Browsing: Design

Before spring fades to summer let’s get those desktops cleared with some virtual spring cleaning. Welcome to another collection of fabulous desktop wallpaper calendars for the month of May. These wallpapers have been hand-picked from some amazingly talented artists and designers to give you a variety of options for making your desktop look nice. Feel free to share your favorites and check back next month for some great new desktop calendars. As always, if you’d like to include your own design in future roundups, drop me a line.

6 Springtime Desktop Wallpaper Calendars for May 2012

Wallpaper by Ibrandstudio

Wallpaper by Paper Leaf

Wallpaper by MonkeyMan504

Wallpaper by Webgranth

Wallpaper by Studio of Mae

Wallpaper by Kriegs

The post Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: May 2012 appeared first on Visual Swirl Design Resources.

Some type tees depend on a pithy phrase to make them interesting, in a simple boring font. Some t-shirt designers go above and beyond to enhance the message with beautiful typography. We’re going to take a closer look at those t-shirts.

30 Typographically Awesome T-Shirts

1. No Power in the Verse Can Stop Me t-shirt by RobotrobotROBOT – this apple doesn’t have anything to do with the beautiful and popular computers. This typographic illustration is referencing a scene from a cult TV show Firefly.

2. Enjoy Life By Origin 68 – There are so many ways to enjoy life. Whether you enjoying your life through art, conversations, long walks or nature, this shirt helps remind all of us to enjoy some nice typography while we live our lives.

3. Helbotica by Chop Shop Store – This is one in a series of illustrations utilizing everyone’s favorite font, Helvetica.

4. Find the Color Inside Me by Allmightys – Fun use of color and negative space, creating an appealing t-shirt design.

5. XOXOXO by Jublin, on Designed by Humans – Great mixture of typefaces to make up this patterned t-shirt.

6. Science and Exploration t-shirt from Fictionfield – This shirt is meant to encourage self education, if you never stop learning you’ll always be on an adventure!

7. Human Being packaging t-shirt by Origin68 – If humans cam in packaging, like almost everything else, it might look something like this.

8. Being t-shirt by Pweye – What kind of a being are you?

9. Anything Unrelated to Elephants it Irrelephant by Snorg Tees – clever word play t-shirt featuring a playful typeface and an equally playful elephant.

10. Relentlessly Awesome by Headline Shirts – a bold text with a bold statement.

11. There’s Still Hope from Designed by Humans – If you find hope and piece from sea creatures, you’ll find comfort in this shirt.

12. Sans Serif from Turnnocturnal – an exhausted and beautiful list of sans serifs font, perfect for any designer or typeface enthusiast.

13. Lorem Ipsum from Redbubble – love yourself some filler text? This script front t-shirt celebrate the nonsense words we use as place holders.

14. We are Architects of Our Future from Random Objects – the blue print t-shirt and block text really illustrates the message of this shirt.

15. United Shirt of America t-shirt from Threadless – for those who love handwritten type and geography.

16. Sports t-shirt from Threadless – for all you avid sportball fans.

17. The Political Mind from Headline Shirts – tired of the political rhetoric surrounding the presidential race? It’s a scientific fact that politicians can’t really help it, most of their brain is taken up by the bullshittal lobe.

18. Bike t-shirt from Dark Cycle Clothing – a great shirt for the strong and enthusiastic cycling enthusiasts.

19. Dead Air from Origin68 – Pretty hand drawn letters.

20. I like to Ride Bikes from Print Brigade – if you like to ride let it be known.

21. Owls Ask Too Many Questions from Threadless – it’s so annoying, those darn owls always asking “who?”

22. Saltwater by Allmightys – Cool type, depressing message.

23. This is our time from Deathshed – a perfect shirt to wear while treasure hunting with your friends.

24. Seven Deadly Sins from Chopshop Store – beware the seven deadly sins, keep track of them in this beautifully rendered skill tee.

25. URL Link from Threadless – It’s a link link.

26. Mockingword from Redbubble by Pixhunter – let’s play a word association game; i’ll say Hunger Games and you take whatever you think of and put in the shape of the Mockingjay. Hunger Games.

