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Best of the Vector Web - August 2011

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Each month, we search the web for the best vector-related content and showcase it here for you all to enjoy. This month, we showcase high quality tutorials on creating vintage vector seamless patterns, creating abstract character scenes, luminous text effects, geometric graphics, and more. We have loads of tutorials, in addition to inspiring articles, resources, and useful freebies inside. Dig into August's illustration and design material for vector lovers.

Vector Tutorials

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    Create Abstract Characters

    Well-known illustrator Zutto shows how to make a colorful character composition and add shading using vectors. He reveals details on adding volume and depth to your work. And uses Illustrator's Draw Inside mode.

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    Photoshop & Illustrator Tutorial: Add Depth to Vector Art Using Shadows and Glows

    Jonny Wan shows us how to step slightly outside ones comfort zone, and enhance your typical workings style with glows and texture shading. He shows how to add depth to two-tone patterned work using Illustrator and a dash of Photoshop.

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    How to Create Interesting Text Effects Using Adobe Illustrator and Phantasm CS

    Iaroslav Lazunov demonstrates how to create a dramatic text effect using Phantasm CS plugin and Illustrator. This tutorial uses a simple build process that is great for beginners to jump into, as it has an excellent result for the work involved, and shouldn't take more than 20 minutes to complete.

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    How To Create a Patterned Vector Skateboard Design

    Learn how Chris Spooner customizes a skate deck with rad geometric graphics. Follow this beginner Illustrator tutorial to learn how to create a patterned deck design that has a green-hued, minimal color scheme. The style feels old school and once the pattern is placed on the deck the vector looks lifelike. Would be a great add to put something like this in your folio.

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    How to Create a Shutter Shape in Illustrator

    In this Illustrator tutorial Veerle tackles creating a simple camera shaped icon. Drawing something so geometrically perfect can be challenging, even in Illustrator. She mentioned how some "pre-analysis" is necessary to get it right. In this case the strategy hinges around utilizing the negative hexagon shape to build the six rounded edge shapes, with some rotation and pathfinder functions, and viola.

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    Create a Corn Cob in Adobe Illustrator

    Over on Noupe, Jasmina Stanojevic shows us how to create a corn on the cob illustration in vector. She uses the Blend Tool and Envelope Distort in Illustrator to construct the yellow corn filling, big time saver, and the results there work really well. The leaves are made with the Pen tool and colored with some lovely gradients, which based on their various counterposed directions, give it a nice depth effect on it's green parts.

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    Create a Clean Retro Badge in Adobe Illustrator

    This Illustrator tutorial from Tyler is great for beginning designers. It demonstrates step by step how to create a retro badge. Its shows how each shape is drawn, the applied warp gives the final results a more natural feel, and the triangular brush added for the shading is a nice touch as well.

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    Illustrator Shapes to Photoshop 3D

    Corey Barker shows us how to create 3D text effects in Photoshop from vector paths. The paths are made from extruded text in Illustrator, which is then place in Photoshop. This greatly speeds up the process and is an easy workflow to follow for creating 3D text effects.

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    Create an Angry Birds Parody in Illustrator

    Over at Abduzeedo, Marcos Torres shows us how to create an Angry Birds scene, which is really funny, the birds are planning their attack in a mock war room. The tutorial requires little drawing skills, as most of the graphics in the illustration are built from shapes and a little Pen tool work, so great for beginners and intermediate Illustrator users to work on.

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    How to Create a Seamless Pattern in Khokhloma Painting Style Using Adobe Illustrator

    This tutorial from Iaroslav Lazunov is stunning. It has a classic feel and each shape is a solid fill, though the highlights on each berry element give it a nice depth to the overall look. The workflow involves creating mostly basic shapes and then you'll learn how to make the pattern you've created flow infinitely.

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Vector Inspiration, Articles, and Resources

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    50 Ways to Nail an Illustration Brief

    This article has a truckload of advice from seasoned designers, illustrators, and art directors on how to commission an illustration, create a brief, communicate effectively without constraining, work with illustrators, and some workflows that help deliver quality results.

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    Jonas Bergstrand Crafts Beautiful 'Vintage' Posters for Soho Beach House

    In this interview with Swedish illustrator Jonas Bergstrand you'll how he created posters reminiscent of high quality retro posters. Learn how he overcame some of the compositional problems, art direction challenges, and technical issues in completing some of these posters. These were created using both Illustrator and Photoshop.

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    Weekly Vector Inspiration #133

    Ryan Putnam of Vectips delivers another assortment of vector awesomeness. He has a great eye for exciting vector work. If you're looking for inspiration, then check out this roundup, which showcases retro punk pinup posters, dancing object characters, stylized lettering effects, vintage vector type work, and more.

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    Fun Illustrations by Joao Lauro Fonte

    Joao Lauro Fonte is a Brazilian graphic artist currently based in London. His portfolio is filled with playful and colorful illustrations all with an undeniable level of wit and humor. His style is hand drawn, feels funky, retro, and has lovely bits of texture mixed with fun colors. This roundup on his work will make you smile and feel a little envious.

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    Matthew Hollister Illustrations

    Numbers sure are powerful, and it's evident in this print by Seattle based illustrator Matthew Hollister. His illustrations appear in numerous print publication and have a lovely worn feel, and nostalgic look. His editorial illustrations employing an array of grainy textures and straightforward imagery, reminiscent of vintage Czech matchbook labels and folk art.

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(FREE!) Vector Downloads

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    New High-Quality Free Fonts

    In this selection of free fonts Smashing Magazine has rounded up an assortment of high quality ones to add to your font mangers. Check out: Tondu, Banda, Morning Glory, Matilde, Bohema, Weston Round Slab, Highlands, Cabin, Linden Hill and other fonts. As with all freebies, be sure to read the licenses carefully before using.

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    Weekly Freebies: 15 Gorgeous and Thin Free Fonts

    Add to your font collection with a great assortment of free thin fonts, fifteen in total. Thin fonts add a feeling of elegance and style to graphic work. Whether you want a slab-serif, sans-serif or retro styled thin font, you'll find many styles to choose from here.

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    25 Free Vintage and Retro Fonts

    These fonts are ideal for creating that vintage feel in your work. There is a large assortment and various styles of free fonts in tis roundup. Matchbook is one that stands out as a stylish thin retro font that I had to download.

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    Fashion Shopping Girls Vector Art

    I discovered these graphic gems over at Pixden.com. Need stylish vector characters of fashion shopping woman. Ideal for a shopping site aimed at women, this type of illustration is attractive and upbeat. They are ideal for making your next design trendy and fresh.

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    7 Free Female Model Silhouettes Vector Pack 01

    Snap2objects.com releases quite a few silhouettes packs. These have some areas of nice negative detail cut out of them as well. The girls have their hair, skin, and clothes separated for maximum versatility. These are great quality for a free vector pack. Grab this female model graphic pack today.

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