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7 Useful Tips For Building A Design Portfolio As A Student


Why do students take a separate class to learn the skills of building a portfolio? Is it really worth it because you can always rely on some online service that offers you to buy assignments and receive good writings? Well, the truth is that you always have an opportunity to opt for online companies like Australia PapersOwl that will create a proper paper, but you can do it on your own, thanks to the classes you can take and a few tips that you need to have in mind. Building your graphical showcase of personal skills and work experience should be eye-catching, innovative (in terms of design) and interesting to your potential employers from the niche you want to develop a career in. Let’s say a few words on the most useful tips you can learn to tailor the perfect presentation for your job-seeking adventures!

design

Review other design online portfolio examples

The best way to start is to see what other students did, just to see how they think. This is a good tip to remember, especially for later job searching adventures when you are entering the more specific industry. Their design introduces you a gap that no one filled so you can use that as an advantage. Avoid plagiarism and copying other’s design portfolio examples, but rather be creative by designing something that you haven’t seen yet. This way you attract the attention of potential employers who will see that you have a talent and ability to distinguish yourself among others.

Alternatively, use services like Portfoliobox where you can create and customize a site according to your preferences. This way you can quickly and easily set up your website to show your skills. You don’t need to code complex structures just for a kick start but rather to quickly land somewhere and use your skills.

Show internships, side-projects, and assignments

Internships are the fantastic way to boost your knowledge, experience, and paper and try to get on board during summer to experience a bit of work atmosphere and students that work on many side projects are busy all the time but also potential targets for employers. The experience is the key to the development, so make sure you collect it as much as possible. Sometimes is hard to get the project as you have no experience, so you should start your own one to show your skills and decisiveness. Include all of these in your portfolio and if needed buy assignments from professional writing services that will enrich your vocabulary. Assignments are the legit way to prove your qualities and skills so make sure you include them in the design.

Do not be afraid of mentioning every project that you participated in. Whether is a social science project or a small startup plan for sustainability in fashion, you must include it. The employers care about your design, thinking and developing, but less about how you use natural and recycled materials to create a trendy and fashionable piece of clothes. It is all about the involvement and role, so make sure you precise your project roles and assignments.

Buy a domain, design a logo and make it personalized

Web presentations are one of the most common ways in the online world. If you are wondering how to make a graphic design portfolio unique, then you should start with buying a domain and getting things on a higher level. Once you buy it and set everything ready, make your own logo to make things more serious. Learn CS Photoshop or other program and model your logo for the website that shows your job skills. If possible, code a unique theme for the website and hire Australia assignment service to write a personalized and high-quality content.

social networks and linking

Use social networks and linking

The social strategy is important as it confirms your identity and integrates you with the rest of the world. It is recommended to use two online platforms that you should according to your skills and affinities. For example, if you are a graphic designer, you should use Instagram as it more illustrative tool. Good backlinks are a fantastic way to make you more appearing on Google especially when you link social accounts in your portfolio. After all, the better everything is packed and connected, more likely is that you will catch someone’s eye.

Explain your affinities and wishes

Why do you present your knowledge? What do you want to achieve with it? Explain how and why you and your projects are different, and how they can be useful to someone use. The relation to personal and real-world experiences is a good link to explain what you are looking for. Present useful facts that back up your claims and intentions, as well as reasons for designing a portfolio.

outside the box

Balance colors

This is especially important for those who want to be graphic designers. Practice on many projects before until you learn and get the feeling of color setting. Do not make very colorful portfolio as the neatly balanced, graphically precise template of your presentation is all you need to be interesting to companies. You can use Paletton to design a color palette that has a balanced spectrum and make everything more personalized and unique.

Mobile-friendly and content-related

A lot of people are searching for projects and workers via mobile devices, so keep in mind that you must optimize portfolio so the Android or iPhone users can easily navigate it and browse. If you don’t, more than 50% of users will just close when sees content and design that are not optimized. Depending on the industry and jobs that you are looking for, you should find online Australia buy assignments service to proofread and optimize your content. Student portfolio websites often recommend some good team of writers that tailor your content to be optimized and well-suited for the niche. Keeping both things optimized, you are building yourself a concrete pavement to the job you want.

 

Author’s bio: Becca Stickler is a freelance writer with a focus on sustainability and eco-friendly living. Now engaged in travel around the country and writing.

 

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16 Design Ideas for Student's Dorm


dorm decor

Nothing entirely comes close to the excitement of packing off to campus for the first time, and it gets even better once you realize that you now have your private space-with no parents around!

Unfortunately, though, university bedrooms are not a sight to behold. Not only are most of them dull, but also unfavorably drab. Nonetheless, don’t let it dim the light of your spark! With a few easy tips, you can transform your otherwise dull dorm into a stylish and dashing new abode in no time!

Below are some easy hacks to decorate your student dorm room and make it picture worthy.

  1. Light it up!

What is perhaps among the easiest ways of making your room extra cozy is the use of fairy lights in brightening up your space. For more adventure, you can go with neon lights. With the fairy lights, you can drape them around your room or use them to hold up photographs with pegs.

  1. Create your own deadline board

It is no brainer that as a student, you have a lot of things to remember including exam dates, essay deadlines, and even class hours. Even so, while you could have your room stacked with post-it notes, you can go the relatively neater option of creating a deadline board.

