Designing Professional Business Cards

Hi designers! I'm excited to announce my new course over at Tuts+ Premium. You’ll learn everything you need to get started designing business cards in a variety of formats including horizontal, vertical and square. All source files are included plus 6 different layouts to get you started.

What you'll learn:

• How to design vertical, horizontal and square cards with two alternate designs for each
• How to maximize both sides of your business cards
• Printing options for your business cards
• How to use color from your logo to create a sophisticated and cohesive design
• Plus improve your design and InDesign skills!

Designing Professional Business Cards

Designing Professional Resumes

Hi designers! I'm excited to announce my new course over at Tuts+ Premium. It's packed with fun design tips aimed at creating an eye-catching resume plus fun tips that will help you write up the content in the best way possible. All source files are included plus 3 different layouts. As designers, our resumes and portfolios speak wonders about our ability, so why not make both stand out!?

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Note select videos are available for free preview. You must be a Tuts+ Premium subscriber to view the entire course. Once you subsribe, you'll have access to all the premium content including all my other print design courses.

3 Ways to Create Movement in your Designs

I had a great email inquiry from a viewer the other day asking about how he could incorporate movement into his magazine layouts. This is a great topic and one of the best elements of design. In fact, it's so great that it's a principle of design.  That means it's one of those rules designers abide by and try to incorporate into their designs. So how do you go about creating that perfect sense of movement in your designs?

Step 1: Chose an action packed photo

There's no doubt that photos are the best way to capture movement. From active people to running animals, you have so many options of high energy photos to choose from. Not only will action packed photos provide instant movement to your layout, placing them properly will enhance the impact. Scale your photo to span across two page spreads to draw  the reader from one page to the other. Stack multiple photos. Maybe the person in a bottom photo could be looking up at a person looking down at them from the above photo. Want mega impact? Cut a part of your photo out so it looks like the subject is literally jumping off the page. This works well for cars and animals. Be creative!

Step 2: Add repeating elements

Repeating patterns and elements in your designs make an otherwise stale and stagnant photo pop with motion. Consider photos with patterns or repeating elements as well as direction. The cathedral photo above has multiple repeating elements from the columns to the ceiling. All these elements offer a consistent direction for the reader's eye. You can also use design elements like swirls, dotted lines or symbols around your pages to create movement. Repeating elements don't always need to reside in a photograph.

Step 3: Think perspective

Perspective is a great way to create a sense of movement in your designs. It tricks the eye into thinking "movement."  Bridges vanishing into the horizon, text at an angle and arrows all help direct the reader's eye around your page. Cropping also plays a major role in depth and motion perception. The closed-in view of this bridge sends the eye jetting down the path to the back of the image. The repeating elements along the railing also guides the eye all in one direction.

You're turn!

Careful placement of images using perspective coupled with repeating patterns and action will all help create that coveted sense of motion in your designs. How do you incorporate movement in your designs? Share your image links in the comments below. I might just pick a few to feature in an upcoming episode!

5 Tips for Designing a Feature Article

Feature articles can make or break your magazine design. Your cover usually displays a teaser about your feature article and might even include an image promoting it. While design options are infinite, there are 5 key items that should be in place in any feature article layout.

1. Headline

Aside from the awesome image you choose for your articles, the headline draws the reader into your article. Headlines use bigger fonts and can be designed to stand out from your overall design. I like to use sanserif fonts for my headlines with a serif font for my paragraph text. This creates a visual hierarchy leading the reader from the most important information through the supplemental text. Headlines can be more than text too. Colored boxes and  lines with different strokes can all be used to create an interesting headline.

2. Big Image

Your design can't be all text! In fact, why not use something that's worth 1,000+ words? Images set the tone and mood for your readers, create color and visual interest, and help put a picture to your words. You can also take your design to the next level by pulling colors from your photo and using them to highlight headlines and dropcaps as well as blockquotes. When it comes to image placement and size, think variety but keep it minimal. One big image followed by a few smaller images goes a longer way then overwhelming your readers with too many big images.

3. Drop Caps

Drop caps help start off your paragraphs. Use a complimentary color, increase the size of the first letter or add a colored box behind the single letter to create a stylized look for your opening paragraph.

4. Blockquotes

A blockquote is a short sentence pulled from your article that captures the essence of your entire feature. Blockquotes are styled differently from your paragraph text and may also be a different color. They can be placed alongside your article or within the main article text with lots of padding (text wrap) around the edges. This separates your blockquote from the rest of your paragraph.

5. Smaller Images

Smaller images coordinate well with the main feature image. They help break up long paragraphs or columns of text and add to your overall article. Using different sized images creates another visual hierarchy that helps guide the viewer throughout your entire article spread.

Putting it all together...

Now it's time to put these 5 tips to use in your next feature article. Remember that a clean and simple design requires proper placement of images and text while creating a visual hierarchy of your elements. This will all help guide your reader through your article and hopefully encourage them to turn the page for more!