Category Archives: Design

What is Branding all about?

A successful brand can be defined as “an identifiable product, service, person or place, augmented in such a way that the buyer or user perceives relevant unique added values which match their needs closely” (De Chernatony and McDonald). The Design Council defines a brand as “a set of associations that a person (or group of people) makes with a company, product, service, individual or organization.” These associations could have been intentionally planted by the brand through methods such as marketing and corporate identity or could be unintentional and outside a company’s control for example through independent reviews.  People then grow attached to these brands, trust them, buy into them and develop loyalties towards them or in turn are turned off by them and refuse to buy into the brand. The Design Council defines branding as the “attempt to harness, generate, influence and control these associations to help the business to perform better” which can then be applied to a range of subjects including services, cities, shops, products, publication and people. Branding is important to make your business stand out in crowded markets; it is a way to grasp all of the associations that will be generated in peoples minds and use them to help your business perform well. Strong branding revolves around promoting the company’s strengths and delivering your brand values: this and the management of a brand can play a strong part in making a business the customer’s first choice.Mulberry-Stationery

Branding techniques:

Branding begins with a brand name and brand mark and evolves into a range of tools and communication. The best brand identities have the following nine characteristics: vision, meaning, authenticity, differentiation, sustainability, coherence, flexibility, commitment and value. This can be further simplified into four key elements: the big idea, vision, values and personality.  The brand identity is both a visual and verbal representation of a brand that communicates, expresses and visualises the brand so that “you can see it, touch it, hold it, hear it, watch it move.” Branding is the process of creating the range of products including the logo, the livery (business cards, stationery, website and so on) and the communication devices for a product, corporation or organisation and, in a graphic design sense, can be as vital as the product itself.  However, issues can occur when people take branding to mean a set of techniques, in the sense of Graphic Design there are techniques such as logo development and typeface selection but branding to a build a brand’s equity requires marketing and product development. People need to buy into the brand and talk about it to build the brand. A brand needs to create a connection with the consumer, they need to believe it is the only brand for them; it needs to meet their expectations and fulfill their aspirations.

An example of a brand which has created a strong connection with consumer is Mulberry. As a business proud of their quality British products it conveys and delivers this heritage across all of it’s touch points consistently. Through its brand application it positions itself as a label to purchase if you want well designed, luxury products. Mulberry’s brand identity perfectly reflects it’s products.

Mulberry Bag Mulberry-Promotions

Burberry, another British heritage brand, created a strong identity based on luxury, quality and being an outfitter for gentlemen. Among the brand assets was Burberry check, a key element of the brand identity. When this check was adopted by so called ‘chavs’ (not Burberrys intended target audience) their brand image got damaged by association. Burberry has now moved away from this pattern and refocused their brand strategy around British art and creativity using up and coming British models and actors from the same demographic as their target audience.


Brands have many touch points where they can reach consumers such as through advertising, environment, packaging and signage. The realms to which branding techniques are being applied is continually growing to cover areas such as government departments, systems such as transportation and places such as high streets, cities, and nations.

Brand guidelines:

Brand guidelines play an important role in managing the brand and the associations it generates. For a brand to stay consistent and retain its integrity it needs guidelines for everyone who communicates about the brand to follow. This means every time the brand communicates its message, tone of voice and appearance will be the same. Once a successful brand has been created how it then communicates and is managed needs to be considered; elements that should be considered are the brands story and voice and how the brand engages with customers.


Innocent are an example of a well managed brand – the four key elements (big idea, vision, values and personality) appear consistently across all of their product ranges. Through this, and delivering on their brand promise, they have built a successful consumer relationship.


Branding can control the sets of association people make with a product, company, service or place. Branding involves a range of tools and the creation of a range of graphic design elements as well as marketing and developing of the product. Branding and the management of brands is an essential aspect of business.

Author bio: The Pink Group are a creative agency in London and have based this article around their own experience.

