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20 Insightful Theory Articles for All Graphic Designers

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Vectortuts+ offers a variety of tutorials for different skill levels and aspects of vector design, but also a wide selection of theory based articles. Each offering expert insight and valuable advice on subjects including promoting yourself, typography, character design and much much more. Today we share with you twenty of our favorite theory articles.


  • Selfless Self-Promotion: How to Promote Yourself Without Talking About Yourself

    Promoting yourself doesn’t have to mean talking about yourself. There are so many other ways to get your name out there and market your brand. This is something that is too often overlooked by creative professionals. The best part is that the alternative methods that we're referring to not only serve to draw more attention to your work, but also allow you to interact with the larger illustration community and feel the rewards of giving back to your fellow artists. Let’s look a few simple ways to promote yourself without talking about yourself.


  • How to Work with Family and Friends

    At some point in your life, someone close to you will seek out your illustration or design skills. Trust me, if they haven’t asked you yet, they will. So what happens when friends and family become your client? We’ve put together some tips to help you out.


  • How to Make a Happy and Safe Office Space

    Lately I have been working some extraordinarily long days in front of the screen. Not only has it been exhausting it has made me think much more seriously about the importance of a proper office setup. I will share some tips and ideas for your office space that will make you more productive and keep the aches and pains away.


  • How to Survive a Job Interview, 10 Tips for Creative Professionals

    Are you the kind of person that — no matter how many job interviews you attend — you’re a ball of nervous energy? You’re not alone! In the following article we will share a few tips on how to be prepared and sail though your interview like a professional.


  • Character Design – Nailing the Basics

    If you’re thinking of becoming a professional illustrator, character design will come up as a client request again and again, so keeping up on current trends is a must. To get started creating your own characters, you’ll need to nail the basics, which includes: getting comfortable sketching, refining your process, and streamlining your overall approach.


  • Roughly Speaking: Character Design Sketching Approaches

    Character design comes in many styles, but they all start with the rough sketch. Often overlooked in online tutorials, technique and process videos, they are the foundation to creating quality characters. The following is an overview of rough sketches from some fantastic character design artists, with many different styles and approaches.


  • How to Deal with Creative Block

    Even the most accomplished Illustrators and Designers will come up against a block at one time or another. In the following article I’ll share with you my personal experiences with Creative Block and a few tips and tricks I’ve learnt to keep it under control.


  • 10 Tips for Effective Icon Design

    Translating the ‘iconic’ features of an object into something that is metaphorically meaningful and instantly recognizable is no easy task — particularly when the design needs to be as effective at 48×48 pixels as it is at 256×256! A memorable and functional icon is beautiful, iconic, meaningful and functional. Here are ten wise tips on how to create outstanding icons.


  • Communicating with Typography

    Type is always communicative, even if it wasn’t designed with that goal in mind, but there are some great ways to really make it shout. In this tutorial, we’ll explore some basic as well as some more clever ways to use type to communicate a feeling, message or idea. There are a variety of characteristics that can influence what type communicates, including but definitely not limited to: typeface & font, size, kerning, leading, capitalization, and color.


  • Printing & Prepress Basics

    While art and design schools do an impressive job of teaching the importance of form, function, and how to use flashy Photoshop techniques, it’s rare that designers have been taught the skills necessary to pass off their projects to printers so that they may not only successfully, but smoothly, produce a designed work. In this article, we’ll discuss the basics when it comes to translating your brilliant ideas (and surely hours of your precious time and energy) into successfully printed projects with a printer, making it easier to keep your deadlines and maintain a blissfully happy and healthy relationship with your vendor.


  • 20 Weird Logos That Work (and Why They Do)

    Logos are everywhere. Because of this, only a few can rise among the noise — and often it’s the more unique logos that are most memorable. Sometimes to be unique, you’ve also got to be weird. In this post, we showcase twenty lovably strange logos that work.


