Want To Support Something Meaningful? Consider Speedwapp Right Now!

What will you be doing in April 2016? Or is it too early to project that far into the future? Happily, technology geeks don’t share your outlook. Everything in their world is about delivering faster, easier and friendlier tools for web development, so it’s no surprise that “the best web design tool ever”—an app with the clever name Speedwapp—is on deck for spring 2016.

In a fairly short amount of time, Speedwappsters have not just crafted a business plan and fleshed out their project, but an aggressive fundraising campaign is underway to make sure this success story has a happy ending. Want to know why Speedwapp has such potential and how you can be part of this amazing effort? Keep reading!

What Is Speedwapp?

It could be the answer to your prayers if you want to control the design of your website rather than paying someone else to do it. Speedwapp gives you the wherewithal to accomplish this goal without an iota of IT training and while you’ll have the ability to grab huge hunks of cyber traffic once your site is up and running, you don’t have to pay maintenance fees. Sound impossible or implausible? It won’t once this web creation app is fully developed and ready for use come spring of 2016.

How Does Speedwapp Work?

As the first collaborative and community tool for open source management systems like WordPress, Bootstrap and Synfony 2, Speedwapp turns developers and designers loose to do what they do best: rapidly prototype websites and build them “with ease” thanks to clean, well-structured source code that winds up in the hands of people seeking to launch their own websites.

If you love geniuses who have a talent for putting together the right components, you’ll celebrate the entrepreneurs behind Speedwapp. They dislike closed, proprietary platforms more than you do, thus your desire for a blog, commercial website or self-promotional vehicle is easily and artfully achieved, yet you don’t have to know a thing about the technical or creative aspects of website design and maintenance to make this app work for you.

Sound Too Good To Be True?

Don’t be a skeptic! Speedwapp is as Speedwapp does. There are just three steps between wanting a website and getting one courtesy of this intuitive technology:

  1. You browse Speedwapp pre-configured templates to find one that suits your fancy or ask them to start from scratch to deliver your vision.
  2. You use their website editor to fine tune everything, including navigation, so it’s exactly what you need and want.
  3. You stash your new website under the Speedwapp.com domain or put it on a dedicated server and voila! You’re up and running.

We know what you’re thinking; this seems too easy. We get it. But, in fact, things are even rosier once you explore the parameters of your new website and find out how easy it is to maintain, update and enhance. You can import Balsamiq mockups and morph them into dynamic web pages and throughout the entire process, you have complete control over your site—including having your source code delivered in HTML, CSS or bootstrap template format. WordPress and Prestashop template creation tools will also be on the menu.

Want to have a hands-on of how Speedwapp works? Test it here:

Want To Support Something Meaningful? Consider Speedwapp Right Now!

Is There More?

You bet. Turn to Speedwapp once it’s available to take advantage of the following handy features:

  • Real-time previews that incorporate your changes as soon as you make them
  • Reusable headers, menus and footers (drop your logo or a repetitive graphic onto pages to drive home your ID)
  • Create signature components/features and share them with like-minded users
  • Invite others to contribute to a work in progress since this is a collaborative tool that’s teamwork friendly
  • Build your site with the help of Speedwapp icons, textures, graphics and other attention-getting elements
  • Solicit feedback from professionals to make your site look terrific and navigate effortlessly
  • Expect our powerful engine to adjust automatically so screen formats on your devices display properly
  • Help yourself to free resources that run the gamut from templates and components to animations
  • Have fun creating and customizing your website using the drag-and-drop tools at your disposal

Become Part of Speedwapp Success

As a start-up, they require a variety of support. First, believe in them! Their goals and their concepts are not just viable but valuable and their vision is unshakable: They intend to produce a website design application for open source technologies that’s been needed for far too long, delivering on their promise to have it ready for the market in 2016.

As they gratefully receive support from believers around the world, and in the interest of transparency, they inform their supporters of exactly how they intend to allocate the €50,000 necessary to cover public beta (€10,000), template development (€10,000) and WordPress version creation (€30,000). Given this transparency and their commitment to excellence, response to their project has been overwhelming, but their future remains in your hands!

