For over a decade, a fierce debate has raged on about whether or not Adobe Illustrator is an appropriate tool for page layout projects. Should you really be building ads and brochures in an application meant for illustration?
The question is an interesting one, and those in the “yes” camp have always been held back by the simple lack of a “Collect for Output” feature. This has finally changed in CS6. So is the debate over? Not remotely. Read on and join the discussion.September 25th, 2012 Posted in Software
The Layers Panel in Photoshop is one of the single most important aspects of the software’s UI. Odds are, you’ve spent a good chunk of your life staring at and interacting with the Layers Panel, but how well do you really know it?
Today we’re going to take a deep dive into what the Layers Panel has to offer and how to make the most of it in your workflow. We’ll learn about everything from keyboard shortcuts to obscure customization features. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you’re bound to learn a few new tricks!September 10th, 2012 Posted in Software
The world is becoming increasingly visual – especially the online world. Thanks to social media and the explosion of sites such as Pinterest, displaying information in a visual way has become even more important. But it can be time consuming and even brain-boggling.
There are a host of tools out there though that can help you turn information into pretty good (and Pinterest-friendly) infographics in a matter of minutes. Here we take a look at some of the top contenders, how they work, what they cost and if they are worth your time (and money).August 16th, 2012 Posted in Software
Texture is a key element of design. Learning how to wield and apply textures effectively will really open up your level of skill and proficiency in Photoshop.
Today we’re going to learn about a super quick and easy way to take a photographic texture and turn it into a mask that affects the transparency of a layer. No matter how proficient you are with Photoshop, you should be able to pick up this technique and begin using it on your projects today.July 30th, 2012 Posted in Software
Typically I stick to strictly design related topics, but today we’re going to stretch that a bit with a quick discussion on Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Tons of designers take photos for their projects whether they consider themselves “photographers” or not so I’m sure lots of you will find this to be a useful topic.
The main struggle that I see with Lightroom users is simply organization. How can you keep multiple shoots separate? Where should you import your files? These are important questions and the answers aren’t very intuitive so today I’ll walk you through my basic process for keeping various shoots organized.July 5th, 2012 Posted in Software
As a user, don’t you hate it when you click a button, only to realize that the resulting action really isn’t what you wanted at all? Sometimes this is a minor annoyance and sometimes it’s a complete disaster that ruins hours or even days of work.
As a designer, it’s up to you to help your users avoid these tragic mistakes whenever possible. Today we’ll look at some methods that you can use to achieve this goal.July 2nd, 2012 Posted in Software
Unlike Apple, Adobe seems to love sharing its product ideas when they’re in their infancy. This is both a good and a bad thing. As a user, it’s fun to see what Adobe has up its sleeve. Admittedly though, it’s frustrating to spend time working with a project only to see it vanish completely, never to come to full fruition. There’s also the frustration involved with using any sort of early beta project. Allowing users to check out the barely functioning version of your product might dissuade them from ever trying the finished one.
For better or worse, Adobe often shows its burgeoning products to the public, and the latest app in this trend is a text editor called Brackets. Adobe claims this new text editor will be innovative, open, focused and extensible. Will brackets live up to these lofty promises? Read on to find out.June 27th, 2012 Posted in Software
Fresh off the heels of purchasing my new MacBook Pro, I decided that it was time to make the jump to CS6. This of course brought up a critical choice: how should I purchase the software? These days Adobe provides you with a plethora of options for getting your hands on their apps and choosing the best method for you isn’t always easy.
The newest method of obtaining the Creative Suite caught my interest right away: Adobe Creative Cloud. Under this model, you’re really leasing the applications instead of buying them. Is this a good idea? Is Adobe Creative Cloud worth it or is it a short term convenience that turns into a long term nightmare? Let’s explore.June 19th, 2012 Posted in Software
The Option key (that’s Alt for you PC folks) is an amazing little helper for the Photoshop user. For the most part, you can probably get along without it but when you learn to wield it well, you open up tons of time saving features.
Why is it so great? What are all these great things you can do with the Option key in Photoshop? Read on to find out!May 23rd, 2012 Posted in Software
Adobe has an interesting relationship with folks who design websites. Photoshop and Fireworks have you covered from a static image perspective, but tools to build live, functioning websites are another story completely. Flash is no longer the poster child of modern web technologies (quite the opposite), GoLive went the way of the dinosaurs and Dreamweaver, though still widely used, is regarded by many to be a bloated mess.
One area that Adobe is intent on pursuing is web design for non-coders. They’ve made it their mission to bring the world of professional website creation to the huge market of designers who can’t write a lick of code. Thus far, they’ve largely fallen short of that goal (Project Rome anyone?). Their latest attempt, Adobe Muse, has finally exited beta and is available as a part of Adobe’s new Creative Cloud service ($50 per month) or as a stand alone product ($15 per month). Is Muse worth your time and money? Will it really allow you to create professional level websites without coding? Read on to find out.May 15th, 2012 Posted in Software