• Calendar

    augustus 2016
    m d w d v z z
    « jul    
    1234567
    891011121314
    15161718192021
    22232425262728
    293031  

5 Unexpected Places To Find Design Clients

Finding design clients isn’t always easy. Sometimes, it requires the same amount of creativity we put into building our best designs. But that’s what makes freelancing so amazing. It’s filled with untapped resources that can help you find fresh collaboration offers and new design clients. All you need to do is put your creativity to use.

#1: Partner up with tech experts at a coworking space

Working at home can be quite enjoyable. You’ll be surprised how attending meetings in your PJ’s can suddenly become a normal thing. And how quickly you’ll adapt to a new morning routine that starts right about when you’d usually take your lunch break. It’s all a dream come true until the loneliness steps in.

Find design clients

Sooner or later you’ll realise you maybe miss your old office. Luckily, you don’t have to get your job back. All you got to do is find a cosy coworking space.

There are thousands of coworking spaces all across Europe and the US where tech experts, startup owners and working nomads build their products.

Go out of the house for a change and meet some new friends at your local coworking space. Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to partner up with other great minds and join forces to create something amazing together.

#2: Create online course and expand your auditory

You’ve probably never envisioned yourself as a teacher. Truth is, most people don’t. It’s a role we tend to dislike and connect to our childhood years spent under the close guidance of strict councillors.

Find design clients

Still, the ability to inspire and educate others is a quality not many can boost with. If you’re an expert in your field, you’re a problem solver and you love sharing your knowledge you’ll definitely love coaching. And doing it from the comfort of your own home is even more delighting.

Today, there are hundreds of platforms, like Udemy and Teachable, where you can create and distribute your online courses. And even earn something on the side. But the real bonus that comes with it is connecting with people. You’ll find that most of your students will usually be experts in different fields that might be interested in having a professional help them with their graphic tasks.

#3: Grow big by completing small task

You just quit your job to start your own freelancing business but you can’t find any clients? Don’t worry that’s absolutely normal. Yet, this doesn’t mean things should stay that way.

Find design clients

While places like AirTasker are famous for providing small handyman, housekeeping and delivery jobs, there are also many people who seek designers there. And there’s always Fiverr which is focused mostly on digital services. You’re probably wondering what’s the catch? Why are there so many people offering their services for a few dollars at most?

Truth is, most of those small tasks lead to bigger ones. You design a stationary for John and next thing you know he wants you to create his brand identity and website, too.

#4: Get new clients through a coupon website

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of coupons?

Find design clients

It’s probably not exactly related to design but that’s the charm of it. People in sites like Groupon and LivingSocial are in for the deals. They’ll take anything that offers quality and affordability in a single package.When the market is not flooded with quirky design studios that offer to create you an awesome logo for a dime, your chances of getting a few clients suddenly raise.

But be prepared for a huge load of work. You might end up having more clients than you’ve bargained for. Design them a great product and provice a memorable experience and people will come back to you with more requests.

#5: Give away freebies to the designers community

People love free goods. They love them so much they’d gladly tweet about them or like them in return.

Find design clients

Designing for the community is a type of charity work that doesn’t necessarily pay off but doing it feels great, nonetheless. But there’s something that often gets overlooked. When you put your heart and soul into creating your  product, it will inevitably get noticed.

You don’t need to get shared by big magazines to discovered by people. All you have to do is do what you love with passion and soon, you’ll be able to find a lot of new design clients.

You’ll also love these articles:

10 Things Every Web Developer Should Do to Woo High-Paying Clients

Keep Scammers & Bad Clients Out of Your Freelancing Business

 

 

 

The post 5 Unexpected Places To Find Design Clients appeared first on SpyreStudios.

Google Accelerated Mobile Pages: Browse Fast and Easily

“80% of Internet users own a smartphone,” according to study done by David Chaffey, CEO and co-founder of Smart Insights.

With the large percentage of users using their smartphones to search for data every day, it’s not surprising that Google takes a step further to enrich user experience for mobile users.

Last February of this year, Google has launched Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), their newest, open source project. Google’s AMP can be seen as similar to Facebook’s Instant Article and Apple’s News.

When using AMP, a web page loads 85% faster than standard mobile web pages browsed through a page on a mobile browser. In using Google’s AMP, publishers can certainly benefit from the fast implementation of their website, along with the availability of ads for their content.

For webmasters and owners, AMP could be an added boost to your SEO efforts. However, it’s implications aren’t clear on how SEO can improve with this. Google’s News and Social Products Senior Director once mentioned in an interview that they will “an emphasis to the one with speed because that is what users find compelling.”

This is evident as sites serving their content as AMPs are on the top of the search results. As you can see from the screenshot below, AMP results are found at the top of the search results. This screenshot previews the carousel type of results for AMP.

Google Accelerated Mobile Pages

On the other hand, here’s an example of a non-carousel result:

Google Accelerated Mobile Pages

In a simpler sense, accelerated mobile pages is a user-centric web page that’s been stripped down to the minimum.

How Does It Work?

According to our source video above, 40% of the visitors to your site has the tendency to click off after three seconds or install an ad blocker, as they commonly see ads as a nuisance and the sole reason why websites load slowly.

How does AMP work in response to the need for speed? There are three parts that make up the AMP’s solid speedy response:

AMP HTML is HTML with some restrictions for reliable performance and some extensions for building rich content beyond basic HTML.

The AMP JS library ensures the fast rendering of AMP HTML pages.

The Google AMP Cache can be used to serve cached AMP HTML pages.

How to Install Google AMP

To install or implement Google’s AMP to your web pages, you will need the help of a developer. You can’t just sign up like Analytics or AdWords and have it readily implemented to your site. AMP is basically HTML extended with some HTML tags replaced with AMP-specific tags.