Visit their Kickstarter page to learn how you can join other believers to help make our Speedwapp vision real! Small donations are the foundation of their fundraising efforts; every little bit helps as they strive to meet their 15 November 2015 deadline.

Speedwapp Kickstarter

Won’t you become a Speedwappster and help drive this innovation through the roof and into the hands of the people who need it the most? Once we’re up and running, you get bragging rights, so you can tell everyone you meet that you were one of their earliest and most enthusiastic backers!


Onextrapixel – Web Design and Development Online Magazine

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The owls are not what they seem…

While on the lookout for spooky creatures to blog about for Halloween I noticed something curious – why are there so many owls in the Word and Image collection? It soon became clear that most of them were donated by the same man, Walter Strachan, but this raised more questions – who was he, how did his collection end up in the V&A and why was he so obsessed with owls? Curiosity piqued, I set off in search of answers…

Walter Strachan (1903-1994) was Head of Modern Languages at Bishop Stortford College for over 40 years, but also pursued a parallel career as a poet, French translator, art critic and connoisseur. His interest in art developed in the 1930s and 40s, and on a visit to the National Gallery in 1945 he was entranced by an exhibition of French livres d’artistes, books in which each illustration is an original artwork, directly created by the artist on the printing surface (for example copper, stone or wood). He made it his mission to raise the profile of this art form in the UK, writing numerous articles, giving illustrated lectures and urging museums and libraries to buy copies for their collections. He made regular visits to the National Art Library at the V&A as an ‘unofficial volunteer ambassador’, and encouraged them to buy around 60 examples of livres d’artistes, which now form the basis of the NAL’s collection of artists’ books.

Strachan built up close relationships with artists and publishers in France and in 1952, on one of his many visits to artists’ studios, he expressed admiration of a particular print, an illustration for a bestiary by Roger Chastel depicting – you guessed it – an owl. He was given a proof of the print on fine paper as a gift and word soon spread among the French artistic community that Strachan was an ‘owl man’.

Proof of an illustration for ‘Le Bestiaire de Paul Eluard’, etching and aquatint by Roger Chastel, France, 1948. Museum no. E.228-1994. ©Roger Chastel/Victoria and Albert Museum.

Proof of an illustration for ‘Le Bestiaire de Paul Eluard’, etching and aquatint by Roger Chastel, France, 1948. Museum no. E.228-1994. ©Roger Chastel/Victoria and Albert Museum.

He started receiving gifts from artists and publishers: some are proof plates from livres d’artistes, others are artworks created especially for him or commissioned by publishers, and owls also popped up in letters or greetings cards from artists (a card from the painter and printmaker Walter Spitzer reads: ‘I have drawn you some flowers and an inevitable owl to wish you a happy new year’).

‘Chouette de Bonne Esperance’, proof illustration from 'Géographie Animale', hand-coloured lithograph by Jean Lurçat, France, 1948. Museum no. E.246-1994. ©Jean Lurçat/Victoria and Albert Museum.

‘Chouette de Bonne Esperance’, proof illustration from ‘Géographie Animale’, hand-coloured lithograph by Jean Lurçat, France, 1948. Museum no. E.246-1994. ©Jean Lurçat/Victoria and Albert Museum.

New Year greetings card, lithograph and pencil drawing by Walter Spitzer, France, ca. 1965. Museum no. E.262-1994. ©Walter Spitzer/Victoria and Albert Museum.

New Year greetings card, lithograph and pencil drawing by Walter Spitzer, France, ca. 1965. Museum no. E.262-1994. ©Walter Spitzer/Victoria and Albert Museum.

The collection numbers some 58 prints, drawings and paintings, and what particularly interested me was the amazing diversity of artistic responses to the theme of owls. Different artists have chosen to emphasise different sides of the owl’s features, character and reputation: from the wide-eyed cuteness of Mario Avati’s mother and baby, to Bernard Gantner’s ominous shape peering out of the darkness. Although Chastel’s owl is only made up of a few lines it manages to convey a sense of menace in its furrowed eyebrows and poised claws, while Dalí’s contribution to Strachan’s owlery is quite comical with its bolt-upright stance and exaggeratedly large eyes.