  1. Customize your bookshelf

If you only get a little more creative, you can transform virtually anything to hold your possessions. For instance, you can modify a small stepladder to a delightful storage feature with some attention and love. If you have a bookshelf with a plain panel, you can customize it by adding some of your photos into the empty spaces behind your books.

  1. Don’t forget your drawer space

Simple, innovative measures can transform your drawer space to make it look both attractive and organized. You can take dividers for instance and quickly spice up a sock or underwear drawer instantly.

  1. Make your own removable wallpaper.

dorm design

While this one sounds quite ridiculous, take a moment and understand what it means for you. Word is that you can create temporary wallpaper by using just plain fabric sheets and liquid starch. Imagine that! Surprisingly, all you need to do is pick your favorite material (choose a wacky color) and get a sponge roller to stick it up using the liquid starch! Luckily for you, in case you need to move out, all you need to do is peel it off!

  1. Poke holes in lamp shades

dorm design

You can personalize virtually anything-including plain lampshades. Once you poke holes in the lampshades, you can project any pattern you wish across your room.

  1. Make your own headboard

While it is exciting to get a room on campus, the disappointing thing is that you can have an awfully dull bed staring at you once you arrive there. However, if this is the case, you can create your own headboard to give it a light touch of personality. Luckily, all that is required of you is to make a trip to the closest hardware outlet and pick up a plank of wood. You can decorate this plank with fabric, light, or anything else you fancy.

  1. Use a Washi Tape on Everything…

If you don’t know what a Washi Tape is, it is a remarkable Japanese masking tape which is not only reusable but also removable!  These characteristics render it suitable for numerous diverse roles including creating removable wallpaper, design photo frames, not to mention what is perhaps the most captivating functions, creating pineapple-themed wall art!

  1. Spice things up with cozy cushions

Spice up your bed by pilling up some cozy, patterned, and colorful cushions on it. Any cushions with quirky or eccentric design or slogan cushions can spark some life to your bed area. You can also get adventurous with shapes, prints, or even sizes which contrast against your bedding to make your space pop up with a remarkably cozy bed! You can check out Etsy for these and much more selections to suit any student room.

  1. Personalize your hangers

dorm design

If your room has an open wardrobe that features a visible hanging rail, the whole setup can look quite messy in an instance especially if you are using a load of mismatched hangers. Alternatively, you can decide to purchase a set of relatively cheap hangers and proceed to tailor them to match your room. You can add sequins, and either spray paint them with gold to a chic touch or cover them with fabric.

  1. Add some greenery

While there is nothing much to this little trick, adding some plants across your room is a simple way to spark some life into your room. What’s more, this trick comes with a surprising assortment of health benefits such as making the air cleaner as well as enabling you to study better (for real!). Jade plants, rubber trees, not to mention rubber trees are some few examples of simple to maintain plants you can start with.

  1. Paint your own rug

One of the simplest ways to land a personalized, unique rug is just to paint one. You can find an assortment of cheap rugs in thrift shops as well as numerous other secondhand outlets which you can use. However, for the best results, go for one with a relatively low pile.

  1. Use your furniture to break up space

If your room is a studio apartment, it can give you problems thinking about how to work on the open space. However, there is a simple fix to it! You can make use of your furniture pieces to establish different ‘zones.' As a first, you can set up your working desk along the living room side to separate the living room from your sleeping area. There are multiple ways you can do it… Be sure to visit Houzz to get some inspiration or

  1. Make your desk a creative hub

As you will discover from various sources and surveys, college life is quite a buzz and crucial, and the load you get in school in order to enroll can be so enormous that it’s difficult to keep up. That' why students turn to numerous online essay writers who can get your assignment done for you with ease and on time.

Nonetheless, this is not to say that you still can’t invest in a desk to do your research or review your custom essay.  If you have a desk in your dorm room, it does not hurt to make this place worth sitting at. You can spruce up the desk area with photos, colorful lanterns, or even plants. If you want to attach items to your room wall, you can try the UHU white tack as it doesn’t leave any stains.

  1. Switch your handles

Are you fed up of the fittings which came with your dorm room? If so, there are numerous easy ways you can follow to spice up things a little bit. To start with, you can unscrew handles on old furniture such as your drawers and screw in some new ones of your choice. The options are unlimited, but be sure to put back the old handles once your tenancy is over to avoid getting in trouble!

  1. Organize messy wires

It is no brainer that you, of course, have a phone, or even a tablet and a laptop…right? Each of these gadgets needs to charge regularly. With such a tangle of wires, it is very easy for the electronic cables to pile up and become unsightly. However, we have a solution to it; create your own charging station. It is surprising how easily things get tidier without all these wires entangled around the room.

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How to Handle Tough Clients (And Not Want to Punch Everything)


stress

Business can be stressful, especially when you add agitated or angry customers to the mix. Every once in a while, you’ll come across someone who is particularly vile. Maybe they call you names, refuse to treat you with respect, make lofty claims or refuse to pay for goods and services.

It’s not an easy situation to deal with, but we’ve all been there. The most important thing is to keep your cool in the moment so that you don’t lose yourself and damage the brand’s reputation. It’s almost always true that others are watching — including like-minded clientele — and if you explode, it’s not going to be good for anyone.

I’ve had my fair share of dealings with testy customers, and I’ve discovered many ways to make it through to the other side.

Relax, Don’t Do It

Frankie Goes to Hollywood said it the best: “Relax, don’t do it.” Of course, the song has other connotations when you get further in, but the hook sure fits because first, you need to relax. When emotions are running high, it’s not the time to make split decisions or react to others around you, at least not without calming down. That’s when you make mistakes, which can lead to harsh reactions or responses.