If you’re knowledgeable with developing code, Google has a comprehensive guide on creating your AMP page.

If you’re curious on how it’s done, here’s a basic highlight on how to create an AMP.

  1. Lay the groundwork by creating the AMP HTML Page.
  2. Add an image following AMP’s image markup. Here’s an example:
    <amp-img src=”welcome.jpg” alt=”Welcome” height=”400″ width=”800″></amp-img>
  3. Add some style through CSS, but understand that there are certain limits in an AMP. Style is limited because it can affect the performance of the page; you can check how you can modify and control the layout here.
  4. Check your AMP; preview the page and check for validation errors. You need to clear out the errors in order for you page to get into Google Search.
  5. Prepare your page for crawling. Make sure that you apply canonical linking properly.
  6. Go ahead; publish your content!

Still not convinced with Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages? Watch this side by side comparison made by the people at Rocketmill:

Google AMP Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages. Take note that some of these questions were taken from Quora, but we answered these questions ourselves. If you still have any questions, you can always ask us in the comments!

Really? There’s no easy way to get my blog posts converted to AMP?

There is, but it’s a plugin for WordPress. It will need some tweaking too, as it’s just the bare necessities for an AMP. If you’re not on WordPress, there may be other plugins compatible with your own CMS.

How do I SEO this AMP thing?

You can still do some on page optimization — title tags and other metas that you prefer optimizing. You can also optimize images and even add a Schema.org markup on your post. Also, you should make sure that your preferred tracking analytics is also installed in these pages.

I have added AMP to my website blog, the pages have been indexed, but Google is still not showing them in the SERP. Why?

It takes time to show up these results. Patience, young padawan.

Are Google AMP listings going to only be for news articles?

It’s actually available for every content publisher, and Google plans to expand this to apps and recipe pages.

Also read:  5 Tools to Make Launching Your Website Easier

About the author: Kenneth has been designing websites and developing web apps for more than a decade. He is the owner and the driving force behind Sytian Productions, a Philippine web design company.

The post Google Accelerated Mobile Pages: Browse Fast and Easily appeared first on SpyreStudios.

7 Tips For Designers Who Build Apps For Their Clients

Smartphones have become an integral part of our lives, their omnipresence unlikely to fade much in the near future. It’s no secret the one product all consumers seem to have these days in their pocket or, more frequently, their hands is a sophisticated mobile phone.

From games and social media to shopping online, mobile phone applications have become a major part of the 21st-century collective lifestyle. Even more so than a mobile optimized site, a personal business app can attract millions of active users, and for the right kind of app, millions of dollars in revenue.

As a designer, you are no stranger to the need for apps for your clients who own small businesses. In fact, the latest trend shows more and more that small local firms are joining the movement and paying designers to create custom applications for their own consumer base. In order to stay competitive, designers are taking a stab at app DIY app development for their clients, and it appears to be working.

tips for designing apps

Mobile apps are a wise choice for designers who wish to service their modern small business clients. They create a personalized virtual business-consumer relationship that keeps the focus on customer interests and demand. If you are a designer looking to generate more revenue, you should consider developing mobile apps for your customers to keep ahead of the game and stay relevant.

When you are ready to start building, here are seven tips to consider when you are building your first app.

Tips for designing apps

Affordable and Easy to Develop

You may not know where to start when it comes to developing an app. You might even be concerned that an app is difficult to put together, requiring a lot of money up front, consultation and pricey platforms to get you started.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Five years ago, you customers might have expected to pay a hundred thousand dollars or more for a custom-built app. Thankfully those days are gone, and app-building is now faster, easier, and better than ever. And, as a designer with some basic skills, you can use a CMS platform to get you started.

Be Sure You Have a Plan to So Your Clients Can Use Their App for Brand Recognition

tips for designing apps

Any marketing or ad campaign is an extension of your client’s business. Mobile apps are just one more way to market their business and amplify their brand recognition.

There are a few things to keep in mind when you are creating apps for your clients.  The first of the tips for designing apps is marketing. Tools for marketing are crucial.

If your clients’ brands are seen or heard at least twenty times by any prospective customer, it’s enough to foster recognition. If their brand is also sending out notifications and is easy to interact with virtually, it has even more staying power. 

Think of all the notifications you receive on your phone daily. Now think about how often you check your notifications versus how often you log into your email. There isn’t anything quite like having an icon right in your mobile phone’s menu reminding you of your favorite Chinese takeout place, local boutique, or anything else in between.

Also, be sure to incorporate features like push notifications and geo-fencing into you the development of their apps that will remind their customers about their service.

Create a Way to Foster a Direct Relationship with Customers

Make sure the app you design has the features that will allow businesses to respond to customers quickly and efficiently.  It helps them keep their reputation and image strong. Their app is a powerful channel for communication and interaction, and the most convenient one as well.

Unlike a website–even a mobile friendly website–a business app gives customers the chance to communicate with a business 24/7. A mobile app will show customers that a business cares about their feedback.

Apps are also a great way to promote sales and events put on by your customers’ businesses, driving customers to their online store and helping them easily make purchases more frequently.

In other words, be sure your app is perfect for giving any businesses’ targeted and personal service whenever they need it, and improving your brand’s image overall. An obvious win-win for you as a designer and for your clients’ businesses.

Loyalty

Customers appreciate when a business makes a proactive effort to stay on trend and keep them happy. You can show your base how much you care by designing an app that offers your clients’ quality customer loyalty rewards facilitated through their app.

