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January 23 2014

11:00

Styling SVG with CSS: Capabilities and Limitations


  

SVG is the new standard for vector images in the browser. Vector editors such as Adobe Illustrator allow to directly save to that format and modern browsers have no problems to properly display SVG. As SVG graphics consist of markup, they can be created and maintained using your favorite text editor, just as you do with your HTML. It is even possible to style SVG with CSS, though you’ll need to know about quite a few differences in doing so, compared to styling HTML.

December 24 2013

11:52

471 Premium Design Resources for Free from InkyDeals.com! (sponsored)

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Inky Deals is one of the leading deals websites in the design community, with an extended family of more than 300,000 design enthusiasts. It’s the place to go if you want to buy premium resources at unbeatable prices, whether you’re a graphic or web designer, developer, or business owner looking to improve yourself and your work.

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They’re the only deals website who offer a 200% money back guarantee on every product. This means that if you’re not happy with it, you get your money back and you also get to keep the product.

471 Premium Design Resources for Free

Because Inky (the lovable little ink blob and mascot of Inky Deals) and his team enjoy giving back to the community, they’ve created a huge free web design bundle: 471 Premium Design Resources for Free value $519, which you can find exclusively on Inky Deals.

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Resources

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45 OpenType Fonts from 128Bit Technologies

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Pixel Perfect Social Media Icons from Design TNT

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Dead Stocker PSD Website Template from DesignModo

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11:49

471 Premium Design Resources for Free from InkyDeals.com!

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Inky Deals is one of the leading deals websites in the design community, with an extended family of more than 300,000 design enthusiasts. It’s the place to go if you want to buy premium resources at unbeatable prices, whether you’re a graphic or web designer, developer, or business owner looking to improve yourself and your work.

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They’re the only deals website who offer a 200% money back guarantee on every product. This means that if you’re not happy with it, you get your money back and you also get to keep the product.

471 Premium Design Resources for Free

Because Inky (the lovable little ink blob and mascot of Inky Deals) and his team enjoy giving back to the community, they’ve created a huge free web design bundle: 471 Premium Design Resources for Free value $519, which you can find exclusively on Inky Deals.

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Partners

It contains textures, UI kits, HTML, PSD & WordPress templates, patterns, fonts, courses and much more. Here are their partners who helped them put this great bundle together:

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Resources

This bundle has got dozens of good reviews, hundreds of shares and thousands of fans from all over the world. Let’s see what you get by downloading this full pack of resources:

45 OpenType Fonts from 128Bit Technologies

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Pixel Perfect Social Media Icons from Design TNT

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Dead Stocker PSD Website Template from DesignModo

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Subtle Patterns Set from Design TNT

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October 24 2013

15:23

20 Beautiful Vector Trees And Leaves For Designers

Here we have come up with another inspiring collection for the designer and this time we are showcasing some of the excellent and awesome vector trees and leaves. Graphic designers constantly need such type of design resources that they can include in their toolbox. This will save their time as well as energy especially if they are running out of time. In addition to this, adding such tool and resources also increases the productivity.

So, without any further ado here we are presenting the complete list of 20 Awesome Vector Trees and Leaves for you. We hope that you will like this collection. Feel free to share your opinions with us via comment section below. Your comments are always more than welcome. Let us have a look. Enjoy!

Winter Tree

Brown Autumn Tree

Spring is Here

Pink Cherry Blossom Tree Vector

Fall Tree

Bonsai Tree Vector

Green Leaves Vector Graphic Background

Vector Trees

Tree Silhouette Pack

Palm Leaves

Green Flowers

<a target=”_blank” href=”http://dryicons.com/free-graphics/preview/spring-sale/”Spring Sale

Green Leaves

Lovely Tree

Spring Tree

Spring Green Background Vector Illustration

Nature Background with Fresh Green Leaves

Free Vector Jungle Background

Vector Trees for Photoshop

Banner Tree

August 07 2013

06:30

Exclusive Vector Freebie: 250 Ultimate World Monuments Icon Pack by Freepik


  

Have you not been waiting for it? I bet you have. We are glad to be able to bring you another freebie, the team of Freepik, our friends from sunny Spain, put together exclusively for you, Noupe’s dear readers. Today we have 250 symbols compiled in an “Ultimate World Monuments Icons Pack” for you to download. All these little icons represent well-known monuments from somewhere around the world. They are completely vector-based and you can use them freely for any type of project, but you can only get them here (and our sis Dr. Web)…

August 05 2013

06:30

How To Create a Set of Vector Weather Line Icons

Stroked line icons really complement a flat interface style with their minimal and basic appearance. Let’s take a look at building a set of stylised vector icons of our own. We’ll base them on the weather to allow us to create a set of consistently styled icons that would be a perfect match for a weather app. Follow this step by step Illustrator tutorial to see how the most simple of tools can be used to create a set of trendy glyphs.

Creating a cloud icon

Let’s begin with a basic cloud. Open up Adobe Illustrator and draw three circles on the artboard. Overlap each one but pay attention to its outline along the top edge.

Drag a selection around all three objects and use the Align palette to make sure they all sit along the same baseline.

Draw a rectangle to fill in the gaps on the lower edge. Turn on Smart Guides (CMD+U) to help align the rectangle to the circles then hit the Unite option from the Pathfinder tool to merge everything together.

Clear out the fill colour and increase the stroke weight to around 5pt. Turn on the round cap and round corner options to create a smooth outline.

Creating a sun icon

Elsewhere on the artboard draw a circle using the same stroke configuration options, then add a short line above it.

Copy (CMD+C) and Paste in Place (CMD+Shift+V) a duplicate then move it vertically to sit underneath the circle. Copy/Paste the two lines then rotate the duplicate by 90° (hold Shift to constrain the angle).

Paste in two more duplicates and rotate these shapes by 45° to form a set of evenly spaced ray lines. Group all these individual lines together.

Select both the group of lines and the inner circle and align the objects along the horizontal and vertical axis to centre them up.

Combining the icons

One advantage of working with basic style icons is elements can be reused to aid consistency between the icons. A “sunny spells” icon can be created by combining the cloud with the sun. Rotate the sun slightly to balance the gaps between the ray lines.

Use the Scissors tool to clip the path of the sun’s circle, leaving a small gap between each element. Select and delete the unwanted portion.

Ungroup the set of sun ray lines then delete any unwanted copies.

The combination of the two separate icons creates consistency between the icons.

The same principle can be used to create other icons based on existing elements, such as a “heavy cloud” icon.

A moon icon is often used to represent “clear skies” at night. Use duplicates of the sun circle to create a crescent moon shape with the help of the Minus Front Pathfinder option.

Variations of the weather icons using the moon create nighttime alternatives for the cloudy icons. The rounded edges and the even spacing continues the consistent style of the set.

Draw one short and one long line at 45° underneath a copy of a cloud to represent “heavy rain”. Select and drag out a duplicate of these lines while holding the ALT key, then repeated press CMD+D to repeat the transformation.

A “light rain” variation of this icon can be created by deleting some of the rain symbol lines.

Create a small stylised snowflake by crossing two short lines. Duplicate the flake symbols into a 45° pattern, then select and rotate each flake randomly to reduce the uniform appearance.

“Light Snow”, “Thunder Storms” and “Sleet” variations can also be created by altering and combining existing icons.

The final icon pack

Vector weather line icons

The final icon pack contains a set of consistently styled icons to represent various common weather conditions (plus a special one for “British Summer”). Download the source file to get to grips with how they’re put together in Illustrator or to use the icons in your own projects.

