Author Archives: Alex Bigman

Trend Report: Ranking the styling of sleep apps

Among smartphone users’ many concerns, not getting good sleep ranks pretty high. In recent years, a deluge of “sleep tracking” apps have emerged – many offering similar capabilities: tracking REM cycles to fix poor sleeping patterns, waking you up at ideal times (through data), and sometimes even recording your sleep sounds for self-analysis. Even without considering... Read More

October 17th By

10 winning ways to enhance your email design

The idea of junk mail—the kind that arrives in your (actual) mailbox, stuffed in an (actual) envelope—has never seemed so quaint. This is without question the heyday of the email newsletter. This is not to say that design approaches to this digital-born marketing tool have been at all codified. To the contrary, email newsletter strategy largely... Read More

October 3rd By

Taking stock of the craft beer movement and its image

In 1949, LIFE magazine ran a nifty chart (below) plotting Americans’ tastes across the “brow” spectrum: highbrow being the most intellectual and sophisticated group, lowbrow the least. For example, where the most refined among us (retrospectively speaking) might attend a ballet for entertainment, the lowbrows would catch a Western flick. For drink, wine reigned at the top; beer was... Read More

September 29th By

The challenge of branding across languages

If you asked for the most general definition of a logo, you’d probably get something like “a mark that stands for a company or product.” The implication is that it doesn’t matter what the mark is; anything could work. But then, can we assume the effect of a logo is universal—even across languages? Apparently not, based on... Read More

September 17th By

Your back-to-school design reading list, by publisher

It’s that time of year again and back-to-school reading lists are upon us. If you don’t consider yourself to be a bookish designer, perhaps it’s time to take a fresh look at the range of design books on the market. The breadth of topics, from biographies of famous designers to how-to guides about navigating the industry, is truly... Read More

September 9th By

Words of wisdom from 99designs veteran, SHANAshay

Name: Shana Cinquegrana 99designs handle: SHANAshay Location: New Jersey, USA Contests won: 238 Shana Cinquegrana, a.k.a. SHANAshay, is a bonafide 99designs veteran with over 200 contest wins under her belt—most of them in her signature illustration style that appeals to female-run businesses ranging from beauty and fashion to publishing, food and other forms of entrepreneurship. We sat... Read More

September 5th By

A look inside L.A.’s Architecture and Design Museum

Hollywood has long been a magnet not just for aspiring film stars but for the creative minded more generally: illustrators, advertisers, designers of all types. As a young city expanding at a vertiginous pace, postwar Los Angeles promised more than just economic opportunity for young commercial artists. In the words of designer Gere Kavanaugh: “When I... Read More

August 20th By

The art of book series cover design

The emergence of e-books and other digital texts has forever changed the role of the traditional, printed copy. Today, the printed book’s physicality is a key distinguishing factor and principal selling point – which gives designers all the more reason to focus on the art of book cover design. It’s common for a group of books... Read More

August 15th By

Gestalt principles and the psychology of design

The word “gestalt” gets thrown around a lot in design. Taken from the German word for “form” or “shape,” it often refers to the overall look of something that is greater than the sum of its parts. In psychology, gestalt refers to the basic principles that allow us to visually perceive order. These principles are fundamental building... Read More

August 12th By

5 essential tips for drafting your next design contract

If you enjoyed drafting contracts and negotiating terms, you probably would have gone to law school instead of becoming a designer. Little did you know you would end up having to play both parts. There’s no getting around it: If you want to protect yourself and your product in your freelance design work, you had... Read More

August 5th By

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