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You should always strive for designs that move the borders. In our century, there is always room for being innovative, creative and awesome. Don't be afraid to take advantage of the technological progress, embrace and become a part of the digital revolution. Offer something new, something different and something astonishing.
Good design is appealing, but great design is giving a useful product. This is what makes the product sell, and this is what we have to be focusing on at all times. Remember that functionality beats visual appearance, and think practically.
Aesthetics is an important aspect of the features of a great design. We are, after all, visual beings, but bare in mind that aesthetics depends on all the other features - execute the project right from start to finish, and beauty will follow.
Make it clear, understandable for everyone. You are not creating metaphors, you are creating products, which exist on the market to be bought. Make sure everyone knows what it represents.
Be true to the value the product is providing. Honesty to the customers is the most important aspect, be ethical, be fair, be correct to your audience.
Good design is not supposed to be the central aspect of the room. It is supposed to serve its purpose, and be comfortable for the users - inspire them, relax them, or give them a piece of information. Keep it neutral, unobtrusive, and enjoyable.
Amazing designs are timeless, and they never go out of fashion. This is because they don't follow the fashion, they are being universal, practical, simple, and will never have an antique buzz. Create the designs that last, by appearance and quality, and you will master over every change in the trends and demands.
Develop your design step by step, carefully, thoroughly, with special attention to every last detail. Nothing is too small to be given attention to, nothing so arbitrary and nothing left to destiny. Accuracy and care are essential qualities to approach the design process, showing the consumers how much you respect their needs and that you have thought of everything. Nothing is ever given to chance with you.
Remember where we live and what is happening to our planet. To create a design to last and be the best is to create a design that is environment-friendly, reflects on the actual challenges and benefits the world. Keep in mind to not contribute to the pollution, and conserve the resources in the life cycle of the product.
The best design is very little design - or even as little as possible in the given circumstances. Minimalism has been dictating good designs for decades, and it will never go out of style. Simplify, but deliver a better output, keep every essential feature, and do not exaggerate in any way. Best designs are pure, simple, precise and exact.
Always have greatness as your goal, and develop your designs and your brand to become a unique pioneer on the market, able to encounter any challenge and derive the best out of your clients. Work with passion, dedication, care - and results will follow.
Author: Nina Petrov
Did you know that over 25% of all internet users only surf from their mobile devices? New generations are living turbulently, they want all access right away, and if your website is not giving them easy scroll through your content, they won't bother with looking you up later.
To emerge in a crowded market, give your users the pleasure of exploring your product under their thumbs. Create a website that is effectively optimized to fit all devices. Responsive websites are designed to provide the best user experience for all screen sizes and types.
Responsive websites enable their users to read, orient and navigate with minimum resizing, scrolling and panning. They have the ability to respond to the movements of the device and adapt to whatever screen without compromising site functionality or aesthetics.
The responsive site reads the browser information about the width of the user's screen and based on that it shows different views on different devices. The essence is to use a single code, one URL, and one development for multiple devices. Responsive designs have breaking points when presented on your mobile devices, because they use flexible, proportionate grids and images, adapting the layout of the website to the viewing environment.
If you own an unresponsive website, chances are it was built before 2014, and it is well outdated. Smartphone users check their devices over 150 times a day, and social media click bates are fishing people from their mobile devices much easier than from their desktops. Moreover, 69% of all tablet users are shopping via their tablets every month. Having a responsive web design will save you money and offer better performance, and improve SEO from your website traffic.
Google advises all web designers to be up-to-date with the industry requirements, use the same HTML for all devices and only use CSS media queries to determine to render on each device.
Be available to your users, at all times, and conquer the competitive market, fast and furious.
Author: Nina Petrov
As freelancers, you encounter a variety of clients on a daily basis. Some of them you get along with from the beginning, others not so much. One of many issues can be meeting potential clients who aren't willing to pay as much for your services. In that case, you have several ways of dealing with them.