Pitch a few ideas to your clients about loyalty programs.  Suggest that they offer customers who have their mobile app exclusive deals or app-user only specials. People love to use coupons, rewards, and punch cards at retail stores, but in the 21st century, remind your clients that these antiquated channels are increasingly being replaced by digital solutions.

tips for designing apps

Background image source

Point out how to use rewards.  Advise them to offer customers rewards for their loyalty and business by turning their mobile app into a virtual punch card they’ll keep with them at all times.

Designers should especially remind their clients that when they are a single finger-tap away from their customers, those customers soon come to love and recognize their brand, as well as the rewards and savings they’ll enjoy.

Efficiency

You should also consider offering ways that their app will benefit them as well.  If you can find a way to design an app to run their business more efficiently, you will be doing them justice as well.

Point out how mobile applications make life easier for everyone in their company. A mobile application can complete complicated or even tedious tasks, literally taking them out of the hands of them and their busy employees.

In-app schedules can make booking an appointment at the salon a breeze, as well as provide customers an answer to their question much faster than a phone call might. Apps cut down on time spent laboring on menial tasks, giving your clients back time to focus on their business.

Look at the Data

Designers know pictures and how art and colors work great together, but don’t forget the numbers.  You should always use some data to pitch your app ideas to your clients.  Here are some great stats that can help sway your customers to choose you to design their apps.

Statistical projections of the growing market for mobile apps shouldn’t come as a surprise. Mobile app downloads are expected to more than double between 2015 and 2020. In 5-10 years, some part of all age groups will be shopping on a mobile phone. Millennials, of course, dominate this space with sixty-nine percent already making mobile purchases through apps on their smartphones. Fifty-three percent of Generation Xers and about 16% of Baby Boomers are following suit.

Mobile phone use and mobile applications are on the rise among all consumer populations. Furthermore, Flurry, a mobile measurement and advertising platform, claims that the average user spends over two hours on his or her mobile device per day. A majority (over 80 percent!) was spent using apps. The rest was from browsing the internet.

tips for designing apps

If you want to reach customers, be sure to look at the data to guide your decisions. Mobile applications that genuinely meet the needs of consumers will certainly increase your bottom line.

Be an Innovator

Show your clients how much care you about their business. An app you design for a small business signals that both you and the business you design for are trendy and part of the modern tech age.  It also demonstrates that that business cares about its customers, and wants to provide them the best, most personalized experience on tap.

If the statistics teach us anything, it’s that if a company is not interested in a mobile application for now, there’s a good probability that business will be kicking the can down the road. Chances are they’ll end up making one in the next five years or so. Point out that it’s wise to develop one now, being one of the first in the field.  And then remind them about how your ability to design will give their app the most appeal.

Showing your customers that you stay ahead of the times and the latest trends is a great way to impress them and help generate buzz. Designing a nifty app is a sustainable and cost-effective way to turn stay abreast the design industry all the while making heads in your field and with your customer base.

Conclusion

A quick Google search for a designer usually provides your potential customers with an overwhelming number of possibilities to choose from, with ads and recommendations providing even more options. If your design firm is small and local, it might get lost in the jumble when the pool is so enormous, but when you add another growing service to your repertoire, you will stand out amongst the competition.

With the growing ease of affordable mobile application development, this alone makes adding app design and development options for your small business clients a virtual no-brainer.

The future is in mobile applications. In fact, even the present is in mobile applications. If larger companies can profit from valuable apps, you just need to consider what you and your app development future need to succeed. With these 7 tips for creating your first mobile app for a client, you can show your customers how you are a designer who is ahead of the game!

For additional visual reference, you can also check out this infographic.

12-Guide-Infograph-2

Related: Canva for iPhone: Your Guide To Designing On The Go

This post was written by Andrew Gazdecki, CEO at Bizness Apps.

The post 7 Tips For Designers Who Build Apps For Their Clients appeared first on SpyreStudios.

Canva for iPhone: Your Guide To Designing On The Go

Canva never misses a chance to delight us!

After becoming the world’s most successful design tool, Canva decided to conquer another area where most design apps failed to provide an ultimate solution.

The iOS app store is flooded with design apps but only a handful can boost to provide the usability that the modern user demands. Most popular design apps are focused on illustration. Even though they prove to be an excellent tool for drawing they can hardly satisfy the needs of the common user. This is exactly where Canva stands out the most.

Hands on: Canva for iPhone

After downloading the app on your iPhone or iPad you can immediately log into your existing account or simply create a new one. You will be guided through the app’s main features, including new text templates, design layouts, clipart and lots more.

It’s surprising how quickly the app syncs the existing design projects. It allows users to open old designs with heavy imagery and various graphic elements directly from their phone. Users are also able to work on their original projects without experiencing any drawbacks from using a mobile device instead of a PC.

Designing on Your Phone, Reimagined

Most design apps would cut out a heavy amount of features when optimizing their product for mobile users. Yet, Canva actually expanded on their initial product. They created an additional set of features that would best serve its mobile users.

Text templates: The text templates are completely redesigned for mobile users. They now feature shorter, more actionable quotes that are ideal for social media publications.

Text styles on Canva for iPhone

Here’s how you can use them for your own creations:

  1.  Choose a text template from the collection.
  2.  Tap it to apply it to your design.
  3.  To resize, simply pinch in or out.
  4. Rotate it by turning your fingers in the desired direction.
  5. Tap it once to change its color or text size from the menu
  6. To delete it, tap the three dots on the upper left of the object and choose the trash bin icon from the upper menu.
  7. There is an undo button in case you need to revert back to older versions of your design

Design layouts: You can now design your very own social media post on the go with a completely new set of templates that look great on any screen size. Besides the popular Instagram, Twitter and Facebook graphic layouts, you’ll be able to choose from a variety of layouts that are also available on the Web app. Canva for iOS currently offers twelve design templates and promises a lot more additions in the future.

