As my Photoshop students have already learned, brushes can be made using any set of pixels and can be manipulated almost unendingly with the Brush panel. But sometimes, it’s very helpful to have a starting point. Grutbrushes.com provides some beautifully made starting points! The detail and settings of his brushes are unique in their realism and detail in use. They work well with just a mouse, but like any brush, take on their real strengths when using a pen tablet like the Wacom brand of tablets.

Normally, I pass by a lot of the ads I see on Facebook, but a few months ago, I decided to click on one and found an excellent resource.

At Grutbrushes.com, the (very responsive) developer Nicolai has made sets of brushes, ranging from inks to calligraphy, to natural media, and more. He even provides a Photoshop Extension to open a panel in which you can organize your brushes into sets as you like them. Just recently, I used just one of his cloud brushes in a project, and created very realistic clouds. He offers a LOT of freebies, and if you sign up for his email list, you can get even more. He sells sets of them as well. His full set is a VERY reasonable $22.

Remember, all of the brushes are just starting points – Presets – from which you can use the Photoshop Brushes panel to manipulate them, resize them and alter how they work.

You all know, I LOVE Free stuff – and here, there’s a plethora of freebies along with the paid content. I think any Photoshop user will find a great deal of use and enjoyment of these. Plan on seeing some lessons on this within a few weeks.

Grutbrushes.com

 

For the love of Typography   April 2nd, 2016

As most of my design and graphics students know, I’m a bit of a type geek. In almost every class, even if it’s not in our regular syllabus, I try to include at least a brief introduction to Type as Design – or, Typography. 

And, you probably also know how I stress the idea of kerning – the way individual letterforms fit together, as a method of refining your work, adding a cohesive look and confirming that you’ve taken some time and put in some effort at making your type look good, as well as read well.

Today, I found an excellent infographic at Digital Synopsis.com, that may help you to make better decisions about how to improve your Headers, your Titles, and all display type. Take a look!

As almost all of my students know, I’m a bit of a type geek. So, imagine how fulfilled my inner geek feels, when I find blog post about Typefaces, Type Structure, Type families, Type anatomy, and Type Classification, the use of Type in Paragraphs, Typographic Terms like kerning and spacing, Page Layout and Type, and so much more!

Although this article is written with a focus on software development, the article is about DESIGN. Knowing what you’re using, and why. As I always say “in design, you can always break the rules, but first you have to know what the rules are!”

I seriously recommend this article to all my design students, my motion graphics students, my still image students, and anyone else who feels that Type is more than just a way to make a word show up.

http://www.imaginarycloud.com/blog/a-typography-workshop/?ref=webdesignernews.com

According to an Adobe Blog, Adobe is about to cease support and updates for it’s Edge tools, including Edge Reflow, Edge Inspect, and Edge Animate. Some of their functionality will be implemented within Adobe Dreamweaver and Adobe Muse – and will also be covered in Adobe’s upcoming Flash Pro replacement, Adobe Animate – which is due out in January.

Creative Cloud members cans till download and use the Edge products, , and security updates will still be implemented

Please see their original blog post at: http://blogs.adobe.com/creativecloud/update-about-edge-tools-and-services/

In a recent article on InDesign Secrets, I can finally find the reason why so many of my InDesign classes have been having font errors when using files from the Adobe courseware. It seems that InDesign – and all of the Adobe programs, for that matter, are no longer installing the fonts that used to come with the programs! I’ve been using Adobe programs for too many  years than I want to count, so of course, I have the fonts installed, but so many of my students are downloading demo software for their classes, and work in an environment with security limitations, so they can’t easily access Adobe’s Typekit (part of the Creative Cloud suite).

In my opinion, this is a terrible move on Adobe’s part, and I can’t quite figure out why they’re choosing to do it. Over the years, I’ve seen Adobe seemingly losing touch with their users in quite a few ways, but in software that’s ABOUT design, I can’t imagine what they’re thinking.

To view the post on InDesignSecrets.com, please visit http://indesignsecrets.com/adobe-drops-fonts-leaves-users-stranded.php

There’s an earlier article about the issue here: http://indesignsecrets.com/happened-fonts-indesign.php   (which includes a work-around)

And, for a list of the fonts originally installed, and mostly still necessary, please see Adobe’s article here: http://www.adobe.com/products/type/creative-suite-6-installed-fonts.html

As for me, I’ve backed up ALL of my installed fonts into a directory I use for my font management program. I suggest you do the same. If you’d like instructions for doing so, please comment on this post.

 

27 Useful Design Tips   July 18th, 2015

For my design and typography students, here’s a really nice blog with some tips and ideas to improve your feel for good design, good use of typography, and maybe provide some inspiration.

http://digitalsynopsis.com/design/beautiful-illustrated-graphic-designer-tips/

Up until today, I was under NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) to not reveal what’s coming up to MANY of my student’s favorite Adobe Apps – but today, with the announcement at NAB, all may be revealed. In fact, Adobe themselves revealed what’s to come to Adobe Premiere Pro (oh, my goodness, what they’re doing!), After Effects, InDesign, Illustrator, Flash, Muse, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and Audition!

You can check out the upcoming changes to the Video Editing apps here:
http://blogs.adobe.com/creativecloud/coming-next-to-adobe-pro-video-tools/

I’m sure there’re going to be many more blog posts at Adobe, to tell us the rest…

Jeffrey Tranberry’s Adobe Blog has posted a VERY nice 214 page ebook about Photoshop Techniques. It specified “screen designers”, but the techniques and ideas can be applied to any media. You can find the download here: http://blogs.adobe.com/crawlspace/2014/03/pixel-perfect-precision-useful-design-tips-photoshop-techniques-for-screen-designers.html?PID=2159997 There are also “Extras” that can be downloaded for the book, which can be downloaded here: PPP Extras (scripts, etc., 0.5MB) Don’t you just LOVE FREE!!!

Adobe Extends Discount Offers   December 3rd, 2013

Here’s an email I received from Adobe tonight:

We are excited to let you know about the following offers — some of the best deals around!

PS-SPECIAL-EXTENDDeadline Extended to Dec. 8 to get Photoshop + Lightroom for $9.99/mo

Due to the fantastic response, the offer for the the Photoshop Photography Program , available to anyone for $9.99/month, has been extended until December 8th. This is available worldwide, wherever the bundle is available on Adobe.com.

The offer includes access to Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5, 20GB of cloud storage and a Behance ProSite.

CC-SPECIAL-EXTENDExtended Upgrade Plan to Creative Cloud for $29.99/mo Until May

We are also extending our Creative Cloud membership $29.99 promotion into 2014. With this extension, anyone owning CS3+ who has not yet made the move to Creative Cloud, will continue to be able to join Creative Cloud at the rate of $29.99/month for their first year of membership.

Here’s the link to all their current Creative Cloud Discounts:
http://www.adobe.com/products/discount-software-coupons.html?promoid=KHQFR

 

Free Vintage Images   September 20th, 2013

I thank CreativePro.com for sharing this page.

You’ll find fascinating and free vintage images to spice up any project at oldbookillustrations.com.