Skip to main content

Design

Using type, color, space and symbols to communicate.

We’ve written 71 blog posts about Design. View all topics »

  1. The best laid schemes for house and screens

    “If you can design one thing, you can design everything” –Massimo Vignelli

    My husband and I are in the midst of buying our first house together. It’s a bit of a fixer-upper but nothing too major. Our first priorities are to refinish the floors, repaint, redo the kitchen, and update the bathroom vanity. The house is nothing like the Modernist glass box I once dreamed of, but it definitely has character.

  2. On Board with Artboards

    Over the past nine months, our design team has been using Photoshop CC’s artboards feature (new with CC 2015). If you’re not familiar, artboards allow you to create multiple canvases within a single Photoshop file. While we had used artboards in Illustrator, the shift in Photoshop wasn’t a breeze. In the short term, artboards disrupted our keyboard-shortcut habits and file management workflow. Multiple design concepts and dozens of artboards later, they’re a part of every new design system we create.

  3. Help, I’m stuck!

    I looked at my screen from far away, went for a walk, and took a break. I find myself pushing around the same elements in Photoshop in different arrangements with no success. I’m focused on requirements, but letting them dictate my choices. Time is running out. It feels like there is no room left to experiment—that it’s just time to get the job done. My comp’s arrangement isn’t working. Is it too late to come up with something fresh?

  4. Under the rocks and stones, same as it ever was

    A few days ago Erik Spiekermann offered some perspective on a mobile-first article, relating its situation-based process to print design: “I always start with the smallest element and work up from it. In a book that may be the footnotes, in a timetable that would be the numbers, in a magazine the main text.” He goes on to say:

    “You do the same for screens. So what’s new? The present generation of UI/UX designers may think that they invented a new way of designing, but we’ve had these issues forever.”

  5. Looking forward, looking back

    It’s a new year, and yup! you’ve guessed it: I’ve got some goals. The goal spanning my personal and professional life is to learn more about art history in hopes of developing this into a lifelong habit. As I continue to deepen my understanding of art and design history, decisions I make in my professional work will become more informed. I always loved my art history classes in school. They were a departure from my other classes since the coursework didn’t require me to solve anything, just study visual patterns over the course of history. I found that whenever I had an art history class on my schedule, my concurrent creative work got a lot better. The subject matter covered in my art history classes varied quite a bit, but always gave me an existing art movement or piece of art to relate to in a fresh way and take into other aspects of my work. Even if I didn’t particularly like an artifact or era, it brought something of value to my work.

  6. Switching it up

    A few weeks ago, I left my comfortable, everyday life in Philadelphia to travel by myself to Southeast Asia. I learned about the culture and history of the areas I traveled to, but the most important lesson I took away was that it’s necessary to switch up my normal ways of life in order to grow. When I came back to the States (and work), my fellow designer Dana and I were given the opportunity to – well, wouldn’t you know it? – literally switch it up.

  7. Where we’re going, we don’t need roads…

    10/30/15

    by Joe Rinaldi

    0 Responses

    Our work with SuperFriendly and Philly.com is well underway. We’ve shared some insights, and launched our work on a beta site starting with our templates for article pages. We’re receiving valuable feedback and some really positive initial reviews and reactions. I’m so proud of this work and its response, but I keep telling people “Just wait, there’s so much more on the way!”

  8. From the Classroom to the Office

    10/15/15

    by Amanda Buck

    0 Responses

    As a new Happy Cogger (today is my four-month workiversary), I am slowly but surely adjusting to my new role and schedule. Before joining Happy Cog, I spent two years as a Graphic Design MFA student at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Two years of trying new things, advancing my skills, and writing and researching. Despite now working outside of an academic context, that doesn’t mean my education has ended. It’s just shifted focus. The following are ways my education has evolved during this transition from graduate school to professional practice.

  9. Divide and Conquer

    You’ve kicked off a website redesign project for a new client. Between negotiating contracts, facilitating a dialogue with stakeholders, and establishing a deep understanding of your client’s content and design priorities, you’ve arrived at a list of pages to represent a journey from old to new. These pages likely represent templates from which a site-wide design system comes to life. So you return to your desk, work for weeks and months, and snap all of those pages have been designed and coded, and you’re finally ready to share your work with the client. Right? Not so fast.

  10. From Pixels to Inches and Back Again

    My undergrad degree focused primarily on print design – much like three of the other four designers at Happy Cog. I admit at first, I really struggled to design for the web. After a while I took a step back and stopped limiting myself with the expectations of what it means to design a website, and started to think about how I could apply my print background to interactive design. I considered how interactions and cues on a website relate to opening a package, how publication design is similar to a content-heavy website in terms of type hierarchy, how printing techniques could inform web visuals, and more. This helped get me out of my initial funk.

 < 1 2 3 4 >  Last ›