41 cute logos that are totally aww-some

You’re scrolling through Instagram and you pause to look at a new pic of your friend’s baby. You decide to run down the workday clock looking at gifs of baby elephants on Reddit. Why? Because they’re cute. And because you’re a human, you love cute things. Cute things—like babies—automatically jump to the front of our mental queues because this ensures their survival. But our sense of cuteness doesn’t just cover babies of our own species, or even just sentient beings. We love all things cute, whether that’s cute animals, cute drawings or even cute objects because they grab onto our brains and demand that we pay attention to them. A cute logo instantly grabs your attention and makes you go ‘aww’. Logo design by 3AM3I.So how do you get your logo to demand attention? Make it cute. Cute might be the norm for your field or you might be the first one to try it. Using a cute logo in an industry that typically doesn’t use cute logos can be a way to set yourself apart or to target a demographic that industry doesn’t usually target. Keep in mind that you can take cute too far. In most industries, opting for a cute logo means giving up some of your position as an authority in your industry. Notable exceptions are industries that literally run on cute, like baby products. But if you’re going cute to advertise a line of office furniture or gardening items, there is absolutely such a thing as too cute. Recognizing too cute is a know-it-when-you-see-it kind of situation that happens when a cute image undermines the product it’s representing. Take a look at these different ways to do cute logos. Cute can be somewhat subjective, but because our sense of cuteness is rooted in psychology, it’s not as purely subjective as our senses of what’s cool or what’s beautiful. You can use elements that trigger our cute senses to build a cute logo, and here’s a few ways to do it: Cute n’ cuddly logos
— We all love cute animals. Otherwise, they wouldn’t make up most of the internet. As a species, there are few things we love as universally as other animals… especially baby animals. We love imagining what animals think about and giving them voices to speak their minds. If we didn’t, talking animal movies wouldn’t be some of the highest grossing films we create. We love our pets. We love wild animals. We love animals so much that we created new ones to populate our folklore and inspire...

Business Card Design: 9 Rules Every Designer Must Know

From personal to brand-oriented business cards, there are a number of critical factors into creating the right business card for any purpose. Generating a business card that maintains brand integrity while also expressing individuality and uniqueness, is important. However, it’s easy to get caught up doing too much with your business card. Unless you are creating a business card with a unique shape, you need to understand the limitations of the size of a traditional business card. A business card is only so big. Whatever your goal is for your business card, it needs to be short and punchy. Trying to do too much will quickly maximize the small amount of space you have to work with. Recognize your opportunity within the size of card you select and effectively fill your card without getting away from your message. Most of all, create a business card that inspires the holder to take action. From visiting your website to scheduling a consultation to find out more about your products or services, it all comes down to your design choices. Business card design tips: #1 Include The Information That Is Most Important You need to be a bit selective when including information on your business card. It is tempting for companies reduce font size and include as much information as possible on their business cards. For instance, including the sales pitch, the company mission statement, graphics, detailed list of products and services, etc. are some information which you do not require printing on the card. This only distracts attention from the key purposes of your business card. So, it is always advisable to keep it simple. #2 Less Is More Just as you would want to fit your entire site copy on a business card to inform the holder on your entire brand, it’s also tempting to insert a number of flashy design elements and images to make your business card standout. However, there’s a difference between standing out and making the right impression. If the reader can’t clearly see the purpose of the card, your swanky designs are doing more harm than good. #3 Make It Legible Along the lines of less is more, you can easily run the risk of doing too much in the limited space of a business card. Being creative can help you stand out, but ultimately the main goal of your business card is to send a message. If you get too unorthodox, all of your efforts can be for naught if your...

