Blog Archives

Non-Destructive Photo Adjustments Using Photoshop CS5

Just when you thought most people know the basics around Photoshop, you find out not everybody does know the principles that can improve your work processes when photo editing and keep from  destroying your original photos.  This is my latest vid tut on Photoshop CS5.  I basically cover the steps on using adjustment layers in order to retain your original photo or photos.

Photoshop CS5: Mastering the Pen Tool in Photoshop

This is the second installment of my first video regarding Mastering the Pen Tool in Photoshop.

I get into the reasons why this tool is so important and why learning this skill and gaining mastery is transferable to many other software applications.

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Photoshop CS5 Photoshop Secrets and Tool Tips – Exploring the Pen Tool

Photoshop CS5: Photoshop Secrets and Tool Tips – Exploring the Pen Tool

This video tutorial is the third installment of  a summary and overview of  Adobe Photoshop CS5 photo editing tools for beginning and intermediate Photoshop users. The idea was to provide some additional tips and tricks that you don’t often get in typical Photoshop tutorials.  This tutorial is approximately 25 minutes in length and it’s main emphasis is on mastering the pen tool, a skill that is important in both Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.

What Does A Graphic Designer Do?

Graphic Designer

The dictionary defines a graphic designer  or graphic artist as one who specializes in the art or profession of visual communication that combines images, words, and ideas to convey information to an audience, especially to produce a specific effect. And while this is a  broad definition of what graphic designers do, I prefer the definition of a graphic designer as a person who specializes in visual communication through a skillful combination of text and pictures in advertisements, magazines, books, etc.for print, the web and other media.

But the most awesome description (in my opinion), was coined by the Walt Disney Company with the term “imagineers“.

According to Wikipedia,  “The term Imagineering, a portmanteau, was popularized in the 1940s by Alcoa to describe its blending of imagination and engineering, and was adopted by Walt Disney a decade later to describe the skill set embodied by the employees of WDI, known as Imagineers.

Imagineering is responsible for designing and building Disney theme parks, resorts, cruise ships, and other entertainment venues at all levels of project development. Imagineers possess a broad range of skills and talents, and thus over 140 different job titles fall under the banner of Imagineering, including illustrators, architects, engineers, lighting designers, show writers, graphic designers, and many more.”

The internet and the computerization of traditional design tools has vastly changed the skill set and job tasks of what a commercial graphic designer traditionally used to do.  The web has opened a whole new field in design that is suited specifically for this medium rather than traditional print media, although both skills sets are still used by many graphic designers.

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Three Top Sites for Free and Open Source Fonts for Designers

Free Fonts Header

Most graphic designers are aware that fonts (or typography) add personality and customization to their print media and web designs, so when they find high quality fonts for free in one or two locations this makes his job easier.  With a variety of fonts at his or her fingertips, a designer has the ability to personalize his or her designs to accommodate his clients’ taste and budget.  However,  building a font library with a variety of design styles can get expensive.  The good news is that several website owners have  joined with professional font designers to make open source and free fonts available for personal and commercial use.

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Twitter Pics: Using Twitter to Post Your Images

twitter bulb

Twitter has rolled out it’s new “post an image to Twitter” function and while it’s a great function for all it’s users, it’s especially useful for graphic designers.  Yes, I know there are already third party providers like Twitpic, Yfrog, Flickr, and others, but adding this function within the Twitter user interface just makes posting your pics and graphic design images that much easier.

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3 Additional Top Sites for Free Vector Illustrations

cool vectors

Most people would like access to design elements and graphic resources, especially if they are either designers or small business owners getting started with their blogs and marketing materials.   And when those resources are free that makes obtaining them a whole lot sweeter! However, many will scoff at the idea of “free” resources,  simply because in the Web 2.0 age, this can sometimes mean cheap and poor quality images.  However, I have done the research for you and want to add these three additional sites as a great resource for aspiring and up-and-coming designers and anyone who wants to move beyond basic clip art.  (Just a reminder though, you will need to know how to open the .ai and .eps files and in some cases own the software in which the images were created. Some files are provided in other formats).

This list is different from my last post because although the websites provide high quality and high res images; they either specialize on the type of graphic elements they provide or they provide a range of graphic elements from icons to typography available for your use. Read the rest of this entry

5 Top Sites for Free Vector Clip-Art and Illustrations

CDs and Stack of Jewel Cases

As a graphic designer, one needs to have a library of graphic elements from buttons, web graphics, icons to backgrounds.  If you are purchasing all your graphics,  building this library can get very expensive pretty quickly.  Here’s where the web has become a great resource for finding high quality, high resolution vector graphics for all your design projects.  They are usually created by other graphic designers and given away for free as a promotion and so website owners compile these free resources and make them available to you.

However, like anything else these freebie websites that provide free vector graphics vary in quality of content as well as graphics provided.  I have compiled some of the five best free websites.  They’re good because not only can you find top notch vector illustrations but they also  provide information such as the design company who authored them, the description of what you get in your downloadable file, the licensing arrangement and the file type, either .eps, .ai or .png and carefully organize and categorize their images.

Although this is not a comprehensive list, these five great sites should get you started.  You’ll feel like a kid in a candy store grabbing up all the goodies you can!  Of course, you’ll have to carve out some time in order to spend time searching, downloading and organizing all your new graphics! Read the rest of this entry

Holiday Working Hours Gone Awry

I’ve worked at a lot of corporations in my design career and have encountered  a lot of office situations that have inspired me to create these cartoons.  Here’s another animation, created on Goanimate .

Enjoy, and we’ll be back to providing you informative content to answer your design questions and needs next week. 🙂

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