Design Layouts on Canva

The initial list of design layouts contains the following: Instagram post, Facebook post, Twitter post, Pinterest post, presentation, Facebook cover, poster, blog graphic, business card, youtube art, flyer, invitation.

Note: The size of each layout is optimized for a particular social media post or design project. Make sure you’re using the right design template when creating your design. Otherwise, it will be harder to resize it afterward.

Graphic elements: The new app allows you to get creative on your phone with a totally new selection of clip art images.

Graphic elements in Canva for iPhone

There are dozens of whimsical frames and carefully drawn stickers that you can choose from. The design elements on the iOS app are playful a have a contemporary artistic style.

  1. Choose the desired clip art from the elements section.
  2. Tap it to add it to your current design.
  3. Moving, resizing, rotating and adjustment options are identical for all element types.

Snap & Swap: Besides using the photos from your library, you can now snap a picture directly with your device and swap it with any photo on your design.

Photos in Canva for iPhone

Share your creations: Click the “Share” button in the upper right corner of the screen. The app will prepare your design for upload and allow you to choose from a handful of options for downloading and direct social media sharing.

Save in Canva for iPhone

Takeaways:

You might be wondering why you should use Canva on your phone or tablet instead of your computer? Truth is, this pocket-sized Canva is just as good as the desktop version.

If you’re frequent on Instagram or other social media channels you probably know that you can only upload content from your phone. The iOS app helps you skip the transferring process from one device to another. Being a mobile app, it also lets you create social media designs in their native environment. And there’s so much more it can do.

When inspiration strikes, you’ll be able to not only wireframe your ideas but design them completely on the go.

Now that you’ve seen Canva for iPhone in action, would you give it a try? Or you’re probably already a regular in the mobile design community? Let us know in the comments!

If you liked this one you’ll also love these:

8 Design Apps to Inspire You On The Go

How To Design an App Prototype Template in Illustrator

The post Canva for iPhone: Your Guide To Designing On The Go appeared first on SpyreStudios.

10 Free iOS Apps For Graphic Designers

iPhone’s full HD retina and 3D touch display is the perfect canvas for creating enchanting designs. With these 10 free iOS design apps you can easily expand your portfolio on the go.

10 Free iPhone Apps for Graphic Design and Visual Prototyping

Paper

Paper

Source: https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/10/paper-by-fiftythree-app-review-ios-gotta-get-that.html

  • Developed by: FiftyThree, Inc
  • Category: Productivity
  • Price: Free

Paper is not your typical productivity app. It has a complex functionality range that combines notes creation with intuitive sketching. And this is what makes it so unique.

It has a complex functionality range that combines notes creation with intuitive sketching. And this is what makes it so unique. The team’s original iPad app took the honorable award of Apple’s App of the Year and there’s no doubt they will continue to grow this little gem.

Adobe Illustrator Draw

Adobe Illustrator Draw

Source: http://www.makemac.com/adobe-voice-for-iphone/

  • Developer: Adobe
  • Category: Productivity
  • Price: Free

Take a piece of Adobe’s award-winning vector design software anywhere you go. This iPhone design app has all the features you can see in Adobe Ideas and provides all the drawing tools, layer management options and file integration abilities you could wish for. Now, when the muse strikes you can quickly sketch and export your artwork, no matter if you’re on the bus or even out camping.

Adobe Photoshop Express

Photoshop Express

  • Developer: Adobe
  • Category: Photo & Video
  • Price: Free (in-app purchases)

 

You can now pack your pocket-sized Photoshop and edit photos right on your mobile device. While the app’s functionality can’t be compared to the complex design abilities of Photoshop CS6, it offers a handful of great photo editing tools, like filters, quick editing, and adjustment settings.

Fontli

Fontli

Source: http://www.macgasm.net/2012/11/16/apps-of-the-week-fontli-next-draft-display-menu-infinite-jukebox-and-zookeeper-dx/

  • Developer: Pramati Technologies
  • Category: Social Networking
  • Price: Free

If you’re craving social interaction with other typography enthusiasts like yourself, I have some good news. Fontli is the ultimate social network for font lovers that will allow you to collect and share your muses of inspiration with the rest of the world. Download this on your iPhone and you’ll never have to see Comic Sans again.

FontCandy

FontCandy

Source: https://itunes.apple.com/se/app/font-candy-photo-editor-add/id661971496?mt=8

  • Developed by: Easy Tiger Apps, LLC.
  • Category: Photo & Video
  • Price: Free

Want to spice up your photos with a cool quote? Simply snap a photo or upload one from your phone, crop and resize your artwork and add your text.

Font Candy is the free iPhone go-to app for typography design. Users can choose from a large number of Saying templates and create a custom one. This iPhone app is ideal for album and book cover design. It provides simplified sharing options to the most popular social media outlets. With a bit of a look and a steady eye for design you can even get featured on the app’s official Instagram.

Marvel

Marvel app

Source: https://marvelapp.com/

  • Developer: Marvel Prototyping LTD
  • Category: Productivity
  • Price: Free

Let’s take a few moments and just marvel at the pure glory of this app for a second.

Except being the awesome app that it is, Marvel for iPhone is absolutely free. Downloading Marvel won’t cost you a dime and it’s so unbelievably easy to use. Just snap your prototype designs from your sketchbook, draw directly on the screen and add mockups from Dropbox or Adobe CC, link your ideas and get them ready for sharing. The app syncs everything with your web account at Marvel App so you’ll always have access to your design prototypes.

Monogram

iPhone app for design

  • Category: Productivity
  • Developed by: Moo Print
  • Price: Free

Keep your friends, coworkers and clients in the loop of your creative workflow with this reinvented portfolio app.

