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The Picasso You Didn't Know: Pablo Picasso's Illustration and Design Work

Visual Design

Creativity

UX Academy

UXA Cohorts

The Picasso You Didn't Know: Pablo Picasso's Illustration and Design Work

As the Picasso Cohort of UX Academy get started this month, we thought we’d take a closer look at the story of Pablo Picasso’s life and work, and pay tribute to his extraordinary range of talents. Primarily famous as a painter and sculptor, he also left a lesser-known body of work as an illustrator, graphic designer, and political activist. In this piece, we briefly tell the story of Picasso’s career, present a showcase of some of his book illustrations and poster designs, and provide a heap of links to more of this great artist’s prolific output.... Read more

How To Get Started In User Interface (UI) Design

Visual Design

UI Design

How To Get Started In User Interface (UI) Design

In Part 1 of this series, we explored the history of user interface design, from MS-DOS and Windows 1 through to iOS and Material Design. In this second installment, we take a look at what UI design means in today's market, and examine what separates good and bad interfaces. We also discuss why looks aren't everything. Finally, we sneak a peek at some of the new patterns emerging in UI design – including Google's "Fuchsia" and Microsoft's "Fluent Design", and point you to a bunch of great resources to help you get started in UI Design.... Read more

From MS-DOS to Material Design: A Brief History of User Interfaces

Visual Design

UI Design

From MS-DOS to Material Design: A Brief History of User Interfaces

A while back, we took a look at how to get started in user experience (UX) design. In this article, we're going to follow that up by looking in a little more depth at one aspect of UX – user interface (UI) design. In this installment, we’ll explore the importance of interfaces, examine how UI design is distinct from UX design, and take a brief look at the history of UI design. Stay tuned for Part 2, where we'll discuss what UI design means today, check out some case studies, and point you to further resources.... Read more

Our Favorite Rebrands Of 2017 (So Far)

Visual Design

Our Favorite Rebrands Of 2017 (So Far)

Nothing gets us designers talking quite like the overhaul of a prominent company’s visual identity. In this article, Designlab’s Andrew Wilshere takes a look at three of his favorite rebrands of 2017 so far: Mozilla, a non-profit web project best known for the open-source Firefox browser; the British charity Alzheimer’s Society; and Southern Living, an American magazine and lifestyle brand.... Read more

11 Tips For Building Great Color Palettes

Visual Design

Creativity

Sketch

11 Tips For Building Great Color Palettes

Whether you’re a novice or an old hand, how to use color is one of the most contentious and elusive questions in design. Colors have myriad cultural, social, and emotional meanings, and the complexity of choosing a palette isn’t made any simpler by the fact that a designer’s options are practically infinite. In this week’s article, our in-house design guru, Patrick Multani, shares his tips for how to build great color palettes. Let us know what you think in the comments – and feel free to share any other tips that you use in your work! ... Read more

Sketch Tips To Maximize Your Productivity - Part 4: Symbols

UX Design

Tools

Visual Design

Creativity

Sketch

Have you ever decided to make a change in a design project, and found yourself working your way through a screen full of artboards updating Every. Single. Button? Chances are you could have saved yourself a lot of time and frustration – and got a better result – by using the Symbol function in Sketch. In Part 4 of our series of Sketch tips, we’ll give you the lowdown on how to get the most out of symbols.... Read more

7 Things We Love About Susan Kare — Introducing the Kare Cohort

Visual Design

UX Academy

UXA Cohorts

Each of Designlab’s UX Academy intakes is named after someone that inspires us. February’s cohort takes the name of contemporary designer Susan Kare, famous for making the original Apple Mac icons, and a succession of other pixel graphics including the card designs for Microsoft Solitaire (Windows 3.0).... Read more

The Ultimate Guide to Getting Started In Sketch (With Free 99-Point Cheat Sheet)

UX Design

Tools

Visual Design

Creativity

Sketch

Whether you’re a total novice, a designer in training, or a seasoned pro switching from another product, this article is for you. First, we’ll introduce Sketch — what it is, why it’s popular, and how to claim a free trial and install it on your Mac. Second, we’ll explore Sketch’s user interface, explain the basics, and walk you through some tips and tutorials. Third, we’ll take a look at some of the app’s more advanced features (Bézier curves and blending modes are especially fun). And finally, we’ll point you to a heap of quality Sketch resources, and link you to our free 99-point Sketch Cheat Sheet to download and refer to as you learn. Sound good?... Read more

Sketch Tips To Maximize Your Productivity - Part 3: Composition, Light, and Shadow

Tools

Visual Design

Creativity

Sketch

Welcome to Part 3 of our series of tips to help you use Sketch more productively. In Part 2, we looked at useful techniques for editing objects and exporting graphics. This time, we’re going to focus on how you can apply your skills in Sketch by managing light and shadow in a composition.... Read more

Sketch Tips To Maximize Your Productivity - Part 2: Editing And Exporting In Sketch

Tools

Visual Design

Creativity

Responsive Design

Sketch

Welcome to Part 2 of our series of tips to help you use Sketch more productively. Last time, we looked at how to work with objects, layers, and artboards. In this installment, we’ll explore some useful shortcuts for editing elements, and offer advice on exporting graphics. ... Read more