I’m not going to spill some mantra about finding your center, going to a happy place or doing yoga right then and there — although yoga and exercise can help. Instead, I’ll share a few tips that help me calm down in just a few minutes, like a spot treatment. If you’re susceptible to panic attacks like I am, you’ll want to remember these.

  1. Sit Down and Close Your Eyes

The eyes are the window to the soul, or so they say. They’re also the main point of sensory stimulation for your body. By sitting down and closing your eyes for a moment or two, you can give your brain a much-needed break, severing an endless stream of sensory input. That's likely why people who are stressed find comfort in sleeping. Besides feeling great, it also gives them a break from the outside world for a small time. And since some people are more sensitive than others, it definitely helps.

It’s rude to close your eyes without saying a word, of course, so just ask for a moment to compose yourself, then retreat to a remote office or isolated area. Sit for a moment, close your eyes, and let your body simmer down. Your client(s) can wait.

  1. Take Deep Breaths

Breathing exercises are phenomenal for reducing stress and anxiety. Close your eyes, inhale deeply for about three to four seconds — letting your diaphragm expand as much as possible — then exhale for the same amount of time. Take it slow and repeat it as many times as you need to calm your nerves.

  1. Relieve Stress Tension

Lots of people squeeze or play with actual stress balls — they feel and work great. But if you don’t always have one lying around, remember that tennis balls are just as effective. Roll it around in your hand to tighten up and stretch your muscles. Doing so will help to release tension.

  1. Use a Fidget Toy

Fidget spinners are a bit ridiculous to some, but others swear by them. I prefer something a little different. It’s still a toy, mind you, but it plays on the idea of euphoric sensory input. It’s a cube with a variety of buttons, toggles, switches and interactive elements on it. When I’m really stressed, I just palm the toy and play around with it a bit. You can use the same toy or find something different, as there are tons of options for adults.

  1. Try a Music Break

You can’t do it right in front of the customer, but when you get a moment to yourself, return to your desk or personal area and put on some of your favorite music. It’s even better if you get up and move, dancing to the beat. It doesn’t matter whether you’re listening to Beethoven, Five Finger Death Punch or Lady Gaga — just get up and move.

  1. Go for a Walk

If you’re agitated or feel uncontrollable rage, it’s probably best to just get away entirely. It's a good time to take a walk, which will increase your circulation, especially if you’ve been sitting most of the day. Walking also releases a lot of built-up static energy.

Relaxed? Good, let’s move on.

Dealing With Your Tough Clients

Since many different situations can play out — all clients are different — it makes sense to specifically look at what’s happening. For example, what you should do when a client doesn’t pay on time or flat out refuses to collaborate is different from handling a micromanager.

While freelance is one of the most frequent places to find these tough clients (and more), they exist everywhere, even in retail. It helps to know how to deal with them and proceed with your work so that you can stay focused on the finish line.

Keep in mind that sometimes it’s not worth dealing with these clients at all. If you have the power, it may be necessary to cut them loose. If that’s the best option, I’ll point it out first. Don't worry, I've sent many a client packing myself — it's something we all need to do every now and then.

Here are some of the most common troublesome clients and how to deal with them.

1. Clients Who Don't Pay on Time

The client approaches you for your help, you discuss the project and finalize a deal. Everything goes swimmingly until it’s time for the client to pay up. They flat out don’t pay, drag their feet or continue making excuses. In the end, you deserve to be paid for your work, and you invested your time, so what can you do?

  • Always draw up a contract at the beginning of the project and be sure to include a statement about late fees. Absolutely collect the fee when a client doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain.
  • For larger projects, get payment up front, or at least collect a portion of the total compensation.
  • Stop working for the client immediately.
  • Don’t stop contacting them. Continue sending emails, reaching out via direct messages, texting or even calling. The more persistent you are, the more difficult it is for the client to forget or brush you aside.
  • Find other contacts at the company or other forms of contact if you’re getting no response. Sometimes a simple callout on social media can light a fire under their butts.
  • Start factoring right away.
  • If all else fails, seek legal action.

It’s a smart idea to cease future projects with the client even if they pay well. Once they start giving you trouble with payments, it’s time to move on. There are exceptions such as emergencies or major personal events, but that’s up to your discretion.

2. Clients Who Micromanage Too Much

Sometimes, the client thinks they know best — better than you — and will lob an endless swarm of suggestions, requests and comments at you. Incorporate what you can, but remember, they came to you for help. At some point, you’ll need to use your own judgment and experience to decide what happens next. What you know absolutely trumps what a client “thinks” they want — but don’t tell them that!

Don’t placate the client every time. Follow the process that you think is best for the project and its outcome. Politely explain to the customer that you have more experience. If they do not understand or continue to fight you, it may be best to set them free.

3. Clients Who Communicate Poorly

Poor communication is never good. Whether the client is not sharing enough about what they want, sharing too much or being incredibly vague, it can certainly grind a project to a halt. Find ways to meet with the client in person and be specific when you're asking questions or trying to collect ideas. Show them visual examples or past work and try to glean their likes and dislikes as early as possible. Doing so will help you avoid major revisions later.

4. Clients Who Disappear

Poor communication is one thing, but when clients disappear altogether, that’s another. It’s even worse when they’re missing and a big decision needs to be made. That situation can result in your entire team waiting around to complete work or continue.

