Search Results For: textures

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.

Graphics / 20 Dec 2010

The Totally Made Up Design Awards for Design Blogs

Once upon a time, designers discovered blogging. This changed everything for many long-time designers like me who now pretend to be writers for a living. The rapid explosion of the design blog industry has brought about an unending flow of articles that essentially use 1,200 words to tell you how you should do your job. The question we’ll answer today is, which blogs actually take their own advice?

To highlight those blogs that feature the best design, we’ll be handing out very prestigious awards in several categories that I made up on the spot. All awards are based solely on visual appeal and give no consideration whatsoever to the actual quality of the blog content. Winners can claim their trophies at any trophy store for a small fee. Let’s get started!

Software / 16 Dec 2010

10 Fresh Mac Apps With Beautiful Interfaces (And What We Can Learn From Them)

Interface design is a valuable skill to possess. Every decision you make, be it something as major as a color scheme or as minor as a stroke width, can potentially have a huge impact on whether or not people decide to use the application, website, etc. We designers know this better than anyone because we tend to be interface snobs, meaning we flat out refuse to use an app with poor design, even if the functionality is stellar.

The next time you’re faced with the task of designing an interface, why not learn from those who have already succeeded? Below we’ll take a look at the interfaces of ten beautiful and fairly new Mac applications and discuss what went right.

Graphics / 9 Dec 2010

Design a Fun Baby Announcement Site in Photoshop

Designing a baby-centric site isn’t an easy task, especially for people like myself who usually favor masculine themes, colors and textures in their designs. Today we’ll tackle this task head on by creating a fun and unique baby announcement site that’s far from typical.

Feel free to follow along and be sure to download the PSD so you can have a look around or even use it in your own site.

Graphics / 19 Nov 2010

How to Revive an Outdated Design

Today we’re going to examine a real-world issue that frequently faces designers. Updating and old design can be a daunting task, whether it’s your own or someone else’s. Once you see a design presented in a certain way, it’s hard to break out of that mental box, even if you don’t like the original.

The article below will tackle a number of touch issues for designers. We’ll be dealing with outdated graphics, readability on a dark background, information overload, working with textures and more. Keep reading to see how we tackle these problems.

Graphics / 10 Nov 2010

20 Rockstar 3D Modelers You Should Hire for Product Mockups

Whether you’re trying to land that huge account or you want to make a good impression for a new client, there are few ways to stand out from the competition better than a few stellar 3D product mockups. The quality of 3D rendered products far surpasses anything most people can accomplish in Photoshop and though the work comes with a high price tag, it’s in high demand.

As a graphic designer, I highly recommend that you try your hand at 3D modeling just for the fun and experience, but realistically it takes a lot of time, effort and money (the applications are extremely expensive) to learn. However, just because you don’t personally possess the skill set doesn’t mean you should be turning down 3D work. You can easily find tons of talented 3D artists online willing to partner up with you on various projects.

Below you’ll find 20+ amazing 3D modelers from Coroflot, a popular portfolio site for designers looking for work. Bookmark this page and be sure to start here the next time you think you could use some 3D work!