Designlab Blog

Posts on UI/UX design education, career development, and more.

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Everyday Creativity: Tech and Textiles with Teresa Lamb

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Everyday Creativity: Tech and Textiles with Teresa Lamb

In the second of our series on everyday creativity, we’re talking to Designlab’s very own Teresa Lamb. As well as being an awesome front-end developer, she spends a lot of time knitting. Well, more than knitting: she’s been making a name for herself with innovative e-textile wearables and other forms of interactive engineering that connect crafting and tech.... Read more

Everyday Creativity: Alban Thiery’s Collages of Manchester

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Everyday Creativity: Alban Thiery’s Collages of Manchester

In the first of a new series of posts on everyday creativity, we meet Alban Thiery, a high school teacher based in Manchester, UK—the world’s first industrial city. In his spare time he creates amazing collages of Manchester street scenes. We talked about the city, the process, and what creativity means to him!... Read more

7 Ways You’re Already A Designer (But Just Didn’t Know It)

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7 Ways You’re Already A Designer (But Just Didn’t Know It)

Design can be intimidating, and for many people, it’s intimidating by definition. As a former tech journalist, I came to design slowly and, at first, purely out of necessity. But once I began to actually study design, I rapidly came to realize that I had more knowledge and experience of the subject than I’d ever presumed to give myself credit for. I was already a designer. I just didn’t know it yet.... Read more

Case Study: How Feedback And Iteration Can Improve Your Design Work

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Case Study: How Feedback And Iteration Can Improve Your Design Work

Recently, UX Academy student Annie Devine joined Designlab for an internship with our design team! Twice a week, the team meets for design reviews—an opportunity for us to present and review work, listen to feedback, and iterate on new versions. Annie recently took on a project to update Designlab’s cover images for Twitter and Facebook. Her process is a great example of how listening to feedback and iterating can open up new directions and lead to a stronger final result.... Read more

10 Designers To Follow This Black History Month

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10 Designers To Follow This Black History Month

At the beginning of his SXSW presentation, “Where Are The Black Designers,” Maurice Cherry, digital creator and podcaster, poignantly asks, “How many black designers do you know?” In doing so, Cherry brings our attention to the representational disparity of black designers in the design culture and community.... Read more

Happy Holidays! Here's 2017 In Review

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Happy Holidays! Here's 2017 In Review

Just before we begin our holidays here at Designlab, we asked the team to share their top design moments from the past year. Read on to find out our favorite products, rebrands, and content from 2017! We’ll finish up by recapping our year as a company, which has seen Designlab grow, not only in size, but also in the quality of our educational offering. Wishing you and your loved ones happy holidays, and a transformative new year.... Read more

15 More Quotes To Inspire UX Designers

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15 More Quotes To Inspire UX Designers

We've put together 15 more quotes from design greats like Paul Rand, Lindon Leader, and Paula Scher to inspire you in your work.... Read more

The Designlab Digest–August 2017

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The Designlab Digest–August 2017

This month, we're exploring some lessons from print–with two articles on book cover design, and tips from prize-winning poster designer Allan Peters. We've also got an interview with type design legend Erik Spiekermann, and the story of "the world's (other) most hated font"–Papyrus.... Read more

12 Amazing Books To Get You Started In Design

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12 Amazing Books To Get You Started In Design

There are thousands of great books out there covering every imaginable corner of design. So, as a beginner, where should you start? Read on for our list of 12 essential books to kick off your learning. They include introductions to visual composition, color, typography and user experience – as well as helpful guides to working in the industry.... Read more

The Designlab Digest–July 2017

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The Designlab Digest–July 2017

This month, you can read how Spotify overcame a fragmented product design, learn about how a Creative Director copes with ADHD, and hear from Errol Morris on how typography shapes our perception of truth. After that, we've got 3 great articles from the Designlab community, links to some awesome free design resources, and more posts from the Designlab blog for you to catch up on. Enjoy!... Read more

Watch John Berger’s Amazing “Ways Of Seeing”

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Watch John Berger’s Amazing “Ways Of Seeing”

John Berger was an English artist, writer, novelist, and critic whose 1972 TV series and accompanying essay, both entitled Ways of Seeing, became essential reading for students of art and art history. In Ways of Seeing, Berger presents an analysis of our cultural relationship to art and advertising. He argues that high art is characterized by subliminal themes of male dominance, female objectification, personal property, landowning, and social power.... Read more

7 Must-See TED Talks For Designers

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7 Must-See TED Talks For Designers

It’s over 10 years since TED Talks first appeared online, bringing expert research, wisdom, and inspiration in just about every discipline. We’ve gone through the archives, and picked out 7 of the best and most relevant talks for designers. Do you have another favorite TED Talk? Let us know in the comments!... Read more

The Designlab Digest–June 2017

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The Designlab Digest–June 2017

This month, we've got an article about Myers-Briggs personality types in design, the story of Dropbox brand illustration, and a thought-provoking piece about behavioral manipulation and Internet addiction. Following that, there are 3 awesome articles from the Designlab community, and some more posts from the Designlab blog for you to catch up on. Enjoy!... Read more

15 Quotes To Inspire UX Designers

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15 Quotes To Inspire UX Designers

We've put together 15 quotes from design greats like Dieter Rams, Jony Ive, and Massimo Vignelli to inspire you in your work.... Read more

Our Favorite Rebrands Of 2017 (So Far)

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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

The Designlab Digest–May 2017

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The Designlab Digest–May 2017

This month, we've got some old anti-alcohol posters from the Soviet Union, a story about how King Camp Gillette revolutionized product pricing, and a nice writeup from Marvel on maintaining their style guide using Sketch. We've also got 3 awesome articles from the UX Academy community, and some more posts from the Designlab blog for you to catch up on. Enjoy!... Read more

The Designlab Digest–April 2017

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The Designlab Digest–April 2017

Welcome to the first Designlab Digest! Once a month we’ll post design highlights from around the web. This time, we’ve got Paul Klee’s notebooks, debunked myths about millenials, advice on how to get the feedback you need, and a heap more great stuff from the Designlab community and blog.... Read more

Netflix’s Abstract: The 3 Must-See Episodes

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Netflix’s Abstract: The 3 Must-See Episodes

If you hadn’t heard yet, Netflix recently released a series of eight 40-minute documentaries entitled “Abstract: The Art of Design”. While the show has divided critical opinion, there are 3 episodes that graphic designers must see: those about Christoph Niemann (illustrator), Paula Scher (graphic designer), and Platon (photographer).... Read more

The Gift Economy and What it Means for Designers

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The Gift Economy and What it Means for Designers

The holiday season is traditionally a time to give and receive gifts. But what are the origins of this custom, and why do we observe it? In this article, we’re going to take a look at the cultural significance of the gift, and explore how creative vocations, including design, are wrapped up in the gift economy.... Read more

The Art of Critique

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The Art of Critique

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

The History of 5 Well Known Icons

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The History of 5 Well Known Icons

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

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The Power of the Grid

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

From Seed to Story

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From Seed to Story

When setting out to begin a new story, I start with a seed. Some idea has struck me as an intriguing possibility, one that sticks in my brain and won’t pass until I write it down. I try to keep a notebook on me at all times for such moments, such as the Field Notes notebooks. In a pinch the notes app on my phone works perfectly.... Read more

Learning to Solve

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Learning to Solve

Why do we create? Creativity, at its foundation, comes from a simple need: to solve. Let us explain. On the surface, this may seem like a simple answer to a complicated question. What does a painting solve, for instance? Or a novel? Or a streamlined website user interface?... Read more