Mezzotint by Mario Avati, France, c. 1965. Museum no. E. 221-1994. ©Mario Avati/Victoria and Albert Museum.

Mezzotint by Mario Avati, France, c. 1965. Museum no. E. 221-1994. ©Mario Avati/Victoria and Albert Museum.

Wash drawing by Bernard Gantner, France, 1965. Museum no. E.233-1994. ©Bernard Gantner/ Victoria and Albert Museum.

Wash drawing by Bernard Gantner, France, 1965. Museum no. E.233-1994. ©Bernard Gantner/ Victoria and Albert Museum.

Colour drypoint by Salvador Dalí, 1968. Museum no. E.230-1994. ©Salvador Dalí /Victoria and Albert Museum.

Colour drypoint by Salvador Dalí, 1968. Museum no. E.230-1994. ©Salvador Dalí /Victoria and Albert Museum.

There are also some beautiful and quite unusual techniques in the collection – this stylised image by Abram Krol was printed using plates cut into the shapes of the owl, moon and roof, leaving the images slightly raised, and the combination of aquatint and etching creates different textures within the print. I have enlarged a section of the image so you can get a closer look at the delicate geometric patterns representing the owl’s feathers.

Colour etching and aquatint by Abram Krol, France, ca. 1958. Museum no. E.239-1994. ©Abram Krol/Victoria and Albert Museum.

Colour etching and aquatint by Abram Krol, France, ca. 1958. Museum no. E.239-1994. ©Abram Krol/Victoria and Albert Museum.

Detail of E.239-1994

Detail of E.239-1994

Strachan supplemented his collection with a selection of older prints and drawings, including an intricate wood engraving by Thomas Bewick (the owl is only around 12cm high), and this beautiful Japanese woodblock print. Although Strachan described these as ‘aliens’ in his collection, I wanted to include them as examples of the wide variety of artistic interpretations of the owl in different periods and cultures.

Wood engraving by Thomas Bewick, England, ca. 1797. Museum no. E.266-1994. ©Victoria and Albert Museum.

Wood engraving by Thomas Bewick, England, ca. 1797. Museum no. E.266-1994. ©Victoria and Albert Museum.

Hand-coloured woodcut, Japanese, 19th century. Museum no. E.274-1994. ©Victoria and Albert Museum.

Hand-coloured woodcut, Japanese, 19th century. Museum no. E.274-1994. ©Victoria and Albert Museum.

Many of the artworks come with personal messages from the artist. Charles Russell signs his print ‘For Walter Strachan and his Congress of Owls’, Walter Spitzer writes ‘Pour Monsieur W.J. Strachan qui aime les hibous, je dedie cette gravure’, and – my personal favourite – a sketch by Albert Flocon is accompanied by the caption ‘Coals to Newcastle, owls to Strachan’. The below image, probably the last object to be added to Strachan’s collection, is also the most personal: a calligraphic drawing formed from lines of poetry, presented to him on his 90th birthday by a former pupil.

Calligraphed drawing by Patrick Cullen, England, 1993. Museum no. E.273-1994. ©Patrick Cullen/Victoria and Albert Museum.

Calligraphed drawing by Patrick Cullen, England, 1993. Museum no. E.273-1994. ©Patrick Cullen/Victoria and Albert Museum.

Strachan died in 1994 and bequeathed his owls to the V&A (the museum had held an exhibition of the collection in 1991); I have only had space for a small selection here, but photographs of all of them will soon be available on our Search the Collections website. There are some really interesting variations on the theme so it’s well worth a look!

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KitKat: The World’s First Massage Billboard

There is an ever lasting battle for agencies and brands to create the next big billboard, not just in awards speak, but because Adshells/Billboards are being reinvented every day, with custom installations and technology being baked in be media owners and agencies alike. And this one is awesome. The World’s First Massage Billboard from KitKat. […]


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Who Provides The Best Web Design In Singapore?

