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February 26 2014

16:58

February 24 2014

07:30
05:00

February 21 2014

16:11
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February 18 2014

11:47

February 17 2014

15:18
07:30
05:13
03:20

February 14 2014

14:59
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February 13 2014

05:10

A Showcase of Creative Startup Logos

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With the lowering cost of large scale web hosting and equipment, and the increasing number of people with access to high speed broadband, it’s becoming easier for people to launch their own side projects and startups. But when a brand new business launches, it almost always faces extremely stiff competition. At the same time, people have become more and more used to well designed products and services – so for a brand new startup to compete, it needs to look good as well as work well.

In the world of startups, first impressions count – if you can’t entice a visitor into staying and reading more about your business the first time they see you, it’s unlikely that they’ll return. Startups that do well tend to have a focus on great aesthetics, as well as on a great product. This often translates across everything they work on – a beautiful product design, a beautifully designed interface, a gorgeous landing page and a creative and interesting logo for their new startup.

We’ve brought together a showcase of creatively designed, thoughtful and beautiful startup logos to give you some inspiration for your next logo design project.

A Showcase of Creative Startup Logos

Grove.io helps businesses run their own IRC channels without worrying about installation and archiving, and is designed mainly for developers. Grove’s logo is simple, instantly recognisable and the minimalist triangles within the brand mark hints at a forest, while the mark also forms a speech bubble.

A Showcase of Creative Startup Logos

Airbnb allows people to rent out their apartments, houses and flats on a nightly basis, and is a great and quirky alternative to using a hotel. Airbnb was so named because it was originally meant for renting airbeds, and so the logo’s typeface is bubbly and appears soft, and is always surrounded by a hint of drop-shadow that makes it appear to “lift” off the page slightly.

A Showcase of Creative Startup Logos

Adioso is a flight search engine that allows people to find flights by searching using natural language, like “flights to New York in November” or “Seattle to Anywhere”. Adioso’s logo includes a simple and irreverent reference to what they do, by including a paper aeroplane lazily drifting past the design.

A Showcase of Creative Startup Logos

Memsql provides businesses with a database stored in the cloud, and was founded by a former Facebook engineer. Memsql’s main selling point is that it’s ultrafast and can access huge amounts of data extremely quickly. Memsql’s logo is easy to recognise and isn’t too complex – and it aims to show off one of the biggest benefits of the software, speed. The brand mark shows a spinning circle, and gives off the impression that it’s moving fast.

A Showcase of Creative Startup Logos

Whoworks.at is a browser extension that shows you who works at the company that you’re checking out. When you land on a web page, it checks LinkedIn to see who works there and then tells you who you know. It’s brand mark plays on the W of “WhoWorks.at”, and is clean, minimalist and neatly contained within the circle.

dropbox-logo

Dropbox is an extremely popular file storing and sharing service that aims to do away with USB flash drives, or awkwardly emailing files to yourself. The logo is simple, beautiful and instantly recognisable.

A Showcase of Creative Startup Logos

Kissmetrics is a web analytics company that aims to show businesses simple, actionable insights from their data. Kissmetrics have given their logo some personality by surrounding the brightly coloured bar graph within a heart shape – a subtle indication that you’ll love working with your analytics data using the software.

A Showcase of Creative Startup Logos

Jelly is the new startup from Biz Stone, who cofounded Twitter. Jelly is a Q&A app designed for mobile devices, and aims to help people help each other. The logo remains simple, flat and minimalist – but is instantly recognisable as the brand’s mascot: a jellyfish.

A Showcase of Creative Startup Logos

Highlight is a fun social iPhone app that uses GPS to tell you if you were near other Highlight users, and tells you more about them. Highlight’s logo design is certainly controversial – it might not be the most attractive to look at (and you may not be able to look at it for long), but the layered grades of colour do get people talking.

A Showcase of Creative Startup Logos

GiftRocket is a service that allows people to give and get gift cards for anywhere, using just their mobile phone. GiftRocket’s logo is friendly and full of personality and fun, and the brand mark – a rocket with a bow around it – perfectly sums up the name “GiftRocket”.

A Showcase of Creative Startup Logos

Chefs Feed is a mobile app that rates restaurants and the dishes they serve, and the reviews all come from professional chefs themselves. The Chefs Feed logo shows a chef apron that’s been hung up, indicating that they’ve taken the night off to eat elsewhere.

