A business card is like an identity card for professionals. It’s the key to establishing your authority and promoting your brand, work, and services no matter where you go. So finding the right modern business card template to start from is crucial.

Whether you’re attending a business event or a dinner party, you should always be able to pull your business card from your pocket and network with people and potential clients. But how would you design a professional business card if you’re not proficient in Photoshop? Using a business card template is the perfect way to get started.

In this collection, we’re featuring some of the best modern business card templates in both Photoshop and Microsoft Word formats. You can easily download, edit, and customize them however you like to design your own business card without any expert Photoshop skills.

Multipurpose Business Card Template

Multipurpose Business Card Template PSD

The first pick in our list is a modern business card template featuring a unique design. It comes with a multipurpose design that allows you to make business cards for all kinds of professionals from corporate executives to freelancers, designers, and more. The template can be easily customized using Photoshop.

Elegant Business Card Template

Elegant Business Card Template (PSD)

Minimalism can sometimes create the most elegant designs, just like this business card. This template is perfect for making a business card for an artist, interior designer, or a fashion designer. The best part is the template comes with organized layers, allowing you to easily edit the design to your preference. It’s also available in PSD, AI, EPS, and InDesign file formats.

Stylish Portrait Business Card Template

Stylish Portrait Business Card Template (PSD)

Featuring a mix of both modern and vintage elements, this beautiful business card template comes with a portrait layout. It features a rugged design style that makes this most suitable for crafting business cards for professionals in fashion, luxury brands, and companies.

Minimalist Business Card Template PSD

Minimalist Business Card Template

Using a simple and minimalist design in your business card design can be a great way to show off professionalism and stand out from the crowd. This PSD template will help you achieve that goal. The business card template includes smart objects and organized layers for customizing the design more easily.

Modern Minimal Business Card Template

Modern Minimal Business Card Template

This creative business card comes with a dark colored design that will help highlight your contact information more effectively. The template comes with an easily customizable design allowing you to change its text and colors however you like.

Designer Business Card Template PSD

Designer Business Card Template

If you’re working on a business card design for an artist, illustrator, or a designer, look no further. This modern business card template will help you create a stunningly minimalist business card for creatives. It can be customized with Photoshop CS4 or higher.

Corporate Business Card Template

Corporate Business Card Template

This modern business card template comes with a creative design that makes it a great choice for professionals working in corporate companies and agencies. It comes in a fully customizable PSD file featuring organized layers and a free font you can use to craft beautiful business cards.

Modern Business Card Template

Modern Business Card Template

A highly visual design filled with creative elements is a must when making a business card for photographers, designers, and certain other professionals. This template will help design such a creative business card with lots of visual elements. It includes image placeholders and a free font for easier editing.

Creative Brand Business Card Template

Creative Brand Business Card Template

Looking to create a business card for a creative brand or an agency? Then this template will come in handy. It features a beautiful and creative design that will help make your brand stand out from the crowd. The template comes as a fully organized PSD and it’s easy to customize as well.

Simple Business Card Template (Word)

Simple Business Card Template (Word)

Who said you can’t design great business card templates in Microsoft Word? This minimal and creative business card template is great for quickly printing out a simple business card. It’s available in PSD, AI, and EPS file formats as well.

Modern Creative Business Card

Modern Creative Business Card

This template is perfect for making business cards for different types of agencies and creative businesses. It comes with a creative double color design that gives a unique look to the entire business card. You can also customize the colors and text to your preference using Photoshop.

Modern Minimalist Business Card

Modern Minimalist Business Card

Use this modern and minimalist template to design business cards for different types of freelancers and creative professionals. The clean design and the portrait photo placeholder in the template will allow you to create a more personalized business card for promoting your brand and services.

Clean Business Card Template (Word)

Clean Business Card Template (Word)

Another professional business card template that comes in Word and InDesign formats. This template features a simple design that’s suitable for making corporate and agency business cards. It can be easily customized to your preference as well.

Colorful Business Card Template

Colorful Business Card Template

This template will help you design a creative business card to complete your brand identity. It comes with a unique design that gives you enough space to include contact information as well as an image. You can customize the template using Photoshop and Illustrator as well.

Corporate Business Card PSD

Corporate Business Card PSD

Even though this business card template is designed specifically for corporate businesses, the design can be used to create other types of creative business cards as well. The template uses a free font an easily customizable design.

Modern Vertical Business Card

Modern Vertical Business Card

A modern business card template for creative professionals. This template comes with a verticle layout and a unique design that can be used to create both square and rounded corner business cards. The template is available in print-ready format and in a layered PSD file.

Rounded Modern Business Card Template

Rounded Modern Business Card Template

Filled with lots of colors and shapes, this beautiful business card will allow you to create designs for professionals in both corporate and creative industries. The template can be customized with Photoshop and supports square and rounded corner cards.

Creative Modern Business Card

Creative Modern Business Card

Another modern template you can use to make business cards for freelancers, designers, and many other types of creative professionals. The template comes in a layered PSD file with lots of editable elements.

Luxury Business Card PSD

Luxury Business Card PSD

This beautiful business card template features a design filled with creative elements, making it most suitable for luxury designer brands and agencies. The PSD template is fully customizable and comes in print-ready format.

Luxury Brand Business Card Template

Luxury Brand Business Card Template

An elegant business card template made specifically for professionals working in luxury brands, businesses, and hotels. The template features a unique and stylish design that’ll look great in gold foil print. The template is customizable with Photoshop.

Minimal Business Card Template (Word)

Minimal Business Card Template (Word)

This template is available in 3 different formats including Photoshop, Microsoft Word, and InDesign. It comes with a clean design where you can effectively showcase your professionalism and brand at the same time.

Basic Business Card Template (Word)

Basic Business Card Template (Word)

Sometimes the most basic designs can also be considered more authentic. Just like this Word business card template that comes with a simple design without any styling, images, or additional clutter. But, if you want to add images, textures, or change colors, you can do so as well.

 

Source: Design Shack

Using the default PowerPoint layout to design a business presentation isn’t usually a great idea. You need a business PowerPoint template that’s going to stand out, make an impression, and look professional.

A complete redesign for the heavily outdated default PowerPoint templates is long overdue. But, there’s no need to wait for Microsoft to fix it. Instead, you can easily grab a premium PowerPoint template to give yourself a head start.

Created by professional designers, these business and marketing PowerPoint templates will help you design more professional presentation slideshows that win over your clients and customers.

We’ve hand-picked the best in this collection.

Digital Marketing Strategy PowerPoint Template

Digital Marketing Strategy - Powerpoint Template

Using a creative and bold design in your PowerPoint slideshow is a great way to capture attention and make your presentation stand out. This beautifully designed PowerPoint template will help you achieve that goal. It comes with more than 40 slides that feature a unique design made specifically for marketing presentations. It’s also available in 2 different color themes.

