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Monday, May 31, 2010



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Best of the Web – May 2010

Posted: 31 May 2010 05:50 AM PDT

Each month the Internet churns out some great content for pretty much everybody. This month was no different. In this month’s best of the web roundup we have some exceptional tutorials covering a wide variety of design styles. Each tutorial is extremely detailed and well explained. In addition, the final results from those tutorials look amazing. Let’s also not forget about some of the cool freebies released this month like wallpapers, RSS icons, and unique textures. To wrap it up we have some informative and interesting articles that focus on many different aspects of the design industry. So lets get into another roundup!

Tutorial Wrap

  • Break an Egg in Photoshop

    Personally, I think this is one of the best tutorials we have featured in our monthly roundups. The author of this tutorial gives the reader a 19-page, step-by-step tutorial on how to create a broken egg from scratch. This means you will only use basic Photoshop tools; another reason why this tutorial is so great is because of the end result and the amount of detail you can put into something as simple as a cracked egg. This is recommended especially for beginners because it stresses details and simplicity in Photoshop, but everyone else should check this out too.

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  • Fashion Inspired Photo Illustrations

    Our next tutorial is another great one that focuses on some awesome fashion inspired illustrations. This tutorial will instruct the viewer on how to create custom shapes to decorate fashion photographs. It also goes into some other cool ways to give some more depth to a photo. So if you are into this type of art then this is another must check out for you.

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  • Creating Number Based Illustration

    This great tutorial is a mix of typography and simple illustration. The author instructs the reader on how to take a number and add a bunch of patterns that mix into a cohesive whole. Everything from the colors to the types of patterns work in this illustration so it is something everyone should also check out.

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  • Adding 3D Depth to 2D Images

    For those who like merging 3d art with 2d images this is the tutorial for you. The talented designer Saad Moosajee shows the viewers how to take some custom made 3d images that were created in Cinema 4D and bring them into a simple 2D photo. The tutorial then goes into
    merging these two elements and having them complement each other in the overall illustration.

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  • Mixing Brushes and Layers

    Our next tutorial focuses on taking some simple brush stroke brush sets and creating a whole illustration with them. This simple technique makes for some great art and this tutorial is a prime example of that. The author will show you how to take an image of a woman, and use filters to give it that brushed painted look, then you will use some brush strokes to give the whole
    illustration a painted feel. So check this one out if you are interested in this type of design style.

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  • Creating Magic Wood Scenery

    The last tutorial of the month is another unique and interesting one. This 60+ step tutorial uses random pictures to create images of birds and trees. The technique used to make this illustration is
    extremely creative and takes some time to perfect but this is definitely something to look at because the possibilities are endless if you try it out.

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(FREE!) Download Picks

  • Fabric Textures

    Our first freebie is an interesting and unique set of textures, this post rounds up 40+ fabric textures. They come in a variety of patterns and design styles so this is
    definitely something to checkout if you think you will find yourself in need of some fabrics.

    Visit Download Site

  • Ladies Lineaments

    The next freebie we are showing you guys is a pack of women lineaments. Now unfortunately if you don’t have a premium membership with the website you can only download a pack with 2 but in my opinion it is still worth it because making these yourself is somewhat tedious and even 2 of them can bring some use. So check these lineaments out and see if you can find some use for them.

    Visit Download Site

  • 10 Random Textures

    Our next texture pack featured has a wide assortment of textures, each for a different need. This pack features textures like raindrops, broken wood, and concrete. They are all high quality and worth downloading so check it out and download the ones you like.

    Visit Download Site

  • 12 Wooden Social Networking Icons

    This freebie is a pack of 12 wooden social networking icons. This sleek pack goes well with any simple design and features your standard social networks. So if you feel these icons will go with your websites current design then check them out and download them.

    Visit Download Site

  • RSS Icon Showcase

    This roundup features a huge number of free RSS icons. It is definitely worth it to dig through these icons because you will most
    likely find some gems in the pack. Some of the icons are very well designed and could be a great addition to your feed. So check this one out.