A Showcase of Creative Startup Logos

Flipboard is an iPhone and iPad app that takes your RSS feeds, Facebook and Twitter accounts and turns them into a beautifully presented interactive magazine, automatically. The Flipboard “F” is placed front and centre here, and varying shades of opacity are used to imply that parts of the logo design have been folded over – much like it’s possible to do with the actual Flipboard app.

A Showcase of Creative Startup Logos

TaskRabbit is a service that provides you with a personal assistant to help you with anything you need doing – like putting up Ikea furniture, fetching coffee or doing your grocery shopping. TaskRabbit’s logo introduces a mascot to help give the brand some personality, and the mascot’s stance indicates that it’s moving fast – a hint that tasks carried out on TaskRabbit are quick.

A Showcase of Creative Startup Logos

Optimizely makes it easier and quicker for companies to implement simple and effective split testing for their landing pages. Optimizely’s logo uses a heavily stylised “O”, with a dart forming out of it. This partly gives the impression of speed, and also partly implies that the software can pinpoint improvements to a finer detail.

A Showcase of Creative Startup Logos

Sprintly is a beautifully designed, easy to use project management tool that’s designed to fit in well with developer workflows. Sprintly uses a beautiful, muted colour palette with a bright red running figure, which stands out despite being small.

A Showcase of Creative Startup Logos

Grooveshark is a free service that let’s you stream music from your favourite bands and artists over the Internet, create your own playlists and store your favourites. Grooveshark’s brand mark is clean, minimalist and simple – the shark fin is clearly visible without being tacky.

A Showcase of Creative Startup Logos

Plair allows you to watch TV, video and films via a special USB dongle, streamed directly from their service. Plair’s logo is a playful nod towards the shape of the hardware they use (which looks a bit like a dolphin’s fin), while the negative space of the logo forms a “play” button.

A Showcase of Creative Startup Logos

ElasticSales is a service that rents out salespeople to other businesses on-demand, and is designed to help get leads for other startups as they grow. The logo for elastic features a brand mark that almost resembles a ball of elastic bands – the bright, colourful mark stands out against the more professional, clean and heavily kerned “elastic” typeface.

A Showcase of Creative Startup Logos

BufferBox provides pick-up centres for packages ordered online, so instead of having your package delivered to your home (where you could potentially miss it), it’s instead delivered to a BufferBox in a popular location where it can be collected at your leisure. The logo choice for BufferBox is simple and professional, but gives a hint as to what the service does – by partly enclosing the latter part of the type in a box, and using their trademark light green.

A Showcase of Creative Startup Logos

Hipmunk is a flight search engine that aims to take the agony out of finding a flight. Instead of showing a typical list of search results, it shows a beautiful, intuitive and easy to understand selection of options. Hipmunk has gone out of it’s way to inject personality and fun into their logo, by using a mascot of a chipmunk wearing aviator goggles. The Hipmunk mascot is one of the things that’s most talked about the company, and helps them stand out against more professional, overly corporate rivals.

A Showcase of Creative Startup Logos

Vayable offers unusual and quirky adventure holidays, including interesting experiences provided by local tour guides. Vayable’s logo takes the famous pin icon (indicating a location or place), and doubles it up to form a heart shape, which implies that you’re about to love your holiday. The two location markers also help to suggest that you won’t be alone on your holiday, as there’ll be a Vayable guide there too.

A Showcase of Creative Startup Logos

Github is a repository for code, making it easy and efficient for multiple developers to all work on the same project and contribute to open source code. Github, like Hipmunk, have chosen to add some friendly, quirky personality to their brand by using a mascot – in this case the Octocat. It’s unusual and quirky appearance is a bold move, but it definitely helps to make the brand memorable.

A Showcase of Creative Startup Logos

ZeroCater makes it easy to book large lunch orders and have them delivered to your office. ZeroCater’s logo includes an origami crane made out of a napkin, a subtle reference to food service and creativity. The mark itself is beautifully designed, and – if the company became well known enough – could become recognisable even if the words “ZeroCater” weren’t included next to it.

Are there any creative, interesting and inspiring startup logos that you’d like to share? Please do let us know in the comments.

February 12 2014

14:00

Why Being a Web Designer Who Codes Is Way Cooler

Is it important that web designers need to know how to code?What are the advantages of the web designer who codes?  The term “web designer” is a subjective matter. Many believe this person is responsible for doing web layouts in Photoshop while others think of him or her as the one who does the HTML markup.

In the field of web development, there are arguments and opinions whether a web designer should know how to code or this person should just focus on his/her craft by creating quality web design layouts.

Everyone has his or her opinion about it and there are probably a million different scenarios and experiences that might make each theory or opinion true.

