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Create a Stunning Wooden Website Template in Photoshop
Layouts / 15 Oct 2010

Create a Stunning Wooden Website Template in Photoshop

Today we’re going to build an awesome website template in Photoshop utilizing a number of advanced techniques.

I’ll take you through the entire process in ten easy steps and provide you with a link to download the finished template. Let’s begin!

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.

Introducing the LESS CSS Grid
CSS / 13 Oct 2010

Introducing the LESS CSS Grid

In the past we’ve taken a look at several CSS grid systems. We’ve also gone over how LESS.js can add a lot of flexibility to the way you style web pages. Today we’re going to combine these two ideas and create a grid system that utilizes LESS.

Read on to see why on Earth we would do such a thing. If you understand the concept, you can also skip the tutorial and go straight to the download. Let’s get started.

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.

Web Design Critique #20: The Inspiration Blog
Critique / 9 Oct 2010

Web Design Critique #20: The Inspiration Blog

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 as well as those that could use some work. Finally, we’ll finish by asking you to provide your own feedback.

Today’s site is The Inspiration Blog, a site very similar to this one dedicated to visual design inspiration.

Mastering Variable Width Strokes in Illustrator CS5
Software / 8 Oct 2010

Mastering Variable Width Strokes in Illustrator CS5

Photoshop CS5’s fancy new feature set has garnered a lot of attention and tutorials, but Photoshop was by no means the only app to gain a little awesomeness. Illustrator CS5 has a few really stellar new features that make it even easier to create complicated vector art.

Today we’ll go over how to use one the many new features in Illustrator CS5: variable width strokes. With the new “Width Tool” you can make complex line shapes in seconds using only a few quick click and drag motions.

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.

50 CMS Alternatives to WordPress
Software / 5 Oct 2010

50 CMS Alternatives to WordPress

Is WordPress a CMS? Many developers say “no” while countless others continue to use WordPress as a content management system regardless of its definition or intended use as a blogging platform.

Regardless of which camp you fall into, you should know that there are a lot of robust and powerful alternative CMS options that have been built from the ground up to help you manage the content on your site. Below you’ll find 50 content management systems perfect for designers, end users, churches, media sites and more!

Web Design Critique #19: Redka3d
Critique / 2 Oct 2010

Web Design Critique #19: Redka3d

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 as well as those that could use some work. Finally, we’ll finish by asking you to provide your own feedback.

Today’s site is Redka3d, the personal portfolio of a web designer from Indonesia.

35 Awesome Fluid and Elastic Layout Examples, Templates and Tutorials
CSS / 1 Oct 2010

35 Awesome Fluid and Elastic Layout Examples, Templates and Tutorials

Fluid and elastic layouts are extremely useful for creating websites that function perfectly on a wide variety of screen resolutions. However, they can be a bit tricky to wrap your mind around when you’re just starting out.

To aid you in your quest to understand these tools, we’ve rounded up as many examples, templates, tutorials, and frameworks as we could find. Whether you’re a fluid layout pro looking for some fresh design ideas or a complete novice that doesn’t know where to begin, there’s something here for you!

Create Complex Layouts in Minutes With EZ-CSS
CSS / 30 Sep 2010

Create Complex Layouts in Minutes With EZ-CSS

If you’re like many developers, you’ve had your fill of grid-based CSS frameworks. Well you’re in luck because today we’re going to look at a fresh take on the concept of a CSS framework.

EZ-CSS seeks to address many of the things you hate about grid-based frameworks while retaining the functionality of aiding in the creating of cross-browser multi-column layouts.

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.