27. NERD HQ from Theadless – The core of nerdom, looks a little something like this.

28. Donor from Threadless – In case you forget where your organs are.

29. It’s About Time from Ugmonk – interesting type treatment and a vintage computer icon.

30. Sleep When I’m Dead from Insomniac – beautiful text for those who don’t sleep.

The post 30 Beautiful Typographic T-Shirts appeared first on Visual Swirl Design Resources.

Today’s marketplace demands that designers be versatile enough to create an integrated print and web media campaign. This is easier said than done, however, as the differences between designing for these two media are extensive, however, and each presents its own challenges and opportunities.

Designers that are able to successfully navigate these differences and create a unified marketing strategy are highly valued. Here are some tips for how to overcome the disparities and integrate your print and web designs:

Challenges of Bringing the Two Media Together

Though they share some basic principles, designing for print media and designing for the web are two entirely different tasks. Knowing the standards for each will allow your work to be easily translated from one into the other.

In print media, designers usually have more exact control over the appearance of the final product. When creating custom business cards, for example, the designer need only worry about the finished product appearing in one size. The same is not true for web design, however. There are several standard monitor sizes, not to mention mobile devices, and designers must create fluid layouts that will work for all of these displays (and possibly more).

In addition, the design of the will always be viewed as “complete”—no scrolling or sliding is necessary to take in the entire concept. Contrast this with web media, where “big” designs require careful planning and modification to bring off.

For itself, web design offers some benefits that print media cannot match. Web designers have the freedom to take advantage of some incredible techniques that are hard to replicate via digital printing: gradients, small details, and movement in design, for example.

One thing that both print and web designers have in common is color selection—digital printing can often render colors differently than the designer had envisioned, while web designers must be cautious about how different monitors and displays will produce colors.

Successful Integration

The differences between the two media, then, are challenging, but not impossible, to overcome. No matter which medium you begin working in, you must keep the challenges of the other in mind in order to bring them together. Print designers must work within the restrictions of file and image size for digital media, for example, while web designers must keep in mind that subtle details that are easy to bring off on the web may be lost to the printer.

This is important primarily because of branding and brand recognition—your clients’ audience must be able to connect successfully with the colors and images used in both media and recognize them as coming from the same organization. It’s important, then to keep your clients’ specific strategies in mind as you create your designs.

More Tips for Integration

Apart from creating a design that works in both media, there are some other things to keep in mind as you create both that can help create a better unification between the two media. As you work with marketers and designers on both sides of the design aisle, make sure to use cross-promotions and teasers that promise to “enhance” the users’ experience. The website should offer more to the users’ print experience and vice versa.

You should also be sure to mention the other medium with the other—include URLs in offline ads and flyers, for example, or use the website to promote a special direct mailer.

With a solid understanding of the tips and techniques involved in both types of design, you will be able to create designs that are sending the same message no matter the medium.

What are your tips for integrating web and print media? What successes have you had in unifying the two?

Images by ollily and Sergiu Bacioiu 

The post Successful Strategy for Integrating Web and Print Design appeared first on Visual Swirl Design Resources.

No April Fools joke today. Instead let me present a roundup of Desktop Wallpaper Calendars for April 2012. With spring in full swing, I’ve gathered several beautiful desktop wallpapers featuring April 2012 calendars. Freshen up your desktop and check back next month for a brand new calendar update.  Feel free to share these with your friends and email me if you ever would like your calendar featured in a similar roundup.

6 Beautiful Desktop Wallpaper Calendars for March 2012

Wallpaper by Ibrandstudio

Wallpaper by Paper Leaf

Wallpaper by MonkeyMan504

Wallpaper by Shrimp Salad Circus

Wallpaper by Webgranth

Wallpaper by Studio of Mae

Wallpaper by Kriegs

The post Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: April 2012 appeared first on Visual Swirl Design Resources.

