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Graphic Design (Topic) - Blog Posts

102 Incredibly Cool Binder Design Ideas

5 Ink-Saving Fonts Every Eco-Friendly Designer Must Know

When you were a child in school, did you ever own a binder decorated with cute stickers, doodles or the name of your secret crush? That same desire to personalize our materials has followed us into adulthood, but in a more sophisticated way. Professional custom binder designs allow companies and organizations to creatively reinforce their brand identity, present their concepts and showcase their products. If you're looking for binder design ideas (and want something more impressive than your … [Read more...]

24 Coolest Famous Movie Posters of All Time

24 Coolest Famous Movie Posters of All Time

We recently rounded up some of the worst movie posters of all time to show you what not to do when you tackle a design project. With many designers already questioning whether the future of movie posters is in jeopardy, our blog seemed like further proof that this art form is on its last legs. But movie posters are just like any other print design. Where some do less than impress, others shine brightly like a homing beacon, calling designers to a higher standard. These are the kind of … [Read more...]

How to Design the Perfect Business Logo (Infographic)

How to Design the Perfect Business Logo (Infographic)

A logo is more than just a pretty image for customers to look at while they use a product or service. It's the face of an entire brand, a symbol that determines how people feel about that particular company. For example, if a restaurant's logo is cold and unappetizing, potential customers are going to associate that image with their food. So what sort of ingredients do you need to cook up a tasty, irresistible logo? This infographic will provide you with tips and ideas related to each of the … [Read more...]

22+ Graphic Design Interview Tips: Common Questions & Best Answers

22+ Graphic Design Interview Tips: Common Questions & Best Answers

On the surface, a graphic design job interview should be easy. After all, you're talking about the subject you know the most about—yourself. But when anxiety, pressure and nerves get in the way, you might give answers that don't exactly paint a lovely picture of you as an employee. While there's no miracle cure for being nervous, it helps to make sure you're prepared for any question the interviewer throws at you. We've compiled a list of some of the most common questions that graphic … [Read more...]

12 Tips to Design the Perfect Business Card

12 Tips to Design the Perfect Business Card

Of the 27,397,260 business cards printed every day, 88% will be thrown out in less than a week. But that doesn't happen because business cards are ineffective as a marketing medium. In fact, it only takes 2,000 business cards to increase a company's sales by nearly 3%. That's a shockingly high return for just one marketing resource. So why do so many cards end up in the garbage? The fact is, a lot of business cards have crummy designs. No one wants to hold on to something that looks and … [Read more...]

How to Create a Personal Logo That Makes Your Friends Jealous

How to Create Your Personal Graphic Designer Logo

Creating a personal logo is the easiest task you'll ever undertake as a graphic designer—and the hardest. The good news is, you can be as free and expressive as you like. After all, you are the brand in this scenario, which means you know more about it than any other client that you'll design for. But that means expectations are high, and the pressure is on. As a graphic designer, your logo isn't just the centerpiece of your brand identity; it also doubles as a sort of portfolio piece that … [Read more...]

31 Techniques for Creative Two-Letter Logos

31 Techniques for Creative Two-Letter Logos

Letters are very strange creatures. They're the building blocks of our entire system of written communication, but when you get right down to it, they're really just pictures. They deliver a direct message to the reader, but they're also visual elements that can vary in color, shape and personality. This makes them especially popular when it comes to the look of a company's logo; just a couple letters can convey a world of meaning. But it also makes them very tricky to work with. Though it … [Read more...]

200+ Cool Personal Logo Designs for Inspiration

200+ Cool Personal Logo Designs for Inspiration

When a client's corporate brand and personal name are one and the same, you're not just designing a logo for the company. It represents the individual behind the brand. One wrong move could tarnish your client's name—literally. The best personal logo designs turn an individual's name into a cohesive brand identity (instead of just something their parents picked for them when they were born). To get you inspired, we're sharing some of the best examples of personal logos. You can browse them … [Read more...]

How to Use the Golden Ratio to Create Gorgeous Graphic Designs

How to Use the Golden Ratio in Design (with Examples)

Want to be on the same creative level as Leonardo Da Vinci, Salvador Dali and the designers of the Parthenon? They all have one simple concept in common. The Ancient Greeks were one of the first to discover a way to harness the beautiful asymmetry found in plants, animals, insects and other natural structures. They expressed this mathematical phenomenon with the Greek letter phi, but today, we call it the golden ratio—also known as the divine proportion, the golden mean, and the golden … [Read more...]

