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Best of the Vector Web - March 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 vector poster design, designing cafe menus, shooting your print work for your digital portfolio, and more. We have loads of tutorials, in addition to inspiring articles, resources, and useful freebies inside. Dig into March's illustration and design material for vector enthusiasts.

Vector Tutorials

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    Using InDesign to Publish Your iPad Magazine

    Powerhouse instructor Terry White shows us how to create an interactive magazine using InDesign destined for your iPad. The concept of using multiple separate InDesign files, as stacks, to create a full issue seems cumbersome, but allows for multiple people on a team to easily collaborate. It will be interesting to watch this technology develop further and you can get your hands dirty with it now.

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    How To Create a Colorful Abstract Poster in Illustrator

    Follow this beginner Illustrator tutorial that shows you how to create an abstract poster design. Learn from Chris Spooner how to create a series of tessellating shapes using Illustrator’s Pathfinder tool, then add color gradients to bring the design to life. This colorful poster is finished off in Photoshop with some texture and polish.

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    How to Create a Print Ready Cafe Menu

    Ainsley of Bloomwebdesign.net shows how to create a print ready Cafe Menu, along with a Vector emblematic logo. This tutorial is aimed at beginners and follows a workflow that used Illustrator and Photoshop.

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    Shoot Print Work for Your Portfolio

    Effektive’s creative director Greig Anderson shares his tips for doing justice to your tactile print projects with photography. This is a practical guide, with some great examples that show how to shoot your print pieces for your digital portfolio. Sure, if you can afford a professional product photographer, then you'll likely get stunning results. But with this DIY guide you can get good to great results, on your own, and at a fraction of the cost.

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    Create a Simple Coin Stack

    Andrei Marius show how to create a very simple coin stack icon in this beginner Illustrator tutorial. A simple circle is turned into a coin via the 3D Extrude & Bevel effect. Multiple fills and strokes are added to improve the style of the coin before the Transform effect is used to multiply this into a stack of "ka-ching."

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    Illustrator Tutorial: Bring a 3D Creature to Life

    Derek Lea reworks a technique from his new book, "Beyond Photoshop" for this tutorial. He shows how to create a fun, funky monster character with Illustrator's 3D tools, apply scales and detail with Map Art, grunge it up with texture applied with an Opacity Mask, and then work it into a large final composition.

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    Illustrator Tutorial: How to Draw a Perfume Bottle

    Diana Toma shows how you can easily draw a vector perfume bottle in Illustrator with the help of the 3D Revolve effect. You will also learn to create an original semi-transparent texture for the glass and how to apply it on the bottle surface using the Map Art options. Jump into this tutorial below and when finished you can try creating another bottle in part 2.

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    Create a Lava Island Scenario in Illustrator

    Over on Abduzeedo Marcos Torres shows how to create an inspiring Tiki culture illustration. A large Tiki is the centerpiece of this tribal island illustration. Learn how to create each element of this tutorial, which is well illustrated with ample process screenshots.

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    How To Create A Beautiful Windmill Illustration Using Illustrator

    This tutorial by Ilie Ciorba is great for beginning Illustrator users, as it follow a simple shape building method to construct this windmill. It's then colored with gradients and some simple shading effects.

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    3D looking Sphere Logo, Illustrator Tutorial

    This tutorial by Alex of Creativepaths.net shows how to use map art in Illustrator's 3D tools to create an interesting tech feeling logo. He also covers the coloring and shading as well. While this tutorial doesn't cover a real logo design creation, or the process of logo design, it does give you an interesting workflow for creating a logo that feels destined for a software company.

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Vector Inspiration, Articles, and Resources

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    Adobe InDesign Tips I Wish I'd Known When Starting Out

    Lisa Valuyskaya unleashes an assortment of InDesign tips that are great for beginners. Grab some useful advice from a seasoned pro on setting up margins and bleeds, using Master Pages, working with the right image format, choosing the right color, working with black, text tips, and more.

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    40 Tutorials for Outstanding Text Effects in Illustrator

    Prakash Ghodke has put together an awesome collection of typographic effects in Illustrator. Learn how to create these typographic masterpieces and develop the skills to apply them to your own personal creations. While quite a few of these vector lettering tutorials are found here on Vectortuts+, there are many from elsewhere on the web as well.

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    Inspiring, Vibrant Artwork with Beautiful Typography

    View this exciting collection of typographic art from Jacob Gube. Take a gander at this visual feast of high impact artwork featuring stunning typographic compositions. The work ranges in complexity, and has inspiring examples for any skill level to aspire to.

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    Master Black-and-White Art

    This Digital Arts feature article explores the challenges and limitations of working in black and white. As illustrator Steven Bonner says, "Working in one colour gives you nowhere to hide. Every line is laid bare and honest." Numerous techniques and mediums are discussed, with ample samples of interesting artwork on display, some of which are vector of course.

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    McKelly is on Facebook!

    It’s been almost a year since Bucket'o'Thought and our very own Loungekat started to work on McKelly. They recently launched the McKelly Facebook Group. Grab their great "fan bonus" of their iPhone wallpapers available to everyone who follows them on Facebook. Read more about this in the announcement on Blood Sweat Vector.

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    Weekly Vector Inspiration #113

    Ryan Putnam of Vectips delivers another assortment of vector wonder and excitement. He has a great eye for awesome vector work. If you’re looking for inspiration, then check out this roundup, with cartoon and comic style vector artwork, conceptual solutions, stylish patterns, and more. I especially like the "Gypsy Pillow" by Pale Horse.

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(FREE!) Vector Downloads

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    Convert PDF Pages to Illustrator Artboards

    Grab this handy Illustrator scrip (Updated for Illustrator CS5) created by Shane Stanley, that allows you to open a multi-page PDF file in Illustrator and have it open as a single Illustrator file with multiple artboards.

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    Font Collection: 10 Excellent Free Comic Book Fonts

    Jacob Gube delivers again with this collection of comic book fonts, which will add some fun and whimsy to your design work without resorting to Comic Sans. This collection is comprised of script fonts that look like the type used in speech bubbles and lettering in comic books.

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    8 Fresh and Free High-Quality Fonts

    Henry Jones brings some high quality fonts to those of you looking for some fresh freebies. The Infinity font looks especially interesting, and worth getting your hands on, as it is sans-serif, has a thin, professional line, and a clean, geometric feel.

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    50 Excellent Free Handwritten Fonts

    With this large free font roundup (put together by Taimur Asghar), you're sure to find something to add to your collection. Many of these are completely free, but others are free only for personal use, so be sure to read the license agreement before using them in commercial projects.

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    A Showcase of Free Facebook Icons for Designers and Bloggers

    Facebook vies for the top social media spot and is ridiculously popular. For those of you web designers out there some Facebook icons will likely come in handy. Youthedesigner brings us an assortment of useful Facebook icons to grab today.

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    Golden Black Sample Vector Set

    Golden Black produces high quality vector stock art on a consistent basis. They often have a dark feel, with a heavy tattoo style, and drawn with a think line - perfect for T-shirts or band posters, as well as other client projects. It's always worth grabbing any freebies they release. This is a set of 6 illustrations that include: skulls, horror and tattoo inspired illustrations to flourishes, flowers, birds and Asian inspired vectors.

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