20 Best New Portfolios, November 2018

Welcome back, readers! My favorite thing about you all is that you’re all much too classy to put up Christmas decorations this darned early. Yes. You are. I insist. I could also insist that you have a look at these portfolios, but you already clicked, and we all know what you’re here for: a mix of minimalist, corporate, and super artsy designs! Note: I’m judging these sites by how good they look to me. If they’re creative and original, or classic but really well-done, it’s all good to me. Sometimes, UX and accessibility suffer. For example, many of these sites depend on JavaScript to display their content at all; this is a Bad Idea, kids. If you find an idea you like and want to adapt to your own site, remember to implement it responsibly. Justin Jackson Justin Jackson’s portfolio does that rare and beautiful thing of making use of monospace fonts in a way that doesn’t look too brutalist. Okay, so maybe it looks a bit “grunge”, but it’s grunge and it’s usable. What’s not to love? Platform: Statamic Paul Macgregor Paul Macgregor’s portfolio brings us to our first (but probably not last!) uber-minimal design of the month. And it’s a fantastic example of the principle, too, with all the important information right up front, and quite literally center. Other than my usual issues with JS-dependent navigation, I can find no fault. Platform: Static Site Mawla Mawla is an app development studio, and I’m slightly in love with their site design. All the colorful blobs remind me of fliers from my childhood, but better. Yeah, they actually made blobs work. Look, I’m not saying everyone should adopt colorful blobs as a strategy. That way lies madness and/or blindness. But running across these sites that let their designers go a little wild without sacrificing general usability is always nice. Platform: WordPress Ethan Tennier-Stuart Ethan Tennier-Stuart brings us back down to earth with a very type-and-whitespace-focused design that keeps things simple. This one is an absolute master class in spacing out elements. Platform: Static Site Owl Owl is a Russian design agency, but maybe don’t quote me on that. You know typography is good when you can’t read a word of it, but you don’t mind just staring at it for a bit. Their graphic design skills are impeccable, too. It reminds me of that brief moment in time when photomontages were everywhere. Platform: WordPress Jack...

Stop Acting Like an Amateur Freelance Web Designer

Being a successful web designer is more than just hardcore Photoshop skills and a mastery of the latest CSS framework. The challenge that keeps amateurs from becoming professionals is effectively managing their freelance careers. While some of these skills cannot be learned overnight, here are a few things you can start doing now so clients think of you as a professional and transform your freelance web design career. The Freelance Designer Toolbox
Unlimited Downloads: 500,000+ Web Templates, Icon Sets, Themes & Design Assets
DOWNLOAD NOW 1. Don’t Drop the Ball: Effective Communication Is Key When was the last time you did work for a business that promised to call you back and never did? Or ignored your countless emails when trying to solve a problem? Effective communication can make or break a professional in any field, but it’s of particular importance in the web design field. Professional designers understand that communication dictates the success of a project. Regular updates help make sure that your client is satisfied with the direction. And, if something does go wrong, you’re in a position to adjust timelines and expectations accordingly. If you drop the ball on communicating with your clients regularly, it can result in deadlines being missed and an unhappy client who will not be raving about your web design services to anyone. 2. Always Set Clear Expectations to Avoid Problems If you haven’t set expectations early on, the chances of you running into problems, later on, are high! Here are two types of documentation professional web designers use to ensure their clients understand their working process: Draw up a Contract Professional web designers never work without a contract. Not only does it protect you, but it helps set clear expectations to your client. Make sure your contract contains the following: An outline of the job, including how many revisions will be allowed. Who owns the rights to the finished product. Your deadlines, rate fee, early termination fee, applicable late fees and dates of payment. Create a Goals Document Before you begin work on a project, agree on goals with your client and put them into a document. By taking the time to create this project scope, you have proof to charge more money if your client decides to change direction after the project has started. And remember, while it...

Popular Design News of the Week: November 12, 2018 – November 18, 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. Web.Dev   25 Years Ago Today, the First Major Web Browser was Released: NCSA Mosaic 1.0   Just-in-time Design   Why Does Every Homepage Look the Same?   Why You Should Use a Text Area for Address Form Fields   UX Portfolio Tips and Best Practices   In the Dead of Night: Why We are Drawn to Dark Interfaces   Creatives’ Worldwide Tribute to Legendary Stan Lee   Building your Color Palette   Creating Excellent UX Flow Charts   The Importance of Wireframing in Web Design   These 5 Questions Kill Creativity   Tensorflow 2.0 – A More User Friendly API   Codevember   The Dangerous Fetishization of ‘Hustle Porn’   Why Doctors Hate their Computers   World War Three   Starting a Design System   Google Admits Too Much White Space in Apps is Bad for Battery Life   How Nirvana’s Iconic Nevermind Album Cover was Designed   Kill your Personas   What Chinese Travel Sites Taught Me About UI   Balancing Creativity and Usability   Why are Tech Companies Making Custom Typefaces?   Videogame Onboarding Experiences are a Lesson to Designers   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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What is creativity? The ultimate guide to understanding today’s most important ability.