July desktop calendars are hot off the press. 2012 is halfway gone but these fun and inspiring calendar wallpapers will surely help you get through the dog-days of summer. These fine wallpapers have been hand-picked from talented artists and designers from around the web. Feel free to share your favorites and check back next month for some great new desktop calendars. As always, if you’d like to include your own design in future roundups, let me know.

5 Desktop Wallpaper Calendars for July

Wallpaper by Paper Leaf

Sandy backgrounds and a retro color scheme comprise this beautiful wallpaper. The script font matches nicely with this “made for the beach” design.

Wallpaper by Webgranth

Rainy days may be a title better served for the spring (depending on your location) but regardless, this illustrated desktop calendar provides some optimism for what is typically a scorchingly hot time of year.

Wallpaper by Studio of Mae

Studio of Mae  has another nice  patterned wallpaper ready for July. As always the fonts and minimal calendar go nicely with the lovely background. Enjoy!

Wallpaper by Kriegs

This darker, grunge based design has some nice inkblot/rorschach digital art working for it. Do you see anything in the ink blots?

Wallpaper by Cromoart

Abstract shapes bursting from an evening view of the shade tree on a farm. I absolutely love the color scheme. There’s also iPad and iPhone versions available.

That’s the roundup. Please let us know which calendar is your favorite by leaving a comment below.

The post Desktop Wallpaper Calendars for July 2012 appeared first on Visual Swirl Design Resources.

June is here and that means it’s time laying out by the pool, catching lightning bugs, grilling out, and downloading some awesome new desktop wallpaper calendars. These wallpapers have been hand-picked from talented artists and designers that you’ve come to know over the last few months. Feel free to share your favorites and check back next month for some great new desktop calendars. As always, if you’d like to include your own design in future roundups, let me know.

 6 Summer Fun Wallpaper Calendars for your Desktop

Wallpaper by Dave Hornsby

A vibrant and bright calendar with sun flares to boot. This beautiful design is available for download from Dribbble.

Wallpaper by iBrandStudio

This illustrated wallpaper design  shows off a fun color palette that is sure to brighten your desktop.

Wallpaper by Paper Leaf

A more contemporary and minimal design makes this calendar perfect for the clean desktop enthusiasts. Nothing but the view of the rolling hills disappearing into the horizon.

Wallpaper by Webgranth

Another illustrated wallpaper, this time with an important message. If you’re into conservation or just like the color blue, this might be your calendar of choice for June.

Wallpaper by Studio of Mae

Studio of Mae keeps rolling out the simple yet beaufitful wallpapers with what looks like “literally” wallpaper. Crafty indeed!

Wallpaper by Kriegs

Thinking of the beach? This purple-shaded wallpaper reminds us of one of the best joys of summer. Now if only we can get out from behind our desks for a few days.

That’s the roundup. Please let us know which calendar is your favorite by leaving a comment below.

The post Desktop Wallpaper Calendars for June 2012 appeared first on Visual Swirl Design Resources.

With the advent of the Internet it has become easier than ever to steal, copy, or pirate another’s work. Because of this, it is more important than ever to have increased copyright knowledge and protection. And, since designers work almost solely in the world of creating original work, their very livelihood can at times rest upon their ability to defend themselves from copyright infringement.

Quick Disclaimer: The following is not legal advice. Legal advice deals with specific cases of law and legal action. I am not a lawyer and am not qualified to give legal advice. Instead, these are general facts about the law, which is ever evolving. For dealing with any legal matters, or legal advice, please contact an attorney.

What Copyright Is

The first thing every designer needs to know about the copyright law is just what copyright is. Copyright is the law protecting the exclusive rights of a creator’s original work. It sounds straightforward, but at times it can be rather confusing.

Essentially, copyright law in today’s realm is meant to protect original creative work from unauthorized copying, adapting, or publishing. It protects the sole right of the creator to copy, distribute, publish, and display, and sell the work as they choose.

The Difference Between Copyright and Trademark

Trademarks are used by companies for recognition. They are typically a word, phrase, symbol, device, or name used for recognition purposes. In effect, trademarks are a symbol used for quick recognition by a corporation or entity.

