Category: Graphics

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. Curated by Dan Rose.

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Wallpapers Freebies Tutorials Photoshop Photography

Free Smashing Christmas Icon Set

Christmas is coming and, of course, it's just the right time to provide you with some nice freebies to fresh up your designs. To celebrate the holidays, our friends from IconEden designed "Smashing Christmas", a free icon set, dedicated to the design community and released especially for Smashing Magazine's readers. The set contains 39 beautiful, well-crafted icons with warm and welcoming color scheme.

Smashing Christmas Icon Set

All icons are designed in 3 different style: realistic 3D style, simple shape style and button style – hence the icons are extremely versatile. This set is available in both vector and pixel format and available for free download and use.

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Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: December and Christmas 2009

Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: December and Christmas 2009 (via @smashingmag) -

Over the last months our readers were complaining about the low quality of wallpapers featured in the Desktop Wallpaper Calendar series here on Smashing Magazine. To keep the very high quality of the competition and motivate artists and designers to put more thoughts and ideas into creating original and beautiful wallpapers, we carefully reviewed our quality guidelines and decided to select featured wallpapers more strictly. Consequently, over 65% of wallpapers submitted to us in November unfortunately didn't make it to this post.

Smashing Wallpaper - december 09

We may have been a bit too strict or we may have been not strict enough – please let us know what you think and please also let us know how we can improve the quality of this series!

This post features 45 free desktop wallpapers, created by designers across the globe. Both versions with a calendar and without a calendar can be downloaded for free.

Please notice:

  • 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 which wallpapers have we received for December 2009?

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Beautiful Photoshop Illustrations By Artists Around The World

Photoshop is a magical tool for digital artists and photographers, and it rules the digital imaging world. It is not just a tool, though; Photoshop is a blank canvas that invites you to perform magic with your creativity. It gives you room to creatively manipulate photos and explore the artist in yourself.

To celebrate the upcoming holidays, in today’s post we decided to step away from technical design/coding-related topics and showcase some beautiful digital illustrations and their creators. Hopefully, the artwork will inspire you and stir your imagination.

As you know, so many more brilliant illustrations have been done by digital artists doing great work, but we cannot cover them all in a single post, so we will try to showcase them in our future posts (if you want to). If we forgot to mention the work of your favorite artist, please do share it with the other readers and let us know their name.

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Brushing Up On Photoshop’s Brush Tool

When laid by a learned hand, brush strokes can convey a sense of energy, tactility and humanness. These qualities speak to your audience's subconscious, whispering ideas that words alone can't convey. In the digital realm, a website with beautiful brushwork is a welcome break from the stark precision of most corporate websites.

Brushing Up on Photoshop's Brush Tool

Mastering the digital brush is by no means easy. It carries the same difficulties as the sable brush hidden at the bottom of your art bin. In fact, the difficulty is multiplied by the disconnect between the hand and monitor. Developing Photoshop brush skills takes time, but it is well worth the effort. This article outlines the plethora of options that Photoshop affords, so that you can efficiently create and use brushes like the Old Masters.

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35 Incredible Digital Painting Tutorials

Art is not restricted to any medium, nor is digital painting. Yes, you read that right: "digital painting." It is a new trend in today’s technologically brilliant world that won't go away any time soon. Here, we’ve gathered 35 tutorials to inspire you to display your creativity through digital painting. We hope you like this collection. Kindly share your comments about it with us.

Making of Beauty on the Bed

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The Ails Of Typographic Anti-Aliasing

As printed typography enjoys the fruits of high-DPI glory, proudly displaying its beautiful curves and subtleties, its on-screen counterpart remains stifled by bulky pixels, living in a world of jagged edges, distorted letterforms and trimmed serifs. Until display manufacturers produce affordable 200 or 300 PPI monitors, we'll have to rely on software advances to fix these problems.

The Typographic Ails of Anti-Aliasing

Enter anti-aliasing: the next best thing to a world of higher-resolution monitors. The concept of anti-aliasing is fairly simple: add semi-transparent pixels along the edges of letterforms to smooth the appearance of the "stair-step" effect.

However, many factors and technologies determine the actual effectiveness of the process: hinting, subpixel rendering, software capabilities and operating system specifications, to name a few. Here, we'll look at what you as a designer can do to improve the results of anti-aliasing with Photoshop, Flash and CSS. Plus, we'll explain the constraints of hardware, browsers and operating systems.

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Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: November 2009

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?

Smashing Wallpaper - november 09

This post features 60 free desktop wallpapers, created by designers across the globe. Both versions with a calendar and without a calendar can be downloaded for free.

Please notice:

  • 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 November 2009?

Read more...

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