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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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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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A Front-End Developer’s Ode To Specifications

In the physical world, no one builds anything without detailed blueprints, because people’s lives are on the line. In the digital world, the stakes just aren’t as high. It’s called “software” for a reason: because when it hits you in the face, it doesn’t hurt as much. No one is going to die if your website goes live with the header’s left margin 4 pixels out of alignment with the image below it.

A Front-End Developer's Ode To Specifications

But, while the users’ lives might not be on the line, design blueprints (also called design specifications, or specs) could mean the difference between a correctly implemented design that improves the user experience and satisfies customers and a confusing and inconsistent design that corrupts the user experience and displeases customers.

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Icons Of Digital Design – Who Shaped Modern Design?

Apple launched the Macintosh personal computer in 1984. It was more user-friendly than other PCs at that time — and, with its desktop publishing software, graphical user interface and mouse (all novel at the time), the Mac was uniquely geared to designers. Compared to what we can create on the computer today, the original Macintosh, with only 128 KB of memory, had limited capabilities. At the time, though, it opened up so many new possibilities.

Icons Of Digital Design

Of course, using a computer didn’t automatically make designers better at their craft. Instead, the new technology gave them more control and sped up their exploration process. As with anything unfamiliar, the Mac sparked debate among designers during this time: While some saw the computer as simply another tool for creating work, like a drawing pen, others saw its potential as a medium in itself.

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Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: October 2014

We always try our best to challenge your artistic abilities and produce some interesting, beautiful and creative artwork. And as designers we usually turn to different sources of inspiration. As a matter of fact, we’ve discovered the best one—desktop wallpapers that are a little more distinctive than the usual crowd.

Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: October 2014

This creativity mission has been going on for six years now, and we are very thankful to all designers who have contributed and are still diligently contributing each month. This post features free desktop wallpapers created by artists across the globe for October 2014. Both versions with a calendar and without a calendar can be downloaded for free. It’s time to freshen up your wallpaper!

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How To Design A Rocket Icon In Adobe Fireworks

Many people know that Fireworks is a great tool for web design, prototyping and UI design. But what about icon design? Icon design is a very specific skill that overlaps illustration, screen design and, of course, visual design. An icon designer needs to understand lighting, proportions and, most importantly, the context of the icon itself.

Designing A Rocket Icon In Adobe Fireworks

The BBC published an interesting article about icon design and skeuomorphism one year ago, titled "What Is Skeuomorphism?" It’s definitely worth reading because it explains why icons often reflect the real world and the thinking behind it.

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Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: September 2014

We always try our best to challenge your artistic abilities and produce some interesting, beautiful and creative artwork. And as designers we usually turn to different sources of inspiration. As a matter of fact, we’ve discovered the best one—desktop wallpapers that are a little more distinctive than the usual crowd.

Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: September 2014

This creativity mission has been going on for six years now, and we are very thankful to all designers who have contributed and are still diligently contributing each month. This post features free desktop wallpapers created by artists across the globe for September 2014. Both versions with a calendar and without a calendar can be downloaded for free. It’s time to freshen up your wallpaper!

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Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: August 2014

We always try our best to challenge your artistic abilities and produce some interesting, beautiful and creative artwork. And as designers we usually turn to different sources of inspiration. As a matter of fact, we’ve discovered the best one—desktop wallpapers that are a little more distinctive than the usual crowd.

Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: August 2014

This creativity mission has been going on for six years now, and we are very thankful to all designers who have contributed and are still diligently contributing each month. This post features free desktop wallpapers created by artists across the globe for August 2014. Both versions with a calendar and without a calendar can be downloaded for free. It’s time to freshen up your wallpaper!

Read more...

Techniques For Creating Custom Textures In Photoshop

Textures are everywhere — the concrete of a sidewalk, the fabric on your chair, even the glass (or plastic) surface of the screen you’re staring at right now. It’s natural that textures appeal to us because we see and feel them every day. And it’s no surprise why textures have become such an important element in design — so important, in fact, that I want to share with you the tricks and tools to create your own textures using Photoshop.

Techniques For Creating Custom Textures In Photoshop

Photoshop isn’t just for retouching images or manipulating photos. It can be used for so much more, such as creating your own textures — as long as you know where to look. In this article, I will present a foundation of techniques to help you build custom textures. I’ll go over three Photoshop features that I rely on to do most of my texturing — filters, layer styles and brushes. Before we jump in, I want to demonstrate the importance of textures.

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36 Beautiful Rounded Icons – Meet The Ballicons 2 [Freebie]

The value of icons lies in their ability to support content in web design and communicate with users in more intuitive and effective ways. Most users are known to first scan a page for visually interesting content, and only after something grabs their attention will they actually begin reading. In short, icons are a simple, effective way to draw users into the content of your website.

Freebie: Ballicons 2 Icon Set (PNG, PSD, SVG)

Today's icon set consists of a passionate set of icons in two styles (flat and light gradient). The icons have been carefully designed by PixelBuddha and released exclusively for Smashing Magazine and its readers.

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Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: June 2014

We always try our best to challenge your artistic abilities and produce some interesting, beautiful and creative artwork. And as designers we usually turn to different sources of inspiration. As a matter of fact, we’ve discovered the best one—desktop wallpapers that are a little more distinctive than the usual crowd.

Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: June 2014</a

This creativity mission has been going on for six years now, and we are very thankful to all designers who have contributed and are still diligently contributing each month. This post features free desktop wallpapers created by artists across the globe for June 2014. Both versions with a calendar and without a calendar can be downloaded for free. It’s time to freshen up your wallpaper!

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50 Colorful Flat Summer Icons [Freebie]

For those of you who are impatiently waiting for summer to finally arrive, we're pleased to feature an icon set that will help make the wait worthwhile. Today's icon set includes 50 icons that have been designed by Elena Genova exclusively for Smashing Magazine and its readers.

Freebie: Summer And Essentials Icon Set (50 Icons, EPS, PNG, AI)

If you've been looking for a way to welcome summer and freshen up your designs with even more colors, then this freebie will not disappoint you.

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Next-Generation Responsive Web Design Tools: Webflow, Edge Reflow, Macaw

To prepare for a talk about the changing roles of designers and developers, given at HOW Interactive a few months back, I interviewed 20+ web shops. Validated by my own experience, I found that many of them faced challenges fitting responsive design into their workflow, and the role of most web designers had changed to include coding in some form or another.

Next-Generation Responsive Web Design Tools: Webflow, Edge Reflow, Macaw

At least half of the designers knew HTML and CSS well but wanted a more visual way to get at it. Well, a new generation of visual responsive design tools has arrived. These responsive design tools are for anyone who understands HTML and CSS (or is willing to learn) and wants to visually design a responsive website — and have code to show for it.

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