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Posts Tagged ‘photoshop effects for portraits’

40 Vintage Advertisements for Design Inspiration

August 2nd, 2011 Comments off

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Design inspiration can come from anywhere. Web designers tend to look for inspiration from the design of other websites, but there is a lot that can be gained by taking inspiration from a variety of different sources. Print design, advertisement design, packaging design, photography, architecture, and the list could go on.

In this post we’ll showcase 40 vintage/retro advertisements. The ads shown here represent a wide variety of different products, and they showcase different design styles as well.

AC Spark Plugs

Vintage Advertisements

Old Gold Cigarettes

Vintage Advertisements

Black & White Whiskey

Vintage Advertisements

Electrolux

Vintage Advertisements

Career Club Shirts

Vintage Advertisements

Max Factor

Vintage Advertisements

Ford Fairlane

Vintage Advertisements

Lytegem

Vintage Advertisements

Campbell’s Soup

Vintage Advertisements

Burroughs Corporation

Vintage Advertisements

Handi Wrap

Vintage Advertisements

Fresh Start

Vintage Advertisements

Honda

Vintage Advertisements

Fiat

Vintage Advertisements

Cannon Royal Family

Vintage Advertisements

Budweiser

Vintage Advertisements

Western Electric

Vintage Advertisements

Ortalion

Vintage Advertisements

Natural Wonder

Vintage Advertisements

Lucky Strike

Vintage Advertisements

Lucky Strike

Vintage Advertisements

International Harvester Refrigerator

Vintage Advertisements

Chanel

Vintage Advertisements

Pontiac

Vintage Advertisements

Howe Bicycles

Vintage Advertisements

Double Diamond

Vintage Advertisements

Budweiser

Vintage Advertisements

Buick

Vintage Advertisements

7-Up

Vintage Advertisements

Mercury Comet

Vintage Advertisements

Coke

Vintage Advertisements

Sands

Vintage Advertisements

Coke

Vintage Advertisements

Coke

Vintage Advertisements

Chevrolet Impala

Vintage Advertisements

Holiday Inn

Vintage Advertisements

Chevy II Nova

Vintage Advertisements

Bank of America Traveler’s Checks

Vintage Advertisements

Pennsylvania Railroad

Vintage Advertisements

Sheaffer’s Pen

Vintage Advertisements

For more design inspiration please see:

 


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20 Highly Useful Google Chrome Extensions

August 1st, 2011 Comments off

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When it comes to extensions and add-ons, Firefox has been far ahead of other browsers for quite some time. But as Google Chrome has taken an increasing share of the market over the past year or two we have seen a significant increase in the number of Chrome extensions that are available.

Many users have been impressed with Chrome’s speed but have been hesitant make the switch from Firefox because of add-ons that they use regularly. In this post we’ll take a look at 20 Chrome extensions that are available. This is just a sampling of what’s out there, and more extensions are being released all the time, especially with Chrome’s growing user base.

Mail Checker Plus for Google Mail

This extension allows you to easily manage your Gmail accounts. Features include:

  • Mail preview window, read mail without leaving the current tab
  • Delete, archive, spam, star and mark as read functionality
  • Desktop and sound notifications when new mail arrives
  • Support for multiple Google and Google Apps accounts
  • Mailto-links open in your Gmail or Google Apps Mail account
  • Monitor all your labels or priority inbox

Mail Checker Plus for Google Mail

WOT (Web of Trust)

WOT can help you to identify sites and pages that are security threats. WOT ratings are powered by a global community of millions of trustworthy users who have rated millions of websites based on their experiences. The WOT add-on shows reputation ratings next to search results when you use Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and many other search engines.

WOT

Clip to Evernote

Evernote is used by many designers for storing inspiration and other types of bookmarks. The Clip to Evernote extension makes it easy for Chrome users to save content to Evernote. You can also easily find content that you have already saved to Evernote, search through your Evernote account, and more.

Clip to Evernote

Feedly xt

Feedly transforms Google Reader into your own personalized magazine, resulting in a fast and stylish way to enjoy and share the content of your favorite websites.

Feedly xt

Shareholic for Google Chrome

Share links from within the browser, from any webpage, with anyone, using the same services you already know and love like Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Evernote, Delicious, Digg, and more from one simple all-in-one browser extension.

Shareholic for Google Chrome

LastPass

LastPass is a free online password manager and Form Filler that makes your web browsing easier and more secure.

LastPass

StayFocusd

StayFocusd is a productivity extension for Google Chrome that helps you stay focused on work by restricting the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites. Once your allotted time has been used up, the sites you have blocked will be inaccessible for the rest of the day.

