Best of 2008 – Graphic Design Tutorials
As we arrive at the last month of yet another year, it’s time we revise and reflect on all the goodies this year had to offer. At the same time it’s great to practice the tips and lessons learnt for the years to come! We have brought together a series of what we feel are some of the best tutorials of 2008 from around the web.
We’re starting off with the most useful graphic design tutorials of the past year. In no particular order, read on to see 33 that have stood out in particular.
Envato Elements gives you unlimited access to 1 million+ pro design resources, themes, templates, photos, graphics and more. Everything you'll ever need in your design resource toolkit.
Icons, Vectors & More
Themes & Plugins
Logos, Print & Mockups
Creating an Environmentally Friendly Green Type Treatment
“With oil prices the way they are today, everybody is thinking Green… In the following Illustrator tutorial, I’ll teach you how to create a Green type treatment. It works great for logos and other design elements.”
Excellent tutorial, great use of highlights and shadows to create depth.
Illustrate for magazines
“Illustration is a constantly changing field, especially in today’s digital age. It’s easy to modify your work quickly and efficiently by using the available tools…. Wired and Men’s Health illustrator Ronald Kurniawan shares the secrets of his artistic success, revealing how he creates his stunning editorial illustrations.”
X-ray effects in Photoshop
“Capturing the inner beauty of an object with an X-ray is not an easy task. Only a handful of photographers combine photography as an art form with radiology – which might have something to do with the fact that achieving the effect requires highly-specialized equipment. Unsurprisingly, this doesn’t come cheap, so in this tutorial, we save you some pennies by inviting Mark Mayers to show you how to achieve a similar effect in Photoshop. “
Magic lighting effect
“Create a nice light and magic effect.”
Simple tutorial, brilliant effect.
Inking and Coloring the Comic Strip “The Brads”
“In this tutorial, we’ll walk through the steps of creating a comic strip using Illustrator’s Pen Tool, custom brushes and masking features. This is a fun tutorial that covers the process I use, while showcasing the comic strip I write called “The Brads.”
Top 10 Killer Photoshop Combo Moves
“Is time kickin’ your ass? Well, learn to defend yourself! Master these killer Photoshop keyboard combos and you’ll find yourself with more time for the important things (e.g. Facebook trivia questions). These combos assume you’re using Photoshop CS3 on Windows platform with default keyboard shortcuts.”
Killer moves alright!
Filter-free art in Photoshop
“In this step-by-step tutorial, we’ll create a photomontage in Adobe Photoshop CS3 using only the layer palette. Our goal is to achieve stunning results without using any of Photoshop’s filter options.”
Super Cool Frilly Bits Typography
“In this tutorial I will show you how to mix some vectors with letters to create a really nice design.”
Another creative tutorial on fiddling with typography to create interesting effects.
The new way to create 3D text
“Typography is huge at the moment in illustration, and 3D text is a big part of that. It literally gives the artist another dimension to play with, and the power of 3D programs provides a sense of realism that 2D typography just can’t match. This allows for seamless blending with photos and other renders. 3D text needs the right depth, lighting and texture. Nik Ainley tells you how to do this without re-rendering nightmares.”
Speedy shatter effects
“This technique, which its creator Eric Sin calls the ‘layer duplication effect’, is perfect for creatives who need to spice up a photo in a hurry. Give your photos an edgy, shattered makeover in under an hour, using layer duplication.”
Vivid Imagery In Modern Web Design
“By using vivid images designers can draw user’s attention, communicate a message effectively and leave a memorable first impression. Practically all websites use images in their design, but few use vivid images to achieve maximum results.”
“…A rather simple Photoshop tutorial. However, it does give quite a good foundation to those who are interested in starting metallic interfaces with Photoshop… You can really do a lot with this tutorial using different shapes and methods. This is just the basic introduction, the same way that you start to learn animation with the beginner’s step of adapting the color to change under a sequence of frames.”
Seamless compositing in Photoshop
“No matter how many tricks and shortcuts you know, Photoshop has plenty more, making complex and fiddly tasks far more straightforward. In this tutorial, Jericó Santander shows how you can make use of a few of these tricks to create a stunning surrealist-style image, giving a chameleon a Mad Max makeover and making him stalk through a mountain range.”
Create amazing photomontages
“Perhaps because of the overtones of freshness and vitality, water-based effects are always in demand. In this tutorial, Nik Ainley provides step-by-step guidance on how to make a stunning, dynamic effect that recreates the look of a figure dissolving in water, with some clever use of Photoshop and some found images. Although the finished image appears hi-tech, it is just a very clever photomontage constructed from just two images, using relatively simple Photoshop techniques.”
