Category: Graphics

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10 Design Lessons From HTML Email Templates That Actually Sell
Graphics / 4 Nov 2010

10 Design Lessons From HTML Email Templates That Actually Sell

In the past we and several other blogs have outlined some useful technical information for how to code and structure your HTML emails from a developer point of view. But much less discussion has been given to how to actually undertake the design component of email newsletters.

Today we’ll take a look at some of the top-selling email templates from Themeforest and see if we can decipher what their designers did right so you can mimic these basic principles in your own designs.

Design an Edgy Flyer Using Your Own Photography
Graphics / 29 Oct 2010

Design an Edgy Flyer Using Your Own Photography

Today we’re going to take on a design project from start to finish using primarily resources that we create ourselves. We’ll walk through taking the photo, editing it in Adobe Lightroom, and using it as the main element of a flyer design that we’ll take on in Photoshop.

Along the way you’ll learn some great and practical techniques that you can apply immediately to your own work. Let’s get started!

Photoshop Blending Modes: Beginner’s Tips and Tricks
Graphics / 27 Oct 2010

Photoshop Blending Modes: Beginner’s Tips and Tricks

Photoshop’s blending modes are a source of constant confusion for many designers. There aren’t really any sort of built-in examples for you to see and the blending mode names are no where near intuitive suggestions of what the effect actually does to the appearance of your document.

Today we’ll help remove a little of the mystery by discussing how a few key blending modes work in addition to some hints for how to use them effectively.

Applying the Golden Ratio to Your Web Designs
Graphics / 19 Oct 2010

Applying the Golden Ratio to Your Web Designs

As web designers we have to take a lot into consideration when starting a project. One of the biggest segments working with layouts and systems to order spacing. Commonly designers will work with a grid-spaced CSS library but there are many ways to implement creative layouts.

Today we’ll be going over the Golden Ratio and how you can apply simple lessons into your design work. Most of the techniques discussed are applicable to a wide range of arts and design but we’ll be focusing on the digital aspect. Along with the Golden Ratio consider some other useful tools which can aid in the development of site layouts.

5 Super Easy Illustrator Typography Tricks
Graphics / 14 Oct 2010

5 Super Easy Illustrator Typography Tricks

Beautiful typography goes much further than finding the right font.

Today’s post will help you break out of the nasty habit of simply typing out a headline and calling it a day by showing you how to craft standard text in Illustrator into something more interesting and unique.

Below you’ll find a fairly random collection of tricks that I’ve picked up in the last few years. Each method is highly open to interpretation and you should definitely try to tweak and customize them to your own preferences.

The Science Behind Design Color Theory
Graphics / 11 Oct 2010

The Science Behind Design Color Theory

Color Theory has been a subject of interest for years in the art community. The rules and guidelines hold true when working on digital projects just as much as physical items.

There is a lot to learn in the subject of color so I’m going to cover just some of the key points. Terminology is something many designers get caught up on which really shouldn’t scare you or hold you back. The science behind color theory is brilliant yet elegant. It should be a topic of interest to every digital artist.

Designing With Strong Simple Focal Points
Graphics / 7 Oct 2010

Designing With Strong Simple Focal Points

In design, we tend to think of simplicity in terms of recent trends towards minimalism. A simple design by this definition is one with lots of literal whitespace and very little on the page outside of what is absolutely necessary.

However, instead of blindly following this trend, it’s important to understand the ideas behind it so that we don’t find ourselves trapped in a minimalist box with obvious grid-based layouts, white backgrounds and newspaper-style typography (not that this is bad, it’s just not good to be stuck in this idea). When you consider the principles of design that are at work in minimalism, you can successfully break out of the box and create clean designs that aren’t bound by an obvious and strict visual style.

6 Tips for Designing With Lines
Graphics / 28 Sep 2010

6 Tips for Designing With Lines

Today we’re going to look at one of the simplest possible design elements: a line. We’ll learn how to wield lines properly as well as what to avoid when implementing them.

Adding a few simple lines to a design can bring structure and graphical flair to an otherwise boring design. It’s a dead simple trick that, when used effectively, has the effect of adding a layer of finish your design.

How to Make Your Spreadsheets Less Lame
Graphics / 24 Sep 2010

How to Make Your Spreadsheets Less Lame

Spreadsheets are lame. There’s no two ways about it. We designers hate spreadsheets because they’re a shining example of boring data presented in a boring manner.

Unfortunately for designers, spreadsheets are a necessary evil and could even be called a great and essential tool in the business world. Today we’re going to see how to improve both the aesthetics and readability of your spreadsheets with a few super basic design principles that literally anyone can follow. Let’s get started!

vector-art
Graphics / 23 Sep 2010

10 Awesome Places to Download Free Vector Art

Despite what many would think, the term web designer does not always imply artist. There are many very capable web developers and designers that are lucky to pull off a quality stick figure on most days. For those that are able to create complicated artwork, there are plenty of times when you’re up against a deadline need something generic.

For either of these situations, you can’t beat free vector art. Though the quality varies dramatically depending on the source, there is a tone of great work out there that you can download and use in your projects immediately. Below we’ll take a look at ten websites offering free vector downloads of various types.

Create Awesome Animations in Photoshop
Graphics / 16 Sep 2010

Create Awesome Animations in Photoshop

After Effects is the go-to Adobe application for creating both simple and complex animations. However, for those users that either don’t have the time to learn an entire new application or simply don’t own a copy of After Effects, Photoshop has incorporated very similar, albeit scaled back, functionality.

Today we’ll go over the basics of how animation works in Photoshop and then build a basic animation from scratch. Let’s get started!

Designing a Professional Business Card
Graphics / 14 Sep 2010

Designing a Professional Business Card

Before websites, email blasts and banner ads, business cards were the central piece of design work for countless small businesses. This simple little piece of cardstock was a major representation of your company. In China, business cards are so highly regarded that it’s considered poor etiquette to write on someone’s card or even put it in your wallet! Typically upon exchange business cards will be placed into a small card case.

Though the digital age has dawned, business cards remain a fairly popular way to quickly provide someone with information about how to reach you or find out more information about your company. Today we’ll go over some common mistakes in business card design and explore a few practical techniques you can use to bring style and professionalism to your cards.