The top 20 US design studios of 2018

Posted 01/03/2018 - 09:54

Whether you’re looking for somewhere to work or just some case-study inspiration, the United States has plenty of world-class design studios to choose from. In this post, we’ve gathered together 20 of the best design agencies of the present day. Some are huge global players, some are small and niche, and most are somewhere in-between.

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Fan's fake Doctor Who logo tricks fans

Posted 01/03/2018 - 09:38

Hot on the heels of the Doctor Who Christmas special, which saw the debut of Jodie Whittaker in the lead role, online fans thought they were getting a bonus treat with the unveiling of the show's new logo (above).

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Designer's fake Doctor Who logo tricks fans

Posted 01/03/2018 - 09:38

Hot on the heels of the Doctor Who Christmas special, which saw the debut of Jodie Whittaker in the lead role, online fans thought they were getting a bonus treat with the unveiling of the show's new logo (above).

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How to make an app

Posted 01/03/2018 - 07:22

Knowing how to make an app has never been more vital. We've covered the best iPhone apps and iPad apps for designers elsewhere on the site – but here we're looking at how to make them. Why? Because apps are everything. Without an app, a PC is a typewriter, and a smartphone or tablet is a slab of glass and metal.

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The 6 best smartphones for designers in 2018

Posted 01/03/2018 - 06:47

A modern smartphone is of course a staple of the designer – a large screen can help you improve productivity on the go, and a fantastic camera can be used to shoot textures, images for comps and pitches, and just random inspiration you see on your travels (all in high-quality).

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The best video editing software 2018

Posted 01/03/2018 - 06:38

Choose the right piece of video editing software and you can turn long, frustrating hours sat in front of your computer into a pain-free task with coherent movies, dynamic short films and sharable videos as a result.Click through to page two for our newly updated list of the best free video editing software if you're not ready to commit to a paid option just yet.The video editors we've recommen

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The best laptops for graphic design 2018

Posted 01/03/2018 - 06:30

Looking to upgrade your laptop? Maybe you're heading to college and not kitted out yet. Either way, if you're in the market for a new machine, our pick of the best laptops for graphic design will help you select the right option. When choosing a laptop for your daily design work, there are many things to consider.

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11 huge web design trends for 2018

Posted 01/03/2018 - 06:27

What were the biggest web design trends of 2017, and what will be big in 2018? As the year draws to a close, we asked leading designers and studio heads to share their views, perspectives and predictions.Just as when we brought you 10 huge graphic design trends for 2018, this isn’t about following the creative herd: it’s about taking stock of where the industry is right now.

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The best monitor calibrators for designers 2018

Posted 01/03/2018 - 06:25

Calibrating your monitor for your digital design work is a no-brainer. Not only will doing so ensure the colours and blacks in your Photoshop works, Illustrator creations and other designs be true, it'll be better for your eyes, too. After all, people see colours very differently and displays differ as well.

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Make learning a priority in 2018 with eduCBA training

Posted 01/03/2018 - 05:43

They say that you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but it's just not true. It's never too late to learn a new skill. It doesn't matter if you're hoping to further your career or just want to pick up some skills for fun.

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The best drawing tablet: our pick of the best graphics tablets in 2018

Posted 01/03/2018 - 05:18

Investing in the best drawing tablet for your needs and budget is essential for any digital artist or illustrator. Sure, a standard tablet combined with a decent stylus – or an iPad Pro with iOS 11 – can be used. But buying a dedicated graphics tablet gives illustrators and creative professionals far greater flexibility. So which model is best for you?

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5 best laptops for Photoshop

Posted 01/03/2018 - 05:16

There are a few factors to consider when you're looking for the best laptop for Photoshop work.

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The 10 commandments of business card design

Posted 01/03/2018 - 05:02

In an increasingly digital age, an innovative business card has the power to make a real impact on a potential client, collaborator or employer. Take a chance encounter at a networking event, say. Sure, you could follow them on Twitter and give them your LinkedIn profile, but maybe the Wi-Fi is patchy – what then?

