Saturday, 31 March 2018

Creating a great web design portfolio and why it is important

An online portfolio provides examples of your work and provides examples of your style. It’s often the first port of call for people seeking to hire you.

If you’re a freelancer, an online portfolio provides examples of your work and allows people to contact you to offer employment.

As a student, your online portfolio may be the first port of call for prospective employers, and if you are a professional designer who works in a studio, an online presence means you can showcase some of your work, creating an online presence.

What to consider when building up your portfolio

Make it attractive. As a designer, you are showing off what you can do. An attractive website or portfolio enables you to show your skills. Use bold fonts, illustrations, animations, and whatever you have in your toolbox to convince clients to hire you.

Include the most important elements of your work. If you’re an illustrator, show off what you can do, explain your niche, and make your work clear to those who might not have an insider’s perspective.

Ensure that it is user-friendly. The more easily potential clients are able to navigate your blog or portfolio, the more easily they will be able to engage with your platform, or find important details.

Provide a clean layout, which helps users to find the sections of your work they are most interested in.

How to create an effective online portfolio

Design a logo

A logo provides you with a sense of identity and helps to define your brand, providing a visual representation of who you are and what you do.

Placed on your website, it will be the first thing your visitor sees. You could place it on the upper left-hand side of the page (so that it will be seen when the eye moves from left to right).

Alternatively, you can create a sense of hierarchy, placing your logo at the top center of your page, so that it makes a large statement. Your logo will make it clear who owns your site.

Present yourself as a brand

Branding yourself means sharing who you are, your strengths, weaknesses, and personality. Share with your online viewers. Let them know what motivates you, what makes you curious, and where your talents lie. Be true to yourself. Let your readers see you for who you are.

If you don’t enjoy writing blogs, don’t do it. Let your visitors see your images or illustrations instead. Let your viewers see where you shine. Present a unified front to the world. Consistency is key.

Look at how others are doing this and inspire yourself from their work.

Make it personal

Make your site personal. The more you share with your readers about your education, background, how long you’ve been in the business, and where you hope to go, the more your users will get to know and therefore trust you.

Allow your viewers to see awards you’ve won or any achievements you’ve made. After all, if they know where your talents lie, they will understand more clearly what you could offer them.

Maintain a blog

A blog is an online journal which provides a portfolio to readers. You can write, or present images of your work, projects you are interested in, or ideas that inspire you.

Your blog can share your areas of expertise and will prevent your website from lying static.

Highlight your interests and future goals

When you let your clients know of the job you want, highlighting areas that interest you, you’re letting your clients know where you’re going.

If you’re interested in web design, share this. If illustration is your goal, let your clients know. Focus on your niche market.

This means you’ll gain a following of people who share similar interests, and you will more easily be able to anticipate your clients needs even before meeting them.

Share your best work

Less is more when showcasing your work through an online portfolio. You want clients to see your best work. Your online viewers may be impatient, and won’t have time to look through a great deal of work.

Place the spotlight on work you are most happy with. This will help you to create a good impression. Your portfolio should represent you at your best.

Share your process

Once you’ve chosen your best work, let your viewers see how it has been presented or put together. You could show your early design stages, a story or mood board which assisted you with planning your project, or your project in the early stages of development.

Present the whole piece or finished product first, then allow your viewers to see photo shots of your developing work. You could use stylized photography, as long as it doesn’t distract your readers.

Use social networking websites

Social networking websites allow your viewers to interact or hold conversations with you.

Encourage those interested in your work to follow you on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or Instagram. This will assist you in building a following of people who may become future clients.

Sell yourself

What other creative talents do you have?

If you are an illustrator, but you are also able to produce animation, let your viewers know. Provide examples on your website so that you can maximize your talents.

Keep your portfolio dynamic

Once you’ve developed a killer portfolio, remember to keep updating it. You’ll maintain interest if you keep your followers updated on what you’re doing, and what continues to spark your interest. Remember to keep editing your sites as your interests change and your work develops.

If you don’t have a portfolio website already, or if you do have one but you don’t like spending time updating or maintaining it, we’d suggest that you use the RookieUp framework for one of your main projects.

Be original

Designing your own site and letting your readers get to know you create a unique product. It might take a while to know what you would like to do, and how you’d best like to present yourself, but don’t feel tempted to copy.

A unique and personalized site will enable your readers to interact with you, creating a sense of warmth and loyalty.

