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25 Awe-Inspiring Fractal Wallpapers for Your Desktop

Fractal art is a form of algorithmic art created by calculating fractal objects and representing the calculation results as still images, animations, and media.(Wiki)

Fractal art or let’s say these complex geometrical shapes can be shifted and reproduced in an infinite number of ways with awe-inspiring colors and complex patterns.

In today’s post we have gathered really eye-catching fractal wallpapers.Enjoy!!

 

Abstract Fractal

Wallpaper Source

1600×1200

 

Telperion

Wallpaper Source

1280×800 | 1680×1050 | 1920×1200 | 1366×768 | 1920×1080 | 1280×1024 | 1600×1200

 

Caress

Wallpaper Source

1920×1200 | 1680×1050 | 1600×1280 | 1600×1200 | 1400×900 | 1280×1024
1280×960 | 1024×768

 

Shamans Journey

Wallpaper Source

1280×1024

 

PearlFlowers Pond

Wallpaper Source

1280×1024

 

Delusion

Wallpaper Source

1600×1200

 

Indigo Soul

Wallpaper Source

1024×768 | 1280×1024 | 1600×1200 | 1920×1200

 

Dance of the Dusk

Wallpaper Source

1600×1200

 

Spreading Illusions

Wallpaper Source

1280×960

 

Transmission

Wallpaper Source

1280×1024

 

11 01 29

Wallpaper Source

1440×900

 

Swimming

Wallpaper Source

1024×768

 

New Years Shamans Journey

Wallpaper Source

1280×1024

 

Baltic Dawn

Wallpaper Source

1920×1200 | 1680×1050 | 1280×1024 | 1440×900 | 1024×768

 

Flowerings

Wallpaper Source

1280×1024

 

Light Symphonia

Wallpaper Source

1280×1024

 

Rose Garden

Wallpaper Source

1280×1024

 

Hang On

Wallpaper Source

1600×1200

 

CityCentre

Wallpaper Source

1280×1024

 

Bright Future

Wallpaper Source

1280×1024

 

Twisted

Wallpaper Source

1280×1024

 

Dreams

Wallpaper Source

1280×960

 

Burning Inside

Wallpaper Source

1600×1200

 

Autumn Flowers

Wallpaper Source

1024×768

 

Talisman V Origin of Life

Wallpaper Source

1920×1200


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Weekly Web Design Inspiration #67

There is no limit for inspiration and when it comes to webdesign this is much more unlimited. As usual we continue to showcase beautiful and interesting webdesigns that we came across during the week.Hope you like this week’s collection too.

 

Gonzalves

Visit Website

 

Sandfish Design

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Apicula

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Michel Doudin

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Bivish

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What’s in?

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Putzengel

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No Leath

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Anders

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Retro Boutique

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35 Cool Business Cards To Inspire You

In which business your are in you probably know how important having a business card to contact with your customers and get feedback from them.In a way,business cards symbolize your business and present the first impression about your identity.
In this competitive business world,the design of your business card is really important to stand out from the crowd.Whether your business card design is unusual or simple and clean it must fit the type of your business.
In today’s post we bring together new and creative business card designs.Some of them are unusual and some are really clean and well designed.

 

Typographer

creative business cardsSource

 

MadeBrave

creative business cardsSource

 

Bayko

creative business cardsSource

 

Gail Nogle

creative business cardsSource

 

Felipe Ferrer

creative business cardsSource

 

Garage Junkies Depot

creative business cardsSource

 

Beer Table In Brooklyn

creative business cardsSource

 

Hash-Nine Identity

creative business cardsSource

Absolut Pilates Center

creative business cardsSource

 

Bk Design

creative business cardsSource

 

DH Business Card

creative business cardsSource

 

Disguise the Unworthy

creative business cardsSource

 

Rachel Bird

creative business cardsSource

 

Valentina Antoniucci

creative business cardsSource

 

Jennifer Daniel

creative business cardsSource

 

Manic

creative business cardsSource

 

TV Consultant

creative business cardsSource

 

Jana Benešovská

creative business cardsSource

 

Derrick Baker

creative business cardsSource

 