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The best 4K monitors for designers 2018

Posted 01/03/2018 - 04:42

Choosing the best monitor for graphic design, illustration, 3D, photo editing and more can be a bit of a minefield.

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5 best laptops for video editing

Posted 01/03/2018 - 04:04

Having the right video editing tools can make a world of difference. That's why we've put together our pick of the best laptops for video editing. After all, choose the wrong video editing laptop and you'll waste hours in post-production wrestling with erratic touchpads, squinting at pixelated images and drumming your fingers as your work slowly exports. 

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The best mouse of 2018: 4 pro computer mice for designers

Posted 01/03/2018 - 01:00

Sure, you've got your laptop and monitor sorted.

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The 5 best laptops for photo editing

Posted 01/03/2018 - 00:46

Assessing which is the best laptop for photo editing can be a confusing task – but we can help. We've gone for a broad selection of photo-editing laptops here, offering up a couple of more powerful models with Intel's beefed-up Iris graphics.

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30 life skills every designer should master

Posted 01/02/2018 - 12:00

The life of a happy and fulfilled designer is all about learning new skills and pushing your creative energy in new directions. But there are certain core talents everyone needs to know to get the most out of life.

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The best January deals for designers and artists

Posted 01/02/2018 - 11:07

The January sales are upon us – and with them, some of the best deals on creative hardware and software you'll find all year. Here, we’ve rounded up the best January deals for designers, illustrators and artists on our favourite creative gear, both for work and play. Whether you're based in the US or the UK, you'll find the best creative hardware and software January bargains below. 

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10 huge graphic design trends to know for 2018

Posted 01/02/2018 - 10:00

What were the biggest graphic design trends of 2017, and what graphic design trends will be big in 2018?

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Upgrade your design skills in 2018

Posted 01/02/2018 - 09:00

The dawn of a new year is a good time to evaluate how your career is going and how you can bring it to the next level. So what should you learn, and how? There's no easy answer. The skillsets of senior designers vary enormously, and almost everyone has knowledge gaps in some areas.In this article, we'll explore photography, animation, business skills, coding, and prototyping and UX.

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Be a better artworker

Posted 01/02/2018 - 07:59

The term 'artworker' can mean different things to different people.

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How to publish your own books on a shoestring

Posted 01/02/2018 - 07:00

Ever wanted to design and publish your own books? We certainly have. Leading designers Tony Brook and Adrian Shaughnessy thought the same too.

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How to sculpt a character in VR

Posted 01/02/2018 - 06:03

You may be forgiven for thinking that the Oculus Rift VR headset was created solely for use as a gaming device. That is no longer the case, as there are now lots of creation tools springing up, including VR sculpting and painting apps.This project will show you how virtual reality can be used in a character concept pipeline.

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10 designers' New Year's resolutions for 2018

Posted 01/02/2018 - 05:30

For most people, New Year’s resolutions are a matter of willpower – eating, drinking and smoking less, going to the gym more often, saving money. And by their very nature, they’re unlikely to last beyond a couple of weeks in January. But the change to a new calendar can also mean something different for designers.

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15 tips for creating characterful creature art

Posted 01/02/2018 - 05:00

There’s really no limit to how much you can learn when it comes to drawing and painting animals.

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Review: Adobe Creative Cloud All-in-One For Dummies

Posted 01/01/2018 - 07:00

Hey, it’s OK to be a dummy sometimes; especially when it comes to the complexities and nuances of the increasingly vast Adobe Creative Cloud suite.

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New year, new skills: learn new tricks at Vertex

Posted 01/01/2018 - 03:00

With the new year upon us, we can’t think of a better way to refresh your workflow with our brilliant masterclasses and workshops at Vertex, our event to bring the CG community together!We have a broad range of sessions to attract any artist and they’ve been carefully curated.