When I first started in web design, I really don’t know how to code. I was clueless about HTML or CSS. All I knew was to create web page layouts and align elements in Photoshop. Then one day, it hit me: I realized my curiosity had grown stronger as I had seen a lot of articles and blog posts written about how to really get into the code. I began wondering how these geek guys do these beautiful websites.

webdeisgner-vs-webdeveloper

So I jumped in front of my computer and searched for good tutorials to get started on how to code. To my disappointment, most of the articles I found only offered the basic knowledge such as how to use H1, H2, anchor tags and so on. Then one year later, I found one guy who trained me and turned me into at least a newbie web designer and the rest is history.

This is my own experience; yours might be similar or entirely different. But, admit it, what you don’t know is bound to hold you back from learning.

Yes! You heard it right. I know my statement might cause more than a few good and bad reactions. Some of you might look at me now frustrated and angry. Before you pass your judgement, I encourage you to read this and understand as I talk about why I think that web designers should learn how to code.

What’s holding web designers back in learning how to code?

Before we dig into the reasons why web designers should learn how to code, let’s check first what are the reasons why some web designers just want to focus on designing. Below are the main reasons that hinder a web designer from learning to code.

1. They enjoy graphics more than codes. Some web designers tend to focus on their artwork and illustrations and have more passion on the creative aspect of the website. They love to create stunning web layouts by choosing the right fonts, color, images and icons, but don’t want to deal with the coding aspect to make their graphics alive and real.

2. No time to spend for learning. Several web designers find it difficult to learn coding while others can’t keep up with a fast pace of development. They think that if they spend time to learn coding, they might be left behind when trending design concepts are being talked about. They believe will not be able to improve their creative skills.

3. They think it’s hard. Some web designers think that they would suck at it that’s why they became afraid to try. Learning to code is a process just like a flower takes time to bloom.

Why web designers should learn how to code

Now that we know what hinders a web designer from learning to code, let’s now jump on why a web designer should learn coding.

1. Flexible roles for each project. If a designer knows how to code, he can easily change roles with a web developer. Developers can be web designers too and if a web designer knows how to code, he can also work on the coding aspect too. Since the two can switch roles, both are making the process more flexible and efficient.

2. Fast and efficient delivery of projects. It would make a lot faster to finish a project if a web designer knows how to code it. For instance, when a web designer creates a mock-up in Photoshop, he can easily cut the images and code the markup. The web developer then can focus more on the complex issues.

3. Efficient technical communication. If a designer knows how to code, he can easily interact with the web developer and talk about codes. In that case, the designer will be able to help the developer with minor bugs and updates on the codes of the site.This will make the team more efficient, saving more time, thus, delivering the projects on time.

4. It’s not a rocket science- it can be learned. When I started learning how to code, I was thinking that I was not born for it but later, I found it exciting and enjoying. Learning to code is really not easy but it’s also not that hard. Everyone can learn it.

5. The key to the next level. When you’re learning how to code, you begin to think logically. This would lead you to learn more coding languages and techniques since you already have an experience on how to code. Eventually, you may learn the skills the web developer has.

Curiosity: Key to Learning

Based on my experience, it all started when I got curious on how to code. Being curious made me search and look for tutorials that led me to learning. I love what Walt Disney once said: “When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.” Exactly true!

The power of curiosity makes everything more enjoyable to learn. Start being curious before it’s too late.

February 11 2014

16:25

High Resolution Painted Wood Textures For Designers

Textures give life to very visual presentation as everything in nature is textured. All designer who are after something realistic needs a make-belief effect that’ll be something that makes the visual be questioned, is it real or graphics? A perfect texture is the answer. Easier said than done one might say as not all of us are artist so we could create them on our own.

Most commonly used and favored amongst designers and even viewers is Wood Texture, for it gives the most welcoming effect. First impression is “like”! If you’re at designing a nature based theme, you’ll automatically pop on the wooden texture, as it’s a universal element representing earth, nature and life.

There are many resources online for textures but obtaining a right one is a challenging task. Here we have a High-Res Collection of Painted Wood Texture, most believable, beautiful and in variety that you’ll love collecting. Have a go at them!

