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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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Free and Commercial Stock Photography Sites

Stock photography is often used in print and web design and has been around since the 1920s, when it was utilized by the newspaper industry. It has turned out to be such a common element to use now when designing, and has become more and more available, so that designers start using it on a daily basis.

Corbis

In the beginning there were only a few minor resources when it came to utilizing a variety of photos, but now as the times change and technology advances, so does the amount of resources in stock photography. Here are a handful of sites to check out when considering the use of stock photography on your next project.

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Photoshop Performance – 10 Simple Steps

Before getting started with Photoshop, we all should have first visited the "Edit > Preferences" menu and change the "Performance" settings to fit our personal taste and computer specifications, but this isn't always the case – in many situations designers simply forget these aspects. [Content Care Nov/30/2016]

Photoshop - Memory Usage

If you never changed the default performance settings in your Photoshop or you just want to double check them to improve the Photoshop performance, here are 10 important and useful points that you may want to consider.

Maybe you already went through that bad feeling of clicking "undo" dozens of times and realizing that Photoshop wouldn't provide you with more previous steps, but this problem can be easily resolved by changing the History States setting in the "Edit > Preferences > Performance" menu.

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Photoshop Plugins and Filters A-Z

The Photoshop community is choc-full of many free resources, tutorials, tips and techniques, .psd files and even Actions. There is one area that it sadly lacks in, and that is free plugins and filters. Of course, Photoshop has been the pioneer in graphic editor development for a long time now, and with each new version (its current version is CS4) has added an endless supply of features and addons, and as a result, perhaps the need for free plugins or filters is no longer required. Or has it been ignored? [Content Care Jan/03/2017]

Photoshop Plugin and Filters

Traditionally plugins are an amateur photographer's best friend, take your shots, fire up Photoshop, apply some well preset filters, and hey presto you have a reasonably professional image. Professional photographers have been known to use plugins as a base and then tweak and add effects to achieve there own personal professional touch. Plugins are basically an indispensable tool that do not recieve the attention they deserve. And that brings us back to our original mystery, why are there so few free plugins and filters? Do you know the answer? I don't.

In this A-Z of free Photoshop plugins and filters you will find a few plugins that are (almost) as old as time itself, do not fear, they will work perfectly on all versions of Photoshop and the effect they produce are just as useful now as they were then. If you are looking for a simple and easy method to add effects to an image, this is the post for you.

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Stunning Space Photography

Space has many beautiful mysteries hidden inside. Many people have tried and are still trying to uncover those mysteries. In this inspirational post, we present beautiful photographs from space explorations: nebulas, comets, stars, planets, etc. Hopefully, these beauties will inspire you to create beautiful artwork, Web designs, graphics, wallpaper, illustrations, etc. All of the images are linked to their sources. Click on them to get the high-resolution versions.

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Please take a look at the following related posts:

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How To Optimize PNG

As a web designer you might be already familiar with the PNG image format which offers a full-featured transparency. It's a lossless, robust, very good replacement of the elder GIF image format. As a Photoshop (or any other image editor) user you might think that there is not that many options for PNG optimization, especially for truecolor PNG's (PNG-24 in Photoshop), which doesn't have any. Some of you may even think that this format is "unoptimizable". Well, in this post we'll try to debunk this myth. [Links checked February/10/2017]

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This post describes some techniques that may help you optimize your PNG-images. These techniques are derived from laborious hours spent on studying how exactly the PNG encoder saves data. We'll start with some essentials about the PNG format and will then move to advanced optimization techniques.

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

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Beautiful Examples of Vexel Artworks and Tutorials

Vexel art is a digital art that is an entirely pixel-based form of raster art that imitates the vector graphics technique, but is distinguished from normal vector graphics or raster images. "Vexel" itself is a mixture of two words ‘Vector’ and ‘Pixel’. Vexel designs are composed by using multiple layered shapes. It can be done in Photoshop, but vexel designs are not limited to only Photoshop; essentially, it can be done with any image editing software that has a good Pen Tool.

