Archive for March, 2010

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Creative Photography by Mehmet Turgut

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Mehmet Turgut is an extremely creative and talented fashion photographer based in Ankara, Turkey. I’ve been watching and enjoying his work for more than six years now; you could say I’m a really big fan.

I can’t keep it to myself, it wouldn’t be fair. It’s time to show you all some of his amazing and creative work, which varies from editorial and fine art to music and commercial work. When combining his makeup, Photoshop and photography skills, he’s probably one of the best in the field.

prophet

fallmedown

limit

intheinferno

jul

candygirl

made from earth

sign

tune

julia

magazine

blue green

giddin

efor

dance

berksan

ok

grippin

canan

yahsi

Nice work, don’t you think? I’ve selected my personal favorites over the years, but you can find your own at http://mehmeturgut.deviantart.com and http://www.mehmetturgut.com

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Posted in Inspiration | 2 Comments »

10 CSS3 Features you Will Love and Want to Use

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Even though CSS3 is not fully supported yet, many web developers are starting to use many of the new techniques introduced. CSS3 has taken a very large step forward in helping web developers get away from importing mass amounts of images/JavaScript and making it possible to do this only by using pure CSS. I am going to go over 10 CSS3 features you will love to start using!

Border Radius

The ability to have rounded corners without images and JavaScript is one of the most sought after features of CSS3. Having to make images for each corner or importing a new library just to get the nice round edge will be a thing of the past with CSS3 Border Radius. With CSS3, we can do this with only a few lines of code:

#my_id {
	height: 100px;
	width: 100px;
	border:  1px solid #FFF;
	/* For Mozilla: */
	-moz-border-radius: 15px;
	/* For WebKit: */
	-webkit-border-radius: 15px;
}

Border Images

This is one of my favorite upcoming features, having border images will allow developers and designers to take there site to the next level. You can be as creative as you want and be able to apply it as a border without extra elements. Quite simple code really:

#my_id {
	/* url, top image, right image, bottom image, left image */
	border-image:  url(border.png) 30 30 30 30 round round;
}

Box Shadow

Before CSS3, we had to either use a shadow image or JavaScript to apply a shadow or create the shadow directly in the image. Neither of those are fun to do in any way. With CSS3 Box Shadow we can apply shadows to almost every element of our website. Here is how:

#my_id {
	background: #FFF;
	border: 1px solid #000;
	/* For Mozilla: */
	-moz-box-shadow: 5px #999;
	/* For WebKit: */
	-webkit-box-shadow: 5px #999;
}

Multi-Column Layout

Another CSS3 feature that developers, including myself are very eager to start using is the Multi-Column Layout. It offers a new way to arrange text in more of a “news paper” type way. You have the choice to pick the amount of columns, the column width, column gap width, and column separator. A feature like this was not possible before CSS3. Here is how you do it:

#my_id {
	text-size: 12px;
	/* For Mozilla: */
	-moz-column-gap: 1em;
	-moz-column-rule: 1px solid #000;
	-moz-column-count: 3;
	/* For WebKit: */
	-webkit-column-gap: 1em;
	-webkitcolumn-rule: 1px solid #000;
	-webkit-column-count: 3;
}

*Note: column-space-distribution is not implemented yet, this feature is to describe how to distribute leftover space.

Multiple Backgrounds

In the past, having layered backgrounds required you to create more than one element. But now, with CSS3 you can have multiple backgrounds on a single element. This will eliminate a huge annoyance that we have had to deal with in the past. Here’s how it works:

#my_id {
	background:
		url(topbg.jpg) top left no-repeat,
		url(middlebg.jpg)center left no-repeat,
		url(bottombg.jpg) bottom left no-repeat;
}

@font-face

Now, this feature is not entirely new to CSS3, it is supported in CSS2 and has been in implemented in IE since version 5, however that implementation relied on Embedded Open Type. The new CSS3 implementation will allow developers and designers to use any licensed TrueType “.tff” or OpenType “.otf” ” in their web designs. Here is how to use the custom fonts:

@font-face {
	font-family: “my-font”;
	src: url(my-font.tff) format(“truetype”);
}
#my_id {
	font-family: “my-font”, sans-serif;
}

Attribute Selectors

In CSS3, three additional attribute selections are available for matching substrings of the attribute value. Here are a few examples on how to use them.