Of course, you won’t know the client is going to disappear beforehand but get as much information about the project as you can upfront. If you come to a crossroads and they’re not around, move to another part of the project that you do have information about.

5. Clients Who Continually Alter the Project Scope

The client seemed a dream, you’re nearly done with the project and you approach them with what’s ready. Suddenly, they decide the work you put in is not good enough and they want something entirely different. If you continue, you’ll need to go back to the drawing board.

If you made a mistake that caused the change, own up to it. If no mistake was made and they’re just being demanding — which happens more often than I’d like — make it clear that you kept to the original plans and you expect to be compensated. Be firm, be persistent, but don't be rude.

Explain to them that the costs will increase for the new approach and that the work will take longer to complete. If the client cannot understand that changing the scope near completion causes too much extra work — and may even ruin the deadline — it’s not someone you want to be working with long-term anyway.

6. Cheap Clients

I get this all the time in freelance. Clients don’t want to pay my rates and often tell me I either charge too much or have an inflated sense of self-worth. They want to pay an incredibly low price for lots and lots of work. If you’re not careful, they’ll continue to increase the workload as time goes on, but they certainly won’t pay what it’s worth.

If you notice the clients are cheap up front, just walk away. Take a moment to explain that the cost is the cost and you won’t budge. If they can't accept that they have to pay for quality work, they don’t need to be seeking help.

“I can do that in X time so much better!” Great, go do it then, bud.

7. Multi-Team Clients That Cannot Make Decisions Effectively

With larger teams — organizations especially — managers aren’t truly managers, at least when it comes to making decisions. Generally, they have to go through a system of checks and balances. This process means consulting others on their team, including alternate executives. Dealing with these kinds of clients is challenging because getting a straight answer is rarely possible.

Make time at the beginning of the project to sit down with everyone involved, get the appropriate input and collect all the necessary contact information. In some cases, it may be necessary to go right to the source, asking outright what they want or what should be done, as opposed to going up the chain of command one by one.

8. The Clueless Client

The client wants something and may even be specific, but they have absolutely no clue what kind of work, value or time is required to get it done. Maybe they want you to complete an incredibly difficult project in half the time you usually do, or perhaps they’re offering a fraction of the overall cost. Again, this is best left to your discretion. Is the compensation they're offering worth all the trouble? If not, walk away.

I have found that the best approach is to educate the client using industry-specific examples as evidence. Show them your past work and explain how long each project took. Point out the value in your efforts and politely explain why the costs are higher than what they want or why it will take longer. Smart clients will recognize right away that you know what you're talking about.

Remember to Protect Yourself and Your Team

You probably can't afford to turn away every difficult client. Sometimes, even I have to accept the undesirable client to make sure I can pay my bills on time, that’s just the nature of the business. That said, it’s not healthy to build an entire portfolio with these types of clients. Avoid working with them on future projects when you can, especially if they don’t pay, change the scope of the work entirely or remain unsatisfied with your work. Some relationships just aren’t meant to be.

When you're choosing what clients are good to work with, assess the impact on you and your team's health. If they're too difficult and it's going to cause stress for everyone, it may not be worth the trouble.

 

 

 

Lexie is a graphic designer and typography enthusiast. She spends most of her time A/B testing websites and creating style guides. Check out her blog, Design Roast, and follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

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Color as a Factor in Enhancing Student Learning


Everything is associated with a particular color. For painters, marketing professionals, and designers, it is vital to use various color shades to achieve business success. But very few know that color can affect learning abilities as well.

Most educators admit that colorful desks and chairs along with glowing bulletin boards can turn a faded classroom into a bright place that holds students' attention. Colors do more than just animate a surrounding environment. They are so powerful that if used incorrectly, they can cause students to become overexcited and overactive.

The use of a particular color can greatly affect the learners' feelings and performance. Thus, when it comes to the design of classrooms, it is crucial to understand the psychology of colors so that one can find out which colors to use and which ones should be avoided.

Green Helps to Concentrate Better

You have probably noticed that by having a walk to the woods. Along with delivering fresh air, green trees make people restful and calm, boosting their creativity and increasing their focus. Therefore, this color is a great choice for sharpening students' concentration. Except for being one of the best for our eyes, it is associated with nature. For this very reason, actors relax in green rooms while not performing. This color helps learners to maintain their concentration for a long time, making it a perfect choice for school. The same cannot be said about red, which produces an opposite effect.

There is scientific evidence indicating that those who study in green classrooms show better academic performance than those who don't. In fact, the color enhances the students' mental state and thus improves their learning capabilities. It is recommended to use green in the school design so that students can always look at it for a while to revitalize and turn their focus toward educational materials with ease.

Orange Enhances Mood

Orange can enhance mood, promote comfort, and boost the brain functioning of students. There are facts indicating that an orange surrounding affects the oxygen supply to the brain and stimulates attentiveness. When learners get an increased amount of this color, they start to feel more revitalized and ready to put things straight. There are many examination halls painted in this color to improve students' results.

Schools should remember that bright orange can overstimulate those who are inherently highly energetic. This color is perfect for underlining the content presented on the screen as it draws the recipients' attention. Thus, many teachers refuse to use the usual red color in favor of this color for obvious reasons.

However, because it is very bright, it can create an overwhelming effect. In ancient China, this color was used for sharpening concentration and promoting self-discipline. But then again, they avoided bright orange as it could have caused them a headache. Taken all, it is good but only if used in small doses.

