Need inspiration? Enjoy a 7-day free trial of GraphicStock

Design inspiration can come from many places  –  an image, art, or even just a color. However, finding affordable premium creative content to make this inspiration a reality can often be challenging. Enter GraphicStock – a designer’s destination for premium images, textures, and patterns to bring creative visions to life.

GraphicStock is offering a 7-day free trial of their library of over 300,000 photos, illustrations, vectors, and other design elements to LostandTaken readers. During the 7-day period those who sign-up can download up to 140 pieces of 100% royalty-free content – meaning if at any point you choose to cancel, your downloaded content is yours to keep and use for forever. Not a bad deal, huh?

Another great thing about GraphicStock is their affordable subscription model that throws per-download charges out the window. Subscribers are given unlimited access to the GraphicStock archives and are free to cancel at any time. During the 7-day trial, the annual subscription will be available for just $99. That’s unlimited downloads of GraphicStock’s extensive library for an entire year, at a price less than few pieces of stock content costs elsewhere.

We took a look around GraphicStock’s site to give you an idea of what’s available. Here are a 5 of our favorite textures:

Head over to GraphicStock today to grab your 7-day free trial and take a look for yourself. There’s something in their library to inspire everyone!

Web Design Trends You Need to Know

If you are passionate about web design, there are a few trends becoming more and more popular in 2016 that you should definitely know about. The most important part of being a web designer is staying clued up on what’s popular, and to be able to have a great design for a site that is in keeping with the style of the time, while still being original. Take note of these trends, and find a way of incorporating them into your latest project.

Eye-catching Photographic Backgrounds

It is a well-known fact that people respond better to information if it is presented visually. Especially when browsing the web, the user will be more interested in a website if it looks attractive. Photographs are a simple way of achieving a high visual impact, without being too distracting from the text. Many web designers are using photographs as backgrounds in their websites, and we expect to see much more of this trend in 2016.

Slideshows, Videos and Moving Graphics

Another way in which web designers are appeasing the users love of visual content, is by using slideshows, videos and animation on the homepage. This can be a little risky, as some mobile devices won’t be able to load websites with animation, which is why it is important to always make sure your website is mobile-friendly. A good place for beginners to start is by using a web hosting company like 1&1 for example, who make sure to offer different mobile-friendly templates. These are useful for giving you an idea of how to design a visually attractive website that is still responsive.

Animated Icons

Web designers are becoming more imaginative with menus and navigation bars. With moving menus that slide out from the side of the page, as well as the popular hamburger icon and more. The menu is a vital part of every website but sometimes the design can get boring, which is why it is a good idea to find a way of incorporating animated graphics into your menu or navigation bar.

A’ Design Award Announces Last Call for Submissions Worldwide – Sign Up Your Designs Today

A’ Design Award is one of the World’s leading international annual juried competition for design. The A’ Design Accolades are organized in numerous creative fields to recognize the excellent designs from all countries in all disciplines. Entries to the A’ Design Competition are blind peer reviewed by an influential jury panel of experienced academics, top press members and established professionals. A’ Design Awards is an opportunity for grandeur, prestige, advertisement and international recognition to The A’ Design Award Winners through the Coveted A’ Design Prize which is granted to all the awarded designs.

The “A’ Design Prize” was designed by designers for designers. “A’ Design Prize” includes but not limited to : international design excellence certificate in metal frame, invitation to the exclusive gala-night in Italy, online + offline exhibition of awarded works, A2 poster of awarded projects, hardcover yearbook publication of awarded projects, the exclusive A’ Design Award trophy, international press campaign, an exclusive interview with the winner, press release preparation and distribution, license to use “A’ Design Award Winner Logo” in your communication, pitching awarded works to thousands of other publications, media appearances through design award press partners, inclusion in World Design Rankings and further tools and services for PR.

A’ Design Award was founded to highlight and recognize the very best and original design works in all countries and in all creative disciplines. The primary aim of the A’ Design Competition is to create a global awareness and understanding for good design practices and principles by highlighting the best designs in all countries and in all creative fields. The final objective of the Competition is to push designers, enterprises and brands worldwide to come up with superior products and projects that advance society.

Annually, projects that focus on innovation, design and creativity from across the globe are awarded with the A’ Design Award. Entries to A’ Design Award are accepted in categories such as Architectural Design, Graphics Design, Industrial Design, and more. The complete list of award categories are available here.

Submissions are accepted every year till February 28th (For 2016, the deadline has been extended to March 7th) and results are announced every year on April 15. Designers, agencies and brands from across the globe are invited to join the accolades by nominating their greatest works, projects and products. Discover A’ Design Award & Competition and see past winners at Design Mag which is a showcase of exceptional design work worldwide.

Submit Your Works today to The A’ Design Award : Enter Your Design Project.