Megan Harrigan

creative business cardsSource

 

Carolyn Springer

creative business cardsSource

 

Brent Clowater

creative business cardsSource

 

Pearse O’Halloran

creative business cardsSource

 

FOTOALIAS

creative business cardsSource

 

Danielle Abisaab

creative business cardsSource

 

The Have Knot Community Trust

creative business cardsSource

 

Wake Up Your Body

creative business cardsSource

 

Tok and Stok

creative business cardsSource

 

Tyrone Menezes

creative business cardsSource

 

Asterix

creative business cardsSource

 

Mary Susan Vaughn

creative business cardsSource

 

Chipboard Card

creative business cardsSource

 

Origami Business Card

creative business cardsSource

 

TAM Cargo Design

creative business cardsSource

 

Le Tank Creative

creative business cardsSource


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Friday Urban Typography Inspiration – Vienna

Urban typography showcase is one of our weekly posts.Every Friday we are featuring inspirational typography examples from a city.If you are a real typography lover , you always notice typography examples like shop signage,road signs etc. in your city and if you want your photo to be published here just send it.This week’s typography showcase comes from Vienna.Enjoy!!!

 

Manner

urban typographySource

 

Aida

urban typographySource

 

Salon Adi

urban typographySource

 

Damen und Herrencoiffure

urban typographySource

 

Huber and Pichler

urban typographySource

 

Friseur

urban typographySource

 

Frischeierdienst

urban typographySource

 

Sommer

urban typographySource

 

Ströck

urban typographySource

 

Fotokopist

urban typographySource

 

Parfumerie

urban typographySource

 

Konopitzky

urban typographySource

 

Huber Hilft

urban typographySource

 

Lederwaren

urban typographySource

 

Frisier Salon

urban typographySource

 

Perosa

urban typographySource

 

Wiener

urban typographySource

 

Prodomo

urban typographySource

 

M.Gotsch

urban typographySource

 

Feinkost

urban typographySource


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Weekly Web Design Inspiration #66

There is no limit for inspiration and when it comes to webdesign this is much more unlimited. As usual we continue to showcase beautiful and interesting webdesigns that we came across during the week.Hope you like this week’s collection too.
 

Bagigia

Visit Website

 

Quantium

Visit Website

 

Upstrakt

Visit Website

 

Infographics Agency

Visit Website

 

Cheese Please

Visit Website

 

Sysdeco

Visit Website

 

Fugu

Visit Website

 

Dejan Beljic

Visit Website

 

2Fly

Visit Website

 

La Dolce Vita

Visit Website


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10 Fresh Out Of The Oven Free Responsive WordPress Themes

A few years ago we were looking fo some basic features when a choosing a wordpress theme.One of the most important thing was the browser compability and of course it is still very important but as the mobile device popularity increases day by day,the responsive layout became the most preferred feature of wordpress themes.Whether you use a free theme or a paid one don’t forget to check if it is compatible with mobile devices.

We regularly check for free wordpress themes and always share them with you but you know,finding a free responsive wordpress theme is not as easy as finding a standart theme.A few weeks ago we’ve presented 28 Free Responsive WordPress themes and today after looking many developer’s websites we’ve gathered fresh responsive wordpress themes which are all free.

 

TumblePress

free responsive wordpress themes
TumblePress is a beautiful wordpress theme with responsive layout.The theme uses the WordPress Post Format feature so you can easily classify the article you’re posting. Just like Tumblr.
Demo | Download Source

 

Codium Extend

free responsive wordpress themes
Codium Extend is a minimalist and responsive theme for wordpress and ready for all the wordpress 3.+ feature like custom menus, colors or background. Light colors and white is perfect for having a really nice blog
Demo | Download Source

 

Business Lite

free responsive wordpress themes
Business lite offers exciting new Drag and Drop Page Elements including a Responsive Feature Slider, Widgetized boxes, and Callout section. All of these Elements can be used on a per-page basis using Drag and Drop Page Options which also include sidebar and layout options giving you the power to control the look and feel of every page.
Demo | Download Source

 

