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Co-Founder of Smashing Magazine. Former writer, web designer, freelancer and webworker. Sven is now writing Science Fiction Stories.

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Adobe Illustrator Tutorials

As a vector-based drawing program Adobe Illustrator has nowadays become the standard for illustration design. This tendency can be noticed in the Web as well as in Print Design. Few weeks ago we've selected some of the best Adobe Photoshop tutorials we've found on the Web so far; now it's time for Adobe Illustrator. Below you'll find a list of hand-picked Illustrator tutorials you can use to achieve some special visual effects in your designs.

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Inspire Yourself: 50 Remarkable Favicons

Actually it's a pity that many designers don't really make use of them. Favicons, mini graphics for a particular web-site, can be displayed in the browser's URL bar, next to the site's name in lists of bookmarks, and next to the page's title in a tabbed document interface. To be recognized immediately, favicons have to be visually appealing and fit to the design or logo of a given page. In fact, if you use Favicons for your sites, users can easily find your URL in their bookmarks - in this way you create some kind of a visual connection between your web-site and your sites' visitors.

However, the design of Favicons can be tricky - it isn't that easy to create a beautiful 16x16px mini-icon. Still, some designers manage to achieve tremendous effects. Logotypes with clear geometric structures are easier to work with than typefaces or abstract images. The color selection corresponds to current Web 2.0 trends. Let's take a look at 50 beautiful favicons you can inspire yourself from. You can click on favicons - they lead to a page, which uses the image as a page icon.

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Tutorials Round-Up: Ajax, CSS, PHP and More

Coding or designing a page, it's always nice to have some basic templates you can quickly modify or adapt to your needs. However, at least once you have to know, how to create this "universal" template. In this case tutorials prove to be an ultimate solution, particularly if you just want to get an idea how something works and where to start from. In fact, you don't have to re-invent the wheel all the time - you can use existing solutions, modify and improve them and publish them as well - just the way other people did it for you.

In this post we've covered over 200 Ajax, CSS, Flash, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL, RSS, XML as well as ASP, C++, Perl, Python and Java tutorials. You can also check out our list of Photoshop tutorials we've published before.

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Hand-Picked Photoshop Tutorials

Adobe Photoshop is a powerful tool for designing various visual elements one can use for web-pages. However, sometimes it's important to know what to do in order to achieve some effects. In such cases, step-by-step tutorials can provide help and save a lot of time you would have to spend on finding a solution otherwise. Let's take a look at some of the best Adobe Photoshop tutorials we've found in the Web so far. Links checked: June/17 2008.

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Free CSS Layouts And Templates

As a web-developer you don't have to re-invent the wheel all the time. If it just has to work, and has to be valid, and has to have a nice, visually appealing design hierarchy, you just can use css-techniques developed in the web-dev-community over the last few years. If you take a look around, you'll find many templates, which include basic (X)HTML/CSS-markup.

You can start from there, learning and exploring the possibilities of CSS and modifying templates for your exquisite taste. Below you'll find a list of resources which offer free, gorgeous and valid CSS-based templates - usually with images and full layout structure, such as headers, navigation bars, content containers, sidebars and footers.

Usually developers require a link to the site where the template was downloaded from. So before using these templates it might be useful to take a look at the license agreement the developer provides.

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Where can I find textures and background images?

If you are a graphic designer, you probably know that textures and background images are essential for every project which is related to graphics or design. But where to search for quality images if you can't find anything usable on your PC?

Web offers many useful resources one should always keep in mind searching for textures. Below you'll find a hand-picked selection of some useful resources related to textures and background images. We tried to pick the best ones which offer quality and professional content without annoying advertisement.

Following repositories offer "free" textures, which means that you can use them for both personal and commercial projects according to the license mentioned on the web-site you've downloaded the images from. The images in this article have been taken from the sites described in this list.

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Christmas Wallpapers

Our recent article on the wallpapers for desktop and web-design has been making rounds for a while, so we decided to make another present for our readers. Christmas themes might not be everyone's favourite themes, but in december they can be found everywhere. So, who knows, maybe you'd like to decorate your desktop accordingly? Let's take a look at some Xmas specials - for your desktop or current web-project.

Screenshot

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