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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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Black and White Fractals That Capture Creativity

Everyday we see objects consisting of one, two, and three dimensions. By incorporating mathematics with design, the outcome of computer generated fractals is based upon complexity, creativity and perception.

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By removing the beautiful array of colors we typically see in fractals at these finer magnifications, the manipulation of fractional dimensions with the black & white designs offers a different perspective of aesthetically appealing images.

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

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20 Talented and Impressive Illustrators

A lot of what is seen on TV commercials, catalogues flyers, posters, banners and internet advertisments are made by someone in the world of design or commissioned by someone in the world of art. As time passes, the distinction between artist and designer has been blurred beyond recognition.

Now, in times of instant press and release, inspiration from great artistic measures and processes are the influence and is just as important as functionality. When we see companies like Apple and RIM, we see a collaboration between art and design where the practicality is the designated, artistic measure and process, so what looks good, feels good and works well.

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Below is done in the same sight, literally where the eyes are encouraged to explore, stimulating inspiration and aspirational ambition. Below we present 40 talented and impressive illustrators – their work is inspiring, creative, original and beautiful and as such perfect for a lousy saturday evening.

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Ultimate Collection Of Useful Photoshop Plugins

Can Photoshop do everything? Of course, it can. But one should have extreme skills, plenty of experience and a great deal of time before retouching images or creating graphics pixel by pixel. Photoshop is an amazing graphics application that has forever changed graphic, Web design and digital photo editing.

One should know how to use Photoshop to its full potential to get the most stunning results. This is where Photoshop plugins come in handy. (Plugins aside, though, if you have time to acquire extreme skills, we encourage you to do so because there is nothing better than learning something new.)

Featured below are Useful Adobe Photoshop Plugins that will make your work easier, faster and better and reduce the number of steps needed to accomplish tasks. They will also allow you to do things you just cannot do with the features built into Photoshop. Some of the plugins are collections of filters, whereas others are programs or utilities that you may find useful.

Please also take a look at the following collection of (free and commercial) Photoshop plugins from our friends:

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50 Incredible Photography Techniques and Photo Tutorials

Over the recent months we've been presenting various showcases of photography – while many readers hated the showcases, most readers found them inspirational and perfect for a lousy workday's morning. However, what we should have done in the inspirational posts is not just provide you with some inspiration for your work, but also present useful photographic techniques which can help you to achieve optimal pictures for your designs. And as requested by many of you, now it's time to correct our mistake. [Content Care Oct/28/2016]

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In this post we present useful photographic techniques, tutorials and resources for various kinds of photography. You'll learn how to set up the perfect environment and what techniques, principles and rules of thumbs you should consider when shooting your next perfect photo. This round-up isn't supposed to be the ultimate one – please feel free to suggest more useful articles in the comments to this post.

Among other things, we cover high-speed photography, tilt-shift photography, black and white photography, motion blur, infrared, night, smoke photography, macro photography, HDR, panoramic photography, RAW processing and others. Hopefully, you'll find many of the listed tutorials and how-tos useful for your regular work.

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5 Simple Tricks To Bring Light and Shadow Into Your Designs

There's just no escaping light and shadow -- it's everywhere you look. Everything you see reflects light and casts some sort of shadow. Visually, light and shadow help us make sense of what we see and help us understand texture, dimension and perspective.

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So, as we try to make our designs on the Web more natural, moving and intuitive, a good understanding of light and shadow is pretty important. Here are 5 ways to better use light and shadow to polish your page designs and make them stand out on the screen.

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Lomography – The Disturbing Beauty Of Oversaturated Pictures

Lomography” is a term quite unknown to most of us, but many practice it. The name was inspired and derived from the Russian “LOMO” cameras. Lomography not only refers to photographs taken with the LOMO camera, but can also apply to casual photography taken with any ordinary camera.

The characteristics of Lomo photographs are oversaturated colors, extreme optical distortions, rainbow-colored subjects, off-kilter exposure, blurring and alternative film processing, all things usually considered bad in photography. In short, Lomography is the act of taking photographs without thinking, and ignoring the established rules of “good” photography.

Just take your camera along with you anywhere and everywhere, and start taking photographs. Sometimes it will yield amazing and creative results. Because it often does, we have collected over 35 Beautiful Oversaturated Pictures (Lomography & Co.), from many amateur photographers.

The names and images below are all linked to their sources, so please feel free to check out some of the other works of these very talented photographers.

