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The Best Free WordPress Plugins for Your Website

It’s a little bittersweet that there are so many different WordPress plugins available to us. On one hand, it’s great that there is a variety of options out there; if one plugin doesn’t work out you can just find another. But on the other hand, it can be time consuming and frustrating to search, install, activate, test and deactivate what seems like an endless amount of plugins. Even with their plugin description and 5-star rating system, it’s sometimes difficult to know if a WordPress plugin will be fully functional with your website. Then there’s the question of which plugins do you really need? Yes, there is a plugin for everything but if you literally use a plugin for everything you run the risk of slowing down your website and possibly a headache from dealing with miscellaneous issues that arise from conflicting plugins. So what are some of the best plugins to use when getting started in WordPress? Use this list to discover the best free WordPress plugins for your website.

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How to Design Efficiently in Adobe InDesign

Books, magazines and other collateral with a large amounts of text would probably take years to design if it we didn’t have Adobe InDesign. 😳  Okay, maybe not years…but it would definitely be time consuming and a lot more challenging to keep things consistent. Fortunately, the program has a variety of tools to help make our job a little bit easier. Read on to learn how you can design efficiently in Adobe InDesign.

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Amazingly Useful Design Resources You May Have Overlooked

There are plenty of design resources a designer may need and not know they need until they  have them. These resources are easy to overlook. They don’t directly connect to graphic design so it isn’t obvious but they are quite helpful for creating design. For example, if you need to send a mock-up (of anything) to a client and there’s a possibility you may not have all the content. Though they wouldn’t be used in the final design, filler text and stock photos are great placeholders for missing content. These design resources are beneficial to the design process and can be useful to a range of graphic design fields.

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Brushing Up on the Basics: The Elements of Graphic Design

The elements of graphic design are the fundamental basics. They’re essentially the main ingredients for creating design, and when use correctly, can make some pretty tasty compositions! These basic elements are used to communicate visually and work together with the Principles of Graphic Design to create successful design. It’s helpful to know these elements and their functions, so you can better use them in your own work. Review each element below, then take the Elements of Graphic Design quiz to test what you’ve learned!

 

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Learning How To Freelance: Resources for Designers

Whether you’ve been designing for years or just now decided to learn graphic design, always remember to never stop learning. There are tons of FREE online resources for designers that offer advice and knowledge on running a freelance business. Blogs, podcasts and ebooks are useful resources for designers who want to learn graphic design along with skills in business and entrepreneurship.

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Creative Resources for FREElance Designers

Learning graphic design might be challenging, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be expensive. The internet is full of creative resources designers that are free and available to any designer. These resources can be utilized to learn new skills, seek creative inspiration and find freelancing tips. Video tutorials are helpful for learning new tricks and techniques, especially with Adobe software. Mock-ups help present your work in a professional manner and graphics are useful for a quick turnaround time. New fonts are a great way to freshen up your work and bring new inspiration to your design. Each of these creative resources have quality content that benefit any type of freelance designer. Did I mention they’re all free?

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Designer Thoughts: Get A Design Degree or Teach Yourself?

This month I’m starting a new series titled “Designer Thoughts”. The purpose of the series is to cover topics that directly affect freelance designers and get the conversation going about them. Every designer has a different experience, so it’s always nice to hear other’s ideas and perspectives.  One topic that seems common among designers is the importance of a getting a graphic design degree. Do you need to get a degree to be a graphic designer or can you be just as successful if you teach yourself?

 

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Reviewing the Fundamentals: The Principles of Graphic Design

No matter how experienced you are in the field, it’s always good to take the time to review design fundamentals. The principles of graphic design outline the ways designers can use elements in a composition. These principles act as guidelines for creating successful design, but that’s not to say you can only make great design by following these rules. Sometimes breaking the rules is justified, but it’s important know what they are so you know why you’re breaking them. With that being said, here are the principles of graphic design.

 

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Fun Design Games for Learning Graphic Designers

Learning graphic design is all about practice and graphic design games are a great way to do just that! Games are helpful for learning graphic design because they turn learning a new skill fun. There are games for all types of graphic design fields and this post has a collection of fun design games you can play to learn how to kern, code, or even use the pen tool.

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So You’re a Graphic Designer…What Do You Do?

When you hear the phrase “graphic designer”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Do you envision someone arranging images and text on a page?  Do you imagine logos, drawings or digital illustrations? Maybe you picture signage, business cards and letterhead designs.The truth is, the graphic design profession encompasses all of those and more! With so many different types of designers within the graphic design field, some times saying you’re a graphic designer just isn’t enough. Graphic design is a complex field that branches out into many, different creative specializations. It’s important to know a little about each branch so you can choose an occupation that fits you best as a graphic designer.