According to the official 2013 – 2014 Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) report, Three Asian countries were in the top ten of all performers; of those, Singapore is rated the second-most competitive economy in the world. Although there are many factors which contribute to Singapore’s booming financial success, thanks are due in part to it’s ability to thrive, and even dominate in the Internet Web Design market. The realm of modern Web Design is an evolutionary, technological cyclone. With such an extremely competitive market, some business owner’s will choose the “cookie cutter” approach.

They will play it safe, and things will be okay, but never great…whereas others will fall short of expectations and fade away into the archives. It’s no secret, that the internet has an insatiable hunger for fresh content; content which is precision targeted to be current, and relevant, while maintaining tangible importance to the end user. Internet servers are littered with page after page of Web design companies, each promising to deliver the best end user experience – so, how can you figure out who really gives the best Web Design in Singapore?

Where To Begin

Let’s start with the obvious. A simple Google search for; “Web Design Singapore” may provide great variety, but in this case, it only serves to validate the difficulty, and confusion you’ll face when searching for an expert web design service anywhere, let alone in the second-most competitive market on planet earth!

Be careful, remain diligent and stay focused. Research only sounds rotten and boring, but when it comes to making your ideas come to life, trust in the truth that research is always your best friend. Once you have your list, you need to create new filters, and cross reference your needs versus what the candidate is capable of. You can start lowering the number of candidates by using consumer feedback; ranking your top choices based upon the reputation, and quality review ratings of the Web Designer(s)in question.

Who Provides The Best Web Design In Singapore?
Image credit: 123rf

Once the public opinion check has helped you downsize the number of potential winning Web Designer’s, it’s time to focus on the real time applications. It is important to note: Make certain that you take your time when doing research – it can be very easy to overlook the crucial, game changing data needed to be successful, so take notes and pay close attention, especially to the simple things, ranging from the validity of a secure website, all the way through to comparing finished products with similarity to your own.

Equally important, is that you make sure to double check those reviews and references you have studied, because information found on the Internet can be posted erroneously through anonymous, malicious/fraudulent, even non-human “bots”, it always helps to “check the checker”.

Do Your Due Diligence

In many of today’s markets, Social media is fast tracking the way we make business decisions, while the web design industry welcomes this kind of exposure, it is good and bad for business. Some Facebook pages are nothing more than paid commercial links, while others are valid, verifiable people/businesses. As with anything, it is the end users experience that will validate the truth. The bottom line here is: People fall short, and sometimes, people lie.

Who Provides The Best Web Design In Singapore?
Image credit: 123rf

Your success depends completely upon your own determinations of the quality, ability and reputation of a candidate…it is your due diligence. Go to your favorite search engine, begin a web design query for Singapore, do variations on various point’s of concern. When you are using well thought, properly filtered terminology, you will get clear, concise, and relevant results from any good search engine.

Whilst researching, make a hand written list of your top five choices. Be sure to focus on job boards and publicly available information, this will prevent you from viewing content placed by paid providers who may or may not have your best interests in mind. Keep in mind, Just because Johnny’s Facebook says he is the best, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask around, for someone other than Johnny’s opinion.

When it comes to resources, be diligent, be sure to approach each one equally, and with optimism, but never be gullible about it. Other ideas may lead you to check your local listings, because – finding a web designer relevant to your needs, could literally be, just around the corner.

You may already know someone who has used a successful web designer that would perfectly fit your needs, so ask around. You may also consider making inquiries of your competition – who they use may actually help your chances of success.

What is a Good Web Designer?

When it comes to the best in quality Web Design, it’s no surprise that the top competitor’s appear to share four easily discoverable, and common, core value traits.

  • A Verifiable, Quality Reputation
  • Past And Current Support From Satisfied Customers
  • Evidence Of Perpetual Education And Cutting Edge Innovation
  • Passion In The Pursuit Of Technological Excellence

If a designer can not meet you point for point in your business needs, then you need to move on. Thanks to healthy competition in Singapore, you’ll have no problem finding a replacement, and remember, they may be the experts, but it is you whom must gauge them against verifiable performance.

