All Posts By

Pieter Els

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25 Dribbble Shots of iOS7 Redesigns

iOS7 is up and running, so everywhere designers and developers have gone back to the drawing board to create new versions of apps and icons to live up to the new standard. It is also a rich opportunity to introduce new futures and possibilities. Macworld recons that some will describe the new iOS7 only as a “palette swap” with thinner lines and text where there used to be buttons and simpler icons. In some instances they say it’s true, but they recon this upgrade to be a large success and in essence it has stripped the system down to the very essence of what iOS is.

I’ve taking a stroll over to Dribbble to see what I can find and made a random selection of 25 shots with icons and layouts to produce a variety for you to have a look at.


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vk_ios7_full-view Redesign_iOS7_Big realpixels2 RealPixels rdio_ profile_1 pin_options_screen nikeios7_redesign iOS-7-WhatsApp-Redesign_Chats iOS7-Retina iOS7-Reimagined-Pixels ios7-redesign-by-ida-swarczewskaja iOS7-HD ios7-dark ios7-control-center-render iOS7-Calendar-retina 640x1136 facetime feed_facebook_ios7_unity_full ig_concept_wip instagram_pres_1 ios7_homescreen_redisgn ios7_icon_redesign_by_ida_swarczewskaja ios7_redesign_BIG iOS7-AirDrop-Large

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21 Inspirational Print Advert Templates Your Clients will Like

This week I had an unexpected and frustrating design experience. One of my existing clients emailed me with a request which every designer usually welcomes: “I want a new advert-look with new photos, new message and fresh new colours.” I eagerly approach this request with much enthusiasm because… I mean… I’ve known this client for quite a few years and often (and I’m not bragging) my proposals to the client are accepted on the first round… so how difficult can this one be?

I even did my homework and researched the topic of printed ads to make sure I give her a design according to the latest trends. I’ve looked at quite a few examples and after a while decided on a suitable look and feel, and started with a fresh design. I have even taken it a step further… I gave her five variations with different topics, colour schemes and photographs to compliment each of the subjects.

It was with great enthusiasm that I emailed her my brilliant designs and then started the waiting process for her return email and walla… the next morning, there it was… but to my greatest shock I was brought down to earth with a few devastating words… “I do not like these ads” and as an after thought… “Sorry”. There are no words to describe the frustration I experienced after these few words.

To prove my point, I sent the proposal to Jacques, without telling him about the client’s comment and yes, as I expected, he was happy with what I did. Nothing wrong with my design! Where have I gone wrong? I’m still not sure; although I have an idea… will talk about that another time.

Well, it was Monday morning and I had to start from scratch. Obviously I needed some inspiration and started browsing through cyberspace looking for new inspiration. I also looked at the basics of what makes a good advert… again.

According to http://www.agamaadvertising.com, a good ad…

  • Immediately captures attention.
  • Will be talked about because it’s easy to be remembered and recalled.
  • Provides applicable and not unnecessary information.
  • Is easy to read, not confusing and the information is “in your face”
  • Has a call to action.

They also emphasize that a good print ad is composed of a strong headline with a complimenting image, one or two paragraphs of excellent body copy, rounded off with the logo and contact information. Mmm… yes not ground breaking information, I also had it like that… but always good to recap.

We all know it is easy to find examples of best ads in the world on the internet but we also know that there is a big difference between them and what our clients want. I found some examples which are more into the category of some of our client’s taste for print ads.

Enjoy the following print adverts. Hope you (and our clients) find them inspiring:


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Sunday Illustration Inspiration #33: Planning through drawing

I had a great surprise this week. If you have read my previous article, you will understand that I was going on about grabbing a pen and paper to start drawing as part of the planning process and whilst doing research.

The point I want to make here, again, is the value of taking up a pen and paper as part of the planning process. As part of my educational career I had to do research on the topic of online training. The clever people at that stage talked about the disadvantages of online training and they reckoned that there is an important process taking place between the brain and the hand when the pen forms the letter, word or sketch. Well, the same can unfortunately not be said about clicking a mouse button or pressing a key.

Going through this process of drawing on paper limits the chances of failure in projects. It helps you identifying the challenges in the project and how you will actually deal with them. It also gives you a good idea of what your final product will look like and if you follow your own sketches and planning, you will find it much easier to reach your final product and deadlines… a big plus point for your time management.

It definitely makes you think. Enjoy the examples that follows. I certainly have found them inspirational.


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I searched a bit more and came across a guy named Eddie Labanovskiy who really takes planning seriously. The quality and high standard of his work is obvious and with most of his work he gives a sketched example of the planning process on how the artwork was born.

Enjoy the following examples and be inspired by Eddie’s way of work.

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Sunday Illustration Inspiration #32: Hand-Drawn Icons

The purpose of this series is to inspire you creatives out there for a fresh inspirational start on Monday. Mondays are usually the worst days of the week as you have to get out of your weekend routine, however with some inspiration things could be different. Well this is the Sunday Illustration Inspiration series, bringing you inspiring content every Sunday. Enjoy the inspiration.

