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How to Create a Personal Logo That Makes Your Friends Jealous

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

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

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

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

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)

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)

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)

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

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 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

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...]