15 Easy Tips for Cropping Photos Like a Pro

15 Easy Tips for Cropping Photos Like a Pro

If you think that cropping a photo is just as simple as cutting it down to the size you need for your print layout, then you're missing out on all that the crop tool has to offer. Think of the crop tool as an invisible frame that draws the eye towards the most important aspects of your photo. Making the right cuts in your photo can have a drastic impact on the visuals and can even manipulate the way the audience engages with it emotionally. If cropping has only been an afterthought in your … [Read more...]

Create a Realistic Emboss/Deboss Effect in Photoshop (Tutorial)

Tutorial: Create a Realistic Emboss/Deboss Effect in Photoshop

The coolest thing about embossing and debossing is that it's completely exclusive to printed paper. You'll never see a truly "embossed" imprint on a web image—but that makes it difficult when you want to show off your embossed print design on a computer screen. In the following tutorial, we'll show you how to use a simple Photoshop technique to create embossed and debossed effects that look so much like the real thing, nobody will be able to tell the difference. We'll be applying the … [Read more...]

How to Slim a Face in Photoshop with Just a Few Easy Steps (Tutorial)

How to Slim a Face in Photoshop with Just a Few Easy Steps (Tutorial)

Ever hear the phrase "the camera adds ten pounds?" Any number of things can go wrong during a photo shoot and make the subject look heavier than they actually are. Maybe the lighting was off, the angle was bad, or the subject's posture was unflattering. But there's a simple way to fix those mistakes and bring out your subject's natural beauty. There's nothing we hate more than when designers reinforce unrealistic body expectations by using Photoshop to slim down models until they look nothing … [Read more...]

How to Turn a Photo Into a Beautiful Painting in Photoshop (Tutorial)

How to Turn a Photo Into a Painting - Photoshop Effect Tutorial

The best thing about Photoshop is that it allows you to do things in a few minutes that would normally take hours or days to complete. Case in point: instead of spending half a lifetime painting a picture, you can use Adobe Photoshop to make a photograph look like a hand-painted masterpiece in minutes. Converting a photo into a painting takes more than just using Photoshop's default tools. You need a variety of filters, brushes and design techniques to actually make it look realistic. … [Read more...]

How to Use the Rule of Thirds Effortlessly

How to Use the Rule of Thirds Effortlessly

If you were one of those students who loved art classes but hated math, it was probably a shock to the system when you found out just how much math you'd end up using as a professional designer. In fact, math skills are absolutely essential for print design—at the very least, you need to know how to measure out your bleed area and understand the physical size of your canvas. But if you're willing to understand more than just the mathematical basics, you can use those numbers and measurements … [Read more...]

13 Tips for Avoiding a Font Kerning Disaster

13 Tips for Avoiding a Font Kerning Disaster

We all have those things that just make us cringe with agony. Nails on a chalkboard, aluminum foil touching your fillings—or if you’re a print designer, bad kerning mistakes. When letters are improperly spaced, it can ruin the look of your design. The worst kerning is usually the result of not kerning at all, trusting that the typographer and your graphic design software both know what they’re doing. A lot of times you get lucky—but there’s no reason to leave the success of your design up to … [Read more...]

14 Ways to Be the Worst Person on Your Graphic Design Team

14 Ways to Be the Worst Person on Your Graphic Design Team

When you're working with other graphic designers, it's easy for personalities to clash. When some jerk doesn't put in the work or is unpleasant to work with, it can sour the relationship and poison the project. Today, we're going to teach you how to be that jerk. Sure, collaborating on a graphic design project can open you up to new perspectives, help you learn new skills, expand your networking capabilities and increase your creative output potential—but why grow as a graphic designer … [Read more...]

The 10 Best (and Absolute Worst) Logo Redesigns

The 10 Best (and Absolute Worst) Logo Redesigns

When big name brands redesign their logos, the world takes notice because it means that something about our shared culture has changed—it reminds us that the world is changing around us. That can be a scary thing for people, so when popular brands successfully create a great new logo, we sit up and take notice … and when they fail, we notice it even more. We rounded up examples of the worst logo redesign failures and the best “wins” from the last couple years to show you the how to handle a … [Read more...]

500+ Stunningly Cool Photoshop Brush Set Downloads

500+ Stunningly Cool Photoshop Brush Set Downloads

Adobe Photoshop has completely redefined the word "brush" as we know it. Though the program comes preloaded with an assortment of different brush tools designed to simulate regular art utensils, the Photoshop brushes you download elsewhere don't have to act as "brushes" at all—and they rarely do. Stamps, clipart, textures, illustrations, vectors, photographs—anything can become a Photoshop brush. In fact, the image above was composed almost entirely from Photoshop brushes. This makes … [Read more...]

