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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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How To Create An Advanced Photoshop Animation

While animation in Photoshop is not a new concept, it definitely has come a long way in the last few years: The Timeline panel has been overhauled, video layers have been introduced, as has the ability to create keyframe animation. These additions have really upped Photoshop’s game.

Creating Advanced Animations In Photoshop

Even though Photoshop is still a long way off from being able to create the high-end and cinematic animations of such programs as After Effects, it still has enough power to create complex animation — which is especially useful if you don’t want to spend time learning a new application.

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Logo Design Theory, Part 1: Symbols, Metaphors And The Power Of Intuition

No designer creates wow work 100% of the time. There’s no question that creating good design takes significant exertion, but generating the wow factor in your work can also be fairly effortless. Many designers follow their intuition during the creative process and incorporate universal symbols and metaphors simply because it “feels right.” Intuition — accessible to all people and most especially useful to those engaged in creative pursuits — guides designers towards solutions that align with a universal knowing.

Effective Logo Design, Part 1: Symbols, Metaphors And The Power Of Intuition

Adding a universal quality to a logo provides the broadest communicative reach, what almost all identities are intended to accomplish. The intellectual exercise of connecting the dots of “thinking” is not irrelevant in design, of course — particularly when it comes to branding — but by combining the intuitive immediacy of symbols and metaphors with strategic thinking, you integrate essential information that helps your logo stand out and be remembered.

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A Better Way To Design For Retina In Photoshop

Recently, I had a project in which I needed to produce high-fidelity screens for a tablet. I was to present these screens on the device and also produce a clickable prototype. They needed to be pixel-perfect. The timeline was tight (as always), so I went with my go-to tool, Photoshop. I’ve been using it for over 10 years, and it gives me the fastest high-quality output.

A Better Way To Design For Retina In Photoshop

Are you designing at “Retina” resolution in Photoshop? If the answer is yes, then this article is for you. I will walk you through the problems I faced in creating Retina mockups to be displayed on a tablet device. I will then explain a way to work that is easier and gives you better performance. This is about my experience with Photoshop, but it could be applied to Illustrator and other software.

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Sketch With Material Design

In the past year, adoption of Sketch at Google, where I work at, has taken off and is now a widely preferred tool. The more tools in our belts, the better, so here’s my take on why Sketch and the new material design system are a great match.

Sketch With Material Design

Tools are an extension of our hands, and as such, they should be versatile, quick and intuitive. A lot has changed between the print era of offset presses and the digital era of cross-platform screens. Developers have attempted to adapt our tools, but Sketch is perhaps the most successful app in this regard — its creators have removed the bloat, started afresh and presented a smaller, fit-for-purpose feature set. What may seem on the surface to be a simple drawing tool in fact nails the core workflows of digital design.

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Using Sketch For Responsive Web Design (A Case Study)

If you’re a member of the web or UI design community, it’s been hard to avoid talking about Sketch over the last year. The launch of this design app shook up an industry dominated by Adobe for more than two decades, and it has caused an ongoing debate about whether Sketch is better than Photoshop and Illustrator (and Fireworks).

Using Sketch For Responsive Web Design (A Case Study)

A longtime Photoshop user myself, I made the switch to Sketch in early 2014 and haven’t looked back. I love certain features of the program, such as the simple interface, file autosave and infinite canvas. However, plenty of other programs out there have similar features, and until the most recent update (Sketch 3.2), users were battling a lot of bugs in the app.

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How To Think Like An App Designer

There’s more to designing mobile apps than meets the eye. The task requires a deep knowledge of devices, and it often means changing the way we think — even if that means leaving behind much of what we’ve learned from designing for the web.

Thinking Like An App Designer

I started my career like many designers: working on print design projects. Shortly thereafter, I discovered the world of websites, which fascinated me and became the focus of my work for some time. Along the way I learned concepts related to interaction design and user experience, which I hardly knew existed until then.

