Year-End Review of Top 12 Posts in 2011

As the year comes to a close, it’s time to reflect back on some of the top stories for designers in 2011 that garnered the highest clicks on HOW’s Sites, including: The HOW Blog,, In-HOWse Designer Blog, Creative Freelancer Blog, Parse, and HOW’s newest arm—HOW Interactive Design.

1. The Top 10 Sites for Designers
Every month, HOW’s very own Megan Patrick, content director and curator of all things cool, examines submissions of sites to post as the coveted Top 10 Sites for Designers. This eclectic mix is an instant favorite each month. View them here. 

2. Quit it With All the Infographics Already [Infographic]
Information design is a noble field. But there were some ominous trends in online infographics that made HOWID executive editor Grace Dobush feel the whole genre was jumping the shark in 2011.

Good and bad infographics

3. 29 Things All Young Designers Need to Know
This essential advice for young designers took the web by storm in 2011, and it’s easy to see why. Doug Bartow, principal of id29, and his colleagues take mentorships seriously, and have learned a lot about fostering a bright path for these young designers. Thanks to Bartow for sharing this advice with the readers of HOW! I encourage all designers—young or not—to take a look. 

29 Tips for Young Designers, by id29

4. Logo Design Awards Winner’s Gallery
Pinterest Logo, Top 10 Logo DesignsHOW’s Logo Design Awards winners for 2012 were just debuted in an online-only gallery two months ago. Within that short time, the gallery has caught the attention of many eyeballs online, earning it a spot as a top link in 2011. See some of the most most clever logos created this past year and get inspired by the top 10 winners (presented in no particular order).


5. Designer’s Guide to CSS3: 8 Examples to Inspire
Web design expert Patrick McNeil’s series on CSS3 wrapped up with eight awesome examples of sites using the new technology. You’ll be amazed by how CSS3 can supplant web images.

6. Designer Letterhead
The best business cards, letterheads and other collateral let clients and prospects know what they should expect from a firm at a glance. HOW showcased 23 firm’s identities in the November 2011 issue of HOW, but also debuted 13 more online.

FEB designer Letterhead

7. New Starbucks Logo: What Say You?
On January 5, 2011, Starbucks unveiled a new logo to celebrate the company’s 40th birthday and boy did designers have something to say about the new mark. See the post and add your own comment!

Starbucks logos

8. A Day in the Life of a Graphic Designer
American Made Prints’ husband and wife design duo Jenn and Keith Bowman co-created a print that celebrates the realities of being a graphic designer. This post quickly gained speed as designers could relate and find humor in it. “I am pleased (and a little concerned) that it has struck such a chord with the graphic design community,” post the duo on their site. See the post on the HOW Blog.

A Day in the life of a graphic designer, by Amerikan Made Prints

9. Presentation Slides from the HOW Interactive Conference
The big #HOWidc weekend was a whopping success, and we collected the slides and notes from our fantastic speakers here. You’ll feel super smart even if you weren’t able to make it to San Francisco. See these slides from the conference, which have been passed around the web like a hot potato.

10. Forgetting About Your Process
Professional creative mentor and Parse contributor Peleg Top has an important message that can be taken into the New Year: Your process is not a business development or a marketing tool. See why.

Forget about the process in your design business

11. In-House Issues: Logic Not Lunacy
The bane of every in-house designer’s existence is bureaucracy. Andy Epstein, editor of the In-HOWse Designer Blog, dishes out hints on how to handle some of these bureaucratic roadblocks.

12. Tax Advice for Freelancers
The Creative Freelancer Blog, curated by Marketing Mentor’s Ilise Benun, provides advice to help freelancers succeed. As the year wraps up, taxes will soon be an inescapable reality. See Ilise’s ever-popular roundup of resources.

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