Sketch Tips To Maximize Your Productivity - Part 1: Getting Started In Sketch

UX Design

Tools

Visual Design

Creativity

Sketch

Welcome to Part 1 of our new series of tips to help you use Sketch more productively. In this installment, we’re going to look at some shortcuts to working with objects, layers, and artboards quickly and efficiently. ... Read more

Halloween special: the tricks and treats of UX design

UX Design

Visual Design

Creativity

In the midst of the strange celebration that is Halloween, it seems fitting that we take some time to consider the ways that designers are also engaged in the business of disguise and deception, of tricks and treats. In this article, we’ll first ask how designers are called upon to trick their audience – whether by designing seductive packaging, choosing attractive typefaces, or crafting addictive apps. Then we’ll examine some examples from history, where the manipulative capacity of design has been used to glorify war, sanitize scandal, and draw people in with promises of meaning and belonging. Finally, we’ll look at 10 of the most common tricks and treats in user experience (UX) design today.... Read more

Learning in the Bauhaus School: five lessons for today’s designers (and five ways the web still is Bauhaus)

Visual Design

Creativity

The news that Harvard University has put over 32,000 digitised Bauhaus School works online set the creative world buzzing recently. In the 1920s and 30s, Bauhaus teachers and students challenged the conventions of fine art, architecture and design by advocating a return to individual craftsmanship, and seeking designs that were simple, rational, and functional. In this article, we’ll explore what the movement was about, outline five lessons the Bauhaus School can offer to today’s designers, and demonstrate how contemporary web design continues to show Bauhaus influences.... Read more

How To Give And Receive Design Critique Well

Tools

Visual Design

Creativity

Mentor

UX Academy

It’s pretty unusual to find someone who enjoys critique. In this article we’ll look at what critique is, why it matters, and why we should all learn to love and cherish it. We’ll explore what is involved in conducting a good design critique, and outline some key principles for how to give good feedback to others. In conclusion, we’ll offer a few words on how to receive critique well, and look at a 10-point checklist to help you next time you’re invited to comment on somebody’s work.... Read more

How To Start Implementing Responsive Images On Your Website

Visual Design

Responsive Design

Screens rule our lives - and that’s why responsive sites matter. When you switch from your cell phone to your tablet to your laptop, you want a design experience that looks best at each display size, and is flexible enough to adjust seamlessly. You’ll also want to deliver the smallest, best-resolution image to the user to ensure that images load faster with higher quality. If you deliver too large of a file size....... Read more

The Art of Critique

UX Design

Visual Design

Careers

Critique is a foundational part of art and design education. Critique is the process of evaluating others work and ideas. The process is simple, but there is definitely an art to giving and receiving a meaningful critique. ... Read more

Make Your First GIF

Tools

Visual Design

There’s an app for everything GIF related. GIF keyboards, searches and extensions to easily add GIFs to your e-mails. So why would you want to make a GIF yourself? Because while you make you’re first GIF, you’ll be on your way to learning just how versatile Photoshop CC really is.... Read more

The History of 5 Well Known Icons

UX Design

Visual Design

Creativity

What is an icon? Icons are visual representations of objects, concepts or ideas. When used correctly, they can educate, communicate and increase usability. The most successful icons are those that are universally recognized around the globe. But here is the thing?—?the most widely recognized icons and symbols are rarely looked at for more than 2 seconds before understanding what the intention is. Meaning, people don’t give much attention or thought to them because they naturally blend in. In my opinion, a symbol that has become so embedded in mankind's everyday life deserves some attention! So let’s look at how these icons were born. ... Read more

The Power of the Grid

UX Design

Visual Design

Both budding and expert designers know how important a layout is to design. It’s the most basic and fundamental element of every project. Grids help ensure a consistent framework to organize graphic elements, like type and images, into a hierarchy. If you want to use a grid, or break it altogether, you have to first understand the basics of a grid system. ... Read more

UX or UI - Which Career is Best for You?

UX Design

Visual Design

Careers

Both UX and UI designers work on creating beautiful interfaces, but their involvement and skill sets are required at different times during the design and development process. So how do you know which career is the best fit for you? Learn more about what UX and UI designers do on a daily basis to figure out where you’ll excel.... Read more

She's Not My Type (of Font)

Visual Design

When you read the word typography, what immediately comes to mind? A man sifting through metal letters by hand for a printing press? Choosing between Times New Roman and Arial in a document? The utter crime that is Comic Sans?... Read more

Design ≠ Photoshop

Tools

Visual Design

Read why our intro Design 101 course on Designlab doesn’t teach tools. There’s one recurring type of question we get from prospective students at Designlab, and it’s related to design software. How important is it to know Photoshop? Do you guys teach Sketch? This course doesn’t look like it covers Illustrator skills, not sure if it’s for me!... Read more

How to Design a Great Landing Page

Visual Design

Designlab

Landing pages. The chance to make a great first impression on a visitor to your site. Done right, a good landing page can have a multiplier effect on your user acquisition strategies and convert all your visitors into registered users/emails; done poorly, a bad landing page can cause your efforts to fall flat... Read more

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