10 Tips to Create a Successful Design Brief

By: Rafiq Elmansy on Jan 24th 2014
10 Tips to Create a Successful Design Brief

With more than a decade of experience in the design industry, I have observed many problems that may arise when there is no design brief assigned to a project. For instance, much of the required information may get lost in the middle of the long chain of communication between the client, marketing manager, creative director and, finally, the designer. Some of this information may be as important as the design style, company portfolio, project budget or timeline. Before we... CONTINUE READING

7 Deadly Typeface Usage “Sins”

By: Rafiq Elmansy on Aug 26th 2013
7 Deadly Typeface Usage "Sins”

In a previous series of articles, I tried to shed light on the two main typeface scripts in human history, which are the Latin scripts and the Arabic calligraphy scripts: Creative Examples of Calligraphy Art Arabic Calligraphy in Contemporary Design Along with this long history, typeface is the initial and most important visual element in your design that delivers the design message to the audience. Unlike the other visual elements in a design, typefaces are used to visualize the... CONTINUE READING

Creativity and UX: the Beauty and the Beast

By: Rafiq Elmansy on Aug 8th 2013
Creativity and UX: the Beauty and the Beast

Do not blame me or other creative designers because when we have an art background, we are used to using maximum creativity inside the artwork. I have read an article a few years ago in Adobe’s Design Center about style versus design by Jeffrey Zeldman, who put an end to the long time confusion about the difference between design and styling. Since then, design has had a wider meaning by controlling the major visual elements on a website or... CONTINUE READING

Breaking the Code of Golden Ratio in Design

By: Rafiq Elmansy on Jul 18th 2013
Breaking the Code of Golden Ratio in Design

So, when starting to build a creative idea, you should only focus on the idea itself and then think about how it conforms to the design rules later. The reason is very simple, the creative idea is the core of your design and none of the rules are able to invalidate a unique concept. Furthermore, some of the most famous and beloved logos break some rules that are thought to be deviant by many designers. What is the Golden... CONTINUE READING

Super Realistic Pencil Drawing Examples

By: Rafiq Elmansy on Jun 7th 2013
Super Realistic Pencil Drawing Examples

Pencil drawings depend mainly on graphite pencils that have different shapes and manufacturers, though some artists use graphite and other pencils, such as charcoal pencils in the same artwork. Generally, the materials used in pencils vary from graphite pencils, charcoal pencils, carbon pencils, colored pencils, and watercolor pencils. Before we dig into some of the most amazing pencil drawing artwork, let us learn some fun facts about pencil drawings that some of us already use without knowing the rule... CONTINUE READING

Restructuring a Hedge Fund Communication Design – Making the Content Right so the Design Can Begin

By: David Langton on Jul 18th 2012
Restructuring a Hedge Fund Communication Design - Making the Content Right so the Design Can Begin

Like many wealth managers Harvey Abrahams has a PowerPoint presentation that rarely gets shown. It’s used more often as a hand-out or leave-behind. Harvey says he never actually shows the whole presentation. “I just pick out a relevant page,” he told me, “then I do my pitch.” Harvey called on our design firm to, “make his presentation look more professional.” I met with Harvey, co-founder and hedge fund manager for Akeida Capital, to discuss his presentation to investors. The... CONTINUE READING

An Introduction to Working with Wireframes

By: Matt Cannon on Jul 5th 2012
An Introduction to Working with Wireframes

In my last article, we talked about the Top 5 tools for Wireframing for Graphic Web Designers. Now I want to put the spotlight on the actual application of working with wireframes from planning to implementation. A wireframe is typically a visual representation of a minimalistic website layout structure and navigation. Preparation is always key in any project and Wireframing is a stripped down form of planning that can really help you focus on the skeleton of how your... CONTINUE READING

Message = Mission

By: David Langton on Jun 27th 2012
Message = Mission

Recently, my 8 year-old son and I were in a local Asian restaurant and he looked around and said, “This is a really nice place.” We were in the Men’s Room. That is not always the case. What is a restaurant saying to its patrons when the restrooms are dirty and disgusting? I think it sends the message that this business doesn’t really care about its customers. Tom Peters writes in The Little BIG Things (HarperStudio), “It’s All About... CONTINUE READING

Graphic Design Principles in Web Design Part 3

By: Matt Cannon on May 15th 2012
Graphic Design Principles in Web Design Part 3

If you missed Part One and Part Two check them out! We can group all of the basic system of beliefs regarding design into two categories: elements and principles. Elements of design are the components of design themselves, the objects to be arranged. The Principles of design are the broad aspects of the field. They symbolize the fundamental assumptions of the world that direct design, and affect the arrangement of objects within a composition. Rhythm and Balance are key... CONTINUE READING

Inspire Users with User Experience Design Principles

By: Matt Cannon on May 9th 2012
Inspire Users with User Experience Design Principles

A successful User Experience Design (or UX design) should not only provide solid functionality, but also have a seamless experience for your user. The best UX designs are the ones that feel invisible, or stand to the side. In other words, they let the user roam around freely without having to force thought or questions. It should reflect how the users think, remain simple and focused, and be revised and refined before production. “Simple is hard. Easy is harder.... CONTINUE READING

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