Graphics Archive

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Breaking Free of Design Crutches

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You don’t want to talk about this topic, you don’t even want to think about it. That’s because, like most of us, you’re probably guilty of using quite a few “crutches” to get you by. Those little things that you default to in almost every design with almost no thought.

Let’s bring them to light. Let’s talk about what I see designers doing again and again and what I struggle with myself. Let’s stop hobbling along and start running towards great design.

July 12th, 2012 Posted in Graphics
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Designing on a Retina Screen: My Thoughts on the Retina MacBook Pro

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220.5 pixels per inch: 2,800 wide and 1,800 tall for a total of over five million pixels. That’s the screen that I work on now, full time. This gives rise to tons of questions: does Apple have any business making such a screen? Will it help or hinder the industry? Can you really do design work on that thing if you’re designing for non-retina screens?

Today I’m going to tell you all about my experience with the machine that threatens to change the way you do your job. I’ll hold nothing back as I rave about what I love and rant about what drives me nuts. Read along and see if you agree with my conclusions.

July 9th, 2012 Posted in Graphics
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Twitter’s New Logo: The Geometry and Evolution of Our Favorite Bird

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Recently, Twitter unveiled its brand new logo. It’s certainly not the first time this has happened, but the company seems insistent that this is going to be the last change we see for a while.

Join us as we take a look at the new logo, discuss why it’s better or worse and analyze the interesting geometry that was used to create the icon. Is there some hidden magic in using circles to create your logo? Read on to find out.

June 11th, 2012 Posted in Graphics
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DPI vs. Pixels: What Do I Use?

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You hear the phrases tossed around by everyone today – from amateur photographers to the iPhone salesman to some of the world’s most acknowledged visual creators and designers. But what do image size specs really mean? And what should you use?

Simply, it all depends on your project. Knowing what medium you are creating for and how your images will be used is key to sizing and picking the right number of pixels or DPI. Before you begin your next project, though, make sure you are familiar with all the image-quality jargon.

May 21st, 2012 Posted in Graphics
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5 Cool & Quick Photoshop Shadow Tricks

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Photoshop layer styles can be used for good or evil. In the hands of a beginner, they can lead to cliché results that are so overused that they’re downright cringeworthy. However, in the hands of an experienced Photoshopper, they can be the building blocks for complex and impressive effects.

Today we’re going to pay tribute to the shadow layer effects that come built into Photoshop. We’ll go over five super quick and easy tricks that you can pull off using simple shadow techniques.

May 2nd, 2012 Posted in Graphics
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Interesting Trends in UI Design

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I’m always on the lookout for new design trends. It’s fascinating to me how certain ideas get picked up by so many designers and implemented in countless different ways.

Today we’re going to specifically explore the world of user interface design and see if we can spot any currently popular trends. Almost more than any other area of design, interfaces are extremely subject to the ever changing whims of designers and if you’re not in the loop, you could find yourself creating UI that feels outdated. Read on to see what’s trending!

April 25th, 2012 Posted in Graphics
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Style Tiles: The Flip Side of Wireframes

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Style Tiles provide a fresh and productive way to approach the design process. They allow you to specifically hone in and focus on a project’s personality and mood without worrying about specific layout decisions.

Today we’re going to show you exactly what Style Tiles are, why you should use them and how to incorporate them into your design process. Follow along and you just might change the way you design forever.

March 29th, 2012 Posted in Graphics
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Photo Effects and Manipulations: Do These Tricks Work?

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Are you looking to add a little something extra to a photo on your website? Did you purchase new photo editing software and feel the need to use some of the bells a whistles? Don’t get too pulled in by all the photo manipulation gimmicks out there. Typically the best images are those that are composed and shot well, not a bad image with tricks added to it.

There are, though, some manipulations that can benefit your project when used in moderation. But there are many more so-called photo tricks to avoid if you want to produce professional-looking work.

March 19th, 2012 Posted in Articles, Graphics, Layouts
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5 Gorgeous Note & Point Presentations You Have to See

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One of my favorite sites for design inspiration is Note & Point, which is a fantastic curator of great looking presentation decks (Keynote + PowerPoint = Note & Point). Not only is this site chock full of awesome design examples, most of their presentations are actually design and development related so you learn some great stuff along the way!

Today we’re going to look at five of my favorite Note & Point decks, which will teach us a ton of great stuff about presentation design.

March 16th, 2012 Posted in Graphics
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Effortlessly Showcase Your Mockups to Clients With QwikVu

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If you’re a front end designer, presenting clients with mockups can be tricky. Emailing files can be cumbersome and lead to unwanted questions about how to view the image properly, and many image sharing services aren’t ideal for viewing full-size website mockups in their proper context.

Today we’re going to take a look at QwikVu, a web app that’s specifically built for designers who want to share web design mockups with clients. Is it the tool you’ve been looking for to make client presentations easier? Read on to find out.

February 9th, 2012 Posted in Graphics
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