Archive for the ‘Designers Toolbox’ Category
For those of you that know me personally, you would know that I am obsessed with Illustration. So I have decided to share a little bit of my obsession with you below. Who knows, maybe you will develop a strong liking as well and If you want to know more, just ask
There are several great illustrators out there I suggest you go to VectorTuts+ Website and read their amazing interviews
Illustration is everywhere you look and when you want to find our more about it I suggest you check out the list below of my favorite 3 Illustration websites and what I love most about them. I also suggest you bookmark these right away!
1. VectorTuts+ – has the best tutorials and always has great interviews with amazing illustrators both known and upcoming.
2. Escape From Illustration Island – has the most interesting articles on illustration with different views than most sites and they have a fun weekly podcast full of conversations with Illustrators, Art Directors, Art Reps, and other creative professionals about the Illustration industry.
3. VecTips – has fun weekly vector illustration inspiration articles that are full of great designs from both known and upcoming designers that is great for getting your creative thoughts up and running.
How do you create amazing illustrations like you see on all these websites, below is a list of great resources of tips and tricks and guides for learning Illustrator:
I swear, creating a logo for YOURSELF is a never-ending task. Its like my portfolio, i cant seem to stick on one design for it. I always think of something new, something better, or something different. My logo goes in that same direction. I know what I want for my logo…kind of. I want my name, and something to do with illustration…ok so maybe I don’t know what I want. So in order to change this ridiculous cycle I looked to and read what they have to say. Acris Design is a blog dedicated to web designers,web developers, freelancers, bloggers and internet geeks that focuses on topics such as web design, development, inspirational posts and valuable resources. While reading over and keeping up with my rss feeds, I came across one very interesting and very helpful posts titled: This is just what I need, how do other people create their logos? what are their steps? and what can I do do improve my thinking? Take a look and hopefully it will help some of you too. And after your done there you might want to pop over to another one of their posts for some more creative inspiration. So I may not have finished my personal logo design quite yet but I think I have a more clear idea of what I want. Ive got my notebook here next to me and I think its time for me to get back to sketching. I think that their processes made alot more sense then what I have been doing and I think I need to find my own process to settle on. So you should head on over and check it out for yourself. It is a good post for both designing your own logo and for creating others and these processes are also another great asset to add to your Designers Toolbox.
Lemon’s and design, how the heck do those mix and especially why the heck are they red? I wanted to introduce you to one of my favorite overall design/tech/blogging/networking sites – it is called The Red Lemon Club. The Red Lemon Club is a great site for just about everything but it mainly focuses on Self Promotion for Design Professionals. It is especially good for those new designers who are looking to get out there and get noticed and its even geared towards those just looking to spice up there new and old networking relationships.
Currently, some of their top articles are
- 25 No-Nonsense Ways to Power Up Your Productivity
- 10 Productive Things to Do in Your Extra Time
- Ten Essential Business Tips for Creatives
- 5 Other Places For Designers to Make Money on the Web
- How to Smash Through Self Doubt to Become a Better Self Promoter
They also have many other great articles. One of their articles posted in November was about one of the biggest things I struggle with when it comes to designing…and pretty much everything else in life….DISTRACTION.
It provides you with a large resource of software tools to help you block out distractions and get more done. The tools are focused on both MAC and WINDOWS but also includes some extensions plugins and other resources. I found this article to be VERY helpful for me.
I made sure I saved this site in my bookmarks right away. How many other sites out there do you know that focus on Self Promotion for Creative Professionals? This site is full of articles talking about:
- Using social media
- Driving traffic to sites
- Offline self promotional drives
- Effective free marketing
- Building self-confidence
- Improving your motivation to promote yourself
- Improving your online presence
- Building your brand
- and more!
I signed up for their weekly Tip and even got a free ebook with it. The weekly tip newsletter gives me advice on how to get noticed, what I can do to improve my designs, how I can get out of creative blocks and several other tips.