What’s Better – Freelance Or Agency?

When your stuck in doubt between who provides better service; the deep pocket, professional agency’s, or the over worked and under funded freelancer? You should rely on your own needs, and best instinct’s, as well as the four main trait filters identified above in the “What is a good web designer?” section.

Who Provides The Best Web Design In Singapore?
Image credit: 123rf

In web design, competition is fierce; results are what matter most, and good results can be created by either the casual freelancer, or the seasoned veteran agency, providing they are qualified, timely, and possess a sharp command of the four traits.

While you may choose to support either the big name agency, or the freelance market, keep in mind, each is limited by varying constraints which the other does not have. Generally speaking, the freelancer is an individual, obviously, they will require more time for everything when compared to a large, well staffed agency.

A big agency may be cutting edge, while at the same time be a cutting edge. In either case, the freelancer has unbridled freedom of creativity, where the agency has a strictly adhered to company policy, where the freelancer is cost efficient, the agency can run up some fairly exorbitant fees. It’s your business, and therefore, your money, your decision; so, who and how you decide upon, that encompasses your vision, within your budget, again, depends upon how prepared you were to make this choice to begin with.

  • Freelance is personal – but takes more time
  • The Agency is fast – but who am I to these people – are they people?
  • Big Agency = Big Bill – Freelancers save costs, simply being small
  • Many pros/cons exist for both sides so focus on your research

Conclusion

The choice is ultimately yours, but only a well educated determination of the available facts, as we have discussed, will give your vision the opportunity to become the successful reality you desire.


Onextrapixel – Web Design and Development Online Magazine

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How to Ethically and Legally Steal Other People’s Design Ideas

If you’ve had someone steal your business or design ideas in the past, this title may irk you a bit. However, there’s no need to worry, since we have no intention of blatantly stealing design ideas and passing them off as our own. The basis behind stealing ideas has deep roots in the history of artists and creators, as shown by Mark Twain who once mentioned that “all ideas are second hand,” or with Frank Lloyd Wright who’s old work looked remarkably similar to that of his mentor Louis Sullivan.

In theory, every idea you have is going to include bits and pieces from the inspiration you pull from as you grow your design business and improve your design skills. In fact, if you fail to find mentors, or at least people to aspire to, how can you avoid blatant design mistakes and achieve your own style?

How Stealing Design Ideas Can Be Ethical

Stealing, or borrowing, other people’s design ideas is not only necessary, but it’s common. However, it’s essential to understand how to make it an organic process, avoiding the act of intentionally stealing these ideas and passing it off as your own work. Keep reading to learn more about how to ethically and legally steal other people’s design ideas.

Pick Out the Professionals You Admire to Find Inspiration

It all begins with finding inspiration for your own designs. When writers are interviewed, they often state some of their favorite authors and how those writers have impacted their own work. The same goes for musicians, artists and designers.

If you rack your brain and realize that you can’t list off a few designers that you want to aspire to be, it’s time to start searching for someone who amazes you.

Inspiration is all over the internet, so it’s not all that difficult to find. The idea is to follow the designers and take note of how each of their creations impacts on you and which elements truly made the design stand out.

Yesenia Perez-Cruz

For this example, we’re going to look at Yesenia Perez-Cruz http://www.yeseniaperezcruz.com/, a world class designer working for the Intuitive Company out of Philadelphia. Although it’s wise to focus on multiple designs, this article is going to take a look at one of her designs for the sake of simplicity.

Build a Killer Vision Based on Your Inspiration

Although Yesenia has worked with various companies, we’re going to “steal” her design ideas from a design she worked on while at Happy Cog Marketing Agency, for the Garces restaurant company.

As you can see, Garces is a restaurant management company, and the job is described as needing beautiful redesigns that can be rolled out quickly for the many restaurants owned by Garces.

Village Whiskey

Once you take a look at the designs, it’s time to build your own vision based on that inspiration. We like this example, because Yesenia actually made completely different designs for each restaurant, based on a single rubric, or template. This gives us a clear idea on how you can pick from an initial design to make something completely fresh.