9 Steps to Becoming a Top-Notch Designer

Not everyone is born with artistic skills. Many people spend years honing their craft. If you have any interest in becoming a graphic or web designer at all, here are a few ways to go about achieving your goal.

Buy Books

llibreria - bookstore - Amsterdam - HDR

Image via Flickr by MorBCN

This is a bit obvious, but the first place you should turn to for help would be to books. What better way to learn how to be an amazing designer than to learn from the best people themselves? A great starting point would be “White Space is Not Your Enemy: A Beginner’s Guide to Communicating Visually through Graphic, Web and Multimedia Design” by Rebecca Hagen and Kim Golombisky. This book covers a wide range of topics, from simple forms to websites.

Read Blogs


Image via Flickr by Gina Vasquez

Expanding on researching the topic, there are many graphic design-related blogs out there. Follow the authors on social media, assuming they have a link to their accounts on their site. You’ll often find that they’ll post early versions of their work, and they may even talk with you and help you out.

Learn to Draw


Image via Flickr by mmagnum

As a person who isn’t great at illustrations, this is much easier said than done. There are multiple resources out there for you to take advantage of. Searching brings up multiple sites, but one of the best is DrawSpace. On DrawSpace, you’ll get tips for people who are new to design, an introduction to drawing, how to properly draw outlines, shading, figures, and how to really make your works of art spring to life. Every lesson comes with a price, though. You’ll have to turn in assignments and you’ll get to interact in a virtual classroom setting with other people who want to learn how to draw. The certification courses allow you to receive feedback from your instructors, and earn credits toward your certification. Classes last anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months.

Learn the Grid

Web design grid (768px wide)

Image via Flickr by guyweb

In order to build a well-balanced design, you’ll have to build a layout. Divide your layout into evenly spaced columns and rows and use them as guides. This allows you to focus on the creative side of your work. This can be used as a guide for the layout decisions. And like developing landing pages, sometimes keeping your design simple is best.

Make Mock-Ups

Mockup design for Blommer Chocoloate Company

Image via Flickr by SayShea

You can read about design all day, but at some point, you’re going to have to put the blogs away and try out some designs on your own. For web designers make sure to browse through options and select a proper theme. Create mock-up designs for fake companies, or try your best to replicate some popular designs. Try out designs for websites, brochures, logos, or anything else that comes to mind. You could try using a computer to do this, but a tablet would be preferred. One of the many tablet pc uses, in addition to social media and gaming, is graphic design. It’s much easier to draw designs on a tablet than a desktop computer, and they’re becoming more affordable.

Attend Lectures

Lecture Hall

Image via Flickr by unniinnsbruck

Check around and attend lectures online or at Universities. There may be a small fee associated with the lecture, but the small fee is just a small price to pay compared to what you’ll learn. The lectures are hosted by people who have been in the profession for years, so they know what they’re talking about. Make sure to take notes, you’ll want to recall the things they have to say.


Boulevard Networking Event 2010

Image via Flickr by 1102 Grand

To bridge off the last point, it’s important to connect with other graphic designers. These are people that have the same passion that you do, and they’re struggling to make their mark as well. You never know how your new mates will be able to help!



Image via Flickr by Eneas

Brainstorming sessions are where the magic happens. Make sure that you have a pencil handy! Don’t worry about adding fancy ideas or colors, just worry about setting the framework for your design. Once you’ve got something solid, try to recreate it in the program of your choice. Never settle on a single design. Play around with your different sketches and see which one looks the best.

Tell a Story

Story Telling

Image via Flickr by Pumpkin Chief

Tell a story with your work. Think about your topic, and what it covers. For example, for an electronic recycling campaign, someone made this poster. The ultimate objective is to tell a story with as little as possible. You want something that grabs the user’s attention; something that’s extremely unique.

The path to becoming a top-notch graphic designer isn’t an easy one. No matter what your background, you’ve got a seemingly insurmountable path ahead of you. The Internet offers many ways for you to network and improve your skills.