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The theory of UX

Posted 12/30/2017 - 11:00

User experience is not magic. You don’t run a simple test that Becky the marketing intern read a blog about once and uncover quick-fix solutions to generate huge growth. UX strategy is a science: a science that has been around since long before the first computer blipped into existence and long before UX became a buzzword. All scientific theories begin as a hypothesis.

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What will Brexit mean for the British VFX and CG industry?

Posted 12/30/2017 - 03:00

On 23 June 2016, the UK voted in favour of leaving the European Union and putting restrictions on the free movement of EU citizens into the country.While Parliament is currently collating its report from an inquiry on ‘The impact of Brexit on the creative industries, tourism and the digital single market inquiry’, some are already considering the effects that Brexit will have on the VFX and CG

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Biggest trends in product packaging design for 2018

Posted 12/29/2017 - 12:46

As the year draws to a close, it’s a good time to consider the biggest packaging design trends of 2017 – and predict the big packaging design trends of 2018. Product packaging design is one of the most dynamic and interesting graphic arts niches. It is ubiquitous, yet it demands a high level of skilled design.

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20 best free fonts of 2017

Posted 12/29/2017 - 11:00

We all love a free font. But with so many new free fonts continually being released, it’s easy to get a little lost.So in this post, we’ve brought together our favourite new free fonts of the year. If you still can’t find you’re looking for, though, check out our list of free font resources and that should get you there.
01. IBM Plex

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20 best album covers of 2017

Posted 12/29/2017 - 09:00

From pencil drawings to bold photography, this year's best album covers showcased a huge range of styles. It was a year where music artworks sparked debate – three album releases in the first half of the year prompted us to ask whether we had entered the era of bad graphic design and we wondered whether Selena Gomez's Wolves single cover art was deliberately awful or not.

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20 best album covers 2017

Posted 12/29/2017 - 09:00

From pencil drawings to bold photography, this year's best album covers showcased a huge range of styles. It was a year where album covers sparked debate (three releases in the first half of the year prompted us to ask whether we had entered the era of bad graphic design), and it seems the way in which music artists package and present their work is more important than ever.

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5 quick and easy ways to fix your portfolio

Posted 12/29/2017 - 05:00

Giving your portfolio a quick once-over to freshen it up is always a great idea, and as we start a new year, what better time is there to get on with it?

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The best drawing tablet: our pick of the best graphics tablets in 2017

Posted 12/29/2017 - 04:21

Investing in the best drawing tablet for your needs and budget is essential for any digital artist or illustrator. Sure, a standard tablet combined with a decent stylus – or an iPad Pro with iOS 11 – can be used. But buying a dedicated graphics tablet gives illustrators and creative professionals far greater flexibility. So which model is best for you?

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Become a games artist with ImagineFX issue 157

Posted 12/29/2017 - 04:00

Industry experts reveal what it takes to succeed in the games industry in ImagineFX 157 – on sale now!Computer games graphics and art styles have come a long way since Pong and Pac Man, and there are plenty of opportunities for artists to get involved and shape how digital worlds look. Take Raphael Lacoste for example, the art director behind the huge Assassin's Creed series.

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Speed up performance with Vue.JS

Posted 12/29/2017 - 03:00

As with any component-based library, managing state in Vue can be tricky. While the application is small, it’s possible to keep things in sync by emitting events when values change. However, this can get brittle and prone to errors as the application grows, so it may be better to get a more centralised solution in from the start.If you’re familiar with Flux and Redux, Vuex works much the same.

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5 fantastic design fails – and what we can learn from them

Posted 12/28/2017 - 23:29

Design is a problem-solving process. It’s up to you to come up with the best solution for the client’s brief, on time and on budget. And if you can, everyone’s happy.Sometimes though, the process doesn't work like that.

