Redshift 2.0

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Redshift 2.0

Redshift continues on its path to be one of the most highly regarded of the new breed of GPU enabled render engines. Version two adds some new host applications and useful features.

Since its inception, Redshift has become one of the most talked about render engines. It brought the flexibility of a biased render engine such as V-Ray, combined with a high-quality finish, ease of use and, reminiscent of Arnold, the ability to handle datasets. Mix that with the speed of GPU render engines like Octane and you’ve got a renderer that leaves the artists who use it with a massive grin. However, one of the key areas where Redshift had issues previously was that not enough artists were able to use it. Thankfully, this is starting to be less of a problem. Version 2.0 brings Autodesk 3ds Max integration with an Alpha for Houdini and Cinema 4D coming soon.

When it comes to new features, Redshift 2.0 adds OpenVDB support, enabling the rendering of Smoke and other volumes. The logical toolset – like most things in Redshift – is easy to understand.

A renderer that leaves the artists who use it with a massive grin

There is also a new PBR-based Redshift Material that, with a useful preset menu containing a range of 14 basic materials, such as Gold, Glass, Milky Coffee and Jade amongst others, makes set-up and look development so much quicker and more intuitive than it was before, especially with the addition of new SSS models. Another new feature that just works is the ability to load multiple dome lights. This is great as it makes combining multiple HDRs into a lighting solution very intuitive, and therefore enables unique bespoke environments for scenes. Couple this feature with the new Baking for Lighting and AOVs, and most bases are covered.

Positioning itself cleverly as a ‘works well with others’ software, Redshift 2.0 adds aiSurface support. This enables full Arnold shader support without the need to port any settings. With Autodesk’s recent acquisition of Arnold, this places Redshift as the most logical ‘other’ render engine for many artists, especially as it suits ‘local machine’ solutions better as it works through easily scalable GPUs rather than an external farm.

Freelancers are also well catered for with a logical pricing structure and licensing system – one user can switch between machines with a node-locked license and only the core is paid for, making adding a new host free of charge. 3ds Max and Houdini users should certainly try Redshift, if only to see for themselves what so many CG artists are grinning about.

This article was originally published in 3D World issue 213; buy it here.

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The following is an extract from our book, HTML5 & CSS3 for the Real World, 2nd Edition, written by Alexis Goldstein, Louis Lazaris, and Estelle Weyl. Copies are sold in stores worldwide, or you can buy it in ebook form here. Another separate—but no less important—part of creating web pages is Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). […]

Continue reading %Introducing CSS3%

Grab the bestselling design app on Windows – subscription free

Affinity Designer has impressed Mac users since its launch with a range of fast, precise and feature-rich vector design tools that deliver a professional result.

And the good news is that a new Windows version of the consistently popular app is now available to purchase, providing all of the tools Mac users currently enjoy for a one-off payment of $49.99 / £39.99 / €49.99.

Used by professionals to create concept art, print objects and logos, as well as UI design, web graphics and mock-ups, Affinity Designer is a lean, multi-discipline app that streamlines workflows.

Designed to work on 64 bit Windows 7 and above, this version of Affinity Designer will match its Mac equivalent feature-for-feature. With support for eight languages, this release has been refined over a public beta testing period to ensure that Windows users receive the same experience as Mac users.

To showcase the awesome creative power of Affinity Designer on Windows, artist and illustrator Neil Ladkin, who also works as the Creative Director at Affinity developer Serif, created this image titled Monster In Miami.

Specially created using Affinity Designer, and visible on the app’s webpage, Monster In Miami represents the first time Ladkin made the switch from using the tool on a Mac to Windows. Yet despite having used Affinity Designer on Mac since the beginning, he found the switch seamless.

Neil says: “The inspiration for the design came from the late Eighties artwork of Jim Phillips and Santa Cruz, who created the amazing skateboard designs that inspired my youth, pushed me into art and started my passion for action sports. It’s a style that I really appreciate and given an open brief, why not?! 

To show you how he used Affinity Designer so effectively, Ladkin is here to walk us through the creation of Monster In Miami.

Step 1

“I started with a very rough outline sketch thinking about the character and scene.”

Step 2

“I then take a photo of the sketch and import into Affinity Designer, then over the top I block in the colour and shapes that form the composition.”