Download the vector weather line icon pack

May 08 2013

17:13

Delicious Collection Of Free Food Vector Graphics For Designers

As we all know that competition is very tough in the field of designing. Every web designer and web developer tries his best to make his web designs perfect. This is the reasons that designers and web developers are touching the boundaries of creativity and imagination. This is the reason that all these designers all the time are ready to search for new, smart and creative tools or graphics that make their designs more attractive and eye-catching. Vector graphic is one of them. And these days vector graphics are commonly used in web designs as well as in graphic designs. The reason is that vector graphics are a scalable image that means you can easily re-size them with your ease.

In today’s collection we are presenting 47 delicious free food vector graphics for designers that help you in your upcoming projects. With food vector graphics web designers and web developers can easily create stunning food related images. Take a look and let me know what you think.

Oranges

Peppers

Donut Vector

Ice Cream Bar

Fresh Vector Cherries Clipart

Olives

Banana

Romantic Cake

Free Fast Food Vector Sandwich

Strawberry Graphics

Coffee Pouring Into Cup

Bodegon

Lovely Cherries

Watermelon Slices

Cherries

Maçãs Fruit Vector

Eggs Vector

Vector Lemon

Red Pepper

Vector Cherry

Fast Food Goodies

Vector Milkshake

Strawberry Dessert

Delicious Chocolate Dipped Strawberry

Baked Goods

Bread Vector

Goblet and Grapes Vector

Tasty Vector Strawberries

Apple Vectors

Green Chilly Peppers

Fruits Vector

Western-style Food Vector material

Free Vector Cakes

Green Vector Apple

Vector Food Icons

Realistic Fruit Vectors

Vector of lemons

Cupcake

FREE CITRUS VECTORS

Tasty Food Vectors

Vector Ice-Cream

Red Beef Vector

Free Vector Vegetables

Free Food Icon Collection

Vector Food Icons

Fruit

Popcorn vector illustration

September 04 2012

06:04

Typicons: Free Icon Font with 88 Symbols


  

Stephen Hutchings from Australia undoubtedly brought forward an intelligent new term when he called his icon font Typicons. Nevertheless, Typicons are just that, an icon font, but a good one with 88 pieces. Typicons are especially useful in app-design as most of the symbols relate to user interface aspects typically needed for controlling functionality. I guess, Hutchings had development for mobile clients in mind when he created the symbols.

Typicons: only a few examples

Typicons: a grid of 24 square pixel, but scalable to any size

Even though they have their downsides, web design without icons is unthinkable these days. Several methods of icon usage have been established. At first, icons were implemented via separate files, which led to separate http-requests for every single file. For reasons of performance optimization, modern websites should try to invoke only as many requests as absolutely unavoidable. Separate icon files have proven not to be the right method. Next came and still stay the so-called sprites. Here we have only one file which includes all the icons needed. To display a certain symbol, we use CSS to locate only a part of the whole file and show this sprite to the user. This method is established, but has its downsides too. If you’d want to serve different devices and/or different resolutions, you’d have to provide different sprite-files, which certainly means a higher effort in producing them. These would have to be targeted using media queries, which you’ll not always want to use.

Freely scalable icon fonts are the cure to these pains. You don’t need to worry about their resolution even on the new iPad, the new MacBook Pro or other HiDPI-screens. That’s where Typicons come in.

The download weighs in at 1,6 MB and contains the necessary font files (EOT, SVG, TTF, WOFF) as well as the corresponding CSS for easy implementation into your own website. On top of this, Hutchings provides you with vector files in the formats of Adobe Illustrator and EPS (encapsulated Postscript), thus leaving nothing to be desired. Experienced designers can take and modify the icon set to open up new use cases.

Typicons are shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) license. That means they can be used free of charge for personal as well as commercial projects. You must attribute the work in the projects you use it, typically by providing a backlink. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to the one, Hutchings shares it under. Fair enough…

Related links:

August 28 2012

07:37

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial: Create a Set of Sleek Web Ribbons


  

In the following Adobe Illustrator tutorial you will learn how to create a set of sleek web ribbons. We’ll start with two simple shapes and some basic masking techniques. Next, using a simple rectangle and some simple vector shape building techniques we’ll create the overall ribbon shape. Once we have the starting shapes we’ll continue with the smaller parts. Using some Pathfinder options, several Warp and Gaussian Blur effects plus some basic blending techniques we’ll add the final touches.

As always, this is the final image that we’ll be creating:

Step 1

Open Illustrator and hit Control + N to create a new document. Enter 600 in the width and height box then click on the Advanced button. Select RGB, Screen (72ppi) and make sure that the "Align New Objects to Pixel Grid" box is unchecked before your click OK. Now, turn on the Grid (View > Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Next, you’ll need a gridline every 5px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid, enter 5 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box.

You can also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shapes. Do not forget to set the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Unit > General. All these options will significantly increase your work speed.

Step 2

Pick the Ellipse Tool(L) and create a 250 by 40px shape. Fill it with the linear gradient shown below, lower its opacity to 50% and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 5px radius and click OK. Bear in mind that the yellow zero from the gradient image stands for opacity percentage. Switch to the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 350 by 50px shape, fill it with black and place it as shown in the second image. Reselect both shapes, open the fly-out menu of the Transparency panel, click on Make Opacity Mask then uncheck the Clip box. In the end your masked ellipse should look like in the third image.

Step 3

Pick the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 180 by 75px shape, fill it with the linear gradient shown below and place it as shown in the following image. The white numbers from the gradient image stand for location percentage.

Step 4

Reselect the rectangle created in the previous step and go to Object > Path > Add Anchor Points. Keep focusing on this shape and grab the Direct Selection Tool(A). Select the middle, bottom anchor point and drag it 15px up. In the end your shape should look like in the second image. Move to the Layers panel, double click on this shape and name it "Ribbon".

Step 5

Focus on the top, right corner of the shape edited in the previous step. Pick the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 10px square, fill it with the linear gradient shown below and place it as shown in the following image. Focus on this new shape, grab the Delete Anchor Point Tool(-) and click on the top, right anchor point. This will remove the anchor point turning your square into a triangle.

Step 6

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid) then go to Edit > Preferences > General and make sure that the Keyboard Increment is set at 1px. Reselect the triangle shape created in the previous step and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 1px to the right using the right arrow from your keyboard.

Reselect both copies, open the Pathfinder panel and click on the Minus Front button. Fill the resulting shape with black and lower its opacity to 15%. Focus on this new shape, grab the Delete Anchor Point Tool(-) and get rid of the top, right anchor point. In the end your shape should look like in the fourth image.

Step 7

Reselect the triangle shape created in the fifth step and make two, new copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 3px to the right. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black and lower its opacity to 15%. Focus on this new shape, grab the Delete Anchor Point Tool(-) and get rid of the top, right anchor point. In the end your shape should look like in the fourth image.

Step 8

Reselect the triangle shape along with the two shapes created in the previous two steps and group them (Control + G). Make sure that this new group is selected and go to Effect > Warp > Arc Upper. Enter the data shown below and click OK.

Step 9

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect the group created in the previous step and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check the Vertical button and click on the Copy button. This will create a horizontally flipped copy of your group. Select it, drag it to the left and place it as shown in the third image. The Snap to Grid will ease your work.

Step 10

Reselect "Ribbon" and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the fill and go to Effect > Warp > Shell Lower. Enter the data shown below and click OK. Make a copy of "Ribbon" (Control + C > Control + F), select it and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Move to the Layers panel, double click on this new shape and name it "RibbonExpanded".

Step 11

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect "RibbonExpanded" and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 5px to the right. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Ungroup the resulting group of shapes (Shift + Control + G). Delete the thin, right shape and fill the other one with white. Also, lower its opacity to 40% and change the blending mode to Soft Light.

