Author: Sean Hodge
Sean Hodge is the creative mind behind AiBURN, a weblog about design, creativity, inspiration and graphics.
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We use ad-blockers as well, you know. We gotta keep those servers running though. Did you know that we publish useful books and run friendly conferences — crafted for pros like yourself? E.g. upcoming SmashingConf Barcelona, dedicated to smart front-end techniques and design patterns.
Podcasting is an engaging medium that is available in both audio and video formats. Podcasts often refer to audiocasts, but now with iPods and other media players being able to play video, videocasts are just as popular. A handful of web design podcasters deliver both audio and video formats. Some do so through the same subscription, others separate the two.
Audio podcasts are a great way to stay informed about web design news, learn about emerging technologies, listen to discussions, and continuously learn about the ever-changing landscape of web design — on your way to work or before you go to bed. Videocasts are great at showing step by step tutorials, or delivering visually rich presentations. Many of the long running successful podcasts have communities built around the show. Forums and detailed show notes are usual for a podcast that regularly serves its community. The time span of how long a podcast exists often indicates its level of quality and professionalism.
We've amassed a collection of podcasts that are either directly about web design, or would be helpful to a web designer. If you're interested in more podcasts try searching through Odeo or iTunes. There are quite a few web development podcasts, and a few niche topic web design podcasts, not covered in this roundup. Following is a list of useful podcasts for web design professionals.
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Web design-related forums are a place where you interact with other designers, exchange ideas or discuss your first drafts. When you have a problem, you can post the issue, and then receive feedback on possible design or coding solutions from community members. This interaction is a great way to establish contacts and build relationships. Forums are used for networking and marketing purposes. They are practical places to solve problems and can serve as a form of social diversion.
As designers and developers, we choose a forum depending on its ability to approach our needs. In best case the forum should be large enough, moderators should be cooperative and the posts should be responded quickly. There is nothing worse than posting a thread on a forum and no one replies to it.
In forums, users develop a reputation over time. The forum software can be used to track this. Some forums allow users to rate each other as well. Also, the more you participate and the more professional input you bring to the community, the more other members will recognize you and respect your opinion.Read more...
Hyperrealism is an art movement,which requires the same level of technical ability as photorealistic illustration. To get an idea what is actually meant by that, you can take a look at some excellent examples in the post The World's Most Photorealistic Vector Art. While Hyperrealism brings a similar level of skill to images, this style allows the artist to creatively interpret an image. In Hyperrealism artists utilize ethereal lighting effects, depth of field techniques, and camera style perspective to depict the images. They create images that are imaginatively realistic.
Often artists that work in Hyperrealism have other interests as well. These vary by subject matter and style. Some of the artists listed below are interested in Vexel styles, Digitalization, Classic Airbrush Painting, and have been influenced by a myriad of other styles. We've included work that ranges from strong Hyperrealism to work that is more a stylization of reality.
This kind of artwork is often created using Illustrator's Gradient Mesh Tool, though not always. You'll see that some of the artists create artwork with a fantastic level of detail, using many flat shapes. Illustrator is the most popular program for creating Hyperreal Vector art. Artists also use Flash and other vector programs as well.Read more...
There are some basic approaches, guidelines and goals to consider when working with type on the Web. Overall, the medium of Web typography involves readability, accessibility, usability, and brandability. On the Web, these aspects function together to accomplish design's goals of communication and user interaction.
There are many ways to approach Web typography in order to create effective and expressive results. Let's take a closer look at some principles, rules and ideas for approaching Web typography decisions — you can use them as a starting point for learning how to achieve effective type setting on the Web.Read more...
PDF magazines are a great promotional tool used by companies and collectives. They are quick to put together, can be attached to emails, or made available as free downloads. Numerous visual arts publications from around the world are available for you to draw inspiration from. These magazines serve as excellent sources of both conceptual and visual design. Furthermore, it's both interesting and important to know what other artists do — to explore new artistic style, learn new techniques and make new contacts.
View great illustration, photography, graphic design, painting, typography, and various other visual and communication arts. Dig into ideas with artist interviews and articles. Or flip through these pages to discover new visual solutions and styles. Below you'll find both well-established and new PDF magazines for you to download and to draw inspiration from.
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Arm yourself with the knowledge of how different file types of images can be used to achieve transparency on web-pages. It's important to first understand these basics. Then learn how to push the limitations of browser support. Take a look at what others are doing with transparency on the Web; only then you'll be able to learn how to get creative with transparency in Web design.
There are well-established methods of imitating Web transparency that have been developed to overcome browser support issues. While we can appreciate past solutions, it's important to break out of this faux methodology and learn to work with PNG graphics. We are at a tipping point where IE7 continues to grab market share. And fortunately, IE7 has thet support for full Alpha Transparent PNG graphics. In the near future, transparent PNG graphics will have excellent browser support.
Ultimately, it's necessary to consider creative uses for transparency on the Web. This article reviews the use of faux transparency methods, presents examples of transparent images on both fixed and dynamic backgrounds, and points to creative solutions that take full creative advantage of today's modern Web transparency effects.Read more...
Lighting effects in Adobe Photoshop are used to add flare and polish to images. They communicate feelings of creativity, technology, magic, and fantasy. Creating beams, glows, motion trails, rainbows, or an assortment of other lighting effects, give your images ambiance and depth.
Now it’s time for a sparkling dose of related Photoshop learning material. This article provides a resource of Adobe Photoshop Light Effects tutorials. These tutorials offer an assortment of techniques for making your work creatively glow.
Please consider them as an extension of our ultimate Adobe Photoshop series:
Grid systems bring visual structure and balance to site design. As a tool grids are useful for organizing and presenting information. Used properly, they can enhance the user experience by creating predictable patterns for users to follow. From designer's point of view they allow for an organized methodology for planning systematic layouts.
After creating a well-structured and usable grid, consider allowing it to breath. A page without a grid is a usability nightmare. On the other hand, a grid that has creatively overlapping, escaping, or energizing columns leads to a more enjoyable user experience. Discovering or planning areas of the design that will have some freedom will lead to more interesting and appealing design solutions.
Like skyscrapers in city centers, overwhelmingly, columns dominate Web design grids. Once you've mastered the grid as a tool then it's time to get creative with it. Work on establishing a visual rhythm in your design. Then you can step in and break the visual flow for effect. The techniques discussed in the next section present effective ways of getting creative with your columns in grid-based Web design.Read more...
Your portfolio is the showcase of your work, your skills and your potential for your future employers. The more time and effort you dedicate for a usable and nice-looking design, the higher are your chances for getting better account balance in the end of the month. So how can you make sure your portfolio is better than the portfolios of your competitors? How can you point employer's attention to your works?
Creating a successful portfolio is easier than you think. Focus on simplicity, ease of use, hitting your objectives, professionally managing the project, and you'll end up with a successful portfolio. In this article we'll review 5 pitfalls that commonly plague portfolio design. Then we'll cover Portfolio Tips that if carefully considered and well executed will deliver quality results for your portfolio.
There are some common mistakes designers make in their portfolios. Let's review these common pitfalls first to make sure you don't fall into one of these traps.Read more...