Create a complicated collage using various Photoshop techniques.
How to improve your Photoshop skills
“There’s nothing better than to play with the tool if you want to learn it…. I think the best way to learn is trying to recreate images and effects we like. Here I list my 10 tips to improve your skills in Photoshop, but they can be applied to other tools as well. “
40 Cool Beauty Amplifying Photoshop Effects
“Beauty retouching is one of the most sought-after skills in Photoshop arts today. The techniques here are used not only on magazine covers, but in advertising campaigns, digital artwork and professional photography. Here are 40 excellent tutorials to help you add this skill to your arsenal.”
“This grid masking seems like an interesting technique to take a closer look at. I’m sure there are many ways to excecute this technique and you could do this both in Illustrator or Photoshop… In my version of this technique I decided to use both Illustrator and Photoshop to my benefit and create the mask in Illustrator and then apply it on the photo(s) in Photoshop.”
Create cool neon effects
“Whether it’s the speeded-up glow of car headlights in a night-time city scene, an alien spacecraft or a deep-sea jellyfish you’re recreating, this far-out neon look is a highly useful trick to master. It conveys a sense of movement and energy, and the colours can be tweaked to give a surprising range of effects.”
Create a magical rainbow color flame in Photoshop
“One of the things I’ve seen around quite a bit lately is a transparent rainbow gradient effect on a dark background. It seems to me that flashy transparent gradients are in these days. They make me think about magic. Today I’ll show you how you can create a magical rainbow color flame. OK, maybe I’m using too many words in a row here, but it’s the best I can do to describe this.”
Make an Inspiring Artistic Poster with Drawn Elements
“In this tutorial, we’ll create drawn elements, use design brushes, bring them into Photoshop, and merge them into a unique poster composition that feels hand-made, stylistically unified, and personalized. The techniques here are focused on creating an original artistic illustration.”
How to Create a Grunge Web Design in Photoshop
“Photoshop is often the right tool for web design, especially if you’re creating a design using numerous images and brush effects. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create a complete grunge home page design. We’ll design the header, sidebar, body, footer, and style everything to work together in a heavily textured and worn design.”
Badass Bling Effect in Photoshop
“This tutorial will show you step by step on how to create a “Badass Bling Effect” using layer styles in Photoshop. Once you create the layer style, you can easily “blingify” any layer. There is also a video tutorial as well.”
Slow shutter 2
Shotgun Mag teaches you how to create this beautiful slow shutter text effect.
Add Stock Textures to Images for extra ‘Oomph’
“In this little Photoshop tutorial we’ll be designing a quick art piece, then we’ll be adding some texture to it, this is to demonstrate the use of texture in artwork… Obviously this method will work better with some things and not so well with others, so please try to use it in moderation, if you will.
Peeled Back Sticker Effect II
This tutorial shows you how to create a peeled back sticker effect using Photoshop.
This tutorial does a great job of “…teaching you how to achieve the all important glowing effect which people can’t seem to get enough of. Here we will create a style I’ve named ‘Scanline Text’ which is basically text which glows like bright scanlines, with a smart reflection as well.”
Creating Energy Spheres in Photoshop
“For this tutorial you’ll want to find a photo of someone doing something that looks a bit larger than life.” :) Nice one!
“This will show you how to create that slapped on sticker effect I’m sure you’ve seen popping up around the internet. It’s simple to make but looks really good in pieces of art and also on webpages for example as an image link to an RSS feed.”
Space Lighting Effects in 10 Steps
“In this Photoshop tutorial I will show you how to create a space scene with some nice Lighting Effects in 10 Steps.”
“Here we will create some thin flowing lines that look as if they emit light. This technique is fairly simple and is a great way to create an abstract wallpaper or looks good integrated into another image. This tutorial will mainly explore the brush engine and you will also learn how to create custom brushes and use them effectively, combined with some interesting layer styles.”
“Retro Text and Video Layers Retro text like this looks great but isn’t easy to create in Photoshop alone so here we use a mix of Photoshop and Illustrator, raster and vector to create some unique text. The second part of this tutorial explains video layers, something which is relatively new to most people. The final result will be an animated image that could be used for a web header.”
50 Creative Photoshop Text Effects
“Learn how to soak your text in bubbles, splatter it with blood, turn it to glass, then to ice, melt it into water, grow it into grass, cut it from metal and riddle it with bullets. These 50 incredible Photoshop effects will create text that explodes from the page (or the screen).”
Yes yes, it’s more of a list than a tutorial but this was too good a list to let go!