Link List, volume 46

More Photoshop and Web Design

More Grids.

A collection of grids for various screen sizes.

Based on the 960 Grid System, the Golden Grid is for those who like natural proportion systems.

Tips & Tricks

Pixel perfect alignment in Photoshop.

An overview of Photoshop features for web design.


Beginners Guide to Wireframes.

Making wireframes in Photoshop.

More wireframe tips.

Which is the best app for wireframing? InDesign?

Optimizing for the Web

Exploring the Save for Web interface.

Optimizing your PNGs.

Link List, volume 45

Photoshop and Web Design


Guides and Grids are essential for web design and there are a couple of plug-ins that make the task of setting up your framework much easier.

  • GuideGuide is my favorite Grid plug-in. I like that it works as a panel so I can easily access and view it.
  • 960 Grid is an action that allows you to quickly lay down a 12, 16 or 24 column grid
  • Modular Grid is an interactive tool that lets you see the grid you are creating and provides you with a .jpg to use in you Photoshop file as reference

The Grid System is a great resource on designing with grids, offering articles, templates, plug-ins and inspiration.


Here’s a very thorough tutorial on using GuideGuide to add columns and a baseline grid.

Another walk through on setting up you Grid & Baseline.

Tips & Tricks

Pixel perfect alignment in Photoshop.

Link List, volume 44

Keeping your eye on Colour.

Colour correction is one of the key uses of Photoshop. In fact, Photoshop has been considered a digital darkroom for years. Understanding how, why and when to use your adjustments will allow you to determine how to best correct for printing and how to use these adjustments for creative control.

Tips & Tricks

The ultimate guide to Curves.

A quick look at Auto Curves.

An in-depth exploration of the Gradient Map’s hidden gradient options.

More fun with Gradient Maps.

How to convert an image to Black & White. Some ways are better than others.

Using Unsharp Mask effectively.

Sharpen with Surface Blur.


Here’s something fun: how well do you see color? X-rite has a color perception test.

Use Blending modes with Hue/Saturation and Curves to selectively control the saturation in an image.

Achieving the Instagram effect.

Selective color in a Black & White image.

Another approach to using the Highpass filter to sharpen images.

Another look at using Curves, this time focusing on individual color channels.

Link List, volume 43

Some tutorials to inspire and push your skills.

Going beyond a blast of light, lets make text explode.

Just to drive the point home: use Smart Filters when Sharpening.

Because this always comes up, how to cut out hair.

Adding a non-destructive Vignette to your image.

Another one that came up in class: making your own Bokeh effect.

Getting to know Photoshop

Part of the Intro to Photoshop Layer Styles session over at psdtuts+, here’s a guide to Bevel and Emboss and Inner Glow, too.

Exploring CS6’s 3D Controls.

Last week I featured some artists for inspiration, now here are some tutorials that show you how they work.

Link List, volume 42


Understanding Channels.

More things to with Channels.

Use channels to make a stereoscopic 3D image.

Add depth with Spot Colours and Channels.

Getting all spacey: Create a Red Giant Star.

Tips & Tricks

New Brush features in CS6.

Brush tool in-depth.

Brush quick tip from the gang at Photofocus.

Mask & move an object’s shadow.

How to mask hair.


Halftone Brush Set.


James White is a designer and artist working in Halifax (yeah, Can-Con). His blog is called Signalnoise and you can check out his work. Vibrant colours and simple, strong illustrations are his signature. Computer Arts Magazine, Wired UK and a personal line of merch are some of the places you can see his work.

Here’s another guy who loves colour: Chuck Anderson, also known as Nopattern. He uses photographs and ads dramatic colour and light to create his signature style. ESPN, Businessweek and others are asking for his work.

Not all great work comes out of single individuals, check out Depthcore a group of artists with complimentary styles who work collaboratively and produce art in chapters – thematic groupings of artwork. And all this collaboration has led them to do work for the latest Grammy Awards.

Link List, volume 41

Getting Comfortable with Photoshop

Colin Smith knows Photoshop. Check out his blog and Photoshop Café for all your Photoshop questions.

A tour of Photoshop’s Interface.

Think you know everything Photoshop? Try these quizzes and test your knowledge.

Still think you’ve got skills? Put them to the test and try your hand at the remix contest over at Run Your Jewels.

Basic Skills

Masking, masking masking.

Blending Modes for layers.

Intro to Layer Styles.

Efficiency with Layer Styles.

