Caitlyn Hampton

Trending This Week: Color Block Designs with Stock Graphics

by Caitlyn Hampton on April 21, 2017 No comments

Designers have many tricks up their sleeves and one of the simplest is color blocking—a technique in which large blocks of bold color are photoshopped into the background.

Following brand guidelines can be tough. Style guides are strict and limit everything from the typefaces you’re allowed to use to the colors you can apply. In short, professional design projects can leave your creativity feeling a little stifled—but don’t despair! Color blocking is a great way to spice up your designs while staying on-brand and on-trend. Using the right stock graphics combined with a bold color blocking technique, you can breathe life back into your designs.

From display ads to website heroes, color blocking allows for some freedom by providing plenty of white space in your design.

 
graphic images

Download the graphic image used in this design.

 
In our display ad examples, we chose a yellow background to provide contrast with the model’s red hat, resulting in vibrant, playful ads that encourages potential customers to take notice.

 
Graphic Images

Download the graphic image used in this design.

 
We used the golden ratio in order to determine the size of the yellow block, positioned the model to cover a portion of the split between the two sides, and maintained her shadow in the cutouts to create some depth between the model and the background.

 
Graphic Images

Download the graphic image used in this design.

 
By using color blocking, we were able to choose a loud, bold color, and play with the layout design of the ad. All our brand guidelines were met, and creativity was still able to spread its wings.

Now it’s your turn—we’ve gathered some of our favorite stock graphics for use with this technique. What will you create?

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Color Block Designs with Stock Graphics

Trending This Week: Website Heroes with Stock Images

by Caitlyn Hampton on April 14, 2017 No comments

You may have noticed recently that every website design is starting to look—well, quite similar. You’ve seen it before: a full-width website, with a full-width hero stock image or stock video, some short and clever H1 headline text centered over the hero, with a logo on the left, and a navigation bar on the right. Ring a bell? Now here’s the crazy thing—this is perfectly OK.

It may seem overdone, but users prefer familiar experiences across the web. As web design guru Steve Krug says, “Conventions only become conventions if they work.” And the truth is, this layout has proven itself effective by allowing users to navigate the site as easily and intuitively as possible. As a business owner or UX designer, you want to make it easy to engage new customers. Simply put, websites shouldn’t leave people scratching their heads and trying to figure out how to find what they want.

The formula is a simple one: with an eye-catching hero and an attention-grabbing H1 copy, you can communicate your brand and product—and users can navigate your website without interference. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out a few of our eye-catching designs made using stock images below.

 
Stock Images

Download the stock image used in this website design.

 
Stock Images

Download the stock image used in this website design.

 
Small businesses have a hard enough time acquiring new customers and expanding their reach as it is. As a web designer, it’s your job to make customer conversion as seamless as possible so your clients can make the big money. This design layout achieves just that.

 
What do you think of this design trend? Does it make you yawn or simplify your job? Whether you’re staying on trend or designing the next big thing, get all the hero images you need.

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Website Heroes with Stock Images

Trending This Week: Impressionist Paintings in UI Design

by Caitlyn Hampton on April 7, 2017 No comments

Degas, Renoir, Monet—these are some of the greatest impressionist painters of all time, and their emotive paintings still inspire artists and designers to this day. But you probably wouldn’t expect impressionism to show up in stock images, would you? Well prepare to be surprised! In our new Future of Creativity Collection, imagination meets tech—and we’re adopting classic styles to make them something new: digital.

Impressionism is a style of immediacy and movement—of expression as much as representation. Its colors are vibrant, its brush strokes apparent. Modern artists take it to another level using heavily saturated color palettes and modern scenes.

Curious how you can use this trend in your designs? Check out how we allowed this night time cityscape to inspire our design with this music app concept.
 

Stock Images

Download the stock image used in this design.

 
Bring your designs into the modern age with sleek text treatment, heavy blurs, and less than opaque containers. Think contrast and contradiction—mix classic painting techniques with tech and let your imagination run amok. The color explosion can be contrasted with sleek design elements.

Now it’s your turn. Are you ready to let Monet and Manet back into your artist’s heart?
 

Explore Impressionist Art

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Impressionist Paintings in UI Design

Trending This Week: Monochromatic Illustrations With Stock Vectors

by Caitlyn Hampton on March 31, 2017 No comments

The tug-of-war between design and color is a tale as old as time, but at the end of the day, good design deserves a thoughtful color scheme—and vice-versa. To get the most out of this dynamic relationship, learning the fundamentals of color theory is one of the first things you should tackle as a designer. Sometimes an idea can spring from a color palette and breathe life into your designs. Other times, it’s the glue that keeps all of your ideas together.