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How To Create Effective App Screenshots For Your App Store Page

Slowly but surely, the official app stores of iTunes, Google Play and Windows Phone Marketplace have transformed into a digital battlefield. App developers have to fight for recognition or otherwise be drowned in an ocean of competing mobile applications.

How To Create Effective App Screenshots for Your App Page

App store optimization (ASO), a strategy similar to SEO but specifically applied to the app pages in app stores, has become a handy addition to an app developer’s marketing plan, and promises to help increase visibility – and, as a consequence, downloads – of a mobile app. ASO consists of many elements, and should be considered a key component of publishing an app in an app store of choice. It encompasses every detail of a mobile app’s page, and can be split into on-page and off-page elements.

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A Deep Dive Into Adobe Edge Reflow

Most of us were thrown for a loop when responsive design came into being. We tried to jam it into our existing, pixel-perfect, old-as-the-web-itself processes. It’s been a steep learning curve (and still is). In my previous article “Next-Generation Responsive Web Design Tools: Webflow, Edge Reflow, Macaw” for Smashing Magazine, I didn't have enough space to dive as deep into those tools, as I wanted. So, in this article, I’m going to dive deep into just one of those tools: Adobe Edge Reflow CC.

A Deep Dive Into Adobe Edge Reflow

Edge Reflow is one in an avalanche of tools that have come out that make it possible to visually design a responsive website. What you do with that design is up to you (and the capabilities of the tool). Edge Reflow was created to address how responsive design has changed our web workflows.

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Prototyping iOS And Android Apps With Sketch (With A Freebie!)

After the untimely (and still kind of sad) demise of Fireworks, I found myself looking for other ways to design apps and websites. I also had the desire to produce something more interactive for when I talk about my work with stakeholders. It turned out that Sketch, when paired with some other neat tools, would be a big part of this workflow.

Prototyping iOS And Android Apps With Sketch (With A Freebie!)

In this article, I’ll talk you through why you should prototype and how you can do it with Sketch and prototyping tools such as Flinto and InVision. You’ll also get a nicely documented freebie Sketch file to help you.

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Freebie: Christmas Icon Set (24, Icons, AI, PSD, EPS, PDF, SVG, PNG)

Christmas is only a month away, and it's time to add a few festive icons to your projects, or just freshen up your good 'ol Christmas cards which you may be planning to give out to your family, friends, colleagues, and perhaps even strangers. Today, we're happy to release the Christmas Icon Set, a set of 24 icons that are all available in AI, PSD, EPS, PDF, SVG and PNG formats. This icon set was designed and created by Manuela Langella and is free to be used in private as well as commercial projects.

Freebie: Christmas Icon Set (24, Icons, AI, PSD, EPS, PDF, SVG, PNG)

You may modify the size, color or shape of the icons. No attribution is required, however, reselling of bundles or individual pictograms isn't cool. Please note that this icon set is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. We'd kindly like to ask you to provide credits to the creator and link to this article if you would like to spread the word about the freebie.

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How To Get Started With Sketchnotes

Have you ever seen someone make creative notes at a conference and wished that your own notebook was more presentable? It’s much easier to do than you think. You don’t have to be an aspiring lettering artist, and you don’t need to develop top-notch drawing skills.

How To Get Started With Sketchnotes

Making your notes more interesting doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. It’s not like learning to play the piano or taking up diving. If you think sketchnoting looks fun, I have some tips to get you started.

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Ready For Retina HD: Create Pixel-Perfect Assets For Multiple Scale Factors

The 6 Plus is the first iPhone that sports a “Retina HD” display — the sharpest display Apple has ever made. It forces designers to provide an additional set of image resources to developers to match that sharpness.

Ready For Retina HD: Create Pixel-Perfect Assets For Multiple Scale Factors

We needed only one set of assets for the original iPhone up to iPhone 3GS. And when iPhone 4 came out with the Retina display, we also needed 2x assets — images twice as detailed. Now, with the display of the 6 Plus being even more detailed than that of the iPhone 4, we will also need to provide 3x assets. The numbers 1x, 2x and 3x are also called “scale factors.”

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