Dilapidated Red Wood


woodtextures

Red ainted wood


woodtextures

Old Paint_Wood Free Texture


woodtextures

Painted and Stripped Texture


woodtextures

Chipped paint texture

woodtextures

Peeling Paint on Wood Floor


woodtextures

Painted Wood


woodtextures

Scratched Paint On Desk Texture


woodtextures

Moldy Paint on Wood


woodtextures

Peeling Paint

woodtextures

Silver Spray Paint on Rough Wood


woodtextures

Texture Painted Wood


woodtextures

Pink Painted Wood Surface


woodtextures

February 10 2014

14:17

11 Clean & Minimalist Websites for your Inspiration

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It’s easy to see that more an more designers are embracing the minimalistic approach to web design. Now there are websites that eliminate unnecessary elements and keep only what really matters, designs that are clean and intuitive, like the ones we will show here today. We have different examples of clean and minimal sites with beautiful navigation, neat menus and nice type to keep you inspired, take a look.

Cactus for Mac

11 Clean & Minimalist Websites for your Inspiration

Solo

11 Clean & Minimalist Websites for your Inspiration

Studio Dobra

11 Clean & Minimalist Websites for your Inspiration

Mike Kus

11 Clean & Minimalist Websites for your Inspiration

Roman Kirichik

11 Clean & Minimalist Websites for your Inspiration

Darrin Higgins

11 Clean & Minimalist Websites for your Inspiration

R&Co. Design

11 Clean & Minimalist Websites for your Inspiration

Trippeo

11 Clean & Minimalist Websites for your Inspiration

Another Pony

11 Clean & Minimalist Websites for your Inspiration

Indigo

11 Clean & Minimalist Websites for your Inspiration

Ditto

11 Clean & Minimalist Websites for your Inspiration

February 07 2014

07:30

February 03 2014

14:30

Expert Tips When Creating and Selling Fonts

Fonts are essential for the feel of the website. Font developers, like you, need to be smart when creating and selling fonts. In media, where typefaces are very much used, fonts have changed in the same rate as any other web page elements, adjusting to the need and time of its use. As there are people who are able to read, fonts will continue to evolve in its styles, uses and forms.

.create-your-own-font

Photo by Juan Joro

With that being said, the growing importance of font designers is also heightened. Because of the need for constant development, typefaces should adapt to the changes that the users demand, ergo, the talent and skill to create aesthetically beautiful and purposely readable fonts.

Actually, creating your own font is pretty rad. Imagine seeing your own handwriting or something you developed being used in designs and even in websites. At the most, if you have been trained well and created awesome designs, you could even sell your fonts! So it’s really a pretty good thing to learn.

This article will help you achieve that goal. 1stWebdesigner will be very much willing to teach you the following:

  • Things you need to know before designing a font
  • Shall I sell it or give it away for free?
  • Tools you might need to use, and some alternatives

With these points, let’s see if you can stand up to the challenge of being great font-designers and developers.

What do I need to know before starting to design my own font?

Sun Tzu once said,

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle”

You’re probably wondering why I wrote that. Well, those words should be the guiding principle in designing your own fonts. Knowing your ‘enemy’ and ‘yourself’ is a sure-shot weapon on making magnificent and potentially sellable typefaces. Once you mastered these principles, you can truly design fonts as sharp as the samurais.

create-your-own-font-01

Photo from Career Girl Network

The first thing to keep in mind is your ‘enemy’. Now, who is your enemy? Let’s just say your enemy is your target. What is your purpose for designing this font? Knowing where to use it and to whom you shall use it for will be the key in making fonts that impact (pun intended) in the world of web design.

Ask yourself:

  • Am I targeting kids for this design? If yes, then, design a comical font.
  • Am I targeting professionals here?  If yes, then, you might want to think of a typeface that would suit them.
  • Do I want to see my handwriting on the computer screen? If yes, then you might want to think of a font that will suit this answer.

You should be careful in targeting your audience because you might fire a stray bullet and hit the ones you’re not targeting. So keep in mind that fonts have their specific uses for specific purposes.

Try reading: Font Police: 20 Fonts to Avoid to Maintain Your Readers’ Sanity

Next, consider if what type of font you will use. There are a few types of fonts out there. What you need to do is to know where to place your font in these categories. Doing this will easily make your font sellable and searchable in case you wanted to make money out of them.

Read Working with Types: Typography Design Tutorial for Beginners for the different types of fonts.

After knowing what font you will use, you will be challenged to know what fonts to suit you. As a designer, you probably have your own niche. Are you comfortable with script fonts? Do you prefer comical fonts rather than formal ones? What will make your design workflow easier, faster and better?

You need to address those cases and try to look at your own designs. Assess your strengths and play with them. If you are good at formal typefaces, then go for it. Learn where are you going to put yourself and also where to have fun doing it. Remember, if you love what you do, your target will  love what you make out of your designs. So choose.

create-your-own-font-02

Shall I sell my fonts or give them away for free?