StayFocusd

Google Chrome to Phone Extension

This extension adds a button to Chrome that lets you seamlessly push links, maps, and currently selected text and phone numbers to your Android device.

Google Chrome to Phone Extension

goo.gl URL Shortener

goo.gl url shortener is an extension which allows you to shorten the current website URL with the Google URL Shortener service.

goo.gl URL Shortener

Picnik

Use Picnik for photo editing right in a Chrome tab. There’s a complete set of tools from basic fixes to professional quality effects and cosmetic touch ups. Get creative with our selection of fonts, shapes and stickers. Plus: Picnik connects right to all your favorite photo sharing sites like Facebook, Picasa Web, Flickr, Photobucket, and more so it’s never been easier to connect and share with your photos.

Picnik

Google Tasks

Easily add and manage your tasks from Chrome in one of three ways:

  • Simply type “t Your new task” into the Chrome Omnibar to easily add a task from whatever web page you’re on.
  • Click the Tasks icon to add a task, see your tasks and task lists and mark a task as completed
  • Highlight text on any web page, right click and add that text to a new task.

Google Tasks

Google Similar Pages

Enjoying the page you’re looking at and interested in other similar pages?  Trying to find more pages about a topic you’re researching, but having a hard time coming up with the right query on Google?  Google Similar Pages can help. Now you can quickly preview and explore other pages that are similar to the one you are browsing — on the fly.

Google Similar Pages

Diigo Bookmark, Archive, Highlight & Sticky-Note

Diigo is the #1 extension for annotating, archiving and bookmarking webpages.  With this easy-to-use tool, you can

  • Bookmark links to archive webpages or to read later
  • Attach highlights & stickies to a webpage as a reminder
  • Share pages with annotation via Twitter, Facebook, Google Buzz
  • Access anywhere, via iPhone, iPad, Android.
  • Create groups to pool findings, share resources or curate content
  • Automatically cross-post to social bookmarking site Delicious (optional)

Diigo Bookmark, Archive, Highlight & Sticky-Note

exfm

Exfm turns the entire web into your personal music library. As you browse, exfm runs in the background indexing every MP3 file you come across, building a music library for you. exfm will continue to check the sites you’ve visited, adding new music for you to listen to every day.

exfm

Tweet Button for Chrome

Twitter for Google Chrome is the easiest way to share links on Twitter right from your web browser. It functions just like Twitter’s official Tweet Button. Simply click the button, and a pop-up opens with a tweetbox pre-populated with the URL you were at and the page’s title.

Tweet Button for Chrome

Awesome Screenshot

Capture the whole page or any portion, annotate it with rectangles, circles, arrows, lines and text, one-click upload to share.

Awesome Screenshot

iMacros for Chrome

iMacros was designed to automate the most repetitious tasks on the web. If there’s an activity you have to do repeatedly, just record it in iMacros. The next time you need to do it, the entire macro will run at the click of a button. With iMacros, you can quickly and easily fill out web forms, remember passwords, create a webmail notifier, and more.

iMacros for Chrome

YSlow

YSlow analyzes web pages and suggests ways to improve their performance based on a set of rules for high performance web pages. YSlow grades web page based on one of three predefined ruleset or a user-defined ruleset. It offers suggestions for improving the page’s performance, summarizes the page’s components, displays statistics about the page.

YSlow

Chrome Stylist

User styles are applied to any website.

Chrome Stylist

Pastebin

With this extension you can quickly paste any type of text to the website http://pastebin.com. The extension installs a small icon in your browser. When you highlight any text in Google Chrome and press the ‘Pastebin’ button, it will automatically paste the selected text into the textarea. When you press submit you will be presented with a unique URL where you can find your pasted text. You can customize the extension via the Options panel.

Pastebin

For more resources please see:


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Customer Service Lessons Learned from Outsourcing

July 28th, 2011 Comments off

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Offering quality customer service is critical to running a design business, and really to any type of service-oriented business. When working with clients on design and development projects it’s easy to see things only from our your own perspective, but being able to look at customer service from the client’s point of view can be very helpful for evaluating and improving your own level of service.

One way to work on changing that perspective is to outsource some of your work. When you outsource you will be in the client’s position, and you’ll likely realize some things that you could do to improve your own level of service. It could be something you like that you could implement with your own clients, or it could be something that frustrates you, leading to a recognition of something that may have a similar impact on your clients.

There are a lot of opportunities and types of work that could be outsourced. It could mean hiring a virtual assistant to help with your finances and organization. It could mean outsourcing PSD to HTML coding to one of the countless companies and designers that offer this type of service. It could mean outsourcing the work to design custom icons for a web design project. The possibilities could go on as you can outsource just about anything.

