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blog UI/UX Design Web Design

The BEST Newsletters Every New Digital Designer Should Know

To be a designer in the past, you had to attend a post-secondary institution, do an internship or two, and then make your way up the career ladder. Learning was formal, and access to conferences, exclusive magazines, and extra courses was a privilege.

Now with the World Wide Web being so accessible: design tools and tricks are at the palm of our hands if you have the right resources and connections. This year, the biggest skill I have gained while learning UX design was being resourceful. If I don’t know about it now, I will know by the end of the week with the right amount of research. I am a big learner and love to discover new trends and ideas in my field.

Here are my top current newsletters that have made an impact on my digital design journey.

1. Dribbble Newsletter

Dribble is a social media platform where creatives showcase their designs and bodies of work in a single snapshot. Despite having a newsletter to promote “shots” done by featured creatives, their newsletter is surprisingly filled with actual, helpful blog posts for new and upcoming designers.

2. UX Design Weekly

Curated by product designer Kenny Chen, this gem is packed with useful resources and hand-picked ux articles to help any new designer. Each email showcases a different featured portfolio site, which is a bonus if you are looking for inspiration from others.

3. TLDR

TLDR is a tech lover’s favorite. If you need some conversation starters at your next networking event or just want to keep up with STEM trends, this is the daily newsletter to get.

4. Design is Expansive

This is a very new newsletter written by UI/UX designer Akash Solanki and it is pretty great so far. If you are looking for some inspirational storytelling and access to connect with other designers, this is the newsletter for you.

Illustration from antivirusakash@getrevue.co

You will be surprised at what you might come across in these newsletters.

I have gotten so many free resources, insights, and inspiration from following these hand-picked newsletters, and I hope this list will inspire you to become a resourceful creative as well.

Sincerely,

Arienne J

Arienne Visuals

Categories
blog graphic design Web Design

Questions ALL Visual Creators Should Ask Before Starting a Project

Happy Sunday! As many of my readers know, I work full-time at a company creating in-house designs and running their social media, but I also freelance when I get spare time and energy. Lately I have been asked to do a lot of small projects before the holidays. I do not officially have a design consultant company so my communication with my clients can be really casual. In the past as a junior designer, I have run into issues with not communicating enough before starting a project. Here are some questions EVERY visual creator, designer, photographer should ask their clients before starting a project.

Ask Your Clients THESE Questions Before Starting Their Work.

1. What is the goal of the final product?

You want to know what they want to achieve with this project. Knowing exactly what their end result should be can help you with your research.

2. What does the brand look like now?

As a creator you should know what you are working with. Get to know the brand, their target audience, what they sell or the service they provide. Also look at previous projects and ask them what they want different this time around.

3. Do you have examples?

As a visual creator, we tend to play the guessing game on what our customers/clients want based on product descriptions. Stay true to your visual roots and ask for a visual example.

4. What is your budget?

This one is tough. Talking about money from the start can be uncomfortable but be sure that they know at some point what your work is worth. If they want something out of your scope, let them know that it will cost extra before starting.

5. How can I communicate with you in the future?

On my consultation assessment form, I added a question that says, “How comfortable are you with technology”. I usually like to communicate through email and sometimes will text for quick answers, but not everyone is comfortable with email and would prefer to talk on the phone. I had a client who wanted me to set up an Instagram page with 9 posts to start, not realizing the client had no experience with social media and very little with technology. It is good to know your client’s background in technology if you are creating a digital product.

Sincerely,

Arienne J

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blog Digital Marketing graphic design Web Design

The BEST Photo + Design Resources on the Web

I am sharing my top visual resources for blogging and social media.

As a blogger, we are always looking for resources to bring our social media content to the next level. Most of us do not have the capacity to take our own photos for EVERY post, and creating a graphic from scratch can be difficult, so finding free resources of graphics and royalty-free photos have been a game changer.

Here are some of the best websites I use to take my posts to the next level.

unplash website on computer screen with search bar
Unsplash.com

The BEST Photo Resources on the Web

Wondering where bloggers get that cute dog stock photos, a model looking productive on a computer photo or the dreamy beach house photos? These websites are where. If you are not the best photographer or just do not have the time or resources to set up environmental photoshoots (shooting in the subject’s environment), these website will help you. Blog posts that have a compelling photo bring more traffic and increase your SEO score.

  1. Pixabayhttps://pixabay.com
  2. Pexelshttps://www.pexels.com/royalty-free-images/
  3. Unsplashhttps://unsplash.com/
  4. Bufferhttps://buffer.com/library/free-images/
  5. FreeImages https://www.freeimages.com/

Try and stick to a theme when getting photos, and if you want to go the extra mile, edit the feature photos to go with your aesthetic.

The BEST Quick Design Resources on the Web

I am a graphic designer who is fully capable of using Adobe Creative Suite programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign to create graphics, but if I want to create or something quickly (especially for my personal brand) I usually run to apps and websites that give hundreds of already made templates which can be customized for my needs. Also if I need to quickly edit a photo before posting, I use easy to use apps for that. Here are just a few:

  1. Canva – Instant custom graphic design tool and app, probably the most popular https://www.canva.com/
  2. PNGTree – This goes beyond png images. You’ll find tons of photoshop templates here. https://pngtree.com/free-templates-psd
  3. Colorlib – Websites HTML templates for my web designers with a little front-end experience. https://colorlib.com/wp/themes/
  4. PicMonkey – Advanced but easy to use photo editor. Oldie but goodie. Used to be free but now there is a small monthly fee, but if you want to invest, give the free trial a try. https://www.picmonkey.com/features
  5. Crello – A great website for graphic design templates with fun illustrations. https://crello.com/
  6. Airbrush (iOS and Android app): Great for doing quick yet detailed photo edits to your social media posts. They have a great library of filters as well. https://appairbrush.com/. I will be creating a whole post about apps I use to edit my social media posts next week.

Other Resources That Will Save You Time

coolors website homepage with pallette example
Coolors.co
Typography

If you are working on Adobe files like photoshop and want to own those cool fonts you see online for free, this is where you can find and download them (or link them to your code!). 

  1. DaFonthttps://www.dafont.com/
  2. Google Fontshttps://fonts.google.com/
Choosing Colors + Color Palette

Struggling to find a color palette that works for your brand? These resources are great to see what the colors look like together, and can easily be exported in many ways. All of them provide HEX # codes to be reproduced anywhere online.

  1. Coolorshttps://coolors.co/
  2. Color Hex https://www.color-hex.com/color-palettes/
  3. HTML Color Codeshttps://htmlcolorcodes.com/

I hope that this list helps you with your blogging or social media journey as a visual content creator. More graphic design posts will be coming soon. I have been a graphic designer for several years but I am always learning. Read about my design story and how I chose the visual design field!

Sincerely,

Categories
Web Design

Mobile Web Design

Emerge Magazine (mobile)–  WordPress customization + responsive web design

Arienne Johnson – Web Design Lead

http://www.emergemagazine.ca/2018

 

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Web Design

kwesijohnson.ca – Site Path (using Coggle.it)

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Web Design

Web Design

kwesijohnson.ca – motivational speaker website header (WORK IN PROGRESS)

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Web Design

www.kwesijohnson.ca – motivational speaker website bio (WORK IN PROGRESS)

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Web Design Website Mockups

Emerge Magazine – WordPress customization + web design (footer)

http://www.emergemagazine.ca/2018

Design Lead – Arienne Johnson

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Web Design Website Mockups

Emerge Magazine – WordPress customization (CMS) + web design

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