This season, one color scheme in particular is ruling the design scene, and it’s refreshingly easy to achieve. A monochromatic color palette is a great choice for creating visual consistency while keeping your projects on-trend. Just take a look at our monochromatic book cover design below. With just a few simple stock vectors, some carefully placed text, and a Hue blend mode layered on top, we’ve created a beautiful cover design of one of our favorite books—Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace.

 
Stock Vectors

Download the geometric seamless plaid stock vector and flat illustration stock vector used in this design.

 
Beautiful design doesn’t have to be difficult to achieve—in fact, simplicity often makes for a more effective design. Monochromatic color palettes can take retro elements like plaid and a typeface like Bookmania and make them feel modern and fresh.

 
So, what do you say—are you bold enough to start designing your own monochromatic illustrations with stock vectors?

 

Explore Stock Vectors

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Monochromatic Illustrations With Stock Vectors

Trending This Week: Linear Vector Icons in Web Design

by Caitlyn Hampton on March 24, 2017 No comments

In web design, vector icons not only make your page look on-trend, they’re also great to convey a large amount of information in a way that’s both efficient and visually appealing—a rare combination in the world of design. Since users tend to rapidly skim pages, well-designed icons make your message easier to pinpoint by breaking up the content of a page so that viewers can quickly identify your services or products.

Take a look at our example below. This attention-grabbing homepage is noticeable for all the right reasons—with one quick glance, you get all the important details without any visual or verbal clutter.

 
Stock Vectors

Download the icons used in this website design.


 

So now you see why icons are a win-win for content and design, but the tricky thing about icons is that they can be really tough to design well. They require time and an attention to detail that can take hours or even days to get just right—even if you’re a professional designer.

The good news? We recently acquired a new collection of stock vectors for our library, including dozens of high-quality icon designs. They will take your web pages to the next level and save you hours upon hours of work. Check out some of our favorites here and if you want to see how to use icons in a resume, check out this post.

 
Stock Vectors
 
So what do you say—are you ready to take your website designs to the next level?
 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Linear Vector Icons in Web Design

Trending This Week: Geometric Illustrations and Grunge Textures

by Caitlyn Hampton on March 17, 2017 1 comment

With flat design being all the rage recently, it’s hard to find a digital design with texture and depth. But trends are always evolving and revolving, so it came as no surprise when we noticed a deviation from this new norm. This textured landscape illustration by Berin Catic caught our attention. It still uses similar concepts to flat design—simple geometric forms, distilled down from their complex shapes in reality—however, with one distinct difference: the use of grunge textures. We couldn’t help but notice that this style can be easily recreated using stock images.

 
Stock Images Using Grunge Textures

Download the grunge texture and landscape vector used in this design.

 
Stock Images Using Grunge Textures

Download the grunge texture and landscape vector used in this design.

 
To recreate Catic’s look, we used simple geometric shapes, added a grunge texture with the blend mode set to Soft Light, and finally added a color overlay with the blend mode set to Hue. You can color each shape differently; however, we chose to use a color overlay for a monochromatic look.

 
So what do you say—would you add texture to your illustrations or are you a flat design for lifer? Let us know in the comments and get started with your next work of art!

 

Discover Dimensional Grunge Textures

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Geometric Illustrations and Grunge Textures

Trending This Week: Brutalist Web Design

by Caitlyn Hampton on March 9, 2017 No comments

If you thought you’d seen all the trends there could be by now, think again. There is a new design style in town—actually, it’s kind of old—and it’s making websites look bad. Known as brutalist web design, this “back to basics” trend is a reaction to the user-friendly, “too perfect” web pages that have overtaken the digital world as designers and browsers become more comfortable pushing their creative boundaries. Given the renewed popularity of brutalism, we beg the question: Can web design ever be too good?

To achieve this retro look all you have to do is forget everything you’ve ever learned about web design best practices. In brutalism, there really aren’t any rules. One of the key components is how easy it should be to code your web design in HTML. We took this as a hint to have some fun and go a little crazy with bright colors, fun stock vectors, and of course we can’t forget monospace fonts.

 
stock vectorsDownload the stock vectors used in this design.
 

The brutalist design style was originally an architecture movement from the 1950s through the 1970s, and it descended from the modernist movement. The aesthetic was about showcasing the raw concrete and not trying to gloss over how a building was actually made and structured. Brutalist web design boasts the same philosophy—don’t hide the structure of your website—or rather the HTML. It truly is web design at its core. Think Craigslist. No CSS, just functionality.

So, what do you think? Are you willing to jump on the brutalist band wagon or would you rather stick with more modern times?