Bunker

free responsive wordpress themes
Bunker is based on ZURB Foundation css thus making it fully responsive to mobile phone, tablet or just simply a smaller size of screen resolution. Bunker is just as easy as other theme to used.
Demo | Download Source

 

EduBLOG

free responsive wordpress themes
EduBLOG WordPress theme is a custom and responsive design education, university site template.The theme 100% free is built with dozens of amazing features, as well as several custom TutsPress widgets that will allow you to shape the site in many ways.
Demo | Download Source

 

Sundance

free responsive wordpress themes
Despite its minimalist design, Sundance was crafted with clean, elegant typography and close attention to detail. The home page offers a featured video carousel. It supports the video post format, widgets, custom background, custom header, custom menus, and a custom link feature for your social media pages.
Demo | Download Source

 

Ascetica

free responsive wordpress themes
This theme is fully responsive, with a layout that will appeal to photobloggers and designers that may want to display their portfolio alongside normal blog posts.
Demo | Download Source

 

Buttercream

free responsive wordpress themes
Buttercream is a sweet treat for your blog or website. This theme supports all post formats, an optional responsive design for smaller screens (perfect for iPhone, iPad and other mobile devices), custom backgrounds, a custom pop-up menu and three widget-ready sidebars in the footer.
Demo | Download Source

 

Esplanade

free responsive wordpress themes
A modern and stylish theme featuring a responsive layout with a slick and streamlined design but powered by a powerful code base and a flexible options page offering lots of featured and control.
Demo | Download Source

 

Dark Dream

free responsive wordpress themes
Dark Dream is a full-featured and responsive business WordPress theme. It comes packed with an incredibly great jQuery powered custom portfolio, a custom home page featured slider and many more goodies.
Demo | Download Source


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9 Useful Free PDF Ebooks About Responsive Web Design

Web is going mobile so rather than developing different versions of websites,a single version website which adapts itself according to specific devices is the best solution.You know Ethan Marcotte-web designer published an article about responsive web design in 2010 and since then responsive web design has become the hottest topic in web design industry.
 
Whether you like it or not,web is moving beyond desktop and it’s not looking back like Ethan said.So responsive web design will continue to be the trendy topic in the following years.

In today’s post we’ve gathered free ebooks in PDF format which are all about responsive web design.I hope you find them useful.

 

Delivering Web To Mobile

PDF Source

 

Responsive Design Guide

PDF Source

 

GoMobile

PDF Source

 

Mobile-first Responsive Web Design

PDF Source

 

Responsive Web Design:Enriching The User Experience

PDF Source

 

How To Build A Mobile Website:Know Your Options

PDF Source

 

Design Case Study:Responsive Web Design Increases Sales

PDF Source

 

Responsive Design and Small Screen Optimisation

PDF Source

 

Responsive Web Design

PDF Source


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Printing Pre-press :: Dos and Don’ts

Pre_press.png

The Graphic Design School have found a great list of Do’s and Don’ts relating to PRE press/printing, created by Deborah Roberti of espressographics.com which should help you avoid one of these frustrating and embarrassing (not forgetting to mention expensive) mistakes when evaluating your pre print project before it goes to press and some useful tips on image formatting.



Author: Carol Ann Miles for The Graphic Design School
The Graphic Design School teaches Graphic & Web Design , Online, Anywhere in the World.


Tools & Perparation

Do create and edit your text in a word processing application such as Microsoft Word and then import the text to a desktop publishing application such as QuarkXPress, InDesign, Pagemaker or Corel Ventura where you can create your page layout, format the text with graphics, etc.

Do use QuarkXPress or Adobe InDesign for desktop publishing. QuarkXPress was the print industry standard page layout program for decades, designed and perfected for commercial print output. Adobe InDesign, however, has given Quark a run for its money. InDesign not only costs half as much as Quark, but it is fully-integrated with its sister apps, Photoshop and Illustrator. Another page layout program is Adobe Pagemaker—now discontinued but still around. However, I find that Pagemaker is nicknamed “Ragemaker” for a very good reason. It is fine for small projects—newsletters and whatnot—but for large projects, books in particular, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and trouble in the long run if you use Quark or InDesign. Also, if you are lucky enough to have a choice as to what platform you can use, go Macintosh. PC/Windows desktop publishing files are far more likely to cause problems when it comes to graphics, fonts and printing. If you do decide to stick with a PC/Windows platform, make sure that the commercial printer you select has ample experience with that platform.

