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Weekly Freebies: 30 Beautiful Bokeh Textures
Inspiration / 15 Feb 2011

Weekly Freebies: 30 Beautiful Bokeh Textures

On a technical level, the term “bokeh” refers to the aesthetic quality of the blur in a photograph. Photos and even lenses are often judged by this factor and points of light in the distance are one of the most commonly seen tests and experiments in this area.

The images that result from these experimentations are quite beautiful and have really captured the attention of designers in recent years. Today we’ve rounded up thirty of our favorite free bokeh textures for you to use in your designs. Enjoy!

This Week’s Deal: 300+ Pictos Interface Icons – 73% Off!
Deals / 14 Feb 2011

This Week’s Deal: 300+ Pictos Interface Icons – 73% Off!

This week’s deal gives you a fantastic saving on the Pictos Icon Set. These beautifully hand crafted, royalty free icons make your website or interface stand out from the crowd. Containing 324 individual icons, it’s a really versatile set of graphics!

The icon set is provided as a PNG pack, with each icon available in ten different sizes: 512px, 256px, 128px, 96px, 80px, 64px, 48px, 32px, 24px, and 16px!

Usually priced at $49, today you can pick up a copy for just $13!

Web Design Critique # 37: Aaron Storry Photography
Critique / 12 Feb 2011

Web Design Critique # 37: Aaron Storry Photography

Every week we take a look at a new website and analyze the design. We’ll point out both the areas that are done well in addition to those that could use some work. Finally, we’ll finish by asking you to provide your own feedback.

Today’s site is Aaron Storry Photography.

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.

How to Design a Professional PowerPoint Presentation
Graphics / 10 Feb 2011

How to Design a Professional PowerPoint Presentation

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.

How to Maximize Your Income Potential From Someone Who Did
Interviews / 9 Feb 2011

How to Maximize Your Income Potential From Someone Who Did

Are you in a professional rut? Whether you’re an employee or a freelancer, it’s easy to reach a point in your career where you feel stagnant, both financially and in personal fulfillment. So how do you break free of that? How do these people that you hear about really manage to leave everything behind, venture out on their own and actually become a successful entrepreneur earning more than any agency would pay them?

Today we’re out to answer that question. We sat down with Ken Peters, founder of Nocturnal Design to hear his story about leaving a senior design position with an impressive salary to start his own company. You’ll get some real answers about how he managed to make this transition a huge success rather than falling on his face.

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!

This Week’s Deal: How to Be a Rockstar Freelancer – 52% Off!
Deals / 7 Feb 2011

This Week’s Deal: How to Be a Rockstar Freelancer – 52% Off!

I’m incredibly excited to let you know that today marks the first of our new “Weekly Deals” for designers. We’re kicking things off with the fantastic eBook How to Be a Rockstar Freelancer.

Covering everything from getting started to expanding your business, How to Be a Rockstar Freelancer is the official FreelanceSwitch book. Written by the incredibly talented Collis & Cyan Ta’eed – founders of Envato – it’s packed with new information, advice and insight

Usually priced at $29, today you can pick up a copy for just $14!

Web Design Critique #36: Sticker Mule
Critique / 5 Feb 2011

Web Design Critique #36: Sticker Mule

Every week we take a look at a new website and analyze the design. We’ll point out both the areas that are done well in addition to those that could use some work. Finally, we’ll finish by asking you to provide your own feedback.

Today’s site is Sticker Mule.

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.

In Defense of Advertising
Business / 2 Feb 2011

In Defense of Advertising

It’s on our clothes, in our houses and painted on the sides of our buildings. It flies high over our cities and can be found deep below our feet in subway tunnels. It’s so ingrained into the way we live that if it were to cease existing, the global economy and infrastructure would crumble in hours. Of what mystical force do I speak?

Advertising. In many American households this is a dirty word. We’ve come to hate this plague that has taken over our society and fear that it over-saturates our lives in ways that can only be destructive. Today I will cross the line and defend not only the industry as a concept but also those undoubtably evil people that participate in it.