Ensure your site loads quickly

Online viewers are impatient, and if a site doesn’t load quickly (within less than three seconds) they will often abandon it and go in search of a different option.

Choose a suitable site hosting package which allows for your page to load quickly. Avoid having a slow site.

Some tips

Share your location. This can help clients to assess where you are from, and some clients prefer working with people who are operating from a similar time zone.

Validate your website code. If you’re going to be building sites for clients, show them your own code is valid.

If you don’t have a large portfolio, share what you have, and guide clients towards your interests. You could also interact with other designers on a platform like Twitter.

Use a narrative style to tell a story about yourself and your work. This enables interaction with readers or potential clients.

Explain your niche, and what makes you unique. This is particularly important for people who are not in the industry but would still potentially make use of your services.

Create a backstory of how you got into your work, and what motivated you. How did your passions develop?

Show how you have connections throughout the creative world. Share your clients, any press or publications.

Be approachable. Let your clients know who you are, the hobbies and interests you have, and some of your pleasures. This creates a sense of warmth and allows your readers to relate to you.

Read More at Creating a great web design portfolio and why it is important

from Web Design Ledger

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Getting Started with SkySilk: Using a VPS

A VPS, or virtual private server, is a powerful tool for running your own software environment. SkySilk offers an amazing free VPS server to all beta users, as well as a paid VPS tier starting at only $5 per month. What can a VPS be used for that a shared software environment can’t accomplish?

SkySilk: High-Quality Free Virtual Private Server

skysilk vps virtual private server

A virtual private server is typically much more expensive than a shared hosting environment. You’ll be looking at around $20 to $70 USD to start, depending on your hosting provider, the hardware provided and the level of support offered. But during their beta period, SkySilk is offering a permanently free VPS to new users. Sign up with them now, and you’ll get forever-free access to a virtual private server with the following specs:

  • 1 Virtual CPU
  • 512MB RAM
  • 25GB SSD Storage
  • 12Mb/s Bandwidth
  • 500GB Transfer

Free users also can create manual backups and snapshots. Automated backup is available in paid service tiers.

SkySilk offers virtual private servers with more than 40 Linux distributions, including popular distros like CentOS, Fedora, Ubuntu. You can also run application-specific server operating systems like WordPress, Magento, PrestaShop and more.

SkySilk isn’t a fly-by-night provider. Sign up with them and you’ll be getting early access to a high-quality virtual private server with excellent customer support.

SkySilk SkyPoints

SkySilk users also are rewarded for using the service with SkySilk Points, which can be redeemed for SkySilk account credit, Amazon and Best Buy gift cards or Visa Reward cards. Collect 100 points to get $1 in cash back value, and earn points each month based on how much you use the service.

SkySilk Paid Accounts

In addition to their indefinitely free virtual private server, SkySilk also offers customers a premium tier. The premium teir includes ten times as many SkyPoints, premium support, free scheduled backups and snapshots, higher transfer limits, higher bandwidth limits and larger VPS resource limits. Standard accounts start at only $5 per month, providing automated backups and snapshots.

What’s so great about a VPS?

skysilk vps virtual private server

Because SkySilk’s VPS runs its own software environment, you have total control over the system. With superuser-level access, you can do anything you want. You can install any software that runs on your host operating system. and you are free to configure it as you see fit. This means that you can run any software packages you might be interested in. With a VPS, you don’t need to worry about your hosting provider supporting the software you’re interested (or not interested) in using. With SkySilk’s VPS, you’re in charge completely.

Of course, this also means you’re typically in charge of your own mistakes. But SkySilk makes it easy to get help. Rather than simply reacting to customer issues, SkySilk’s support department will proactively reach out to users as soon as they notice a problem with their server environment. For all new tickets created, SkySilk has an average first response time of 5 minutes and average same-day ticket resolution of 4 hours.

What can SkySilk’s VPS do?

skysilk vps virtual private server

SkySilk’s VPS allows for total control over the software environment. This means its much more flexible than a web host, which can only provide certain services through certain ports. With a virtual private server, you can do anything you want. Here are some common uses of a virtual private server.

Host a website

The most obvious use of a VPS is hosting your website. You have total control over the software that runs on the platform, providing significant options for customization and greater computation resources than a shared server. This means that higher-traffic websites will stay up when the user load increases.

Host a server

A VPS can also run a server. From here, you can run an email server, seed torrents, provide a virtual private server to obscure your network connection or host Minecraft, all as you see fit. SkySilk offers user total flexibility with their uses of the server, prohibiting only crypto-mining operations with the hardware.