Since last year’s launch of Vandelay Premier, our premium design resources site, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a number of designers who have created some of the resources released on the site. Some of these designers are people that I have known for a while, some contacted me to offer their services, some were sought out and approached to work on specific types of resources, and others were hired through project listings on Elance.

Getting this experience outsourcing work to other designers has been very helpful for getting a look at the client process from the perspective of a client, and I think many designers could benefit from a similar experience. If you’re not currently outsourcing any work I recommend that you give it a try if it fits within your workflow, and pay attention to the type of service that you receive and how it impacts your feelings about the project and the person that is doing the work.

From My Experience with Outsourcing

Here we will take a look at some of the lessons that have been reinforced through my experience with outsourcing. This is simply intended to demonstrate the types of things that you can pick up from outsourcing and how it can have an influence on your own client work.

1. Finding the Right Designer is Difficult

There are tons of designers and agencies out there that are looking for work, but finding someone with the right combination of skills, personality, communication, reliability, pricing, and availability can be a challenge. When outsourcing work to someone that you’re not familiar with, there is some leg work involved to determine if it’s the right fit. If it’s a challenge for one designer to find another for an outsourced project, imagine how challenging and intimidating it can be for a client with limited knowledge of the industry to find the right designer.

What this observation has taught me is that anything to simplify the process is helpful for the client. When I’m outsourcing a project I like to see designers that stand out from the crowd. Maybe they stand out because of an exceptional quality of work. Maybe they have an item in their portfolio that is highly relevant to what I am looking for. Maybe they communicate well, respond promptly, and seem like they would be easy to work with. Maybe they seem to have a clear understanding of what I am looking for and they’re eager to work on the project. These types of things help the designer to stand out and they make it an easier decision for me.

The same thing can be the case when I am trying to land work from clients. They are probably unsure of who to hire for their web design project and anything I can do to stand out and make the process easier or more successful for them will help me to be hired.

2. Sticking with the Same Designer is Easier than Finding Someone Else

Some of the designers that I outsource to will work on just one project, but others have become regular contributors to Vandelay Premier. From my perspective as the client the ideal situation is to have reliable designers that do several projects for me. Otherwise I’ll have to spend more time to find the right person for each project.

On-going clients can be extremely valuable for designers, and this experience has helped me to see how this situation is also ideal for clients. Developing a relationship with your clients, providing quality customer service, and doing your best work will lead to more repeat work.

3. Communication is Critical

It’s no secret that communication skills are essential for designers, especially for freelancers. But getting some experience from the client side can help to reinforce this. Poor communication can lead to unhappy clients or to not even getting the job in the first place.

One of the biggest lessons that I can apply to my own work is the value of constant communication. I’ve outsourced some work to designers who send a brief email every day or two just to update me on the status of the project, and I’ve worked with other designers who have no communication for weeks at a time. The consistent communication helps me to know that the project is moving forward and shows that the designer is in control of the project. With no communication the same thing could be true, but as a client it usually leads to the assumption that nothing is being done. This has reminded me that it’s important to update clients frequently to show that things are under control and so they do not feel left out in the dark.

4. The Relationship is Key

Each designer that I have outsourced to is different. In several cases I’ve had a previous relationship with the designer or been able to develop a relationship by working on several projects over a period of time. Working with these designers is completely different than working with someone for the first time.

For those designers that I have developed a relationship with, I know I can trust them and I know their quality of work. In these situations things are usually a little more laid back because of that existing relationship.

The same situation can apply when working with my own clients. This experience has helped me to recognize the need to develop strong relationships with clients to make the process easier and less stressful for them.

5. Clarity is Appreciated

When I am looking at outsourcing work to a designer or trying to evaluate how much I am willing to spend for a particular resource it’s helpful to have a clear understanding of what I will be getting. Some designers are very good at providing clear details of the specific resources that will be provided, when they will be completed, how much it will cost, and anything else that is relevant to the project.

Other times I get very vague proposals from designers and it’s difficult to know exactly what I will be getting and what it will cost. When things are clear it makes my job easier and enables me to make quicker decisions, something that is certainly appreciated.

The same thing can be applied when I am making proposals to potential clients. The experience has helped me to have a better understanding of the types of concerns that clients might have, and how they can be resolved with improved clarity and communication.

What’s Your Experience?

Have you outsourced work? If so, what types of lessons did you learn?