    Visit Download Site

  • Mac Spencer Wallpaper

    To finish it off we are showing you guys an awesome free wallpaper designer by Max Spencer. The wallpaper features a simple yet visually pleasing abstract design. As always the wallpaper comes in all popular resolution and now you can even find the iPad resolution, so if you have snagged one already make this your new wallpaper.

    Visit Download Site

Article Wrap

  • 10 Useful iPhone Apps for Designers

    Our first article gives all those iPhone users some helpful apps to download. The article runs down 10 different applications that are beneficial to graphic designers and web developers, some of the apps included deal with different brushes, and fonts. So if you have an iPhone head to the app store and check out these helpful apps.

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  • The Psychology of Web Design

    Here we have one of the more interesting articles put out in the past few months. The author looks at some of the basic psychological principles and how they can affect how a person views your website. The article makes the point that if the designer understands them then they can design a better website. This is a very informative read for everybody because the psychological perspective can be applied to may aspects of design.

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  • Simplicity Sells

    This article is based off of a quote by Leonardo DaVinci, and it then leads to a 20 minute video of New York Times columnist David Pogue talking about technology and design as well as how simplicity sells in our current times.

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  • 7 Deadly Sins Represented With Web Design Colors

    Our next article is another interesting one and is mostly featured for inspirational purposes. This
    original article focuses on the 7 deadly sins and then gives each of them a basic color and shows example of web designs that embody these sins. It is a very interesting read so everyone should check it out.

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  • Blue Collar Design Lessons

    This article shows that most designers can learn a few lessons from blue collared workers. These hard workers have some great values that can be used by designers to make their overall productivity better. For example the article talks about hard work, as well as the tools of the trade. So check this out because it is another unique and interesting read.

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  • Architecture Vs Web Design

    Finally we have another unique article that takes a look at the designs implemented in modern architecture compared to web design. The author focuses on the differences and
    similarities these two disciplines share, although there are more differences this is still a good read for most.

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Illustrative Lettering Creative Session Wrap

Posted: 30 May 2010 06:22 AM PDT

It’s a wrap. This session has covered a mix of illustrative lettering articles on theory and in depth case studies. We’ve taken a close look at various artist’s work and their various processes of constructing illustrative lettering. We’ve looked at how to derive inspiration from your imagination, the history of type, and how to create letters with an illustrative flair. This session posted across numerous Tuts+ sites: Psdtuts+, Vectortuts+, Cgtuts+, and Phototuts+. We’ll continue to expand each session as we cover new topics and integrate your feedback. Let us know what you think of this session’s material.

Illustrative Lettering CS Content

  • Developing a Passion for Illustrative Lettering

    In this article I’d like to present some thoughts and theories that I use for creating illustrative lettering. I will show samples and explain a bit of the background info to further emphasize my thoughts. The goal is to simply supply some insight and hopefully a bit of inspiration.

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  • Creating Typography Inspired by the Seventies and Eighties

    Typography from the 70s and 80s is inspirational to both designers and illustrators. It often takes on a storytelling role in it’s design. With the tools that you and I have available to us today, we can be inspired by the work that has been done in the past, but try to push forward into new territories. I’d like to share with you some tips and observations I have made from doing numerous retro typography illustrations.

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  • Developing Illustrative Type to Complement Your Style

    My name is Jonny Wan and I am a freelance illustrator based in the UK. My style is based upon shape experimentation, patterns and textures and I draw inspiration from ancient cultures and civilizations. More recently I have rekindled my love for type and now developing a way of working with type that is congruent with my illustrative style so the two can work in tandem when applied to commissions that requires both.

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  • Alphabetic Inspiration: A-Z Experiments with Letters, Hand-Crafted Type, and More

    This inspirational post is all about creating non-traditional type, letters, and alphabets. Some of these are made to into functional fonts and others serve as realized concepts. Consider doing some experiments with photographing objects made into full alphabets, hand crafting letters, working with 3D, trying unusual mediums, and more. Construct an image based font you can use in Photoshop, build your first pictorial font, or just have fun hand crafting some letters.