Step 3

“At this point I’m starting to add in the gradients and think about the colour palette.

“Once this is done, I’m adding in the detail using a tablet and a pressure adjusted vector brush.”

Final version

“Finally, using Affinity Designer’s Pixel persona I finish the piece using raster brushes and textures.”

Neil adds: “What surprises some people is that the Windows version performs in exactly the same way as the Mac version. That’s because the two have been developed from scratch to share the same back-end code. “Not only does that mean perfect cross-platform file compatibility, it means the same memory management and rendering technology which gives Affinity Designer its unbelievable speed.”

Man-Tsun’s Extreme Surfer demonstrates the professional colour control function in Affinity Designer for Windows.

If you’re an experienced digital designer, illustrator or artist, you’ll feel instantly at home with Affinity Designer’s powerful selection of essential tools. You can also expect:

  • A complete vector and pixel editing toolset
  • 10 million+ percent zoom
  • Non-destructive effects and adjustment layers
  • RGB, CMYK, LAB, Pantone and ICC colour management
  • Advanced typography, including text styles and text-on-a-path
  • Effortless PSD, SVG, EPS, PNG and PDF/X handling
  • Unlimited artboards with device pre-sets
  • Super smooth gradients and colour control
  • Standard and retina resolution pixel preview
  • Unlimited and saveable undo history
  • Incredibly powerful export capabilities
  • Symbols, including multiple versions and nested symbols
  • Constraints for pseudo-responsive design
  • Grids, guides and advanced snapping including pixel alignment
  • Fully customisable shortcuts.

Adjustment layers in Affinity Designer for Windows, demonstrated using an image from renowned artist Romain Trystram’s striking neon cityscapes

Affinity Designer is part of a trio of professional quality design software tools. Affinity Photo launched for Mac last year and Windows earlier this month while Affinity Publisher is expected in 2017.

The Mac version, now with Touch Bar support, and the official Affinity Designer Workbook (pictured below) are also currently available.

The official Affinity Designer Workbook guides users through the basics of the software

6 hot illustration trends of 2016

When it comes to illustration, everyone has their own personal style. And across your career, developing that style and making it more representative of your own ‘inner voice’ should of course be your main priority, rather than slavishly following trends.

But that said, it’s still fascinating to see what’s happening in the wider world of illustration, and what kind of work is actually getting commissioned. So in this post, we round up 6 hot trends in illustration we’ve noticed spring up over the last 12 months.

If there’s a trend you think we’ve missed, though, please let us know in the comments below!

01. VR

Simon Silsbury finds out what new technology can do for illustrators

2016 has truly been the year of VR, and even illustrators have got in on the game, with the likes of Simon Silsbury sketching on a wall and then hopping straight into a HTC Vive headset to recreate the same live illustration (see the results in this video). We also saw Christoph Nieman transformed his cover illustration for The New Yorker magazine into a 360 degree VR animation, while new software such as Quill for the Oculus Rift provided a way for digital illustrators everywhere to conjure up new worlds by drawing and painting in mid-air.

02. Abstract

Chris Harman’s illustration for Hamburg design studio Hort

In many ways, the world of 2016 felt a little darker and disjointed, and this was reflected in a clear trend towards abstraction, subtraction and the surreal in the cutting edge corners of the illustration world. Examples of the trend can be seen in the weirdly disjointed and freeform work of Chris Harman (above); the blocky, lopsided cartoon characters of Joel Plosz; the ink and watercolour-based soft forms of Eleni Kalorkoti, and the beautifully trashy abstractions of Anna Beil.

03. Lo-fi

Working predominantly as a fashion illustrator, Zoë Taylor’s first book Joyride was published in 2016

Another way to view abstraction is to take a deliberately lo-fi approach to your illustration. And we’ve seen a fair bit of that about this year, from Zoë Taylor’s book Joyride, published by Breakdown Press (above) to Paula Bulling’s gloriously childlike colour-pencil drawings for Leibniz Magazine, the moody monoprints of Yann Kebbi and Marcus Oakley’s illustrated Instagram experiments.

04. Political

Mark Leibovich’s celebrated illustration for the New York Times Magazine

2016 has been a year dominated by political upheaval, and illustrators have responded in full voice. Mark Leibovich’s illustration for the New York Times Magazine feature “Will Trump Swallow the G.O.P Whole?” was among those getting the most attention (you can read more about how that was put together here). 