107 Incredible Postcard Designs to Inspire Your Creativity

107 Incredible Postcard Designs to Inspire Your Creativity

There's one little secret every print designer needs to know: with the right design, postcards are arguably the most effective form of print marketing for businesses. People don't throw them away as often as other direct mail, and the most creative postcards live on as collectible artwork. Many of us hang them on the fridge, display them on memory boards or paste them into scrapbooks. When designing custom postcards for your clients, keep this "second life" in mind and strive to create … [Read more...]

69 Enchantingly Elegant Photoshop Brushes

69 Enchantingly Elegant Photoshop Brushes

Somewhere along the way, the human race evolved to have an innate fondness for anything in a pretty package. We adorn our gifts with ribbons and paper, we fill our homes with objects that serve no other purpose than looking nice-and of course, we beautify our designs with elegant ornaments. This collection of elegant Adobe Photoshop brushes (most of which are completely free) will give your designs that extra touch of class to help enhance and elevate the message and brand. There's no shame … [Read more...]

The 23 Worst Movie Posters (And the Design Lessons They Teach)

The 23 Worst Movie Posters (And the Design Lessons They Teach)

Want to see some of the worst print graphic design you'll ever encounter in your life? Just take a trip to your nearest cinema. Movie studios put so much money into promoting their products that we hold their marketing to a higher standard than practically any other form of print media. As a culture, we cannot abide bad movie posters. But when movie posters fail, they fail hard. Even a huge, multi-million dollar movie can somehow end up with a poster that looks like it was Photoshopped by a … [Read more...]

How to Fire Your Design Clients the Right Way

How to Fire Your Design Clients the Right Way

Letting go of a graphic design client is a lot like breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend; it's not exactly pleasant, and it might even be someone you actually like, but sometimes it just has to be done. Breaking off a professional relationship nicely is a delicate operation, and chances are you don't have an HR department to rely on, so this responsibility falls directly on your shoulders. If it's time to say goodbye to your client, you can reduce stress and discomfort by taking steps … [Read more...]

Image File Types Explained: Which Format Should You Use?

Image File Types Explained: Which Format Should You Use?

You're finally done with your design project, you go to save your file, and suddenly you're bombarded with over a dozen possible image file types to choose from. It can be a bewildering experience if you're not sure what you're doing or the difference between them, but we're here to demystify the process for you by helping you understand the cold, hard truth: There are only a handful of image formats that really matter. Now, before you die of shock and outrage, we'll fully admit—there … [Read more...]

25 Famous Company Logos & Their Hidden Meanings

25 Famous Logos and the Secret Meanings Behind Them

We see them every day—in our homes, on TV, out in the street. They're the famous logos of the brands we've come to know and love. These logos not only accurately represent the famous brands they're attached to, they've become a part of our shared pop culture. Heck, someone even made a short film with logos and mascots comprising all of the characters, props and scenery. Logos are practically enshrined by our society, and yet they were designed by people just like any other piece of graphic … [Read more...]

Font Psychology: How Typefaces Hack Our Brains

Font Psychology: How Typefaces Hack Our Brains

When we listed our choices for the worst fonts ever, we were surprised to find out that many of you disagreed with some of our selections. We received several comments from readers who saw value in the fonts that we ridiculed or thought we had unfairly judged some of the fonts we selected. But it's something we should have expected—after all, that's the power that fonts have on people. Just the act of looking at a certain font face can involuntarily stir up powerful emotions or instill a … [Read more...]

79 Artistic Brushes for Photoshop That Simulate Real Art Tools

79 Artistic Brushes for Photoshop That Simulate Real Art Tools

Contrary to popular belief, Photoshop isn't just for editing photos. It's also a tool for designers who like to create art from scratch. Using the virtual art tools provided by the program, a skilled artist can craft amazing images and designs with or without the use of a pen tablet. But for many designers, the tools that Photoshop provides are not enough. Fortunately, these artistic brushes for Photoshop are the next best thing to using an actual paintbrush, pencil, or other art tool. Every … [Read more...]

93 Outstanding Rack Card Design Examples

93 Outstanding Rack Card Design Examples

If a business card and a brochure had a baby, that baby would look exactly like a rack card. Rack cards are the best of both worlds, displaying an array of information through a medium that's portable and fits neatly into the racks found in hotels, travel centers, rest stops, convenience stores, waiting rooms, reception desks–basically any place that gets a lot of foot traffic. This poses a unique design challenge you won't find in any other print media. Rack cards are usually found amongst … [Read more...]