Step 12

Reselect "RibbonExpanded" and make two, new copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 10px to the right. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Ungroup the resulting group of shapes (Shift + Control + G). Delete the thin, right shape and fill the other one with black. Also, lower its opacity to 20% and change the blending mode to Soft Light.

Step 13

Reselect "RibbonExpanded" and make two, new copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 5px to the left. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Ungroup the resulting group of shapes (Shift + Control + G). Delete the thin, left shape and fill the other one with white. Also, lower its opacity to 40% and change the blending mode to Soft Light.

Step 14

Reselect "RibbonExpanded" and make two, new copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 10px to the left. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Ungroup the resulting group of shapes (Shift + Control + G). Delete the thin, left shape and fill the one shape with black. Also, lower its opacity to 20% and change the blending mode to Soft Light.

Step 15

Reselect "RibbonExpanded" and make two, new copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 1px up. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the following image.

Step 16

Reselect "RibbonExpanded" and make two, new copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 2px up. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the following image and change its blending mode to Soft Light.

Step 17

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 240 by 45px shape, fill it with a random color and place it as shown in the first image. Select this new shape along with "RibbonExpanded" and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the following image, lower its opacity to 40% and change the blending mode to Overlay.

Step 18

Reselect "Ribbon", focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill using the Add New Fill button. Select it, drag it in the bottom of the Appearance panel, make it black, lower its opacity to 7% and go to Effect > Warp > Shell Lower. Enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Effect > Warp > Arc Lower. Enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.

Step 19

Reselect "Ribbon", focus on the Appearance panel and add a third fill. Select it, drag it in the bottom of the Appearance panel, make it black, lower its opacity to 10% and go to Effect > Warp > Arc Lower. Enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the properties shown in the following image and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 3px radius and click OK.

Step 20

For the following step you will need a grid every 1px. So, go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box. Pick the Rectangle Tool(M) and create a 280 by 1px shape. Place it as shown in the following image, fill it with the linear gradient shown in the first image then send it to back (Shift + Control + [ ).

Step 21

Let’s add a simple background for our ribbon. Pick the Rectangle Tool(M), create a shape the size of your artboard, fill it with R=190 G=190 B=190 and send it to back (Shift + Control + [ ).

Step 22

Disable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect the thin rectangle created in the twentieth step and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select it and move it 1px down using the down arrow. Make sure that your copy is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel and replace the existing linear gradient with the one shown in the following image.

Step 23

Pick the Type Tool(T) and add your text. Set its color at R=42 G=92 B=5 then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below and click OK.

Step 24

Reselect the rectangle used for the background, focus on the Appearance panel, add a second fill and use the radial gradient shown below. Keep focusing on the Appearance panel and add a third fill for this shape. You’ll need a built-in pattern for this new fill. Go to the Swatches panel, open the fly-out menu and go to Open Swatch Library > Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Textures.

A new window with a set of built-in patterns should open. Make sure that your background rectangle is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel and select that third fill. Lower its opacity to 20%, change the blending mode to Multiply and add the "USGS 19 Land Inundation" pattern.

Step 25

Finally, here’s a quick technique that you can use to recolor your ribbon. Select all the shapes that make up your ribbon and go to Edit > Edit Colors > Recolor Artwork. Click on the Edit button, make sure that the "Recolor Art" and the "Link Color Harmony" buttons are checked then play with the color handles.

And We’re Done!

Once again, here’s how your final result should look.

Now that we have made it to the end, we would like to know your thoughts on this new tutorial. Leave us your two cents in the comments.

(rb)

April 10 2012

07:59

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial: Create a Simple Map Illustration


  

In the following Adobe Illustrator tutorial you will learn how to create your very own simple vector map illustration. First, we’ll build the starting shapes using pixel perfect alignment, some basic vector shape building techniques along with a bunch of warp effects. Then we will put on the finishing touches. We will add the colors along with some simple effects and highlights to give it that final bit of character.

Final Image

As always, this is the final image that we’ll be creating:

Step 1

Hit Control + N to create a new document. Enter 7000 in the width box and 500 in the height box then click on the Advanced button. Select RGB, Screen (72ppi) and make sure that the "Align New Objects to Pixel Grid" box is unchecked before your click OK. Now, turn on the Grid (View > Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid).

Next, you’ll need a grid every 10px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid, enter 10 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box. You can also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shapes. Do not forget to set the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Unit > General. All of these options will significantly increase your work speed.

Step 2

Pick the Rectangle Tool(M) and create eight, 120 by 110px shapes. Place them as shown in the following image and fill them with the two colors shown below.

Step 3

Pick the Direct Selection Tool(A), select the anchor points highlighted in the first image and drag them 10px down. The Snap to Grid should ease your work.

Step 4

Now we will help the map sections take shape. Take the first column of blue shapes. Select the top shape and go to Effect > Warp > Arc Upper. Enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Effect > Warp > Arc Lower. Again, enter the data shown, click OK and go to Effect > Warp > Flag. Once again, enter the data shown below and click OK.

Move on to the bottom shape and go to Effect > Warp > Arc Lower. Enter the data shown in the following image, click OK and go to Effect > Warp > Flag. Again, enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Effect > Warp > Arc Lower. Once again, enter the data shown below and click OK.

Step 5

Focus on the fourth column of shapes. Select the top shape and like before, go to Effect > Warp > Arc Upper. Enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Effect > Warp > Arc Lower. Again, enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Effect > Warp > Flag. Once again, use the data provided below and click OK. Move to bottom shape and go to Effect > Warp > Arc Lower. Enter the data shown, click OK and go to Effect > Warp > Flag. Again, enter the data and click OK.

Step 6

Now move on to the second column of shapes. Select the top shape and go to Effect > Warp > Arc Upper. Use the data provided, click OK and go to Effect > Warp > Flag. Again, enter the data shown below and click OK. Move to the bottom shape and go to Effect > Warp > Arc Lower. Enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Effect > Warp > Flag. Again, enter the data shown and click OK.

Step 7

Select the third column of shapes. Take the top shape and go to Effect > Warp > Arc Upper. Enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Effect > Warp > Flag. Again, enter the data shown below and click OK. Now move on to the bottom shape and go to Effect > Warp > Arc Lower. Enter the data provided, click OK and go to Effect > Warp > Flag. Again, enter the data given and click OK.

Now that we have the basics of the folds created we shall move on.

Step 8

Select all the shapes created so far and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the resulting shapes and duplicate them (Control + C > Control + F). Select these copies, open the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder) and click on the Unite button. Most likely your resulting shape has a few gaps.

Step 9

Now we need get rid of these gaps. Pick the Pen Tool(P) and draw a simple shape around those gaps. Select this new shape along with the shape created in the previous step and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Send the resulting shape to the back (Shift + Control + [ ) and add a 1pt stroke. Align it to the outside and set its color at R=117 G=174 B=136. Move to the Layers panel, double click on this new shape and name it "Map".

Step 10

Focus on the eight, blue shapes. Select the top, left shape, make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F) and bring it to the front (Shift + Control + ] ). Select this copy along with the bottom, right blue shape and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Step 11

Keep focusing on the eight, blue shapes. Select the top, right shape, make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F) and bring it to front (Shift + Control + ] ). Select this copy along with the bottom, right blue shape and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Step 12

Move over to the Layers panel, select "Map" and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 5px offset and click OK. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the second image and set the stroke color at R=215 G=215 B=215. The white numbers from the gradient image stand for location percentage.

Step 13

Disable Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid) then go to Edit > Preferences > General and make sure that the Keyboard Increment is set at 1px. Select the shape created in the previous step and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and hit the up arrow once (to move it 1px up). Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=190 G=190 B=190 and remove the color from the stroke.

