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Best of the Web - August

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Another month goes by and more fresh vector goodies across the web. We've got some simple and extremely detailed tutorials for all levels of illustrators. There are plenty of freebies, also articles on both business and design. We take a look at some resources as well, some vector dedicated, and other based on interesting design topics.

Tutorial Wrap

  • Recolor artwork using Illustrator's LiveColor

    Veerle covers Illustrator's LiveColor feature. She deconstructs its features and shows you how to get started recoloring your artwork. We cover using LiveColor here on Vectortuts within the tutorial Methods for Creating Random Vector Noise.

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  • BMX Illustration

    Another masterful illustration and the process of creation thoroughly explained. The tutorial shows how important a tight sketch is to Von before moving into illustrator. It allows him to use as few points as possible when Pen tool tracing to vector manually, as he eschews LiveTrace. It also leaves the guesswork out of the Illustrator stage. This is a cool logo done for a famous BMX company.

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  • Illustrator Tutorial - Create a Blissful Vector Scene

    This tutorial is a follow up to the roundup post title Illustrated Vector Landscape Web Design Trend. In this tutorial Chris shows us how to create a basic vector landscape using mostly simple Shape tools and a bit of Pen tool created shapes. This is a great tut for beginner to intermediate level Illustrator users.

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  • Wacom Settings In Illustrator

    In this Tools & Tips style tutorial, Rype walks us through how to set up and use a Wacom in Illustrator. He covers various tools one could use to create graphics in Illustrator with a Wacom.

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  • Envelope distortion in Illustrator

    Computer Arts has a PDF download tutorial on distorting lines to give your artwork a more organic feel. They have a new tutorial on Adding perspective to maps as well. There is also a geometric focused tutorial on Computer Arts this month as well Shape-based illustration

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(FREE!) Download Picks

  • Free Vector Pack 12 Sampler

    GoMedia recently released another Set of Vectors and this is the free sampler pack. There is one from each pack to share: Color 8-Bit, East Asian Folk Art, Linework 2, Tattered Scrolls, Tiling Halftones, Zombies and Guts, & Slime It's an eclectic set of vector downloads. Get some brains, zombies, realistic hearts, and more.

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  • The Most Retro Line Illustrator Brushes Ever!

    In this set you'll find 160 retro line Illustrator brushes. Each brush has a unique color scheme and should come in handy when you need to create a quick set of retro lines. This is a huge selection to solve your quick line creation needs.

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  • Food & Cooking Vector Graphics

    Another set of graphics and icons from Dapino. This set is available in CS3 and EPS. This collection is based on shiny and colorful food and cooking graphics. There are pans, plates with silverware, cups, fruit, a chef's hat, and more.

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  • Notes Vector Set

    This is a simple set of sticky notes, which includes various cute and functional graphics to use in conjunction with the notes.

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  • Letter Patterns

    This is a free set of interesting stellar graphics. They are all geometric and formulated based on various spinning rounded star shapes. They could be used to construct quick background elements to enhance your next design.

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Article Wrap

  • How to Handle a Creative Brief

    This article gives some helpful advice on working with clients. Briefs are the basis of any project. Whether they have a formal structure and are built into a contract, notes you've compiled, or emails exchanged. Ultimately, they are what you use to create the design and dictate expectation, deliverables, due dates, and payment. The article is good and don't miss the checklist on the last page.

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  • 220+ Stunning Creative Skateboard Graphics

    This is a collection of over 200 skateboard deck graphics. They are from various designers and illustrators. Almost all of them have a funky vector style that will get your creative juices flowing!

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  • How Not to Design

    Pasqale covers some funny design no-no's. It's more than humorous though, as there is truth packed in each section. Here are a few to give you an idea about the structure of the article: Bevel & Emboss, Crappy Colors, Gloss, and Gradient Abuse. He also encourages everyone to give there own bad design avoidance advise.

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  • Inkscape: Open Source Drawing for SVG

    This is a quick review of some of the benefits of Inkscape for web designers. The article highlights the strengths of Inkscapes SVG files and how they can be used with Javascript.

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  • Top 10 Masters of Gradient Mesh

    This article is a good reminder of how much can be done with the Gradient Mesh tool when used by a master illustrator. Here is an older article on this subject that has many of the same references and more: The World's Most Photorealistic Vector Art. I also wrote an article based more on combining vector realism with stylization over at Smashing Magazine called Inspirational Hyperreal Vector Artists and Images.

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Resource Wrap

  • Vectormagic

    This online program used to be free, though now requires you to either purchase a subscription, or download a desktop version, which currently is only available for PC. This program has numerous options and built a following. Many people feel that this program produces better tracing results than Illustrator. It's especially good at tracing bitmap logos into vector graphics, which will get some clients out of the dark ages.

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  • The Ampersand

    This blog is dedicated to the ampersand. "I like the ampersand. I think it is often the most attractive character of them all. This blog is an attempt to give this humble ligature the respect it deserves." There are lot's of images of ampersands on design work and in everyday life. It's a fun topic for a blog.

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  • Vectorvault

    This site is a great vector resource. Content is updated frequently and is focused on vector resources, vector artists, and all sorts of vector goodness.

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  • AdobeTV

    If you're interested in learning design and different adobe programs (like Illustrator) through video, then check out AdboeTV. Here is a short review of the site Illustrator on Adobe TV.

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  • Color Overload

    This blog is focused on t-shirts. It's all about designing t-shirts, creating apparel, interesting t-shirts found across the web. Here is a fun post put up recently 10 Coolest Chuck Norris T Shirts Ever!.

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