Become an award-winning illustrator: 6 top tips

Posted 12/22/2017 - 10:00

I spent my early, bohemian years in fashion design amidst the best pencils, watercolours, markers and pens. I kind of miss those days, but once I made the choice to move to the Wacom Cintiq 13HD, there was no going back.  My education started in an art institute, we’re talking ‘90s when all the internet was geek stuff, so my training was analogue.

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How to paint a cityscape with blocks of colour

Posted 12/22/2017 - 09:00

Breathtaking views, stunning skylines and beautiful cityscapes make great photographs, but can be rather daunting from the artist's point of view. The amount of details can be overwhelming and it is difficult to know how to draw and paint it all.Instead of capturing all of the detail, try to view the scene in an abstract way, as a series of shapes and colours, or patches of light and shadows.

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The best free graphic design software

Posted 12/22/2017 - 07:24

Not everyone has the cash to spend kitting themselves out with the most expensive graphic design software, particularly when starting a new business or embarking on a new career in design.

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10 top speed painting tips

Posted 12/22/2017 - 07:00

Speed painting is exactly what you'd imagine – creating art against the clock. Artists give themselves a limited time to finish a piece of work, from a few minutes to a couple of hours. It is a great way for beginners to learn how to paint and for more experienced artists to hone their painting techniques.

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15 great parallax scrolling websites

Posted 12/22/2017 - 06:00

One web design trend that refuses to go away is parallax scrolling. With this, the website layout sees the background of the web page moving at a slower rate to the foreground, creating a 3D effect as you scroll.

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The best laptops for graphic design 2017

Posted 12/22/2017 - 05:28

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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5 biggest logo design trends of 2017

Posted 12/22/2017 - 04:53

A great logo, now more than ever, must cut through an awful lot of noise. The art lies in working out exactly how you do that. There's a lot of overlap in the logo design trends we've picked out here.

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Get top advice from DNeg, Framestore and MPC artists

Posted 12/22/2017 - 03:00

What is it?

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10 sketching tips for beginners

Posted 12/22/2017 - 01:00

The Beginner's Guide to Sketching is a book that offers lots of inspiration and advice for anyone looking to take their first creative steps or wanting to add a new piece to their design portfolio. The comprehensive guide covers everything from choosing the right drawing tools to understanding shading and value, adding colour, and creating a finished scene.

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18 brilliant jQuery plugins

Posted 12/22/2017 - 00:00

When John Resig developed the jQuery library back in 2006, he can't have imagined that it would become the most popular JavaScript library on the web, or that it would have tens of thousands of plugins written for it.

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10 reasons not to date a designer

Posted 12/21/2017 - 23:00

It's the time when love is all around. Maybe you're thinking about asking out a designer you've had your eye on for a while now? Because everybody loves designers, right? How could they not?Well, if you really believe that, then it's time for a dose of unpalatable truth.

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Get inspired by Shopify's workspace

Posted 12/21/2017 - 12:19

When ecommerce software company Shopify moved to its new Ottawa, Canada headquarters in September 2014, we explored the halls like kids on a tour of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.Six floors – totalling 102,000 square feet – are filled with coworking pods, cosy corners and places to put your feet up.

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Learn the art of negotiation

Posted 12/21/2017 - 11:01

At the AOI we always say: 'If you don't ask, you don't get.' An initial offer from your client may seem considerable and tempting, but is it the best offer for the kind of work you're about to create?

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10 best new web design tools for December

Posted 12/21/2017 - 10:45

Many of this month's tools focus on the little things: finding shortcuts, dealing with special characters, digitising your sketches, and improving collaboration between designers and developers. On top of that, there's a free video series on learning React, a hub for startup knowledge from Google, and a few other things that will generally make your life easier when building websites. Let's get

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Create a character with a strong pose in Photoshop

Posted 12/21/2017 - 09:29

Creating exaggerated male characters is all about exaggeration, pushing the shapes, fun, motion and camera angle to the limit. A character design with cool shapes, interesting colour choices and fun silhouettes creates a strong first impression, which is going to make your image stand out from the crowd, drawing the audience in. 

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Get your portfolio roasted by a top designer this Christmas

Posted 12/21/2017 - 07:31

In the spirit of festive giving, a campaign has launched that offers fledgling creatives the chance to have their design portfolio roasted like a Christmas turkey by a leading industry pro. Merry Critmas invites designers (depending on their experience) to either submit their book for critique, or offer their expertise to review a budding creative's work – and it has already attracted some mass

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Become a certified designer with this crash course

Posted 12/21/2017 - 07:01

Graphic designers know their way around Adobe's Creative Cloud apps Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. They are the applications experts rely on and are packed with tools to help make your work truly shine. You can master these programs with the Graphic Design Certification School. Get it on sale now for just $39 (approx.