Step 14

Reselect the shape created in the twelfth step and open the Appearance panel. Add a second fill for this shape using the Add new Fill button. It’s the little, white square icon from the bottom of the Appearance panel. Select this new fill, make it black, lower its opacity to 3%, change the blending mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the data shown below and click OK.

Step 15

Reselect "Map", make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F) and send it to the back (Shift + Control + [ ). Fill this copy with black, move it 10px down. Lower its opacity to 10% and go to Effect > Warp > Arc. Enter the data shown in the final image, click OK and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 3px radius and click OK.

Step 16

Select the top, blue shape from the second column and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 1px down and 2px to the right. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white, lower its opacity to 10% and change the blending mode to Soft Light.

Step 17

Select the bottom, blue shape from the second column and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 1px up and 2px to the right. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white, lower its opacity to 10% and change the blending mode to Soft Light.

Step 18

Select the top, blue shape from the fourth column and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 1px down and 2px to the right. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white, lower its opacity to 10% and change the blending mode to Soft Light.

Step 19

Select the bottom, blue shape from the fourth column and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 1px up and 2px to the right. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white, lower its opacity to 10% and change the blending mode to Soft Light.

Step 20

Select the bottom, blue shape from the first column and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 10px down and to the left. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white. Switch to the Delete Anchor Points Tool(-), make sure that your white shape is still selected and click on the two anchor points highlighted in the third image. In the end your shape should look like is shown in the fourth image.

Step 21

Reselect the shape created in the previous step, lower its opacity to 8% and fill it with the linear gradient shown below. Remember that the white number from the gradient stands for location percentage while the yellow zero stands for opacity percentage.

Step 22

Repeat the techniques mentioned in the last two steps and create the three shapes shown in the following images.

Step 23

Select the bottom, blue shape from the second column and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 15px up. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the third image and lower its opacity to 15%. Repeat this technique for the bottom, blue shape from the fourth column.

Step 24

Select the top, blue shape from the first column and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Lower its opacity to 20% and fill it with the linear gradient shown below.

Step 25

Select the bottom, blue shape from the first column and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Fill it with the linear gradient shown in the second image and move over to the Appearance panel. Select the existing fill and lower its opacity to 20%. Add a second fill for this shape, select it from the Appearance panel, lower its opacity to 50% and use the linear gradient shown in the third image.

Step 26

Select the bottom, blue shape from the second column and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Fill it with the linear gradient shown in the second image and move to the Appearance panel. Select the existing fill and lower its opacity to 20%. Add a second fill for this shape, select it from the Appearance panel, lower its opacity to 40% and use the linear gradient shown in the third image.

Step 27

Select the top, blue shape from the second column and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Now, you need to copy the properties added for the shape created in the previous step to this copy. Here is how you can easily do it. Go to the Layers panel, focus on the right side and you'll notice that every shape comes with a little grey circle. It's called a target icon. Hold Alt, click on the circle that stands for the shape created in the previous step and drag onto the circle that stands for the copy created in the beginning of this step.

Step 28

Select the top, blue shape from the third column and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Fill it with the linear gradient shown in the second image and move to the Appearance panel. Select the existing fill and lower its opacity to 25%. Add a second fill for this shape, select it from the Appearance panel, lower its opacity to 20% and use the linear gradient shown in the third image.

Step 29

Select the bottom, blue shape from the third column and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Again, copy the properties from the shape created in the previous step to this fresh copy.

Step 30

Select the bottom, blue shape from the fourth column and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Fill it with the linear gradient shown in the second image and move over to the Appearance panel. Select the existing fill and lower its opacity to 40%. Add a second fill for this shape, select it from the Appearance panel, lower its opacity to 50% and use the linear gradient shown in the third image.

Step 31

Select the top, blue shape from the fourth column and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Lower its opacity to 40% and fill it with the linear gradient shown below.

Step 32

Select all the shapes created in the last sixteen steps and group them (Control + G).

Step 33

For the map you need to start with this simple image . Save it to your hard drive and drag it inside your Ai file. Select it and open the Transform panel (Window > Transform). Check the "Constrain Width and Height" button then enter 500 in the Width box. Select this resized shape.

First, go to Object > Live Trace > Make then go to Object > Live Trace > Tracing Options. Enter the data shown below, make sure that you check the "Ignore White" box, click on the Trance button then go to Object > Live Trace > Expand. Select the resulting group of shapes and go to Object > Compound Path > Make.

Step 34

Select the compound path created in the previous step and place it as shown in the first image. Reselect the "Map" shape, make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F) and bring it to front (Shift + Control + ] ). Select this new copy along with the compound path and go to Object > Envelope Distort > Make with Top Object. In the end your compound path should look like it’s shown in the fourth image.

Step 35

Reselect the compound path, move to the Transform panel and enter 350 in the Width box. Make sure that your compound path is still selected, change its blending mode to Soft Light then drag it below the group created in step #32 (in the Layers panel).

Step 36

Reselect the "Map", make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F) and bring it to front (Shift + Control + ] ). Fill it with white, change its blending mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the data shown below and click OK.

Step 37

Finally, let’s add a nice background. Pick the Rectangle Tool(M), create a shape the size of your artboard, fill it with R=240 G=240 B=240 and send it to the back (Shift + Control + [ ). Add a second fill for this shape and use the radial gradient shown below.

Step 38

For this final step you will need a built-in pattern. Open the fly-out menu of the Swatches panel (Window > Swatches) and go to Open Swatch Library > Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Textures. A new window with a bunch of patterns should open. Look for the "Diamond" pattern. Reselect the shape created in the previous step and add a new fill. Select it from the Appearance panel, lower its opacity to 15%, change the blending mode to Color Burn, add the "Diamond" pattern and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the data shown below, click OK.

And We’re Done!

Once more here is a look at what your final result should resemble. We hope that you all enjoyed this all new Adobe Illustrator tutorial and that it was easy to follow along with. Feel free to leave us your thoughts, critiques, or questions in the comment section below.

(rb)

November 21 2011

18:27

Create a Business Icon from Scratch an Adobe Illustrator Tutorial


  

Business icons are one of the most poplar vector illustrations. As with all vectors in general, business icons are scalable which makes them perfect for use in web design. The best way to create an icon is to use one of the vector based programs, such as Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, etc. We are going to create an interesting business icon that consists of two arrows and a globe in this Adobe Illustrator tutorial. The techniques we are going to describe is applicable for creation other kinds of illustrations as well.

So, let’s get down to business.

This is what we will be creating.

Creating the Globe

Before we create the globe we need to prepare a grid of parallels and meridians. It means we have to prepare the symbol that we’ll apply to the globe. The Blend Tool will help us do that.

Grab the Line Tool (/) from the Tool Panel and create a vertical line. Now, select Add Anchor Point Tool (+) and add an anchor point exactly in the middle of the line.

Select the Direct Selection Tool (A) from the Tool Panel, grab that anchor point and drag it to the left (don’t forget to hold the Shift key on the keyboard for straight dragging).

This way we have created a sharp corner. We need to smooth it out. Grab the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift + C) from the Tool Panel, click on the anchor point and to drag it downwards (Shift for straight dragging).

Select the path and under Object select Transform > Reflect. Set the Axis to Vertical and hit the Copy button. It will create a mirror image of our path. Move the new path to the right (Shift for straight dragging).

Select both paths and under Object select Blend > Make. It will create more paths in the middle. To specify the exact number of the paths open Blend Options (Object > Blend > Blend Options). We’ll set the value for the Specified Steps to 17.

Grab the Line Tool (/) from the Tool Panel and create a horizontal line (Shift for straight dragging), as shown on the picture below.