Select elements with title prefix of “t”:

p[title^=t] {
	/* Attributes to give them. */
}

Select elements with title suffix of “t”:

p[title$=t] {
	/* Attributes to give them. */
}

Select elements with title contain at least one instance of “t”:

p[title*=t] {
	/* Attributes to give them. */
}

:nth-child() and :nth-of-type()

The new :nth-child() pseudo-classes is a way to select elements using a formula. The syntax for both is :nth-child(an+b), almost like a linear equation just different variables. The only difference between :nth-child() and :nth-of-type () is that nth-of-type() only considers elements of the given type.

/* First, Fourth, Seventh, etc..
/* Any type of element */
p:nth-child(3n+1) {
	background: #F00;
}
/* First, Fourth, Seventh, etc..
/* Only li elements */
p li:nth-of-type(3n+1) {
	background: #F00;
}

Opacity

Probably the favorite feature to come in CSS3 is opacity. It is also probably the most already used CSS3 feature as well. There have been ways to use opacity in the past with IE hacks and other methods but the new CSS3 property will allow it to me done much easier. Here’s the code:

#my_id {
	background: #F00;
	opacity:  0.5;
}

RGBA Colors

This new feature ties in with opacity, with CSS3 there is RGB and also RGBA. Now hopefully you know that RGB stands for “red, green, blue”. The “a” in RGBA stands for alpha (also known as opacity). This will make a lot of code shortened by tying in that extra property into an existing one.

#my_id {
	background: rgba(255, 212, 45, 0.5);
}

Wrapping Up

It will still take a while before CSS3 is complete, even longer till every browser supports it (IE). But, we can start using them in are designs for browsers that do support them and just not have the extra features for the older browsers. All in all, just get excited, CSS3 will move the web development world in a good direction.

We’ve set up a demo section for you, click on the Live Demo button and play around or just Download the source files.

Become expert in web designing/development with testking online training course. Learn about css3-features using testking 70-272 guide and testking 642-145 tutorials.

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Posted in Tutorials | 15 Comments »

Create Your Own Toast Icon in Illustrator (Mostly)

Monday, March 15th, 2010

In this tutorial, we are going to be looking at how you can create your own toast illustration in Adobe Illustrator. Well, mostly in Illustrator anyhow. One of the steps will actually require us to flip over to Photoshop to prepare a photograph, but other than that, the entire thing will be done in Illustrator.

I don’t think we need much more of an introduction than that, so let’s get started!

Step 1

Before we begin with the actual illustration, however, let’s go ahead an establish some of the colours that we will be using. To do this, I started by going out to stock.xchng and finding a reasonable image of some toast, which we can use as a reference.

We can also use this image to select our main colours, using a tool like the Color Palette Generator over at DeGraeve.com. This tool allows us to input the URL of an image, and get two different colour palettes (dull and vibrant), extracted directly from the photo itself.

The URL for the toast image is: http://www.sxc.hu/pic/l/b/br/brofosifo/506051_71363796.jpg Go ahead and visit the Color Palette Generator and input the URL into the form field. Then, just press the aptly named Colour-Palette-ify button to generate two five-colour palettes based on the colours in the photograph.

The first of the two palettes will be titled “dull” and features softer and more subdued colours. The second palette will be titled “vibrant” and features richer and brighter colours. For the purposes of this tutorial, we will be more interested in the dull palette, since the vibrant palette just seems a little too vibrant for a simple piece of toast!

Step 2

Next, we want to actually create our working document in Illustrator, so go ahead and launch the application. Select File » New from the menu and set the document up the following properties:

Whenever you create a new document in Illustrator, it is automatically populated with a variety of different swathes (unless you have changed your default). We rarely need most of these swatches (and we definitely won’t for this project), so you can just go ahead and delete them all. The simplest way to do this to click on the first swatch and then, holding the shift key, on the last swatch. This will select them all, and you can just drag them all to the trash can.

Now, double click on the foreground colour to open up the colour picker dialog box. At the bottom of the box, enter the hexadecimal code for the first colour from the palette we generated in Step 1 (#996633).

Press the OK button to set this as the foreground colour. Return to the swatches palette and press the New Swatch button to create a new swatch of that colour.

Repeat this process for each of the five colours in our palette. In the dialog box, I would recommend making sure that the document colour mode for the swatch is set to RGB, since this is the colour mode in which we will be working. This will give us a swatch palette that looks something like this.