Copyright, on the other hand, deals with any original work, not just a company’s symbol.

What Can’t Be Copyrighted

Purely mechanical, clerical, or factual information.

Work that is not sufficiently original. General lyrics or poems like “Want you so bad baby” don’t pass the test.

Ideas, systems, operations, or procedures.

Works that have already had their copyright expire

Lastly, copyrighted items that are used in fair use conditions

Fair use

Fair use is an exception to copyright laws. Fair use was made to allow copyrighted material be used without the owner’s permission, in so called fair use circumstances. In the United States, these are mostly limited to education uses, new reportage, and satire/parody.

Exclusive Rights

The exclusive rights granted by copyright are temporary. However, that is a matter of decades rather than days or months. Copyrighted work will eventually move into the realm of public use, but typically the author/creator maintains their exclusive rights for an extended period of time, often as long as they are alive.

Owner of Copyright Work

As a designer, it is important to know when the work you create should fall under the protection of copyright, and whether you own the rights to the original work.

Typically speaking, it is always the creator of the original work who owns the copyright, even if allowing the work to be used commercially. However, if the designer is employed by a company and specifically designs something for the employer, the company typically owns the copyright.

Whether the designer keeps the copyrights while self-employed is largely the designer’s decision. The designer has to legally assign the copyright over to the client in order for the client to legally get full control of the copyrighted material. However, most clients typically expect the copyright as part of a package deal with their payment.

The Need to Register

In the United States original work doesn’t need to be registered to enjoy the protection of copyright. However, there are some very serious benefits to registering any valuable, unique, or original work with the US copyright office.

Although all original works are protected under copyright law, whether or not they were registered, it is the registration that makes copyright infringement easy to prove. To this end, the US government will cover the legal fees for a copyright infringement case if the original work is registered with them.

So, the creator of original work could press a copyright infringement suit against someone violating their copyright protections. However, an unregistered creator would have to pay the legal fees themselves, and wouldn’t be awarded any money as just compensation. The registered owner would have their fees paid by the US government, and would more than likely receive statutory damages in the form of money, which isn’t something an unregistered owner can expect.

So, in effect, no one ever needs to register their intellectual property. In practice however, it makes real fiscal sense, along with granting peace of mind.

Again, I’m not a lawyer. If you have any legal questions I would urge you to seek legal counsel.

Hopefully this will help educate designers about the generalities of copyright law. In this day and age there is a very real need for designer to be well informed and prepared against copyright infringement. What experiences have you had as a designer with copyright infringement? Is there anything you would recommend to designers out there concerning copyrights?

The post What Every Designer Should Know About Copyright appeared first on Visual Swirl Design Resources.

We’ve all heard about why we should be using responsive design (beyond the fact that it’s current design trend). But the decision to go responsive raises a number of development questions. One of the biggest issues is handling media. And one of the most common features on a media-heavy website is a featured content carousel (or image slider, image rotator, etc). This post will help you find a solution for your responsive slider needs. We’ve gathered a number of the best  jQuery responsive image sliders to compare and share.

10 Responsive jQuery Image Sliders

Flexslider 2 – Free

I use Flexslider more than any other image slider (responsive or not) so it’s a great place to start. Flexslider offers a fullly skin-able and customizable slider that works great across all screen sizes. I  use it with both images and images with text/calls to action. It also offers both horizontal and vertical sliding as well as multiple slider support so you can have multiple image sliders on a single page. Definitely gets my vote!

Royal Slider – Premium

Another great slider that I have personal experience with. Royal Slider has a myriad of configuration options (my favorites being the “Gallery with Visible Nearby Images” or the “Video Slider”). The only thing keeping this plugin from the top spot is that it isn’t free (Flexslider is).  However, a very affordable and super-powerful plugin awaits. There’s also a great wordpress version.

Camera – Free

Camera slideshow is an open source project, based on Diapo slideshow and offers a variety of skin and customizable options. I’ve never personally used Camera but the documentation looks thorough and the sampel they provide in the demo looks really nice and clean.

