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Best of the Vector Web - September 2010

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As you know, each month, we search the web for the best vector-related content and showcase it here for you all to enjoy. This month, we found some really great tutorials on vector perspective drawing, dimensional button creation, and silk screened promotional material. Grab your quick dose of colorful vector inspiration, downloadable freebies, interesting articles, and more. September was another vector month with loads of quality material to peruse.

Vector Tutorials

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    Create a Promo Pack

    Learn how Hydro74 worked with Sticker Robot and Vahalla Studios to create an awesome self promotional sticker pack, made with a super high quality silk screened process. If you want to grab the attention of art directors, make something that will stick around on client's desks, and grab that next illustration assignment, then this is a must read tutorial.

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    Illustrator Tutorial: Master the Basics: Perspective Drawing in Illustrator

    In this tutorial you'll learn how to use the perspective grid, which is one of Illustrator CS5's best additions to the program. Learn to set up the grid, map artwork to it, work with the perspective plane, and more. This is a great way to combine software and traditional drawing fundamentals. Use it to creative illusions of 3d space on a 2d plane. If you enjoy this tutorial, then try the project tutorials on creating a diner and creating a modern TV using the Perspective Tools here on Vectortuts+.

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    Create a Color Picker Icon In Illustrator

    Over on Colorburned friendly guest artist Ryan Putnam shows us how to create a simple, elegant, color picker icon. He uses blends, gradients and simple shapes. The style is perfect for web design or interface design use. Follow along with this all levels tutorial and learn how to apply these techniques in your icon work.

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    Create an Elegant Patterned Vector Owl in Illustrator

    Owls are great to draw, and fun to make in Adobe Illustrator. Follow along with popular designer Chris Spooner as he walks you through the use of simple shapes and patterns to create an attractive vector owl illustration. The combination of basic patterns and textures helps make this illustration stand out.

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    Design Art Equipment Vector Illustrations

    This is another tutorial that shows how to create iconic graphics aimed at the beginning Illustrator user. The results are attractive and shiny. Learn to construct a set of vector art elements that include: pencil, triangle ruler, and paint brush. The use of texture and light are helpful elements to bring a level of realism to your icons.

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    Stylish text effect tutorial using Illustrator

    Learn to create a raised metal text effect in this Illustrator tutorial. The technics used are mostly applying gradients, warping the text, and simple effects like drop shadows and glows. If you'd like some additional techniques like painting in vector highlights, then read through Russell Tate's quick tip on Creating Chrome here on Vectortuts+.

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Vector Quick Tip Tutorials

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    Quick Tutorial: Create Chunky Buttons

    Ryan Putnam teaches us how to create this very cool chunky button. They are easy to make and big on style. This quick tip is easy to follow and will add another graphic style to you web design arsenal.

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    Bounding box handles in Illustrator

    In this quick Illustrator tip Veerle shares with us a technique for working with strokes when doing precision work. She shows us how to work with the outer bounds of the stroke and how to reset the bounding box as well.

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    Clipping Masks in Illustrator CS5

    Learn how to first combine vector elements using the Shape Builder Tool in Illustrator CS5, then also add unique splat vector shapes. As the final result you'll learn to use this merged shape to mask a photo in the style of a poster from the movie "From Paris with Love."

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    Photoshop and Illustrator Interaction

    Sometimes when you're working in Photoshop you may wish it had certain tools that Illustrator does in order to speed up your workflow. This video tutorial shows a situation where one would use Illustrator to define a raster image as a symbol and then create a design using the symbol as a brush, which Photoshop can't do as efficiently. Finally you can drop the design back into Photoshop as a smart object, in case you need to tweak it later - great workflow.

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    How to Draw a Vector Geisha in Illustrator – Speed Drawing

    I love speed drawing tutorials, it's a way to get a quick overview of an artist's process. Even though there is no sound here, it's still an over the shoulder look at this artist's working process. The final results are great and he works from a sketch. Most of the work is done with a vector brush as well as the coloring.