Step 3

This step is pretty simple, and will be made even quicker if you are using a tablet and stylus. Basically, you want to draw the shape of a piece of bread (or toast). The simplest way to do this is to use the pencil tool and just draw the shape by hand. Something like this work just fine:

One thing that I would like to stress is not to put too much work into making nice, clean curves. Bread is not typically shaped perfectly, so the added bumps and undulations on this one will actually help to improve the overall effect.

Next, remove the black stroke and fill in the piece of bread with the lightest colour of beige from our swatches palette.

Step 4

In this step, we are going to use some of Illustrator’s built in 3D effects to transform this flat shape into something that looks like an actuall piece of toast! Start by selecting the shape itself. Then, choose Effect » 3D » Extrude & Bevel from the menu. This will bring up the options dialog box, which you should fill out with the following options:

There are a few things to note in this dialog box. First, you will have to play with the rotation a bit, since the default settings are not exactly what we are looking for. You can actually just grab the cube in the circle and move and twist it in order to make adjustments. Or, you can be a little more precise and enter your own values.

Also, note that we set the bevel from none to Tall-Round. I find that this just helps to create a better effect on the crust, which is not as visible on the back side of the toast without the bevel. Here is what the extruded shape actually looks like:

Step 5

Now, this is a pretty good start, but so far the toast looks pretty flat and plastic-like. We want to add a bit of texture, and for this one step, we are going to want to flip over to Photoshop. First, though, we need to find a nice texture. I think that one of the secrets of effective texturing in various forms of illustration and design is to realize that you don’t always need to have a perfect replica of what you are trying to texture.

In other words, while I may be trying to create a texture for toast, I don’t actually need to have a “toast” texture. Instead, I am going to use this basic concrete texture, which you can download here.

Open this texture up in Photoshop, because we’re going to do a bit of work on it. First, select Image » Adjustments » Brightness & Contarst from the menu, and use the following settings

Next, select Image » Mode » Greyscale from the menu to eliminate all the colour values. Then, to transform it into a simple black and white image select Image » Mode » Bitmap. In the dialog box, use the following options:

Using the 50% threshold option will help to make sure that the back areas are nice and filled in, rather than using other, duo-tone techniques to represent the black and white. The edited image will look something like this.

Save the image as a simple Photoshop file and return to Illustrator.

Step 6

Select File » Place from the menu and navigate to the folder where you saved the texture file and select it. This will place the black and white texture directly into the Illustrator document.

Notice that the white is already transparent. This appears to be an interesting side effect of the black and white bitmap mode, which very conveniently allows us to see the toast through the texture. Of course, we don’t want to be working with pixels here, so let’s vectorize the texture. Start by selecting it. When you do, a “Live Trace” button should appear in the option bar along the top of your screen. There should also be a tiny arrow beside this button. Clicking the arrow will cause a menu to drop down, allowing you to select the method you want to use for the trace.

In this instance, we will use Inked Drawing. This will do an excellent job of tracking the basic shapes of the texture, without a great deal of added detail (which we don’t want). It will also only trace the black parts, and leave the “white” parts of the texture transparent.

Once you’ve traced the texture, look at the option bar again and locate the “Expand” button. Press this to expand the texture from a Live Trace object to a simple collection of paths. Next, select Object » Expand from the menu to expand both the fills and the strokes together. All we want here are paths. Finally, make sure that everything is still grouped together.

Step 7

Alright, now that we have our texture vectorized, we want to add a bit of faked perspective, to help the texture map to the surface of the toast a bit better. To do this, select the texture and then choose Effect » 3D » Rotate from the menu. This will bring up a dialog box similar to the Extrude & Bevel box. The trick here is to use the exact same 3D settings that we used to create our original toast shape.

The transformation should look something like this.

The angles don’t look quite right because our original shape for the toast was not perfectly rectangular. It’s pretty close though, and will work just fine! Once again, choose Object » Expand Appearance from the menu. This will permanently apply the 3D transformation to the texture, which will help with overall load times. Otherwise, the 3D effect will have to reapply itself every time we change something, which I promise would get quite tedious.

Step 8

Doing all of this will add some grouping and a clipping mask to the texture, both of which are unecessary for our purposes. So go ahead an open up the Layers Palette, find the texture group and expand it like so:

Select the group highlighted in the above screenshot and drag that group out of the larger group, so that the overall layer architecture now looks like this:

Once you’ve done this, you can go ahead and delete the leftover, empty group, which contains nothing more than the unneeded clipping mask.