Creative Business PowerPoint Presentation

Creative Business Powerpoint Presentation

Whether you’re working on a business project presentation, product showcase, or company profile, this PowerPoint template can handle them all. It includes 50 unique slide designs in 10 different color schemes, which you can easily customize however you like to present your ideas in a modern and creative way.

Mega Business – PowerPoint Template

Mega Business - Powerpoint Template

If you’re looking to make a presentation slideshow with less color and a minimalist approach, this PowerPoint template is perfect for you. It features a set of beautiful slides designed with a content-focused layout. The template comes with 30 unique slides with editable vector graphics, icons, shapes, and more.

LIVI – Business PowerPoint Template

LIVI - Business Powerpoint Template

Showing off elegance is a part of every modern business, especially for fashion and apparel brands. This PowerPoint template comes with 30 unique slide designs featuring 5 different color variations, a total of 150 slides, that are perfect for crafting modern and elegant presentations for all kinds of businesses.

Influencer Marketing PowerPoint Template

Influencer Marketing PowerPoint Template

If your marketing agency specializes in influencer marketing, this is a PowerPoint template you must have. It comes with multiple slide designs based on 20 master slide layouts and the template is available in 2 different sizes. All of the slides are designed to create social media and influencer marketing presentations.

Business Box – PowerPoint Template

Business Box PowerPoint Template

Using a simple and uncluttered design in your slides is another brilliant approach to showing off professionalism in your presentations. This PowerPoint template is just right for that job. It comes with multiple slides filled with diagrams, charts, and vector graphics you can easily customize to your preference.

SWOT – Business PowerPoint Presentation

SWOT Business PowerPoint Presentation

You can craft any type of business presentation using this PowerPoint template as it comes with a multipurpose design that appeals to all audiences. It includes 111 unique slide layouts in 20 different color schemes. The template also features a custom infographic, icons, and much more.

Agency Portfolio PowerPoint Template

Agency Portfolio PowerPoint Template

Every business needs a presentation template for showcasing their portfolio. This PowerPoint template is perfect for that task. It comes with 50 unique slides featuring a minimalist design that effectively highlights your portfolio in every slide. The template also includes editable vector graphics, infographics, and icons.

Technoz – Marketing PowerPoint Template

Technoz - Internet Marketing PowerPoint Template

This PowerPoint template is designed for making digital marketing presentations. The clean and minimal design of its slides makes it ideal for all kinds of business, agency, and corporate slideshows. It includes 33 unique slides featuring editable vectors and image placeholders.

UCorporate – Modern Business PowerPoint Template

UCorporate Modern Business PowerPoint Template

Corporate business presentations don’t have to look boring. With this PowerPoint template, you can create more attractive and modern slideshows for corporate and business-related presentations. It includes slides in both light and dark color themes with editable colors and image placeholders.

Cytrex – Business Plan PowerPoint Template

Cytrex Business Plan PowerPoint Template

Featuring more than 200 unique slides, this PowerPoint template will help you design all kinds of business related presentations, especially including project plans, business plans, and more. It also comes with 30 creative business-themed vector graphics, 30 color schemes, and light and dark color themes.

Digital Marketing Agency PowerPoint Presentation

Digital Marketing Agency PowerPoint Presentation

Designing beautiful and modern presentations for promoting your marketing agency will be much easier with this complete digital marketing PowerPoint template. It includes 60 unique slides featuring editable vector graphics. You can also choose from 8 different color schemes to customize the slide designs as well.

UNCO – Simple Business PowerPoint Template

UNCO - Simple Business PowerPoint Template

This modern business PowerPointe presentation template comes with more than 60 unique slides filled with editable vector shapes, graphics, icons, and so much more for making attractive presentations for all kinds of businesses. The template also includes lots of charts and graphs you can use to visualize data and make more compelling arguments.

Business Report Colorite PowerPoint Template

Business Report Colorite PowerPoint Template

With this stylish and clean PowerPoint template, you can create effective presentation slideshows to showcase different types of business and marketing reports. It comes with a set of beautiful slides filled with charts, graphs, icons, infographics and much more.

Hello Business Powerpoint Template

Hello Business Powerpoint Template

Whether you’re working on a presentation for a small business or an agency, this creative PowerPoint template will help you design more effective presentations for your brand. It comes with a simple slide design that can be easily customized to your preference and features 4 different premade color schemes.

Bizzi – Modern Business Powerpoint Template

Bizzi - Modern Business Powerpoint Template

Bizzi is a multipurpose business PowerPoint template featuring 30 unique slides in 3 different color schemes. The template comes filled with flowcharts, graphs, mockups, and much more for making attractive business presentations. It’s also available in light and dark color themes as well.

JOIN – Business Proposal Powerpoint Template

JOIN - Business Proposal Powerpoint Template

It takes careful planning to create a business proposal that win over clients. But, with this PowerPoint template, you’ll be able to easily create an effective business proposal without having to spend hours designing it. The template comes with 30 professionally designed slides in 3 color schemes to choose from.

Gadis – Modern Powerpoint Presentation

Gadis - Modern Powerpoint Presentation

If you’re making a slideshow to promote a fashion-related brand or a business, this modern PowerPoint template will come in handy. It features a stylish and creative slide design that puts more attention on its featured images. The template includes 50 unique slides with image placeholders, 500 icons, world map vector graphic, and more.

Startup Pitch Deck PowerPoint Template

Startup Pitch Deck PowerPoint Template

Looking for a PowerPoint template to make a pitch deck? Well, you’ve found it. This template includes a total of 200 creative slides that allows you to create an effective slideshow to pitch your startup or product to clients and investors. The template is fully animated and comes in light and dark color themes as well.

Venoture – Powerpoint Presentation Template

Venoture - Powerpoint Presentation Template

This beautiful PowerPoint template features a modern and creative slide design that will allow you to make all kinds of business and agency presentations. It includes 50 unique slides filled with image placeholders, editable graphics, and vector icons.

Social Media Trends Powerpoint Template

Social Media Trends Powerpoint Template

Social media marketing is a big trend these days. It needs no convincing to prove its effectiveness. But with this modern PowerPoint template, you’ll be able to make a more compelling argument to show the power of social media trends and marketing. The template comes with 100 slides in both light and dark color themes.

Group – Team Presentation PowerPoint Template

Group - Team Presentation PowerPoint Template

Making group presentations will be easier with this creative PowerPoint template that comes with 100 unique slides featuring 4 different color schemes. It also comes with an easily editable design with image placeholders and unlimited color options.