First of all, you can try and explain why are you a total bad-ass in your job. Elaborate on how cheaper alternatives won't achieve the same quality, and exactly what makes the difference in your pricing - which tools do you use, what kind of output do you provide. When you compare your work to other designers, insist on the best value your client is paying for.
Acknowledging the costs of your services is good, especially if you are confident in your qualifications, and you can back it with the results you have achieved.
If this option seems too risky, and you want that client, you can reply with giving another offer. They are willing to pay something, so tell them what can they get for a smaller price. Later on, they can upgrade your service and have a pretty and shiny product you can deliver.
Showing your character and confidence in your quality is convincing in communication with your client. When negotiating, you are not backing off from your pricing, but are offering another solution, which lets the client know you care about your professional relationships.
Some clients are just not able to afford your pricing. Perhaps they are a start-up and have fewer funds than already established companies. If so, they might be able to work with you in the future. This is why it could be good to ask them what their budget is and make a deal from there. The tone of your response should leave those doors open so that they can come back to you in the future.
While dealing with these types of clients, bear in mind that some of them are just cheap. There are people who will always choose to save some money over achieving greatness in quality. The only reason why they are asking for less is that we let them - the market is full of people who are underpaid in underdeveloped countries. However, if you are driven by your passion for your work, you have the right to produce amazing content and charge what it is worth. You will always find clients who recognize, respect and are willing to pay that.
Author: Nina Petrov
Collaborations are a wonderful happening, especially when they occur for a good cause. And when writers and illustrators gather around a child's book, the real magic occurs. Italian authors Francesca Cavallo and Elena Favilli made themselves well-known with their children's books Good Night Stories and Rebellious Little Girls, so it's not a surprise that their youngest audience got hyped about Rebellious Little Child.
Illustrated by dozens of artists worldwide, this book also teaches us, adults, to keep creating a better world for the generations to come, to overcome our differences and use them as our greatest strength. Rebellious Little Child reminds us of a rebellious little version of us, hidden by the age of commerce, struggle, monetization, and time-consuming unsatisfying jobs. Just as transactional psychotherapy does, this book nurtures the child inside you and gets you moving towards your passions, higher goals, and love.
This book takes children to a whole new dimension, encouraging them to be rebellious and to design a revolution in their own la-la land. A child is inspired to draw and fill in the book while riding a unicorn, or standing upside down, reflecting on things they love, their dreams, fears, things he/she most is proud of.
Distinguished with its unique adorable design, the blanks in the book are to be filled with letters to a child's future self, protest banners for a better world, activism action plans and adventurous travel fantasies.
With over one million copies sold worldwide, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls has become a global movement and a symbol of freedom. The authors Francesca Cavallo and Elena Favilli return with a hundred new, beautiful stories to inspire girls - and children - to dream without borders: Audrey Hepburn, who ate tulips to survive hunger and then became an unreachable icon of style and an extraordinary philanthropist; Bebe Vio, very strong fencing champion despite a serious illness; J.K. Rowling, who turned failure into a strength and changed the history of literature forever.
Rebellious Little Child presents poetesses, surgeons, astronauts, judges, acrobats, entrepreneurs, vulcanologists: a hundred new adventures, a hundred new portraits to inspire us again and tell us that at any age, age and latitude, it is always worth fighting for equality and proceeding step by step quick towards a more just future.
Unlike the Disney characters we grew up with, imagining that the world will unravel before us, this movement inspires children to take action, demand the world of their own design, strive towards peace, seek, create and take their very own custom-made opportunities.
"Once upon a time ... a princess? Of course not! Once upon a time, there was a girl who wanted to go to Mars. There was another one that became the strongest tennis player in the world and another one who discovered the metamorphosis of butterflies. From Serena Williams to Malala Yousafzai, from Rita Levi Montalcini to Frida Kahlo, from Margherita Hack to Michelle Obama, 100 women are told in these pages and portrayed by 60 illustrators from all over the world. Scientists, painters, astronauts, weight lifters, musicians, judges, chefs ... examples of courage, determination, and generosity for anyone who wants to make their dreams come true."
