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 35

More tutorials to help you refine your skills and master our tools of the trade.



Create a luscious pair of lips from a photo.

 Tips & Tricks

I love the new pattern feature in CS6 and here are a couple of videos demonstrating its use: from Adobe and from Computer Arts magazine.



Make your own 3D Paper Craft calendar.

Setting up and planning a magazine.

Tips & Tricks

Using Fx to simulate stickers & tape.

Typographic Quick Tip: Kerning.



Combining Illustrator vectors and Photoshop to create abstract shards.

Quickly turn a photo into a sketch with Gaussian Blur.

Combine analog textures and hand-drawn art.

Two retro film effects: Fuji Velvia and the Lomo effect.

Tips & Tricks

Adjusting tones with the Dodge & Burn tool.

Enhancing reflections in landscape photography.

The Color Lookup Adjustment Layer.

Link List, volume 32


Using multiple applications is a great way to get the outcome you want. Here’s a simple abstract line design that starts in Illustrator and finishes in Photoshop.

Creating a grungy blackletter effect using Illustrator & Photoshop.

Here’s another multi app tutorial that starts with custom type in Illustrator and ends with a cosmic scene in Photoshop.

An awesome place for tutorials on all things Adobe is Layers Magazine. I really like this Photoshop 3D tutorial on creating a DNA strand.



Create a bright abstract lines background.

Basic compositing: Fixing bleached out skies.

Masking Transparent Elements.

Tips & Tricks

Creating Neon FX with Layer Styles.

Getting into Layer Styles: Understanding Drop Shadows

Become a Master: 101 Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts.

Design Inspiration


Need to kick start your creativity? Here’s a great project idea: Creative Cards. Maybe it’ll inspire you to re-imagine another common object in your life?

The films of Studio Ghibli as Penguin Book covers. Too bad the Studio Ghibli site isn’t in English…

Postcards from everywhere/nowhere, the Wander Blog project.


The type stylings of Jessica Hische.

An interview with Chuck Anderson, NoPattern.

Monday Link List, volume 24

Let’s start with the future. Some sneak peaks at some new features to be included with Illustrator CS6:

First, Pattern Creation. Love how it updates live as you work.

And this one is absolute magic! Gradients on Strokes. Such an awesome feature, no more Blends or Appearance workarounds.

Defiantly a mixed bag of resources this week. The usual tutorials, some resources (high res images & vectors), Design Theory, and some inspiration. Enjoy.


Masking Patterns in Illustrator.

Psychedelic Portrait using the Width Tool, Stroke Profiles & Custom Brushes.

A whole bunch of video tutorials you should watch.

Using Styles to control text in Illustrator.

Create a Geometric Flower.


Great site for resources, business/motivation & tutorials: Design Instruct.

Vector Floral Sets.

Design Theory

I like this article on working with Visual Weight.

Infographics to help with Typography, Colour Theory and Web Design.

How about a summer reading list?

A Graphic Design Primer, Part 1,  Part 2, and Part 3.


Japanese Graphic Design from the 1920s & 30s.

Scandinavian Logo Design from the 1960s & 70s.

Monday Link List, volume 20

Tool Techniques

Using Shape Builder to create a Celtic Knot.

Applying Width Profiles to Strokes and using the Width Tool.

Draw Inside & Draw Behind modes.

Quick review of the 3D tool. Like the text effect created here.

Using the Bristle Brush to create textures in an illustration.

Color Guide – remapping colours in an illustration.


Create a retro-futuristic chrome type effect.

Drawing a lotus flower using Gradient Mesh.

Creating a volume bar for an application or web interface. As a challenge, try to create this object using as few shapes as possible utilizing the Appearance pallet.

Eye popping explosion effect. Includes my favourite trick, using the tilde (~) when drawing.

Tutorial Round-up:

40 posters, logos, portraits and more.
15 text effects. How many of these can you use for other applications?

Not everything exists in isolation: 3 tutorials that combine Illustrator & Photoshop:

Metal plating pattern. 

Custom Damask pattern.


Illustrator keyboard shortcuts.

Monday Link List, volume 16

Back to Basics

Graphic Design Principles: Balance, Proximity, Alignment, Repletion, Contrast.

Why Grids? It is a tool for generating form, arranging images, and organizing, information, and  The main idea behind grid-based designs is a solid visual and structural balance.

Anotomy of Grids.

Sketching and Grids speed up design.

Using (and Breaking) Grids.

Quick Tool Tips

The Bristle Brush (and Draw Inside).

Op Art with Envelope Distort.

Using Envelope Distort with the Polar Mesh Tool.

The Blob Brush.

Warp Tools.

Using the Pencil & Smooth Tools.

Complex Symbols using Pathfinder.

Putting Type onto a badge (typing around a circle).

Creating a star burst using Stroke.

10 Tips to give your work polish.

Getting some Perspective – using the Perspective Grid

Defining a Perspective Grid.

Drawing in Perspective.

Mapping flat artwork to a Perspective Grid.

Using Perspective Grid to quickly create a product box.

More Perspective – 3D tools and other ways to create art in perspective

Create a 3D rocket.

Add embossed letters to a cube.

Creating Isometric Illustrations.

Create a Geometric Pattern.

3d Chrome Text.

Making & Using Symbols

Quick tip – make & use Symbols.

Working efficiently with Symbols.

Symbols Indepth.

Monday Link List, volume 11


Fun with layer styles.

Sharpening techniques.

Fixing a blown out sky.

Using the Patch tool (destructive editing, I know!)

Tips & Tricks

Working with Smart Text.

Design Resources

Considerations & Methods for picking your colour palette.


The amazing geometric patterns of Andy Gilmore.

Monday Link List, volume 7


Turn day into night.

Masking Fundamentals a sample tutorial form

Some great composition techniques.

Using Photoshop for Fine Art & Illustration.

Cool technique: Adding sunbeams to an image.

It might be from 2010, but there’s some great tips, tracks & tutorials in this Smashing Magazine roundup.

Still struggling to grasp Refine Edge? Watch this video tutorial from Terry White.

Tips & Tricks

Working with Layer Groups.

Monday Link List, volume 5


Great set of Advanced Photoshop video tutorials

2 sets of tutorials from Russel Brown, Senior Creative Director at Adobe: Camera Raw & Smart Objects and Scripts, Panels & Actions

Compositing a 3D object into a photograph

Photo realistic tips and tricks from Bert Monroy: Pixel Perfect

Tips & Tricks

20 Photoshop Tricks you should know, Part 1 and Part 2.

Monday Link List, volume 2


How big should your body copy be on a web page?

Another Column Calculator:

Created Golden Ration columns for your layout

Cool Tips & Tricks:

A Dozen Cool Photoshop CS5 Features.

Save your settings, and even make a record of your work.

Photoshop Etiquette – best practices.


Using Text Frames:

Controlling text fields.

Mastering Layer Styles:

Mastering Layer Styles.

More Layer Style Tips.

Web Design, Layout Tutorials:

A whole bunch of layout tutorials.

Create a blog layout in Photoshop.

Web Design, Page Element Tutorials:

Buttons, navigation, type and other elements.

Page element tutorials and other resources.

More about the Deblur demo:

So, when can we see the Deblur filter in Photoshop? When they’ve perfected it.