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Smashing Conf Barcelona

You know, we use ad-blockers as well. 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. our upcoming SmashingConf Barcelona, dedicated to smart front-end techniques and design patterns.

Category: Graphics

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 and video. This is also the place that hosts our regular Desktop Wallpaper Calendar series.

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The Beauty Of Public Signage: Photo Contest Results

In August we announced the World Of Signage Photo Contest, in which we encouraged designers, artists and photographers to go out with their cameras, shoot attractive typography and public signage and send us the results. The more obvious subjects we received were street signs, building facades, highway markers and road signs, as well as wayfinding graphics (i.e. directional signage) in public venues, subway signs, hotel and office signs and signs in shops, too.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - Suicide Signage

The winner of the digital SLR camera, the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS (EOS 1000D) is Julian Salaun for his photo "Suicide Signage", taken in the underground tube in Paris (see picture above). That's a sign you wouldn't normally notice; the unconventional perspective is attention-grabbing and makes the photo stand out with its almost ironic placement. Very unique, very original shot. Congratulations to you! (You should have been contacted by now.)

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iCandies Icon Set: 60 Free Icons For Your User Interfaces and Apps

Today we are glad to release iCandies Icon Set, a set with 60 high quality icons in 64×64px, 48×48px and 32×32px, available in .EPS, .AI and .PNG. The set is designed by the talented folks from IconEden on a sole purpose of giving your projects a sleek and geeky style or provide crisp, attractive icons for your modern and fashionable-looking interfaces. All the icons in this pack — 60 icons in total — are designed in Round Rectangle shape.

iCandies Icon Set

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 or rented. Please link to this article if you want to spread the word.

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65 Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: September 2010

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 — September 10

This post features 75 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 September 2010?

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Beautiful Examples of Transparent Screen Trick Photos

Two weeks ago we published a showcase of beautiful pinhole photography, and this weekend again we've got something unusual and creative to lift up your spirits and challenge your creativity. Illusions can be eye-catching and attractive and when you apply them to computer displays, the results can be quite interesting and deceptive.

Screenshot

Take transparent screen trick photos, for example. The idea is simple: you take a photo of your surroundings and set this photo as your desktop wallpaper. Once the display is positioned precisely, the transparent screen trick is achieved. Simple, but what can you do with this simple idea?

Below we present a short selection of some original transparent screen trick photos. The environments presented in these photos appear to have a completely transparent screen which creates an optical illusion. And here you go — now you have something fun to do over the weekend!

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In Defense Of Photoshop

Waves of change are currently rippling through every aspect of the Web. The iPad and other mobile devices are changing the way we access the Internet, while HTML5 and CSS3 promise to change the way we develop it. However, another storm is brewing that threatens Photoshop's throne as the application of choice for Web design. The battle suggests a fundamental shift in the design process from Photoshop to mark-up.

In Defense of Photoshop

A militia of designers have assembled to launch this coup. Their propaganda is convincing, and their proposed successor is worthy, capable and sexy. Their cause is important, but their manifesto is flawed. The argument against Photoshop focuses on the effect of the final product. Photoshop can be used to create impeccable designs, but after hours of hard work, you end up with a static mock-up that is incapable of emulating the experience one gets when the design is converted to mark-up and viewed in the browser

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The Showcase of Beautiful Pinhole Photography

Camera is a remarkable piece of innovation. However, it is the person behind the camera that makes it truly remarkable. It’s his imagination, passion, talent and knowledge of the medium. You don't need a high-end costly equipment to get beautiful results. Just your talent and a way of looking at things differently along with ability to envision the final result in your mind is more than enough for a great shot.

A pinhole camera is a simple camera without a lens and with a single small aperture — effectively a light-proof box with a small hole on one side. Light from a scene passes through this single point and projects an inverted image on the opposite side of the box. You can easily construct this camera yourself using things lying around like match boxes or any kind of boxes, paper, duct tape etc. The small amount of light passing through this pin sized hole produces image on a photographic film or a image sensor.

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Free Full Layered Facebook GUI PSD Kit

In this post we release a free Facebook GUI PSD Kit, designed by SurgeWorks and released for Smashing Magazine and its readers. The main idea behind the kit is to speed up the prototyping of Facebook application UIs and Facebook fan pages, thus sparing you from drawing all the comps and letting you customize all the texts, buttons and data as you need. As usual, the kit is free to use in all projects, without any restrictions.