Rebellious Little Child is more than a book - it is a story that redefines heroes and achievements. It teaches our children of their right to want more for themselves and to always seek happiness. We live in the age when success needs a new definition, the age when playing is more important than having when we value experiences more than real estate.
Think about everything that makes you happy... And now ask yourself what gives? Let's make the world a funny, playful place to be.
Got inspired for a new, groundbreaking collaboration with your fellow designers and illustrators? Search your partners in crime in the COLOURlovers community!
Photos from the website.
Author: Nina Petrov, ninapetrov.com
When you are preparing a design project, presentation, UX prototype, pitch for a product, etc, sometimes you need a few shortcuts to get things done faster and focus on the logistic instead of the finesses. Before you are listed our best pics of websites that can help you get appropriate illustrations, absolutely free.
Streamline Illustrations gives you 50 illustrations for free, plus another 250 LGBT illustrations. You can choose between multicolor, duotone and monotone, and then download them for Illustrator, Sketch, SVG, PDF, PNG or Iconjar vector files. The illustrations themselves are cute, cartoon-like, and applicable to almost every topic.
The full pack includes 3000 customizable illustrations, and their price is only $199.
DrawKit gives you practical illustrations for your design, usable for startups and small businesses. They are under MIT license, which means that you can use them for commercial purposes. Acknowledged as No 1 Product of the Day by Product Hunt, DrawKit offers free categories, but also three different packages - Packs, Modular Kits and Animations, all for different prices. As Bukowski would say: Find what you love and let it... (p.s. this is not actually Bukowski, the internet just assigned it to him).
The sole name of this source makes you love it. Absurd Design is a weird, journalistic-comic type of drawings, black and white, available for your designs. They give you a total of eleven free designs, that you can use in commercial purposes, in PNG format. For the big players, they offer a monthly membership, that opens the gate for colored illustrations, SVG vectors, and all the drawings you can get.
Well, this is a whole different story. If you grew up loving Dr Who (like I did), or you come from a geeky background, you are going to flip to these designs! Bottts is a library, which gives you the elements to combine together for your perfectly designed robot illustration. You can mix the elements up using a Sketch App (they are basically a Sketch library themselves), design your robot's frame, antenna, colors and more. Look them up, they are adorable ?
Best kind of deal - you get free design, and in return, you have to link back to the source. This gives you a free resource and gives them visibility in return, so it builds a very respectful, symbiotic relationship between the designers and the illustrators. Ouch.pics is a project developed by Icons8, that aims to free vector illustrations for the user interface. They offer a clean, contemporary look to your designs. Alongside with stock photos, free icon packs, and free music, their desire is to build a design platform and change the way people create.
What are your favorite open-source platforms? Let us know in the comments below :)
Author: Nina Petrov, ninapetrov.com
Podcasts are so IN this season! If you didn't get yourself hooked on them yet, let us make a selection of our best picks - podcasts designed for designers, artists, creatives and innovators.
Led by an artist and educator, Emily Jeffords, this podcast is intended to boost your creativity and help your career. Emily talks about her professional life as an artist, the common issues of surviving in the art world, improving your social media, digital tools such as video editors and photo editing apps. She is sharing her movement from a starving artist to a successful creative entrepreneur.
As fruity as it sounds, this podcast finds its audience among artists, creatives and art lovers. Through their experience of color mixing, creative process, mixed media, we are being led by Alice Sheridan and Louise Fletcher, which are using humor and storytelling to open these important topics for COLOURlovers and artists.
A unique podcast that interviews artists who are also mothers, whose guests share personal stories about pursuing their art careers while also being present as parents. Exciting episodes are taking us through questions on commitment, ultimate dream vs reality topics, creating art while breastfeeding, and many more.
