MyInkTrail: Best of the Design Community, January 2010

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Well the first month of 2010 has already come and gone. It was an exciting month for MyInkBlog, with some quality (mostly guest) posts, and a lot of progress on my redesign. Stay tuned for the release of that coming up sometime soon in February. Complete with a new logo, and some refined personality.

I’d also be remised if I didn’t mention Apple’s new iPad. Everyone seems to have an opinion on it, so here’s mine. I think it looks like incredibly slick, and will gain popularity as the 2nd and 3rd generations further improve the design, functionality and add new features. I understand the giant iPod or small MacBook sentiments, but I think it will find a niche, and ultimately prove successful for Apple.

Articles

11 Most Popular Blog Design Styles

This post breaks down 11 popular blog styles, and has an exhausting showcase of inspiring examples.

 

The History of the Ampersand and Showcase

I’ve joked on this blog before that nothing says typography quite like the ampersand sign. This history of the symbol and showcase of examples should satisfy the inner typography nerd in most of us designers.

 

Curating Comments Threads

The most current versions of WordPress include all kinds of awesome options to improve how you handle comments on your blog. This post covers much of that, and an interesting take on using a feature/bury plugin.

 

Principles of Great Design: Craftsmanship

This post speaks about quality craftsmanship as it relates to design. Then it shares practical advice about how to become a better craftsman.

 

How to effectively organize, manage and maintain your freelance design business

Brian Hoff discusses ways to increase your efficiency in an effort to make running a one person design business possible. The post is chock full of awesome advice, everything from syncing your files to writting contracts.

 

A Brief History of Eye-Tracking

Usability has always been an important topic of interest for me, that interest has grown now that I just finished reading the ever popular Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability. Of course we can improve the user experience only if we understand how users browse the web. This post takes a look at the history of eye-tracking, and how people utilize it.

 

Mastering Photoshop: Unknown Tricks and Time-Savers

I love keyboard shortcuts! This post lays out all kinds of Photoshop time savers, but mostly it’s a nice bookmark of useful shortcuts.

 

Design Trends (Predictions) in 2010

A look at some of the top trends in web design that are more than likely to take off in 2010. Not only are they good predictions, most of them are good suggestions for progressive, improved design.

 

Inspiration

Beautiful Designs with Smoke Typography

Smoke typography is an awesomely unique niche. Predictably so, this is a roundup of inspirational examples of smoke typography.

 

Gorgeous Typography Examples in Advertising Design

I must have been on a typography kick this month because this post features more cool typography examples, this time within advertising design.

 

Freebies

7 Hi-Res Bokeh Textures

The bokeh effect seems to be here to stay, and rightfully so, it’s a beautiful effect. Here is a collection of 7 bokeh textures that can help your next design.

 

Woven Fabric Social Media Icon Set

I love to add icons to my design arsenal. This is a unique set of social media icons made of woven fabric.

 

Vector Social Media Icons

It’s one thing to make an awesome set of social media icons, but it brings it to another level of awesomeness when you realize these icons are designed in vector format, meaning that you can use them at any size you wish.

 

Tutorials

How To Create Depth And Nice 3D Ribbons Only Using CSS3

This is a great example of the sort of graphical elements you can create using just CSS 3.

 

Create a Gnarly Snowboarding Themed Web Design

This tutorial is rockin’ cool no matter how you slice it, but you add ‘gnarly’ to the title and it just goes off the charts.

 

Create a Cool Typography Effect in Photoshop

Wow, I was really into the subject of typography this month. This tutorial show you how tor create a cool typography effect using layer styles, color blending and images.

 

Featured Stuff

Art in My Coffee

I’m not sure what to think of this art style other than it’s really unique and clever. This site is a gallery of coffee art images.

 

Why It’s Better To Pretend You Don’t Know Anything About Computers

Anyone who works with computers can definitely relate to this hysterical comic about why it’s best to keep you computer know-how a secret.

 

Design Instruct

This is a new design site created by the folks who brought you Six Revisions. Design Instruct is a web magazine that aims to teach designers and digital artists useful techniques by way of detailed and step-by-step tutorials.

 

Readability

I’m not sure I’ll use this all that often, but I like the idea and it’s ease of use. Basically it’s a bookmark you can add to simplify a website to just display the content you’re reading rendered in simple nice fonts.

 

iPad

Yeah, I’m featuring the iPad on MyInkTrail. Love it or hate it, it was a huge event. I’ll leave a review up to the talented pen of Rob Bowen for an upcoming post.

 

Dummy Image

I could see myself using this now and again when I mockup web designs. Basically the site takes in width and height values and dynamically creates a dummy image for you to use in your design. Sort of the Lorem Ipsum of images.

 

About the Author

Andrew is a primary contributer for MyInkBlog. He is a full time web developer for Niagara University. When he's not working there, he's a blogger, twitter'er, wordpress'er, silverstripe advocate, blessed father and husband.

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  • http://designinformer.com Design Informer

    Hi Andrew, this is a great list, and I’m honored that you would include our article here. Thank you! Keep up the great work, I’m a big fan of MIB.

  • http://designinformer.com Design Informer

    LOL! MIB (Men in Black) (My Ink Blog)

    • http://www.myinkblog.com Andrew Houle

      Ha, yeah, I suppose my acronym is already taken :)

  • http://www.crearedesign.co.uk Damian Smith

    Some of those articles were fantastic, really helped me out with so many fantastic ideas and inspirations.

    Design Instruct was a great resource I would have never found without the article from here, thanks for that.

    Also the new design is really great, i love the subtle background and the typography that has been used in the logo and the date and names, so thumbs up!

    I look forward to future articles :]