Monogram allows will allow you to showcase a curated collection of your best work in a simple and sleek display. Monograms are presented by minimalist cards which can contain information extracted from your photos, texts, and bookmarked links. This iPhone designers essential is a great app choice that can save the day if you forget your printed portfolio on an interview.

Create

CREATE iOS app

Source: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/create/id703295475?ls=1&mt=8

  • Developed by: Anything is
  • Category: Photo & Video
  • Price: Free

The only limit for designing that you’ll encounter with Create is your screen size. This feature-packed iPhone app provides a great creative arsenal of tools. Play with layers, typography, icons, and shapes. Build logos from scratch and even let your kid exercise his artistic skills. Create won’t be the best choice for a complete project development but it’s a wonderful tool for digitalising your ideas.

Assembly

Assembly app

Source: http://www.iphoneinformer.com/29595-create-graphic-designs-with-pixites-assembly-app-for-ios-devices/

  • Developed by: Pixite LLC
  • Category: Design and Color
  • Price: Free

Adobe Illustrator Draw isn’t the only vector design app for iPhone. Assembly will allow you to enjoy the creative process of vector illustration from the comfort of your phone. Use this iPhone app to draw your ideas on the go and then assemble the exported files on your computer. This app allows exporting in JPG / PNG for raster images and SVG / PDF for vector files.

Canva

Canva for iOS

Source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2470309,00.asp

  • Developed by: Canva
  • Category: Design and Color
  • Price: Free

Bring your design A-game to the next level with the web’s most loved desing app. Canva is now available also for iPhone which means you can take your designs with you wherever you go. Canva’s iPhone app provides alot of options for designing that will surely help this one get listed among the iPhone users’ top design apps.

Get inspired on the go with these design apps:

8 Design Apps to Inspire You On The Go

10 Outstanding iPhone App Design Examples

The post 10 Free iOS Apps For Graphic Designers appeared first on SpyreStudios.

How To Design an App Prototype Template in Illustrator

Creating an app prototype template is fairly easy especially when you’re working with the right tools. Adobe Illustrator is not so popular with UI designers because it often requires users to switch between Photoshop and Illustrator for editing raster images and vector objects. Yet, when it comes to app design, Illustrator is definitely a winner.

The app UI design is usually simpler for a better performance on mobile devices. Designing an app prototype on Illustrator makes the template highly resizable and easy to customize. This tutorial on app UI design will guide you through the basics of creating app prototypes with Adobe’s best vector design software.

P.S.: The app title is totally random and does not represent nor support any existing app.

Quick Tutorial: Design Your Own App Prototype Template In Illustrator

Step #1: Prepare Your Artboard

Set the canvas size to the one that best matches your needs. You can see the different mobile device screen resolutions here.

Arboard for app

Step #2: Create a Layout Wireframe

App wireframe

Wireframing might sound complex but, in fact, it’s really simple. All you have to do is make a rough drawing of your app layout. You can do this on a piece of paper or use specialized software.

Step#3: Choose a Color Palette

Pick a color palette and stick to it. Consistency is an important factor for creating an appealing app prototype template. You can also check websites like Behance and Dribbble for some inspiration on a good color choice. If you want a quick solution, head to this article and try out one of the color picking tools listed there.

Step#4: Create Your App PrototypeTemplate

Menu app

Let’s start with the menu. In this particular app prototype template, I will create a 400 x 75 menu.

Clipping mask show

Now, let’s make a rectangle with 400px width and 565px height. This will be the background of the app. It can be solid or it can be a cropped image. To crop a photo in the size of the rectangle position it above the image, then, right-click on the image and choose “Make Clipping Mask”.

Set opacity

You can give your background image a dim look by putting another rectangle on it and lowering its opacity. You can paint the rectangle in any color and it will give the image underneath it a light tint, depending on what opacity style you’ve chosen.

Blur circle

This design layout will be our app’s home page so we’ll want to put the logo in the center. Since the background image contains many contrasting objects it will be hard for users to read text on it. To make the logo pop out we’ll place a solid object beneath it.

With the circle creation tool, draw a circle a size of your choosing. Give it a similarly blurred effect by selecting it and going to Effects > Blur > Gaussian Blur.

Layout 2

After putting the logo, we can proceed to the second layout. We’ll now replace two large gray rectangles with our featured images. Cropping an image in the shape of a specific object can be done with the Make Clipping Mask option as explained above.

Blurred text overlay

To make our article headlines readable we need to put a solid background above the featured image. You can create a nice transition between the photo and the background with a gentle blur. Draw a rectangle and select Effects. Since we already used the Gaussian Blur option, it will appear above all the other options in the Effects menu. Click it and it will apply the same effect as the one we created on the logo circle. To change the blur’s intensity, you can click on the Appearance settings in the right sidebar menu ( If you don’t see it, turn it on from Windows > Appearance ).

Blurred menu creation

Stretch the blurred rectangle outside the edges of the artboard. Now, create another solid rectangle with the width of your artboard. Its height should be slightly bigger than the blurred object. Place it above the blurred object and right-click to select the Make Clipping Mask option. Now combine the cropped blurred object with a solid rectangle to create a place for the article’s title, description, and additional information.

Hamburger menu

We should also create a menu icon. To do so, drag three identical lines with the Line Segment Tool  ( / ).

App design layoutTo format the text, play around with fonts and character spacing but make sure your text is readable.

Put a profile photo with the Clipping Mask option as shown above. Then, copy the first article box and paste it below to use the already formatted style.

Featured image design

Since the second box will be a featured article we’ll want to change the background color to something more eye-catching. Adding a simple “featured” badge to the post will also attract attention. To create a similar badge, draw a rectangle, set the stroke to 3 px and make the object transparent. You can do this from the Color Picker options in the left menu.