 

Source: Design Shack

Of all the retro design styles that have been trending, mid-century modern design might be one of my favorites. The phrase “mid-century modern” is more than just a staple on home improvement television shows, it’s also a classic art and design style that speaks to an era.

The best thing about mid-century modern design is that it can simplify the complex. It was a popular style in homes and décor, as well as graphic and product design in for decades spanning the 1930s, 40s, 50s, and 60s.

Now it is making a comeback as a graphic and web design trend.

What is Mid-Century Modern Design?

mid-century modern design
It’s definitely a design style that comes with a distinct manner of taste

“Mid-Century Modern” is a collection of design styles that most us of would consider retro these days. While it’s not always easy to define this aesthetic there are common color, shape, spatial and typography elements that help make it identifiable.

Mid-century modern is often colorful and bold. Shapes and space are often wide, asymmetrical and even aloof in style and structure. Typography is often on the simple side with block sans serifs, simple serifs and plenty of all-caps fonts.

One of the most common features of mid-century modern design is that it looks somewhat abstract and disjointed at a glance, but when you really look at these pieces, they work fantastically. It’s definitely a design style that comes with a distinct manner of taste – people tend to love it or hate it.

The best modern mid-century mod collection of elements might be the visual catalogue by Theo Inglis on Tumblr (also featured above).

Mid-Century Mod Characteristics

mid-century modern design

There are specific design elements that you can expect to find in most mid-century modern graphic designs.

Part of the reason this “retro” style is trending is that it makes use of other design trends from minimalism to use of geometric shapes. A designer doesn’t have to use all – or even many of – these elements for the style to qualify as having a mid-century modern feel.

Mid-century modern design characteristics often include:

  • Use of minimalism or minimal concepts
  • Bold or vibrant color with some neutrals
  • Use of geometric shapes
  • Clean lines and angles
  • Textures that resemble wood, leather or glass
  • Medium to heavy fonts, often in all caps
  • Lack of ornamentation; all elements are usable
  • Contrasting design ideas
  • Asymmetry
  • Rough lines, typography or overall texture

How Designers Are Using It

mid-century modern design
mid-century modern design
While print elements might be the most common use of mid-century modern design, elements are popping up on web projects as well.

With distinct ties to art and architecture, mid-century modern graphic design often evokes these ideas. One of the most well-known trending examples of this style is in wall art.

The National Parks Conservation Association and Ranger Doug’s Enterprise has released a growing collection of parks posters in this style (above).

While print elements might be the most common use of mid-century modern design, elements are popping up on web projects as well. It can be a little more difficult to maintain the spirit of the style in this format, but you can definitely see it with more retro-style elements, color options, and type treatments. Use of space and geometry are also identifiers.

The big difference when it comes to web design is that most of the more muted color palettes of mid-century mod in print are even bolder and brighter, more in line with current web trends, such as Hyper Giant (above).

Tips to Get Started

mid-century modern design
mid-century modern design
mid-century modern design

Mid-century modern styles can be a challenge when it comes to incorporating them into your design projects. You want to balance the retro look and feel with modern techniques so that the design doesn’t look “too dated.”

Caava Design might be the closest web representation to the classic stylings of mid-century modern.

Each of the examples above uses a “modern” mid-century modern design that’s easy to replicate.

Polybloc uses geometric shapes prominently – both as a background texture in the tight building images – and also in the shapes for each image. This is paired with unusual coloring and minimal language in a simple typographic style. (Note the all-caps.)

Mogney mixes color and geometry with animation for a fun, minimal style that feels very on trend. The asymmetric design pattern and almost “mismatched” color choices are very mod.

Caava Design might be the closest web representation to the classic stylings of mid-century modern. The color choices and geometry overlay are impressive. These are paired over a neutral base – a common theme in this style – with a typeface that’s a little different from others we’ve seen but with a retro feel.

The trick to using mid-century modern design elements is not to overdo it. Pick the parts of the design trend that appeal to you most and incorporate those into the design. Mix and match with modern techniques and styles to create something that captures the era but also works for today.

“Modern” Mid-Century Modern Elements

Want to get started with a modern, trending design using mid-century modern design elements? We’ve collected five different types of design pieces that can jumpstart your creative thinking or provide a basis for projects.

Portfolio Template

mid-century modern design

Let’s Jazz Font

mid-century modern design

Clean Modern Trifold

mid-century modern design

Teamwork Isometric Concept

mid-century modern design

Mid-Century Modern Brushes for Adobe Illustrator

mid-century modern design

Conclusion

When it comes to modernizing a classic style, such as the mid-century modern design trend, is to use elements of it but not to overdo it. Think about how the design style matches the content of the design.

These pieces have to match for the trend to make sense. Mid-century modern works great for print pieces that have short shelf lives (such as invitations) and web designs that evoke a retro emotion.

 

Source: Design Shack

Modern logo design is a collection of classic and trending elements, all of which combine together to create a brand mark that feels fresh. Today’s modern design is exemplified by sleek lines, simple lettering, color, and highly defined elements.

Here, we’ll look at trends in modern logo design with examples from large companies and smaller brands.

Whether you’re gearing up for a minimal design, love gradients, like hand-drawn imagery, or have a clear need for a responsive logo, we’ll have you covered with these trends and examples.

1. Minimalization

modern logo design
modern logo design

Drop the embellishments. Logos that feature a minimal style are totally trending.

This is a modern take on logos that’s been evolving for a long time as more designs feature flatter styles, fewer colors and as few words as possible.

Minimal styles are popular for a few reasons:

  • They are easy to read at a glance, and at small sizes
  • They reflect an overall trend in design of all types
  • They are easier to use from placing on images to icons to billboards
  • Big brands are doing it – Google, Airbnb, Spotify and others have all streamlined their logos

Dunkin’ dropped the “Donuts” in a recent change. While the idea of the logo didn’t change that much, it’s simple and minimal. This is representative of a shift toward minimalization that’s happening across logo design, for brands new and old, large and small.

Best Buy moved from a price tag icon logo with tilted text inside to upright text next to an icon. The new logo does look more modern. It is easier to read and it has an overall sleekness that minimal styles tend to convey.

2. Gradients

modern logo design

Gradients are one of the best color trends to bounce back after being “flattened” by flat and material design trends. The newer versions of gradients have been bright, bold and integrated into the design. They are anything but boring.

This trend is carrying over to logo design as well. The modern take on gradients is to make them obvious. (There aren’t some of the skeuomorphic hints of graduated color from the past.)

Mozilla Firefox uses gradients in its logo elements and overall website design. A color theme – such as a specific gradient hue – can carry a visual theme so that people know you almost by color alone. (There are rumors that the upcoming version of the logo will feature an even more prominent gradient style.)