Blue Increases Productiveness

The conducted studies have shown that those with increased cognitive load, such as educators, learners, and so forth, feel better when surrounded by blue. But with all this, it is nonsense to live in a monochrome environment - cool colors should be combined with warm ones. The best solution is to balance one color with its complementary one.

The blue color helps to learn in challenging situations. It also helps readers to better assimilate information. Therefore, the use of blue paper and ink for employment is a fairly reasonable solution. While this color, especially its light shades, seems to be soothing and calming, its darker shades may cause anxiety.

As for professionals, many of them advise to combine blue with orange, especially for drawing students' attention to important educational materials. In a nutshell, blue can help teachers to engage learners in a high level of thinking, but too much of it can cause apathy and unamiability.

Classroom Design

In preschool and elementary school, it is advisable to use warm colors, which greatly complement the extroverted nature of kids. In middle and high educational institutions, cool colors can do the trick as they help students to relax and focus on educational materials better. Light shades of green will work well in libraries as they promote calmness.

Even though most educators cannot decide on what colors to use for walls in classrooms, they can choose school desks, chairs, bookcases, and wall decorations. Therefore, instructors and learners can benefit from the colors of school furniture and decorative elements. Using brightly-colored desks and chairs in places where students are supposed to acquire new information can make a difference. Cool colors will work well in areas where kids are supposed to relax and get more concentrated.

When it comes to bulletin boards, there is no need to combine too many colors; two or three colors complementing each other are more than enough. If schools overdo with colors, students can get overwhelmed and confused, and have the only desire that someone, for example, Pro-Papers, will do all the tasks for them.

Like schoolers, educators also come under the influence of colors. It is important for them to be surrounded by proper colors as they have to spend a whole working day at school too. To stay motivated and inspired, teachers should use soothing shades around their desks.

In conclusion, many studies show that every color has its effect on both the psychological and physiological states of a person. While some colors are soothing, others seem to be more stimulating. By applying an understanding of the psychology of colors to school design, one can see how vital it is to make sure that the colors used in school settings bring maximum results in terms of the academic progress of children.

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5 Things You Need to Master for Stunning Designs


When it comes to getting started with creating stunning designs, two things are necessary: skills and resources. However, for starters, graphic design can all seem a little too overwhelming at first. From long hours of practice to an unending need for creativity; not to mention some graphic design resources cost a pretty penny, it can sometimes become an uphill task for novices. But that shouldn’t deter you from creating stunning designs. As a matter of fact, there are plenty of amazing freebies and affordable tools that can help you get the head start you need to become a veteran designer. Plus, with the right skills, you can be a master in the game without even trying.

In this blog post, we’ll highlight 5 things that you need to master in order to get an edge in creating stunning designs. Sound good? Let's dive right in.

UI Design

Here’s the blatant truth: No matter how amazing your designs are, it's pretty much pointless if they don't make a good first impression. That is to say, if people don’t like what they see at first glance, then you’re probably not going to wheel in as many people as you would want. So it makes perfect sense that we would mention the UI design here.

The truth is, UI design is pretty much a necessity when it comes to the graphic design front. So, it’s good you have all your bases covered in as far as skills go but every other graphic designer does too. So you need to ensure that you have an ace up your sleeve. If you make a good first impression, then whatever you call to action has a higher chance of being acted on.

Photoshop Overlays

Don’t take chances! You need to be able to create stunning designs every single time. But you and I both know that it’s much easier said than done. Not to mention your audience is a bit more particular and will often times shun blatant designs almost as soon as they see them. Therefore, you need to create compelling images. Images that will create a connection between you and your audience. Images that will ultimately convert your audience into customers. But how do you do that?

Fortunately, there’s no shortage of tools to help you create stunning designs. And one of the best in this front is Photoshop overlays. Photoshop overlays are one of the most versatile ways to transform the look and feel of your designs. With photoshop overlays, you can add texture and elements to an image and transform an otherwise uninspiring image to a stunning piece of art. So whether it's a stunning fog effect that you are looking for or a whimsical autumn, fairy garden or falling leaves effect, there are literally dozens of themes to help you create the perfect design. If you’re looking to create stunning designs, then you definitely need to master photoshop overlays.

Lightroom Presets

It goes without saying Lightroom presets are yet another resource you need to master in graphic design. From nitty-gritty aspects such as image exposure and white balance to more complex aspects such as curves, tones, and shadows. Along with ensuring that you create stunning designs from the onset, Lightroom presets have a lot to offer. Also comes in handy later on when you want to ensure that the final piece is nothing short of a stunning masterpiece. And the best thing about Lightroom presets is that they’re pretty easy to master.

Typography

Next up is typography. Typography is basically the art and technique of arranging the visual component of written words to make written language more legible. If you want to master typography, there are lots of typography tutorials to help. However, good typography often comes down to creative intuition. Once you grasp the basics, all you need to do is look for typography resources that will help you further sharpen your skills.

Here are some typographic considerations that you’ll need to take into account when mastering typography.

Size

Typefaces are not created equally. Some are wide some fat, some are narrow and yet others thin. So word sets in different typefaces take up a different amount of space depending on the size.

Tracking and Kerning

Tracking here relates to the spacing of characters applied evenly whereas kerning is basically adjusting spaces between characters to create a harmonious pairing.

Logo Designing

Here is another thing that you need to master to create stunning designs every time. In many forms and instances, the logo is what distinguishes a particular company from the other. Think about Guinness, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, and KFC. They are all visually represented by their logos. It doesn’t matter where they are in the world customers will still flock towards the direction that these logos are.