But there were countless others, with Bob Staake’s brick wall illustration for The New Yorker following Trump’s victory; an anti-Brexit poster campaign from a range of top illustrators, Eva Bee’s evocative illustrations for The Guardian, and Oliver Kugler’s heartbreaking illustrated tales of Syrian refugees leading the way.

05. Collage

Taku Bannai’s collages are constructed with beautiful simplicity

Inventive and eye-catching collages seem to be proving an increasingly popular way for illustrators to raise attention for themselves on Instagram. We’ve particularly enjoyed the simple but artful work of Taku Bannai (above); the collage comics of Samplerman, the lo-fi creations of Jean Philippe Calver, and the gorgeously handcrafted work of Carlin Diaz.

06. Naughtiness

Brooklyn illustrator Cute Brute’s rude illustrations have garnered him a cult following

A new generation is emerging for whom hardcore porn and obscene pics on social media are more likely to evoke a shrug than shock. So it’s not surprising that illustration that veers towards to the saucy and scatalogical is abounding. Examples of the trend can be seen in the work of Brooklyn illustrator Cute Brute (above), Joe Schlaud’s seedy Karma Sutra gifs, Teresa Orazio’s Moonmambo series, Jade Shulz’s collection of Video Vixen drop caps and Josh McKenna’s global warming campaign for Mother London.

Common Misconceptions About Web Design & Development

Businesses are more and more becoming more dependent on an online presence, so the pressure to have a successful website is very high. However, some entrepreneurs have misguided notions about how web design and development should work.

This post explores some common beliefs among non-tech-savvy businesspeople about web design. It’ll address aspects like micro-managing instead of trusting your developer and assuming that hiring a web developer will make a website viral. It’ll also discuss how to address these misconceptions.

Web Design Is Easy to Do

One of the most harmful misconceptions is that web design is easy. It’s clearly not. Sure, a beautiful website may look effortless and work intuitively, but it didn’t get that way without a lot of hard work. Every button or feature on a website takes hours of coding. Every layout takes a talent for refining creativity and reflecting a brand’s voice.

Every graphic takes research, and many are created from scratch. Contrary to popular belief, some of the simplest website designs are the most complicated to produce. And complex sites aren’t cheap. So next time you’re gazing in awe at a gorgeous website, keep in mind that it took hundreds of hours (and a hefty budget) to create.

My Designer Should Respond Immediately to Every Request

Many web designers chose their careers because they have a passion for web design, but also because they get to work on their own time. Everyone works differently, and some creatives aren’t productive at 9 to 5 office jobs. This should be understood when working with a design team.

A good designer should tell you up front what his or her particular work schedule is like. If your design team is more productive at night, don’t expect an 8 a.m. email to be answered immediately. If a designer doesn’t work on Sundays, wait until Monday to ask for the changes you’ve been wanting. Just like you want your time respected, your design team wants its respected, as well. Make sure to ask about everyone’s hours before the project begins so you know the best time to ask for changes and when you can expect an update or response.

Everyone Needs to Be Involved in the Process

Keeping everyone on the same page is important, but not every person in your company has to be involved in every meeting. Many entrepreneurs air on the side of caution trying to keep everyone updated, but this can be a colossal waste of time for those who aren’t involved. Instead, keep brainstorming sessions exclusive only to those who will be working on the project.

Your programmers don’t need to know the finer points of what will be published on your blog. And your content writers don’t need to know how the blog was built. By making sure the team meeting consists of the appropriate members, you’ll save time and money, and your employees can concentrate on their sections of the project.

My Site Is Done, the Job Is Done

Web design isn’t a one approach deal. The web is always changing, and websites need to be continually updated to remain compliant with best practices and emerging trends.

Whether it’s due to a new Google algorithm or new aesthetic trend, your website will likely evolve several times over a few years. Websites also need to be maintained to make sure they’re working consistently around the clock.

Beautiful Web Design: Hoover-Mason Trestle.

Web developers constantly check for broken links, user experience, and functionality. Likewise, content and SEO standards are always in flux, so your website will need to be frequently updated if you want to stay in the top ranks. Understand that when you hire a developer to build your website, he or she will create a living entity that needs to be managed and nurtured.