Interview: Rade Stjepanovic, Our 2014 Folder Design Contest Winner

Interview: Rade Stjepanovic, Our 2014 Folder Design Contest Winner

We're very pleased to announce this year's winner of our folder design contest is Rade Stjepanovic, a talented graphic designer from Jacksonville, Florida. Rade is a graduate of the University of North Florida as well as Florida State College at Jacksonville. His designs have won awards from the American Advertising Federation of Jacksonville as well as several scholarships and grants. Currently, he works for CFI Marketing and is a member of the prestigious American Institute of Graphic … [Read more...]

5 Ink-Saving Fonts Every Eco-Friendly Designer Must Know

5 Ink-Saving Fonts Every Eco-Friendly Designer Must Know

A 14-year old boy recently made headlines when he claimed the government could save millions of dollars every year if they switched to using the font Garamond in all of their printed materials. While his claim was not exactly accurate, it did bring attention to an often neglected issue—the fact that some fonts require more ink than other fonts, which is bad news for the environment. If you're concerned about creating unnecessary waste and utilizing green business practices, then you should … [Read more...]

114 Hypnotically Cute Photoshop Brush Sets

114 Hypnotically Cute Photoshop Brush Sets

In Western culture, we sometimes look at "cuteness" as a childish or juvenile quality—but in Japan, it’s a whole different story. The prevailing “kawaii” culture in Japan puts so much value on being cute that even police agencies use adorable mascots to reach their audience. And even here in America, the power of cuteness can't be overlooked. Cute animals dominate the most popular images and videos on social media, enthralling audiences with their inescapable charm. Tap into the hypnotic … [Read more...]

Clientele from Hell: When to Fire Your Graphic Design Clients

Clientele from Hell: When to Fire Your Graphic Design Clients

One of the best things about being a freelance graphic designer is the freedom to pick your clients—but it can also be one of the worst things. It means having to protect your own interests and knowing when to let a client go for the sake of your career, your finances, or your general sanity. "Firing" a client isn't always about getting away from a job you don't like or a person that stressed you out. Sometimes, you might find yourself in a position where you have to say goodbye to your … [Read more...]

10 Commandments of Working for Free as a Graphic Designer

10 Commandments of Working for Free as a Graphic Designer

If you ever want to get a bunch of graphic designers riled up, gather them together in a room and ask them this question: "Should graphic designers ever work for free?" It's been a hot-button issue in creative fields for as long as anybody can remember, and there's no definite answer that everybody can agree upon. Some graphic artists say it's okay to work for free every now and then to build up your portfolio and experience, while others say the very act of doing design work for free is … [Read more...]

101 Fabulously Retro Vintage Photoshop Brush Sets

101 Free Retro & Vintage Photoshop Brushes for 2014

Good design never goes out of style; it just becomes "vintage" over time. Nostalgia is a powerful tool for designers because it creates an instant emotional bond with the audience. The right design aesthetic can conjure up memories of our childhood and help us to connect with the generations that came before us. This extensive collection of free vintage Photoshop brushes is the perfect toolkit for creating print designs that stir up feelings of nostalgia in your audience. Vintage brushes … [Read more...]

26 Graphic Design Resume Tips for Landing Your Dream Job

26 Graphic Design Resume Tips for Landing Your Dream Job

When it comes to creating resumes, graphic designers are lucky. Not many fields allow for potential employees to directly demonstrate their work-related skills with the resume itself. Pastry chefs don't get to bake their resumes into a cake, teachers can't assign their resumes as homework, and lawyers aren't given the chance to defend their resumes to a jury. But graphic designers can – and should – treat their resume as they would a sample in their portfolio. The design of your resume can … [Read more...]

83 Awesomely Abstract Photoshop Brushes

83 Awesomely Abstract Photoshop Brushes

Every now and then, you just need a little extra something to make your project pop. Not necessarily a major design component—just an extra ornament to bring visual interest to your design. Abstract Photoshop brushes are the perfect tool for giving your artwork an added "oomph" without drawing attention away from the main subject. We've assembled 83 abstract brushes ranging from cosmic fractals to arcs of electric energy. Nearly all of these brushes are entirely free downloads, but a few in … [Read more...]

Which Print Graphic Design Career is Right for You?

Which Print Graphic Design Career is Right for You?

So you've got a talent for print graphic design and an interest in the print industry—you may be asking yourself, "where do I go from here?" It can be intimidating breaking into a new field or looking for a new job opportunity, especially if you're not aware of the types of career options you might have. Before you settle for making print design something you do "on the side," take a look at some of this exciting graphic design career info within the print industry. Each one of them can help … [Read more...]