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The complete guide to SVG

Posted 12/28/2017 - 08:08

Scalable Vector Graphics are now universally supported across all browsers (desktop and mobile) . Here's our guide to what they are, and how to design and implement them in your web design work.First, here are eight reasons why you should be using SVG:
01. Vectors are crisp

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32 brilliant design portfolios to inspire you

Posted 12/28/2017 - 05:11

The internet is overflowing with awe-inspiring design portfolios and creative resumes. To stand out in this tough market, it's important to make your online portfolio as impressive as you can.

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Master the knife tool

Posted 12/28/2017 - 03:00

Sometimes getting back to the basics is vital to staying on top of your game, as renewing your skills can reinvigorate your passion and you never know, you may just find an option or method you hadn't noticed or tried before.In 3D World's Essentials column each month, Vertex speaker Mike Griggs delves into the fundamental elements of 3D, which cross the boundaries of application, to reinforce y

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The 5 biggest typography trends of 2017

Posted 12/27/2017 - 09:00

It's important that designers have a solid understanding of the rules of typography,  but that doesn't mean there isn't room for some creativity. Just as with any area of design, certain typographic approaches become fashionable or fall out of favour.

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5 essential JavaScript tools for 2018

Posted 12/27/2017 - 03:00

Another year has ended and the tooling landscape has become simultaneously more exciting and complex.

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The star-studded world of illustrator Greg Ruth

Posted 12/26/2017 - 11:00

Houston, Texas, was a city obsessed with three things: sports, money and guns. Greg Ruth tried to fit in. As a boy, he'd go to football games. He liked to critique the "outfits" and would ask fellow attendees which team they thought had the coolest team badge, or the neatest helmet design. They answered him with blank stares.  

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Paint an energetic seascape in oils

Posted 12/26/2017 - 07:00

If you've ever been on a boat or ship at sea, you might recall the smell of the sea air, the salty spray on your lips and the physical effort required to compensate for the rolling and pitching motion.For this workshop, I decided to recreate these sensations in the studio using a combination of sketches and photo references, but mostly drawing upon my own vivid memories of what it feels like to

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6 ways to speed up your modelling

Posted 12/26/2017 - 03:00

A more efficient workflow is the obvious benefit of improving your speed sculpting technique, but that’s not the only advantage; it can also boost your creativity, helping you to produce even more interesting and vibrant work.Of course, the key to perfecting your technique is usually practice; for example, if you want to sculpt anatomy quickly and confidently, the best way to achieve this is to

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The best 4K monitors for designers 2017

Posted 12/26/2017 - 02:37

Choosing the best monitor for graphic design, illustration, 3D, photo editing and more can be a bit of a minefield.

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Discover the secrets of The Last Jedi with 3D World 230

Posted 12/24/2017 - 09:00

The new issue of 3D World is out now and it's full of inspirational insights into the latest visual effects and animation projects, as well as the best tutorials and reviews to help you improve your art and make the most of your tools.Here's some of the great content you can expect to see in the new issue, on sale now.
Buy 3D World issue 230 here
Feature: ILM on The last Jedi

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Create a glowing neon text effect

Posted 12/23/2017 - 08:00

Often, it's the simplest effects that look the most striking, and neon text is one such project. It's also much easier to create a neon effect that looks realistic than you might think. While this entire tutorial only uses one background image, your brain tricks itself into seeing this as a real, functioning neon sign – that's the power of Photoshop CC's layer styles. 

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Reader survey: get six design handbooks free (worth £54)

Posted 12/23/2017 - 06:25

We want to make Creative Bloq even better for you in 2018. We want to bring you the news, how dos, inspiration, insight and advice that you need to become better designers and artists. But we need your help.
Participate in the Creative Bloq reader survey

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4 steps to better VDM with ZBrush

Posted 12/23/2017 - 03:00

Freelance 3D artist and Vertex panelist Maya Jermy shows you how to master VDM. She will be appearing at Vertex as part of the panel on digital humans.Vector Displacement Mesh (VDM) is a 3D sculpt used as brush building blocks that enables undercutting when drawing on a model’s surface. But what exactly does it mean? The simplest way to understand it is to start with alphas.

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