My Designers Should Do What I Tell Them

It’s understandable that many entrepreneurs think they get to call the shots. After all, it’s your money; you should be able to dictate what you want, right? Not necessarily. Web developers spend the majority of their lives learning the technical and creative aspects of design; it’s their job. You should trust that the experienced decisions they make are right for your business.

That’s not to say you should never offer constructive feedback, but don’t micro-manage your design team. These individuals know what they’re doing, and they want what’s best for your business. Their job is to take the vision for your company and turn it into a user experience on a website. They have the technique and knowledge to drive traffic and turn readers into buyers, so learn to trust their judgment.

My Site Is Done; Time to Watch the Flood of Visitors

It’s natural to assume that once your website is built, thousands of users will come flooding in.

Why wouldn’t they? You have a beautiful new website that functions like a dream and portrays your brand perfectly. The truth is, just because your website has launched doesn’t mean it’s going to “go viral.” Your website isn’t the endgame of your marketing campaign, but rather the foundation. After all, people can’t enjoy your domain if they can’t find it.

While it’s the designers’ job to make sure your site is optimized for user experience, aesthetics, and functionality, it isn’t their job to promote it. This is where other marketing tactics, like content creation and social marketing, come into play. Growing your business through your website is a group effort. It requires a combination of effective marketing and website optimization. So don’t just assume that once you’re website is done you’ll see immediate payoff; it’s an ongoing effort.

Anyone Can Build a Website

There are many easy-to-use web building tools available. Unfortunately, this has led to the misconception that anyone can build a killer website. This is simply not true. While these tools are excellent for start-ups and small businesses, they just can’t meet the needs of medium and large businesses. There’s a lot more that goes into design than just how the site looks. Do you know how to build a shopping cart that takes unconventional forms of payment? Does your self-built website integrate with your physical POS system or inventory management platform?

These are the types of things web developers do when building a page. Developers build sites from scratch so they can cater to their clients’ needs. This is something DIY platforms can’t give you. If you’re tempted to ask your tech-savvy family member to build a site for you, carefully consider your business needs before doing so.

I’ll Just Copy My Competitor’s Site

Your competition can provide some valuable business insights. Unfortunately, some entrepreneurs take this too far. The “my competitor’s site is doing great, let’s just do the same thing” mindset is not the best strategy. While there may be a few elements that impress you, a competitor’s designs should serve as inspiration – not a template.

It’s important to look at a competitor’s site to find out what makes it amazing – and what makes it not so great. Your designer wants to make a site unique to your business; that’s his or her job! However, these professionals don’t want to rip off another successful company. Resist the temptation to copy your competitors, and instead let your designer use that inspiration to create something just for you.

Web Design Shouldn’t Cost So Much

One of the most frustrating misconceptions is that web design should be cheap. From first glance, a beautiful, simple website may look to the untrained eye that it was easy to create. But the truth is quite the opposite. A website that functions and looks impeccably is the result of an experienced and talented designer/developer.

Unfortunately, many people don’t understand that the kind of talent needed to create a gorgeous website costs money. Web designers and developers do so much more than just make your pages look good. An effective domain will reflect your brand and define your company. You should think of your website as an investment – after all, you get what you pay for.

And for designer and developers, here are the types of web design clients you should really avoid.

The post Common Misconceptions About Web Design & Development appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.

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Popular design news of the week: December 12, 2016 – December 18, 2016

Every week users submit a lot of interesting stuff on our sister site Webdesigner News, highlighting great content from around the web that can be of interest to web designers. 

The best way to keep track of all the great stories and news being posted is simply to check out the Webdesigner News site, however, in case you missed some here’s a quick and useful compilation of the most popular designer news that we curated from the past week.

Note that this is only a very small selection of the links that were posted, so don’t miss out and subscribe to our newsletter and follow the site daily for all the news.

18 Web Design Trends for 2017


7 Step Visual Web Design Process


Dark Side of UI: When Dark is Good for Users


How an Icon Ruined my Life


Culrs – A Simple, Smart Approach to Choose Color Palletes


20 Awesome Font Pairing Tools for Designers


Design Trend: Photos that Come Alive


16 Reasons to Pay for Better Designers


Web Design Isn’t More Boring, Isn’t Losing it’s Soul


If Designers Talked Dirty, this is What They Would Say


The 6 Best New UX Tools of 2016


Gitscout – A Beautiful Github Issues Experience for MacOS


Codevember: Amazing JS Experiment


What Next for CSS Grid Layout?