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The 14 best free blogging platforms

Posted 12/21/2017 - 06:00

It used to be said that everyone has a book in them, but these days, it might be more appropriate to argue everyone has a viral blog post in them.

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The best MacBook deals for Christmas 2017

Posted 12/21/2017 - 05:00

If you're after the best cheap MacBook deals this Christmas, you're in luck. A good laptop makes the world of difference for a designer, and with a MacBook you know that you're getting a high quality device – but they're also expensive.

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Top designers reveal their first paid commissions

Posted 12/21/2017 - 02:16

For new designers and graduates, once you've made a beautiful online portfolio and perfected your creative resumé, it's all about landing your first paid commission or design job. 

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5 design fails to learn from

Posted 12/20/2017 - 23:29

Design is a problem-solving process. It’s up to the creative to use their brain to come up with the best solution for the client’s brief, and if they can do that with their signature flourish, on time and on budget, everyone’s happy.Sometimes though, design ideas are just plain wrong for the brief that’s been set.

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32 graphic designers to follow on Instagram

Posted 12/20/2017 - 22:00

With over 700 million monthly active users, Instagram is one of the most effective social media networks for graphic designers.

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The 14 best photo editor apps

Posted 12/20/2017 - 12:00

Photoshop is the world's go-to photo editor – so much so that the word has become verbified, like 'Hoover' or 'Google'.

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11 best pieces of user testing software

Posted 12/20/2017 - 11:58

User testing is an intricate part of UX design. Understanding how your user interacts with your design is crucial to crafting the best user experience to help visitors to achieve their task and overall to increase conversions.Running your own user testing lab, including finding and hiring your own target audience and setting up hardware can be expensive and time-consuming.

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The best mouse of 2017: 4 pro computer mice for designers

Posted 12/20/2017 - 11:00

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

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The best computer mouse: 4 pro options for designers

Posted 12/20/2017 - 11:00

Sure, you've got your laptop and monitor sorted. But what's the best mouse for designers and creatives? The humble mouse is probably one of the most important tools you use each day, so it's essential to find one that is both responsive and comfortable.

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Behind the scenes on the design of the BBC's new font

Posted 12/20/2017 - 10:11

Earlier this year, the BBC commissioned independent font foundry Dalton Maag to design a font family. Starting with Latin and Cyrillic character sets, BBC Reith had to support almost 100 languages from day one. The BBC wanted a font for everyone that would echo its typographic legacy, while balancing contemporary form with function.

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10 top traditional art tools for December

Posted 12/20/2017 - 09:06

This month, we've got our usual round up of the best new art books. It includes a look at the career of Mexico's most famous artist (that isn't Frida Kahlo – though it's not far off) whose work feels particularly relevant today. There's a monograph about one of Britain's most innovative comic book artists.

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Surprisingly sexy branding revealed for World Chess Championship 2018

Posted 12/20/2017 - 06:49

World Chess has played a winning move with its surprisingly raunchy branding for the 2018 World Chess Championship match, unveiled this week.

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Make your designs more user friendly with this bundle

Posted 12/20/2017 - 06:34

It's not enough for a design to just look good – they have to feel good to use, as well. Your users want apps and websites that are intuitive and easy to interact with. Learn the most important elements of creating engaging designs with the UI and UX Design Bootcamp.

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25 tips for Unreal Engine 4

Posted 12/20/2017 - 05:59

Since public release in 2014, Unreal Engine 4 has set and raised the bar for third party engines. It's now free 
to use and there's no better time to get creating 3D art on your own. Epic's engine is capable of producing truly incredible  visuals.

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The best Christmas gifts for graphic designers

Posted 12/20/2017 - 02:01

Graphic designers can be the hardest people to please at Christmas. No way will they put up with some glittery mass-produced card from W.H.

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The best Microsoft Surface deals for Christmas 2017

Posted 12/19/2017 - 11:57

If you're looking to bag a brilliant deal on a Surface Book, Surface Pro or any other model in Microsoft's fantastic Surface family, then you've come to the right place. We're collecting all the best Microsoft Surface deals right here, as soon as they appear.So far, the best savings we've seen have arrived in the form of Surface Book deals.

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Top 10 tools for digital artists this December

Posted 12/19/2017 - 11:01

This month we're taking a look at what you need to get started with digital illustration.

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5 tips for better image manipulation

Posted 12/19/2017 - 09:56

Part of mastering image editing in Photoshop is learning how to save time with image manipulation tricks and useful tools. Here we share five hard-earned tips from professional designers that will help to put you on track to work more efficiently.
Christmas offer: Save up to 47% on a subscription to Computer Arts magazine01. Learn smart objects

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Which CG discipline is right for you?

Posted 12/19/2017 - 09:09

If your dream job is to create beautiful 3D art, but you're not entirely sure where your skills fit in a CG pipeline, never fear.