  • The Elements of Cute Character Design

    You’ve always wanted to develop a character which has the potential to enchant the world and to compete with Hello Kitty? In this article we’d like to present some elements making a character cute and lovable and to support you in achieving your goals. First, we talk about why something is regarded as cute. Afterwards we’d like to offer an overall view on cute proportions and as a conclusion consider general rules and tips. The goal is to create a manual of cute character design which can be universally used in the process of design.


  • Scratching Your Niche Market

    As opposed to discussing just the specific techniques used to target a precise niche market, I would like to start off with a few over arching thoughts. I will cover some basic, yet very useful principles to keep in mind for the bigger picture (Get it? ‘Bigger picture,’ like your career – hehe), and then supply a case study of how I have used them in my work.


  • Core Art Skills: Part 1 of 5

    Vectortuts+ is excited to bring you a new five part series on core art skills. In this series, Ben Mounsey will be sharing in-depth knowledge and analysis of the skills required to become a better illustrator. Ben will be outlining four main skills; using sketchbooks, life drawing, working in traditional 3D and using traditional media techniques for your digital work, culminating in a professional tutorial that will knock your socks off! This series is great for all skill levels and you’ll be surprised how a solid understanding of traditional methods can greatly improve your digital workflow.


  • Open the Door into the Science of Color Theory

    Color theory is a vast and complicated sphere of knowledge. It consists of different scientific elements, such as: optics, spectroscopy, human anatomy and physiology, psychology, art history and theory, philosophy, ethics, architecture theory, design and many other applied sciences. In this article we will show only the schemes of harmonic color combinations and the examples of their usage by a bunch of talented vector artists.


  • Creating Limited Edition Posters and Prints

    Have you ever wanted to make your own limited edition prints and posters, but weren’t sure where to start? In the following article you will learn about various ways to print your designs and how to package and sell your creations. Let’s take a look!


  • Primary Design Elements Found in Outstanding Digital Illustrations

    Following on from, Using Design Principles to Create Exceptional Vector Illustrations, today we have a collection of digital illustrations that highlight the primary elements of design. Design elements are the building blocks that are used to create an image. These include, line, color and shape. Although they may seem basic, if you take the time to think about the elements and how they can be used, you will have a better understanding of your creations – and perhaps think of a few new ideas too!


  • What is Vexel Art?

    Vexel art has been mentioned on a variety of websites, be it talking about vector art and vexel art, or featuring the wonderful work created by vexel artists. However, do you actually know the answer to “What is vexel art?”

    In today’s article we are going to give an in depth look at what vexel art is, how to create it and why it isn’t vector art – which is the key point of the article. It will get technical in places so please bare with us as we go through the differences between raster and vector and then what vexel art is.


  • Stop Making Bad Logos

    There’s article after article on websites that talk bout how to make a great logo. But If you’re a logo machine, and you’ve been doing it for a long time, chances are that you’ve developed some pretty awful habits. How do I know this? Because I suffered from some of the same habits I’m about to talk about. A true master of logo creation will refine their work on every project, forcing themselves to get better with each design. It all boils down to a few key things to avoid when you’re creating a logo. While you can take a stab at selling generic logos on places like GraphicRiver, you’ll do your best work when you deeply understand your clients and their company. Now lets dive into the ways you can stop making bad logos.


  • How to Add Illustrative Flair to an Infographic Without Compromising Data

    Flavoring a project with a little illustrative flair, is a temptation of many who design infographics. After all, you are tasked with taking information and statistics and trying to make people care enough to notice them by visualizing it. But how much is too much when it comes to adding your own personal illustration style in a graphic? And, can your illustration style possibly compromise the very data you wanted to communicate? Illustrations can play a crucial role in an infographic, but you have to make sure they are appropriate to the content and don’t steal the show. Here are a few things to keep in mind…


Conclusion

Vectortuts+ has much more articles available and on a regular basis we're always adding more. Some are general design articles as we've shared today and others are vector specific. Keep your eyes open for more in the near future!

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