Ikea Renames its Products After Common Google Searches in New Ad


Medium’s Best Design Writing of 2016


Text Emoticon Generator


Uber is Fixing a Major UX Issue, Using your Favorite Color


Death to JIRA


The Best and Worst Branding of 2016


Introduction to the 8-Point Grid System


Email Clients the Jessica Hische Way


You’re Design Thinking Too Much


Strobe Illusion – You are About to Hallucinate


Inside IBM Studios


Want more? No problem! Keep track of top design news from around the web with Webdesigner News.

LAST DAY: Art Text App for Mac Turns Text into a Masterpiece – only $19!


Comics of the week #370

Every week we feature a set of comics created exclusively for WDD.

The content revolves around web design, blogging and funny situations that we encounter in our daily lives as designers.

These great cartoons are created by Jerry King, an award-winning cartoonist who’s one of the most published, prolific and versatile cartoonists in the world today.

So for a few moments, take a break from your daily routine, have a laugh and enjoy these funny cartoons.

Feel free to leave your comments and suggestions below as well as any related stories of your own…

Head banger

Special sale


Internet anarchy

Can you relate to these situations? Please share your funny stories and comments below…

LAST DAY: Art Text App for Mac Turns Text into a Masterpiece – only $19!


Poll: Is VR the new Flash?

“Wow!” is the usual response on trying VR for the first time. Even after spending hours in a headset, the experience is still extraordinary.

From a designer’s point of view, VR introduces a range of new challenges, but it also frees us from some of the problems we’ve wrestled with for years; any notion of a viewport is entirely moot.

15 years ago, Adobe (née Macromedia) Flash was similarly revolutionary. Flash was browser-agnostic, and (virtually) identical across all platforms. It raised expectations of the web from simple text, to experiences. In a time before the web standards movement was mainstream, when every browser implemented not only its own interpretation, but its own syntax for CSS, Flash was liberating.

Flash’s greatest strength…was also its downfall

There are numerous parallels between Flash technology and VR, the most apparent is the initial emphasis on gaming, and upon simple linear presentations. Flash eventually developed to produce rich, interactive, data-based experiences; it’s reasonable to think that VR will develop in a similar way.

Ultimately, Flash’s greatest strength—its encapsulated nature—was also its downfall. Without a way to reinterpret data that was so closely integrated with its presentation, accessibility was complex, and limiting. The oft-stated belief (commonly repeated now in reference to VR) was that Flash was inherently a visual medium, and as such couldn’t be accessible. The most cost-effective solution was to develop a non-Flash version in parallel with the “main” Flash site.

Accessible VR is perhaps even harder to achieve. However, imagine a VR setup in which touch is enabled—perhaps with gloves containing points that vibrate to simulate physical contact. A person—visually impaired or otherwise—could experience work by Richard Sera, or the death mask of Tutankhamun, or Hampton Court maze, with just their hands. VR has the potential to be far more accessible than the current web, because we experience VR in a manner very similar to the way in which we experience the real world; with accessible VR, vision is a progressive enhancement.

with accessible VR, vision is a progressive enhancement

The beginning of the end for Flash was Apple’s decision to block the Flash Player on iOS. Security and performance were cited as reasons, but the truth is probably that enabling SWFs on the iPhone would enable a rival app store revenue stream, that Apple couldn’t take a bite of. (The current iPhone has NFC blocked except for Apple Pay; security is blamed, but the monopoly on payments can’t hurt.) It’s interesting that Oculus, in the vanguard of VR technology, won’t produce a Mac version, stating Apple’s machines simply aren’t powerful enough. And so, VR may face a similar format dispute to Flash, albeit with roles reversed.

Despite being principally a one-organization format, there were applications that output SWF files other than Adobe’s product range. There were rival products, Microsoft’s Silverlight for example. And there was an entire industry based around Flash templates, frameworks, and components.

VR is more diverse than a single format, but only just. While there are numerous technology companies working towards VR solutions, formats seem likely to merge. One of the most affordable headsets, the Samsung Gear, is already powered by Oculus. Templates, frameworks, and components appear to be on the way; only this week the React VR Pre-Release was made public.