The kit brings the Facebook vector icon and logo. Also, since the focus of this resource are the UI elements, it brings a main window with the header, menu and the chat window for you to set up your realistic mock-ups. Plus all the modal components, comment boxes, buttons, message boxes, tabs, etc. All the components are full layered, built using vectors and blending options, so that scaling and editing the objects will not be a problem.

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Showcase of Wonderful Photography

Sometimes, a picture can be powerful enough to be inspirational material all by itself. To provide you with some inspiration for the upcoming week, this sunday we feature some truly beautiful and impressive images from talented artists and photographers worldwide.

Wonderful Photography - dreaming

Whether in black and white or in colors, they are all related by a strong sense of composition and an emphasis on lightening and colors work. All images are linked to their sources, which you are encouraged to visit. Other work of the photographers we have featured here is certainly worth discovering as well. Please notice that some images are available as prints as well.

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The History Of Logos And Logo Design

Logo design has been a controversial subject in the design press lately. One branding professional recently claimed that logo design is not that hard to do and another said that logos are dead; some rebutted while others concurred. Why all the fuss? [Links checked March/06/2017]

We live in a Brand Era, where branding is in, and for some, aspiring to the Paul Rand style of logo craftsmanship is about as hip and contemporary as writing your invoices with a quill. Yes, logo design is only one facet of the powerful force that we call brand identity. Yes, a branded design environment can communicate sophisticated brand meaning without much (any?) usage of logos.

MTV Logos

But some 'brand gurus' or 'brand evangelists' (translation: 'bastions of corporate pretension') seem to enjoy making hyperbolic pronouncements just to sound shocking or cutting-edge. Logo design is not dead. The technological advancements and tumultuous industries of our century are causing its role in our culture to evolve.

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FIFA Football World Cup 2010 Wallpapers (for Minimalism Lovers)

The 2010 Football World Cup is coming up in a couple of days and we decided to celebrate this event with an exclusive set of very simple Footbal World Cup wallpapers for minimalism lovers, created by Oliver Twardowski especially for Smashing Magazine and its readers. The World Cup will be held in South Africa, between 11 June and 11 July 2010, and will involve 32 teams competing for the title.

The wallpapers are grouped in countries and presented in the alphabetical order. The design is very minimal: the only changing detail of the design is the horizontal line presented on the bottom of the wallpaper. The idea was to keep the design very subtle and simple, making it possible for you to actually use the wallpaper within your work environment. So you should be able to place all desktop icons on the wallpapers without moving things around.

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28 Ideas And Examples Of Amazing Paper Art

The times when paper was considered to be the primary medium for artistic expression is long gone. Many writers and designers use digital media to improvise and develop their ideas. However, there is something particuliar in this "physical" canvas — something that keeps us getting back to paper when we want to brainstorm ideas in a notebook, doodle around in a sketchbook, collect inspiration in a scrapbook or just draw some sketches for the next project. [Links checked & repaired March/06/2017]

Paper Tunnel

In fact, paper is even more powerful than that. It is a very flexible medium. You can use it paper only for giving your ideas and feelings forms, but also as an expressive medium for creative artworks formed out of paper. You can create a sharp-edged paper plane or ship, but also form twisted curves of nature or complicated geometrical shapes. In this weekend's post we present a showcase of paper art; you wil find many beautiful carved, folded, cut out paper objects and realistic 3D paper sculptures, all using paper, cardboxes or even books as materials. Please make sure to follow the links to explore further works of the artists presented below.

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Design A Print-Ready Promotional Ad Using Photoshop and Illustrator

Today, we'll look at what it's like to develop print material in cooperation with a major marketing company for top-name brands and retailers using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. For anyone in the print industry, we'll share methods and resources that you'll hopefully find helpful. For others, this article will shed light on what it's like to work for a design firm. You'll gain in-depth insight not only into the methods of professional print designers but also into the marketing implications of their work.

Screenshot

Though many newcomers to the design industry lean towards Web design, professional print design is still very much a viable alternative. Despite declining print sales of magazines and newspapers, print-based marketing (such as for in-store signage, direct-mail campaigns and free-standing inserts) doesn't seem to be going anywhere soon. If anything, the industry is eager to hire talent from the next generation to bring much-needed fresh ideas and innovation to the table.

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