Editors Note: The purpose of this article is to inspire designers out there to grab a pen and paper as part of the design process. When designing, many of us spontaneously turn to our keyboard and mouse but, Newsflash! It is time to go outside into the sunshine with a pencil and drawing pad and let the creative juices flow in the old traditional way. Make yourself comfortable on a bench in a park or on a beach with the sand between your toes or at a table in a coffee shop and start scratching. You will be surprised with what can come from such a break-away. It is also good to have a pocket sized drawing pad with you and while waiting for an appointment, start creating! When you browse through the hand-drawn icons below, do two things… first, determine their value as is and secondly determine their value as part of your planning process and just maybe, if you haven’t tried this yet, you will consider the possibility of trying this method in the future.


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31 Reasons Why You Should Not Date a Graphic Designer

Graphic designers are everywhere. Some girls like them and some girls don’t. We are here to shed some light on why you shouldn’t date a graphic designer. We have 31 reasons + a bonus few. There is definitely more, but 31 is the chosen number this time around as January has 31 days. Haha.

Now these reasons aren’t facts, they are merely points of reference to laugh about and have fun with..Before we continue with the reasons though I want to share a little story with you that happened to me a few years ago.

I was 18 years old when I jumped into the design world as a graphic design student. Coming from a relatively conservative family, my mouth hung open on a daily basis when I got to know my fellow students around me. Everyone had their own things they did and liked and always seemed busy with some or other thing. This one guy, a very organized student, always had a cigarette in his mouth, eyes pulled thin because of the concurrent smoking. He always used disposable aprons when working in the studios. His fellow students couldn’t resist playing a prank on him and finally it happened. Everybody (or those who knew) was waiting in anticipation.

He walked to his locker, pulled out the neatly folded apron and without even inspecting(why should he?) put it on. The lecturer and all of the students suddenly burst out laughing. Neil looked down to see what the problem was and why everyone was laughing at him. When he looked down, he noticed that someone used a NT-cutter to cut out a perfect piece of art(not suitable for sensitive viewers) right over his genitalia. We couldn’t stop laughing for the entire lecture and Neil’s face was #FF0000.

Ok, now that you read my short story, here are the 31 reasons why you shouldn’t date a graphic designer.As I said some fairly true, others tongue in the cheek. You decide yourself.

31+ Reasons Why You Should Not Date a Graphic designer

  1. They analyze everything.
  2. Their furniture, if they care about furniture, usually is something from a weird era or style.
  3. They like packaging, that’s why they drink the content (same goes for food).
  4. Ohhhhhhhhhh, they loooooooooooooove each other…or not.
  5. Hate the fact that the client is always right.
  6. Watch the credit list to see if they know someone on it.
  7. They can’t do anything without first making a sketch on the “how to”.
  8. Invest in buying them a cutting mat for their birthday… it will protect your tables.
  9. You think they are listening, but the chances are good that they are studying the pattern on your clothes.
  10. Everything they do are original, they never copy.
  11. They don’t fear drawing on the floor.
  12. For that cold-winter-fire-place- days, take out your photos and see what they can do with them.
  13. Draw them a picture, don’t bother with text and numbers.
  14. Often they can tell you about “famous people”, long dead, as if they knew them personally.
  15. They love cameras, take photos when you least expect it, post them in different shapes and sizes, in and on anything, including Facebook.
  16. Ask everybody’s opinion and still do their own thing.
  17. Use any font, except Comic Sans.
  18. They had drawing tablets before we even knew it existed.
  19. If you want to redecorate, please consult with them first.
  20. Somewhere, within their humble abode, you will find a souvenir like a stolen street sign.
  21. The chances are good that they have studied at the Google University for Graphic Design.
  22. They only use Excel when their client needs a customized Invoice as part of their CID, otherwise they hate it.
  23. They can’t pass a museum without entering.
  24. They can most probably assist with the rewrite of the latest edition of the Kamasutra manual.
  25. Often you show them something to read, instead they criticize the layout.
  26. They love commenting on the menu design when going to a restaurant.
  27. Be very careful to ask them about their music collection. It could be a painful and nasty surprise.
  28. Their cooking often ends up in an artistic explosion.
  29. Deadlines to them are like bungee to adrenalin junkies.
  30. They rather spend their money online than buying you a birthday present.
  31. When in the sun they look for a drop shadow to sit under.
  32. Often find themselves giving their family a lecture about colour profiles.
  33. Sometimes you wonder if comic sans is part of your blood-pressure problem.
  34. Actually checked-out the following hex colours: FOCCED AND EFFOFF.
  35. Their refrigerator magnets remind you of a grid system.
  36. They know Lorem Ipsum off by heart.
  37. Their CD collections are organized according to the Pantone Chart.
  38. They believe that erasers should be part of life

As you can see, there is still a lot of other reasons that could be added to the list, but for now this is the list that I want to post.

I hope you enjoyed it and laughed a little.
Tell me what I could have added so that we can add it to the list.

Featured Image: Couple sitting watching on Shutterstock

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65 Inspirational Mix Tape Cover Designs

Mixtape is a popular way of generating music by artists to the public. As part of this trend, a new design opportunity originated and loads of new designs were published to enhance the product.

Mix Tape Wall is designed to be an online hub where designers, artists, DJ’s etc can come for design inspiration on this specific trend. You can browse this gallery for a wide range of artistic mixtape covers. Following are a few examples that I have rounded up for some inspiration. Enjoy the examples.


Check out Mix Tape Wall for more inspiration.