The advice on this site is AWESOME. I suggest you head over there NOW and start getting some tips for yourself!
I was working on a website for a client and while going through doing some research on similar sites I came across this awesome font that I had never seen before. I opened up one of my adobe programs and searched through the list of fonts and for the life of me could not find it. This drove me crazy. There has to be an easier and faster way to find fonts! So I did a little hunting and found this great website called Identifont. Identifont is very interesting and helpful website. It helped me find just the font I was looking for without ever even having to type the name of the font in or browse around thousands of lists.
If you don’t know the name of the font, such as how I did not know the name of the one I was researching for my client, there is an interesting way to discover it. To start you click on the link on the homepage that is towards the left that says “Identify A Font”. The next page gives you 2 important options. If you only have a select amount of letters from the font then you can type those letters or that word. I used this option since I only had a single word using the font I was trying to find. If you do this option it will ask you questions only based on the letters you listed. If you don’t have or want to use that option you can click the “Identify” button and it will use the generic guide for asking questions to find your font.
After you select one of the options will then bring you to a series of pages that ask specific questions about the font you are looking for. If you do not know the answers you can press the “not sure” option but the more that you can answer the better your results will be. Below is an example of one of the questions. Also on the left hand side if will show you how many fonts are possible for your choices and continue to ask you more until it has narrowed your search down to the smallest amount. This was exactly how I found my mysterious font.
If you do know the name of the font and are just trying to find out information, then you can type that in the search box on the right side of the page and it will bring you to a page displaying all its information. I tested this out by typing in the well known font Tahoma and these are the results I got. It shows you the name of the font, all the characters involved, who designed it, when, what similar fonts are to it, and where you can buy it.
I think that Identifont is a very helpful tool for designers like myself. There are a lot of little tips and tricks all over the website that will keep you playing around on there and finding all sorts of cool things. I spent a little extra time after I found my font, looking at the similar types and finally found the perfect font for my client. It would have taken me hours to find this if I was searching around DaFont’s site. Though DaFont is a great font website for browsing, it doesn’t help me when I am looking for something in specific. I am going to start using Identifont more often now that I know all of the little tricks and tips it has to offer and I would highly recommend designers to add this website tool their “toolbox” and to recommend this to anybody else who is ever font hunting.
So Its true, I spend ALOT of unnecessary time on the computer but honestly with so many good resources out there how can I not. I am facinated by all the design blogs that are popping up all over the world and each having their own spin on things.
I would like to share a few of my favorite sites with you. Please visit them and check out all the great articles, tutorials and freebies they have to offer!
Also, be sure to bookmark this article to see updated and added on links to more great design sites.
Its a new year and everybody is pouring out with New Year’s Resolutions so here is how I am going to achieve one of my most important goals. This year I am going to GET ORGANIZED! While searching for how I can achieve this I came across an amazing and FREE website. The website is
Producteev is a Free Online Task Management System and is the perfect tool for me to get organized. I am awful at remembering to do my homework, go to my appointments, and pretty much everything to do with scheduling. I can remember to write it down but I never look at it again. Thats where this program is really helpful to me.
To get started, click the large green “get it now” button on the homepage. Then enter in your basic information and thats it, you are ready to get started on your workspaces and get organized.
I have created several workspaces for different topics such as Personal, Work, Thoughts and most importantly School. In these workspaces you can list all of your tasks, put them in categories, and schedule them.
There are several tips and tricks in this management system but the best, and my favorite thing about this program is its reminder feature.
Producteev will send you emails, im, txt, and more ways reminding you to do the task (such as my homework) and then if you havent checked it off the list yet it will send another email after the due date asking if your task is completed or if it is late. This is PERFECT for me and I’m sure my teachers will really appreciate this.
This management system is a great asset for everybody from students, freelancers, paying bills, organizing meetings, and there are even paid options of this program if you want to use it for your company and have multiple users. I would highly recommend this program to everyone. This is a great way to get a jump start on my New Years Resolution. I am determined that this is the year that I will Get Organized!