Elastic – Free

Elastic is presented in a tutorial fashion and includes the downloadable code to get you started using it on your site. This plugin has a much more specific look than some of the other plugins mentioned but there are some cool javascript animations being used.

Advanced Slider – Premium

Another premium slider, Advanced Slider is fully responsive, mobile-ready, and can be used with either HTML markup or XML. The plugin also provides an easy to use API to customize it to your specific site. It comes with various pre-built styles that look nice out of the box.

All in One Responsive Slider – Premium

All In One is an Advanced Jquery Slider which comes in 5 flavors: Banner Rotator, Thumbnails Banner, Banner with Playlist, Content Slider, Carousel. It allows you to easily create powerful sliders with animated text using HTML standard tags, making the slider very easy to setup and maintain.

Responsive Image Gallery – Free

Another tutorial by Codrops on how to create a responsive image gallery with a thumbnail carousel using Elastislide. This slider is inspired by Twitter’s “user gallery” and is more useful for image galleries than a featured content carousel. But a free and great plugin nonetheless.

UnoSlider – Premium

UnoSlider is a premium jQuery content slider plugin that’s core feature is the number of transition animations offered (the plugin developer claims “unlimited transition animations”). It’s also touch enabled, and offers a variety of other features similar to what’s been mentioned before.

Fluid CSS3 Slideshow with Parallax Effect – Free

Another great freebie by Codrops (sensing a trend here?). This responsive slider mixes in a little parallax effect (another popular trend). A parallax and responsive site? This plugin is for the ambitious designers out there.

Layer Slider – Premium

We’ll end with another parallax/responsive combo (this time a premium plugin). Layer Slider offers something really cool and unique: the ability to control an unlimited number of layers with individual animations. Combing this cool functionality with the responsive aspect and you have yourself a pretty powerful and extensible tool. I’ve had quite a bit of fun playing around with this on a few websites.

What other plugins do you use?

I’m sure I’ve left off some really great plugins and tutorials. But that’s where you come in. Let me know what I’ve missed and what plugins are your favorites. Feel free to post links to examples of these plugins in action. We’d love to see your great work!

The post 10 Responsive Slider jQuery Plugins appeared first on Visual Swirl Design Resources.

Welcome to 2013! To kick off another great  year I’ve rounded up 13 of the best 2013 wallpapers. Start off the new year by making a plan to clean up your desktop. Once it’s clean, you’ll want to decorate with one of these great wallpaper designs. And if you’re looking for monthly calendars for January, head over to Smashing Magazine to see some really great January 2013 calendars. So find the wallpaper that fits your resolutions (pun intended) and here’s to a happy and productive New Years!

2013 Wallpapers for a Happy New Years

Wallpaper by

Wallpaper by demeters

Wallpaper by paha13

Wallpaper by GuilleBot

Wallpaper by paha13

Wallpaper by PSDRoman

Wallpaper by Jenova89

Wallpaper by Zakzak008

Wallpaper by tajio

Wallpaper by Concrete Love

Wallpaper by danishprakash

Wallpaper by photonica

Wallpaper by ravirajcoomar

The post 13 Beautiful 2013 Desktop Wallpapers for New Years appeared first on Visual Swirl Design Resources.

August desktop calendars just a couple days late. This collection of desktop calendar wallpapers will help keep your desktops fresh as we roll through the rest of the summer. As always, I’ve hand-picked wallpapers from talented artists and designers  around the web. Feel free to share your favorites and check back next month for some great new desktop calendars. As always, if you’d like to include your own design in future roundups, let me know.

7 Beautiful Desktop Wallpapers for August 2012

Wallpaper by Call Me Victorian

Wallpaper by Paper Leaf

Wallpaper by Oana Befort

Wallpaper by Kriegs

Wallpaper by Kinnon Elliott

Wallpaper by Sarah Hearts

Wallpaper by Happy Serendipity


The post Desktop Wallpaper Calendars for August 2012 appeared first on Visual Swirl Design Resources.