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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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From The Design Community With Love: Unique And Inspiring Desktop Wallpapers (February 2017)

Time flies by! February is already here and artists and designers from across the globe have once again diligently created a potpourri of unique wallpaper calendars to freshen up your desktop. This monthly wallpapers mission has been going on for eight years already and we are very thankful to all the creative minds who challenge their skills and contribute to it each month anew.

From The Design Community With Love: Unique And Inspiring Desktop Wallpapers

This post features their desktop artwork for February 2017. The wallpapers all come in versions with and without a calendar and can be downloaded for free. Now there’s only one question left to answer: Which one will make it to your desktop this month?

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Designing A Responsive Music Player In Sketch (Part 2)

Welcome to the second part of this tutorial, in which we will finish designing the music player that we started in part one. This includes creating the icons at the bottom, as well as making the music player responsive, so that all elements adapt to the width of the artboard and, thus, can be used for different device widths.

Designing A Responsive Music Player In Sketch (Part 2)

Our premise in creating all of the icons is to use basic shapes as often as possible, instead of custom vector elements. Shapes are much easier to set up and modify, and we will still be able to combine them into more complex forms using Boolean operations.

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Designing A Responsive Music Player In Sketch (Part 1)

Sketch is known for its tricky, advanced facets, but it's not rocket science. We've got you covered with The Sketch Handbook which is filled with practical examples and tutorials that will help you get the most out of this mighty tool. In today's article, Christian Krammer gives us a little taste of all the impressive designs Sketch is capable of bringing to life. — Ed.

Music plays a big role in my life. For the most part, I listen to music when I'm commuting, but also when I'm exercising or doing some housework. It makes the time fly, and I couldn't imagine living without it.

Designing A Responsive Music Player In Sketch (Part 1)

However, one thing that has always bothered me is that the controls of music apps can be quite small and hard to catch. This can be a major issue, especially in the car, where every distraction matters. Another issue, in particular with the recent redesign of iOS' Music app, is that you can't directly like tracks anymore and instead need to open a separate dialog. And I do that a lot — which means one needless tap for me.

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Illustrating Animals With 13 Circles: A Drawing Challenge And Tutorial

Editor's Note: New year, new challenges! You might have set up your New Year's resolutions already, but if not, how about designing something... different for a change? Today, we're happy to introduce Dorota, an artist who created a fun little project last year that was inspired by Twitter's new logo based on 13 circles. Below you'll find the lessons Dorota has learned along the process, so maybe you'd like to embark on a similar journey as well?

Illustrating Animals With 13 Circles: A Tutorial And Drawing Challenge

If you can make a bird out of circles, then you can probably make all sorts of animals. I wanted to add something more design-based to my portfolio, so I made that my personal challenge. The idea was to draw animals from exactly 13 circles, and I decided to match that number by making 13 animals. This makes for a nicer title for the project, and it helps to get others to share it around the web, too. Knowing what you want to create early on helps, because then all you have to do is figure out ways to make it happen.

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Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: January 2017

New year, new beginnings! To cater for a fresh start into 2017 and all the challenges, endeavors and adventures it might bring along, artists and designers from across the globe put their creative skills to the test and created unique desktop wallpapers for you to indulge in.

Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: January 2017

This monthly wallpapers mission has been going on for eight years now, and we are very thankful to all the creative minds who contribute to it tirelessly each month anew. Today's wallpapers all come in versions with and without a calendar and can be downloaded for free. Happy New Year!

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Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: December 2016 – Festive Christmas Edition

New month, new wallpapers! To get you in the right mood for December, designers and artists from across the globe got their ideas bubbling and created unique and inspiring Christmas wallpaper calendars to deck your desktop. This monthly wallpapers mission has been going on for eight years now, and we are very thankful to everyone who challenges their artistic skills and contributes to it each month anew.

Christmas Wallpaper Calendars: December 2016

This post features desktop artwork for December 2016. Each wallpaper comes in versions with and without a calendar and can be downloaded for free. Now you only need to decide on your favorite!

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Enhancing Grid Design With GuideGuide, A Plugin For Photoshop And Illustrator

Almost five years ago, I had the honor of writing a post on Smashing Magazine about my Photoshop panel GuideGuide. Since then it has seen wild success as the most installed third-party Photoshop extension, an achievement I’m quite proud. In that time, I’ve added some powerful features and, most recently, expanded it to Illustrator. This post will give you a taste of how GuideGuide can change the way you use guides in Photoshop and Illustrator.

Enhancing Grid Design with GuideGuide, A Plugin For Photoshop And Illustrator

If you’re one of the many people who already use GuideGuide, please read on. You may discover some unconventional uses that are not immediately apparent. I’ll provide a overview of the major features, and then give some examples of advanced and unusual ways it can be used to make you a more efficient designer.

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Everything You Need To Know About Emoji 🍭

We all recognize emoji. They’ve become the global pop stars of digital communication. But what are they, technically speaking? And what might we learn by taking a closer look at these images, characters, pictographs… whatever they are 🤔 (Thinking Face). We will dig deep to learn about how these thingamajigs work.

You, Me And The Emoji: Character Sets, Encoding And Emoji

Please note: Depending on your browser, you may not be able to see all emoji featured in this article (especially the Tifinagh characters). Also, different platforms vary in how they display emoji as well. That's why the article always provides textual alternatives. Don't let it discourage you from reading though!

Now, let’s start with a seemingly simple question. What are emoji?

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How To Create Dramatic Vector Illustrations

I have been drawing desktop wallpapers for Smashing Magazine's monthly collections for over a year now, and every time it's a very fun and challenging mission. In this article, I would like to share how I approach all stages of the process and provide general techniques for creating vector illustrations in Adobe Illustrator. Hopefully, you will find these techniques useful.

How To Create A Dramatic Vector Illustration

While referring to a particular drawing — the illustration for the "Understand Yourself" desktop wallpaper, which was featured in May's wallpaper collection this year — I'll also highlight key takeaways from my experience as an illustrator and designer.

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Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: November 2016

Sometimes the best inspiration lies right in front of us. With that in mind, we embarked on a special creativity mission eight years ago: to provide you with inspiring and unique desktop wallpapers every month. Wallpapers that are a little more distinctive than the usual crowd and that are bound to fuel your ideas.

Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: November 2016

We are very thankful to all artists and designers who have contributed and are still diligently contributing to this mission, who challenge their artistic abilities each month anew to keep the steady stream of wallpapers flowing. This post features their artwork for November 2016. Both versions with and without a calendar can be downloaded for free. It’s time to freshen up your desktop!

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Best Of Halloween: All Things Spooky

Whether or not you celebrate Halloween, there is something magical about that special spooky day, surrounded by mystery, horror, scare and trick-or-treat candies for kids and adults alike.

Best Of Halloween: All Things Spooky

In this post, we celebrate the creative side of Halloween with those of you who are also planning to celebrate with friends. The post features artists around the world who have been creating wonderful illustrations dedicated to Halloween.

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Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: October 2016

A new month means new wallpapers! This journey has been going on for eight years now, and each time anew artists and designers from across the globe challenge their artistic skills to cater for some fresh inspiration on your desktop. And, well, it wasn’t any different this time around.

Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: October 2016

This post features their designs for October 2016. The collection is a mix of ideas and styles, of wallpapers that are a little more distinctive than the usual crowd. All wallpapers come in versions with and without a calendar and can be downloaded for free — just choose your favorite. A big thank-you to everyone who shared their ideas with us! Happy October!

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