Create app menu

Now, let’s create the menu design. To create a custom icon for the toggled app menu, draw a small square with a 3px stroke. Use the Direct Selection Tool ( A ) to select specific lines from the square. Delete two adjacent lines to create a minimalist arrow that will show users that the app menu has been clicked.

Create an app menu

To create this app menu design you can use a shape with the size of the main menu ( 400 x 75 px ) and then copy it below for each app category. If the menu is long enough, it could cover the phone page so this particular design has a little “more” button integrated on the bottom.

Sign Up App template

For the last app page layout, we’ll create a Sign Up page. The information boxes have a classical ghost button style and a 3px-wide stroke. The profile portrait is created by grouping two circles with Ctrl (Cmd) + G and then cropping them with the Clipping Mask option in the shape of the profile picture.

Resources:

Photography: All photos are taken from Pexels.

Fonts: The font used in this tutorial is Montserrat.

If you’re looking for free resources for your app prototype design, you’ll love this article.

 

Learn more awesome design tricks with these tutorials:

28 Photo Compositing Tutorials for Adobe Photoshop

The 10 Best Parallax Design Tutorials Ever

The post How To Design an App Prototype Template in Illustrator appeared first on SpyreStudios.

30 Free Flyer Design Templates

If you’re looking for free flyer mockup designs, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve prepared a collection of 30 free flyer mockup templates that will help you create the ultimate flyer design.

These free flyer mockup templates are what every good print design needs to stand out from the rest.

P.S.: There is a bonus resource section in the end of this article.

30 of The Web’s Best Free Flyer Mockup Designs

Gravity Psd Paper Mockup

Gravity Paper mockup

Download here.

Corporate Flyer Free Mockup

Free template for a corporate flyer

Download here.

Flyer Mockup PSD Design

Paper mockup design

Download here.

Free Flyer and Poster Mockup

Free Flyer Mockup

Download here.

PSD Poster and Flyer Mockup

Free PDF mockup

Download here.

Free Flyer Mockups

Free Flyer Templates

Download here.

Free Brochure and Flyer Mockup Design

Bi-fold brochure and flyer mockup

Download here.

Free Flyer and Card Mockup

Flyer and Card Mockup

Download here.

Free Stationary and A6 Flyer Mockups

Stationary and Flyer mockups

Download here.

Free Party Flyer Templates

Free Party Flyer

Download here.

Free Paper, Flyer or Poster Mockup

Paper mockup

Download here.

Free Metro Design Flyer Mockup

Free flyer mockup

Download here.

Free Mockup of Bi-Fold Flyers

Bi-fold flyer

Download here.

Free Soccer Camp PDS Flyer

Free soccer camp flyer

Download here.

Free Mockup for A4 Paper, Posters and Flyers

Paper mockup by Pixeden

Download here.

Freemium PSD Flyer Template

Flyer Mockup design

Download here.

PSD Paper Mockup Design

Free Paper Mockup PSD

Download here.

Indie Night Free Flyer Template Design

Free Flyer Template

Download here.

Free Bi-Fold Flyer Mockup

Free flyer mockup

Download here.

Free Comedy Night Flyer Template

Free flyer template

Download here.

Poster and Flyer Mockup For A4 and A5

Poster and Flyer mockup

Download here.

Free Corporate Flyer Mockup

Corporate Flyer Template

Download here.

Free Minimalist Flyer Mockup Design

Minimalist Flyer

Download here.

Free Flyer PSD Template

Free PSD Flyer Template

Download here.

Free Glossy Poster and Flyer Mockup

Free glossy flyer mockup

Download here.

Utility Pole Flyer and Poster Mockup

Flyer and poster mockup

Download here.

Free Business Flyer Mockup Design

Free flyer mockup design

Download here.

Free PSD Flyer Mockup

PSD Flyer Design

Download here.

Product Flyer Mockup Design

Product Flyer

Download here.

Realistic Flyer Mockup Design

Realistic mockup for a flyer

Download here.

But Wait. Are Companies Still Using Flyers As An Advertisement Tool?

If you’re working in a large design and marketing agency you’re probably still asking yourself if online media has already replaced traditional print media such as flyers, newspapers, and magazines?

The answer is no. If you’re looking into specialising into print design, you’ve probably made a great decision. Here’s why.

Despite its fast development and huge popularity online advertising could never be an ultimate substitute for traditional offline media. 

True, television advertisements get a ton of views and let’s not even mention the traffic a single ad gets from other video hosting channels such as Youtube and Dailymotion. The competition is strong but there’s something that traditional offline media has that large social media platforms, radio and TV channels could never offer.

Establishing an emotional connection between the advertiser and the audience through physical contact and communication is what makes offline advertising so amazing. Whatever the reasons are, print media won’t go away anytime soon.

But you’re probably not here for another marketing lecture.

Being one of the most popular print advertisement materials, flyers are one of the top-ordered design products in advertisement agencies. And in a competitive market like this one, you’ll often need much more than a great flyer design to grab the attention of your client.

Bonus! Free Flyer Mockup Resource Websites:

FlyerHeroes: Most of their graphic design resources are premium but there’s a special section with free flyer templates that you can take advantage from. Click here to see them.

Freepik: The ultimate resource hub for vector and raster graphics features a lovely collection of flyers templates. You can check them out here.

FreePSDflyer: This site hasn’t gained much popularity but I guarantee you’ll love its collection of free PSD flyer mockups and templates. Pay it a visit here.

Pixeden: A big shoutout to Pixeden for having the best paper mockup collection in the entire web. A lot of the examples above are courtesy of this website. If you want to check out more of their design resources go here.

