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24 ways to impress your friends

Rocking Restrictions


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Great article, Tim. I think this article suits you very well. There are many good designers but every time I see one of your websites I get a simile because it’s always something I haven’t seen before.


This is by far, one of the most interesting/helpful articles I read these days!

CSS galleries are evil!
The “Write off that first hour” thing is a good point too!

Michael Espinosa

@Tim Van Damme That was seriously a great article. I needed to hear(read) this.

As for your point:

Don’t start browsing all kinds of CSS galleries. Either you’ll feel bad…

Here is a visual to your point!

Robert Aubin

Good article and good advice about not browsing the css galleries. All it does is make my head spin and provides anything but direction.

I’m all about giving a plug for some software, but you should let people know that Realmac Software featured your interview as a case study to promote their product…even if it is cool software. ;)

Arif Widianto

Don’t start browsing all kinds of CSS galleries. Either you’ll feel bad, or you just start using elements in a way you can’t call “inspired” anymore. Instead gather your own collection of inspiration.

This is really the best one that works to me.

And also the “start small” and “mute everything” is one of my kind. For CSS Development, tough I like the philosophy of starting all markup naked (without CSS), and then adds a style later. But I do like more to start little by little, and wonder how things works in surprises.

Thanks for sharing.

Paul Randall

A great article, which lets a lot of people know that they don’t have to start a website with one particular thing.

Usually the brief dictates where I start a design, whether it is a colour scheme, typography or imagery.

But, the 1 biggest influence I have had recently has been to use grids.

Tim Van Damme

Glad you all liked the article!

Robert: I know, should’ve included that. But it really really really is great software :)
Arif: You’re absolutely right about starting with a “naked” version of your markup. Great way of writing less code!
Razvan: Now you’re making me blush :)
Ahmed: I’m sure there are a lot better ones!
Wolf: Belgium represent!

Enjoy the rest of 24 ways, and, of course, the holidays :)

Nathan Beck

Certainly a useful and inspiring article. As most commenters above have said – forgetting CSS galleries is a good idea.

I think they’re great to gather general inspiration and to bookmark interesting sites, but I’ve found from experience that by grabbing ‘this little box graphic here’ and ‘that header style there’ and ‘this tidy menu bg’ and composing them alltogether; nothing works and you’ve created a mish-mash design with other people’s elements. Serious no-no.

Thanks Tim!

Johns Beharry

Great post, I normally just pick colors from my head (Mostly blues), but I just visited Adobe Kuler’s site and on the first page I fell in love with a pallet with earth tones. Thanks a lot, I actually found that site a few years ago but couldn’t remember the name.

I prefer it over COLOURlovers. I want to also start using grids as well. I’ve been doing some research into it as well as mixing in Phi and Fibonacci spiral.


Christopher Olberding

Insightful article.

The idea of focusing in I think is great. When I have designers’ block I always try to step way back and look at the project from a high level but I think doing the exact opposite and going from there could be very interesting.

Bryan Woolbright

This was a great article! Just what I needed. Especially about the part of not going to CSS galleries. I’ve found myself browsing those only to get a little discouraged seeing all the great designs and thinking, “why didn’t I come up with some of those designs?”

Jelle Desramaults

“Everything I designed before this was just pure luck!”

Big relief to hear that I’m not the only one thinking those black and evil thoughts now and again.

Also, I agree with @Wolf: the “start with someting small” tip is one to remember.


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