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Below are some truly amazing examples of vexel artwork and also some outstanding tutorials that will help you to master the technique or at least get some understanding of how this technique can be used. Feel free to explore further works of the artists presented below. Enjoy and be inspired.

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Clever JPG Optimization Techniques

When people talk about image optimization, they consider only the limited parameters offered by popular image editors, like the "Quality" slider, the number of colors in the palette, dithering and so on. Also, a few utilities, such as OptiPNG and jpegtran, manage to squeeze extra bytes out of image files. All of these are pretty well-known tools that provide Web developers and designers with straightforward techniques of image optimization.

In this article, we'll show you a different approach to image optimization, based on how image data is stored in different formats. Let's start with the JPEG format and a simple technique called the eight-pixel grid.

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35 Stunning Macro Photography Ideas

Macro photography is also known as close-up photography. Compared to other types of photography, macro photography is quite difficult, because of the nifty equipment, lightning and other techniques involved. However, in the end it comes down to what kind of pictures you want to take and what level of precision you are striving for. [Content Care Dec/27/2016]

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In this inspirational showcase, we've collected some beautiful macro pictures, as well as some useful macro photography tutorials – for people at all levels of experience.

You may also be interested in the following related posts:

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10 Common Mistakes In Logo Design

With the power of the Web, and more eyes watching than ever, it's important for a business to communicate its unique message clearly. The easiest way to recognize a company and distinguish it from others is by its logo. Below, we go through 10 common logo design mistakes that you should avoid if you want to create a successful and professional logo. [Content Care Dec/15/2016]

Without color, your great design may lose its identity.

A professional business should look professional. New business owners often invest a lot of time and money in property and equipment, but do not often match it by investing suitably in their logo.

The most common reasons why many logos look amateurish: the business owner wanted to save money by designing the logo quickly themselves, a friend or relative who claims to know a little about graphic design does it as a favor or the wrong people are commissioned or the business outsourced the job via one of several design competition websites, which are mostly populated by amateur designers.

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30 Free Photoshop Swirl Brushes

Today we are glad to release 30 Swirl Brushes, a set with 30 high-quality swirl Photoshop brushes with an average size 2000px. These brushes were created with Adobe Photoshop CS4 and also work with the version CS, CS2 and CS3. This set was designed by Thomas Béal especially for Smashing Magazine and its readers. [Content Care Dec/06/2016]

30 Swirl Brushes

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, rented, transferred or otherwise made available for use. Please link to this article if you would like to spread the word.

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100 Creepy Hand-Picked Horror Wallpapers

Today's desktop wallpaper collection is all about horror. Wallpaper can convey the depths of emotion and feeling and whatever you want them to convey. You will always find a wallpaper to express your feeling or mood. It's always nice to refresh your perspective with some inspirational, elegant, stylish and beautiful wallpaper. [Content Care Oct/28/2016]

Sample

There are so many resources for beautiful and inspiring wallpapers that are pleasing to the eye, but we are bringing you something different. We have hand-picked some creepy horror wallpapers that are very likely to scare you. This collection provides you with 100 beautiful horror wallpapers that are perfect to spice up your desktop with some dark, scary and creepy atmosphere.

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50 Excellent Illustrator 3D Tutorials

Adobe Illustrator is one of the best applications for making graphic artwork like logos, print designs and Web pages. As time goes on, more and more Illustrator techniques are introduced by talented designers and artists in the industry who achieve some of the best results on the Web. One hot trend nowadays is 3D effects. So, we've gathered together some 3D tutorials to give you an idea of what Adobe Illustrator offers and how to use its 3D features. This list mixes tutorials for beginners and experts. [Links checked February/10/2017]

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Here then is our round-up of 50 Excellent Adobe Illustrator Tutorials for 3D artwork. You'll learn a lot of techniques and good practices.

You may also be interested in the following related posts:

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