Flash did some great things: the fluid approach to responsive design, fine typography on the web, experience-centred design, were all pioneered by Flash designers. VR has the potential to be a similar catalyst for radical change. But to be viable in the long term, VR needs to do what Flash could not: it needs to embrace inclusive design, and if possible, accessibility; it needs to resist the pull towards a single format; and above all, it needs a set of VR standards—comparable to web standards—that designers and developers are prepared to defend.

LAST DAY: Art Text App for Mac Turns Text into a Masterpiece – only $19!


The best new portfolio sites, December 2016

It’s that time of the year when people all round the world gather in their homes, with their loved ones. They sing songs, consume beverages both warm and cold, and tell stories of the greatest portfolio sites they’ve ever seen. Then Jeffrey Zeldman comes down the chimney, hauling a bag full of books on usability.

How great would that be, if it were true?

This month’s theme is, if anything, the French. Well, a few of this month’s sites are French, anyway. Besides that, I’m seeing an upturn in the number of sites that divide the design in vertical halves, at least on the home page. Enjoy!

David Robert

I wasn’t kidding about the French. Our first entry is from David Robert, a French designer with a penchant for monochrome designs paired with minimalism. Okay, we’ve seen a lot of that lately, but it’s done well here, and the layout is atypical.

Plus, I kinda love the little “film-blur” effect applied to some text on hover. It’s kind of classic and grunge at the same time. Oh go look, it works.


Playful has yet another site that’s more presentation than site. They live up to their name, though, with lots of vibrant color and subtle animation.

The one thing I’d criticize is the way text is placed over images. It makes the text less-than-readable. You can steal good ideas from the rest of the site, though.

Christopher Hall

Christopher Hall is an interior and furniture designer. His site brings us some more of that “split-down-the-middle” design. In this case, it’s a form of categorization. His furniture is on the left, and his interiors are on the right.

Other pages stick with the two-column layout, if not the dimensions, tying the whole design together. From there on out, it’s all minimalist, serif-heavy goodness.


ueno combines beautifully-executed minimalism with a timeline layout for the portfolio. This is one you’ll be looking at just for the typography.

Made Together

Made Together starts off with a lot of solid blue, and some geometric shapes. This is almost a design style in its own right, these days.

From there, the site moves on to a familiar layout. The typography is eye-catching and feels perfect for the style of the site overall.


blackballoon gives us a proper dark website design. This is one of those sites that doesn’t make you worry about mundane things like “text” or “reading” very much. It’s all about the imagery, the animation, and the sheer sense of style. It works, too.


Standard is a video production studio that, as you may expect, depends on background video to start off their showcase. From there, you can browse through their videos, or through their rather massive list of directors. Take a look at this section especially,it’s quite stylish.

It’s got that now-typical presentation feel to it, but given the content, it works rather well.


Zengularity doesn’t do anything particularly out of the box, but everything is done quite well. Look at it for color ideas, typography, and general style.


Lundgren+Lindqvist is one of those sties where you might feel like you’ve seen this before, but it’s still definitely “theirs”. It walks the line between minimalist and brutalist, with the occasional pixel-graphics touch.

I think I’m going to start calling this “low-fi minimalism”. I kind of like it.

Adam Widmanksi

Adam Widmanksi’s portfolio takes us far away from brutalism to deliver some of that post-modern minimalism that was all the rage earlier this year. Combining this with distinctive typography, striking images, and asymmetry, it’s a visual feast.


B14 put a lot of thought, time, and effort into this modern design. But whatever impression they intended to make has been overshadowed by what may be the single greatest compliment my fianceé has ever given to a website: “Well, my grandma could read those letters.”

After that, I can’t bring myself to put in any other description. Usability is what it’s all about, people.

Nicolas Paries

Some websites go for a collage-like feel in their design. Nicolas Paries’ portfolio site almost feels like it’s an actual scrapbook. While that does make for reduced text legibility sometimes, it’s a refreshingly chaotic site experience. And yet, it’s still pretty usable.

Colin Simpson

Colin Simpson uses the now-classic single-column, full-width style of portfolio. What he does to stand out is make great use of skewed perspectives to show off his design work. Inside his case studies, he lays out the individual design elements in each project: the color palette, the typography, any custom elements, and even wireframes.