While trends may come and go, if you’re looking for some amazing stock vectors for your next web design project, check out our 20 best graphics for web design.

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Brutalist Web Design

#InstaFamous: The Top Hashtags for Designers on Instagram

by Caitlyn Hampton on February 1, 2017 No comments

Instagram is one of our favorite platforms for engaging with all types of creatives (spoiler: we post a lot of our favorite stock images). As a purely visual-driven social media channel, it’s an excellent way to get your design work out in front of unfamiliar eyes and embrace the impact it can have on your recognition and reach. Think of it as a tool for engagement and connection, rather than just another way to interact with friends and brands. You can create a community while advertising your talent and expertise—it’s a win-win!

Hashtags are an essential tool for getting the most out of Instagram. While it’s not nearly as important as posting quality graphics in the first place, using effective hashtags will allow you to reach more eyeballs. It’s how others discover your feed and follow topics of interest.

We researched the top hashtags for designers to help you build your brand using Instagram…and maybe even become #InstaFamous. It’s important to have a healthy mix of broad tags and also more niche tags. The more popular tags expand your audience, while the more specific ones lead to greater engagement.

These are our top picks:

Most Popular Design Hashtags

 
#graphicdesign #design #art #graphic #typography
 

General Design Hashtags

 
#designer #designers #creative #creatives #artist #artoftheday #picoftheday #digitalart #graphic #graphicart #graphics #workspace
 

Graphic Design Hashtags

 
#photoshop #illustrator #posterdesign #vector #vectorart #visualstyle
 

Branding Hashtags

 
#brand #brandidentity #branding #logo #seo
 

Illustration Hashtags

 
#illustration #cartoon #animation #aftereffects #gif
 

Typography Hashtags

 
#font #typeface #handdrawntype #calligraphy #handmadetype #lettering #typedaily #typedesign #typegang #typespire #typography
 

Web Design Hashtags

 
#web #webdesign #ux #ui #webdesigner #developer #webdeveloper #wordpress
 
These hashtags will put your work in front of a wide audience and, if you play your cards right, may even rank top in discovery—leading to potentially thousands of likes and follows.

Need some high-quality graphics to help get started on your designs? Explore our library of over 350,000 royalty-free images. You can use them for Instagram memes, and just about any other project!

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Caitlyn Hampton#InstaFamous: The Top Hashtags for Designers on Instagram

A Quick Start Guide to Adobe XD: 8 Essential Tutorials for Experience Design CC

by Caitlyn Hampton on August 31, 2016 1 comment

It’s the most in-demand skill in Silicon Valley, so why not add a user experience (UX) program to the Adobe suite? Graphic designers are rapidly morphing into UX designers—learning to create web and mobile interfaces through self-taught and “on the job” education. It sounds tricky, but you can pick it up pretty easily if you have basic knowledge of Photoshop or other Adobe applications. We’ve gathered the best quickstart tutorials on the Internet for Adobe Experience Design CC, also know as Adobe XD, to help you get acquainted with this new program.

 
These videos cover all the essentials of Adobe XD—from how to design for multiple devices to using stock vectors as interactive elements. Watch them from top to bottom, and you’ll be ready to start learning valuable UX design skills.

 

1. How to Use Adobe Experience Design CC

Terry White’s 30 minute introduction to Adobe XD covers all the basic tools and functions of the program, providing a foundational understanding for new users.
 

 

2. What’s New in Adobe XD

In this video, the lead designer of XD discusses new features and gives a demo of how they all work.
 

 

3. Adobe XD: Some Cool Features

Pieter Dorst teaches users how to add another screen to a flow and complete some user tests.
 

 

4. Adobe XD Basics: Experience Design Tutorial

ATB takes you quickly through the structure and components of Experience Design.
 

 

5. Learn How to Design a Carousel Slider in Adobe XD

Dansky gives an easy overview of building carousel sliders with stock photos.
 

 

6. How to Import SVG (Illustrator and Sketch) in Adobe XD

Straight from Adobe, this tutorial teaches you how import your illustration files.
 

 

7. Adobe Experience Design: Playing With Vectors

Tom Green shows you how to edit vectors and illustrations directly in Adobe XD.
 

 

8. How to Create Prototypes (wires) in Adobe XD

Demian Borba, a Product Manager at Adobe Experience Design, gives an overview of prototyping using wires and animation settings.
 

 
Ready to give XD a whirl? Get all the royalty-free photos, vectors, and icons you need to create a dynamic user experience for your portfolio or client.

 
 

Explore Images for UX Design

 
 

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Caitlyn HamptonA Quick Start Guide to Adobe XD: 8 Essential Tutorials for Experience Design CC