Don’t use Microsoft Word as a desktop publishing application. Word does have many of the same layout features as desktop publishing apps such as Quark and InDesign (i.e., it can create columns, import graphics, create nice laser prints, etc.) but when it comes to commercial printing, Word is not going to get you very far. Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, etc. are word processing applications, NOT desktop publishing/layout programs. They handle font replacement differently and often cause reflow.

Don’t create your page layout for multi-page documents in draw programs such as Illustrator or Freehand. Use desktop publishing apps like Quark or InDesign.

Do provide the printer with a hard copy laser printout of your project, as well as all of your layout files (in Quark, InDesign, etc.), graphics and fonts. Inkjet printers are fine for initial proofing and printing, but always get a final printout (and proof it) from a PostScript laser printer.

Don’t assume that what you have printed out and submitted as hard copy or see on your monitor is what you will get. Take a good long look at proofs and bluelines supplied by the printer.

Do take your printer’s advice.

Don’t assume that you know more than the printer.

Fonts

Do supply the printer with ALL of the fonts used to create your project (even the symbol, fraction and dingbat fonts). Try not to use TrueType fonts, and for PostScript fonts, make sure you supply the printer with both the screen and the printer font parts. Remember to include fonts used to create EPS graphics, and fonts that the printer probably already has (i.e. like Helvetica, etc.). There are many different versions of some fonts and a “wrong” version can cause reflow/repagination problems.

Don’t use Bold or Italic in the style menu or hit the Bold or Italic button when you want to bold or italicize text in your page layout program. Use the actual font. For example, in Quark, if you want to create text that is Helvetica Bold, don’t select some Helvetica text and then bold it. Instead, select the text and change the font itself (not the style) from Helvetica to Helvetica Bold:

Doimage008.jpg

Don’t image009.jpg

Don’t use TrueType fonts. Period. Always use PostScript or OpenType and Adobe fonts (Macintosh or PC/ Windows) are always a safe bet. TrueType is fine for printing to a laser or inkjet printer, but TrueType fonts can cause severe problems when it comes to commercial printing. Many commercial printers won’t even print a project that contains TrueType fonts. Often, they pop.

Don’t use 20 different fonts for a 4-page newsletter. It makes you look like you don’t know what you’re doing. In desktop publishing, consistency is everything. Use one font for your main body text, another for your main heads, another for photo captions, another for sidebars, etc., but don’t mix and match fonts for your main body text or make every headline a different font unless you’re trying to create some sort of chaotic effect and it is your intention to confuse the reader. Too many fonts is not only considered to be bad design, but it also slows printing to a crawl.

Graphics

Do supply ALL of the graphics used to create your project. Desktop publishing applications like Quark and InDesign link to your graphics; they do not embed them in the document. If you don’t supply the graphics along with your Quark or InDesign documents, the printer will get a missing picture error, and won’t be able to continue until you supply the graphics.

Do use TIFF and EPS graphic file formats:

  • Use TIFF for halftones: graphics that are not just black and white, but rather, have many shades of gray or color gradation (i.e. scanned photos that were created or edited in Photoshop or an image editing application).
  • B&W clip art (no shades of gray—just 100% black and 100% white) looks best if scanned in and saved in 1200 dpi Bitmap TIFF format.
  • Use EPS for line art, illustrations, charts, clipart, etc.—graphics that are basically black and white and were created or edited in vector applications such as Illustrator or Freehand. Resolution should be at least 600 dpi, 1200 dpi is the standard and creates the best print quality.

Don’t use other graphic file formats like PICT, JPEG, GIF. Just because you can import them into your desktop publishing application doesn’t mean that you should. Stick with TIFF and EPS. If your graphics are in any other format, convert them. This is especially true of the PICT format. Quark hates PICTs; imagesetters hate PICTs. Steer clear of PICT.