Run your application

You can also use SkySilk’s servers in place of something like S3 or AWS, running your app or servers off of the VPS environment. Save user accounts, send notifications or sync profiles across devices with your VPS.

Development server

If you work with dedicated servers, you know how expensive the hosting environment can be. With a VPS, you can test your server deployments before rolling them out to hardware.

Private cloud storage

You can ditch Dropbox and have your own private cloud storage, accessible from anywhere. Here you can save system images, store backups, share media files over Plex or do anything else you can imagine.

About SkySilk

SkySilk Cloud Blog

SkySilk Security Philosophy

Conclusion: Why use SkySilk?


A VPS offers dramatically more control over your hosting environment than your common shared hosting plan. It also offers the flexibility of a dedicated server without the cost. If you want greater control over your projects and are willing to spend more a month (and troubleshoot your own errors), a VPS will unlock greater freedom than a shared hosting plan can provide.

The post Getting Started with SkySilk: Using a VPS appeared first on SpyreStudios.

from SpyreStudios

How to Design a Luxury Product Website

Luxury brands are all about projecting the right image. It’s a combination of taste and style that makes the brand appealing to people. Designing a website that successful captures the luxurious sense of a brand is a fine art, and one that must be practiced. Here are some tips on how to design a luxury product website.

Modern Design


design a luxury product website

Capturing a high-class aesthetic is crucial for a luxury product website. While it might be hard to put your finger on exactly what makes a design that feels luxurious, modern design is always a crucial part of the equation. Outdated styles are immediately obvious.

While your design should be conservative, it should still be reasonably on trend. We shouldn’t see skeuomorphic buttons on your home page, for example. It’s one thing to have “old-fashioned” elements in your design, like serif typefaces, but it’s quite another to have small pictures or frames on your website.

In web design, we’re knee-deep in a wave of minimal, flat design. Your luxury website should reflect that trend. It should also be responsive and generally well-designed. An old-looking luxury website is death on a stick. Luxury is all about appearance and exclusivity. If your website doesn’t project those ideas, it’s not going to be effective.

Large, High-Quality Images

design a luxury product website

Mikimoto’s design is centered around lush yet conservative photography.

Luxury product sales require high-quality product photography. Whether you’re selling yachts, cars, jewelry or makeup, you need absolutely excellent photography. This means it must be technically sound and artistically appealing. Stylistically, it should be conservation. you don’t need to follow the latest Instagram trends. But you cannot make mistakes in your photography. Remember, luxury is all about image.

Don’t use stock photography if you can avoid it. Inauthentic-looking images will be an immediate credibility killer, and you won’t get the conversions your client wants. If the client doesn’t have their own imagery yet, suggest that they work with a professional photographer to capture images that convey the essence of their brand. Photography is the core of the luxury brand experience online. Without excellent photography, your website won’t be effective.

Don’t make the mistake of using small images, either. The current web trend is all about large statement images. High-end fashion brand The Row makes this error in their own design: with a huge amount of real estate to work with, the site limits itself to a comparatively tiny image. This is very much a Web 1.0 design, and it doesn’t reflect well on the quality of the brand.

Don’t float a tiny image inside a giant white box. Image from The Row.

Excellent Typography

A strong typographic layout, as seen on Vero Beach, will grab the reader’s attention that convey information effectively.

Typography should be central to your luxury product website. Use readable, modern typography. Avoid ultra-trendy designs, but pick typography that feels fresh and modern. Lean into headline fonts, and consider both classy sans serif faces as well as serif choices.

While Hermés’ US website is well-designed, the Hermés UK site suffers from old-fashioned design and illegible typography.

On the home page, display only a small amount of text at any one time. Paragraphs of text should be saved for product detail pages and about pages. Even then, be direct, and make sure your design is extremely legible.

Extreme Legibility

This Aston Martin page is clearly intended to convey detail about a modern of vehicle. Clearly named sub-categories let me jump around quickly, and a subtle down arrow tells me to scroll to continue. Arresting imagery doesn’t hurt either.

Luxury is associated with ease and comfort. The more accessible your design is, the easier it will be for users to interact with the site. And luxury brands shouldn’t be difficult for their customers: everything should be taken care of for them. Remember the halo effect: a positive experience with your website will encourage users to develop positive feelings about the brand.