Step 9

Open up the layers palette and duplicate our toast shape, then drag the duplicate above the texture.

Now, select the duplicate toast and choose Object » Expand Appearance from the menu. As with the texture, this will actually create shapes and paths based on the 3D effect, and break them out into various groups, which you can see here:

Drag the toast surface shape (highlighted in blue above) out of the group.

Hide the rest of the expanded elements, which we will get to later. Select the surface shape and change the colour to white (which we need to create a transperancy mask in the next step).

Step 10

Now we are going to start giving the toast some depth. Select the texture layer and move it so that the bottom right corner is almost flush with the bottom right corner of the toast itself. Then set the colour to one of the darker shades from our swatches palette.

Of course, we don’t want the texture going off the sides of the toast itself. This is where the white surface shape comes in. Select both it and the texture group, then bring up the Transparency Palette. Open the fly out menu and select the Make Opacity Mask option.

This will effectively crop the excess texture away.

Step 11

It’s starting to look a bit more like toast now, but we want some extra detail on the surface. We can achieve this by duplicating the now-masked texture and shifting its position. So go ahead and duplicate it, then remove the opacity mask on the duplicate (simply reverse the process we used to create it). When the white surface shape becomes visible again, just hide it temporarily. Then set the duplicated texture shape to one of the other darker colours and shift its position

Reveal the white surface shape again, select it and the duplicated texture shape and reapply the opacity mask. This should give you something like this:

Repeat this process several times to increase depth. Also, make the top-most texture the same colour as the original, flat surface of the bread. This will help bring some of that colour back to the forefront and keep the toast from looking too dark.

Step 12

In this step, we are going to add a bit of extra shading along the curst of our piece of toast. To do this, we will go back to the hidden group that is still left over from expanding the duplicated 3D toast object in Step 9. If you expand the group, you will see that there are several different sub-groups. Ungroup the main object so that you can access each of these groups separately.

We really only need a couple parts of the crust here. First, find the little sliver along far side of the toast. The following screenshot shows the exact sliver that you’re looking for, with everything else turned off.

Set the transparency to multiply, and drag it down so that it is directly above the 3D toast layer, but beneath all the texture layers. This will add a nice bit of shadow to that outside edge of the crust. It’s a subtle effect, so I’ve tried to highlight it in the following screenshot:

Next, find the group that has the main shape of the rest of the crust. Again, I’ve isolated it for you in this screenshot:

Select it all, ungroup it, and then combine it all together into single object by pressing the Combine button in the Layers palette. Apply a gradient fill of white and one of the darker browns from our colour palette. Set the angle and position of the gradient so that it looks like this:

Then set the blending mode to Multiply in the Transparency palette. Duplicate this shape, then adjust the angle and position of gradient to add more shading along the left-hand side of the crust, like this:

Step 13

We’re almost done here. Next, duplicate the surface layer again, set the colour to white and drag it down so that it sits pretty much in line with where the bottom of the toast would be.

Once you’re happy with the positioning, drag it down to the very bottom of the layer. Select Effect » Stylize » Drop Shadow, and input the following options.

This will add a nice shadow beneath our toast, and help give it some extra depth.

Step 14

Finally, we’ll add just a couple finishing touches. First, duplicate the surface layer again (this is the last time, I promise), and drag it to the top. If you duplicate the shadowed layer, delete the shadow from the Apperance palette. Next, remove the fill colour and set the stroke to the same lighter brown colour as the surface of the toast itself. Then, set the stroke to about 4 pixels.

This will create a nice, extra line around the perimeter of the toast, creating a much needed visual break between the rough textures in the middle and the crust.

To finish it off, just draw a few little crumbs around the piece of toast. These are really nothing more than a collection of rough edged little shapes that you can scatter across the edges of the toast.

You can also add a really subtle drop shadow to complete the overall effect.

Conclusion

So there you have it. You can now make your own toast entirely in Illustrator. In conclusion, though, there are a couple things that I would really like to highlight about what we went over in this tutorial.

First, using online tools like the Color Palette Generator can be incredibly useful for creating a colour scheme for an illustration like this based on a photograph. That gave us the basic colours that we needed, and we really didn’t stray all that much from those.

