All About Contract Templates

This week in the Shop we’re all about contract agreements. We know as designers, you hardly have enough time to finish your work before the all-approaching-deadline, much less have time enough to write up a contract for each job. Enter these new contract templates! Outsourcing Agreement Contract Template All too often we take on multiple […]

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Programming Skills Most Desired by Employers in 2014

It’s no myth that programmers are a highly sought after group in companies all over the globe. In her Forbes article on the Top Jobs for 2014, Jacquelin Smith analyzes an EMSI job study, which found that software developer (applications and systems software) is "the higher-paying occupation that has produced the most jobs post-recession". She also points out that the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 30% increase in software developers between 2010 and 2020.

Joseph Mapua also points out in his article in SkilledUp that, according to the BLS, businesses are looking to hire IT and computer workers due to the high demand for implementing new technologies. Developing software, enhancing security, upgrading outdated systems are all areas for which organizations have a need for computer professionals.

US News Today came out with their list of top 100 jobs of 2014 recently as well. Software developer and computer systems analyst were the top two in the entire list! Within the list of tech jobs, the top 5 careers include these two plus web developer, information security analyst, and database administrator.

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60 Photoshop Tutorials for Photo Touch-Ups

Photoshop has tons of potential for improving photos in one way or another. Even subtle improvements can make a big difference in the end result. Whether you are interested in touching up your own photos or doing professional photo editing for clients, Photoshop can allow you to get the job done.

This is a categorized collection of tutorials that will show you some new tricks for photo touch-ups. You’ll find tutorials for working with skin, eyes, teeth, nose, hair, body, colors, lighting, and more.

How to Touch Up Skin in Photoshop:

Really Cool Digital Make Up in Photoshop in 10 Minutes

Photoshop Touch-Up Tutorials

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This Week’s Newest & Popular Premier Files

Hope everyone had a Happy St. Paddy’s Day! This week sure is flying by, so to slow it down a bit, let’s take a look at some of the new premium files added in the Shop this past week.

Blue Flash UI PSD Kit

UI kits are just about the all around, catch all, perfect resource for web designers, and this new Blue Flash UI PSD Kit is no exception. Download and see for yourself how simple creating user interfaces can be.

Blue Flash UI Kit

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35 Beautiful and Free Thin Fonts

Typography is a critical aspect of web and graphic design, but finding the right font can often be a challenge. If you’re looking for a quality thin or light font, this post should be an excellent resource for you. Here you’ll find 35 free thin fonts.

These fonts can help you to create elegant, high-quality designs that feature beautiful typography. When you’re using them to design something for yourself or for a client, they can prove to be extremely useful. If you find yourself looking for fonts frequently, bookmark this page so you can reference it the next time you need to find a thin font.

Most of these fonts allow for commercial use, but as always when dealing with freebies, be sure to check the license before using it in your own work.

District Thin

District Thin

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Too Much, Too Fast. What To Do About Information Overload

Do you feel like you are drowning in a sea of information?

Blog posts, articles, ebooks, videos, podcasts, images, and more.

Like most web designers and other freelancers, you’re probably flooded with information. You probably receive newsletters and blog posts in your email inbox every single day. You also check several important industry blogs and news sites daily. In addition, you have to keep up with what’s going on with your clients and in your personal sphere. Whew!

Don’t feel bad if you’re overwhelmed. That’s a natural response to information overload.

If you tried to absorb everything that was thrown at you, you probably wouldn’t be able to do it. Even if you spent the entire day reading and listening to podcasts.
overload1
In this post, I share a brief overview on information overload. I also share four tactics for overcoming it.

If you liked this post, you may also like 45 Design Blogs on Facebook.

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40 Beautiful and Effective Responsive Navigation Menus

Ease of navigation is one of the biggest keys to the usability of a website. If visitors can easily find what they are looking for they will be more likely to stay on the website rather than leaving and going to some other site. Effective navigation can help to increase pageviews, improve the user experience, and even increase revenue and profit.

As more and more users are accessing sites via mobile devices, responsive web design has continued to increase in popularity. One of the challenges of designing and developing responsive websites is to create a user-friendly navigation menu that works equally well for visitors on all types of devices.

While a few years ago navigational menus were a primary visual element in almost every web design, many responsive websites are now opting for a navigation menu that is much less dominant visually. These sites typically use a familiar icon of 3 horizontal stripes to indicate that a menu will be opened on click. Of course, this is only one approach and other websites use totally different approaches.

In this post we’ll showcase 40 different navigation menus of responsive websites. This will showcase many different styles and approaches, and should provide some inspiration that can be put to good use in your own design and development work.  The best way to experience these navigation menus is to click through and see how it works in the browser.

Grain & Mortar

Grain & Mortar

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Web Designers, Are You Missing Out on Crucial Face-to-Face Networking?

When was the last time you met in person with a client or prospect? That long, huh?

Like many freelancers, web designers understand the importance of networking. And in this digital age, most of us tend to do our networking online. It’s faster. It’s easier. But it’s not always the best choice.

The Internet is filled with advice on how to network online. There’s a good reason for that. There are at least half a dozen excellent social media tools available that can help you with networking. Each social site has its own set of rules and standards, so there’s room for plenty of articles offering advice.

In the rush to join the social networking crowd, many of us have neglected an old school networking technique that still works–face-to-face networking. If you rely only on virtual networking, you may be missing out on some great opportunities.

face-to-face

This post is for those freelance web designers who want more from networking. I’ll discuss the importance of face-to-face networking. I’ll even provide a few tips on how (and where) to get started with face-to-face networking.

If you liked this post, you may also like Are You Overlooking These 5 Proven Methods for Networking Online?.

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This Week’s Newest & Popular Premier Files

Happy Wednesday! On this first Wednesday in March, we’d like to once again bring you the newest files uploaded to our Shop this week!

Logo Design Services Contract Template

Lots of times in the past when we’ve worked on logo projects (or projects of any kind, for that matter), we ran into problems with the clients and their expectations that sometimes turned a bit ugly. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could prevent that kind of confrontation? With this new Logo Design Services Contract you can. Use this contract template to clearly spell out services that will be rendered, payment expectations, and more, all while keeping your hair in your head, where it belongs.

Logo Badge PSD Pack Three

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Learn Photoshop: All of the Basics for Beginners

We frequently publish posts on this blog that feature tutorials for learning how to do various things with Photoshop, but we have rarely focused on just the basics. This post is intended for designers or aspiring designers who either want to get started with Photoshop or have limited experience and are looking to improve.

While there are plenty of great learning resources available online, it’s often difficult for beginners to know where to get started because everything seems to be scattered. With this post you’ll find links to plenty of resources to teach you all the basics and fundamentals of Photoshop.

Most of the resources and tutorials listed in this post will focus on teaching one particular aspect of Photoshop, such as how to use a specific tool. Everything is broken down into sections so you can find exactly what you are looking for.

Intro to Photoshop’s Tools and UI:

The resources in this section will serve as an introduction for those who are new to Photoshop. They will help you to learn your way around the interface and with some of the basics of Photoshop.

The Photoshop Workspace (video)

The Photoshop Workspace

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