3. Text in a Box

modern logo design

“Text in a box” logos are another example of how minimalism and readability are impacting design. This logo style is incredibly easy to read and highly functional. (Think of how easy it is to put a logo such as the one above on top of an image and still be able to read it.)

This style works best with clean lettering and simple words.

The trend might also be reflective of some of the do-it-yourself logo options on the market.

Duke University Press uses a text in a box logo that emphasizes the prominence of the university name in the design. The larger reverse letters have an immediate impact in the logo while providing plenty of space for “university press,” which includes a long string of letters for a logo.

4. Icon Next to Text

modern logo design

This is one of the things that sets apart many newer logo designs from anything more than 6 months or so ago – a text and icon element placed next to each other.

For a while, elements in icon design seemed to touch or overlap. Not anymore.

Designers are treating logo elements – icons and text – as separate things. This works for a few reasons:

  • So people will look at each part of the logo independently, visually differentiating the icon and text
  • To create an easier visual path for responsive logos or social media icons (just drop the text)
  • This option can be fun, and adaptable when it comes to animation

Slack said this about its logo change (that features an icon next to text) and the philosophy is spot on: “A good reason to change a logo is that it’s not doing the job you want it to do—and because a simpler, more distinctive evolution of it could do that job better.”

5. Hand-Drawn Logos

modern logo design

The trick to a solid hand-drawn logo is that it is whimsical, but not sloppy.

The hard thing with this modern logo design is that it’s difficult to explain. You almost just know it when you see it.

The logo for Alexie, find it in the Design Shack Gallery – features a simple drawing that could have been done by hand or computer. It’s playful and simple and just imperfect enough to be charming.

6. Responsive Logos

modern logo design

Responsive logos shift based on the size of the viewport where they are displayed. A logo might include one or two versions or five or six for different use cases.

Almost all responsive logos include a full-size render that’s the largest and most complicated version of the design and a logo-only option that’s the most basic option for the smallest uses.

Head over to Responsive Logos to see more examples such as the one above that show how they work. There are more than a dozen options to experiment with.

7. Intricate Details

modern logo design

This modern logo design style seems contrary to almost everything else in this article. Intricate details and fine lines for icons and type are a trending element.

This style is popular because of vintage styles that feature more classic elements. With such a focus on minimalism, vintage is anything that’s got more detail and visual interest.

While these styles are a little harder to use, they are especially popular in some industries – think wine labels and clothing.

The options in the Motorcycle Logo pack featured above showcase this style perfectly. Intricate details still feature rather simple styles, such as line or hand-drawn elements.

8. Bright or Bold Color

modern logo design

Adding a bright color to a logo design can help it stand out.

Designers are playing when it comes to color and logo design with vibrant brand marks featuring fun color palettes, with often unexpected hue combinations. (No more boring sky blue logos!)

The brand design for Audrey & Bernice features a wide palette with plenty of contrast and interest. While the a and b have some of the same colors, the pops of green and red stand out.

9. Squares (And Circles)

modern logo design

While there’s no rule that a logo design needs to have a specific shape, square and circle options are the most common.

It’s for one distinct reason – these icons easily convert to profile photos for social media channels. A logo that fits into a square/circle will best fill the space for these platforms with the most visible space for the brand, making it as large as possible.

Sometimes logo trends can be influenced by the most practical applications.

The logo for Mizuno running isn’t perfectly square but it fits the shape well with just the right spacing. The company even puts the icon and text in a square for most uses to follow a consistent visual theme.

10. Interesting Typography

modern logo design

One logo trend that never goes out of style is the use of interesting typography. The modern spin on this trend is using something in a style the reflects the times.

Sans serif typography is the most popular logo option right now. The modern twist is making it your own.

Slate takes a slice out of one of the letters for a simple logotype. But it’s completely original thinks to the interesting representation of the “A.” This also solves a design problem with SLATE. In almost any other use the L and A would create an odd trapped space that might suck attention away from the word as a whole. Use of the sliced A eliminates that problem with a trendy style.

Conclusion

A modern logo design tells potential customers or website visitors that your brand or business is hip and interesting. A solid logo can establish credibility and trust.

Even small tweaks to an existing logo – such as streamlining it to remove dated elements – can bring new life to a brand mark.

Source: Design Shack

Affinity Photo has been receiving rave reviews from designers and photographers alike, looking for a photo editing software solution that’s not crazy-expensive but has in-demand features. But can it replace Photoshop?

While Affinity Photo isn’t super-cheap, you only have to buy the software (and any add-ons you like) just once, making it a somewhat viable option if you don’t like the monthly subscription fees that come with Adobe Photoshop.

Here’s a look at a few of the reasons you might switch from Adobe Photoshop to Affinity Photo (and a few reasons why it might not be the best fit for you!)

1. All the Photo Editing Capability You Need

Affinity Photo, which has desktop and tablet versions available, is a professional photo editing tool. It has all the features – from raw editing to digital painting to batch processing to multi-layered compositions – that you would expect. This is not some lame web app.

Affinity Photo is a robust photo tool.

affinity photo vs photoshop

It even does some things I didn’t know I needed, such as 360-degree photo editing and professional retouching. The retouching tools are especially nice with brushes such as clone, burn and dodge, but also an inpainting brush, frequency separation capability and liquefy features.

And you can add on all kinds of plugins to streamline workflows. (This is a newer feature that has been growing.)

It’s also pretty inexpensive. The desktop version is $49.99 one time. There’s no monthly fee. (But you do also have to pay for add-ons or plugins and the app version.)

2. Create Customizable Workspaces

Most of us probably think of our tools and desktop environments as workspaces; in Affinity Photo these are “personas.”

Each persona comes with a set of tools made for the task at hand – there are five to choose from – so you can flip from project to project.

You can also set the design of the workspace to fit your personal taste as well, with light and dark interfaces to choose from. There are also customizable toolbars and more keyboard shortcuts than you can count.

And it’s easy to use.

3. Import and Export Native Formats

affinity photo vs photoshop

While you do have to spend some time retraining your brain to work with new software, it does work with the files you already have. Affinity Photo lets you important and edit Photoshop files and you can export anything as well.

It maintains layers, effects, and adjustments so that the integrity of the design or edits does not break down if the file is opened by users on different software.

This can make switching a little easier and prevents some issues with versioning and platforms. All file types also work across all devices and operating systems.

4. It Includes Fun App-Like Tools

affinity photo vs photoshop

One of the things that set Affinity Photo apart from Photoshop is some of the fun app-like tools that are a standard part of the software.

Pano Stitching

Put together multiple images using a stitching algorithm so that you finish with a single stunning panorama. Plus, the software makes everything align and does full perspective corrections so no one will ever know you started with multiple images.

Vector Drawing

One of the limitations of most photo editing tools is that they only work in raster formats; Affinity also allows you to create vector shapes and elements to use within the editor.