Duplicate (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + F) the line and place it as pictured.

Select both horizontal lines and under the Object select Blend > Make. Set the value for Specified Steps to 9.

Select all the elements we’ve created so far and Group them (Ctrl / Cmd + G). Grab the group of elements and drag it to the Symbol Panel. Symbol Options window will pop up. Set the name to Grid, make sure to set the Type to Graphic and hit the OK button.

Now we have created a symbol which we’ll use to apply to our globe.

Creating the Globe

First of all, we have to create a circle. Grab the Ellipse Tool (L) from the Tool Panel and create a circle (don’t forget to hold the Shift key on the keyboard for the proper circle).

With the Direct Selection Tool (A) select the anchor on the left side and hit the Delete key on the keyboard to remove it. You should end up with something like this.

Under Effect select 3D > Revolve.

Under the 3D Revolve Options box make sure to set the Surface to Diffuse Shading and then hit the Map Art button. This is the where we are going to apply the symbol we created to our sphere.

In the Symbol drop down Menu select the symbol of the grid we have already made. Make sure to hit Scale to Fit button. It will apply the grid symbol properly.

You should end up with something like this.

Now we need to apply some nice color gradients. To be able to do that, first we have to turn our object into editable shapes. Under Object select Expand Appearance. Then we need to Ungroup (Shift + Ctrl/ Cmd + G) the object. Be ready to repeat that action a few times, until you “separate” the sphere from the grid. When you achieve that select the sphere (you’ll notice that it contains many concentric circles) and under the Pathfinder Panel hit the Unite button. This will turn the circles into a single one.

Set the Fill color for the grid to #61D4E0.

We are going to apply a nice blue radial gradient to the circle. It will turn our circle into a nice blue sphere.

There is one more thing we should add to the globe. Select the Rectangle Tool (M) from the Tool Panel and create the ellipse. Set its Fill color to white (#FFFFFF) and place it as it shown on the picture below.

Set the Opacity of the new ellipse to 26%.

Our globe is ready for some nice arrows. Before we create them don’t forget to Group (Ctrl / Cmd + G) all the elements of the globe together.

Creating the Arrows

To create nice 3D arrows we will be using 3D effect Revolve. It will help us to fold the arrow around the globe. So, lets get started. First we will create the shape of the arrow.

Grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a rectangle, as it’s shown on the picture below.

Now, grab the Star Tool from the Tool Panel and click on the Artboard. The Star Options window will pop up. Set the value for Points to 3 and hit the OK button.

It will create a triangle. Rotate it and place it as it show on the picture below. Align the shapes by using Vertical Align Center under the Align Panel.

When you are satisfied with the result under the Pathfinder Panel hit the Unite button. It will turn both shapes into the arrow shape.

Drag the arrow to the Symbol Panel and name it Arrow. Set the Type to Graphic. This way we are creating the symbol of the arrow which we’ll be using later.

Now, grab the Rectangle Tool (M) from the Tool Panel and create a rectangle, as pictured.

Under the Effects select 3D > Revolve. Check the Preview box in order to be able to see what are we doing. Under the Revolve Options box click on the Map Art button.

You will notice that the cylinder contains three sides. Upper ellipse, lower ellipse and the lateral side of the cylinder. Switch between sides, and when you select the lateral side of cylinder select the arrow in the drop down menu for Symbol. Also, make sure to check Invisible Geometry. It will remove the cylinder shape and only the arrow will be visible.

Feel free to play with the size and the rotation of the arrow, until you reach the right angle and position.

When you reach a desirable result hit the OK button. We can also change the rotation of the invisible cylinder in order to find the best position for our arrow by rotating the cube in the 3D Revolve Options box.

Now we have to turn our arrow into an editable shape. Select the shape with the arrow and under Object hit Expand Appearance. You should end up with something like this.

Lets Ungroup (Shift + Ctrl / Cmd + G) the new shape (we’ll have to do it more than once) and remove everything besides the arrow. This is what we should have by now (blue color is changed to be able to see the result clearly).

Take a good look at the arrow. See if there are any unnecessary anchor points and remove them.

Now we have to turn the arrow into a 3D shape. Select both parts of the arrow and duplicate them (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + F). Using the arrow keys on the keyboard nudge the copies a few pixels to the right and then downwards. You should end up with something like this.

We have to connect some shapes now. Grab the Add Anchor Point Tool (+) from the Tool Panel and add few anchor points.

With the Direct Selection Tool (A) grab the new anchor point and move it to the lower corner of the green shape.

Repeat this step for the other corners of the arrow as well.

To be able to create a glossy arrow with lots of reflected parts, we’ll have to divide some parts of the arrow. Select the Pen Tool (P) from the Tool Panel and create the path as it’s shown in the picture. We will use the path to divide the red part of the arrow. Just select them both (red shape and the green path) and under the Pathfinder Panel hit the Divide button. It will split the red shape exactly in half. Don’t forget to Ungroup it (Shift + Ctrl / Cmd + G).

And, now our arrow is ready to get some nice colors.

Applying the Color Gradients

In this part of the tutorial we will try to achieve a nice glossy look for the arrow.

To start we will apply some nice linear gradients.

Use a radial gradient for lateral side.

We can also divide the inner part of the arrow. Just create another path using the Pen Tool (P) and divide the inner side of the arrow. Apply a nice radial gradient to both sides.

We can also make some additional shapes that will help us to create the glossy look of the arrow. Select the right upper side of the arrow and under Object select Path > Offset Path. Set the value for Offset to -3 and hit the OK button.

With the Direct Selection Tool (A) move the upper side of the new shape. Just select the upper anchor points and move them upwards, as shown below.

Apply a nice linear gradient to the new shape.

We can do the same thing with the left side of the arrow. You should end up with something like this.

In order to create more light reflections we will divide some other parts of the arrow as well. Grab the Line Tool (/) from the Tool Panel and create a few random lines.

Use each of the lines to divide the surface underneath the line. Just select the line and the shape you want to divide and under the Pathfinder Panel hit the Divide button.

Apply a green radial gradient to the new shape, just make sure to create a sharp transition, just as it’s shown in the pictures below.

Repeat this step for the other shapes as well. It will create nice light reflections.

Some nice edge highlights will give our illustration a real glossy look.

The Final Touch

Now we will combine our globe with the arrows. To be able to set the two arrows in the right place we will have to learn to draw a Clipping Mask. A Clipping Mask is actually a random shape without the Fill and Stroke colors which allows us to hide some parts of the illustration.

Let’s get down to business.

Place the arrow on the top of the globe (as pictured). Duplicate (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + F) the arrow and send the copy behind the globe (Shift + Ctrl / Cmd + [). You should end up with something like this.

Grab the Pen Tool (P) from the Tool Panel and draw a shape similar to this.

When you are drawing the shape for the Clipping Mask keep in mind what parts of the arrows needs to be visible (everything inside the path will remain visible). Also make sure to follow the shape of the globe in order to avoid overlapping the globe and the part of the arrow that needs to be behind it.

When you are satisfied with the shape of the Clipping Mask remove the Stroke color, select the globe and the arrow and under the right click select Make Clipping Mask.

This action will hide all parts of the arrow outside the Clipping Mask. This way we have created the illusion that the arrow is "sitting" on the globe.

Duplicate (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + F) the green arrow behind the globe, Bring it to the Front (Shift + Ctrl / Cmd + ]) and change the color to red. Using the Reflection feature under Object > Transform > Reflect flip the arrow upside down by using reflection on a Horizontal and Vertical axis. You should end up with something like this.

Repeat the steps for creating the Clipping Mask and you should get something like this.