4 Reasons Why Long Shadow Design is Trending

Long shadow is throwing shade at other design styles. The hype is real. This simple, flat design with a blocky, diagonal shadow extending from its main focal points is making rounds in multiple design genres. But, what makes long shadow design so trendy?

Perhaps it’s just easy to replicate or maybe it’ll come and go like the afternoon sun. Whatever it is, long shadow is casting its umbra all over the Internet. Here’s a look at four reasons why long shadow design is trending.

1. Social Design Communities

my dribbble tee

Image via Flickr by erenemre

Design communities such as Dribbble are a virtual drawing board for the latest in design trends. Social media sites are commonly associated with what’s current or “trending,” so it makes sense that design communities set the standard for long shadow designs. These types of social design trends both spread and become contained like digital wildfires, and what’s hot today may change tomorrow, but for now web and graphic designers agree, long shadow design is what’s on the mind of almost every designer.

2. Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe's Wheel-o'-Icons

Image via Flickr by Charles Williams

According to Digital Trends, “Creative Cloud will make Adobe’s applications available in a way they never were before.” That’s because users no longer need to shell out hundreds of dollars upfront to gain access to the now subscription-based software. The more designers with access to Adobe, the more accessible the long shadow design trend. Are you sensing a theme here?

Longtime Photoshop educators, such as Howard Pinsky, can reach even more students with easy long shadow tutorials for users of all levels.

3. Mobile Technology

Guidelines for Building Cross Platform Games

Image via Flickr by Official GDC

Mobile technology is an excellent platform for long shadow design. New design trends consistently flood the ever-changing smartphone and tablet landscapes. Consequently, long shadow is especially popular with app design. Long shadow design is an extension of the flat design trend. Apple, a leader in mobile technology, set the precedent for flat design with their upcoming release of iOS 7 – the entire Apple icon set plays off flat design.

Reasonably priced cell phone plans keep users connected with long shadow design trend.

4.  CSS3 and HTML 5

CSS3 iPhone

Image via Flickr by aaronparecki

Trends in design are only emphasized by the tools available. Much like Adobe Creative Cloud, CSS3 and HTML 5 only enhance a designer’s ability to easily replicate the trend throughout the Internet. CSS3 and HTML5 allow for open source designing. Techniques that were once possible only with pricey design software are now open to the masses.

The truth is, these reasons apply to almost any current design trend. Without the Internet and easy access to it via mobile technology, trends like long shadow wouldn’t be as evocative.

What do you think of the long shadow design trend? Is it just a product of the current times? Would you love for it to end or hate to see it go? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Five tips to create a great landing page

Taking into consideration the fact that a great landing page could increase the number of people that access your website, it is quite understandable why you would like to get more tips on how to design it. Well, this article aims at exposing the secrets of a remarkable landing page, so if this is what you were looking for, then you should definitely read the lines that are to come.

What does it stand for?

In order to be able to create something like this, it feels quite natural to start by giving the definition of this item.
Well, as far as users are concerned, this is the webpage that is generated after they click on a hyperlink. A landing page requires performing a certain activity. So, these being said, one should definitely create a landing page because this will sell a specific product, it will get people to sign up, or to download and install software.

The call to action button

As you might have already imagined, a great landing page needs a call to action button in order for your users to be able to perform the actions that you desire. As a result, you will have to create a stunning one, but you will have to make sure that you are clear and direct when asking your clients to do a particular action. Also, it is important to keep things clear when you will state the results of the action that they will undertake, if you want then to click on your call to action button.

Another thing that web designers must pay attention at is the number of these items. If your page will be crowded with these buttons, then your website will seem chaotic and your users will be confused. Therefore, insert only a few call-to actions, so that your visitors will do exactly what you desire them to do.
When it comes to the call to actions people know that these are clickable. Thus, you should avoid surprising your clients with something different and you should use buttons for actions requiring a click. And last but not least, you should supply your visitors with all the details they need, so that they will feel secure when they will click on your call to action buttons.

