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Giving your design a retro style

My last Pixelmator tutorial was inspired by the DVNO clip, which was full of design inspiration from the 80’s. But where does this inspiration come from? How can you give your work that retro feeling? The first thing to do is finding references, images that represent those years. These images will give us an idea of the colors, the typography style, and the graphic elements that were mostly used in that period of time. In my case I chose the video-game influence in that decade. In the early 1980s, the first generation of computer graphics in arcade games produced the popular Space Invaders arcade game (first released in 1978), followed by Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Frogger. Towards the end of the decade, home video game consoles began to outstrip the arcade game. The Japanese Famicom was released to the American public as the Nintendo Entertainment System (also known as the NES) in 1985 and renewed public interest in video games following a brief decline caused by the Video Game Crash of 1983. Wikipedia For my Pixelmator tutorial for example, I've used some of these ideas like the perspective grid and the color palette using red, green, and blue with a dark background. Besides that, it was inspired by the DVNO clip which is full of 80's design. Now if we take a look at the James White’s Atari design, we will see, again, where some of the elements came from and why his work gives us the feeling of the Atari’s era. So the question is where can we find these images and references? Fortunately for us we, there are such sites as Flickr, Youtube, Wikipedia, where we can learn more about that time in history and check some pictures of products, designs, and videos that were produced on those days. Below I list some images I used for reference to my Pixelmator tutorial. More References Colourlovers - 80's colors. Atari Game Manuals Atari Game Catalog, 1981 Old School Activision Video Game Cartridge Catalog Winter/Spring 1984

Drawing an Awesome Vintage Leaf Font

We don't get to see much of how to make cool fonts from scratch but at Sam Alfano's there's a whole section about it! Pretty cool site, pretty cool tips, like this one. Most of us love vintage stuff. From pictures to movie posters and colors. But how about a cool vintage leaf font? Sure! Too bad we don't get to use fonts like this very often. I would be nice! Anyways, check out some images of the process, and remember, to read the process, the full article, visit Sam Alfano's website. He's got it all! ;) Author: Paulo Antunes | If you want to write an article and have it published here send it via email to abduzeedo[at]abduzeedo.com

Slogan, you really should use one.

When I visit a site for the very first time, at first I just wanna know what does that company do. Making your visitor look for what your site is meant for, what it sells ou what kind of service you pay is a great step to make him go away before you can even blink once. And that's why you should use slogans, short frases, that explain the main purpose of your site or even instigate the visitor to get to know more about it. Here we'll show you some slogan use references in sites headers. Strong frases, big fonts, straight to the visitors' eyes and some time with some kind of humor. Isn't it good to find something before you even think of looking for it? Author: Fabiano Meneghetti | If you want to write an article and have it published here send it via email to abduzeedo[at]abduzeedo.com

Icon Design Explained (Quickly)

Jon and Leigh Hicks from Hicksdesign bring us a cool, quick slide show explanation of how to do design a icon. And if you don't know them, they actually designed the Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbid logos. These dudes are really good. | View | Upload your own

How to improve your Photoshop Skills

There's nothing better than to play with the tool if you want to learn it. Bert Monroy always mentions that on his podcasts and I truly agree with him. I think the best way to learn is trying to recreate images and effects we like. Here I list my 10 tips to improve your skills in Photoshop, but they can be applied to other tools as well. Besides of that leave a comment with tips and links that you think will help us to improve our Photoshop Skills as well. 1 - Start with something I know this might sound obvious but you need to have something like some drawings, sketches, or an image rather than just a white page. Otherwise you will end up doing the same effects every time you try do design something. Get inspiration from sites like Flickr, there are some very good photoshop groups. Or just look for inspiration on the web. Below are some inspirational links. 2007 inspiration 10 Photoshop Masters Masters of Illustration - Smashingmagazine 12 Invaluable Sites for Web Design and Design Inspiration 2007 Graphic Design Inspiration 2 - Don't be dissappointed Don't be dissappointed when your image or effect is not turning out the way you want, keep working. That happens with me all the time. When I first start designing, usually I get frustrated that my design is not becoming exactly what I had in mind. However it turns out that after I have all elements in my design it's easier to make it look the way I want.  3 - Try to recreate the effects you like. Every time I find an image that has an effect I like I save it and try to create that effect in Photoshop. The Fire effect I did trying to reproduce an Nike ad, and the gold effect when I saw a Jewelry Ad as well. 4 - Read tutorials before start doing your design. We usually go straight to Photoshop and try to figure out how to do the effect, it's nice but we can save a lot of time if we get some clues or ways to do that before we start the Photoshop work. There are very good sites where you can learn how to create all sorts of effects from gold text to glowing effects. pixel2life.com good-tutorials.com psdtuts.com veerle 100 Photoshop Tutorials 5 - Learn how to use Masks. I know this might sound odd but there are a lot of people that don't understand how to use Masks. So stop deleting parts of your image and start masking them. There's a very cool video that shows us how to learn Masks 6 - Play around with filters You can do all kinds of effects with them from blur to lighting effects. The most fascinating thing is if you mix some filter you always get a new result, like the Render Clouds. 7 - Spend some time learning the Layer Styles Layer Style is one of the most useful features in Photoshop. You can create amazing text effects without applying any filter or even touching the font. 8 - Brush Engine To be honest I had never payed much attention to this feature until 6 months ago when I was creating a falling star. After that moment I simply cant stop using it. You can create sparks, stars, clouds, and unlimited number of shapes. You can make your brush random or uniform, with different colors and opacity, and I could go on and on because the possibilities are endless Very good video explaining how the Brush Engine works Photoshop Brushes - Lynda.com 9 - Listen and watch podcasts I think podcasts are an excellent way to learn Photoshop. The Pixel Perfect with Bert Monroy is definitely a must see podcast if you want to learn Photoshop and Illustrator. List of Photoshop Podcasts Adobe Photoshop Quicktips - Video Podcast 10 - Share what you have learned with everybody I think when we learn something there's nothing wrong in sharing our skills. Besides of the fact that you can help others, you can promote your work and even get money from writing tutorials. Psdtuts.com pays you for each tutorial you write and then publish it if selected. Your Design Forums PSDTUTS - They pay you for tutorials Flickr Deviantart