Do most, if not all, of your image editing and graphic manipulation (i.e. lightening, darkening, resizing, etc.) in the original program that the graphic was first created or edited in, rather than the desktop publishing application. For instance, if a Photoshop TIFF needs to be lightened or darkened, lighten or darken it in Photoshop, not in Quark. Even though Quark will lighten or darken an image, adjust contrast, etc., you may get different results once you project goes to press and is printed.

Do name your graphics with the appropriate file extension: filename.tif, filename.eps.

Don’t rename graphics once you have placed them in your desktop publishing/page layout document(s). If you do, make sure to go back into your document and re-link the graphics

Do check your mode for color TIFFs. Save color TIFFs as CMYK (not RGB, never RGB). Save black & white TIFFs as Grayscale.

Do check with your printer to see if they charge extra for breaking any of these “rules.”

Design & Page Layout

Do use a document setup size (i.e. your page dimensions) that is the same as your trim size. For instance, if you are creating a 6 by 9-inch book, set up your initial page size in the document setup for 6 by 9-inches.

Don’t create 6 by 9-inch text frames in a 81/2 by 11-inch document setup and manually add registration marks.

Do make page elements that bleed extend at least 8th of an inch beyond the page boundary.

Don’t use your page layout/desktop publishing program’s predetermined “hairline” rule. The width varies from program to program, and prints out differently on a laser printer than on an imagesetter, if it prints at all. Don’t create rules that are less than .25 pt.

Do watch for widows, orphans, rivers, bad kerning and other desktop publishing no-nos that will make you look like an amateur. Get rid of double-spaces after periods, don’t use spaces to align columns (use tabs) or to create paragraph indents. Know your en dash (–) from your em dash (—).

Editing & Formating

Now on to some tips for editing and formatting those wonderful design and publications in Illustrator and Photoshop

Illustrator vs. Photoshop

This is not about what program is better but more of what program to use for what. You can not say that one is better than the other because they have completely different uses but work closely together.

Photoshop This program is great. It is the best application for editing images and works primarily with pixels. A limitation with pixels is that the pixel-based image is not to be scaled since all you are doing is enlarging the squares/pixels which lose quality and clarity.

If you are a web designer you will work very closely with Photoshop for different elements and graphics of your website… even for Flash. If you are working to produce print you will only use Photoshop to create images that will be imbedded into Illustrator or a layout program such as Quark. Photoshop should not be used to produce text for print.

Illustrator This is not about what program is better but more of what program to use for what. You can not say that one is better than the other because they have completely different uses but work closely together.

This program is also great but is not a pixel-based image editor. Illustrator works mostly with vector graphics. This allows the image to be able to be scaled to just about any size and keep its integrity. As a result logos should always be produced/finalised in Illustrator. You will be able to scale them to just about any size you like.

You can even produce graphics for the web using Illustrator and a lot of the time I have found myself doing this. Since you can output to many pixel-based files, you can make extremely smooth looking graphics and convert them to a JPEG or other raster files.

For print this can act as a layout program. You would take your images edited in Photoshop (most of the time high resolution TIFF files) and place/embed them inside your document. In Illustrator you would then create all your text and shape designs as well as add your logos and other things like that.

Just follow this simple rule: in print use Photoshop for your image editing and then do everything else in Illustrator.

Author Deborah Roberti

Deborah Roberti has a wonderful website full of invaluable resources for Graphic Designers: Espresso Graphics Deborah is an inspiration and should be considered as a testament to some of what can be achieved with motivation and the skill set of a Graphic Designer, she has been freelancing (as Espresso Graphics) since 1996. She started EspressoGraphics.com for family and clients and also as a way of fine tuning her web site production skills. For the past 10 years or so, Deborah has been doing book compositing for Peachpit Press and pre-press/advertising creation and preflight work for Wines & Vines( a wine trade magazine and annual directory.)

In a bid to get off the computer Deborah begun creating her own beaded jewellery design patterns in PDF form and now sells them online at www.aroundthebeadingtable.com.

“What started off as a hobby, turned into some money on the side and is now a viable business, primarily because I had the graphic design skills to make it happen.” As desktop publishers and graphic designers, we usually get paid to create product that is not our own, whether it be books or ad campaigns or whatnot. This lady is an inspiration and a testament to the fact that with today’s technology, A creative flare…TGDS students also have the means to create, produce and sell their own products.