Second, Illustrator’s 3D effects can be used for creating more than just boxes. Extrusions can actually produce some really interesting shapes, and I would encourage you to do some experimenting of your own in this area.

Third, the tutorial works to demonstrate the way that effective texture work is not necessarily a matter of mapping the exact type of texture we need. Instead, of trying to find the exact texture of what you are illustrating, expand your broaden your thinking and consider other types of textures that could be use to accomplish what you’re trying to do!

So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.

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Posted in Tutorials | 1 Comment »

Showcase of Excellent Tables and Best Practices

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Tables are a rather unchallenged interface element. In most cases, they are a forgetten element, an undesired element and a seldom-used element. Too bad, because tables have amazing versatility and can be used for multiple purposes. For instance, they can be used to display complex data, pricing tables and calendars, as well as having many other uses.

Tables don’t have to look boring, flat and lifeless. In fact, they can be wonderful design enhancements for your website and pricing sheets. To prove this, I’ve collected some amazing table designs, showing you the endless possibilities they have to offer.

FormSpring

Showcase of Excellent Tables and best practices

Beanstalk

Showcase of Excellent Tables and best practices

Shopify

Showcase of Excellent Tables and best practices

Mailchimp

Showcase of Excellent Tables and best practices

Notable

Showcase of Excellent Tables and best practices

Wufoo

Showcase of Excellent Tables and best practices

BlinkCampaign

Showcase of Excellent Tables and best practices

Simplified Building

Showcase of Excellent Tables and best practices

OneHub

Showcase of Excellent Tables and best practices

eWedding

Showcase of Excellent Tables and best practices

Media Temple

Showcase of Excellent Tables and best practices

Domestika

Showcase of Excellent Tables and best practices

ExpressionEngine

Showcase of Excellent Tables and best practices

Litmus App

Showcase of Excellent Tables and best practices

Fetch App

Showcase of Excellent Tables and best practices

activeCollab

Showcase of Excellent Tables and best practices

Mollie

Showcase of Excellent Tables and best practices

Polldaddy

Showcase of Excellent Tables and best practices

Big Cartel

Showcase of Excellent Tables and best practices

Invoice Machine

Showcase of Excellent Tables and best practices

Best Practices

I did warned you that tables are great, that is, for showing of your tabular data. Let’s move on with a small collection of tutorials and resources to get you started.

Create the Basic Elements

To start, you should always define at least 3 elements; table, thead, and tbody. There is also tfoot, but is less commonly used. It should look like this.

<table cellspacing="10" cellpadding="10">
<thead>

                        <!-- Content --></thead>
<tbody>

                        <!-- Content --></tbody>
</table>

Then add some basic styling like you would any other element.

>table {
        width: 600px;
        font: 11px/14px helvetica, arial, sans-serif;
        text-shadow: 1px 1px 1px #fff;
}

thead {
        height: 60px;
        width: 600px;
        background: #000;
        color: #FFF;
        text-shadow: 1px 1px 1px #480e09;
}

Header Information

Next, we should create are areas of comparison by defining table headers; this will sort the information into columns to make it easily comparable. We do this by declaring table header elements inside a new table row. Then add some information on what the columns will hold.

Table elements


                        <span>Features</span>
<h3>Small</h3>
<span><em>$10.00</em> / Month</span>
<h3>Medium</h3>
<span><em>$25.00</em> / Month</span>
<h3>Large</h3>
<span><em>$50.00</em> / Month</span>
<h3>Extra</h3>
<span><em>$100.00</em> / Month</span>

CSS styling

.tableHeading th {
        height: 40px;
        width: 120px;
        padding: 10px 0;
        text-align: center;
}
.tableHeading th h3, .tableHeading th span {
        margin: 0;
        padding: 0;
}
.tableHeading th h3 {
        font-size: 13px;
        line-height: 18px;
        text-transform: uppercase;
        color: #fff;
        font-weight: 900;
}
.tableHeading th span {
        font-size: 10px;
        font: 11px/14px arial, sans-serif;
        color: #fff;
}
.tableHeading th em {
        font-size: 14px;
        color: #fff;
        letter-spacing: -2px;
        font-weight: 900;
}

Adding Content

Most likely the last thing you will have to do, add content to your table to compare. This is done by adding “td” elements in new table rows.

