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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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Yummy! Free Food and Cakes Icon Set

Today we are glad to release something extremely tasty — Yummy Icon Set, a set with 20 beautiful, original and sweet icons in resolutions 48×48px – 128×128px and formats .png, .ico, .incs and .tif. Also, the vector source (.eps) is available for free download as well. This set was designed by our friends Iconeden and released for Smashing Magazine and its readers.

Yummy Free Icon Set

Download the icon set for free! 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. Please link to this article if you want to spread the word.

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60 Splendid Christmas Stock Photos [Freebie]

The Christmas is coming and Christmas decorations are being prepared. However, it's not only time to spice up your living environment: your designs could use a bit of the Christmas spirit as well. A week ago our readers asked us to release a set of Christmas-related stock photos; so when a couple of days later Min Thu dropped us an e-mail suggesting to provide us with some Christmas stock photos, we just had to do it.

Christmas Set

So, as requested, in this post we are glad to release Christmas Stock Photos Set, a set of 60 original Christmas-related photos in JPG in the resolution 2500×1666px. This set was created by Min Thu especially for Smashing Magazine and its readers.

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How To Use Photoshop Masks [+Keyboard Shortcuts]

Design is a fluid and shifting process in which layers are constantly modified and tweaked. As complexity builds, so does the need for preserving data in a flexible way. Learning non-destructive editing techniques helps you produce documents that bend along with your creativity. Photoshop Masks are the cornerstone of this process. Not only do they preserve important pixel data, but they allow for the creation of flexible interface elements as well. In this article, we'll explore the technical aspects and creative advantages of incorporating masks into your workflow.

Unveiling Photoshop Masks

Photoshop offers five methods of masking: Pixel Masks, Vector Masks, Quick Masks, Clipping Masks and Clipping Paths, all of which define pixel opacities without affecting the original data. Each of them has its own pros and cons, and knowing which method to use is extremely important for creating clean, flexible and properly masked layers.

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50 Beautiful Free Icon Sets For Your Next Design

Round-ups of beautiful and useful icons are almost legendary here, on Smashing Magazine. While some readers complain about the annoying "list"-style of some of our articles, we are confident that useful round-ups of relevant resources are very valuable and useful for designers. This is why over months we collect useful links and then present them in posts in the magazine. Like it or hate it, but the feedback that we get from the design community when we publish such posts is mostly positive which is why we keep doing it.

Free High Quality Icon Sets - Leica Camera Icon

This round-up covers 50 beautiful and useful icons that may turn out to be life-savers for your next design. We present photorealistic icons, mini icons and pictograms, symbols and signs, free templates as well as Christmas icon sets and desktop replacement icons. Please make sure to read the license agreements before using the icons – they may change from time to time. Did you find this post useful? Would you like to see more similar posts in the future? Let us know in the comments to this post!

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The Beauty Of Watercolor Painting In 43 Examples

We have showcased different media of art and the different routes that you can take to express your creativity. We covered vexel artworks, graffiti, light paintings, handcraft, Moleskine art and many more. Now, to provide you with some fresh perspective, we decided to showcase a list of some inpisiring watercolor artworks. We believe that watercolor art is a very powerful way to express your feelings — in particular, watercolor can be effectively used to represent the artistic vision on a piece of paper. [Content Care Nov/21/2016]

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Watercolor paintings are considered as a unique way to creatively represent dreams, illusions, emotions, and bright feelings using water-soluble pigments. This medium of art is still very popular nowadays, and therefore we have prepared a showcase of some really impressive watercolor artworks that will surely inspire you. So get ready to be fascinated by these brilliant and vibrant watercolor paintings and let us know what you think in the comments to this post!

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Smashing Christmas Icon Set [Freebie]

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. [Links checked February/10/2017]

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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Beautiful Illustrations By Photoshop 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. [Content Care Dec/02/2016]

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 The Photoshop 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. [Updated February/28/2017]

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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The Ultimate Round-Up Of T-Shirt Design Tutorials

Among all of the graphic designers in the world, many of them have probably had a go at designing some cool artwork for t-shirts. The t-shirt, after all, is one of the world's most purchased products, and a lot of us wouldn't know what to do without them!

Balanced T-Shirt Graphic

If you have yet to design for apparel goods, today is your lucky day! Below, we present over 20 useful t-shirt graphic tutorials written by fellow designers, followed by a selection of great resources (such as vector apparel mock-up templates), an inspirational showcase to get your brain thinking and some great websites where you can submit your new t-shirt graphics.

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Setting Up Photoshop For Web, App and iPhone Development

Most people who have designed websites or apps in Photoshop will, at one point or another, have had issues trying to match colors in images to colors generated by HTML, CSS or code. This article aims to solve those problems once and for all. So how can we achieve color management that matches colors across multiple devices? [Updated February/28/2017]

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In the print world, color management typically involves calibrating your entire workflow, from scanner or digital camera to computer display to hard proofs to the final press output. This can be quite a tall order, especially when the devices use different color spaces — matching RGB and CMYK devices is notoriously hard.

When designing or editing for TV, calibrating the main editing display and using a broadcast monitor are common; these show real-time proof of how the image will look on a typical TV in a viewer’s home. In such a scenario, color management offers many benefits and is highly recommended.

When building Web and application interfaces, the situation is a little different. The final output is the same device that you’re using to create the artwork: a computer display (putting aside for now differences in gamma between Windows, OS X prior to 10.6 and the iPhone, which we’ll cover later.)

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