Graphic Design School Blog

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35 Cleverly Designed Logos You Will Love

One of the best way to express themselves for businesses is a creative and memorable logo design.A clever and well designed logo speaks for you and for your business.If a logo design stays in people’s memory then you hit the target.We all know ”A picture is worth a thousands words” and this can be also be said for a logo design.A visual logo often speaks louder than any other thing in businesses.
Today we have another clever logo design inspiration post.They are really nice looking logo designs and i’m sure you will like them.
 

Zebra

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by fixer00
Source

 

Diamond Cocktail

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by MDS
Source

 

Pencilope

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by Shtef Sokolovich
Source

 

Jazz Institute

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by SheynStudio
Source

 

Stargym

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by MDS
Source

 

JS

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by Osvaldas
Source

 

i-birdie

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by Zrox
Source

 

Bird

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by MDS
Source

 

Box

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by MDS
Source

 

Mama Theater

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by Manu
Source

 

Ace Tennis Academy

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by MDS
Source

 

Rugged

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by JaceDesign
Source

 

Emerge

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by Nicogondrong
Source

 

B13

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by hp
Source

 

Aware

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by logomanlt
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AB Radio

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by MyWebDesign
Source

 

Girafork

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by Shtef Sokolovich
Source

 

U-Laboratory

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by agenciakpelo
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SunSurf

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by Sky
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Job Link

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by Chrisworks
Source

 

The Movie Gallery

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by Chrisworks
Source

 

Colorholic

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by MDS
Source

 

Pets Love

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by MDS
Source

 

Foxink

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by Sameerg
Source

 

Shoesfinder

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by MDS
Source

 

Cherryce

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by MDS
Source

 

Inequality Records

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by Ethereal
Source

 

Space Egg

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by Tinbach
Source

 

Swanart

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by LGDesign
Source

 

ShooteRss

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by Office Pearanah
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RedBird

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by quanVuart
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Sebra

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by Dullove
Source

 

Carpe Diem

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by Struve
Source

 

Paint House

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by TheAngerFurnace
Source

 

Warriorss

Cleverly Designed Logosdesigned by MilCaras
Source

 


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Get off the Mac, roll up your sleeves and get making. Once a week.

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In the working world it has become increasingly difficult to free yourself from the Mac and create something with your hands. Make the most of analogue and crafty disciplines offered through design education, and take your skills with you into the working world!

Designed by Jonathan Ive, Apples iMac is out to seduce you!



Author: Bradley Hotson for The Graphic Design School
We offer vocational training graphic design courses. Delivery is online, affordable and open to students all over the world to study in the comfort of their own home.


Steve Jobs is nobody’s fool. The sleek, sexy and justifiably praised desktops and laptops that Apple make are now a staple —a necessity even— of any self-respecting graphic designer. We await the release of new iMacs and operating systems with impatience, queue up to purchase our copy, and coo over them once they’re installed as if they were newborn babies. We learn them inside out and gush, blog and tweet over new Photoshop filters. Graphic design, along with many other professions which used to require a certain amount of manual endeavour, has, with the rise of digital technology become nigh-on completely computer-based and desk-bound. The modern graphic designer need never sketch out a rough by hand or design a font on layout paper. Everything can now be done with the help of a computer.

snow-leopard-box.jpg

The latest “big-cat-themed” operating system that you simply can’t live without and the best ever. Until the next one…

And yet there was a time when graphic design was a very hands-on profession, not at all centred around a magical-looking computer, and which involved all kinds of tactile and smelly materials, and which required actual physical effort to work with the various mediums associated with it. I’m talking drawing boards, airbrushes, magic markers, inks, layout pads, lightboxes, silk-screen printing, linocutting, collage and drawing. What is most fascinating here is that these analogue processes aren’t from some far-flung past. We aren’t talking William Morris’s Kelmscott Press here. No, many graphic designers and tutors in their fifties, forties and even thirties, will have some recollection of their professional life involving the making of things by hand.