The truth is, the importance of a logo cannot be underestimated. They not only help identify a company but they are also a succinct and efficient way of communicating more about the company. Which means that the designs have to be both intuitive and stunning to wheel people in.  And since it’s something you’ll probably be doing a lot of, it's definitely one of the many things that you want to master to perfection.

Conclusion

Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by the number of graphic design skills you need to master to create stunning designs. Sure there are plenty more things that need to be mastered but these five are the most important. The bottom line is to ensure that you have mastered every aspect of photoshop overlays, typography, Lightroom presets, logo designing and UI design to come up with stunning and striking designs every time.

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The Vast Rewards of Owning Your Very Own and Personal Koozie


Originally designed to thermally wrap a beverage, this increasing trend of custom koozies serves even more ingenious purposes. With today’s market rapidly expanding, it becomes difficult to satisfy the expectations of your guests, clients, or even family members. Our customizable product will fit your needs no matter the purpose.

  • Represent your brand in purple fashion

If you are ready to take action aimed at building your company’s image and developing or expanding relations with clients and contractors, purple Koozie reflects professionalism and elegance. Putting aside the value of publicity, personalized gifts effectively present your company in a fashionable and expressive way. Your logo on a trendy, colorful, and shapeful Koozie will speak for itself in a variety of places, spreading the company’s eloquent message across the nation or even globally. Company’s gadgets tend to build the brand’s image, increase the probability of recommendation, and they testify to the stability and professionalism of your business. This commitment can bring very valuable and long-lasting results and relations. It’s your chance to shine!

  •  Advertise with a green Koozie

When we talk about personalization in marketing, we must remember that the gadget is an extremely accurate method. A personal relationship with the brand that is being built when the gift is received is stronger than with most other advertising tools. Our custom Koozies make ideal candidates for promotional purposes: there is a wide spectrum of opportunities, places, and events in which they can be used; emotions that accompany the moment of receiving a gift “ignite” the effect of reciprocity; green Koozie is a perfect way to demonstrate creativity and ingenuity of your brand and its people - the color translates into the movement. This hot item will make the best offline advertising tool, whether it is to market a desired product or the company itself.

  • Koozie White or Black Party Favors

When organizing a party or any type of celebration, it is worth remembering to thank your guests for coming. Spoken appreciation is always a good idea, but increasingly we turn to delighting and creative favors that our guests can take home. With our black or white custom Koozies, you will deliver three perks in one single item - the practical advantage of thermal insulation of our Koozie, a way to express your gratitude, and a personal and unique message designed specifically for that one person. Of course, keep in mind that our Koozie changes colors with changing theme of the party.

  • Politically Correct Red Koozie

There is no need to use bizarre or extraordinary ideas in the political campaign. What a better way to reach the audience than the custom-made and loud Koozie with a message that will stretch throughout the nation? Giving away printed beer sheaths will serve campaign’s purpose and attract voters. Through our red Koozie, you may display your vision in the unprecedented way. In addition to spreading your philosophy, ideas, and memo, let’s not forget about the convenience of owning a Koozie - the benefit of surviving indoors or outdoors with your hot or cold beverage.

Where can I get my personal Koozie?

With suppliers widely available, it is not difficult to find the product you are looking for. However, with such enormous amounts of resources, the quality is often questionable. Express Imprint delivers high-quality Koozies with your very own unique design, therefore we highly encourage you to put trust in the company that ensures your satisfaction.

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The palettes of 2018


Being creative is hard work. Creative block is real! As an artist, you need to practice and motivate yourself daily. But when putting colors together is something that you love, it comes natural. Right?

We thank the community here @Colourlovers for being so supportive and accepting and for coming up with amazing color combinations this year.

Let's check out the palettes that marked 2018 and give a big round of applause for the authors.

colourlovers palette of 2018 colourlovers palette of 2018 colourlovers palette of 2018 colourlovers palette of 2018 colourlovers palette of 2018 colourlovers palette of 2018 colourlovers palette of 2018 colourlovers palette of 2018 colourlovers palette of 2018 colourlovers palette of 2018

Which one is your favorite? Can you decide?

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Best Christmas Card Designs 2018


If there ever was a perfect time in the year to show to your customers how much you care, we couldn't imagine a better holiday than Christmas. Aside from showing gratefulness, Christmas is the time of the year you should invest all you got into astonishing marketing, and spend the rest of the year watching how it paid off.

 

There are infinite creative possibilities to boost your market and reconnect to your old customers; one could really go wild with ideas. Although, whatever we come up with, nothing really shows care and dedication as sending Christmas cards. This is a very elegant, classy way to send best wishes to your mailing list, and you can rest assure that everybody will love it.

 

Following the cozy holiday spirit, Colourlovers are looking through the most personal, stylish designs for Christmas cards, which famous brands prepared for 2018.

 

1. Unique snowflake

cards

find project here

This year, Ideas Factory decided to send Christmas cards to its clients with a personal touch to each card. They developed an app which draws a special snowflake generated by the input which is mathematical value of the clients name.

 

2. Wrapped up present

christmas card

find project here

Alexander Boys from UK created something much more fun than the card - their card is a model for a 3D decorative box with a vintage bicycle design, and instructions for folding. This is a present for them, which can be used to wrap a present for you.