Table elements

Feature Description
<img src="check.png" alt="" width="16" height="16" />
<img src="check.png" alt="" width="16" height="16" />
<img src="check.png" alt="" width="16" height="16" />
<img src="check.png" alt="" width="16" height="16" />

Feature Description
<img src="cross.png" alt="" width="16" height="16" />
<img src="check.png" alt="" width="16" height="16" />
<img src="check.png" alt="" width="16" height="16" />
<img src="check.png" alt="" width="16" height="16" />

Feature Description
<img src="check.png" alt="" width="16" height="16" />
<img src="cross.png" alt="" width="16" height="16" />
<img src="check.png" alt="" width="16" height="16" />
<img src="check.png" alt="" width="16" height="16" />

Feature Description
<img src="cross.png" alt="" width="16" height="16" />
<img src="check.png" alt="" width="16" height="16" />
<img src="check.png" alt="" width="16" height="16" />
<img src="check.png" alt="" width="16" height="16" />

css styling

th.column1 {
        border-left: 1px solid rgb(224, 224, 224);
        border-bottom: 1px solid rgb(224, 224, 224);
        color: #000;
        text-align: right;
        vertical-align: middle;
        width: 200px;
        text-shadow: 1px 1px 1px #fff;
}
tbody td {
        border-bottom: 1px solid rgb(224, 224, 224);
        border-left: 1px solid rgb(224, 224, 224);
        text-align: center;
}
tbody tr td:last-child {
        border-right: 1px solid rgb(224, 224, 224);
}
tbody tr:nth-child(even), tbody tr td:nth-child(even){
        background: rgb(241, 241, 241);
}
.first {
        width: 200px;
}
.first span {
        position: absolute;
        left: -9999px;
}

Your Done!

You’re finally done. You can download the source files below and checkout the live preview if you please!

Our Testking 1z0-051 online training is the best place to learn about latest trends and tools in web designing. Learn the best designing practices with help of using Testking 642-566 tutorials and Testking JN0-522 resources.

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Posted in Inspiration | 12 Comments »

Amazing High Quality Icons for your Inspiration

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

We all love and admire well-designed icon sets. Because we’re always on the lookout for inspiration, we’ve gathered a collection of absolutely amazing, original, quality icon sets to use on your desktop or to just look at and enjoy. These icons were made by some of the best icon designers out there, so, please, remember to always respect the designer and their terms of use.

While all of these icons may be used in private projects, such as your desktop or dock, we strongly recommend that you view each licensing agreement before using any for commercial purposes.

Jewelry Professional Icon Set by antialiasfactory

Jewelry Professional Icon Set

Mac USB Icons by omercetin

Mac USB Icons

Free Mobile Berries Icon Set by templay-team

Free Mobile Berries Icon Set

NiXUS by kyo-tux

NiXUS

Peppers by Kluke

peppers

Plastic Box by tomeqq

Plastic Box

Sushi Icons by Kluke

Sushi Icons

Mixed Icons Pack by simiographics

Mixed Icons Pack

Guitar icons by Vlademareous

Guitar icons

Master Chief Helmet by Svengraph

Master Chief Helmet

ChokoPack by simiographics

ChokoPack

Icons 18 by Vlademareous

icon18

Music icon set by LeMex

Music icon set

Social Networks by Adriankenny

Social Networks

Spiderman Mask Pack by Svengraph

spiderman mask

templay Icon Set by templay-team

Templay Icon Set

Onibari Ultimate by Stinky9

Onibari Ultimate

iFirefox by babasse

iFirefox

iSafari World by DragonXP

iSafari World

Applications Icons and Extras by omercetin

Applications Icons and Extras

iDroid icons for Android by iirojappinen

iDroid icons for Android

Espresso black cup by Gpopper

Espresso black cup

Xbox 360 Elite Joypad Icon by Svengraph

Xbox 360 Elite Joypad Icon

rainbow flower by leon-gao

rainbow flower

Archives by cgink

Archives

Best Practices

Don’t they look great?, we’re not quite finished yet. We’ve got a small collection of tutorials lined up, follow them and learn from them. And don’t forget to pratice, practice and practice.

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Posted in Articles | 3 Comments »

How to Design a Print Ready Business Card Design in Photoshop

Monday, March 8th, 2010

When you’re building your business, the ever overlooked business card is a piece of marketing material that I feel is very valuable. Today, people are focused on social media promotion and interacting with their clients over the internet, but what about when you come across a person in ‘real life’ who wants to know more about your business?