Now this is a pretty good question. Say, you were able to design a handful of awesome fonts. Your friends are pressuring you to sell them out so that you could take them out for dinner. And now, you come to ask yourself, “Can I really sell these?”

The answer is yes. Though the second question will arise, will they buy it? Now that’s another good question.

create-your-own-font-03

Making people actually buy your fonts could seem very difficult, though, very possible. With the Internet growing more vibrant as each day passes by, you are basically given an unlimited number of people wanting fonts. Now, with a growing number of demands, your fonts will be competing with other designers which, in some ways, could be better than you. Now, how do you win? Try these:

  • Foundry Method – Foundries are font manufacturers. They distribute typefaces to a lot of outlets like web shops and resellers so it’s a pretty big opportunity to sell your font through them. It is an exclusive deal as the foundry will maintain the right to sell the font you designed as dictated by the contract. In return, you will be given royalty.

Good points of this method:

  • It requires minimal to zero business knowledge. The foundry will take everything in. No headaches.
  • They can improve your design and make it more sellable.
  • Foundries protect you from piracy and misuse.
  • You can focus on designing more fonts rather than thinking about how to sell them.

Bad points:

  • Little to no control at all with the method of selling the fonts.
  • You will receive only a portion of the earnings.

Things to consider about your foundries:

  • The niche of the whole foundry.
  • Their assistance to the production of your font.
  • Target market of the foundry.
  • Length and terms of the contract.

Here are some foundries you’ll want to take a look at.

  • Reseller Method – Resellers offer fonts from a lot of different foundries. What they do is they sign contracts with font publishers or foundries and sell the fonts in the latter’s library. They receive a particular percentage from selling the fonts. Each reseller can have different and various customers. It’s up to them how to sell the fonts.

Good points:

  • You could be able to reach more diverse markets, hence, more customers.
  • You could maintain the brand pricing and rights with different resellers.

Bad Points:

  • You need to know a lot about business.
  • You have to share your earnings with the reseller.

Things to consider about your foundries:

  • Who are their clients?
  • Are they pretty respected?
  • What are their methods?
  • What fonts do they actually sell?

Here are some resellers you can visit: Graphic Design Forum

  • Forever Alone Method – if you think you can handle it, you could go by yourself. Though it may be pretty scary to sell fonts on your own, it can give you a very good value boost. But it could be pretty difficult as you have to have great designs that stand out to do this.

Good points:

  • You have full control over your design and selling strategy.
  • You could take home 100% of the profit.
  • You can establish a name for yourself.

Bad Points:

  • You need to know a lot about business.
  • It requires less time on designing, more on selling.
  • It is pretty difficult to go in the system.

Tools you might need to use and some alternatives

As you will be delving into the world of font creation, you will appreciate the following tools, which will make your life easier and your designing experience, more fun.

For Drawing the Fonts

  • Paper and Pen – very rudimentary, yes, but this method is still accepted. If you have a cool handwriting and a pretty decent pen and a clean sheet of paper, you’re on the go. You could just scan it afterwards. (Tips: Draw big to achieve higher resolution and detail)

create-your-own-font-04

Photo by Jeenie Green

  • Pen Tablet Input Tool – this is for serious designers. This will cost you money but will spare you from scanning the fonts. So it’s also a good deal.

create-your-own-font-05

Photo by James

  • For Editing the Drawings

 Adobe Illustrator –Adobe Iillustrator is a very versatile tool to vectorize your fonts. It’s pretty complicated but learnable.

create-your-own-font-06

Photo by Viktor Hertz

GIMP – GIMP is very easy to use, though, lacking the features that Illustrator possesses.

create-your-own-font-07

  • For Rendering the Fonts

Fontographer ($350) – easy to use yet powerful font editor. You can design typefaces, customize existing fonts and it displays them in high resolution!

FontLab Studio ($650) – is a professional font editor used by major computer companies and most font foundries. It is very comprehensive and yet flexible software that targets professionals and amateurs alike.

Fonstruct(free) – is a fully operational web-ran software that allows you to create your own fonts. You can register as a user to be able to render your design.

Other free tools here!

Conclusion

The creation and selling of fonts just proves that the typeface is important in any aspect of design. Creating new typefaces signifies that this notion is still alive and moving. With newer designs emerging almost every day, it’s pretty good to see that it adds a sense of uniqueness in the design, making it more viable for income. Truly, when you learn how to make fonts, you’ll be in places you’ve never been.

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