It gives you a lot of context for each project, and a few clues about how he works.

Daru Sim

Daru Sim uses a card-style UI to show off his portfolio in a masonry layout. When you consider just how well-suited a card-style UI is to a portfolio, I do kind of wonder why people don’t use it more.

João Amaro da Costa

João Amaro da Costa brings us a minimalist layout that manages to be responsive while still proving that “pixel-perfect” quality that everyone used to advertise about five years ago.

It may be flexible, but it is also meticulously executed, and it looks all the better for it.

Design Militia

Design Militia’s site is largely enterprise-looking, which makes sense, given their clients. A simple layout with dependable typography lands this site a spot in the article this month.

Metin Bilgin

Metin Bilgin’s site is a veritable smorgasbord of different styles with no apparent overarching theme. At least when you’re looking at the portfolio, the site’s style seems to change depending on which of his projects you’re looking at.

The rest of the site is minimalist, with the text-overlapping-other-elements style that we’ve all come to know.

LAST DAY: Art Text App for Mac Turns Text into a Masterpiece – only $19!


Depositphotos’ Visual Trends Guide, 2017

Photography is one of the ever-evolving disciplines of art direction that we can never get enough of. Alongside typography and illustration, photography does more to add character to design than any other element.

One of the leading sources of stock images and vectors since 2009, Depositphotos has more than 50 million files on offer, and growing. To help you determine which of their stock to use, Depositphotos have put together a trend report for 2017, pinpointing the files you should be looking out for over the next 12 months. Here are the highlights:

The ‘90s are back

Kids born in the ‘90s are suddenly major consumers. And like their parents who fixated on ‘60s nostalgia, ‘90s kids love the era they were born in. That means Polaroid-style images, color, and candid shots will all be big.

Emotions and movement

We’re all tired of the insincerity of staged stock photos. Over the next year, honest, candid shots of real life—with all its mishaps and randomness—will grow in popularity. When you need to make a connection, go for a shot that’s a little less polished.

Connected World

Tech is, literally, everywhere. The genie’s out of the bottle and it’s only going to get stronger. From wearables to VR, brands will want to ride the wave of technological innovation, and featuring tech in your imagery is a great way to reinforce that message.

Challenging stereotypes

2016 lead to a few political surprises, but despite the fact that society may seem to have taken a step backwards, the passion for diversity, equality, and freedom will remain strong in 2017. More diverse stock photography, will shine a light of the real-world diversity in communities.

Video is taking over

You may not have noticed, but video is everywhere. According to Syndacast, by 2017, 74% of all web content will be video. You can shoot your own, but video is a lot more expensive to produce than still images; stock video will be huge in 2017.

Looking to the stars

OK, so life on earth has taken a decidedly backwards step. Maybe that’s why we’re all looking out to the heavens. In the 2nd half of 2016 Depositphotos noticed a huge interest in space photography. We expect that trend to continue into 2017 as photographers learn to capture the best views of the galaxy planet earth has to offer.

Colorful still lifes

It all started with Instagram: colorful snapshots of life, from food to toys. The best thing about this kind of shot is that it’s super flexible. You can use it for almost anything, and they’re great for responsive design because they crop easily.

Moody landscapes

We don’t seem to be able to get enough of moody, minimal photos. According to Depositphotos they’ve been trending for a couple of years, and the next 12 months look like focusing on landscape. Could it all be thanks to Nordic Noir?

Drone photography

Technology always influences art, and photography is no different. Once in a while, a technology comes along that revolutionises an artform, and for photography in 2017, that means Drones. Drones gives photographers a unique ability to take shots from hitherto impossible angles. The newness is exciting to look at, and filled with possibilities.

Minimal patterns and textures

Simple shots of blocks of color, with intriguing textures will be huge in 2017. The combination of real-world and flat design aesthetic will be irresistible to designers, and is sure to be a key trend over the next 12 months.

Generation Z

Technology combined with young people is particularly powerful. Generation Z grew up with tech, and it’s an integral part of their lives. Look for shots of tech fitting in naturally in 2017.


As technology marches on, we’ll also see a greater appreciation of handmade products and craft-based products. Expect to see a new admiration for traditional products, and a focus on the associated images, in 2017.

You can read the full details concerning photo trends for 2017 in the Depositphotos report.


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