Identify What Makes Each of the Designs Standout, and Only Recreate the Gems

As you can see, the Distrito design provides pink shades, a booking module at the top, plenty of white space and some fun fonts throughout the entire site.

Distrito

However, what’s the gem inside this design that you can recreate to make it your own? You obviously don’t want to just go in there and copy all of the fonts and colors and functionalities, but you’ll notice how the booking modules are similar, and the branding is strong with a large centered logo and clear navigational menus at the top.

Not to mention, Amada, Village Whiskey and Distrito each have somewhat retro looks, yet each design caters to the unique brand of the restaurant.

Reverse Engineer the Gems You Choose

The goal is to find these small elements that make the design great. Yesenia realized that the prominent logos and navigational menus are key parts of a restaurant business, and the booking modules are how they make money. However, she didn’t just copy them over, but rather recreated them.

For example, the Amada booking module reveals different, fonts, colors and icons, allowing the design to look unique.

Amada

Generate Your Own Design Story With Modified Surrounding Elements

All designs, from websites to simple contact forms, have stories built around them. As with Yesenia’s restaurant websites, we get a feel for what type of atmosphere customers can expect while eating, just by looking at the website.

When working for a client, it’s not only essential to cater to their branding strategies, but doing so is a surefire way to modify your designs so that they aren’t too similar to your inspiration. As stated above, your story is a combination of the fonts, colors, patterns, placements and media modules, all of which are structured around the “gems” we discussed as well.

Now, it’s not uncommon to modify these elements and realize that your changes made your design look crappy. This is normal, but you shouldn’t simply tweak the design back to what the inspiration looked like. This is where you start getting in trouble for copying.

Use this as a chance to get creative and build your own style, otherwise you’ll keep looking like one of your heros, and not your individual brand.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve located designers to take inspiration from, learned how to reverse engineer those designs and pick the gems that make them stand out, go back to the drawing board to slowly steal and recreate design ideas from the people you look up to.

Beginner designers are more likely to find that their designs look closer to that of their inspiration, but the idea is to gradually stray away from this to build a completely fresh style for yourself. You’re never going to completely avoid stealing from other people, but when you diversify the sources you take from and dominate the design with your own thoughts and ideas, it’s an ethical and legal process for building beautiful designs.

If you have any questions about ethically and legally stealing other people’s design ideas, let us know in the comments section below.


Onextrapixel – Web Design and Development Online Magazine

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A Guide to Next-Generation Design Tools

Editor’s note: This post was written by Rafay, an entrepreneur, computer scientist, and professional ghostwriter for several high-traffic websites. He provides byline and ghostwriting services for digital and brick-and-mortar businesses with a focus on web development, WordPress, and entrepreneurship. You can find him on Twitter and Google Plus.

A whole new class of next-generation design tools is taking prototyping and design to the next level.

The web has been evolving for nearly two decades now but we haven’t seen two decades worth of improvement in web design tools.

As web design trends change the design game, the demand for new design tools continues to increase. Because web design has changed, the tools for web design have to change too.

I’ll be your guide to the world of next generation web design tools and walk you through an exploratory assessment of each.

Let’s get started.

Next-Generation Design Tools

The concept behind web design has always been to create beautiful design and to not have to worry about tiny coding details and other back-end intricacies. All of this is possible now.

The next-gen web design tools that we’ll be talking about in this post improve on user interface designs and user experience designs to a degree that was unimaginable a few years ago.

Sketch

next generation design tools

Sketch is a lightweight web design tool that gives users power, flexibility and speed to produce better results. The tool is designed for Mac and it leverages its exclusive features: Retina, Quartz, Auto Save and Versions.

Overview

Reusing elements in designing is inevitable in web design. Sketch makes it easier for designers to reuse elements by integrating symbols and shared styles features. Multiple pages and artboards makes designing an efficient and timesaving task altogether.

Sketch’s fully vector-based workflow saves designers from getting into web development. The web design tool offers vector Boolean operations which allow web designers to create complex shapes while fully utilizing layer styles.