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What NOT to get a graphic designer for Christmas

Posted 12/19/2017 - 08:00

Buying a Christmas gift for a graphic designer is a minefield, which is why we've given you some great ideas in our 2017 gift guides such as The best Christmas gifts for graphic designers and The best Christmas gifts for design students. But to ensure that you're on the right track (and with tongues firmly in cheeks), we've created this handy infographic guide to what not to buy.

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Turn photos into videos with a subscription to Picovico

Posted 12/19/2017 - 06:57

It’s hard to make your photos stand out on social media when feeds are already filled with all sorts of pictures. Picovico can take your pictures and make them into eye-catching slideshows and videos. Get it on sale now for just $49.99 (approx. £38).Picovico understands that while we’re in the age of visual media, it’s all about videos right now.

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9 things nobody tells you about going freelance

Posted 12/19/2017 - 05:00

Until November 2014, I was editor-in-chief of Creative Bloq's sister Apple titles, MacFormat, MacLife and more. Then I decided to go it alone, and spent the next year-and-a-half working from home as a freelance writer, speaker and consultant.That leap – from secure full-time employment to uncertainty – wasn't one I took lightly.

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5 best laptops for video editing in 2017

Posted 12/19/2017 - 03:28

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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Designing Wind

Posted 12/19/2017 - 02:08

Notes on Designing and Producing the Typeface Wind Hansje van Halem is a graphic designer who works with type. She blurs the boundaries between type and image, between foreground and background, often creating seductive patterns that only reveal their texts only when viewed from the distance, making the reader work hard to decode their message. […]

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Beijing 2022 Olympic logos are a calligraphic delight

Posted 12/18/2017 - 12:15

While most of us are winding down for the year and looking forward to what 2018 has in store, the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics organising committee is planning even further ahead with the launch of the official logo designs for the games.As the name suggests, Beijing 2022 is due to take place in five year's time.

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The best design magazine subscription deals

Posted 12/18/2017 - 12:10

Get ahead in 2018 with a subscription to one of our leading creative industry magazines – and save a fortune while doing so. Our range of magazines cover all areas of design, from illustration to web design, and 3D art to graphic design, so there's something for everyone, regardless of skill level.What's more, there are currently some amazing deals across all of our design magazines.

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Last chance to buy the perfect Christmas present

Posted 12/18/2017 - 12:10

Ahead of Christmas, what could be a better gift for the creative in your life than a design magazine subscription? Our range of magazines cover all areas of design, from illustration to web design, and 3D art to graphic design, so there's something for everyone, regardless of skill level.What's more, there are currently some amazing deals across all of our design magazines.

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Learn to code easily with this affordable bundle

Posted 12/18/2017 - 11:45

The web is an exciting place, with new developments happening all the time.

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The 10 commandments of Photoshop etiquette

Posted 12/18/2017 - 10:57

As a designer, chances are you use Photoshop as part of your Creative Cloud package (although there are alternatives to Photoshop available). And at some point in your career you will have a job or project where the end goal is to pass your Photoshop files onto someone else.Many of us have been on the receiving end of that relationship.

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How to create amazing effects with CSS Shapes

Posted 12/18/2017 - 09:59

Frontend developers tend to think in rectangles; rectangles inside rectangles inside rectangles inside rectangles. We might employ tricks with borders to make circles or triangles, but really they’re still just rectangular boxes in disguise. Well this is about to change with CSS Shapes, a W3C Candidate Recommendation that will change the way you think.

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Big branding trends to watch out for in 2018

Posted 12/18/2017 - 09:02

Predicting the big branding and logo design trends for the year ahead means putting into practice lessons learned and tested in months gone by, while preparing for the shift to come. Alternatively, it requires gauging the change that has already happened and trying to further shift it in a desired direction. 

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A short lesson on colour theory

Posted 12/18/2017 - 08:00

Do you know your secondary colours from your tertiary colours? How about the difference between a hue and a value? With so many different terms in the world of art and design, it's easy to forget things. That's why designer and animator Rhea Lelina Manglapus has put together this animated crash course on colour theory.

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10 tips for sculpting in VR

Posted 12/18/2017 - 06:05

VR sculpting takes some getting used to, but the payoff is well worth the effort – you can create incredible things in VR. Plus while you work you can pick up and rotate your model, walk through doorways and experience your work in a whole new way. Here are 10 tips to get you started with sculpting in VR.

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Join Nominet for a glimpse into the future of digital

Posted 12/18/2017 - 05:04

The Vibrant Digital Future summit is a brand new, flagship conference that promises to give you a glimpse into the future of digital, teach you how to stay ahead of the curve and innovate – no time machine required.

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5 reasons not to use free stock images

Posted 12/18/2017 - 04:58

These days, we’re all used to getting things for free. Why buy a newspaper when you can read The Metro, or get the news online for nothing? Why buy a CD when you can listen to the album without charge on Spotify? And there are so many free design resources online, it’s easy to get into the habit of not having to pay for anything here either.

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