’s assume your current SOP strategy is either non-existent or a quivering pile of confusion that contributes nothing positive to the office but everyone has grown accustomed to bad processes. It’s obvious a change is desperately needed, but people generally hate change. The reality is that you can divide employees...

9 creative font trends for 2019

Infusing beautiful typography into your design is the one of the most effective ways to communicate as a brand. That’s why keeping up with the latest font trends is absolutely essential. Creative fonts can not only carry your message, but they also make a visual impact and evoke emotion. Typography can express joy or fear, loud or quiet. Or it can make you laugh, cringe, gasp—and everything in between. Let’s take a look at the latest font trends in 2019, so you can use them in your own designs. 9 font trends that will be huge in 2019
— 1. Extra-loud bold fonts
2. Minimal sans serif fonts
3. Nostalgic vintage fonts
4. Evolving script fonts
5. Outline fonts
6. High-contrast serif fonts
7. Quirky fonts
8. Messy fonts
9. Unique hand-lettering 1. Extra-loud bold fonts In 2019, extra-loud, dramatic, bold fonts will continue to grow in popularity with designers looking to leave an impression. These typographic superheroes dominate designs as the main design element and are an obvious choice if you want your message to scream and shout. Bold fonts make your logo pop on whatever you put it on. Posters and flyers will be visible from afar. And your website will be packed with a ton of personality. Beautiful website using a bold and loud font. Via Van Holtz Co. 2. Minimal sans serif fonts Meet the introverted siblings of bold typography: simple sans serif fonts (that’s fonts without serifs, the little feet on the corner of each letter), which will continue to be a huge favorite for minimalistic designs in 2019. Thanks to their simplicity, these fonts are incredibly easy to work with. They’re not visually demanding and are very powerful when used well. Simple sans serifs make compositions look airy and soft with a sense of calm and tranquility. Give them room to breathe and the space they need or you risk taking away their charm. Outstanding example of a clean yet so powerful website. Via Libratone. 3. Nostalgic vintage fonts The more we dive into the future, the more appealing the past gets. That’s true of fashion, interior design, and yes, graphic design. So, it’s no surprise that in 2019 we’ll see lots of fonts that are imitating and trying to recapture the past. Using a vintage font can make a logo or package design look elegant and serious. Or bold, yet nostalgic and intricate. If you want to bring a classic touch to the modern...

How to Add Innovation to UI Design Patterns

Researchers have known for some time that human behavior happens in patterns. Rather than seek out new ways to interact with technology, humans default to the familiar. Evidence to support people’s love of patterns is abundant. The architect Alexander Christopher recognized, and wrote extensively about, design patterns as early as the 1960s. More recently, Charles Duhigg examined how the majority of our day to day lives are the product of our habits — which corresponds nicely to Nir Eyal’s work on habit forming products. Given the influence of patterns over human behavior, it’s no surprise that using established design patterns in your work can be beneficial. But repetition can also be the enemy of innovation. How can you design something new for your audience if you only focus on what’s come before? If you want to learn how you utilize design patterns and still create original ideas to meet the needs of your end-users, read on. The Good and Bad of Design Patterns By definition, design patterns are established solutions to recurring problems. So for nearly any user interface designer, established patterns can be tremendously useful. For example, positioning the login call to action at the upper right hand corner of the navigation is a classic UI design pattern. People know to look in that area of an interface, because they’ve used the same behavior to log in or check their profile for years. You can see the pattern in use on the Interaction Design Foundation site: …and on LinkedIn: …and The New York Times: As I highlighted earlier, people enjoy the familiar. When an interface matches the user’s expectations, it reduces cognitive load, saves the user time, and makes the software more intuitive. That’s what gives these conventions lasting power. What’s more, patterns have a number of advantages for your design process. Utilizing a UI Pattern Saves You Time Because you don’t have to design an interface from scratch, you’ll be able to move more quickly to testing and iterating your design. You’ll Be Building on a Solution That Has Worked in the Past Just like scientists standing on the shoulders of giants, you’ll be standing on the shoulders of, well, designers who solved similar challenges for their audience. But it’s important to remember that patterns are only a starting place. They are models for your design, not fully-realized solutions to your users’...

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08 Dec 2018