This category includes articles and tutorials on designing in Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and Fireworks. Free icons, textures, PSDs and other similar resources are featured here, as well as showcases of photography, video and wallpapers.
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When people talk about image optimization, they consider only the limited parameters offered by popular image editors, like the "Quality" slider, the number of colors in the palette, dithering and so on. Also, a few utilities, such as OptiPNG and jpegtran, manage to squeeze extra bytes out of image files. All of these are pretty well-known tools that provide Web developers and designers with straightforward techniques of image optimization.
In this article, we'll show you a different approach to image optimization, based on how image data is stored in different formats. Let's start with the JPEG format and a simple technique called the eight-pixel grid. Read more...
Desktop wallpapers can serve as an excellent source of inspiration. However, if you use some specific wallpaper for a long period of time, it becomes harder to draw inspiration out of it. That’s why we have decided to supply you with smashing wallpapers over 12 months.
And to make them a little bit more distinctive from the usual crowd, we’ve decided to embed calendars for the upcoming month. So if you need to look up some date, isn’t it better to show off a nice wallpaper with a nice calendar instead of launching some default time application?
This post features 40 free desktop wallpapers, created by designers across the globe. Both versions with a calendar and without a calendar can be downloaded for free.
- all images can be clicked and lead to the preview of the wallpaper;
- you can feature your work in our magazine by taking part in our desktop wallpaper calendar series. We are regularly looking for creative designers and artists to be featured on Smashing Magazine. Are you one of them?
So what wallpapers have we received for July 2009? Read more...
Macro photography is also known as close-up photography. Compared to other types of photography, macro photography is quite difficult, because of the nifty equipment, lightning and other techniques involved. However, in the end it comes down to what kind of pictures you want to take and what level of precision you are striving for.
In this inspirational showcase, we've collected some beautiful macro pictures, as well as some useful macro photography tutorials – for people at all levels of experience.
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With the power of the Web, and more eyes watching than ever, it's important for a business to communicate its unique message clearly. The easiest way to recognize a company and distinguish it from others is by its logo. Below, we go through 10 common logo design mistakes that you should avoid if you want to create a successful and professional logo.
A professional business should look professional. New business owners often invest a lot of time and money in property and equipment, but do not often match it by investing suitably in their logo.
The most common reasons why many logos look amateurish: the business owner wanted to save money by designing the logo quickly themselves, a friend or relative who claims to know a little about graphic design does it as a favor or the wrong people are commissioned or the business outsourced the job via one of several design competition websites, which are mostly populated by amateur designers.
Today we are glad to release 30 Swirl Brushes, a set with 30 high-quality swirl Photoshop brushes with an average size 2000px. These brushes were created with Adobe Photoshop CS4 and also work with the version CS, CS2 and CS3. This set was designed by Thomas Béal especially for Smashing Magazine and its readers.
You can use the set for all of your projects for free and without any restrictions. You can freely use it for both your private and commercial projects, including software, online services, templates and themes. The set may not be resold, sublicensed, rented, transferred or otherwise made available for use. Please link to this article if you would like to spread the word. Read more...
Today's desktop wallpaper collection is all about horror. Wallpaper can convey the depths of emotion and feeling and whatever you want them to convey. You will always find a wallpaper to express your feeling or mood. It's always nice to refresh your perspective with some inspirational, elegant, stylish and beautiful wallpaper.
There are so many resources for beautiful and inspiring wallpapers that are pleasing to the eye, but we are bringing you something different. We have hand-picked some creepy horror wallpapers that are very likely to scare you. This collection provides you with 100 beautiful horror wallpapers that are perfect to spice up your desktop with some dark, scary and creepy atmosphere. You have any suggestions for other wallpapers? Share them in the comments to this post!
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Adobe Illustrator is one of the best applications for making graphic artwork like logos, print designs and Web pages. As time goes on, more and more Illustrator techniques are introduced by talented designers and artists in the industry who achieve some of the best results on the Web. One hot trend nowadays is 3D effects. So, we've gathered together some 3D tutorials to give you an idea of what Adobe Illustrator offers and how to use its 3D features. This list mixes tutorials for beginners and experts.
Here then is our round-up of 50 Excellent Adobe Illustrator Tutorials for 3D artwork. You'll learn a lot of techniques and good practices.
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Concepts of the future for the way we live our lives have been expressed in forms of art, design, movies, comics, and even cartoons. For many decades before man even landed on the Moon, people have been fascinated with space and the endless possibilities it could bring. The future is not only about being in space, though it has a major influence, it lies within your innovative minds and skills as the designer and artist. So, whether you go back into the past or here in the present, the future is all that we envision.
It wasn't too many years ago when amazing tools such as 3ds Max, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or even Corel Draw weren't around. Illustrations were drawn by hand using chalks, colored pencils, paints, and pens. With typography, you could find artists/ designers also using fountain pens or calligraphy pens with a large variety of nibs, along with bottles of colored ink. Even today, you will still find designers and architects who use tools such as the t-square, triangular scales, triangle, french curve, and of course, your basic compass.
Times do change and so do the concepts of what to expect in the future. We would like to share with you a collection of retro futuristic designs and tutorials that will inspire you for your future creations. If you like the designs, please take the time to visit the sites of the artist/ designer by clicking on the illustration or title. Read more...
Beautiful and free icon sets always come in handy. Used properly and moderately, icons can be helpful to provide users with memorable metaphors and illustrations that would provide a visual support for otherwise unspectacular text blocks. For instance, in web-applications memorable icons can be very helpful as they can make it easier for users to memorize how to perfom some specific task or where to find some specific functions.
This large collection of recently released icon sets is supposed to help designers improve their designs on their web-sites and in web-applications. All icon sets are free. Please read the license agreements carefully before using the icons — the license can change from time to time. The icons provided below may turn out to be useful and helpful in corporate designs, portfolios, blogs, magazines and in Web-applications. Please feel free to suggest more icon sets in the comments to this post. Read more...
Everyone in the business world knows the importance of posters and ads in advertising for specific products. Posters are an integral part of advertising. An eye-catching, attractive poster that conveys a professional, compelling message about a product, service or event will invariably hold the user's attention.
In this article, we have collected a mixture of Photoshop and Illustrator tutorials related to posters and advertisements. You will find some are intermediate and some are very advanced, but they'll all give you a lot of direction with photo composition, illustration, coloring processing, typography techniques, pen tool tricks, shapes processing and much more. Read more...