Let’s sum up the features Sketch provides.

Features

  • Reusable elements
  • Preview designs on iOS devices
  • Scalable, responsive vector shapes
  • Complex and editable shapes based on Boolean operations
  • Pixel zoom feature
  • Approximate shapes and layers to their nearest pixel edge
  • Native text rendering shows how text will appear

Sketch packs a ton of powerful features into one web design tool and is widely used by professional developers in Apple and Google. If it’s good enough for these two, then it should be good enough for your web designing needs too. Bohemian Coding offers customers excellent support and documentation. You can get a license for $ 99 on their website.

Macaw

next generation design tools

Being a web designer, you’ve probably heard of Macaw and its ever-enticing tagline “Stop writing code, start drawing it.” If you’re anything like me, it must have gotten you pretty excited about what it features (and if it’s even possible). Let me start off with some good news: their tagline is absolutely spot-on.

Overview

Macaw is all about letting web designers focus entirely on designing by giving them the comfort and familiarity of a flexible image editor environment and writing HTML and CSS for them automatically in the back-end.

This next-gen web design tool uses the Stream real-time layout engine to allow for easy image handling. Stream takes care of the mathematical calculations which save designers from having to enter a battlefield with layouts.

The magic behind Macaw is that it accomplishes something most people thought was impossible – it translates design into HTML and CSS. The design-to-code engine, Alchemy, is responsible for this incredible madness that leads designers to accidently write code they never thought they could.

Let’s take a look at the features it offers.

Features

  • Responsive, flexible grids
  • Urbane typography controls
  • Familiar, visual access to new CSS features
  • Groups and containers integration
  • Local preview server with auto-refresh
  • Effective tools to manage spacing
  • Visually track down problems
  • Easy management of positioning

Whether you’re a professional web designer or are just starting out, Macaw will save you the trouble of learning to code in HTML and CSS. Don’t let your ability to design fall behind just because you can’t write code. Let Macaw’s Stream engine do the calculations while Alchemy writes beautiful, usable code for your designs. Try out the free trial or purchase their $ 79 license for both Mac OSX and Windows.

Adobe’s Project Comet

comet

Project Comet is part of Adobe Creative Cloud, a new tool for designing and prototyping user experiences. It is a next-gen design tool that merges visual design, wire framing, prototyping and previewing in one super-application. The only drawback: its preview release is scheduled for 2016.

Overview

The way you perceive your work has changed– responsive designs and interactive elements need to be addressed as real problems faced by user experience (UX) design. Project Comet tackles the challenges faced by UX design and scales seamlessly with larger, more complex projects.

The goal behind Project Comet is to minimize the friction that comes from using several tools for designing and prototyping. Project Comet uses the latest hardware compositing techniques and rendering technology that keeps getting better and better. Adobe’s CreativeSync technology makes it possible for users to bring their Illustrator or Photoshop assets by importing them to Comet directly. Indeed there are many benefits to being a loyal Adobe user.

Let’s look at the features Project Comet will offer.

Features

  • Vector drawing tools
  • Capable of designing, prototyping and iterating quickly
  • A tool specifically built keeping UX design aspects in mind
  • Fast, consistent and real-time design previews on devices of all sizes
  • Handles designs for an increasing set of mobile devices and screens

Like all Adobe products, Project Comet doesn’t require you to be an expert designer to be able to use it. Keep an eye out for its release and get a hands-on experience with this next-gen web design tool when it comes out next year.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we introduced you to the next generation of web design tools and addressed the current web design issues they tackle. We encourage you to experiment with them on different projects to see for yourself how they’ve changed (and continue to change) the design game forever.

The paradigm shift in web design tools is revolutionary and it has brought out some of the best (long-awaited) tools that we’ve ever seen. Our list of the 7 Best Tools for Web Designers in 2015 is also worth a read.

Which next-gen design tools do you use? What do you like best about next-gen design tools? Let us know in the comments section below.