The pitch of this podcast is sharing behind-the-scenes stories about art, craft and the creative process. Julie Marriott aims to inspire a new generation of artists and creatives, share meaningful insight into a life of an artist behind the curtains - exploring the process of creating an artwork, collective art-making, artist studio development. You can also find out about the resources you can use and didn't discover yet.
Starring Cynthia Erivo, directed by Dan Blank, this not-a-podcast is bringing something more than just a story. The authors are creating a unique audio experience, and they are riding you through a storyline that is more than an audiobook. The character we are following is a truck driver who picks up a loaded trailer, not knowing what's inside. This drama, mystery, horror, and comedy is a precious 20-minute experience that makes you look forward to the next one but also lets you think in a wider framework - mixed media, storytelling, audio-visual mystique.
Do you like our choice? Get your daily creative vibe with your favorite podcast apps or on your browser.
Author: Nina Petrov
We live in a digital world, and everything around us is a worldwide web, coded and embedded, and to be present nowadays means to be online. This is why an essential part of being a freelancer, an artist, a creative studio owner, is having a branded website, with a kick-ass domain name, perfect (minimalist) design and well-structured website map.
If you don't find yourself as a website builder, an HTML and CSS master, and you want to avoid hiring a developer to build you a perfect website, and then update it from project to project, maybe we can help.
It is good to know that different platforms are available and affordable for you, to build the perfect website to showcase your artwork, all by yourself. As a designer, or a visual artist, you know exactly what kind of website would do you right, and it is super easy to dive into playing around with elements and pages of your own branded website.
Jimdo is a website builder software specialized for artist portfolio websites. What Jimdo offers you, except the digital tool, is a step-by-step instruction kit guiding you from building the website to selling and search engine optimizing your work online. They offer a great deal of advice on what is good practice when you are promoting your work, and how to optimize the content presentation itself. It is great for beginners who want a simple and awesome representation of their style, for the type of website you can show off on your business card when you work.
They have various templates you can choose from, and you can also pick your domain name on the spot. Jimdo is cool because they let you play with the website for free, and then upgrade it to another plan when you feel ready. You can choose among five different plans, starting from $0 to $39 per month, depending on how many seriously cool features you want.
You. Have. Got. To. Love. This. Builder. PageCloud is not as famous as Wordpress or Wix, but it deserves to sit at the big boys' table. It is super easy to use, has a drag and drop system where you can arrange the elements of how you see fit and edit every page to match your style. It offers a number of integrations, including a simple e-commerce system, so your shop can stay a part of your all-inclusive website. You can either choose a template or create your own page layout, stylize it with the right font, add your images and embed your video. Among many integrations, there are some of our all-time favorites: MailChimp, Instagram, Shopify, PayPal, and Instagram. For more serious players, it lets you change the source code and get the most of your web presentation.
How much for all this, you wonder? They do not have the usual plan system; instead, they give you everything for $20 per month. Pretty good, isn't it? On top of that, you get a 14-day free trial to see if you are happy with what they are giving to you, and as a bonus, you get a free domain name and Google G Suite for the whole first year.
Artsquare is not really a website builder, but a very unique and useful tool you should try out for sure. Their tagline says "One portfolio to rule them all", which is why you won't regret this clever network of the apps you love. Artsquare enables you a simple way of posting your visuals to all the platforms at once, making it easy to reach your audience. They partner up with selling websites such as Ebay and Amazon, so you can set up your shop easier than ever. Once your product is sold on any of the platforms, it is automatically sold on all of them, and off the market. Ship and sell your originals worldwide, with no limits and this awesome time saver builder.
The best part of Artsquare? It is completely free for everybody. You get unlimited uploads, integrations and career advice absolutely free. I'd sign up now if I were you.
Did you try your luck with any of these tools? What is your experience? Tell us everything in the comment section below.