 

3. Handmade with love

christmas card

find project here

The designer Laura Louise drew her Christmas cards by hand, which is an intimate gesture, although not very practical if you are making an effort for a large number of people. If you are drawing digitally, you can also change special details for every client automatically.

 

4. Color yourself cards

christmas card

find project here

We Are Scout created the cards which are half way finished - and the final part is left to the recipient to play. By drawing the patterns, they involved the audience in the coloring process and left the choice of colors to them.

 

5. Wooden cards

Christmas cards

find project here

Collective 88 had their cards designed by Elly Ang, and printed on wood. This effort reached the heart of the clients and fitted into the warm Christmas atmosphere, while the palette of gray and brown perfectly matched the material they choose.

 

6. Paper and photo

find project here

New World School of the Arts had their Christmas card designed by a team of two - David Garcia and Camilo Rojas. They created the whole message from origami objects and letters in 3D, and then arranged them for a photo that is sent as a card. This interaction between 2D and 3D mediums speaks about experiment and dedication.

 

7. Christmas-up your brand

christmas cards

find project here

Here is an idea! Why wouldn't you use your own products and give them some Christmas magic? Nicko Dalton made an interesting choice of using Handy Haynes' builder's trowel and redesigns it to look like a Christmas tree with green paint over it. This was their choice for the Christmas cards, but also a great marketing campaign trick.

 

8. The card you keep

unique Christmas cards

find project here

Another interesting 3D card example is created by Hank And Maxwell. They used leather, shaped to be folded into a 3D reindeer. Their card is not just a card; it is a Christmas present you will be happy to keep.

 

9. Make the best of it

christmas cards

find project here

Miles Design had an impressive way to engage their recipients by turning them into something really useful. Their card can in fact be broken into a set of coasters, which the client will be more than happy to keep long after Christmas.

 

10. Oh, so white

christmas cards

find project here

A beautiful image of pure whiteness coming from Ink Designs is their choice to show sophistication of their brand. They imprinted their white logo on the white background to present an image of a reindeer with a cute blue nose for their special cards.

 

11. DIY collage

christmas card

find project here

One of our favorite ideas for this year's chic Christmas atmosphere in love-giving marketing is coming from Pop and Pac. Their Christmas card is actually a set of cards, presenting different patterns in different colors, and a card of a Christmas tree. Their idea is that everyone can decorate their tree as they like, and change the design when they feel like it.

 

12. Digital, yet real

christmas cards

find project here

Last, but not least, the card that was popular five years ago made its comeback for millions of Christmas-lovers, available for purchasing on Etsy. The card is written in CSS code, while on the other side we can see the outcome of the code - the font, the size of the letters and the color. This might be a geeky choice, but it is still pretty creative and fancy.

 

What did your Christmas card look like? Tell us in the comment section bellow.

 

The COLOURlovers team is wishing you a merry Christmas!

 

About the author:

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

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The generation of remake


The constant growth of hipster culture popularity opened the art world towards new / old ideas. The newfound nostalgia of modern generations is somewhat a result of rapid technological changes and development. In the time of frequent and careless urbanization, there is an emerging trend to resist to these new trends and robotizing.

 

retro cat with glasses

 

This rebellion is marked with love and care for the planet, the environment, people and social encounters, as well as the cultures of 60's and 70's. Alternative urbanization movements inspire a different aesthetics than the futurism would imply. They remind us of the beauty of the nature while trying to plant green surfaces in our boring gray metropolis. This urge to save the planet made us dedicate more of our funding to ecological and social causes, while our lifestyle is often depending on technology.

 

What new trends have these alternative movements brought to design and the general observation of beautiful?

 

The upcoming generations of intellectuals are led by new values, appreciating old school tech and vintage furniture, retro fashion and industrial design. This has led to the mass popularity of antique shops and old fashioned looking coffee shops and hairdressers. Emotions associated with these appearances are the feeling of warmth, personal contact, intimacy and customer care.

 

changes in contemporary design

 

Furthermore, things like old-looking photographs are getting more interesting to the audience, where the use of vintage filters on social media are on the rise. The user wants to reflect on the culture from the past and at the same time upgrade it with new and fresh content. A lot of well situated brands discover ways of using this trend by remaking their old designs and giving the same product that retro glow to attract young customers (for example Coca Cola's vintage bottle design).

 

retro coming back to fashion and design

 

In the depth of this philosophy is the idea of recycling and reusing materials, but even so brand new products can sell better if they are designed in a nostalgic manner, with retro fonts and patterns. An important lesson can be learned from fashion and interior designers, which is that this new age is not about replicating old school ideas, but remaking them into something new and practical in the 21st.

 

Visual content which will be in the focus of the following couple of years is exactly the perfect balance between old and new, vintage and futuristic; the beautiful harmony of flavors to reach the upcoming generation of users.

 

About the author:

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

 

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3 Design and Space-Planning Resources to Help You Plan Your Next Home Upgrade


Devising a new room layout is one of those strange design activities which manages to be both creatively rewarding and deceptively tedious. There’s no question that it’s exciting to recreate a living space. With just a few tweaks to furniture layout and color, it’s almost as though you’re living in a brand new space!

On the other hand, let’s be honest here. It’s work. Unless you’re astoundingly lucky and get that perfect aesthetic balance on your first try, chances are you’ll be shifting furniture and swatches around a lot.

You know how it is—the couch might protrude too far into a walkthrough area, the TV might not quite work in that corner, that perfect shade of eggshell wall paint may suddenly look bleak and institutional when combined with your glass coffee table.

