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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.

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100 Obscure and Remarkable CD Covers

While recording artists and bands are busy recording their albums, a separate effort is usually being made behind the scenes to plan for the launch, promotion and circulation of the new tracks. The creation of CD cover art is an intergral part of this process.

Some CD covers feature heavily edited and airbrushed vanity photos of the musicians or recording artists. Thankfully, others are much more creative and work to create a cover image that reflects the mood, attitude or feel of the music it promotes. The most striking designs are those that capture both a buyer's attention and the essense of the music.

Rush - Power Windows

The CD cover art designs and concepts featured in this showcase present dramatic, quirky, unusual or unique artwork. This type of cover art can make a big difference when a little-known band releases an album. Captivating or iconic cover art can make a band instantly recognizable, which increases sales, which in turn boosts airplay and subsequently demand for the music. Mainstream marketing is rarely this attractive, and the wide variety of beautiful CD cover art makes browsing CDs an enjoyable experience that reaches far beyond the music.

It must be noted that a collection of this nature is never complete, and the value of art is very personal and subjective. While we may love the familiar cover art of some classic favourites because we love the bands and the music, a critical look at the cover art can often be a disappointment. For the purposes of this cross-section of remarkable and obscure cd cover art we have chosen to ignore the musical genius of the albums in favor of showcasing brilliant cover art.


Fantastic Wallpapers That Will Blow Your Desktop Away

We love desktop wallpapers. And we love beautiful ones most. And although we monthly publish desktop wallpapers of our readers (desktop wallpaper calendar feature), we thought that it would be nice to provide our contributors with some fresh inspiration and our readers with some nice wallpaper update for a lousy Monday.

The wallpapers for this post were selected over a long period of time; they cover mainly nature, abstract and digital art (further collections will be coming if you are interested). We've tried to pick only the most beautiful ones and hopefully you won't be disappointed.


Below we present a showcase of over 50 fantastic wallpapers that will blow your desktop away. Most of them are in HD and will make your desktop look as nifty as it is possible. Because the resolutions are so high, if one doesn't fit your screen, use your favorite image editor to refine its dimensions.

You may also be interested in the following related posts:


40 Stunning and Creative Graffiti Artworks

Graffiti represents an art form that is unrestricted, one that rebels against conventional forms of artwork. Graffiti is intertwined into human history, dating back to the Roman Empires where they were plastered onto walls to make political statements and satirize current events.

Modern graffiti achieves many of the same things - to state a message that doesn't necessarily fit into the norms of society. In this collection, for your inspiration and adoration, we present 40 remarkable graffiti and street artwork.


This article follows and adds to an article written last year, entitled Tribute To Graffiti: 50 Beautiful Graffiti Artworks.


Best Tutorials For Cinematic Visual Effects

It doesn't matter whether you are a designer, a developer, an artist or an amateur learner – at some point you need to improve the quality of the original picture or video. You may want to retouch and enhance his or her photographs and videos, make it look better, more spectacular and more original. It could be for personal or commercial use. Most of us know how to edit and enhance the digital photographs using our favorite image editing software. But when it comes to videos, the techniques are completely different from that of classic image editing.


In this post we present best tutorial for visual video effects that will (hopefully) teach you how to create impressive videos which can be used for your presentations or websites. Visual effects are used in post production which involves integration of live-action footage and computer generated imagery. You can use it to enhance or manipulate videos, just the way you usually do with image processing tools.

You may be interested in the following related posts:


60+ Beautiful Logo Design Tutorials And Resources

When we talk about a famous brand, the first thing that comes to mind is its logo. The logo is the most essential component of any personal brand and also the hardest part to execute. A logo must be appropriate, aesthetically pleasing and a reflection of the company’s credibility. Furthermore, a logotype should be synonymous with the company or product it represents and should penetrate people’s minds as a selling agent.

An amateurish logo design can more likely make your business fail for a number of reasons. A logo is of great importance in creating brand identity, and you should be very careful in selecting one for your business.


Today, we present some outstanding logo design tutorials to give you a head start when it comes time to creating an amazing logo for your own business.

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Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: May 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 - may 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 May 2009?


Black and White Fractals That Capture Creativity

Everyday we see objects consisting of one, two, and three dimensions. By incorporating mathematics with design, the outcome of computer generated fractals is based upon complexity, creativity and perception.


By removing the beautiful array of colors we typically see in fractals at these finer magnifications, the manipulation of fractional dimensions with the black & white designs offers a different perspective of aesthetically appealing images.

You may want to take a look at the following related post:


20 Talented and Impressive Illustrators

A lot of what is seen on TV commercials, catalogues flyers, posters, banners and internet advertisments are made by someone in the world of design or commissioned by someone in the world of art. As time passes, the distinction between artist and designer has been blurred beyond recognition.

Now, in times of instant press and release, inspiration from great artistic measures and processes are the influence and is just as important as functionality. When we see companies like Apple and RIM, we see a collaboration between art and design where the practicality is the designated, artistic measure and process, so what looks good, feels good and works well.


Below is done in the same sight, literally where the eyes are encouraged to explore, stimulating inspiration and aspirational ambition. Below we present 40 talented and impressive illustrators – their work is inspiring, creative, original and beautiful and as such perfect for a lousy saturday evening.


Ultimate Collection Of Useful Photoshop Plug-Ins

Can Photoshop do everything? Of course, it can. But one should have extreme skills, plenty of experience and a great deal of time before retouching images or creating graphics pixel by pixel. Photoshop is an amazing graphics application that has forever changed graphic, Web design and digital photo editing.

One should know how to use Photoshop to its full potential to get the most stunning results. This is where Photoshop plug-ins come in handy. (Plug-ins aside, though, if you have time to acquire extreme skills, we encourage you to do so because there is nothing better than learning something new.)

Featured below are Useful Adobe Photoshop Plug-Ins that will make your work easier, faster and better and reduce the number of steps needed to accomplish tasks. They will also allow you to do things you just cannot do with the features built into Photoshop. Some of the plug-ins are collections of filters, whereas others are programs or utilities that you may find useful.

Please also take a look at the following collection of (free and commercial) Photoshop plug-ins from our friends:


50 Incredible Photography Techniques and Tutorials

Over the recent months we've been presenting various showcases of photography – while many readers hated the showcases, most readers found them inspirational and perfect for a lousy workday's morning. However, what we should have done in the inspirational posts is not just provide you with some inspiration for your work, but also present useful photographic techniques which can help you to achieve optimal pictures for your designs. And as requested by many of you, now it's time to correct our mistake.


In this post we present useful photographic techniques, tutorials and resources for various kinds of photography. You'll learn how to set up the perfect environment and what techniques, principles and rules of thumbs you should consider when shooting your next perfect photo. This round-up isn't supposed to be the ultimate one – please feel free to suggest more useful articles in the comments to this post.

Among other things, we cover high-speed photography, tilt-shift photography, black and white photography, motion blur, infrared, night, smoke photography, macro photography, HDR, panoramic photography, RAW processing and others. Hopefully, you'll find many of the listed tutorials and how-tos useful for your regular work.


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