Graphics - Page 18

Inspiring advice, tips, and suggestions for improving your graphic design skills.

Pepsi vs Coke: The Power of a Brand
Graphics / 24 Mar 2011

Pepsi vs Coke: The Power of a Brand

Today we’re going to jump into an age old rivalry between the two biggest soft drink companies on the planet and their flagship products: Pepsi and Coca-Cola.

The main theme will be brand evolution. We’ll take a look at how both brands have changed over the years and which seems to have the better strategy.

Effective Package Design Does More Than Look Good on the Shelf
Graphics / 23 Mar 2011

Effective Package Design Does More Than Look Good on the Shelf

Package design is deceptively simple. Many designers wrongfully approach this task as merely a matter of aesthetics and give no thought to the fact that packaging has to succeed on many variables.

Today we’ll go over some basic principles to keep in mind the next time you’re designing either the package itself or merely the artwork. Along the way we’ll see a few amazing and not-so-great examples to learn from.

5 Quick and Easy Photoshop Textures You Can Make From Scratch
Graphics / 9 Mar 2011

5 Quick and Easy Photoshop Textures You Can Make From Scratch

The web is full of free texture resources. Unfortunately, we’ve all used them before and hate all the inherent restrictions that come as a result of using borrowed art. For your next project, why not just use textures that you make yourself from scratch? You skip the restrictions and the end product is much more unique because you’re not using the same resources used by everyone else.

Today we’re going to get you started by teaching you how to use a couple of basic Photoshop filters to create five completely different textures. Each texture should only take you anywhere from one to three minutes to bust out and can therefore be quickly applied without eating up your crucial design time. Let’s get started!

Layout at Light Speed With the Wireframe Toolkit for Keynote
Graphics / 25 Feb 2011

Layout at Light Speed With the Wireframe Toolkit for Keynote

The Wireframe Toolkit for Keynote allows just about anyone with a basic grasp of how to use presentation software to rapidly build user interface mockups for iOS and the web. If you don’t have Keynote, don’t worry, there’s a Powerpoint version included as well!

Today we’re going to give you super quick run through of how to use the Wireframe Toolkit for Keynote to build a basic web app layout. If you can copy and paste, you can do this!

Weekly Freebies: 10+ Abstract Watercolor Textures and Packs
Graphics / 22 Feb 2011

Weekly Freebies: 10+ Abstract Watercolor Textures and Packs

Abstract watercolors are useful when you need a background that really draws interest from the viewer. No two are exactly alike and all of them are fascinating to behold.

Today we’ve rounded up a great collection of abstract watercolor textures and texture packs for you to use in your designs. Collectively you’ll be able to grab over 60 awesome textures from this post!

How to Make Slicing Suck Less: Tips and Tricks for Slicing a PSD
Graphics / 17 Feb 2011

How to Make Slicing Suck Less: Tips and Tricks for Slicing a PSD

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!

50 Incredibly Clever Business Card Designs
Graphics / 11 Feb 2011

50 Incredibly Clever Business Card Designs

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.

Weekly Freebies: 15 Pixel Perfect Photoshop Style Sets
Graphics / 8 Feb 2011

Weekly Freebies: 15 Pixel Perfect Photoshop Style Sets

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!

Design a Sketched 3D City Map From Scratch
Graphics / 4 Feb 2011

Design a Sketched 3D City Map From Scratch

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.

An Introduction to Working With Spot Colors
Graphics / 3 Feb 2011

An Introduction to Working With Spot Colors

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.

Best and Worst Design: 50 University Websites From 50 States
Graphics / 20 Jan 2011

Best and Worst Design: 50 University Websites From 50 States

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!

Photoshop Reflections 101
Graphics / 19 Jan 2011

Photoshop Reflections 101

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.