Monthly Archives: November 2017

'Unnatural' microbe can make proteins

A bacterium made with “unnatural” DNA assembles proteins – a key characteristic of a functioning organism.

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Hi-Res Christmas Mockup Scene Generator – only $14!

It’s the season to start generating mockups! Now you can easily show off your logo, branding or designs in a variety of Xmas Mockup Scenes.

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  • Build stylish customized scenes using high-quality assets and mockups.
  • Customize with color masks for every material.


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This article has been sponsored by Syndicate Ads.

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2018 HVAC market regulations contractors need to prepare for

As 2017 comes to an end, a look toward what awaits HVAC contractors in the coming year is due.

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Food waste: Clearer label plan in bid to cut

Confusion over food labels is prompting people to throw away usable produce, waste agency claims.

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8 of the Biggest Marketing Mistakes We've Ever Seen

Everyone makes mistakes. Even (especially?) marketers. Usually, we learn from them and move on with our lives, maybe escaping with just a touch of public shaming. But what happens to those companies that make mistakes on a much greater scale and cost their company millions in clout or (gulp) dollars?

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Designing a Great Icon For Your Mobile App

Every day thousands of people browse the App Store and Play Store in search of utilities and entertainment. Behind every search and download is desire – a desire to solve a problem.

Products icons play a critical role in the process of search&download – in a world of short attention spans and many, many options, designers need to capture a users attention with just a few pixels on a tiny square canvas.

Every product needs a beautiful and memorable sign that attracts attention in the market and stands out on the home screen. Below you can see a few examples created by Fireart Studio.

But what exactly do you do if you need to design an icon for a mobile app that your users will notice and remember? Let’s take a look at some of the best principles of mobile app icon design.


Clarity is an essential characteristic of a great interface. A pictogram is the first opportunity to communicate, at a glance, a product’s purpose. When they are unclear, there’s a high risk of confusion – when people are unable to correctly identify what a pictogram is supposed to represent, it just won’t work for them.


  • Symbolism is key. People often associate pictograms with specific objects or actions based on previous experience. For example, in the Western world, the symbol of an envelope is commonly used to represent mail – both in digital and in physical spaces. It’s possible to use such associations to create potent visual signifiers for users.
  • Check competitors. If you have a hard time finding ideas on how to design a mobile application icon, take inspiration from products in your niche. Your competitors have probably already found the most obvious way to represent the primary function of a product.
  • Deconstruct user’s preferences. When designing any visual element, it’s important to consider what your target audience like or don’t like it. If you can conduct user testing, you can ask users directly by showing them different options. Try out several variations of your design to find the one users like the most.


We should design a mobile app icon to make it crystal clear on every screen resolution.


  • Avoid fancy graphics effects. Don’t include photographic details, 3D perspectives and drop shadows because they are hard to discern at a small screen.
  • Don’t use a lot of details. While on larger displays you have enough real estate to show large graphics and impressive visual effects, on a small screen such elements can become blurry.
  • Avoid using words. There’s no need to include promo words like “Free” or a product’s name. Use words only when they’re essential or part of a logo.

This icon isn’t legible – how it looks on home screen and Notification Center.

  • Check against a variety of backgrounds. While you can’t predict what wallpaper users will choose for their home screen, you still should check that your design works for edge cases – check your icon against a pure black, utterly white and colored backgrounds.
  • Test on real devices. What looks good on a desktop screen might not be so good on mobile, so testing on a real device is essential.


Memorability is about making something that stands out. If it stands out, it has a better chance of being noticed by users.


  • Complexity is the enemy of memorability. The more details you add, the less recognizable the object you design will be. Try removing elements until the concept starts to deteriorate.
  • Test your icon on the screen. Do a quick test to figure out if the image stands out on the screen – just place it on a grid of pictograms, and you’ll see whether or not it stands out.

The 1Password icon has great recognizability.


Think of your pictogram design as an extension of what your product is all about. It’s possible to create a connection between this small graphics object and entire experience – both logical connection (convey the meaning) and visual relationship (colors, textures, idea).

Tip: One way to ensure consistency is to use a styleguide (for example, to keep the color palette of your interface and icon in line).

Clear has a similar color scheme for both icon and interface.

Platform Recommendations

Just like any other GUI part, pictograms require following platform conventions. Consider iOS Human Interface Guidelines if you want to create a graphical symbol for iOS and Material Design guidelines for Android products.


Without any doubt, it’s possible to tell a great story in a wonderfully restricted canvas. Take the time to design beautiful and engaging graphics that perfectly represents your product’s purpose.

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Autodesk University 2017 focuses on BIM construction

LAS VEGAS — From BIM to virtual reality, the construction industry was out front at Autodesk University 2017.

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Bird pulled from brink of extinction facing poisoning threat

The red kite is still at risk from poisoning despite the success of conservation schemes, say scientists.

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12 of the Sassiest Brands on Social Media

Brands use social media for a lot of things: to distribute content, to share news, to provide customer service.
And sometimes, brands use social media for jokes, burns, and unmitigated sass.
When brand accounts share personality and humor on social media, it’s delightful — and it captivates the collective internet.

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10 Inspiring Examples of Branding Presentation Design

Presentations are a crucial aspect of any branding project. They allow you to present your finished designs in the best light possible, looking to make the greatest impact on the client.

It also helps them to understand the direction, as well as envisage how it would look in production. As a result, it’s crucial these branding presentations are designed with great care and fit perfectly with the project styling and direction.

In this article, we take a look at a selection of the most inspiring examples of branding presentation design.

Success Story

Success Story Branding Presentation Design inspiration

Mention’s branding presentation applies some vibrant and appealing overlay effects to the full-size imagery upon their cover designs. It allows them to maintain a consistent accent color throughout the presentation.

Rebranding B&H

Rebranding B&H Branding Presentation Design inspiration

This simple but effective rebranding project is presented perfectly through the design proposal and business card mockups.


Vertical Branding Presentation Design inspiration

In one of the more detailed examples, this presentation is comprehensive in its detail but maintains a consistent color scheme and structure through the use of grid lines.

Branding Exploration Process

Branding Exploration Process Branding Presentation Design inspiration

Kickpush’s highly visual presentation design uses full-color and graphical backgrounds throughout. It contrasts with the content effectively and is high impact.

Twisto Brand Book

Twisto Brand Book Branding Presentation Design inspiration

This beautiful branding project continues the use of purple and green colors throughout the presentation. The repeating background patterns are a perfect addition and provide an example of how the branding can be applied in production.


Melissa Branding Presentation Design inspiration

Melissa’s branding presentation is highly visual but with similarly detailed explanation throughout. It applies multiple instances of patterned imagery and related text to further expand upon her vision for the brand.

Branding Showcase Layout

Branding Showcase Layout Branding Presentation Design inspiration

This minimal branding presentation is succinct and allows the visuals to communicate without a great deal of explanation. It makes for an easy-to-understand approach which is described through mockups and photography.

Something New for Sidecar

Something New for Sidecar Branding Presentation Design inspiration

This presentation for PayTouch is inspiring in the way that it presents a unique slide for each branding concept. Each is carefully considered, and it presents a multitude of visions and approaches to the client.

One More Time

One More Time Branding Presentation Design inspiration

This beautiful dark theme is heavily reliant on visuals, with minimal use of typography. The red accent for the title text works perfectly against the maroon galaxy background.

uLikeIT Keynote Slides

uLikeIT Keynote Slides Branding Presentation Design inspiration

This Keynote branding presentation utilizes a master slide to apply consistent design elements across all slides. The color scheme is beautifully consistent throughout, as are the background visuals, despite differing image selections.

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