Creativity is one of those traits that people seem to have an intrinsic understanding of, but if you actually ask them to define it, they get tripped up. It’s easy to come up with a list of creative people (Frieda Khalo, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Einstein), and the outcomes of creativity (a novel, an invention, a new way of looking at the world), but it’s difficult to wrap your head around the actual concept of creativity. The more I researched this article, the more I realized creativity is an incredibly nuanced phenomenon. by rvasilovskiBut you have to start somewhere, so let’s begin with a definition: Creativity is the ability to transcend traditional ways of thinking or acting, and to develop new and original ideas, methods or objects. Let’s break that down: It’s an ability
It’s also an ability to run a mile, or to do calculus or recite a Shakespearean sonnet (Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?). So creativity is a skill that is specific to an individual. For some people, it might seem to come naturally, but it is something that anyone can improve at if they give it the time and effort. It transcends traditional ways of thinking or acting
Transcending means you’re going above and beyond. It’s recognizing the limitations of what already exists, and trying to improve upon it. It develops new and original things
I think the key word here is develops. Creativity goes beyond imagining: it’s about developing. If it’s an idea, you go out and do the research to prove it. If it’s a new process you try and test it to see if it works. If it’s an object, you build it. Great! And now that I’ve provided you with that enlightening definition, let’s wade a bit deeper and try to really understand what creativity is (and why you should or shouldn’t care). Creativity is a relatively new phenomenon
— Creativity has only been a thing for the past 60-80 years or so. “But wait,” you say, “what about all those amazing artists and inventors of yesteryear. Are you telling me you don’t think Mark Twain and Sir Isaac Newton weren’t creative? Preposterous!” I am certainly not one to dis the fathers of Tom Sawyer and gravity. What I’m saying is that the concept of creativity as we understand it—even though it seems so ubiquitous—wasn’t really part of the popular lexicon until midway through the last century: From Google’s Ngram viewerIn many ancient...

10 Free Website Optimization & Guides For Improving Site Speed

Every metric you can measure on your site will give you an optimized loading time. Everything from usability to search engine rankings improve with a faster site. There is no catch-all process to optimization. There are certain things you can do, like minifying your code or optimizing images to reduce file size. But overall you’ll need to try a lot of things to ultimately reduce your page load speed. And the best place to start is with online guides solely built for web developers who want faster pages. Take a look over this collection and see if any of these resources can help you master the art of page speed optimization. The UX Designer Toolbox
Unlimited Downloads: 500,000+ Wireframe & UX Templates, UI Kits & Design Assets
DOWNLOAD NOW Essential Image Optimization The Essential Image Optimization ebook is a fantastic primer on reworking your images for performance. Google engineer Addy Osmani wrote this free ebook as a resource for all developers, designers, and server admins. The goal is to prove just how much image optimization can affect page speed. With the right tools and processes you can radically improve your page load times. It won’t take much effort, and you can even get started with just a few simple changes. For example, WordPress users might try the SmushIt plugin that runs automatically and free of charge. There’s a lot you can do for image optimization and this ebook is the best place to start. Git-Tower Web Optimization Tips The team at Git-Tower published a massive guide to website optimization. This guide is really the bee’s knees on everything you could possibly want to do to your site. It’s broken into sections almost like long chapters on various topics. They all follow a similar formula covering essential optimization topics: Testing performance Working with images Reducing HTTP requests Optimizing your code Caching files This guide also comes with a handy cheat sheet in PDF form. You can follow along while you make changes on your site, tracking performance as you go. Ultimate Web Optimization Guide A while back the team at Hongkiat wrote this optimization guide for the web. It’s still one of my favorites because it covers basically everything you should do for a faster site. This talks about updating your server speed, your images, your HTTP requests, caching, CDN setup, everything. Granted not everyone...