You might also want to read:  Catchy Free Font Pairings For Headings and Paragraphs

The post A Guide to Next-Generation Design Tools appeared first on SpyreStudios.


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Best Graphic Designers on Instagram You Need to Follow

Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media hubs out there and we have a pretty good idea why. Remember the time you used to snap Polaroid photos and hand them out to friends and or hang them on the mirror. How cool was that, uh? Even if you’re not a proud 60’s kid, at least you’ve got to have heard about it. Right around 60’s and 70’s, Polaroid had taken over the electronics market turning a simple camera into one of the top-selling items of the century. Bringing photography to the entertainment industry with a whole new perspective for success, the Polaroid camera was an amazing invention which forever changed the way we communicate through technology.

That’s a truly remarkable story, in fact, almost as remarkable of the one we all hear about Apple, Facebook and all the other conquerors of online communications. With the rise of mobile devices and social medias taking the throne, the web craved a Polaroid camera of its own and Burbn Inc knew just the right thing to do. Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom were the guys who saw an opportunity beyond the already crowded market of online photography tools. They created a social hub where people from all layers of the photography society can have a chance and taking a dreamy landscape photo and a mesmerizing view of their back yard without being Photoshop wizards.

Years after its launch, Instagram became a place where no taco is too tallowy to become a model and no pet is too cute to become the internet’s next fave. And among the overcrowded hashtags featuring yet another #instalike photo of the day, there are those who choose to skip the filters and put creativity into action with a touch of quirky professionalism. Graphics designers are becoming more and more popular among Instagram fangirls and there sure are worth the visit.

Dschwen LLC. – @dschwen

Source: Dscwen on Instagram

Meet  David Dschwen, the guy behind this colorful profile. His Instagram features a collaborative studio of designers who are ready to take your Instagram feed to another level of inspiration. The Dscwen LLC. studio intertwines the whole rainbow of colors into a beautiful and complex combination of minimalism and eye-candy design

 

Gemma O’Brien – @mrseaves101

Source: Gemma O’Brien

Gemma is not your ordinary instagrammer. Besides being the creative mind behind the Spewbag Challenge on Tumblr, where hand-drawn typography comes to another level of awesomeness, she is a model, photographer and a typography whiz which can amaze you with a diverse set of Instagram publications. From handwriting to contrasted snaps of architecture, graffiti and what not, her profile is a triumf of creativeness squeezed into a beautifully laid out photo feed.

Lauren Hom – @homsweethom

Source: Lauren Hom

If creative typography posters, smart color combinations and cheesy quotes are your thing, you should definitely follow Lauren. Being the author of the blog-book “Daily Dishonesty” and a quirky artist who likes to tackle complex typography, this Brooklyn beauty can quickly trap your heart so watch out!

 

Leta Sobierajski – @letasobierajski

Source: Leta Sobierajski

Creating design with oddity in mind, Leta sobierajski will amaze you with an uncanny, yet inspiring Instagram photo collection. By smartly combining warm and cold color palettes, Leta interlaces the ordinarily of couples portraits with the quirky spirit of partner and fellow designer, Wade Jeffree, to create a provocative and plain funny collage of modern relationships.

Jacob Eisinger – @yippiehey

Source: Jacob Eisinger

The 3D illustrator, art director and cat lover, Jacob, offers a diverse selection of graphic art. His inspiration-infused Instagram profile features colorful art, three dimensional design, food photography and much more to guarantee you an unforgettable instagramming experience. If you’re searching for a gorgeous graphic design collection which smartly intertwines photography and unusual color combinations, you’re in the right place.

Sam Larson – @samlarson

Source: Sam Larson

Illustration at its best! Sam’s profile is more than an illustrator’s window to the graphic design society. Everything in Sam’s Instagram feed is created to bring an inspiring dose of beauty to your Instagram feed. The delicate landscape drawings and surreal watercolor art, tinted into a bold color palette, embarks you in another real of creativeness where nature and graphic design build perfectly intertwine creating an experience beyond the ordinary Instagramming.

 

The post Best Graphic Designers on Instagram You Need to Follow appeared first on SpyreStudios.


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