For more content on business and freelancing please see:


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Showcase of Patterns in Web Design

July 26th, 2011 Comments off

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Patterns can be used in web design as a visual focal point, or they can be used subtly to add character to a design. The use of subtle patterns is very popular at the moment. In many cases subtle patterns are used on backgrounds instead of a flat, solid color or a heavy texture that might dominate the design.

In this post we’ll showcase more than 25 websites that make use of visual patterns in their design. You’ll notice that subtle grids in particular are very common, and the sites in this gallery use them effectively.

Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope

Squared Eye

Squared Eye

Bronco

Bronco

You Know Who

You Know Who

Scribble & Tweak

Scribble & Tweak

Marie Poulin

Marie Poulin

Studio-XL

Studio-XL

Farrkling

Farrkling

National Association of Photoshop Professionals

National Association of Photoshop Professionals

Utopic Labs

Utopic Labs

Simon Collison

Simon Collison

DropBuilder

DropBuilder

Ringer

Ringer

Quaintology

Quaintology

Submit Design News

Submit Design News

Ugmonk

Ugmonk

Peppermint Dental

Peppermint Dental

Mercury Producciones

Mercury Producciones

Warner Pacific College

Warner Pacific College

Coreymade

Coreymade

Colin McKinney

Colin McKinney

Galpin Industries

Galpin Industries

AFD-Folio

AFD-Folio

Tapmates

Tapmates

WP Zoom

WP Zoom

Archibald Studio

Archibald Studio

McCombs Creative

McCombs Creative

Min Tran’s Journal

Min Tran's Journal

For patterns that can be used in your own work, please see these premium resources:


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30 Free Script Fonts

July 25th, 2011 Comments off

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Most designers can never have too many fonts. When it comes to script fonts, there are a lot to choose from. If you’re working on a design that needs a script font you may find one here that would be a good fit for your project.

In this post we’ll feature 30 script fonts that can be downloaded for free. As always when you are downloading and using freebies, be sure to read the license details to make sure that you are using it in a way that is allowed by the creator.

Billy Argel Font

Billy Argel Font

Angelina

Angelina

English

English

Ballpark

Ballpark

Brody

Brody

BlackJack

BlackJack

Chopin Script

Chopin Script

Gabrielle

Gabrielle

Honey Script

Honey Script

Lobster

Lobster

Pacifico

Pacifico

Cartwheel

Cartwheel

Scriptina

Scriptina

Shardee

Shardee

Champignon

Champignon

Old Script

Old Script

Dancing Script OT

Dancing Script OT

Wedding Nightmares

Wedding Nightmares

Henry Morgan Hand

Henry Morgan Hand

Adine Kirnberg Script

Adine Kirnberg Script

Exmouth

Exmouth

One Fell Swoop

One Fell Swoop

Avocado

Avocado

Michaelmas

Michaelmas

Porcelain

Porcelain

Salamander

Salamander

Textapoint

Textapoint

Androgyne

Androgyne

Forelle

Forelle

England Hand DB

England Hand DB

For more design resources please see:


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50 Fireworks Tutorials for Designers

July 21st, 2011 Comments off

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Although Fireworks doesn’t get as much attention as Photoshop, for web designers it can be as good or a better tool for many tasks as compared to Photoshop. One of the challenges of working with Fireworks is that most of us simply feel more comfortable in Photoshop because of having more experience with it. In the  absence of experience, quality tutorials can become a very valuable resource to help with the learning curve.

In this post we’ll link to 50 tutorials that will help designers to learn more about Fireworks and what can be accomplished with it.

The Abduzeetles Rockband Website in Fireworks

The Abduzeetles Rockband Website in Fireworks

Typography/Ink Blot Effect in Fireworks

Typography/Ink Blot Effect in Fireworks

Creating a Candy Button (video)

Creating a Candy Button (video)

Five Easy Steps to Create a Barcode in Fireworks

Five Easy Steps to Create a Barcode in Fireworks

Altes Wines Logo Tutorial

Altes Wines Logo Tutorial

Circular Shadows and Highlights

Circular Shadows and Highlights

Golden Seal

Golden Seal

Classy Personal Portfolio in Fireworks

Classy Personal Portfolio in Fireworks

Fireworks – Interactive Prototypes in PDF

Fireworks - Interactive Prototypes in PDF

Creating an Amazing Palm Pre Icon in Fireworks

Creating an Amazing Palm Pre Icon in Fireworks

LED Cinema Display in Fireworks

LED Cinema Display in Fireworks

Awesome Floral Type in Fireworks and Photoshop in 5 Minutes

Awesome Floral Type in Fireworks and Photoshop in 5 Minutes

Amazing Neon Lights in Fireworks

Amazing Neon Lights in Fireworks

Creating the iPhone Framework in Fireworks

Creating the iPhone Framework in Fireworks

Build a Promotional iPhone App Website Wireframe in Fireworks

Build a Promotional iPhone App Website Wireframe in Fireworks

Photo Realistic

Photo Realistic

Shiny Ribbon

Shiny Ribbon

Dot Matrix Effect

Dot Matrix Effect

Sticky Notes

Sticky Notes

Quick ‘N Dirty Outlines

Quick 'N Dirty Outlines

Fireworks CS4 Photoshop Integration (video)

