Archive for GRAPHIC DESIGN

Web Design Trends for 2010

By: Jaqueline Thomas

With a new year on the horizon, it’s time to pack away the old, worn web designs and prepare for the brave, new face of tomorrow. Although trends don’t start and stop on January 1st, there is a definite shift from what we craved at the beginning of the year to what we are seeking tutorials for at the end of the year. Most of the time, this shift is subtle. It’s a perfection or re-interpretation of a currently hot trend. Trends help us evolve as designers. As we master the skills of design aesthetic, we continue to push forward to what’s next or what needs to be fully discovered.

Make no mistake about it, you will recognize the ideas behind these trends. Although this list isn’t a drastic departure from what was popular in 2009, it marks different trends that will be expanded upon and made better as a result. As you think of how you will incorporate new trends into your designs, focus on the main idea of each trend. Be encouraged to dabble into these trends so that you become part of the movement.

1. Oversized Logos/ Headers

Splash pages are so yesterday. To make an unforgettable impression on the visitor, the trend for 2010 will be oversized logos on an equally oversized header. These types of headers can take up the entire screen, but with one important note. Visitors will not need to click anything, just scroll down. Visitors often having a clicking phobia (due to years of poor navigation), so big headers do the job of a splash page without forcing your visitors to click anything.

Main Idea: Huge headers that make your visitors remember you.

2. Sketch/ Hand-drawn Design

Hand-drawn design is not exactly new on the horizon, but we all know that it is still on the fringes of web design. Many designers admire the style but are afraid to create their own sketches because of the “I can’t really draw” attitude. If you look at the most popular hand-drawn websites (and relative to other types of trends, there are only a few), you will notice that most of your fellow designers can’t draw. These designs are not exactly headed to an art museum, but they do convey a sense of whimsy, and blur the line between cold web and personal interaction– the ultimate goal of the internet. If you can doodle, you can sketch for web design.

Sketch in 2010 will become more elemental, and not as much the main focus of a web design. It will be used to personalize standard web copy in new and exciting ways.

Main Idea: Sketch becomes an elemental part of corporate design.

3. Slab Typefaces

Slab typefaces are relatively new, although they’ve been around for over 200 years in traditional media. To get a good visual definition of slab typefaces, think of the old Wild West “Wanted” posters. Those bold letters are slab typefaces. Slab typeface is commonly all capital letters and are bold and imposing. Many designers have shied away from slab typefaces in the past because logos and headers were smaller and more understated. However, combined with the trend toward larger headers, slab typefaces demand the reader to take notice.

Main Idea: Slab typefaces is used to bravely express who you are.

4. Typography

Typography is one of the most difficult trends to tackle which is why it will remain fresh in 2010. With all the cries for usability, web designers are afraid of using new and different fonts. The idea of mixing varying font sizes together is completely unthinkable. Fonts are meant to be explored, twisted, and molded to fit your purposes. With the correct placement, a website that utilizes Typography as its main design element will be more interesting to a reader than overloading the same site with tons of photos.

Main Idea: Typography is young, but will continue to be a part of web design.

5. One Page Layouts

One pay layouts challenge you to edit away what’s unnecessary. In 2010, this trend will move away from the quirky navigation and become more minimal in its approach. Think of these websites as business cards. These websites will be more of a one-stop-shop for how to locate you and your work on various other sites– your blog and your social media hangouts.

Main Idea: One page layouts will be more about personal profiles and less corporate.

6. Huge Images

A close relative to the oversized logo/ header, the huge image does much the same thing. It creates an visual impact that the visitor won’t soon forget. Unlike the oversized header from above, huge images are not part of the site’s branding. Instead, these images draw the visitor into your site, if not for their content then for their humongous size. In 2010, web designers will find themselves more comfortable using these big statements in their design to convey the site’s tone.

Main Idea: Huge images will be used to invite visitors in.

7. Change of Perspective

As we’ve discussed before, the desktop perspective has been done to death. 2010 will see a definite change in perspective to a more realistic view. There may also be a move toward side-shot aerial.

Main Idea: 2010 will play around with different perspectives.


