May 2009

Dedicated to the public domain.

This site features thousands of high quality public domain photographs, well categorised and easy to search. All photos on Photos8.com are public domain so you can go nuts.

Do this, don’t do that.

When it comes to designing websites, we can occasionally slip into some sloppy or shoddy habits. To ensure that your website is clean, well written and conform to best practice, it’s useful to have some clear guidelines. At webdosanddonts.com, they have collected this information and set it out in a very clear DOs and DONTs format. It’s aimed at everyone, from novice to ninja. Stay clean.

Let there be light.

I’m a huge fan of abstract photoshop effects that play with light. Whether it’s a glow, fire, smoke, swirls or sparkles, abstract light patterns can be quite dramatic. If you’re a fan too, Creativenerds have 45 photoshop brush sets for you to play with. Oh yeah, they’re free.

Spec-work. Bah, humbug!

In an effort to educate Visual Communication Designers and those who use their services, on the damaging effects caused by spec work and spec-based design contests, a group of designers from all over the globe banded together, fueled by passion and a lot of caffeine, to bring NO!SPEC to the public. Be a part of a worthwhile cause.

Business is business.

We all enjoy making pretty pictures on our computers. But if you’re a professional graphic designer, the big, bad world of business is part of your daily life. BoDo (Business Of Design Online) blogs about the business of design including: starting your own design business (online or off); marketing; dealing with clients; working with printers, photographers, copywriters and other surrounding industries; pretty much anything to help a design business grow.

Trendsetters.

Smashing Magazine has looked at recent developments, new design elements and new graphic approaches in web design. Whether for research, inspiration or pure curiosity, these reviews (Part One) (Part Two) are useful points of reference.

Angie Bowen at myInkBlog.com has compiled a similar list that’s worth checking out.

WordPress rocks.

If you’re going to set up a blog, you’re probably going to be setting it up in WordPress. It’s the most popular software for this purpose by a long shot. Which means that there are lots of designers out there wanting to showcase their talent. Once again, Smashing Magazine has an excellent compilation for your consideration.

And if you need some WordPress plugins, head on over to Howtomakemyblog where they provide the 18 most popular plugins. Each one has been downloaded a minimum of 200,000 times.

All that jazz.

Have you ever wanted to use a special typeface in your website, but were unable to generate it on the server? Of course you have. FontJazz implements a simple type-rendering engine in JavaScript, which means that any headlines are rendered 100% client-side, without any kind of server-side dependencies or bandwidth overhead. Check it out, it’s neat.

Typekit has an alternate solution, but hasn’t launched yet. It’s worth keeping an eye on them; they might just revolutionise how typography is handled on the internet.

A stitch in time….

In a business often charged at hourly rates or fixed price quotes, it pays to be time-efficient. It’s human nature to work faster and easier, and the more experience you have will determine the systems, procedures and shortcuts you have in place. But where to start? Smashing Magazine to the rescue with twenty time-saving tips to improve your workflow.

Setting the standards.

There are many conventions and standards that every graphic designer should know. The Designers Toolbox has a wonderful collection of information about envelope sizes, postcard sizes, proofing marks, binding styles, folding styles and much more. They also have downloadable templates for CD and DVD labels and covers.