Save Your Undo History

Even after you close Affinity Photo, the undo sticks. It actually saves with each document so that you can go back to any undo stages at any point in the editing process. (Now this is a time-saver!)

Focus Merge

Merge multiple images at different focal distances for an amazing depth of field. Smart tools adjust alignment – so you don’t have to do it by eye – and helps you figure out the best angles/options to use from your raw photo set.

Liquify Effects

Turn any image into a puddle with a few clicks and brushes that push, twirl, pinch, punch, freeze and thaw in a real-time mesh that helps reimagine images.

5. Works on Desktop and iPad

affinity photo vs photoshop

If you work between multiple devices frequently, this is a nice option. The iPad version even lets you work on native (including PSD) files.

For users that working across desktop and iPads is common, this tool is probably the best option out there. Photoshop does have an app – and it’s getting better – but the full-scale functionality here is hard to beat. (The app was named one of Apple’s best of 2017, and has continued to get better since then.)

5 Reasons You’ll Probably Stick with Photoshop

For some of us, Photoshop is that old trusty tool that we can’t leave behind. And that’s OK too. Not everyone will want to make the switch to different editing tools.

  1. Affinity has its own “suite” with photo and design tools, but not everyone wants to make a complete switch from industry-standard tools.
  2. The tablet version is iPad only. And while it is nice; this requires a separate license or download fee.
  3. It might be a little too gimmicky if you are just bringing in raw images for a batch edit. While there is batch capability, if you already have an action that works and efficient setup, there’s not a lot of reason to learn new software for repeated tasks.
  4. While it seems pretty zippy, Affinity Photo has more lag and slowness than Photoshop for high-powered editing.
  5. There’s a learning curve to new software. Some people just don’t have the time or want to learn something new. (Affinity Photo does have a free trial if you want to take it for a spin before committing with a credit card though.)

Conclusion

So, should you make the switch to Affinity Photo from Photoshop? It really comes down to how you work and what features are most important to you.

Users who want more app-like tools, fancy editing features and mobility will probably prefer Affinity Photo. High-power raw photo editors or designers working with other Adobe tools, will likely prefer the fluidity of one “suite” of software.

Source: Design Shack

Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced help for small businesses, more technical courses and a funding boost for digital, tech and science in this year’s “mini-budget”, which comes amid Brexit confusion.

Courtesy of the BBC

As furore and uncertainty around the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU) continues to ensue, chancellor Philip Hammond has delivered his Spring statement for 2019.

The Spring Statement is delivered every year and is considered a “mini-budget” that sits alongside the main Autumn Budget. Rather than going into detail on spending, it takes a more general look at where the Government is planning to spend its money over the next 12 months, and the sectors it will invest in.

This year, Hammond’s speech has been shrouded by chaotic negotiations around Brexit, which reached a head this week when prime minister Theresa May’s exit deal was rejected for the second time. This led to a vote on a no-deal Brexit, which received a resounding no from members of parliament (MPs), and another vote on whether to extend the exit day beyond the expected date of 29 March 2019, which was approved. This is not legally binding, and by default the UK is still due to leave on 29 March.

Hammond began his speech by stating the need for a “smooth and orderly exit from the EU” to ensure the country receives the “economic boost” it needs and pressed that the UK should avoid a no-deal at all costs.

Despite Hammond stating that there are “other pressing matters” at hand, he went on to discuss areas that would receive funding, provided Brexit does not prove too turbulent.

Business

Image courtesy of G Stock Studio

The chancellor has confirmed he will take steps to protect small businesses through cracking down on late payments made to them for services. Given that a large proportion of the design industry is made up of SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), sole traders and freelancers, this could help to improve workflow and business prospects.

Hammond says that it will be a new requirement for companies – design studios’ clients – audit committees, which assess financial matters, to review the company’s payment practices and report on them in their annual accounts, in a bid to encourage good practice.

Deborah Dawton, CEO at the Design Business Association (DBA), supports this decision and says that “cash flow is king” for small creative businesses. “Late payments can affect payroll, credit terms, interest rates and, in some cases, the very survival of a business,” she says.

She adds that the DBA will be asking members in this annual survey about this issue from now on, to help discover the extent of the problem and assess how government policy is making an impact over the coming years.

Education

Courtesy of StockRocket

The chancellor is pushing for more technical and vocational courses, which could be an alternative to college or university and could help up-skill those who are currently unemployed or underemployed.

He has confirmed that he will roll out T-levels in September 2020, which will be two-year-long courses resulting in a qualification equivalent to three A-levels, run in collaboration with businesses. They will include an industry placement to provide “on-the-job” experience and look to help people either get into further education or employment.

The courses aim to fill skill gaps, and look at disciplines including accountancy, building services engineering, education, finance, health and manufacturing. There will also be T-levels aimed at craft and design, development, digital production and digital design.

Designers reacted to the announcement of technical courses last year, with some praising the decision to provide “young creative brains” with more “choice”, while others welcomed the move but questioned whether creative businesses, which are mostly SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), realistically have the resources to provide work placements.

Other initiatives announced include: a national retraining scheme, which looks to “upskill workers” and will include a careers guidance service, courses, and online learning focused on skills needed for “jobs of the future” such as coding and digital; and three million new apprenticeships in partnership with 2,000 businesses.

Jack Tindale, policy manager of design and innovation at think-tank Policy Connect, says that while steps towards technical upskilling are “welcome”, the Government’s focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) undermines the impact of the creative industries. He adds that there should be more of a focus on multi-disciplinary courses teaching different skillsets.

“The continuing preoccupation by policy makers with STEM belies the complex nature of the design economy and the tremendous contribution that arts and humanities can provide,” he says. “The chancellor would be better to recognise the cross-sectoral value of design and designers to manufacturing, and other areas of the economy.”

Sarah Weir, CEO at the Design Council, adds that Government must consider design skills in tackling the UK’s “productivity problem” around employment. The Design Council’s Design Economy 2018 report found that designers were 29% more productivein terms of profits made compared to the average worker.

Tech, science and digital

Courtesy of Media Photos

The chancellor has committed to keeping the UK at the “forefront of the technology revolution”, so is making international students taking postgraduate doctoral degrees (PhDs) exempt from visa caps, meaning they have limitless access to visas to study in the UK.

Tindale comments that this exemption should be extended to all international students, rather than only those taking PhDs, which would bring a wider pool of talent into the UK, given that many creative professionals only study to undergraduate or master’s level.

“As long as the UK’s art and design schools are unable to recruit the brightest and best candidates from around the world, they will continue to lose out to institutions in Canada, Australia and elsewhere,” he says.

