I have a dirty little secret, I hate slicing Photoshop files. By that I don’t mean that I hate turning PSD comps into websites, I mean that I hate Photoshop’s slicing tools. The whole process makes my PSD look busy, cluttered and overly complicated so I usually skip it altogether and instead opt to manually crop and save out images individually as needed.
In order to fight this tendency and attempt to see the true usefulness of Photoshop’s slicing tools, I embarked on a mission to learn all the intricacies of how slicing works. Below is a collection of tips and tricks that resulted from this journey. Hopefully, you’ll learn a thing or two you never knew!February 17th, 2011 Posted in Graphics
Business cards are a constant point of creativity for designers. This little personalized piece of marketing holds an impressive amount of potential for capturing the attention of potential customers and many businesses are willing to spend plenty of money to make sure their cards make a lasting statement.
Today we’ve collected over fifty business card designs and concepts that not only have aesthetic appeal, but really go that extra mile to increase impact. Some pop up into 3D shapes, others glow in the dark or even serve a lasting useful purpose. All of them are sure to inspire you in your own endeavors to create amazing business cards.February 11th, 2011 Posted in Graphics
Our recent series of tips on presentation design outlined some generic rules and ideas that you can live by to create better, more professional presentation. Today we want to follow that up by taking you through the actual process of designing a presentation from start to finish.
We’ll break down every step of the design process, from choosing colors and images to using whitespace properly. After reading through this you should be all set to design your own beautiful presentation slides that will put your coworkers to shame.February 10th, 2011 Posted in Graphics
Photoshop layer styles represent an incredibly versatile set of tools for changing the appearance of any object you create. The trouble is, it can be quite time consuming to figure out the proper mix of effects to get the look you’re going for. Fortunately, tons of designers have gone before you and created some really complex and beautiful styles that you can apply with a single click.
deviantART is a goldmine for Photoshop styles and we’ve gone through and narrowed down their vast collection to the 15 great styles you see below. Enjoy!February 8th, 2011 Posted in Graphics
I’m constantly trying to convince designers that SketchUp is a tool they should have in their arsenal. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know anything about or even have no interest in 3D modeling, SketchUp can plug right into your workflow as a designer in a number of helpful ways. And hey, it’s free!
Today we’re going to use SketchUp to build an extremely simple but stylish city skyline from scratch. The whole process should take you less than an hour and can be mere minutes if you’re already familiar with the application.February 4th, 2011 Posted in Graphics
Color has always been a popular topic on the web. We used to throw around terms like “web safe colors” a lot more than we do now simply because the computer displays back then weren’t as great as they are now. In place of these discussions, design blogs revert mostly to discussions of color theory and of course, free tools to help you build color palettes.
However, color was a hot topic long before the web was around. Once upon a time, my discussions about color revolved around printing presses and processes for applying ink. I’d wager there are plenty of readers out there who are either interested in learning about print or still work in print today so in this article I’ll teach you all about the magic of ink.February 3rd, 2011 Posted in Graphics
If you hail from the U.S., which state are you from and how would you rate the level of design from the schools there? Today we’re going to jump into this topic by examining 50 website home pages, one from a university in each of the fifty states.
We’ve divided the schools up into the best and worst and didn’t pull any punches when it comes to calling out bad design practices. Let’s see how your state fared!January 20th, 2011 Posted in Graphics
Today we’re going to learn all about how to make convincing reflections in Photoshop. Text reflections, 3D reflections, product shot reflections, all kinds of crazy reflections. We’ll discuss everything from custom transforms to blending modes and beyond. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you’ll probably learn a thing or two.
You might be thinking that reflections were all the rage a few years ago, but are currently losing a bit of steam, and you’d be right. However, you can still see plenty of them in practice on Apple.com and other sites. You should definitely beware of over-using them and adding to bad web 2.0 trends, but also know that once in a while they can add class to a boring item.January 19th, 2011 Posted in Graphics
Church home pages tend to suffer from many of the same problems that we recently saw with band websites. There’s so much content that gets thrown onto these pages and it all competes for attention to such a degree that most or all of it loses any intended visual significance.
Today we’ll learn how to battle that by designing a dramatically simple and attractive church homepage that still has plenty of room for various messages, announcements and more.January 13th, 2011 Posted in Graphics
Adobe Illustrator is a fantastic app for creating complex vector typographical arrangements. The application is so big and complicated though that it can take years to figure out how to recreate some of the cool effects that you’ve seen elsewhere without coming up with complicated workarounds.
Today we’ll remove some of the mystery of working with strokes and fills by diving into the appearance palette to see not only how it works, but how to manipulate the items within to create some really cool effects.January 5th, 2011 Posted in Graphics