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Best of the Web – February 2009

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As you know, each month we round up the best vector content from around the web. In February there was a ton of great content to choose from. Each month the vector community seems to grow larger and stronger; this has made the selection process for choosing the best vector content even harder than it has been in the past. So, take a moment and review some of the best vector content for the month of February.

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  • Design Amazing Mosaic Effects in Illustrator and Photoshop

    We have all seen mosaics made up of smaller images and symbols. While there are a handful of Photoshop plug-ins that can simulate this effect, the results can be mixed. This tutorial from Digital Arts shows how to create a detailed mosaic effect in Illustrator and Photoshop without using filters or plug-ins.

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  • The Making of Abe, the Are My Sites Up Mascot

    Chris Spooner of Spoon Graphics recently worked with Chris Coyier of CSS Tricks to produce a cartoon monster mascot for a newly launched site. The challenge was to create a monster character that could become part of this site’s branding. Chris documented the whole process, the result was this tutorial.

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  • Complex Symbols with Pathfinder

    We’ve all seen logo designs that use breathtaking 3D effects. In this tutorial Abduzeedo uses the pathfinder tool to show how to reproduce these effects to create complex symbols and 3D effects in Illustrator.

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  • Gradient Strokes

    In Illustrator you can’t apply gradients to strokes the way you normally would. In response to a user request, Vectips shows how to apply gradients to strokes using the appearance panel in Illustrator CS4.

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  • Abstract & Original “Origami” Effect

    This tutorial from Design Blurb walks us through a special technique used to create an abstract and original origami effect in Illustrator using mostly basic shapes and the direct selection tool. This simple effect can be used to create all sorts of interesting designs.

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  • Cropping Images

    Have you ever exported an image in Illustrator only to realize that your image didn’t export the way you had imagined? When you export an image in Illustrator, Illustrator calculates the bounding box of the whole area taken up by your image including any clipping masks contained within the Illustration. This means that sometimes Illustrator exports your images either too large or too small. This tutorial from Vector Diary shows how to resolve this problem.

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(FREE!) Download Picks

  • Free Vector and Pixel Repeat Patterns - Leafy Set 1

    Leafy, organic swirls can add lots of interest to your designs. Kick your designs up a notch with this breathtaking set of free seamless patterns from Pattern Head. Download these patterns today, they will make an excellent addition to your design arsenal.

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  • Custom Designious Vector Pack - Voted on by YOU!

    Not too long ago Bittbox and Designious teamed up to ask their readers what kind of vectors that they wanted most. The answer was varied so instead of sticking to just one type of genre they decided to offer a variety pack with an impressive range of vectors for your designs.

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  • 10 Incredible Seamless Destroyed Vectors

    I have often found that when I attempt to distress my vectors that many times my distressed elements lack the detail required to do the job as effectively as I would like. This is because that when you scale vectors to very large sizes, they tend to lose detail. I created this set of seamless destroyed vectors to help with this issue.

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  • Vector Freebie: Ornate Flourish & Pattern

    In February Go Media released a free sample of their Ornate Vector Pack. The Ornate Vector Pack is part of their Vector Set 14 which includes a ton of very nice vectors. Floral patterns can add lots of interest to your designs whether it is for web or print.

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  • Ornate Swirls

    As you’ve probably noticed, swirls are very trendy in design right now. I personally love swirls and really enjoy incorporating them into my designs. Last month, Room 122 released this elegant set of 6 ornate swirls for free on their site.

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  • A Signal Noise Odyssey Parts 1-4

    This fantastic series [ Pt: 1, 2, 3, 4 ] on Signal Noise outlines the process of creating a cartoon character from a sketch. This series spends a lot of time talking about the creative process and how the character came into being. It’s a very detailed and impressive explanation into the creative process; definitely worth a look.

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  • How to Position Yourself as an Expert

    Positioning yourself as an expert can often be the difference between landing an account or not. If you have been freelancing for a while, odds are that you have developed an expertise in a number of specialized areas. This article will help you to further your expertise and help you to position yourself as an expert so that you can ensure that you land that next account.

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  • Survive an All Nighter

    Do your friends, family and coworkers ridicule your nocturnal lifestyle? At times do you feel guilty for staying up late to work on a project? This article outlines the pros and cons of the nocturnal designer.

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  • 10 Web Typography Rules Every Designer Should Know

    When someone visits your website, the odds are that they don’t care much about the colors, images or sounds; they’re immediately looking at the text. No matter how many bells and whistles you’ve built into a website, everyone relies on text to accomplish whatever they’re visiting the site to do. This article takes a look at 10 easy rules to keep in mind when designing your next web project.

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  • 5 Reasons to Subscribe to Design Blogs

    RSS readers make surfing the web so much easier. Instead of visiting, revisiting, and visiting your favorite sites again to see if new content has been added, you can simply subscribe to the site’s feed and receive a message when that site adds new content. This article from My Ink Blog offers 5 reasons why you should describe to design blogs.

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