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Best of the Web - September 2009

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The month of September offered a lot of interesting resources for the graphic designer, and we've taken all the resources offered and made a balanced list of the best tutorials, freebies, and articles on the web. This month we included something for everyone, from the casual designer to the serious one we have tutorials as well as articles that will interest them.

For tutorials we have a few very cool typography tutorials, that include a realistic fire effect along with a neon effect. As for the articles, we have an interesting article on the origin of the "I Love NY" logo, and also an article about a compilation of the best graphic design books out there. On top of that we have another great group of freebies, including vectors, wallpapers, and icons. So lets take a look at September's Best!

Tutorial Wrap

  • Stone Texture in Photoshop

    We will start off the tutorial list with a very simple tutorial that is very valuable for some of the newer designers because it shows you how to make a very nice looking stone texture from scratch. All you need to use are some of the basic tools and filters to achieve this effect. If you are a more seasoned designer then you can obviously skip this because you probably wont learn anything new, but for the newbies this one is very useful and can also be applied to typography. So check this one out if it is for you.

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  • Design Repeating T-Shirt Motifs

    This is something for the more advanced designer, but then again anyone can try it out. The goal of this tutorial is to show you how to create a repeat pattern that is similar to the repeat patterns you see on t-shirts today. The designer goes into detail on the process of creating this illustration. There are also a lot of great techniques to learn including stock blending and creating line art from your hand drawings.

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  • On Track Design Explorations

    This is more of an abstract tutorial in more ways than one, the goal of this tutorial is to show the reader how to create a strong composition and then the rest of the design should come to you. While the author is explaining that he is also giving an example on how he created one of his abstract illustrations. So this is a good read if you think that you need some basic training in making an illustration, or if you just like the piece that the designer made and want to see how to make it yourself.

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  • Wild Fire Typography

    As I said earlier, we will be exploring two types of typographic designs, and here is the first. We have all seen this design in the past but some still aren't positive on how to master it, well to solve that try looking at this tutorial. The techniques used here are fairly the same as any other "good" tutorial on this topic but the outcome looks extremely realistic and it is bound to catch attention if you make it right. So with some reading and practice anyone should be able to master this typographic technique.

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  • Creating 1980's Effects

    Lately a lot of designers have hopped on the "retro" bandwagon and started creating designs that are inspired by the 80's and 70's and then mixing them with more futuristic elements, so since this is somewhat of a new trend not too many quality tutorials have come out on this topic, until now. Here we have a very cool retro tutorial that shows how to get that 80's feel to your art by using simple techniques like texture manipulation, and very simple filters. So everyone should check this out because the result is fantastic and the process is fairly simple.

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  • Neon Style Typography

    Here is our second typographic tutorial, this one will show you how to create a very sleek and realistic neon sign. This is another fairly simple tutorial with a nice looking final product, so everyone should try this out and then master it to learn all the skills taught in this tutorial.

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  • 3D Hosting Layout

    Like I said earlier we have a little bit for everybody. So if you are interested in designing templates then this one is for you, this tutorial will show you how to create an amazing 3D hosting website template. The techniques used here are simple and they explain the basics of creating layouts, but the final product looks very professional and looks like something that would be used by a company for their hosting website.

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(FREE!) Download Picks

  • High Quality iPhone Wallpapers

    Our first freebie of the month is for the many of you who own an iphone and need a change of wallpaper. Well PsdVault has got you covered, they got 20 very high quality wallpapers and cut them down to fit the iphone resolution. The wallpapers cover designs like a modified apple logo, to very sleek looking vectors, to patterned designs. So if you are an iphone user who is in need of a wallpaper then check this out.

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  • 50 high Quality Icon Sets

    Here we have another huge set of icons for you guys. This pack features icons for Commerce, as well as stuff that websites would use as buttons and other useful stuff. There is not much to say so just check it out and download away since it is free.

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  • Tron Legacy Wallpaper

    Next we have a very nice looking wallpaper free to download for all. The design was inspired by the movie "Tron" and it looks very futuristic. The wallpaper comes in pretty much every resolution including iPhone resolution, so check this out and download it if you need a change of wallpaper.

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  • Now this is a very cool and original set of wallpapers that you do not see too often and at this level of quality also. We are being given a set of "October" calendar wallpapers so you can have the calendar integrated into your wallpaper. If you are in need of this then download one, there is a wide assortment of types of wallpapers. 50 Wallpapers to be exact, so sit and look through them until you find one you like.

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  • Largest Collection of Free Vectors

    Crazy Leaf Design has set out to create the largest collection of free vectors, and they might have achieved their goal because this list is massive and covers a ton of different topics on Vectors, everything you need should be here so check it out and download away.

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Article Wrap

  • iStock Opens up a can of worms

    Many designers and photographers use iStockphoto to either download or upload photo's from or onto their database, and now iStock has offered $5 per approved logo, but the catch is they are leaving it up to the client to go through the proper trademark and legal issues. So check this article out, it explains what is being done right now and why designers are concerned.

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  • Origins of the "I Love NY" Logo

    Here is an article that is a bit of a history lesson for all the logo enthusiasts among us, the article features a clip of the originator of this famous logo and his thoughts on how it has grown to be imitated and known worldwide.

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  • 10 Solutions to Easily Create an Online Portfolio

    This article is for those who need to showcase their graphic work on the web but do not know how. The author offers up some suggestions, from famous websites like Behance Network, to DeviantArt. The author then lists some pro's and con's for each so you can have an unbiassed pick at the best place to show your work to the masses.

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  • 100 Classic Graphic Design Books

    This is for some of the more serious designers that are interested in learning the origins and history of Graphic design, as well as how it evolved over the years and some of the pioneers in the business. This is a great compilation of information for the graphic designer so if this is something you are interested in go ahead and check out the article and maybe even buy the book.

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  • 18 Ways to create a relaxing home office

    Many designers need a peaceful environment to think and produce work, so this is where this article comes in. The author talks about the importance of a peaceful and comfortable environment and then gives you 18 different ways you can improve it like a wallpaper change, fresh air, incense and a bunch of other idea's to relax you and bring out the creativity.

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  • 21 Retro Website Designs

    Our last article of the month focuses on some inspiration for those of you who enjoy the look of retro artwork. This article features 21 great looking website designs that feature this type of artwork. So if you are looking for some inspiration or just want to check out the retro artwork then head over to this article.

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