Archive for July, 2009

11 Jul 2009


12 SEO Tips to Get Discovered by Google

In the last several years, Google really has <i>become</i> search. It has over an 85% market share in the UK alone and getting to the first page or two of chosen search results can really help a business achieve bigger sales and more targeted marketing not to mention increased visiting statistics.

It can however be daunting, not to mention expensive, for website owners to achieve effective SEO and obtain those much sought after page 1 and 2 results.

In this article you’ll find some great little tips on how to help your website rank more effectively for your chosen keywords.

09 Jul 2009


106 Tutorials for Really Cool Photo Manipulations

Learning to manipulate photos, either for an abstract outcome or just to enhance something real is a great way to expand one’s own Photoshop skills. Here is a massive list of 108 tutorials just for those who would like to do more photo manipulations.

08 Jul 2009


Create a Portfolio Client Area Using PHP and MySQL: Part 2

Continuing from Part 1, this tutorial will go over some security issues for our sign up form. When dealing with databases, it is important to make sure the client’s information is secure. The tutorial will also go over some ways to make sure the user enters in correct data.

06 Jul 2009


How to Get Web Design Clients: Five Factors You Must Address

The first thing you notice when you become a freelance web designer is how quickly you also need to become a salesman.

Web design clients do not come floating through the door, you have to go out and get them. And the second thing you notice when you become a freelance web designer is how darn hard this process can be.

In this post I am going to give you some crucial tips on how you can get a web design clients by addressing some extremely important factors. If you fail to communicate these issues to the potential client they will, undoubtedly, become uninterested.

04 Jul 2009


25 Wonderfully Creative Vector Illustrations

With a new electronic age about, digital illustration is a whole new era of art. Among the thousands of illustrators, here are five of the best, with incredibly creative designs. Here are 25 stunning examples of what Illustrator can do, beyond making logos.

Vector illustrations are usually made in Illustrator. If you’ve never used illustrator before, or you’re new enough to it where you don’t know how to create complex illustrations like below, check out these 15 Really Great Illustrator Tutorials.

03 Jul 2009


Create a Portfolio Client Area Using PHP and MySQL: Part 1

Today’s tutorial is the beginning of a series where we’re going to use PHP and MySQL to set up a client’s area on a personal portfolio. The client will be able to sign up/log in, view their current project, send notes to the designer, upload documents, view invoices, and more.

A client’s area is something that is not that common in portfolios, but is usually a great addition to any portfolio nonetheless. If you’re tired of using 10 different tools across the web to control your clients, here is a solution that will put it all in one place.

02 Jul 2009


4 Small Web 2.0 Design Tricks that Make a Big Difference

1. Lines and Borders with Depth

This feature is often used in amazing sleek web designs, but overlooked by beginners trying to create a similar feel. An example of this effect is below. On the left are two lines, that could possibly be used as a line or border in a web design, and on the right is the same, but with a bit more depth.

Line with Depth

As anyone can see, the line with depth is a lot more visually appealing.

How to Create a Line with Depth

  1. Create a new layer on top of the background color.
  2. Instead of a 1-pixel solid color line, create two lines: A 1px black line on top of another 1px white line.
    (For a horizontal line, as one can guess, just put a 1px wide black line next to a 1px wide white line.)
  3. Set this new layer to overlay, then merge the new layer on top of any bottom layers as necessary.

Examples Used in Web Design

Depth in Line Depth Line Depth Line

2. Reflective/Gradient Shine

Anything that looks glossy can just about be considered Web 2.0. The use of a few short techniques to add gradient and gloss can spice things up. The example below is what it looks like in action, just applied to a rectangle of solid color. The same effect can be used on logos, the background for content areas, text, images, and more.

Plain, Boring Color Box

Reflective Gradient Shine

How to Create a Reflective/Gradient Shine

  1. Create a new layer over the original image. (In this case, the plain green rectangle.)
  2. Using the Elliptical Marquee tool, create a portion of an ellipse on the top part of the rectangle.Tutorial
  3. Create a white to transparent gradient vertically upwards. Make sure the white is on the bottom. (To create a completely vertical gradient, hold down the shift key.)Tutorial
  4. Change the layer’s blending mode to Soft Light.
  5. Press “Ctrl [Cmd], Shift, I” to invert the current selection. Then, create another new layer.
  6. Create a black to transparent gradient in this selection, with black on the bottom.Tutorial
  7. Change this layer’s blending mode to Overlay.
  8. Put the opacity of both gradient layers down by about 50%. Alter the opacity of both until the image looks right.
    Reflective Gradient Shine

3. Drop Shadows

Drop shadows are used surprisingly often in Web 2.0 design, despite their bad reputation for being old-fashioned and cheesy in the web design world. This is because they are great for adding a sense of realism to a design, like a realistic sense of a flat piece of paper (or other material) setting on another flat surface. That’s the effect we get on the right.

However, on the left, it’s easy to see the effect is cheesy, old-fashioned, and should never be used. On the left, the dropshadow gradient is so large that it seems as though the green block is unnaturally floating above the flat background.

Cheesy Drop Shadow Stylish Drop Shadow

The trick is to use dropshadows to make things realistic. Don’t use dropshadows just for the sake of using them.

4. Rounded Corners

They’re not included in the new CSS3 for nothing. Rounded corners are often times a great way to add a bit more appeal to a design, especially a modern design. Many sleek and modern product designs often feature smooth curves and edges. Blocky feels old and clunky — smooth is new and modern.

Square Box Better Better

Wrapping Up

Not all of these have to be used simultaneously for a great Web 2.0 design, but they are a closer look at some simple tricks one can try to see if the effect will improve a sleek web design. In the end, though, good design comes from experience and a good eye for design.

These are, of course, very basic principles and are meant for beginners in web design. Anyone looking for the next step, or for anyone looking for more advanced techniques, should check out How to Accurately and Effectively Research a Web Design Style. The article goes over how to discover your own techniques when learning Web 2.0, or any other design style for that matter.

01 Jul 2009


22 Photoshop Tutorials for Awesome Lighting Effects

1. Magic Lighting Effect

Magic Lighting Effect

2. Really Cool Ellipse Effect

Really Cool Ellipse Effect

3. Fiery Photoshop Space Explosion Tutorial

Fiery Explosion Space Tutorial

4. Creating Light Motion Trails & Glowing Sparks

5. Create a Space Explosion from Scratch in Photoshop

Create a Space Explosion from Scratch in Photoshop

6. Seriously Cool Photoshop Explosion Effect

Seriously Cool Photoshop Explosion Effect

7. Space Lighting Effects in 10 Steps

Space Lighting Effectsin 10 Steps

8. Advanced Glow Effects

Advanced Glow FX

9. MSNBC Style Effect

MSNBC Effect

10. Easily Create a Beautiful, Unique Website Header

Glowing Website Header

11. Energize Your Graphics with Abstract Energy Lines

Abstract Energy Lines

12. Super Fast – Speed Lighting Effect

Super Fast Lighting Effect

13. End of the World Photo Manipulation

End of the World Photo Manipulation

14. Explosion

Explosion Tutorial

15. Mysterious Lighting Effect Tutorial for Photoshop

Mysterious Glow

16. Fire Lines v2

Fire Lines

17. Vector Polishing Techniques

Vector Polishing Techniques

18. Creating A Fantastic Fantasy Night Sky In Photoshop

Night Sky

19. Chroma Wallpapers

Chroma Wallpapers

20. Glowing Fairies

Glowing Fairies

21. High-Tech Swirling Aurora

High-tech Swirling Aurora

22. Amazing Photoshop light effect in 10 Steps

Amazing Photoshop Light Effect

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