Designer’s iPad Tool Box

With the announcement of the iPad many designers have been anxiously awaiting what applications may come from the tablet based platform. From those whom I talked to, it seemed that many people thought the iPad may respond to the touch of your finger similarly to how a drawing tablet for your desktop does. For me, I was slightly let down (thus far) by the lack of functionality available from the iPad. Lets just say I have been waiting for a CS5 for iPad’s. Despite this, I have still found a very useful round-up of quality applications that any designer would find useful.

Below I have laid out the designers iPad toolbox. Obviously, there are other great apps out there, I have found these to be solid and very useful even if you don’t design on your iPad.

iMockup for iPad ($9.99)


From my experience most serious designers never leave home without their notebook. When that moment of inspiration hits, you need somewhere capture that! Throw away that old notebook and say hello to iMockups for iPad. iMockups has taken the process of “mockups” to the next level. A favorite feature is the ability to store multiple designs within individual projects.

Highlights of WordPress 3.0!

Wordpress 3.0 was released to the public June 17th with a mountain of changes to it’s previous version. I have compiled my personal favorites below. For those of you not fully aware of the recent changes to Wordpress, check out my favorites below:

1. Custom Menu Management:

This allows the creation of custom menus combining posts, pages, categories, tags, and links for use in theme menus or widgets.

The Basics for Email Template Design

Designing Email templates has proven to be a tricky thing. Between the many possible variables with different email clients and an effective message that communicates with the end user, email has basic elements that must be followed for success. Below I have outlined the difference and strategies of design and functionality. Enjoy!


I always encourage simplicity with design. You must consider how your template is going to be given to your end user. Chances are these days that your end user will be quickly reading their emails on their phones while in the car, in the middle of working, or while there are screaming kids in the background. Because of this, you must make your design sell in a matter of seconds.

Below are great and effective examples of email templates:

The Top Premium Tumblr Themes

Last March Tumblr began offering premium themes and since then we have seen select companies test the waters of this new and interesting market. For those of us that watched this develop, it was interesting to see the many mixed reactions from Tumblr’s users.
The doors first opened on with prices ranging from $9 to $49. I’m sure many observed as I did; users were feeling disappointed and shocked with this decision, especially with prices up to $49. For me, I was suprised to see a much more simple platform competing with Wordpress prices. Since then, other stores have entered the market and brought down the prices to the high teens and it seems the dust has started to settle.
Now as we are 3 months into this new environment, I felt it necessary to present the top talent that has brewed up in this short time. Below I have assembled this small collection of what I would consider to be some of the top Tumblr themes from each store.

Backburner: $19

The 3 cardinal rules to selling WordPress Themes

Selling Wordpress themes has become an artform for the few that have mastered it, despite this, we are seeing more and more people making a full-time living from their theme profits. Thus far, it seems to be an exclusive club with few reaping the major rewards. In this article I hope to help you understand the 3 cardinal rules to selling Wordpress themes.

It seems that for many designers of Wordpress themes, the design often comes victim to one’s abilities with functionality. As a huge fan of Wordpress, and after reviewing, buying, and selling many themes myself, I have found what I would call the cardinal rules for building a successful theme to sell.

Rule #1: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler” Albert Einstein

Always seek to keep it simple. I am sure many of us have seen very extravagant designs that in the end lose focus. It’s very important to truly understand who your target audience is. You will notice upon scouring over different marketplaces that the top selling tags are business or portfolio based. Business themes have proven to be successful by leveraging simple layouts that can be branded very easily. For example, a great sample of effective simplicity is with inFocus Wordpress Theme.