Put the things that matter first

If you want to make people to stay on your page, you will have to state right from the beginning what is the purpose of your website, what you do, how you do it and which are your benefits. If you thought that you could take all the time you need in order to transmit this information, then you should know that you were wrong. When it comes to convincing people to stay on your page or to buy a certain item you have only five seconds. Therefore, be brief and fast, in order to make a sale and to gain a long lasting visitor.

The headline

Something that will make your visitors want to stay is your headline. As a matter of fact, the headline has only one task to perform and as a result, you will have to make sure that it will really send the right message. Well, if you want this to happen, then you will have to make it direct and to keep it short. Your visitors treasure their time and you should do the same, by making them understand what they will get, just from the headline. If you wonder where you should place the headline, then the answer is very simple: at the top of the page. This will grab your audience’s attention, especially if you will use a large font.

In conclusion, if you want to have a good headline you will have to use a short text, with a big font that will make people understand what the purpose of your service is. At the same time, it will help you a lot if you will insert a key phrase in the headline that will allow people to find you easier in the search engines.

Make it simple

If you want people to stay on your website, then you should welcome them with a simple landing page. In fact, if everything is crowded and cramped, then your visitors will feel exhausted and they will definitely give up on your page. So, make it simple by getting rid of the unnecessary items and text. Also, it would help you a lot if you picked only one primary call to action, which would state clearly the things that you want people to do. Also, you should definitely use the whitespace because this will add a lot to the simplicity of your landing page. Thus, if you really love the idea of having a simple landing page, you should insert a logo, a call to action, a video and a lot of whitespace. Your visitors will understand easier which the purpose of your website is and they will definitely become big fans.

Make it relevant

It is important for web designers to realize that if they want to be successful, then they should have relevant landing pages. To be more precise, these should be relevant to the visitors’ sources. So, if your client has clicked on your advertisement, with the idea on mind that he or she will download a certain program, then you would better offer this person exactly what he or she is looking for. If you will fail to do so, you will lose your credibility, which could actually be translated as losing your visitors.

As you can see it is very important to create an effective landing page, if you want people to undertake the actions that you desire. If you will take into consideration the pieces of advice that were offered above, you will definitely complete this task successfully.

Woo Your Visitors with Customized Magento Themes

Magento was launched with an aim to provide store owners an incredibly wide range of flexibility and control over the content, functionality and look of an Online Store. It is an open-source e-Commerce platform that provides these owners with a compact platform to manage their online sales with ease.

There are various outsourcing firms that you can hire in order to get an elegant looking and fully functional Online Store. These 3rd party companies provide just-for-you service of Magento theme customization and template design. They design templates that can be incorporated in your online store and are compatible with Magento platform.

We are well aware of the fact that designing an e-Commerce website is very different from developing a normal website. Online Stores are made with intent to build more business by bringing together better presentation, placement, offers, and information smoothly. No matter how different these themes may look, but they are developed with one sole purpose of selling more products and thereby increasing revenues.

Finding the Right Developer


With an ocean of developers out there, finding the right developer may look like finding a needle in a haystack. Make sure you look for an outsourcer with plenty of experience in web design, interface design, UX & e-Commerce business solutions. Everybody wants a different looking online-store, thus we want someone who follow web 2.0 website design styles. Many of these outsourcers provide resource hiring facility to complete the Magento integration including theme design, programming, payment gateway integration and other customizations.

The Magento themes and templates should be fully compatible with Magento CE 1.7.0, There are several developers who integrate Magento extensions with themes to provide you with the most powerful themes for your store. This will definitely surprise your competitors and is bound to give you an edge. These companies have dedicated support team that can help you resolve any problem when you need.