VOLTRON_iib.jpg
VOLTRON_iii.jpg

Large-scale Voltron models made entirely of Lego, from Grand Admiral / Mark Sandlin www.flickr.com/people/grandadmiral/

Thankfully, most design schools still offer students the chance to get to grips with some, if not most, of the processes listed in the paragraph above. And this fact should be celebrated, as it provides those willing to learn with an anchoring in the distant and not-so-distant analogue past. One could view this advocation of older processes as a certain charming backwardness through lack of funds on the design schools’ part, although the well-planned and carefully thought out courses will have been designed with the same points that I describe here in mind. Good design schools, like many designers out there ‘in the field’, recognise that it’s highly beneficial for the young graphic designer to think outside the Mac. For students, the freedom and breadth of disciplines offered should be taken advantage of, as the opportunity to indulge these passions (in the quantities that design schools can offer) will hardly likely come round again once you’re out there in the working world.

During my own final year of education I decided I wanted to learn about letterpress printing, and planned to use it to print my major end-of-year project. In my pursuit I was fortunate enough to have a course head as enthusiastic as I was and who had valuable connections to a fine printing press in Wales. Within a month I had been packed off there for an intensive, hands-on introduction, and emerged two weeks’ later having learned to design, handset, compose and print using letterpress, and returned home with two posters to exhibit at my end-of-year show. On graduating I kept in touch with the staff at the press and continue to visit them each year. Two weeks is scarcely enough time to master the discipline, though I was at least given an initiation into letterpress printing which enabled me to continue to use it for personal projects. Clients and other designers seem to like the fact I include these handmade projects in my portfolio, and of all my work it is often these pieces, and not my commercial work, which is singled out for praise and which people are most easily able to recall when I speak to them.

ILOVETYPOGRAPHY.jpg

Lovely commission for ilovetypography.com letterpress-printed by Typoretum www.typoretum.co.uk

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Gorgeous 2010 handbound, accordion-fold letterpress-printed calendar by Campbell Raw Press www.campbellrawpress.com

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Two tactile Christmas cards from Hand & Eye Letterpress both set in wood and metal type and printed on a metal-coated board www.handandeye.co.uk

As mentioned above, on completing your education, if you’re lucky enough to bag yourself a job either inhouse or within an independent studio, the chances are the prospect of long hours at the Mac beckons. You won’t mind this at all because within your studio, through all the graft, artworking and occasional tedium involved, you’ll glimpse moments of pure enchantment; when you get a job couriered over from the printers, or have an idea of yours passed for inclusion on a project. You’ll be trying very hard to make a positive contribution to your studio, to make the transition from someone who needs a lot of help and support to a genuinely productive member of the team.

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A charming montage of greetings cards and the colourful back patterning from letterpress-printed stationery designed and printed by Smock www.smockpaper.com

Amidst all this though, try to maintain some link with the traditional processes you’ll have learned at some point during your education. It’ll be all too easy to let things slide when you’re strapped in to an iMac. Sketch out roughs with a pencil as opposed to on screen. Suggest using letterpress on that new album cover. Anything. Thankfully there is now more appreciation for the handmade than there was fifteen years ago. Back then the age of Mac had only just become prevalent and software like Photoshop had still to really catch on. Graphic designers (and their clients) were in thrall to what they could now accomplish with computer-aided design. Luckily, here at the end of the decade, you could say that disciplines such as letterpress and traditional drawing are enjoying something of a renaissance. People will always value the tactile and the handmade (if it’s any good that is) and by choosing to take this route where appropriate your professional life will be richer and more rewarding than it would be spent solely on the Mac.

The creative possibilities that computer-aided design brings is undoubtedly a Good Thing. Adrian Shaugnessy again “The computer has revolutionized the design process. It has made the act of designing easier, and in many ways it has improved the way we design things. Yet in other respects it has made design more formulaic, and it has standardized the act of designing.” These are words worth heeding. Traditional skills retain a charm and often present a usage which should always be remembered, celebrated and, wherever appropriate, used!

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Impactful four and three-colour silkscreen prints by Waste Yourself www.wasteyourself.com


Graphic Design School Blog

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