Tips & Tricks

Toggling the visibility of Layers.

Using Keyboard Shortcuts to Copy Layers.

New Feature: Color Lookup Adjustment in CS6.

Blending Modes and Layer Styles: Using Color Overlay.

What are Blending Modes for anyway? Using Hard Mix to increase contrast.


25 Skills to Master.

Turn a drawing into a 3 colour print.

Use Textures & Patterns to create realistic shoelaces.


Practical Photoshop Mag offers free textures every Tuesday, plus lots of other resources

Link List, volume 40

Exploring Photoshop

More CS6 Features & Enhancements.


Some sites to check out for tips, tricks & tutorials.

A reflective Layer Style.

Match Tone and Colour between images.

Using Color Range for Selections.

The secret of the Retro look.

Using Cs6’s New Tilt-Shift filter.


Flame Brush set.

Link List, volume 39

Welcome to a new term and to Photoshop CS6.

Here are a few things to check out to get you up to speed and comfortable with Photoshop.

Intro to Photoshop

If you haven’t checked out PSDTUTS+, head straight over to their Sessions page and immediately check out:


Follow these tutorials to flex your Photoshop muscles and learn some techniques.

Create a Retro Cityscape.

Steel Text Effect.

Tips & Tricks

What’s New in Photoshop CS6? Got an hour?

Work Faster, work Smarter.

10 Ways to be more Efficient in Photoshop.

How to cut out hair with Refine Edge.

Link List, volume 38

Well, another semester is less than a month away and with that will see a return of a Link List more focused on the Photoshop skills my students will be exploring and developing. So until then, I’m going to post a potpourri of design, business and motivation links. Enjoy the random.


Some video inspiration to get you ready for fall:

10 shorts to get you inspired.

Traditions meet: Jack Daniel’s meets the Signpainter.

Design History

I love grids, and the Penguin covers always inspire.

Know your history: an archive of Grateful Dead posters.

Going even further into design history: the amazing cathedral vaults of Europe.

Still in an historical vein, some designers on their favourite logo evolutions.

Speaking of evolution, have you seen Bruce Mau’s Redesigning Canada?


If you haven’t found Fast Company’s design blog, click here now.

Collaboration and working with like-minded individuals can help push your personal style. Look at the evolution of Depthcore.

Not everything inspiring is made by people on computers. Look to the natural world for inspiration, too. Love the shapes, patterns, lines & especially the colours!


Getting work

Tips to make yourself more employable.

Can’t get that dream job? Make it yourself. DIY employment.

Don’t forget to get testimonials for your work.

Staying Creative & Motivated

Great video: 29 Ways to Stay Creative.

What to do after you’ve started.

Staying motivated and positive: keep a journal of Awesome!

Success is work

7 traits of successful designers.

Luck is all about being ready for opportunity.

I’m not a fan of the adversarial title/tone of this post, but the advice is rock solid.

Link List, volume 37

A lot of design sites (mine included) focus on what to do after an image has been captured. This week I’ll focus on the art of photography, offering techniques that ensure the best image capture before bringing it into your design, because the truth is, Photoshop can not turn a bad image into a great one.

Photography Basics

Start at the beginning. Relearn how to shoot (or teach someone else).

100 tutorials to take you from Beginner to Expert.

Even more tutorials for any skill level. Including an article on Photographer Rights.

Put the camera down. Same approach works for all design work, too.

Specific Techniques

Using shutter speed to convey motion.

Capture Silhouettes.

Light Trails.

Using off-camera lighting. Love The Strobist, especially the Lighting 101 posts.

Know Your Camera

8 things you (don’t know) your camera can do.

Your camera’s meter can get the exposure wrong.

Controlling Depth of Field.


Colour photos from the Depression years. A beautiful archive of photos, love the saturation and deep contrast of these natural light portraits of America.

Photography of dolls. Funny and subversive.

I love Tina Hillier’s colour palette. The way she captures light and composes her subjects is so relaxing, yet still engaging and candid.

Ultimately your skill improves if you just shoot, anything and everything. Just like Girl With a Camera.

I love me some Low-Brow/Out Law style and Michael Schmidt manages to capture the vibe like a classic Life magazine photo essay. Candid and up close.

I first saw Rebekka Guðleifsóttir’s work years ago and was immediately enraptured by the macabre sense of humour in her multiple exposure work.

And I love this project. The photographer replaced the subjects’ eyes with his own.