Hammond has also announced that, as part of the industrial strategy, the Government is investing £7bn in science and innovation, including £81 million towards a new Extreme Photonics Centre in Oxford, that will look at developing new types of lasers, which could impact those working in areas such as three-dimensional (3D) printing, product and industrial design. Other funds include £79 million towards a new supercomputer, and £45 million towards genomics – genes and DNA – research.

Tindale says again that the Government should be focusing on long-term multi-disciplinary strategy, rather than “individual programmes”, adding that encompassing different fields into improvement plans would help to lead the “British economy on a more stable, inclusive and innovative path”.

The chancellor also announced tougher regulation and higher taxes on big digital platforms, to help improve business competition in the sector, which is currently dominated by a few big players. Digital advertising is also likely to face harsher regulation by government department, the Competition and Markets Authority, which could impact and change the work of advertising, branding and graphic design studios working on projects for big clients.

Environment and climate change

Courtesy of Ian Dyball

Finally, a new Future Homes Standard is being introduced — a set of guidelines that indicate how houses will generate energy in the future. The aim is for no more fossil-fuel heating systems to be installed in all new houses from 2025 onwards, which could create opportunities for socially-conscious companies and designers, which are working on creating sustainable energy-harnessing systems. This come alongside announcements to provide more housing, with plans to create a million new homes in the Oxford and Cambridge region by 2050.

Weir says that the Government must focus on sustainability, and welcomes the Future Homes Standard, but is concerned that this law does not come into effect for another six years.

“The effects of climate change are already evident across the UK and a more ambitious timeframe is possible and necessary,” she says.

The Design Council published its Healthy Placemaking report last year alongside research group Social Change UK, which looks at how buildings can be made to be less polluting, more environmentally-friendly and be better for people’s health in general.

Source: Design Week

The idea has been floating around for a while – web design has a samenessthat’s just kind of boring. Let’s dive into some unique and innovative website layouts that can break the mold!

Blame user patterns, too many projects for too few designers, or just the desire of clients to have their site looks like something they’ve already seen and understand. But all is not lost. Even though some people are snoozing at what’s out there, designers are still experimenting and having fun with website design.

Today, we’ll break the routine and dive into ten website designs that feature unique or innovative ideas. If nothing else, it should break you out of any creative rut you might be having.

Divided Homepage

website layout ideas

An overwhelming number of homepage designs feature a giant hero image or video and a couple of big words to draw users into the design.

When those still images are “opened” they convert to video elements.

But what if you have more than one story to tell?

Molecular flips that concept with a six-panel homepage. What makes it work is the innovative use of hover actions to open each panel to display more information, while shrinking the others. The design is engaging as well. When those still images are “opened” they convert to video elements. (That made me move through each one just to see what video was present.)

This design solution is a unique way to break up a lot of complicated information. It’s highly visual, leads the user to just what the need and isn’t overwhelming in the process.

Massive Card Deck

website layout ideas
The interactive canvas shows that a lot is happening with Bitcoin.

Card-style design patterns gained a lot of popularity for a while, faded somewhat and have been reinvented again. This history less of Bitcoin is a massive display of cards on a game-board style canvas.

There’s no navigation, no sound or looping video, just dozens of cards with headlines (some with photos) hoping that you’ll click.

For some, this treatment might seem a bit overwhelming. But what if that is the whole idea? The interactive canvas shows that a lot is happening with Bitcoin.

Then take note of all the tiny headlines. They feel a lot like social media clickbait with titles like “7 Best Bitcoin Explainer Videos” and “History of Bitcoin (As Told By Its 7 Most Iconic Memes).”

Even if you never click a single card, my guess is that you’ll find yourself investigating how this movement works, what the logic is behind the zoom and center toggles and if this nontraditional user pattern has a place in your projects.

Uber Minimalism

website layout ideas

It’s just a big logo. There’s no color. Nothing to see.

But I’m intrigued anyway.

This website design takes minimalism to the extreme and still provides an interesting user experience. It might be the soft color palette or the globe-style animation, but the simplicity of the design makes me want to see the featured projects on this portfolio website.

Sometimes a lack of information can be the thing that piques our curiosity.

Break the Rules

website layout ideas

This website breaks more design rules that I can count. But I keep looking at it.

There are altered fonts, odd abbreviations of words, text overlapping odd areas, a lack of contrast in the background, over-the-top gradients, multiple animations moving at once and some tiny lettering.

But I keep looking at it.

My guess is that if you click through, you will too.

Common guidance says that if you want to break design rules to just break one; yet, here they all seem to be broken beautifully. This style of website design is a definite risk that’s most appropriate for a portfolio site or something that gives you more creative freedom.

Mix Old and New School

website layout ideas
It’s nostalgic and can tug at the fond memories of users.

Yes, that’s Britney Spears circa 1999.

This website is a Spotify project that combines an old-school aesthetic but uses artificial learning and bots to help you find the right playlist.

While we can all agree that this design style is not what you would really focus on today – it’s so plain and boxy, right – its stands out because of that old-school feel. Why would new technology power games in this style?

That yin and yang effect is interesting and bold. It’s nostalgic and can tug at the fond memories of users. (The flip side is that anyone born after this era just won’t get it.)

Tile the Background

websitelayout ideas

The design is bold and in-your-face. Pin-Up Magazine tiles it’s cover on the homepage. Scroll just a little and one bigger one pops up, just begging to be clicked.

The style of the website is quite brutalist but easy to read.

It’s hideous and I love it anyway.

This is one of those places when weighing the audience and goals of the design can lead you down an unexpected path. Think about these magazine covers; they aren’t that enticing on their own. But the overwhelming design brings focus. The lack of elements on the homepage almost forces the user to scroll (and navigation does pop in).

This design can be scaled back to backgrounds that are tiled and less “out there.” But it’s a good example of how not everything has to have that sameness. This one makes you look because it’s loud and daring.

Space and Asymmetry

website layout ideas
What’s enticing about the simplicity of this design is that it doesn’t seem to ask much of the user.

Break the grid or plan an asymmetrical grid.

The beautiful nothingness of Lasse Pedersen’s website is phenomenal.

Websites are always trying to sell with plenty of entry points into different bits of content. None of those exist here. Look at the screen or scroll. That’s it. Two choices. Plain and simple.

The risk here is that the thing users choose is to leave the design, but the flow across the screen with the simple instruction to scroll should be enough to draw at least one flick of the mouse.

What’s enticing about the simplicity of this design is that it doesn’t seem to ask much of the user. You can really look at the images and if you make it past the homepage there’s a small contact button if you want to know more.

Display a Full-Screen Photo

website layout ideas

Most full-page hero images and videos are trapped between a light or dark header bar at the top of the screen with navigation elements and some type of separation to the next content element below.

Gourmand & Gourmet uses a full screen image without all the containerized elements surrounding it.

