Month: September 2008

Salomon Snowboard Graphics Winners and Templates

I was wandering around cyberspace looking for info on Snowboard Graphics. Along with the many tutorials I found for creating snowboard graphics, one site stood out. Salomon (you know – the ski company) has a snowboard graphic design contest each year. The 2008 contest is over already, but the winners are listed on their site along with the winning designs. After browsing through the eye candy, I noticed that they had their snowboard templates still available for download! Sweet. You see, all of the tutorials I had seen for designing your own snowboard graphics all consisted mostly of how to create the outline/shape/vector of a snowboard (not thrilling). Then they tell you to put your graphic on it… Well anyways, I am going to skip the tutorial, because I know you know how to copy and paste your own graphics. Creating your own graphics is something that we all have to learn to do and is too large in scope to go through in just one post (ah duh). Now back to the templates… yes, they provide the front and back in both .psd and .eps formats so that you may either use Illustrator and or Photoshop to design your own cool snowboard graphics. I am going to redistribute the templates here at PaperFlame just in case they remove them (which I don’t think they will). The templates are at the bottom of...

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Photoshop Tip: Easy Open Image

Over the years I have looked over the shoulder of many different designers while they use Photoshop. You would not believe how many of them use the File> Open command with their mouse to load a new image. Whenever I tell them the simpler way, they first pause as though they are contemplating whether or not they should try something new. Next, they double click the grey area as told… As the smile widens on their face they proceed to try it over and over as if they don’t really believe that it is this easy all the while mentally adding up the time they have wasted with the File> open command. I should add that you can also just drag an image into the Photoshop application wiindow to open an image.  It really is the little things in life that can make one...

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Free Pixel Fonts: When. Where. How.

As a designer or not, you may or may not be aware that most fonts do not look very nice to the eye when they get too small. Even if anti-aliasing is used, the fonts just lose their clarity. The typographical cure to all this? Pixel Fonts. No anti-aliasing needed. Pure Pixels. Created for the digital pixel screen used by computers, they are a refreshing answer to the fuzzy font blues. Pixel Fonts are created by their designers at specific sizes and should only be shown at that size or in specific multiples. You cannot randomly scale the size of Pixel Fonts and do not use “points” to specify the font size – only use pixel size. They will not look correct otherwise. Also, as I said before, Pixel Fonts were created so as not to use anti-aliasing. Make sure you set anti-aliasing to “none” when using this type of font. If it is an anti-aliasing font that you want, then your reading the wrong post! Now lets get on with this. Some of the best uses of pixel fonts I have seen are incorporated in websites designed with flash. Pixel Fonts are commonly used in some of those ultra slick and modern flash websites (you know what I’m talking about).  Slowly, the Web 2.0 flavor has phased out that look somewhat, but I still come across quite a few of these sites. Do realize, that you don’t...

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Handwriting Font – Olicana by Nick Cooke

Feast your eyes on this very authentic handwriting font by Nick Cooke who studied Graphic Design at Blackpool College. I love how this handwriting font exudes the “inky” feel that it does. Full of imperfections and irregularities it really makes one believe at first glance that you may be looking at real handwriting. Real enough that you may find yourself looking around for a feather and a well of India ink. The font asks nothing of you and seems content within it’s own obvious imperfection. I find it both elegant and sloppy at the same time. Available in both rough and smooth versions, it’s possibilities become even more apparent. I prefer the “Don Johnson” stubbly rough version. Also included are Ink splats and scratchy lines to really heighten the effect. This is not a free font, and I am not suggesting that you purchase. I just wanted to show and tell. Olicana by Nick...

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Photoshop Tip: Rid The Grid – Hiding Transparency

Simple tip. This is geared towards Photoshop newbies as are a majority of the tips I post. Remember there are some people that may have just used Photoshop for their first time and have lots of questions (I know I did). This tip will introduce the concept of “Preferences” which is applicable to most programs. The Transparency grid (which I actually like more than not) can sometimes get in the way when trying to view your work. Layer on top of layer on top of layer… Gradients and flare effects can sometimes get lost when viewed on top of “The Grid” (being the Transparency Grid or some say – Checkerboard). Well, there are options! In the Photoshop Application, Just go to Edit> Preferences> Then choose “Transparency & Gamut”. When the Dialogue box opens, you can change the Grid Size to “None”. Yes I know… simple, but if it was something you didn’t know.. then it is genius! While your under the hood, get familiar with the other preferences that can be changed. Now you are in full...

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