Feel free to create a few more shadows and some sparks…

…and we are done!

The Conclusion

Glad that you went through the entire tutorial. It will help you to create a really interesting web icon that can be used for different kinds of purposes (business, environment, communication, etc). Using this technique you can actually do other kinds of illustrations as well.

Just feel free to be creative and to explore the other possibilities. Hope you like this tutorial. Thank you for following along.

(rb)

October 03 2011

23:22

Free Stuff: 210 Grunge Brushes from VectorPack.net – Comment to Win

In honor of VectorPack.net‘s Mega Design Bundle 2, I’ve got 5 copies of 210 Grunge brushes to give away! For this contest, I get to give away part of the brushes from that bundle to 5 lucky winners. Make sure to read the rules, and good luck!

Contest Rules:

  • All you have to do is to tweet the post, to share it on Facebook or to leave a comment on the post.
  • Only comment once.
  • 5 winners will be randomly chosen
  • Comments will remain open for 1 week

About the Mega Design Bundle 2:

Grunge Brushes are design elements which are needed by each and every designer. This is why we, at VectorPack.net, have decided to help designers, artists and creatives around the world get their hands on these amazing 210 Grunge Brushes which is a part of the VectorPack.net Mega Bundle 2.

Who is VectorPack.net?

VectorPack.net is a design studio which specializes in creating high-quality vector art and design elements. VectorPack.net surprises designers and artists around the world with very detailed, professional stock vector art, Photoshop brushes, fonts, seamless patterns, backgrounds, textures, and WordPress themes. All in all, each and every type of vector art and design elements designers need for their work.

By offering a large variety of products, VectorPack.net is the suitable resource for all type of clients, from designers to advertising agencies and apparel creators, who are able to find here the coolest products for their artwork.

What is the Mega Bundle 2?

The Mega Bundle 2 is a collection of over 650 design elements which VectorPack.net puts at the disposal of designers for only $29 instead of $545. This incredible offer is available till the 13th of October, meaning 10 days from now on. This great Mega Bundle contains high-quality design elements which reunite all the resources needed by creative people at a bargain price.

As VectorPack.net awards its clients with this type of Mega Bundles at a discount price once every several months, you should subscribe to their newsletter as not to miss these great offers.

This amazing Mega Bundle contains the following design elements:

- 319 vector elements
- 278 PS brushes
- 66 abstract backgrounds
- 58 seamless patterns
- 30 textures
- 1 WordPress theme

March 17 2011

10:00

Basics: Difference Between Pixel and Vector-Based Graphics

This article is about the differences between pixel and vector-based designs but before going into details, I would like to give you an introduction to graphic design.  A design is a combination of words and drawings which is integrated in a manner so that it can enhance creativity and exquisiteness through innovative ideas whereas graphics are a visual presentation of images in print media. Graphic design is the production of images and text artistically and in an appealing style. Graphic design can be referred as a visual communicator in the field of multimedia. If someone wants to enhance interactivity in his website, logos and signs or to convey a strong message through brochures and posters then he should incorporate graphic designs in his work.

Advanced graphic designs of web pages has increased the level of competition in the IT industry. Everyone wants to introduce pleasing graphic design in their web pages, logos and brochures. When you start working on graphic designs you will come across two different types, pixel-based and vector-based graphics. In the following section I will give you the description of the major differences. This description will help you in the selection of graphics for your web site or logo designs. A flourishing graphic design can be developed only by understanding the pros and cons of these two formats so that you can decide which one is good for your work.

Pixel-based Graphics

Pixel-based graphics are commonly known as bitmap graphics or raster images. In order to understand pixel based graphics you have to understand the word pixel and its origin. The word pixel is basically a combination of two words “pix” and “el”. The first word “pix” came from the word picture and the other word “el” came from the word element. The pixel is the smallest element of a picture or the tiny dots of colors (red, green or blue). Bitmap or pixel-based images are made by the combination of these tiny dots on a lattice. The picture on a bitmap graphic is a blend of pixels. The biggest advantage of using pixel based graphics in your website is that all the digital and scanned picture are produced in this format and you don’t need to convert it into any other format.

A bitmap image looks like the ball at the left in the above picture and the square at the right side shows the close up of the bitmap image.

Picture Quality

The quality of the image in pixel-based graphics depends on the mode of compatibility of output device or dpi of the device. If you want to keep the quality of a pixel-based image on a web page, you have to uphold its dpi or dots per inch up to 72 dpi since the dpi of computer monitors is 72 or 96 dots per inch. The dot per inch or dpi is also referred as pixels per inch or ppi. This will also help you in maintaining the quality of the picture when you are changing the file size, the picture will look worse otherwise. Apart from computer monitors, printers operate with a range of 150 to 300 dpi and that is why the pixel-based graphics do not have a good result when they are printed even with a higher resolution. Making files larger does not work either. This means that pixel-based graphics is good for web pages but not for brochures.

The difference in the quality of a bitmap image on printer and on monitor screen is visible in this illustration. The small square box at the front shows how pixels get scattered when they are printed whereas the same picture has a realistic effect when it is produced on-screen.

Scaling of Pixel-based Graphics

Pixel-based graphics have a different behavior in scaling process. Making bitmap image smaller is not a big deal and it has no side effects on the quality of the picture. You can scale down a 400 by 600 pixel image into a smaller size without having a blurred or blotted effect on the picture but in the scaling up of the picture it possess different behavior. In a bitmap image, the properties of the picture include the attributes of each pixel. In making the size smaller, these attributes are shrunk easily but in the scaling up of the picture, the computer is unable to resize it as a larger image. The device does its best and makes the picture bigger with estimated attributes which result in a distorted and splotched image.

This picture demonstrates the difference of bitmap image before and after scaling.

Size

The size of a pixel-based image depends on the properties and attributes of the pixels. Pixel-based graphics have a larger file size than the files of other formats because in pixel-based graphics all the pixels hold their information and have their own separate attributes which on blending, make a complete picture. This process of image development increases its size and makes the file larger.

Vector-based Graphics

Vector-based graphics have a wide scope in line art. Apart from pixel-based graphics, in vector-based graphics images are developed by mathematical functions. Vector-based images are somewhat similar to geometric diagrams and use points and lines. Individual objects have individual attributes and characteristics which is unlike pixel-based images in which each and every pixel has separate attributes and properties associated with them. The editing of vector-based images is also very easy. The main reason of this easiness in editing is that only the properties of the lines and objects has to be edited in contrast to the process of changing attributes of every pixel. The lines, dots and functions used in the development of vector-based graphics are called primitives.

This is a perfect example which shows the actual vector-based image along with its primitives. The picture on the left side shows a vector-based image and the picture on the right side shows primitives of the original vector-based image.

Picture Quality

The image quality in vector-based graphics does not depend on the dpi of the output device. This type of artwork in graphic design is good for logo designs because the resulting image is clear and crisp.  Vector-based graphics do not work well when there is a need for soft-toned graphics in a picture. A picture which requires a lot of tonal changes is difficult to achieve in vector art. If you are interested in adding a vector-based image on your web page then you need to rasterize the image (convert it into a bitmap image). But the vector images that are created in Flash can be used in a web page without converting it. Besides Flash, there are several plug-ins that are available which support vector-based images. In many cases, the browsing software faces trouble in dealing with a vector-based graphics and rasterizes the vector image itself.

Vector-based images cannot be for realistic pictures. This is very important to know that the conversion of pixel-based image into a vector-based image is very difficult. It can only be done by using specific software. It is wise to use bitmap images in graphics orfor web design because images produced by scanners and digital devices are bitmap images and the conversion of pixel-based image into a vector image is a difficult task.

