Blog Design Madness – Round Two

Thank you very much to everyone who participated last week in the first round of our Blog Design Madness tournament. Today round two begins, with 32 blogs still remaining. The voting will close Monday night at 9:00 PM Eastern (US). As always, please take a moment to vote for your favorite designs (if you’re reading in a feed reader or email you will need to click-through to the post to vote). The rest of the tournament will be completed within the next 10 days, so be sure to come back and see how your favorites are doing. If you want to make sure you don’t miss a chance to vote, please subscribe to the feed if you haven’t already. Thanks for voting!


Freelance Switch

Freelance Switch



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March's Best Links

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know that I used to do a roundup of the best links from each week. A few weeks ago I decided to change that from every week to every month (you can read my reasoning here). So, here are many of the articles that I have really enjoyed this month.

Web Design and Development:

5 Most Common Web Standards Misconceptions – from CSS Globe.

11 Accessibility Tips – from CSS Globe.

Create a Digg-like FAQ Page Using mootools – from Six Revisions.

How to Create an Effective Web Design Questionnaire – from Six Revisions.

How to Completely Test Your Website – from Digital Inspiration.

5 Useful URL Rewriting Examples Using .htaccess – from Roshan’s Blog.

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Designers and Communication Skills: Why and How to Improve

Earlier this week I posted a group interview with several established and successful designers. One of the questions that was asked to each participant was “What do you feel are the most important skills for a designer to have/develop?” By far the most popular answer was “communication skills.” While this is not technically a design-related skill, I was really pleased to see those responses, because I feel the same way. Communication skills can make or break any design project that you’re working on, so I thought I would cover the topic in more detail.

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Blog Design Madness: The Second Half of Round One

Here is the second half of round one in the Blog Design Madness competition! If you haven’t been with us the past few days you can check out this post that introduces the competition and you can see the blogs that competed two days ago.

Today we have another 32 excellent designs to decide on. Below each pair you will see a poll. Please vote on the design that you like the best. You can see the results from the other day at the end of this post. Next week we’ll move on with round 2 and beyond.

Thanks for your participation!


Web Designer Wall

Web Designer Wall

Instigator Blog

Instigator Blog

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101 Typography Resources for Web Designers


Lists of Great Fonts:

40+ Excellent Freefonts for Professional Design – Smashing Magazine

80 Beautiful Typefaces for Professional Design – Smashing Magazine

60 Brilliant Typefaces for Corporate Design – Smashing Magazine

30 Fonts that All Designers Must Own – Just Creative Design

Most Popular Free Quality Fonts – Tech Magazine

Great Fonts for Web 2.0 – Modern Life is Rubbish

13 Typefaces Every Graphic Designer Needs – David Airey

25 Best Free Quality Fonts – Vitaly Friedman

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Web/Graphic Designer Group Interview

Recently I had the privilege to do a brief interview by email with 10 excellent designers. I asked each designer the same five questions, and all of their responses are included below. You probably are familiar with most, if not all, of these people, and I’m sure there is plenty that we can all learn from these interviews.

The participants are:
Alen Grakalic of CSS Globe
John Phillips of Freelance Folder
David Airey
Matt Griffin of Liquid Design Media
Chris Coyier of CSS-Tricks
Connor Wilson

Thord Daniel Hedengren of Splashpress Media
Michael Martin of Pro Blog Design
Jacob Cass of Just Creative Design
Dejan Cancarevic of StylizedWeb

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Blog Design Madness


Tonight I’m sitting at my desk wishing that I didn’t have work to do so I could be on the couch watching college basketball. I know many readers are from various parts of the world, so if you’re not familiar with American sports, March Madness is a huge event for college basketball fans. There is a tournament involving 64 teams that takes about 3 weeks to determine the national champion.

You may be wondering what this has to do with web design, and quite honestly the answer is nothing, and that’s part of my problem (and something I’ll attempt to change). Since I’m stuck at the computer most of the time and I won’t be watching many of the games, I figured it would be fun to have a similar type of tournament here to coincide with March Madness. Since the games started today and I just now got the idea I’m a little late, but that’s ok, we have enough time.

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Tips for Part-Time Web Designers

ClockFreelance web design can be an ideal part-time business. Starting on a part-time basis allows you to gain valuable experience and ease your way into full-time status rather than taking the plunge and the risk that comes along with it. During a stint as a part-timer you can learn volumes about what it takes to be a successful freelancer and you’ll probably find some things that you want to do more of and some things that you want to do less.

15 Tips for Part-Time Designers to Improve on the Experience:

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30 of the Best Church Website Designs

Long Hollow Baptist Church

For many churches the website is an invaluable communications tool. The website can be extremely useful for helping new people to find the church, which can increase the growth of the church. Also, the website can help regular attenders and church members to get information on programs and events of the church.

Despite the enormous possibilities for church websites, many of them are ineffective. With that in mind let’s take a detailed look at the subject of church websites, what makes them effective, and showcase some of the best examples.

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Potential Add-Ons for Web Designers

Most web designers and web design firms have an interest in finding alternate sources of revenue in addition to providing design and development services for clients. While these other sources of income are unlikely to completely support the designer or the firm, they can be excellent complementary add-ons that are also a help to clients in addition to producing revenue. These are my suggestions for potential add-ons, feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments.

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