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Retro Rainbow Photoshop Tutorials

Although often used in the wrong context, the motif of ’70s Retro Rainbow designs seems to occur in many modern designs – from products designs to posters and web designs. The rainbow colors are particularly eye-catching and lively; they may provide the design with a dynamics and help to vividly convey the message of the graphic work. In past few months I came across to many artworks and new concepts of retro designs which gave me a thought to gather few for this inspirational post.

Retro Rainbow Inspiration

Below you'll find a showcase of beautiful Retro Rainbow designs and resources. They range from popular Flickr photos to unconventional sources of inspiration, from helpful tutorials to useful related tools. Share your favorite sources of inspiration in the comments.

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30 Amazing Online Photography Magazines

Whatever country we live in, we're probably all familiar with the well-known photography magazines available in our newsagents and bookstores. The UK has Practical Photography, France has Photo, the Italians have Zoom and the Americans have American Photo. What you may not know is that there are many more photography magazines that are only available online. And some of them are good, very good. [Content Care Nov/22/2016]

That's the great thing about online publishing. It's cheap, it's easy, and just about anyone with a PC and an internet connection can take part. The difficulty lies in putting together a quality publication, something that rivals the best commercial magazines for content and quality (we hope you think that Smashing Magazine just does that!)

Online Photography Magazine

As an introduction to the wonderful world of online photography magazines, we put together a list of the biggest and best that we could find. You won't find these magazines in your local bookstore, they're only available online. From photojournalism to portraiture, from landscapes to lomography (and everything in between), you'll find the most amazing photography and discover the work of some of the world's best photographers, both famous and unknown. Dive in and enjoy their work.

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40 Captivating Photos That Depict Human Emotion

Though we differ in the way we look and things we believe in, there's something we all share: emotion. Human emotion is innate in all of us; it's something we're born with and something we die with. Happiness, sadness, love, hatred, worries, and indifference - these are things that constantly occur in our daily lives.

Consider me dead.

Today we share with you 40 powerful depictions of the human emotion. In these photos you'll see celebrations, sadness in defeat, raw anger, and everything else in between that makes us what we are… human.

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40 Beautiful Skateboard Designs

The skateboard has been a favorite medium of artists for decades. Not only does it provide a sturdy surface to paint on, but it offers a great way to have your artwork be seen in the community. Skateboarding culture, which was once looked on as a short-term fad for rebellious teens, has established itself in society.

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A wide range of artists have opted to put the canvas aside and go with the unique shape of the skateboard as a way to get their artwork out. In this article, we showcase 40 amazing skateboard designs that blend various design styles. Whether you used to skateboard, currently skateboard or have never stepped on one, these skateboard designs will surely lend inspiration.

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Beautiful And Creative Logo Designs For Your Inspiration

Last week we already presented our first selection of beautiful, clever and creative logo designs. This post presents the second part of our selection, featuring even more beautiful and creative logos that will hopefully inspire you or at least give you the idea of what the current logo design trends look like.

Just as last time, we focused on logos that use creative methods to represent the brand through color, shapes, and typography. Every design presented below tells you something about the company that it is supposed to represent. Also note the brilliant color palletes and unique patterns used in many of these. Finally, pay attention to the typography, especially font selection and coloring.


Below you'll find a collection of 40 more beautiful and creative logo designs to inspire you. Browsing through the showcase, you will notice many trends. Some of these include the usage of simple shapes to create something complex, origami shapes, coloring and transparency trends, and many more. You may want to take a look at the post Logo Design Trends 2009 for further reference.

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Morbid and Mystic Horror Art Pictures

It is true that art communicates what words can not and art is the language that communicates with the soul. Morbid art stands for works that illustrate a very deathly and deathlike mood. It has many variations starting from its gore scenes to its dark and depressed atmosphere – and sometimes its daydreams, night screams, corpses and horrifying imagery.

As such, it has some similarties with the mystic art that is also quite "charismatic" in terms of its themes and motifs. The beauty of mystic art is the simple fact that it captures your attention at the very first glance, provides you with the imagery of something that doesn't exist, looks surreal or even bizarre and hence impresses you in a very mystifying way.

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In this post we present some amazing examples of morbid and mystic art. Hopefully, you'll love some of them or at least will find them creative or inspirational. Please explore the further works of the artists linked below and also feel free to suggest other artworks in the comments to this post.

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