Author: Nina Petrov
You have a new project, but you are feeling uninspired? Here are our top pics for websites where every designer can find the right dose of cool designs to jump-start the creativity for the day.
When looking for design inspiration, Colourlovers is a great place to be. This community helps you connect emotions, words and colors, all in one place. Find experienced, creative colourlovers and their best-featured palettes on our website. Engage in design-related conversations on our forum and widen your knowledge every day.
This is a website we probably have mentioned already, but it doesn't harm to make a reminder, and this time really opens that bookmark. Dribble chooses highlights from designers and creatives from everywhere on the planet. From business card designs to app mock-ups, you can definitively find what you are looking for on Dribble. And if you join that community, you have the chance of showing your work to thousands of people. What are you waiting for?
Now, Fonts In Use, unlike other websites listed here, presents a collection of designs where popular or unusual fonts are used. Ever wondered how the font you are choosing is going to look on a cover album? Do you want to know if somebody used it like that already? If there is any chance of you finding that out, it lies on this website.
If you have read any of my previous website reviews on Colourlovers, you would know how awesome I find Pinterest. Here is a hint: this is not a sponsored article for Pinterest, yet here I am, telling everyone how much I'm using it for every line of my work. Pinterest goes from one of the best apps to scroll in the toilet, with nothing to do, to the greatest professional support you can get. Search for the terms you are interested in, and let yourself be splashed with waves of ideas, visually captured from all over the internet.
Which website do you go to when you want to feel inspired? There is a website called Site Inspire. You don't say? Yes, there really is. Besides pretty design, you can also find interesting insights into the design process of well-known designers, so aside from inspiration, this website is professional support to designers worldwide.
Their name speaks for itself, but their tagline really says it all - Trend List is exploring visual trends in contemporary graphic design. Amazed by the simplicity of their website, they gained my full trust, saying that they know what they are doing. Graphic designers, click subscribe today.
What is hot in the world of typography? You don't know? Typewolf does. This website takes you on a tour of current trends in type, spicy letter designs, and magic fonts. This website comes quite handy when you are designing a big brand that cares about being the best.
Just as their name says, Typo/Graphic Posters is a wide archive of various poster designs. Explore many artists and their playful ideas, pick your favorite and spin of their posters! Just for fun :)
Yale School of Art and Architecture opened their Tumblr blog, where you can discover various art forms and impressive artwork. This blog inspires you to think out of the box and be courageous in design.
Desket is essentially an online mug store, but they do have some funny and clever designs which can find their way to your table. They also offer their resources, which are worth checking out.
Behance is also one of our favorite online communities for visual art. Many artists and designers join Behance every day, getting feedback for their design from leading artists in contemporary design.
Book Cover Archive is exactly what it says it is. Like Typo/Graphic Posters, they keep their own collection of book cover design. If your project is to design the worlds greatest book cover, this website is made to inspire you and show you what to do and what not to do :)
What are your personal favorites? Tell us in the comment section below.
Author: Nina Petrov
Nowadays there are a lot of stores offering goods for renovation. But the toughest thing in the renovation process is the choice of wallpaper. The selection is great today. And the main thing is to know how to distinguish high-quality product from cheap stuff.
First you should determine the kind of wallpaper you are going to buy. Don't hasten to buy the first wallpaper you like only because of a captivating pattern. Usual wallpaper may cause a lot of problems and tends to form clots when you hang it on a wall. That is why many people opt for photo wallpaper now. It is preferable option.
Any kind of wallpaper has pros and cons but the benefits of photo wallpapers prevail over their disadvantages.
The pros include:
There are few disadvantages such as:
When it comes to variety of wallpapers, photo wallpaper can be divided into three categories by material: vinyl, non-woven fabric, paper. Paper options are also available in two versions - matt and glossy. The surface can be smooth, textured, and self-adhesive. People differ in opinions about the best choice, but experts recommend buying wallpaper made of non-woven fabric with a protective layer, making it resistant to toughest water impact. There is also 3D wallpaper. Now it is the most popular option, especially for the children's room, which looks very stylish with it. The guests will appreciate your choice and it will gladden your eye.