8. Interactive/ Intuitive Design

Flash has seen better days. There was a time when you couldn’t visit a website without running into an annoying Flash interface. These days Flash is a lot more relaxed and much more professional. Although some designers prefer jQuery for forms and popups, Flash still has its place in design, especially when done subtly. Flash still has no equal to its interactivity. In 2010, web designers will move toward the more redeeming elements of Flash. Because the average visitor is more web savvy these days, designers will also create sites that are slightly more intuitive than in the past.

Main Idea: Interactive design will make a come-back.

9. Modal Boxes

Modal boxes are a trend that’s picking up steam and will be virtually everywhere in 2010. A modal box is like the popup’s more sophisticated older brother– it’s smooth, good looking and popular. Modal boxes are so easy to design and easy to use, making them the perfect solution for any designer concerned with usability.

Main Idea: Modal boxes will continue to pop up in 2010 designs.

10. Minimalism

Forget the old school minimal websites. Websites of 2010 will continue to feature lots of white space but with bold typology and surprising color schemes. Not all minimal websites will agree with the notion of black and white simplicity. Although minimalism is by nature muted, it will also showcase fresh colors. Minimalism isn’t cold, it’s warm and too the point.

Main Idea: Minimalism will venture into typology.

11. Oversized Footer

Oversized footers may be everywhere already, but 2010 will find them even more exaggerated. The footers of tomorrow will be less of an after-thought and more of an integral part of the design. Look for footers that feature contain random information, such as feed updates from various social media, daily polls, and Flickr feeds.

Main Idea: Oversized Footers will feature less important, but more personal information.


12. Retro

Retro designs are here to stay. Although a lot of the design community admires retro web design, it can be difficult to fully embrace this style without coming across “undone.” The key to retro designs is to be inspired by its tone and underlying playfulness. In 2010, retro design will be expanded as designers find new ways to honor vintage art.

Main Idea: Retro is new.

13. Intro Boxes

“Hi, my name is…” will find an even bigger stage in 2010 as designers recognize the beautiful simplicity of introducing yourself to your visitor. If you’re struggling with making a creative “About” page, the intro box will be your best bet. It forces you to condense who you are into a relatively small about of space. In 2010, intro boxes will push its own boundaries. Instead of the boring hello, designers will find new pick-up lines. And, instead of the left-flanked intro block, 2010 will see boxes in unusual placement, perhaps even in the middle of a page.

Main Idea: New ways to say “hello.”

14. Magazine Layouts

As more and more people migrate from the comforts of traditional press to online infotainment, designers are challenged to welcome them in with an easy transition. There is a move toward the magazine layout, where information is carefully organized on a single home page, giving the visitor an opportunity to explore as interested. The familiar layout will appeal to appeal to anyone who’s ever read a magazine or newspaper, but it will also be easier to use– no flipping pages! In 2010, magazine layout will become very huge for blogs in particular.

Main Idea: Magazine layouts will be used for infotainment sites.

About the Author

Go MediaJacqueline is an artist and a writer who spends an inordinate amount of time playing Super Nintendo and watching Star Trek. You can find out more about Jacqueline on her website, and follow her updates on Twitter.

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35 (Really) Incredible FREE Icon Sets

http://www.smashingmagazine.com

When it comes to icons, web designers and graphic artists have an excellent opportunity to showcase their craft, prove their experience and explore their creativity. A sweet, nice icon set is a perfect showcase of designer’s work and a powerful instrument to build up your reputation online.

In fact, designers make use of it, creating absolutely amazing icon sets and offering them for free download. The result: hundreds and hundreds of sets available almost everywhere, usually not that well executed and often duplicated from other sets. However, there are indeed free high-quality icon sets. And this post is supposed to prove exactly that.

Below we present 35 incredible free icon sets which you can use for your web designs or your desktop to spice up your posts with some nice illustrations or enrich your desktop with outstanding dock icons. Some of the listed icons can be used in web designs, some of them are supposed to be primarily for desktop. So hopefully everybody will find something useful.

You might want to take a look at the following articles we’ve presented earlier:

Please notice: not all listed freebies can be used for commercial projects, however you can use all of them in your private projects of for you personal purposes. Please read the disclaimers carefully before using the icons – they’re changing from time to time.

Free Icons For Your Web Designs

Bagg & Box Telecharger Icon Pack
70 high-quality free icons released under a Creative Commons license. You can use them as illustrations for your posts or as buttons on your weblog.