10 cutting-edge web design trends for 2019

We’re now heading into the final chapter of the decade, and the internet has seen a lot of changes in the intervening years. We’ve seen the reign of mobile, the introduction of AR, VR, AI and many other mixtures of the alphabet. As exciting as all of this new technology has been, web design trends are here to make these advancements accessible and visually appealing to the user. Past years of design have seen more of a push towards rampant creativity—abandoning grids and traditional stock photos for vibrant illustrations, bold color schemes and asymmetrical layouts. At the same time, technological advancements have led to websites becoming smarter, with machine learning and subtle interactions. 2019 will see these two sides of the coin, aesthetics and technology, come together like never before. Gathered here are the dominating trend predictions for the upcoming year, but this is by no means the last word on creative innovation. Because if there’s one thing we can say for certain about 2019, it is the last call for web designers to make their mark on the decade. 10 web design trends that will be huge in 2019 — 1. Serifs on screen
2. Black-and-white palettes
3. Natural, organic shapes
4. Glitch art
5. Micro-interactions
6. Chatbots evolve
7. Even more video content
8. Minimalism
9. Thumb-friendly navigation
10. Diversity 1. Serifs on screen
— We’ve all heard the rule that serifs are for print and sans serifs are for screen. But what are design trends for if not to give convention a little shaking up? While sans, with its clean readability, is still the go-to for longer bouts of website copy, more and more brands are turning towards bold serifs in other aspects of their designs such as headers and callouts. There’s a good reason for this: serifs were designed to be decorative, making them perfect for emphasis. And even though serifs are often associated with the past, they have lots of character and are more adaptable than you might think. Take for example the rounded serifs that play into Mailchimp’s cheerful branding. Or the wedge serifs and bold strokes that create a modern look for Medium. via Mailchimpvia Mike Barnes 2. Black-and-white palettes
— via Involve DigitalColor is one of the most important elements in a website. It cultivates a mood, unifies a brand and guides users through an interface by creating visual...

9 Free Data Visualization Tools

Data can be beautiful. And if you’ve ever had to work with graphs and statistics in your web design work before, you know that the extra visual reinforcement is much better than trying to figure out a bunch of numbers. Writing a blog post, creating a chart for a client’s project, or just trying to get your own personal data sorted; these free tools are just what you need to make charts, graphs, and infographics that are both pretty and easy to understand. Chartist “Simple responsive charts” – no more, no less. Download this tiny program and create vector pie charts, line graphs and more that will scale to any screen size. You can even add animations! The graphs are highly compatible with a majority of web browsers, so there’s no reason not to use it. However, you will need to learn some JavaScript and CSS. The documentation should be a big help if you’re new to these languages. RAWGraphs If you’re looking for variety, RAWGraphs has everything under the sun. Just paste in your spreadsheet data or upload a file, and you’ll be able to convert the numbers to anything from a bar graph to a bump chart! You can even add your own chart type if you’re familiar with JavaScript. When done customizing, you can download as a SVG, PNG or JSON file. Or just embed the vector into your site. This advanced program isn’t the easiest to use, but it has a lot of potential. Datawrapper If you have spreadsheet data you want to include in an article, Datawrapper makes it easy to turn it into a beautiful graph. It’s not hard at all, and the graphs are fully customizable down to text alignment and color customization (there are even color-blind filters!) When you’re finished, you just need to sign up and you’ll get the embed code for the chart. Tableau Need something professional? Tableau Public is a downloadable tool that allows you to visualize data in a variety of ways. Suitable for anything from small charts to dedicated infographics, the app is a great choice for web designers. ChartBlocks “The world’s easiest chart builder” is exactly what it says. Insert some spreadsheet data, do a little tweaking, pick a theme and you’ve got yourself a chart in less than a minute. If you want to, you can tweak the appearance further. Or you can just download it, embed it or share it on social media! Beam Are all these programs too complicated? Just need to make a simple graph...

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08 Dec 2018