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Vector Inspiration

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    HumanNature84, Glad to Share

    HumanNature84 is a rare breed of vector artist, one who's work has a three dimensional shiny feel and loads of lighting effects one would typically associate with Photoshop work, but this is clearly vector. Kate (aka: Loungekat) and I were drooling over this work recently, and it's great to see it featured on BSV. Now we just need to get HN84 to do a tutorial over here on Vectortuts+!

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    Creative Examples Of Infographics

    Information graphics are a great way to quickly grok a set of data. Showing how information works together and intertwines can add a level of understanding that's difficult to replicate with text alone. A few of these are over-illustrated, but most of them are simple, elegant examples of high quality infographics.

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    Patrick Hruby Inspiration

    One of my favorite blogs is Grain Edit, which shows loads of retro 50s-70s inspired work with a classic beauty and simple, timeless design aesthetic. I often check it daily. This month Patrick's work stood out. It's playful, and simply made up of geometric shapes, sharp forms, and clean colorful compositions. His work of a spider constructing an abstract web feels like it was made fifty years ago, and is a brilliant visual concept.

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    Playful Illustrations by Christian San Jose

    Over on Abduzeedo they often show a handful of awesome illustrations from a single artist, most of these are photo manipulations, or designers, but occasionally an awesome vector illustrator will be featured. This artist's oversatured colorful work is a must see with works like Chuck Norris kicking in neon greatness.

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Articles and Resources

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    How to Approach Art Directors Without Being Annoying

    Establishing any contact and business relationship can be a delicate balance. Push to hard and you'll drive a potential client away, and don't get out there, and no one will know who you are. This article discusses how to spark that initial conversation and start a dialogue with an art director - without pestering.

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    Creating Graphs With Adobe Illustrator

    Smashing Magazine delivers an in-depth review of Graph creation in Illustrator, and how to work with it's graphing tools. Proper workflow, limitations, and even suggestions on how Adobe could improve this tool are covered.

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    Project Budgets and Secrets

    Brian Hoff discusses the importance of obtaining a client's budget information in conjunction with their goals before starting a project. It's necessary to plan a solution that fits their needs. He points out a common flaw many clients have, and that's keeping there project's budget secret. Nuances of navigating this difficult situation are discussed quite a bit in the article's comments, well worth reading, especially for freelance designers.

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    Fridays with Mordy

    Mordy Golding is an Adobe Illustrator training professional. This guy knows the ins and outs of this program, as well as all kinds of technological peculiarities. He has numerous books and training videos out on Illustrator. Attend Fridays with Mordy, which is a live weekly group web meeting with him. These sessions are also recorded. You can view the last one on Illustrator's Live Trace Tool now.

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    20+ Design Jobs and Disciplines Explained with Examples

    If you're in school, or a bit new to the design industry, then read through this article. I know my first year in design school that I barely understood what a graphic designer did, let alone all the potential career paths and related fields. This is a good primer on more than twenty possible professional directions to go for a career in design.

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(FREE!) Downloads

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    New Font Balkeno, by Désigne

    If you're like me, you're always on the hunt for good quality free fonts. Balkeno is a font that has a flowing decorative style, while feeling modern and simply elegant. It's an interesting aesthetic balance for a typeface.

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    Knight Helmet - Vector Freebie

    Get mediaeval with vector helmet freebie. A limited color palette, hand drawn feel, and retro flavor mark the style of this freebie, which would look great on a t-shirt.

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    40 Free Vector Graphics for your Print Media Designs

    This big collection of vector graphics are put together for print designers, though they could be used in many different types of projects. There are loads of various vectors here to choose from, but before you use any of the freebies, be sure to check the license designated by the creator to stay within the stated guidelines.

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    Social Media Sleek Icons: Icon Pack

    This free social media icon pack includes 25 sleek, modern and very usable social media/networking icons that can be used and downloaded (free of charge) in your work. The usage license here is quite broad and may be just the right fit for your next web design project.

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    Design Elements

    These well-shaded, shiny design element, available on Vecteezy, are iconic and have a three dimensional feel. There are 10 graphics here to use for your next project that needs a dose of professional colorful design.

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