Fireworks CS4 Photoshop Integration (video)

Image Slide Show in Adobe Fireworks (video)

Image Slide Show in Adobe Fireworks (video)

Masking in Fireworks CS4 (video)

Masking in Fireworks CS4 (video)

Fireworks CS4 Flex Skinning (video)

Fireworks CS4 Flex Skinning (video)

Fireworks CS5 with Device Central (video)

Fireworks CS5 with Device Central (video)

Fireworks 101 (and Part 2)

Fireworks 101

Fireworks CS4 Color Management (video)

Fireworks CS4 Color Management (video)

Fireworks CS4 Layout Tools

Fireworks CS4 Layout Tools

Page Curl in Fireworks Tutorial

Page Curl in Fireworks Tutorial

Gel Button Fireworks Tutorial

Gel Button Fireworks Tutorial

Inlayed Orb Fireworks Tutorial

Inlayed Orb Fireworks Tutorial

Creating an Old Paper Effect in Fireworks

Creating an Old Paper Effect in Fireworks

How to Create a Beautiful Web Hosting Layout Using Fireworks

How to Create a Beautiful Web Hosting Layout Using Fireworks

How to Create a Stylish Navigation Bar in Adobe Fireworks

How to Create a Stylish Navigation Bar in Adobe Fireworks

Text Wrapping

Text Wrapping

Inset Text Effect

Inset Text Effect

Old Paper Effect in Fireworks

Old Paper Effect in Fireworks

Creating Grunge Text Using Adobe Fireworks

Creating Grunge Text Using Adobe Fireworks

Fireworks Waterdrop

Fireworks Waterdrop

Gradient Text Logo Tutorial in Adobe Fireworks

Gradient Text Logo Tutorial in Adobe Fireworks

Sparkle in Adobe Fireworks

Sparkle in Adobe Fireworks

Tech Orb Interface (video)

Tech Orb Interface (video)

Creating a Fancy Text Effect in Adobe Fireworks

Creating a Fancy Text Effect in Adobe Fireworks

Fancy RSS Button Tutorial

Fancy RSS Button Tutorial

Motion Blur in Fireworks Tutorial

Motion Blur in Fireworks Tutorial

Creating an Icon in Fireworks

Creating an Icon in Fireworks

Create Vista-Like Wallpapers in Fireworks

Create Vista-Like Wallpapers in Fireworks

Create a Planet from Scratch with Fireworks

Create a Planet from Scratch with Fireworks

Glass Text

Glass Text

Highway Sign

Highway Sign

For more tutorials and resources please see:


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25 Ecommerce Websites for Your Design Inspiration

July 19th, 2011 Comments off

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Ecommerce websites can be one of the more challenging types of websites for designers. There is a lot that needs to be considered (see 9 Characteristics of Well-Designed Ecommerce Websites) and the design decisions can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of the website at converting visitors to customers.

In this post we’ll showcase 25 ecommerce websites that feature an attractive visual design. They should serve as an excellent source of inspiration when working on ecommerce projects of your own.

Red Velvet

Red Velvet

Anna & Boy

Anna & Boy

Custom Bags HQ

Custom Bags HQ

Camp Luxe

Camp Luxe

Make It Bead

Make It Bead

Neve Inspired

Neve Inspired

Tinkering Monkey

Tinkering Monkey

Mr. Porter

Mr. Porter

Sassy Duck

Sassy Duck

Gabbard Farms

Gabbard Farms

CXXVI Clothing Co.

CXXVI Clothing Co.

Gossard

Gossard

Mimco

Mimco

Juicy Couture

Juicy Couture

JAG

JAG

SABA

SABA

Crescendo

Crescendo

Christening Cards

Christening Cards

The Hungarian Wine Society

The Hungarian Wine Society

Jethro & Jackson

Jethro & Jackson

Burton

Burton

Graham and Green

Graham and Green

ShoeBeDoo

ShoeBeDoo

The Cassette

The Cassette

Rezet

Rezet

For more design inspiration please see:


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