Simply can’t get enough? Check out these articles:

Mock-up PSD Templates For Better Product Presentation

15 Insanely Beautiful Leaflet Designs

The post 30 Free Flyer Design Templates appeared first on SpyreStudios.

X Free Material Design Templates and Resources

Material design is all about consistency, minimalism and realistic shadow use. These ten examples of material design will help you build your personal portfolio by giving it a modern touch with various material design elements.

The free resources can also be used for web app prototyping and web design. Just make sure to check out the licensing for each item before downloading.

Material Design Freebies, Mock-ups and Templates

Do App UI Kit by Invision App

Invisionapp

The team at Invision App has always known how to gain popularity through quality freemium content.  This material design freebie contains 130 screens, 10  separate themes and more than 250 design components. Best of all, it’s completely free.

Check it out here.

Mercatus – Mcommerce UI Kit Sketch Resource

Meratus

Mercatus has gained immense popularity in the last couple of weeks. The UI kit is inspired by the 1980’s European culture. This mobile E-commerce theme features 120 screens which are designed with an exceptional precision that treasures minimalism. This material design freebie can be used for both personal and commercial projects.

Check it out here.

DiscoMusica – Free Material Design UI Kit

DiscoMusica

DiscoMusica is a Sketch-available material design freebie which features a multipurpose theme that grabs the user’s attention with a splash of colors and great interaction design. a multipurpose colorful UI kit suitable for both web and app designs. The UI kit has a flexible structure and can be used for various web and app projects.

Check it out here.

Stitch UI Kit Sketch Resource

Stitch

Stitch is a shopping app concept design that’s created under the influence of modern minimalism and material design standards. The freebie has 20 separate screen templates and features fully customizable and well-designed vector shapes that can be easily repurposed for various purposes.

Created by Lina Seleznyova

Check it out here.

Google Inbox Prototype

Google Inbox Prototype

This material design freebie features an inbox prototype design. The UI concept design kit reimagines Google’s current inbox design and adds a touch of color and modernity with elegant sans serif fonts.

Created by Sam Mountain

Check it out here.

Crystallize Free Material Ui Kit

Crystallize

Looking for a material UI design template with an elegant, feminine look and lots of options to choose from? Crystallize has a bright look and intertwines different design elements to create a modern and relaxed appearance. This material design freebie is available in *.PDF format and is suitable for online communities, music websites, beauty blogs and more.

Check it out here.

Zara iOS App Concept Design

Zara iOS App Design

Creating a fabulous mobile application design for a fashion giant such as Zara is not easy but Maxence HenriceH has nailed it perfectly! The french designer has successfully combined modern typography, material design elements and flashy photos to create a fashion app design that would truly stand the test of time.

Created by Maxence Henrice

Check it out here.

Crowdfunding Widget Material Design Freebie

Crowdfunding app

Crowdfunding websites are becoming more and more popular these days. The demand for quality design in the online crowdfunding sector has influenced the creation of great material design freebies such as this one. This template shows a widget for a crowdfunding website which has a minimalist look.

Created by Rodrigo Borges

Check it out here.

Master Set of Material Design Icons

Material design icons

This Material design icon set includes various web apps and software icons, such as Adobe AI, Steam Adobe Photoshop, Chrome, Safari and more. The archive provides users with 35  unique flat icons that come in *.PNG, .ICO and *.ICNS.

Check it out here.

Cisco Material App UI

Cisco app design

This premium user interface kit is comprised by more than thirty screen designs for Android. The layout is all created with vectors and is made to match the current material design trends. The free demo has ten unique screen layouts.

Check it out here.

 

You’ll also love these:

Use these 9 websites as a UI/UX Benchmark

10 Quirky and Creative WordPress Themes

 

The post X Free Material Design Templates and Resources appeared first on SpyreStudios.

10 Grid-based Editorial Design Examples

Grids are the foundation of every good design. People are naturally predisposed to categorization and symmetry, both an essential part of editorial and web design. We’ve already showcased some of the best grid-based minimalist websites so today’s collection will review few of this year’s most gorgeous grid-based editorial design examples.

10 Outstanding Grid-Based Editorial Design Examples

Capital Magazine

Capital Magazine

Check it out here.

Created by Socio Design

Capital is a quarterly newspaper that makes a summarized analysis of the financial markets. This grid-based editorial design relies on a sparse use of images and focused on typographic use to make an accent on valuable content and deliver information with better impact.

The Rhoads 2016 Book

The Rhoads 2016 Book

Check it out here.

Created by Kati Forner

These are not your usual photography nerds. Chris and Sarah, aka. The Rhoads, are the photography nerd high school sweethearts who will change your perceptions of photo perfection forever. In their 2016 photo book, the duo showcases a photography portfolio with a slapping realism that’s tastefully complimented by a minimalistic, grid-based editorial design.

 

DSAA16 Collection

DSAA16

Check it out here.

Created by Marine BU

The color-rich industrial design is a signature look for the studio behind DSAA16 collection. This grid-based editorial design is an example of the successful adaptation of old-school design techniques into the modern design world.

Formula Magazine

Formula Magazine

Check it out here.

Created by Marc Catafal Pedragosa

The Formula Magazine stands out with a bold background and raw, realistic photography. The content features sans-serif typography that’s arranged on an invisible grid.

Fashion Student Portfolio Edition

Fashion Studen

Check it out here.

Created by Iara Grinspun

This editorial design showcases a printed portfolio that relies on a complex grid scheme. The project uses multiple grid layouts to display visual and textual content in a glamorous symbiosis.

The Architectural Sculpture in Warsaw

Architecture editorial design

Check it out here.