We have a selection of designs you might like below:

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Tsingtao 1903 by Wangtao – Platinum A’ Interior Space, Retail and Exhibition Design Award in 2015

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Williamson Tea Elephant Caddies by Springetts Brand Design Consultants – Platinum A’ Packaging Design Award in 2015

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Lenovo Horizon 2 27 by Johnson Li – Platinum A’ Digital and Electronic Devices Design Award in 2015

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Zi Garden/Tangquan Tea Club by Raynon Chiu – Platinum A’ Interior Space, Retail and Exhibition Design Award in 2015

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Smrt Image Lumica by Design Team – Platinum A’ Scientific Instruments, Medical Devices and Research Equipment Design Award in 2015

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Santander World by Jose Angel Cicero – Platinum A’ Arts, Crafts and Ready-Made Design Award in 2015

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Orion by Limay Türkkan & Anıl Tontus – Platinum A’ Lighting Products and Projects Design Award in 2015

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Pepsi Metlife Stadium by PepsiCo Design and Innovation – Platinum A’ Advertising, Marketing and Communication Design Award in 2015

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Nissan Skyline by E-graphics communications – Golden A’ Advertising, Marketing and Communication Design Award in 2015

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I.dummy by Winswin Ltd – Golden A’ Engineering and Technical Design Award in 2015

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Entry Dab Radio by ARCELIK A.S. – Golden A’ Digital and Electronic Devices Design Award in 2015

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Madeira by Rado Iliev – Golden A’ Architecture, Building and Structure Design Award in 2015

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Nar by Carla Conte – Golden A’ Interior Space, Retail and Exhibition Design Award in 2015

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Iris by João Faria – Golden A’ Bakeware, Tableware, Drinkware and Cookware Design Award in 2015

cde1574650e0906abf9056ab3c01ba841eccfd94-t710One-Handed Plate Set by Sahar Madanat Haddad – Golden A’ Differently Abled and Seniors’ Assistance Design Award in 2015

56a0c7e39b27bcc575cac1ecf527c894f23a1da0-t710Coca-Cola Tet 2014 by Rice Creative – Platinum A’ Packaging Design Award in 2014

050a3f350d50cc31f7d9bee3003e617f3b47e5ae-t710Le Maestro by Herman Francisco Delos Santos – Golden A’ Footwear, Shoes and Boots Design Award in 2014

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Leuven by Wonchan Lee – Platinum A’ Packaging Design Award in 2014

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Big Bin by Formato Verde, Sl – Platinum A’ Street Furniture Design Award in 2013

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Alliance Against Aids by Seyed Mohammad Mortazavi – Golden A’ Jewelry, Eyewear and Watch Design Award in 2013

Did you enjoy the designs above? We will publish a selection of award winning designs here on April 15, once the results are announced. To get an opportunity to get your design published, featured and exhibited, remember to send it before the deadline. Present Your Designs today to The A’ Design Award : Enter Your Best Design Work.

Template Resources for Friends Without the “Visual Gift”

 

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As a design professional, or someone with great taste, you are no doubt a resource to friends and family, not to mention many paying clients. Your paying clients will rely on you directly for the visual inspiration and flare that only you can provide – it’s why they pay you after all. But you can’t afford to just give these skills away. So what happens when someone you know asks for a cheap or free design from you? Well, you’ve got to say “no”, for one. But you’ll also want to direct them to one of many free DIY sources with ready website templates and the like. If you steer them in the right direction, this could pay off in a number of ways.

1. For one, putting the ball back in the court of the person asking for a deal on your services could just motivate them to take responsibility and learn about that which they’re asking you to do. Designing well is hard work, but it’s a skill which can be learned. Using available template tools like the ones linked above, you can easily show someone many way to learn a new skill, all while creating the perfect site for themselves. Most people who ask for favors of professionals they know don’t appreciate a.) how much time and effort you put into the thing that you do, and b.) how little time and effort it might potentially take to DIY the web design project of their dreams, or at least one which meets their immediate needs in respectable fashion.

2. If you have to tell someone that, no, you won’t do their website for cheap or free, you might just end up winning their business after all. They may not immediately agree to your pricing request when you deny them the discounted option. But this might play in your favor weeks, months, or years down the line. It often happens that someone looking for a deal like this doesn’t stop with you. They cycle through a predictable list of potential handouts: other professionals like yourself with whom they are socially connected, up and coming regional designers, design students. If after many attempts they can’t be the quality or price they are seeking, they may just give you the price you want and need in order to do you best work while maintaining the compensation you deserve and expect.

The only thing you definitely don’t want to do is accept work that doesn’t pay what you want and expect. As a professional, there are certain standards which you should always demand of those who work with you. It’s important never to let someone ask a favor that is beneath the professional standard you hold yourself to. After all, you won’t design bad work just because the pay is bad. Saying No is an important part in establishing yourself as a professional, and determining how you’ll be treated for the duration of your career by clients of all types. Give the the DIY option when they ask, and see how they respond.