Do you stop, write your website, name and email address down or do you just whip out your business card? I hope that you’re wanting to utilize a business card for your business. Today’s photoshop tutorial will take you through the step by step process on how to design your very own business card (front and back). I’ve also included a couple of extra options in the downloadable photoshop file so you can play with them, edit them and make them your own.

Step 1: Setting up your document

Below you will see the spec’s were using for today’s tutorial. First, create a new document and plug these specs into your document and click ok.

Business Card Photoshop Tutorial

Step 2: Creating your bleed guides

For your business card, the background design you use will touch the edge of the document, but for the text, you’re going to need to keep it within a ‘safe zone’ in case things get cut different during the printing process. You don’t want to order 1,000+ business cards, only to see that half of your email address or phone number is cut off.

You’re going to create a new layer and name it “bleed”. We’re going to make a selection that is 38 pixels away from the edge, all the way around and add a 1px stroke in red. We’re going to have to keep our text and/or logos within this space so it doesn’t get cut off during the print process.

Business Card Photoshop Tutorial

Note: The official bleed space for different printers differs. Please ensure that the safe zone you’re setting up works with the printer that you’re going to use.

Step 3: Setting up the background of our business card

First, we’re going to fill the background layer with a dark brown color (#311504). After you do this, create a new layer and name it “texture”. We’re going to fill this layer with a default texture that’s in adobe photoshop cs4 (seen in the image below) and changing the layer blending mode to multiply.

Business Card Photoshop Tutorial

Step 4: Adding in your company name

Now that we’ve got the background set up, we’re going to add the company name. In this tutorial, we’re just going to use, you guessed it, Company Name, so make sure you add your business name in. For the font, we’re going to use the free font, You Are Loved from DaFont. We’re going to type in 24pt size and use two colors, one for each word of our company name. The first color is #de4549 and the second color is #d8a728.

Business Card Photoshop Tutorial

Step 5: Adding in your information

Now that we’ve got the company name added into the top left, we’re going to add some more text onto the document. Create a new layer and name it ‘info’. In this layer, use your type tool and type in the following information, using the character options seen below. The color we’re using is #de4549. Make sure your text is aligned to the right so the right side of the text gives a flush area for you to put your information against.

Business Card Photoshop Tutorial

Next, we’re going to make a new layer and name it ‘my info’. In this layer, we’re going to be putting in your personal information. The color for this font is # and we’re going to use the same character information as above, aligning the font to the left.

Business Card Photoshop Tutorial

Step 6: Setting up folders for “front” and “back” designs

Now that we’ve got the business card designed and set up, we’re going to create a new folder for our layers to sit within. We’ll be naming this folder “Back”. Start by clicking the new folder button in your layers palette.

Business Card Photoshop Tutorial

Now you’re going to place all of your text layers into this folder. It will look similar to below.

Business Card Photoshop Tutorial

Next, create another new folder and name it “Front”. In this folder, you’re going to create a new layer and name it “company name”. Grab your text tool and type “CompanyName” just like we did in step 4. This time, we’re going to make the font 36pt.

Business Card Photoshop Tutorial

For the front, we’re going to want to keep things clean and mostly logo centered, so we’ll have your company name in a large font like this and we’re also going to add in a quick line of text to explain what you do. For this, you’re going to want to create a new layer and name it “info”. We’ll be using the same font we’ve been using, but making it 14pt and #e14f09.

Business Card Photoshop Tutorial

Now, you’re going to select the “Front” folder and then hit SELECT > ALL. Now, you’re going to head to LAYER > ALIGN LAYERS TO SELECTION > VERTICAL CENTER. This is going to ensure that your text is centered properly from top to bottom.

Business Card Photoshop Tutorial

At this point, you’re ready to save your work. Check with your printer to know what file type they’re after (TIFF, JPG, PSD, AI and so on). You’re also going to want to ensure that the bleed layer is invisible so you don’t have a bright red border around your business card.

Business Card Photoshop Tutorial

Business Card Photoshop Tutorial

Some extras for you, all included in the downloadable psd file

Below are screenshots of a couple of other styles I created using this same basic set up. They’re all in their own folders in the psd file. Have fun with them 🙂

Business Card Photoshop Tutorial

Business Card Photoshop Tutorial

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