Make sure your site has a comfortable, natural flow, with a clear direction and purpose that guides the user through a pleasant experience. The jewelry blog, Beyond4Cs, is an example which utilizes a clear menu system to help users navigate towards key content.

Avoid anything that interrupts or degrades the experience, like pop-over boxes or auto-playing music. Sometimes, less is more. In the words of luxury smartphone manufacturer Apple, your site should “just work.”

Monochrome Color Scheme

Match your color scheme across photography and typography for a unified look, like Le Labo.

Focus on a monochrome design. Luxury brands tend to go either all white or mostly black. There’s good reason for this. We associate darker colors with sophistication, class and style. Gold and black or black and white are both a classic combination, especially when paired with a modern serif font.

Rolls-Royce grabs the viewer’s attention with a black-and-white design that’s carried throughout the site’s imagery.

However, any cool, monochrome color scheme might serve you well. You can take a look at Adobe Color to build a color scheme based on the palette that best suits your client’s brand.

Subtle Ecommerce Elements

design a luxury product website

Faber-Castell uses subtle ecommerce elements to avoid feeling cheap or commercial.

If your customers are shopping big ticket items, they should get a high-end experience before they plunk down their cash. Don’t pad the site with the “traditional” ecommerce tools like a clunky toolbar and a featured product carousel. Keep it restrained, with just the essentials. Display only one product at a time, with large, clear images that grab the viewer’s attention.

Jaguar, on the other hand, uses the standard car website tool palette, creating a cluttered and common feel.

If your site is cluttered with links, sale text and buttons, the user experience will suffer. We want to encourage a sense of pleasure and splendor in our viewers, maybe even a subtle amazement or awe at the quality of our products and the beauty of our photography. Wow the viewer, don’t block the experience with overlays.


When you design a luxury product website, you must ensure that you’re create an impressive, attractive experience for the visitor. Put that above all else, and you’ll find your way.

You might also like the following posts:

Tips for Designing a Great Looking E-commerce Website + 20 Examples

The post How to Design a Luxury Product Website appeared first on SpyreStudios.

from SpyreStudios

Friday, 23 March 2018

Why You Need to Include Quality Images And Video in Your Online Content

Conventional online content isn’t enough to stand out any more.

If you’ve been producing brilliant blog posts for the last few years, the chances are you’ve enjoyed the success of being one of the first to the content marketing party.

Content marketing has been an essential ingredient for online success for some time, but the problem is that all of your major competitors surely know this now.

They’re almost definitely doing everything can to upload a steady schedule of useful online content too – and if you’re not embedding eye-catching images and videos into your posts – they’re probably doing it better than you.

Here are three reasons why images and video are an essential modern-day addition to your content.


Images and videos can boost your SEO dramatically. If your images are correctly optimized, they can appear on Page 1 of ‘Google Image’ search. Often, the most relevant images will appear at the very top of web page searches too.
Meanwhile, web pages with videos embedded are 53 times more likely to appear on Page 1 of Google than those without a video, according to Forrester Research.

Meanwhile, since Google bought YouTube, videos hosted on this website are increasingly ranking at the top of search results pages. YouTube itself ranks as the world’s second most popular search engine.

Social Media Shares

Although there is no official data to back this up, it’s safe to assume that articles with visually stimulating images are more likely to be clicked on when shared via social media or email marketing. In the chaos that is social media news feeds, you have around half a second to make an impact – and a powerful image is the best way to do that.

Video is the Future

As web connections continue to improve on desktop and mobile, video consumption has skyrocketed. More than 500 million hours of YouTube videos are consumed every day. Cisco predicts that video consumption will make up 80% of internet consumption by 2019.

What if I can’t make high-quality visual content?

Anyone can stick a decent-looking stock image at the top of a blog post, and that’s better than nothing. Still, if you’re no good at creating bespoke images and video, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. In this era of the internet, unprofessional-looking visual content is more likely to be scoffed at than shared.

If you’re professional content writing services to boost your web presence, it could be that this company will have access to professional image and video designers. If not, you might need to hire a freelancer yourself. Websites, such as Fiverr or Upwork are recommended if you’re after affordable labor.

However you decide to address this problem, be assured this is a problem that needs addressing.

In this day and age, you’ll get further with a passport that has no high-quality image than you will with a blog post that doesn’t have one.