Getting it “just so” requires a solid dose of trial and error.

This is where design and space-planning resources make a world of difference. Let’s look at three design and space-planning websites and apps which allow you to enjoy all the experimental playfulness you desire with none of the heavy lifting.

Amikasa - 3D Room Design Without The Frustration

A few years ago, using an app to virtually create a three dimensional room or house layout existed purely in the realms of science fiction. These days, 3D room visualizing apps are thick on the ground.

They all operate on similar principles:

  • Draw up your room layout as accurately as possible.
  • Position shapes roughly approximating your furniture where you think they should go.
  • Check it out in a 3D projected view.
  • Rinse and repeat until satisfied.

They’re pretty good. They do give you the ability to bring your idea into virtual reality before you lift a finger. However, they also come with a downside. Most of these apps are incredibly fiddly to use and require quite a bit of practice to master. Put bluntly, you’re trading grunt work for brain work.

But then, along came Amikasa! This app is arguably the best way to visualize a 3D space on the market right now, and for one simple reason. It’s incredibly easy to use.

Instead of relying on smartphone optics to guesstimate the dimensions of a room, or having you generate blueprint like dimensions from scratch, Amikasa starts with a simple question: what’s the rough shape of your room?

From there, it’s a simple matter of tweaking that shape to more closely resemble your room’s specifications. It’s beautifully intuitive and I found I could do in minutes what took me up to an hour in other 3D design apps.

But that isn’t Amikasa’s most significant selling point. What makes this app perfect for me is that you can then use 3D models of actual furniture shapes. You’re not locked into using abstract representations of your stuff. Instead, you’re working with virtual objects which are close enough to reality to make visualization a breeze.

Another big bonus I found is that you can also easily place your surround sound speakers into the equation, finding ways to maximize their utility and aesthetic appeal just as you would with standard furniture.

It’s a thing of beauty and available both for iOS and Android. Give it a try!

PHOTOCOPA - Creative Color Picking

You’d think there’d be a plethora of decent color visualization resources out there for finding that perfect color palette. But it’s actually surprisingly hard to find something genuinely useful, for a few reasons.

A lot of the apps and websites out there focus on (admittedly pretty cool) augmented reality to virtually “paint” your room with your chosen color. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great idea in theory, but I’ve yet to find one which works flawlessly enough to actually help me visualize a room and make sound color decisions.

More critically, screens won’t display color the same way a paint chip does. Your phone or monitor’s luminance, contrast and brightness settings all subtly alter how a color looks. Without an expensive color calibrated monitor, there’s simply no way to get perfectly accurate color matching on an electronic device.

As an aside, if you are contemplating extensive design projects requiring true color and serious graphics-processing grunt, I’d highly recommend investing in a computer system and color smart monitor which is fit for the purpose. If you’re near Northern California, check out Nerds On Call's Sacramento computer repair shop. Nerds On Call can provide solid advice on how to upgrade your computer to accommodate heavy design work.

But back to PHOTOCOPA. The reason this app works so well is that it neatly side-steps these design problems by focusing on what really matters—generating a pleasing palette of complementary and contrasting colors you can use as a starting point. Once I have that winning color combination, calibrating my chosen shades against paint swatches is a breeze.

PHOTOCOPA works by keeping it simple.

I start by taking a picture of a color I want to begin with. It may be on an existing piece of furniture, but just as easily it could be a color I stumble across while I’m out and about.

Most recently it was an unusual leaf I found on the sidewalk. But I digress.

You can then have PHOTOCOPA use this shade as a starting point, generating a beautiful assortment of color combinations which all work in different ways for different reasons.

What I love most about this site is that it refuses to be prescriptive. It doesn’t lead you down a false path of choosing one particular color based on a screen’s false rendering. Instead it focuses on what a design app does best: giving you ideas.

Once my creative eye is bumped in a new direction by a surprising color combination, I find it that much easier to see beyond what’s there to the possibilities lying beneath.

This app works by fixing your sights on all the wonderful color possibilities.

Pinterest - For Flashes of Inspiration and Clues You Can Follow

In every design project, whether large or small, there’s a moment where you might find yourself staring into a void. I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve begun a home design upgrade with literally no inkling on the first step I should take.

When these dire, blank moments settle over me, invariably I turn to Pinterest.

Pinterest is to out-of-the-box idea generation as YouTube is to embarrassingly endearing cat videos.

It’s just a vast, eclectic soup of different tastes, styles and disciplines. Every time I delve through its images I find something I hate and something I love—both of which are invaluable in crystallizing where I want to take a design next.

Of course, there are thousands of boards in Pinterest dedicated to interior design, but you’ll be richly rewarded if you gate crash into completely new visual categories you know nothing about.

Try jumping into clothes design boards and look for colors which speak to you. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, try phrases like “scientific art” and “sacred geometry.”

If just one idea in a hundred leaps out of the screen at you, note it down! It’s just one more quirky design possibility. And who knows? It may become the seed of an amazing design path for you to pursue.

The truth is, there’s thousands of tools out there which may bless you with that one golden design idea you’re searching for. Ideas and inspiration come from the oddest of places. However, if you’re going to play it by the numbers, I think these three products represent a fabulous place to begin.

They’re practical without being prescriptive. They’re unusual without being obtuse. Most importantly, they’re great fun to use. Happy designing!

 

Mark Lambert is a technology and computing writer for Nerds On Call. He likes to write about technologies which make life easier, more productive and just plain cooler.
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