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Search Results For: textures

Freebies / 12 Apr 2011

Weekly Freebies: 30 Vintage Victorian Design Resources

Victorian is a term that loosely refers to the time of Queen Victoria’s reign from 1837 to 1901. For today’s purposes, it refers to an awesome collection of resources focused around floral patterns, ornate illustrations and even some items from that period, all of which will be perfect for your next grungy design project!

Graphics / 6 Apr 2011

Print Design Tips for Web Designers

I started my career in print almost a decade ago and gradually moved over to the web. This whole new medium brought several creative and technical hurdles that I had to learn to deal with and even embrace.

Today’s article is for a new generation of designers making the opposite jump. You’ve been designing for the digital world for some time and are ready to learn print design. We’ll help ease the transition with some dead simple and practical advice.

Software / 31 Mar 2011

Apply Graphics to Textured Surfaces With Displacement Maps

Do you ever wonder how Photoshop masters create such realistic compositions? Seemingly simple tasks such as throwing some text onto a brick wall can easily lead to lackluster results if you don’t know what you’re doing.

So what sets you apart from the pros? Why are their final results so believable while yours reek of Photoshop? The simple answer is that they know more tricks than you! Let’s fix that.

Graphics / 30 Mar 2011

UI Design: Should We Really Be Afraid of the Uncanny Valley?

Realism in UI design is a hot topic right now. Every design blog worth anything is openly telling Apple that they are way off in their suggestion that iPad apps should mimic reality.

Join us as we add some life to the debate by tackling some of these notions head on. We’ll go over when realism is effective and when it is destructive and how you can wield it in your own designs without ruining your interface.

Layouts / 16 Mar 2011

10 Tips for Troubleshooting a Lackluster Design

One of the biggest problems that designers struggle with is how to improve a design that didn’t quite hit the mark. Sometimes we’re on our game and can bust out a beautiful design in minutes, other times we struggle to complete something that should be simple.

Today’s post is a checklist that you can bookmark and refer back to for those times when you need a fresh perspective. Browse through the list for inspiration on how to improve a design that’s lacking in an area that you can’t quite identify.

Software / 10 Mar 2011

25 Professional and Incredibly Powerful Photoshop Plugins

Freebies are awesome, and design blogs are full of them, but sometimes you need a professional tool to handle professional tasks. There are a wealth of extremely powerful and high quality photoshop tools that can dramatically improve your workflow and are worth every penny you have to spend to get them.

Today we’ll look at a number of the best tools available for making color adjustments, adjusting focus, enlarging images, transforming layers in 3D, reducing noise, creating textures, applying complex masks, and even taking that PSD into full-blown HTML.

Critique / 6 Mar 2011

Web Design Critique #40: FanExtra

Welcome to our 40th design critique! 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 FanExtra, a fantastic resource site for designers.

Inspiration / 21 Jan 2011

10 Website Background Ideas for Your Next Project

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is a variant of what kind of background someone should use for their site. These designers have the basic content and the layout pretty much nailed down, but the background is either too boring or too busy and they don’t know how to fix it.

Today we’re going to take a look at a few live sites to grab some inspiration on how to effectively add interesting backgrounds to a web page. Bookmark this article and come back to it the next time you’re stuck on a background decision.

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.

Business / 23 Dec 2010

Design Discussion: Brand Advertising vs. Promotional Marketing

Design is not merely the act of creating attractive things for people to look at, that’s art. Instead, every project you work on as a designer has its own set of goals for what it should accomplish. The visuals you create are meant to help lead people in a specific direction.

Below we’ll take a look at two common goals that are pursued in advertising design. First we’ll go over the similarities and differences between brand advertising and promotional marketing, then discuss how these implications apply to your design work, regardless of what field you’re in.