Created by Poważne StudioMałgorzata FrąckiewiczTomek Głowacki

Photography by Szymon Rogiński

Figures of Speech is an editorial design project that’s focused around The Architectural Sculpture in Warsaw which took place in the years between 1918–1970. This editorial design stands out with a stunning collection classic architecture design. The images and textual content are elegantly displayed on a grid-based page layout.

Vom Zeigen und Sehen

Vom Zeigen und Sehen

Check it out here.

Created by Koeperherfurth

This Festschrift is a book that celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Dortmunder Kunstverein. The front page features a bi-color design in black and copper. The book is printed on a high-quality Arctic paper. This gives the magazine a classy finish. Yet, its brilliant and complex grid layout is what makes this editorial design a true inspiration.

Bilan Luxe

Bilan Luxe

Check it out here.

Created by Nicolas Zentner

Photography by Marc Inghetto

Bilan Luxe is a luxury magazine that’s published four times per year. This exquisite high-class editorial design implements multiple grid-based layouts. The magazine displays product photography and stylishly designed content. The serif typography beautifully plays with character positioning to achieve a modern look.

Mint Magazine

Mint Magazine

Check it out here.

Created by Agathe Bn

The Mint Magazine uses a diverse color palette, bold sans-serif typography, and splashy images. The pastel colors and grainy photos give the magazine a vintage feel.

Rauschenberg in China

Rauschenberg in China

Check it out here.

Created by Hubert & Fischer

This book is designed for the exhibition at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. The color choice and photography successfully reflect the Chinese culture and signature art techniques. Although the images seem to be carelessly scattered over the page, they follow a strict grid-based layout that promotes coherency within the design.

 

Need another dose of inspiration?

You should take a look at these:

 

How To Build a Grid-Style Image Gallery with jQuery Modal Popups

Popular Responsive Grids for Designing Website Layouts

 

The post 10 Grid-based Editorial Design Examples appeared first on SpyreStudios.

Designing a Lifestyle Website? Here are Tips to Incorporate Emotion, Inspiration, and Action

Great lifestyle websites are more than just your generic site. In addition to being informative, they have the ability to spark motivation and push readers into taking action. Lifestyle-themed online stores also offer some of the most highly-priced items such as cars, homes, gadgets, and sports equipment.

With products that can reflect a person’s ambitions and lifestyle aspirations, you need a design that’s tailored more than just to inform. You need a design that incorporates emotion, inspiration, and ultimately, action.

Remember that the ultimate goal of lifestyle websites is to have a lasting impact in the lives of the audience. Unlike most sites that offer an experience similar to reading a textbook, you need a site that focuses on the journey of your audience – from where they are now to their life onwards. That consists of all the human emotions that can be substantiated with the visual elements of your site.

The Basics of Emotional Design

“Emotional design” is nothing new in the world of web development. It’s all about crafting a memorable and relatable web experience that fully engages the reader and prepares them for the main sales pitch – if there’s any.

For starters, your web content must focus on evoking emotions such as fulfilment, attention, humor, pleasure, and utter joy.

You may also consider negative emotions if a particular content focuses on pressing concerns in your target community. The key here is to know your target audience and identify which emotions relate to their situation. Aside from this, you need to provide the right medium for communicating these emotions.

For example, if you’re targeting the fitness crowd, then pictures of well-toned people will be the bread and butter of your design. Take a look at LIVESTRONG’s visual content from their Sports and Fitness section:

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 4.51.57 PM

For each content, the models express key emotions that relate to the particular topic. In LIVESTRONG’s case, these emotions include fulfilment, determination, and stress (third photo in the right panel). These emotions help amplify the thoughts in each article and therefore promotes focus and learning.

 

6 Popular Sites That Went Viral Despite Poor Design

Parents, on the other hand, can be appeased with images of babies. By instinct, their attention is easily drawn towards photos of toddlers and their emotions. They may also feel the need to replicate any positive emotion expressed in the photos – inspiring them to take the necessary actions. For example, take a look at the site below by Totspot:

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 4.53.01 PM

Notice how the family feels overjoyed while the toddler fits in a new pair of jeans. From the audience’s perspective, it would seem like a fashionable lifestyle can help them experience a similar scenario from the one being described in the photo.

Finally, remember that emotional design works in all levels. For example, Watchman.org’s The Way International incorporates a visual element that inspires gratification through reading:

reading

Watchman.org may be for people with religious lifestyles, but the practice of using emotional design to induce learning can be applied to most other niches as well. For example, emotionally-driven infographics are powerful tools for conveying meaningful information. They could be actionable, mind-opening, or simply captivating. For example, this particular infographic from Lifehack.org induces the emotion of fear:

fear

Things to Remember

For lifestyle websites, remember that it’s important to focus on emotions that can mirror the lifestyle preferences of your target audience. If you aim to sell through your site, make sure you focus on the lifestyle implications of your services or products.

For example, a photo of a happy family is a good fit for a real estate website that’s trying to sell upscale living. Although you still need to include actual photos of the properties, your target audience will respond more positively if your design highlights the emotions they want to achieve. Remember that something as simple as a smile can have a welcoming effect to your readers, encouraging them to learn more about your brand.

Another thing to remember when implementing emotional design is that you can always fit humor in any situation. It is probably the most relatable human emotion of all, and it does a good job in creating a memorable experience for your readers

Lastly, it’s also a good idea to offer the emotion of exclusivity, which exacerbates other emotions like anticipation and pleasure. A good example is to offer exclusive infomercial products such as eBooks and subscription-based courses. Of course, you can amplify this exclusivity using emotionally-driven content.

Be Trendy With These Minimalist Design Ideas

The post Designing a Lifestyle Website? Here are Tips to Incorporate Emotion, Inspiration, and Action appeared first on SpyreStudios.