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Mammoth Icons
4 freeware icons inspired by prehistoric Mammoths. They might fit perfectly to spice up your blog with some pretty funny character.

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Dino Icons
6 freeware icons of cute dinosaurs and cavemen.

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Cemagraphics Icons
Includes .png and .ico in sizes 512px, 256px, 128px, 64px and 32px.

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Wifun Icons
Website navigation icons.

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City Icons
The City icon pack contains 16 high quality (256×256 pixels) icons; PNG and ICO formats. This package includes: Hollywood Ticket icon, Umbrella icon, Hot Dog Car icon, Mail icon, Bench icon and more.

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Irish Icon Pack
26 Irish icons which you can use to brighten up your blog with some unique and beautiful icons.

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Simpsons Mail Icons
The Simpsons: 7 512 × 512px .png and .ico icons.

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Free Web Applications Icon Set
There are 20 icons designed specially for web applications (e.g. Charts, Profile, Search, Add, Delete, Email, Print, Warning and etc…). Icons come in 3 sizes; 48×48 px, 32×32 px, and 24×24 px. All of them are in PNG format with transparent background. Web Application Icons Set is completely Free for both personal and commercial projects in any way you like.

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Knob Buttons Toolbar Icons
These are 39 icons in PNG, ICNS, TIFF and ICO formats, Mac and Windows compatible, 32×32 pixels dimensions only. You are free to use these icons on your software application or website.

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Monofactor Free Vector Icon Set
The first part of the set contains 25 scalable Illustrator format icons. You can open the .ai file with any version of Illustrator above 8.0. With earlier versions, you might loose some of the effects on the icons.

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Polaroid Icon
512×512px .PNG.

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TV Icon
Perfect for an occasional blog post related to TV.

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Apple Mail Icons

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Sticky Pack
38 icons, 128×128, png, psd.

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Feedicons 2
33 impressive RSS-feed icons. Released under the Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works.

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Users Icon Set
11 user icons with functions like add, chat, edit, offline, remove, send, upload, user, user group, video chat, voice chat.

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RSS-icons
9 icons.

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PI Diagona Pack
400 (200+200) icons are included in PNG format.

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Free Icons For Your Desktop & Dock Icons

Niome Icon Pack
This pack contains 90 high quality (256×256 pixels) icons; PNG and ICO formats. This package includes: Disc Icons, File Icons, Folder Icons, Hardware Icons, Network Icons, Other Icons, Start Menu Icons, Symbol Icons and more.

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iVista Icon Pack 2
This pack 2 contains 92 (256×256 pixels) icons; PNG and ICO formats. This package includes: Alarm Icons, CDs & DVDs Icons, Devices Icons, Files Icons, Folder Icons, Network Icons, Other Icons, Start Menu Icons and more.

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Flat Panel Monitor Icon
128px desktop & application icon. Don’t forget to check out the PDP Panel Icon.

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Green Icon set
9 icons.

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Onibari + Onibari Light Icon Packs
Two sets of desktop icons released under a Creative Commons license. More icons.

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iMac Icon
The package includes both PNG & ICO format.

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Vista Aero Pack
135 full sized Windows Vista icons, in large .png formats for free. Our 256×256 PNG images rival most sites that give you only small ICO files that can not be used for other things than icons.

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Simplistica
The set includes useful application and web icons which come in the sizes 16×16px, 32×32px, 48×48px and 128×128px and 32-bit transparency PNG file format. PSD’s are included as well.

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Simplexity File Icons
Includes 120 different file extension icons in both png and icon format (31mb). All major file extensions are included.

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Black Pearl
39 black pearl file pngs, containing almost all popular file formats. All pngs in 256 × 256px. Not for commercial use.

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Adobe Work Folders
.PNG format and vary in ranges from 256, 128, 96, 64, 32 & 16 pixels, .ICO (win) format and vary in ranges from 256, 128, 96, 64, 32 & 16 pixels, al in 32 & 24 bit color, .ICNS (mac) format and vary in ranges from 128, 96, 64, 32 & 16 pixels in 24 bit color (*.icl format library included for Windows)

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HP Dock Icon Set
1024px, 512px, 256px. All file types are .PNG.

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