While the design feels big without the header in particular, it is a tricky configuration. Just think of how hard it can be to place text on different parts of an image, and now you have to do it with the display text as well as smaller navigation elements.

This type of website design takes the perfect set of images, but can provide a lot of visual value.

Flip the Photo Placements

website layout ideas

One of the common themes among all of the unique and innovative website designs in this collection is that they present a new take on a common idea. Hopefully they are concepts and elements that you can use.

Photonico uses a simple design to showcase photos. The twist is that smaller images are on top as a form of navigation and big photos are below.

This creates a nice flow from top to bottom of the page. (Although I might like it even better if they got rid of the text navigation above the photo navigation.)

It goes to show that you don’t have to do the same thing to get the same result. Every element on the homepage is designed to take users deeper into the site.

The best part of this design might actually be the interaction that happens when you engage. Type in a search term and the screen shifts. It feels like a one page design thanks to nifty, quick animations, the simple dark background and static search bar.

Be Silly and Have Fun

website layout ideas

Design something happy and engaging. Beyond Theory does it with words, images and calls to action that are a bit unexpected – contact us on AOL (LOL).

Combine that with bright color and plenty of open space and the design is a pure delight.

It also uses an asymmetrical pattern and layered elements to create depth and interest.

Conclusion

Ready to get to work on something new and different? While there are pros and cons to all of the different website design ideas featured here, there’s something you can take away from each one.

The big idea is to just try. Not every design will yield great results every time, but there is value in daring to do something different.

Source: Design Shack

New Pentagram partner Yuri Suzuki gives us an insight into his highly experimental work ahead of a talk he will give at Design Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa, later this month.

Pentagram partner Yuri Suzuki is talking to Design Week about how the melody in generic telephone hold music could be trained to constantly evolve by an algorithm so that it never repeats itself and therefore limits the sense of time passing slowly for anyone waiting on a phone line.

This is one of the research and development projects that he is working on for Pentagram, having been made partner at the London studio in 2018. While the consultancy has a history of product designer partners including co-founder Kenneth Grange and current partner Daniel Weil, the majority of Pentagram’s partners are graphic designers.

What Suzuki does is quite hard to pin down, but essentially he is a sound designer who works with electronics and creates large-scale installations, interactive works, products and musical instruments.

Yuri Suzuki, challenging the traditional monitor keyboard setup

We caught up with him ahead of his talk at Design Indaba in Cape Town where he’ll be presenting at the end of the month.

Of the hold music project, he says: “When people are waiting on the phone they find that the music can get annoying so I’m creating an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based algorithm melody progression with no repetition.”

“I’m unusual for Pentagram”

Suzuki talks in excited soundbites and his head seems to be fizzing with ideas. He works within “space and sound design” in his own words and describes his appointment as “unusual for Pentagram”.

He shut down his own eponymous studio in East London when he took the new job and now works from a space within Pentagram’s West London studio, although describes himself as “quite nomadic”.

Career highlights include the wowing Z-Machines, created in 2013 for advertising agency Hakuhodo Zima in an effort to show that machines are able to play emotionally engaging music. The result is heart warming, breath taking and thoroughly entertaining, so it works.

“A 78 finger guitarist, or a drummer with 22 arms – although partially explored in this project – suggests there is huge potential for Z-Machines,” according to Suzuki.

Then there’s the slightly more restrained Synth Play. This highly interactive project was created for Chinese tech company Raven and saw Suzuki turn large inflatable shapes into an interface for people to interact with. Each shape controlled a different element of sound while also manipulating light and smell within a controlled gallery space.

Some of his work is beautifully simple. Looking at the above image you can see that Sonic Playground created for the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, USA, barely needs explanation. Modular funnels and tubes have been constructed to encourage children to communicate vocally through play.

At the moment he’s working on a number of projects which he hopes he will be able to unveil at Design Indaba. Intriguingly, one of these is a set of musical instruments which was designed in the 1970s and never completed. Suzuki is finishing them off and bringing them to bear although he can’t reveal what they are.

“Sound in branding leaves a strong impression”

He is a big believer in sound design being part of integrated design solutions and it is possible that in the future we might see Suzuki’s talents being put to use on a Pentagram branding project. Although he doesn’t say this explicitly he does talk about the power of sonic branding and sound signatures.

“Sound in branding leaves a strong impression and really sticks to your brain – it’s stronger than visuals even,” he says.

He’s also a big believer in the integration of sound design within products. A good example of this is car design, an area where sound design has historically meant things like the sound car doors make when they shut, or the alarm noise made when lights are left on.

However, Suzuki is struck by the possibility of sounds that can be synthesized within electric or self-driving cars, which in some cases can even be the sound of the car engine. He is “consulting with a car company” but won’t say anymore and is also interested in the further integration of voice activated connected home products such as Amazon’s Alexa.

“Psychology of sound”

Sonic product and sonic branding signatures are obvious outlets for Suzuki’s talents within Pentagram but we will have to wait and see what his design trajectory is. After all, he is highly experimental.

His main area of interest, although there is not a project tackling it per se, is how music and sound can affect human behaviour. “There’s nothing really out there on the psychology of sound in any detail so I’d like to look at that for research and education purposes.”

Yuri Suzuki is speaking at Design Indaba, which takes place from 27 February – 1 March at the Artscape Theatre, D.F. Malan St, Foreshore, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa. For more information and tickets, head to: www.designindaba.com 

Source: Design Shack

What’s hot in graphic design? One of the things people always want to talk to me about is graphic design trends. Here’s a recap of the top graphic design trends of 2018, plus a little preview of what’s likely on the horizon for 2019.

It’s such an interesting topic because there are trends that change slowly over time – just look at the long evolution of flat design to where we are now – and others that seem to flip overnight. Should you always rush to use the latest graphic design trends in your work? Of course not. But it’s helpful to pick up new ideas, find inspiration, and see what types of techniques and styles are shaping your industry.

1. Bright Color

graphic design trends
graphic design trends

Use of bright color for everything from backgrounds to images to user interface elements was one of the biggest graphic design trends of 2018 for sure.

Palettes with lots of bright color in interesting shapes or typography have been huge this year.

Projects featuring vivid color palettes have been dominant in website projects and redesigns a well as print promotion and elements. Many of these colors take a cue from Material Design palettes, which are bright and bold featuring colors such as blue, purple and pink.

The two places where color has really shown up is in product and packaging design that carries over to other elements such as website design. RXBar, above, is a prime example of this trend in action. Every color is distinctive and the packaging and website design are perfectly married.

But that’s not the only application of the bright color graphic design trend.

Designers are also using more rainbow-inspired palettes that break the rule of using just two or three colors for the design. Palettes with lots of bright color in interesting shapes or typography have been huge this year.