Make sure the website thus created is SEO friendly or else it could ruin your business. Ask the outsourcing firm to develop Magento themes that are SEO-friendly. These optimized Magento themes will lead your e-commerce business to appear on the top of Google, Yahoo and other search engines.

Advantages of Magento Theme Customization


The themes should be customized so as to run on various web browsers to ensure stability and ease of use. The designing advantages of these themes are Unlimited colors – lets you change color combinations exactly as you want from the control panel, Mosaic grid view mode – lets you show your products in an elegant way, Large image in the product page – thus giving user a more detailed view of the product, Mobile compatible – lets you reach customers who use mobile devices.

A theme has to be appealing from a user’s perspective too. As a store owner you have to make sure that the theme supports Add to Cart feature, show new and on-sale products on home page, support Product videos, shows Brand logo on the product page, ability to share product info via social sites. Other must have features includes Cloud zoom, Image gallery, “Additional information” block.

As an Administration, one would want a theme that can be installed in one click, controlled from single menu, strictly Magento compatible, and lightning fast.

The Epilogue


There are various features that can be embedded into Magento themes. But it entirely depends on your business requirements. Before assigning your work make sure you know exactly what you want. If you are not sure of your needs, it is strongly recommended that you to put in some more time and decide on your priorities. Once decided, make sure you communicate your requirements clearly to the Magento development company. This ensures that that there is no confusion and you get exactly what you asked for.

Author bio – Nick Carter is a freelance blogger associated OSSMedia ltd at full-time basis and provides services to hire Magento programmer. He has been blogging for Magento development niche for past 5 years and currently heads the editorial team of various Magento development services blog.

45 Beautifully Designed Websites with Scrolling Effect

Scrolling effects are the newest trend in the graphic designing industry. It can be created by using specialized programs. Use of these modern techniques not only makes the design appear alluring, but also makes the website clutter free. The scrolling effect on the website helps in getting three dimensional effects on screen which will add depth to the website’s design.

In this style of web designing, the graphics are multilayered. Therefore, the viewers can see graphics present in a website in different colors which keep on changing at different speed. Designing a creative, engaging yet alluring modern website is one of the prime requirements of the professional web designers. Thus they need to keep experimenting with new techniques to make the best use of the online marketing techniques. The three dimensional effects on graphics that is achieved through the application of scrolling techniques will surely enhance the look of the website and increase the traffic as well.

1. Q Music


2. Weight and Things


3. Indo Folio


4. Pixel Backer


5. Guide to the App Gallery


6. Solinoir


7. The Great Bearded Reef


8. Why Interactive


9. Curious Generation Group


10. Art of Light Movie


11. Posta


12. Super Chemical


13. Cheese Please Game


14. Play Mogul


15. Put Zengel


16. Atanai Plus


7. Fishy


18. 2PO2


19. Beetle


20. Dangers of Fracking


21. Nintendo


22. Inception Explained


23. Worlds Highest Website


24. Cultural Solutions


25. Head 2 Heart


26. Ana Safroncik


27. Unfold


28. Phase 2 Technology


29. Yebo Creative


30. Ala


31. Tokio Lab


32. Bagigia


33. Air Jordan


34. Saucony


35. Lois Jeans


36. Lucia Soto


37. Zen Sorium


38. Lost World’s Fair


39. White Board


40. Bomb Girls


41. Marcus Thomas LLC


42. inTacto 10 Years


43. Camping Nordsud


44. 360 Langstrasse


45. Malaga Creations


We have handpicked some of the awesome looking website in which the scrolling technique has been used from the internet. If you have never experimented with this particular style, then you can study some of the best scrolling effect websites present in this post to get some idea on the subject. Forty five precise scrolling effect websites have been listed in this editorial which you can use to draw inspiration on this particular subject which will aid you in coming up with a unique creation of your own. Share your opinion with us as it will be helpful for the community as a whole.

Author Bio: Jackson is an editor at DesignCrowd UK where he researches design trends.