How to Use Our Free Folder Mockup Templates

How to Use Our Free Folder Design Mockup Templates

Our 100% free folder mockup templates allow you to create a beautiful, realistic image of how your folder design will look after it's been printed and constructed. They compliment many of our presentation folders and two pocket folders. You can use mockup templates to: Test and preview your folder design before sending it to a printer Send a design to a current or potential client for review Display your design in a web portfolio or on a personal website Create a folder design from … [Read more...]

Why JPEG Images Suck for Printing

Why JPEG Images Suck for Printing

Back when the Internet was still fairly new, the JPEG reigned as king of all image formats. Thanks to its ability to compress complex images into a low file size, JPEGS were the perfect format to use with dial-up modems and floppy disks. But nobody has used those ancient relics in years-so why does the JPEG still have such a stranglehold over us? It's not that JPEGs are necessarily bad or obsolete; it's just that they're not always the best format for the job. And these days, they're rarely … [Read more...]

500+ Free Photoshop Actions to Download

500+ Free Photoshop Actions to Download in 2014

If you found a way to cut your design time in half, wouldn't you use it? Photoshop actions allow designers to save time and stay efficient by "recording" common tasks so that they can be automatically performed on different projects. But that's not the best feature of actions for Photoshop; they're also easy to share and download. This community aspect has turned Photoshop actions into the ultimate designer "cheat code." Downloading another designer's actions lets you quickly apply new … [Read more...]

The 174 Coolest Brochure Designs for Creative Inspiration

The 174 Coolest Brochure Designs for Creative Inspiration

We bet you five bucks that if you took a minute to look around your office or your home, you'd find a brochure of some type. Whether it's a memento from an event or trip or even just the recipe booklet that came with your new blender, brochure designs are hiding everywhere. There's a reason why the brochure continues to endure in the age of digital marketing--because of creative designers who push the limits with great ideas and imaginative designs that make a lasting impression. We've … [Read more...]

PMS Color Printing: Tips for Finding & Working with Pantone Colors

PMS Color Printing: Tips for Finding & Working with Pantone Colors

If four-color process printing is like mixing together flour, sugar and baking powder from scratch, PMS color printing is a little like using pre-made cake mix. You don't have quite as much flexibility with your recipe, but it's a great choice if you're looking for a consistent taste because you always know exactly what you're getting. This guide will walk you through the definition of PMS color and its pros and cons, as well as tips and tools for finding, matching, identifying and converting … [Read more...]

44 Color Scheme Tools for Picking the Perfect Print Palette

44 Color Scheme Tools for Picking the Perfect Print Pallette

Your life is controlled by color schemes. That might sound dramatic, but think about it for just a second-would you go to an important job interview wearing a mismatched suit? Or a violently clashing hair or makeup color? Chances are that your living room, your wedding theme and even your high school colors have consisted of tones based on some sort of conventional color scheme. Human beings prefer living in a world where colors go together, which is why our brains turn to mush whenever we … [Read more...]

250+ Outstanding Mockup Background Images & Textures

250+ Background Images & Textures for Print Design Mockups

Were you the type of kid who just had to have the radical laser backdrop instead of the plain blue backdrop when it came time for picture day at school? Even if you weren't, we've got good news for you. Our folder design mockups feature a completely customizable background; allowing you to have any kind of image or texture you want—and many of them look even better than that laser background. We've gathered up some of our favorite background images and textures to use with our folder … [Read more...]

72+ Free Vector Art Sites For Downloading The Best Graphics

72 Free Vector Art Sites For Downloading The Best Graphics

No one likes to hear the dreaded phrase "clip art" when talking about professional design, but sometimes a piece of free vector art is exactly what you need. Maybe you're looking for a basic shape to edit into something totally unique with Adobe Illustrator, or maybe you just need a placeholder graphic in the meantime. Creating something from scratch takes valuable time, and when you've got none to spare, free vector sites can be a lifesaver. To boost your chances of finding the best vector … [Read more...]

The 108 Best Photoshop Plugins and Extensions for Print Designers

The 108 Best Photoshop Plugins and Extensions for Print Designers

In case you haven't noticed, we're pretty keen on Adobe Photoshop; we've even shared a ton of our favorite Photoshop tutorials. But even a great program like Photoshop can be improved upon. If you don't believe us, here are 108 reasons why you're wrong. This enormous collection of the best Photoshop plugins for print designers takes something good and makes it even better by giving you more control, more power and more options than what's available in your standard Photoshop toolkit. Plugin … [Read more...]