Photo wallpaper is a rather expensive treat but its cost is justified. It is a high-quality product that lasts on the wall for many years. Besides, you can order it with any pattern you like. With your kid's favorite cartoon - for the children's room, with a family portrait - for the hall; this kinds of wallpaper can suit the taste of the pickiest customers and can be made for any premise. Taking into account superior quality and long service life, the price of this product is quite reasonable. You can also choose ready-made options with images of animals, flowers, landscapes, patterns, etc. It can be a good choice if you don't want to wait and have found the wallpaper you like among the ready-made ones. And it would be cheaper than the wallpapers with custom designs.
With such a large palette of colours available to us now, it can be extremely difficult to know which ones to use in our home. We can stand forever and debate the difference between dusty pink and nude pink, but it can get tedious rather quickly and it’s not as difficult as you think.
A good place to start is thinking about what your favourite colours actually are. By starting with colours that you love yourself, not only are you choosing something more personal but you’re not bound by the color schemes of specific decorating styles. By choosing the colour that’s right for you as a base colour, you can literally build the patterns and schemes of the entire room around it. What’s more inspirational than your favourite colour and an entire theme stemming from it?
Websites and magazines dedicated to interior design are the obvious places to go and look for inspiration if you’re struggling yourself. In the age of technology we’re lucky enough to be able to scroll through pages and pages of design inspiration at our leisure. Specifically retail websites are a great way to give you overall room inspiration, because remember that
whatever colour you go, you’ll need furniture to match! Sometimes it’s a lot easier to go neutral on the walls in order to be able to be more extravagant with your furniture. Another plus to going neutral on your walls, is that if you’re looking to sell your home, particularly if you’re looking to sell quick with Ready Steady Sell, you’re more likely to get more interest in a house that’s neutrally painted because it leaves a blank canvas for the buyer to work on.
Other great places to look at online inspiration are Instagram and Pinterest, which are updated and refreshed in real time meaning you’ll get new ideas through all the time.
You don’t have to study Colour Theory in depth to be able to use it effectively. A little colour wheel can help you all the same. With something as simple as the turn of a wheel, you can see how well different colours relate to each other, and see for yourself the very basics of colour theory. It’s safe to say you’ll probably not want to use the exact colours on the wheel, but they can be used to inspire you with the same colour but in different shades.
Sometimes using a statement pattern can be a great way to pull out the colours you might want to use for your walls. For example patterned bed covers, pillowcases and throws can provide you with ideas for painting - and if you’re looking to create a feature wall, you can choose the boldest colour available on these! If you are however looking for something a little more subtle, looking at the patterns in more depth and picking out the colour in small details of the fabric might be better for you. If you take a swatch of whatever fabric it is you’re using to the paint shop, you can’t go wrong. Match them up, and you’re ready to go!
No, it’s nothing complex. Literally look for the colours in the artwork you’re hanging in the room of your choice, and use select shades to inspire you for your overall colour scheme. Whether you’re wanting to match them or compliment them, using your art to create your room is a lovely, creative way to fill your home with colour.
Last but certainly not least, allow yourself to be inspired by nature in the outside world. Bringing the outside in, whether that’s by filling your room with houseplants or taking design ideas from outside colours, is very popular in interior design currently. You could look the using the laid-black blues that mimic the sea, the foliage greens of the forest, or the luscious reds and oranges of the sunset depending on the vibe of the room you’re creating, and either way it’ll look beautiful. However, before making any major decisions (like painting your entire living room burnt orange), remember to view the paint sample in natural lighting, both in the day time and night time, with your windows open and closed. This way, no matter what the season or weather, you’ll know how well your chosen colour compliments your home.