This is a perfect example which shows the difference in results of vector-based graphics and pixel-based graphics in a realistic picture.

Scaling of Vector-based Graphics

Vector-based graphics are easily scalable to any size. A vector-based image is made up of lines and mathematical statements which makes it easy to scale images up and down without losing quality. The output device does not need to make any estimations for the appropriate points, the objects changes its size or points through geometrical equations. Vector art has the strongest point that it gives its best results in logo designs and line based graphics and one can easily scale it into any size.

This diagram shows the behavior of a vector image when it is scaled up. It is obvious in this image that the result of a vector-based image is smooth after scaling.

Size

The vector-based images are smaller than bitmap images because the file contains only the information related to objects rather than the information of each pixel. In vector-based graphics, the size depends on the resolution of the picture that has been generated even if the picture is converted to bitmap image, the size remains the same. So, if you want to have a small bitmap image on your website you can use a converted vector-based image. The size of the vector-based image depends on the number of objects and layers included with it.

If you are going to start working on a new website or are deciding on a logo for your business this article should be helpful in choosing the format of graphics for your work or design.

January 03 2011

20:00

Illustrator: How to Make Vector Grunge [Video Tutorial]

Last week I gave away some vector grunge and I’m here to show you how I made those shapes. In this video, we will be using Illustrator and a plugin called Scriptographer to achieve organic vector grunge textures, useful in a myriad of applications. Let’s get started.

Illustrator: How to Make Vector Grunge from Jay Hilgert on Vimeo.

January 01 2011

10:00

60 Must-See Creative Vector Wallpapers on DeviantArt

Last time we have compiled websites with vector landscapes for you. Now, we gathered vector wallpapers to put as your desktop background. Vectors are great way to give creativity and attraction on your design. Also, it can make your desktop lively by downloading some of these cool vector wallpapers. Have fun browsing and be inspired to make your own vector wallpaper!

1. Fantasy by: ghostnat

I like how the red clouds and bright colors blend together. Very nice and attractive!

Fantasy_by_ghostnat

800 x 600

2. Seasons by: chiplegal

This is why I love vector graphics so much! If you want to put creativity on your photos, make them in vector. Cool!

Seasons_by_chiplegal

1280 x 960

3. Sloorp For Candy by: giorgos93

This wallpaper makes me want to eat sweets! Pretty and sweet one to use.

Sloorp_For_Candy_by_giorgos93

1280 x 800

4. Butterfly by: expansiondesign

The lady was perfectly done in vector with the curves and details of the body.

Butterfly_by_expansiondesign

1280 x 1024 | 1680 x 1050

5. Paprika by: softmeanie

Putting different kinds of objects to form the woman’s body. Cool, isn’t?

Paprika_by_softmeanie

1920 x 1200

6. Spring by: chiplegal

I really like this one. It’s so clean, a creatively done vector wallpaper.

Got_milk__by_chiplegal

1024 x 768

7. Gift from Paradise by: MagicalViper

I like how all the elements are combined together to form such a wonderful nature-themed vector wallpaper. The colors are nicely chosen too.

Gift_from_Paradise_by_MagicalViper

1600 x 1200

8. Rainbow Concepts II by: jugga-lizzle

The combination of shapes are nice. I think it would look better if the colors are brighter than the current ones.

Rainbow_Concepts_II__by_jugga_lizzle

1024 x 768

9. Rainbow Concepts IV by: jugga-lizzle

Comparing this one with the previous wallpaper, I like this one better. The concept is nice and the placing of elements are greatly done.

Rainbow_Concepts_IV__by_jugga_lizzle

1024 x 768

10. Rainbow Concepts V by: jugga-lizzle

If you will look at the design, there is not much shapes used. But it still looks nice because of the simplicity plus colors used.

Rainbow_Concepts_V__by_jugga_lizzle

1024 x 768

11. Dibujo Rarro by: spinix

A wonderful example of vector design, putting different geometrical shapes to create a design.

Dibujo_Rarro_by_spinix

4665 x 3406

12. Reinas del Poker by: vikifloki

Nicely done in details. Clean and beautiful ladies in vectors.

Reinas_del_Poker_by_vikifloki

1024 x 768

13. Morning Fantasy Wallpaper by: jugga-lizzle

I like the pink color and the blur effect of the flow. Very peaceful and feminine look design.

Morning_Fantasy_Wallpaper__by_jugga_lizzle

1024 x 768

14. ‘Fallin by: jugga-lizzle

The silhouette trees made the design look romantic, while the shapes in bright colors made it look very childlike.

__Fallin__by_jugga_lizzle

1280 x 1024

15. Skyline by: webby85

One thing that I like with some designs is the story behind each. This is like a love battle between good and evil.

Skyline_by_webby85

1600 x 1200

16. My Favourite Mistake by: mariux

The lady in vector looks so lovely. It looks nice and fancy.

My_favourite_mistake_by_mariux

1280 x 1024

17. Wallpaper by: illustrator

Cool! I love the concept of putting no face and the wings too. Music makes us fly.

Wallpaper_by_ilustrator

2000 x 1500

18. Mushtopia by: ScaryDeadGirl

If you want your eyes to be refreshed, put this as your desktop wallpaper. Very refreshing.

Mushtopia_by_ScaryDeadGirl

1600 x 1200

19. Geisha Wallpaper by: Tabbathehutt

Simple but nice lady figure in kimono. It fits well on the design.

Geisha_Wallpaper_by_Tabbathehutt

1024 x 768

30. Mario and Sonic by: !darkdevil

Wonderful work of vector! Very nice Super Mario in vector, isn’t?

Sonic_mario_semborda

1600 x 1200

31. Super Mario by: bad-blood

Do you remember those times that you play the game of Mario? Very nice game like this one in vector.

Super_mario_by_bad_blood

1024 x 768

32. Fantasy Island by: celsojunior

I find this one very cute. The rainbows and ray light effect of the heart shape give life to the design.

Fantasy_Island_by_celsojunior

1280 x 960

33. A Trip To Wonderland by: secroit

Wonderful art and style. The colors used are not too dull yet not too bright. I like the objects used, perfectly combined.

A_trip_to_wonderland_by_secroit

1600 x 1200

34. Niponisation Wallpaper by: vikifloki

Nice and clean. I like the swirls that was put around the lady, very sophisticated.

Niponisation_Wallpaper_by_vikifloki

1280 x 1024

35. Disco by: celsojunior

Very cool! Awesome colors and graphics used.

Disco_by_celsojunior

1600 x 1200

36. isoCologne by: yofikus

What do you imagine on this wallpaper? I imagine a city with lights and trees. Have you noticed the ribbon-like object that represents a river? It’s so cool!

IsoCologne_by_yofikus

1280 x 960

37. Sasusaka Wp by: RavenxCorpse

Vectors and silhouette are perfect combination, right? And this design is one good example.

Sasusaku_wp_by_RavenxCorpse

1600 x 1200

38. Missin’ Like Candy – Portrait by: incredibledarlz04

Beautiful colors! A wonderful example of vector.

Missin___Like_Candy___Portrait_by_incredibledarlz04

1440 x 900 | 1920 x 1080

39. Vector by: jrbamberg

The objects stand out with the background color and the swirls with a leaf on the tip are wonderfully placed.

Vector_by_jrbamberg

3296 x 2542

40. Until She Comes by: $chixor

The lashes are nice and the hair gives the woman a sexy look. And the background color fits so well on the design.

Until_She_Comes_by_chix0r

800 x 600

41. The Four Seasons – My style by: onutzaC

The silhouettes are great that they blended well on the background. Awesomely done wallpaper!