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  • From Paula Scher to Wilco: Illustrative Lettering as Cultural Storytelling

    Illustrative lettering, by definition, lives at the beautiful intersection of typography and illustration. It blends the aesthetic sensibility of the type designer with the creative edge of the artist and the narrative magic of the storyteller. This latter property is incredibly important, particularly in understanding the broader cultural and social relevance of illustrative lettering as a tool of self-expression and a storytelling medium.

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  • Wearable Letterform: a Typographic Form for Ephemeral Messages

    Say it loud: How to publicly display messages in a highly visible way, without doing anything illegal? Say it fast: Messages evolve in a perpetual flux. If you take the example of a poster or a title in a newspaper, their context is permanently shifting: who the audience is, where it is read from, what the weather is like, what the buzz of the precise moment is. How can we display a physical message while keeping it flexible enough so that it can reflect on its context? Interested, read on!

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  • Ace Hotel Wall Murals

    As a designer, I feel it’s always a good idea to take on new and challenging projects when the opportunities present themselves. For example, when I was approached by Ace Hotel in NYC to do a series of murals that would cover multiple walls of some of their hotel rooms, I jumped at the chance… even though at the time I had no earthly idea how I was going to do it. I figured out a way though and now I use some of the techniques I developed for this project in other design projects.

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  • Inspiration: 45 Examples of Illustrative Lettering in Vector

    From the very first Phoenician alphabet, through Chinese calligraphy, to illuminated manuscripts, and to desktop publishing, the written word has been one of our primary means of communication. Not content with plain text on a blank background, artists through the centuries have created beautiful, awe-inspiring designs with type. Whether its purpose is to inspire or identify, illustrative lettering communicates to the heart as well as the head.

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  • Finding Your Hand Drawn Lettering Voice

    Learning to letter by hand is a journey, or at least it has been for me. Starting with a passion for letters and typography, I experimented with tracing type, fitting letters into unusual spaces, and discovering how to pull words and styles together cohesively. It can take quite some time for your compositions to come together, your focus tighten, and your voice to develop.

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  • Creative Illustrative Lettering Challenge – Part 1

    This session we proposed a challenge to two illustrators. We asked each of them to take our own “tuts+” brand name and illustrate it with a creative lettering solution. Learn how each of them went about solving this, and the concepts they worked with to bring about the final work. In this Part 1 of this challenge, we’ll look at Wojciech Pijecki’s solution and how he combines expressive and abstract concepts, with lots of colorful elements, transforming this brief into a vibrant work of art.

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  • Creative Illustrative Lettering Challenge – Part 2

    This session we proposed a challenge to two illustrators. We asked each of them to take our own “tuts+” brand name and illustrate it with a creative lettering solution. Learn how each of them went about solving this, and the concepts they worked with to bring about the final work. In this Part 2 of this challenge, we’ll look at Jacob Bian’s solution and how he uses figures, motion and depth within a 3D scene, to transform this brief into a creative work of art.

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  • Evolving Your Illustrative Typography, Through Experiments and Techniques

    To grow and develop your illustrative typography style first involved letting go. Don’t get overly concerned with your style early on. Give yourself the time needed to experiment. Try different techniques, different mediums, different approaches. Give yourself the space to make mistakes and learn from them. By practicing your illustrative lettering with craft personal projects you’ll gain experience with your tools. Over time, you’ll develop methods and techniques that will help you to deliver consistent professional results.

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Your Thoughts on this Illustrative Lettering Session

We’d love to here your feedback and suggestions on how to improve Creative Sessions. We’re actively working to improve Creative Sessions, with more high quality material, and new intensive two week sessions releasing each month. We look forward to your comments.

Coming Soon, Digital Illustration Creative Sessions

Our next session will be on digital illustration. In the next session we’ll cover a wide spectrum of digital illustration topics. We’ll dive deeper into the theory in topics like digital painting, finding your illustration niche, and how to apply surrealist concepts in your work. We’ll also follow some digital artists through their working process with case studies and we’ll touch on some of the business of digital illustration. We have a great session lined up on digital illustration coming soon. Expect to see this next session post around the middle of June.



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