The post Why You Need to Include Quality Images And Video in Your Online Content appeared first on SpyreStudios.

from SpyreStudios

Website Designing Guide: Design A Website, Logo & Branding and Getting Started

Website Designing Guide: Design A Website, Logo & Branding and Getting Started

Your company website has a big role to play in your branding and marketing endeavors. So, it must look professional, but at the same appealing and attractive. Other than this, it should offer great user experience (UX) too. If this is your first time designing a business website, or you want to completely revamp an […]

The post Website Designing Guide: Design A Website, Logo & Branding and Getting Started appeared first on Vandelay Design.

from Vandelay Design

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Miloš Milovanović: Appreciate Your Talent DOTW#3

Today we have the pleasure to introduce you to our favorite designer of this week, Miloš Milovanović. The Serbian graphic designer and illustrator is currently living in a small town called Trstenik.
He affirms that he is “obsessed with vintage and black and white projects.” His work is characterized by single color drawings in the style of the woodcut or an etching. You can stay updated with his work on Instagram , Dribbble, Pinterest, and Behance and why not, drop him an email for inquiries.
With no further ado, let’s get to know the talented designer better in the interview below.

When did you discover your passion for design?
I didn’t start taking art seriously until sometime in High school. After I finished primary school, I couldn’t find myself in anything else, so I decided to go with the arts. In 2005 I enrolled in high school, department of Graphic design.
So going through the classes and getting close to the design world, design started growing up with me, while my passion started when I was starting at University. Besides studying, I needed to work. At the time,
I had a huge interest in logo design and illustration, so I wanted to work on the things I was interested in. In 2010 left University and started freelancing.

Where does your inspiration come from?
I’m very interested in 50’s Vintage/retro design. So everything that is designed in the 20th century is heavily influenced by me.
Beside this, I get inspired by listening to a good music and collecting and observing old world illustrations.

What were your biggest accomplishment and biggest failure in graphic-design?
I would say persistence is the biggest accomplishment for me.
Failure… Honestly, can’t think of any. I just like everything I do, projects, clients and my workplace.

How would you describe the world of graphic design in your country?
We have a lot of talented designers here, but unfortunately, Graphic design in Serbia is not much respected, from local clients.
Buyers can not value design work much here, so many designers and colleagues I know from here, work internationally.
But I hope this will be changed in the near future and design will bloom and be more respected in Balkan region.

What is your favorite piece of work and why? How did you create it?
Most of my work in some way reflect essence, culture and the personality of each client.
So I’d say Khan The Conqueror is one of my favorites. It was work for myself and a good technique practice.

What do you think are the most important 3 skills for a designer?
Three most important skills: Drawing, knowing the Software and to be decent in Communication.

How do you stay updated with what is new in the design world?
I have a daily routine to check on what’s going on Dribbble and Behance but and digging through the Pinterest.

Have you worked with any major brands?
Villiger Söhne Holding, Old Elk Bourbon (Dry Town).
Old Elk Bourbon (with master distiller Greg Metze) is pretty young on the market (2-4 years), but they are on the right track to becoming world known brand.

In the last couple of years, I had a wish to work for Spirit and Tobacco industries, so thanks to these projects, I hope I will get more opportunities to work with it in the near future.

Who are your favorite 3 designers?
Saul Bass, Louise Fili, and Simon Frouws design.

What kind of people do you love to work with?What kind of people don’t you love to work with?
I like to work with the people who share the passion for their businesses.

Dealing with the slothful (I-need-it-asap) people and the ones who rather use you as a tool rather than a designer. An insidious drain of time and efforts.
Thankfully I’ve learned to smoke these people out before working with them.

How do you handle stress and pressure?
I think I got used to it a bit. If it’s good stress, I manage to do some creative work.
If it’s negative and then I can’t really handle, I try to deal with the situation, or stay away from the computer and let it overnight.

Advice: Do the kind of work you want to get, love your job and appreciate your talent.

Below, we have selected some of the designer’s pieces of work. Make sure you let us know what you think in the comment section.

Bared Footwear Emblem

Napoleon Emblem

TB&TB Box Packaging Detail



DCH Close up

Dope Coffee House Co

Outdoors Illustration

Khan the Conqueror

Hipster Lumberjack

Map Australia 

Mesa Baja Packaging Graphics

OE Crest

Off Trail Outfitters Emblem

Outer Shores Expeditions


Signature Graphic

Signature Graphic


Stamp Close up


TB Drawing Process

 Light Tank 


Stay tuned for more inspiring work of great designers all over the world.

Read More at Miloš Milovanović: Appreciate Your Talent DOTW#3

from Web Design Ledger