My_Four_Season_by_onutzaC

1280 x 1024

42. Little Happy Hilly Wallpaper by: acrylicana

Have you notice the wings that was put as mustache? Cutie! The colors are very attractive!

Little_Happy_Hilly_Wallpaper_by_acrylicana

1024 x 768 | 1280 x 1024 | 1366 x 768

43. G6 Monkey by: Y0o

Hah! This one so so cute. Very creative to put together objects to form a monkey.

G6_Monkey_by_Y0o

1280 x 1024

44. Touch You by: ghostnat

Don’t you find designs with stories behind each very creative? I do. I think designing is one way of speaking your emotions.

Touch_you_by_ghostnat

1024 x 768

45. Beyond The Rainbow by: dreaming-star

The rainbow is like a slide made of candies. The sun rays work well with the background color and the silhouette are very nice.

Beyond_the_Rainbow_by_dreaming_star

800 x 600

46. Nature by: celsojunior

The design is so smooth in style, good choice of colors. I wish there can be a place exactly like this one. It’s like paradise.

Nature_by_celsojunior

1280 x 960

47. The Lady Awaits by: ekster

The lady in vector is sexy and chic. If I were just a guy, I would not let this woman wait. Haha! Amazing work indeed!

The_Lady_Awaits_by_ekster

1280 x 800

48. Like The Wind by: webby85

The clouds and other elements of the design fit well together. The details are well-created.

Like_the_wind_by_webby85

1600 x 1200

49. Wallpaper by: mixmasterangel

Very nice vectors. The curves and the details are nicely done. I also like the woman holding a gun, very strong in personality.

Wallpaper_by_mixmasterangel

1600 x 1200

50. Summer Dream by: jlluesma

I love the effects of the light. Also, how the colors and shapes are blended together are awesome.

Summer_Dream_by_jlluesma

1600 x 1200

51. Little Yellow Submarine by: sourcow

When I am seeing this, I can imagine lollipops. Very sweet and the submarine looks great.

Little_Yellow_Submarine_by_sourcow

1280 x 960

52. Love by: koden

Don’t you remember your puppy love when seeing this? I do. LOL. This wallpaper is simple yet cute and romantic.

Love_by_koden

1600 x 1200

53. Wind by: princel3d

Though the colors are not so bright, it still look good because of the blending effect. Nice work.

Wind_by_pincel3d

1600 x 1200 | 1280 x 960 | 1024 x 768 | 1920 x 1200

54. Vector Vortex by: SpritzTheVik

Good choice of colors and well-done curves.

Vector_Vortex_by_SpritzTheVik

1024 x 768

55. Fueled with Smartness by: imrik

The curves and colors used on this design struck me the most. Very beautiful.

Fueled_with_Smartness_by_imrik

1920 x 1200

56. Shot by: Andycap

Very emotional design. I like the effect of the soul and lady in silhouette. The clouds and vectors are beautifully combined.

Shot_by_Andycap

1600 x 1200

57. Panda Remix by: MagicalViper

I find this one unique for seldom vector designers use two colors only. The pandas combined with different shapes are very cute.

Panda_Remix_by_MagicalViper

1600 x 1200

58. Heaven and Hell by: Joker84

A vision of what is heaven and hell. I like the silhouette used and the blending of background colors.

Heaven_And_Hell_by_Joker84

1600 x 1200

59. My Freedom Begins Here by: celsojunior

Nice silhouette and choice of colors. Simple, bright yet nice.

My_freedom_begins_here_by_celsojunior

1280 x 960

60. Retro Profile by: jugga-lizzle

The colors are nice and the creator did a great work by just using one shape and having a creative output.

Retro_Profile__by_jugga_lizzle

1400 x 1050

I hope that you enjoyed browsing these beautiful vector wallpapers as I have enjoyed them. Personally, I appreciate and I love viewing vector designs. I find them really nice and creative! You won’t get tired looking at them, right?

What about you? How well do you like vector designs? You can share your thoughts with us!

December 29 2010

18:12

Illustrator 101: Perfect Path Alignment

Today I have a simple but important tip when drawing in Illustrator. Have you ever needed 2 points to be perfectly aligned but nudging simply won’t work? Well, you can align points, just like you can align objects. In this example I’m going to use some outlined text. Let’s get started.

Illustrator 101: Perfect Point Alignment

Ok, take a close look at the screenshot above. You’ll notice that the line I circled is not perfectly horizontal. You can tell by the steps in the path. Sometimes you can adjust your keyboard nudge increment in the preferences, select one of the points, and nudge it to where it needs to be. But another way to make a perfect alignment between 2 points is using the Align palette and the direct select tool, just like you would for 2 objects. Here’s how:

1. Open the “Align” palette and make sure you have “Align to Selection” checked.

Illustrator 101: Perfect Point Alignment

2. Using the Direct Select tool (White Arrow) select both of the points you want to align, the hit the “Vertical Align Center” button in the Align palette. Now both points will be perfectly aligned, thus, your path will be perfectly strait.

Illustrator 101: Perfect Point Alignment

This can come in pretty handy on those paths that you need to be perfect, like designing fonts or cutting out stickers for example. Hope some of you find it useful :)

17:50

Free Texture Tuesday: Vector Grunge

I’m a day late, but I had trouble writing my own javascript for these textures. I thought I’d change things up a bit and make some vector textures. To generate these textures, I used an Illustrator plugin called Scriptographer. These are 5 vector grunge textures I created using scriptographer and Illustrator. I would share the script, but I’m not done with it yet. I have to figure out how to remove about 1000 empty layers first. Anyway, I like having this ability because I make fonts every once in a while and the ability to generate random shapes and subtract them form the letters will come in handy for making distressed fonts. These can also easily be converted to Photoshop brushes for easy stamping. I hope you guys like them!

Free Texture Tuesday: Vector Grunge

Free Texture Tuesday: Vector Grunge

Free Texture Tuesday: Vector Grunge

Free Texture Tuesday: Vector Grunge

Free Texture Tuesday: Vector Grunge

Download »

December 18 2010

20:15

Design Cocktail 3 Winners!

Congratulations to the following users for being randomly selected to receive the Design Cocktail 3 Bundle from our friends at Designious! And the winners are: Gina, Jacob, Kristen, David, Scott K, DeLowe, Allstair, Sara, Glen, and Carol. You will all be notified via email about how to receive your prize. We hope you put all those resources to good use. :)

Free Stuff: Design Cocktail Bundle 3 (10) - Comment to Win

December 13 2010

19:21

Free Stuff: Design Cocktail Bundle 3 (10) – Comment to Win

Happy Monday everyone. How about some free stuff! Our friends at Designious.com have just released their Design Cocktail Bundle 3, and I have 10 bundles to give away! The bundle includes 5 Mega Vector Packs, 20 Packs of Photoshop Brushes, 3D Sketch Font, Set of 1000 vector illustrations, as well as several HTML templates, a WordPress theme, and some T-Shirt Templates. An overall value of $904, for $29, but now is your chance to grab it for free. Be sure to read the rules, and good luck :)

Free Stuff: Design Cocktail Bundle 3 (10) - Comment to Win

Contest Rules:

  • All you have to do to enter is leave a comment. (tweeting is appreciated)
  • Only comment once.
  • 10 winners will be randomly chosen from the comments.
  • You must leave an email address in order to win.
  • Comments will remain open until Wednesday, December 15th.

September 20 2010

21:11

Designious Mega Pack Winners!

Congratulations to Dan, Jerry, Jordan, Carlos, Adam, David, Erwin, Lisa, Paula L, and Patricia! The lucky winners of a Vintage Mega Pack from Designious.com. Thanks to everyone for participating, and I hope the winners enjoy the free vector goodies :)

Free Stuff: Designious Vector Packs

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