2. VR and Mixed Reality

graphic design trends
graphic design trends
This type of design is everywhere from websites to short videos and ads.

Virtual and mixed reality projects just keep growing as devices become more common.

But there are also projects that use these same design styles without having to use a special device.

This graphic design trend is exemplified by elements that look almost real and move in realistic ways, but aren’t life-like. Think about mixing cartoonish elements and tactile animation.

This type of design is everywhere from websites to short videos and ads. (The technique has been popular in gaming for a while.) There’s even some crossover into print, although there’s an obvious lack of animation.

And while this is a design technique, the trick to really making it work is storytelling. Users have to be a part of the action to truly engage with this type of content. But if you can get their attention, it can be a valuable way to interact with users.

3. Three-Dimensional Still Life Elements

graphic design trends
graphic design trends

It seems like designers are itching to do three-dimensional design projects. That is showing up in staged elements and still life representations of elements and objects in a 3D space – real or created.

This concept creates a highly engaging canvas and representation for product placements and showing how something might look or feel in real life. These designs are often rather elaborate, although they might not look like it at a glance, and might feature real and created objects.

This graphic design trend shows imagination in action.

4. Single-Page or Long-Scroll Layouts

graphic design trends
graphic design trends

The scroll is not dead! Thanks to mobile internet and usage habits, it’s actually alive and maybe even doing better than ever. (It’s probably not a shock that mobile users scroll … a lot.)

What’s important is designing responsively in a way that’s conducive to this behavior. Using card-style elements, smooth design, and structuring content so that there’s a reason to keep moving down the screen.

What can be complicated about this trend is that what looks like an ideal amount of content on a desktop screen can actually be quite a load on a mobile screen. Single-page layouts need to offer a balance of these use types so that content doesn’t feel sparse or overwhelming.

Generally, this trending design is best for projects that don’t have what would traditionally take a lot of pages or for content that’s broken into smaller chunks for quick digestibility.

5. Gradients

graphic design trends
graphic design trends

Gradients are everywhere – as backgrounds, as photo and video overlays, inside images, and the list goes on.

Color has been a big deal in 2018 and gradients have been a big part of that movement. The same bright colors that have been popular on their own are also trending choices for gradients.

But not all trending gradients are bold and bright. Some are more subtle with a soft color variation. They can be used with real elements or illustrations and typography.

6. Moving Shapes and Blobs

graphic design trends
graphic design trends

There something majestic about animated shapes and blobs. This design trend centers around “shapeless” shapes that move slowly (or sometimes with a little more pep) in the background of a design.

Blobs can be large or small and often feature bright color or serve as a dominant art or eye tracking element to help users navigate a design.

But this best part is this trend is a little funky and fresh without trying too hard. You can deploy some fun animation without overthinking it and develop a design pattern that’s engaging for users even when the project might lack other imagery such as photos or video.

The biggest users of this trend seem to be startups or smaller-scale projects for that reason. And the innovative designs are worth a look.

7. Minimal Navigation

graphic design trends
graphic design trends

Whereas mega menus were all the rage a few years back, there’s been a shift to more minimal and even hidden navigation elements. This takes a cue from mobile (where most users are viewing websites anyway) to create a more open canvas and streamline user experiences.

While there are pros and cons to “barely there” navigation, the graphic design definitely benefits from a clean canvas and more creative options for tucking away those “pesky” navigation elements.

Both examples above do this in different ways. Blab uses a create square menu button at the bottom left of the screen. Le Mordue doesn’t even show navigation on the home screen, it pops in as users scroll.

8. Authentic Imagery

graphic design trends
graphic design trends

With everyone trying to connect in a true way less polished, authentic images are dominating design projects. Even commercial photography is shifting to look more like snapshots for these projects.

More authentic imagery is not amateurish; it’s just a different style.

And while the look is a little less polished, it works.

This trend works because it feels more real. It also crosses over to other places where design elements are used for a brand, such as social media.

You can capture this trend using stock imagery – although it can get tricky fast – but the better alternative is to have a conversation with your photographer/videographer about what you want to do visually. More authentic imagery is not amateurish; it’s just a different style.

Higher screen resolutions are making it more important than ever to have high-quality images and—even if the trending style is a little laxer—the quality of the photography should not be.

Conclusion

What new design ideas are you most looking forward to using in graphic design projects this year?

The thing I love about all of these concepts is that they are pretty usable. There’s nothing better than a merging of beautiful design and highly usable experience.

Source: Design Shack

Gensler has designed the space in central London with the aim of encouraging “integration” between teams and highlighting the brand’s heritage.

Design and architecture studio Gensler has worked with magazine publisher Hearst UK, to create new offices for the media company and bring all of its brands into the same building for the first time.

Hearst UK, which publishes titles including Elle, Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar, was previously located in two separate Soho, London offices.

All of its media brands have now moved in together in a newly designed space spanning five floors in Leicester Square, London.

The media company briefed Gensler to create a space which encourages collaboration and showcases the businesses’ heritage.

“Our goal was to drive integration and collaboration among teams and support cohesion and equality between brands,” says Christopher Crawford, senior designer at Gensler.

“For us this project was much more than a physical build – it was about creating culture that works across the entire Hearst family,” he adds.

The open-plan design for the newly named House of Hearst, includes a multitude of spaces for people to step away from their desks, work together or socialise, including a “flexible” reception area, central meeting suite, dining area and library space.

Meeting rooms have been moved to the centre of the space, allowing for desks to be placed around the outside, both letting in more light and creating better views, according to Gensler.

Areas have been designed for the creation of mood boards, which Crawford says are “an important part of Hearst’s creative process”.

Light wood panelling has been combined with black furniture, grey sofas and light-coloured walls, throughout the office, and lots of plants have been introduced.

Crawford says the studio has aimed to use colours that are “timeless, bright and sophisticated” and to bring a “residential quality” to the space, creating a “calming” atmosphere.

As well as traditional signage, digital signs are used in the building, which Crawford says allows Hearst to choose whether to keep a space neutral or add “brand specific personality” when needed.

“If Elle was hosting an event, for example, the space can be transformed to highlight the colours, tone and feel of their brand,” he says.

Key design features include a plaque wall, with the branding of each of Hearts’s publications engraved on a plaque, as well as “portal” corridors.

“The portal has a mesh display grid which has been created for brainstorming sessions,” Crawford says. “Notes can be hung, materials can be displayed, and styling of outfits can be hung on wall space.”

Hearst’s “H” logo appears throughout the building in various forms, for example, made out of lights inside an infinity mirror.

A library has been filled with back-copies of Hearst publications and competitors titles and also contains digital content, as the company takes steps to become paperless.

Hearst UK has now moved into its new office.

Source: Design Week