As an instructor, I make it my job to fully grasp the ever-changing world of graphic design. I have scoured the internet for reliable sources for certain things related to classroom discussions, design practice, design lingo, and simple tips-and-tricks that makes everyone’s life a little easier. Sometimes knowing where to find what you are looking for is the hardest part of design, therefore, I take it into consideration the importance of quality information relating to the design process.
The following links are sources I use regularly in the classroom and have them broken down into certain classes and content.
The best resource for free-to-use fonts that can be applied personally and commercially. If you are looking for some nicely styled font faces, then this is the place to get them.
User-submitted font faces that are good to use when creating personal works. Odd and quirky, most downloads are accompanied with a license agreement, so be sure to read the author’s readme before finalizing your choice.
CCAC digital course instructor’s site. Plenty of valuable information here pertaining to existing courses at CCAC, and also the home to the beloved Design Journal, which you can access below.
Downloadable source for design theory. Made by fellow CCAC professor and Humanities Department Head, Max Blobner; a must for Graph Comm majors
Professor Paul Jay’s Gallery
Mr. Jay’s site of his ceramic work
Clueless on color theory? Have no fear; this site takes care of mixing rules, and one can make their own color combinations or utilize pre-made combinations from users.
Visual Quickstart Guides
Peachpit Publishing’s books to all things digital design. Books start as low as $10; a good investment if you plan to stay in the field of design.
Kelby Training Site
The leading provider of education for photography and creative professionals. The cost isn’t cheap, but the resource is worth the money in the long run.
Writing any papers? This is the source to check out, especially when dealing with the ins-and-outs of MLA formatting. Great examples of essays and how-to with “works cited” pages.
Resume writing; One-page or Two?
The debate still lingers; who is right? Monster.com asked the professionals, and here is some insight on how long your resume should be.
A collection of archived photos re-shot overtop of new information; a real trip back in time, but also serves as a reminder to those times and people of the past.
A site dedicated to archiving Pittsburgh’s old photos of the neighborhoods. A prime place to discover portions of the city lost over time. Easy site to navigate and search for relatable materials.
There are tips and tricks from the reliable online photo source, Photography Mad, dedicated to shooting the not-so-stereotypical urban landscape. This information helps budding photographers shoot this theme correctly.
Having trouble setting up your white balance in your DSLR? This site has good, quick videos to help you through the process.
This terribly designed site offers nothing good, except for their how-to with applying infrared effects via Photoshop. The end results are rather intriguing; too bad their site doesn’t follow suit.
This corporate identity resources page was developed as a comprehensive and effective guide for clients as well as designers, with top rated links that will lead you through the process of better understanding corporate identity design.
A fine educational section to Smashing Magazine. This source totally relates to the field of graphic design, and also gives great explanations and how-to’s.
As usual, Smashing Magazine has compiled a great list of quality type-heavy posters. Explore their site for more great resource materials
This site is a prime source for research. Many of the fonts on this page are user-made, and you do have to pay to download them, BUT, you can see what they look like in real designs. Most of the fonts here are from specific time periods, too!
User-made resource for fonts. All are free to download; some require a cite when using professionally.
Understanding what makes a letter “tick” is an important part of being a functional graphic designer and a person who does page layouts. Site is easy to gather information relative to specific font styles.
Creative Ways to Maximize Design Ideas with Type
Great article about the importance of sketching explorations when dealing with hierarchies of body copy and headings.
Best Practices of Combining Typefaces
Simple means of choosing the fonts that best work together. Nothing says “I know what I’m doing here” like properly addressed fonts.
Typography for Non-Profits
Quick visual resource for what-to and what-not to do when approaching paragraph formatting, especially with non-profit’s.
Choosing the Right Font for Great Copy
An exploration into size relationships, and a touch on the topic of typographic definitions.
How to Choose a Typeface
A briefing of tried-and-true principles you can quickly learn and apply to make an appropriate typeface choice.
InDesign: Laying Out Frames and Pages
Straight from the horse’s mouth — Adobe — on how to create frames, and applying information to them. A nice resource for tips and tricks associated with CS5+.
A site dedicated to tutorials in Photoshop. A majority of the content is free, but some of the advanced features cost a small fee. If you are a beginner or a seasoned veteran, you can find something to catch your eye!
Digital Painting Tutorial
This tutorial from TwinPixels shows how to utilize brushes in CS5 to pull of dramatic painted effects. The end results are amazingly clean and stylish.
Mixer Brush Painting Styles
By using the available brushes in CS5, one is able to stylize imagery to have a realistic painted feel.
Digital Painting Hand-Drawn Sketches
A practical method of utilizing your own sketches and creating drastically enhanced illustraotions which feel as if they were hand-painted.
Watercolor Painting in Photoshop
This easy-to-follow tutorial shows how to watercolor your existing photo. The screen captueres of the menus makes this a “can’t screw up” demo.
Graphics.com offers this great how-to on creating Impressionist effects on existing photos. The application is simple, and makes a very interesting final composition that seems painterly. A fine style to complete when using canvas as the final printed format.
Posterized Illustration Effect
Digital Arts offers nice tutorials for people who are digital artists. This one dives into a vintage marker effect.
Which one is better to use? One of the key features of having a successful website is understanding the key features of both ways of saving material.
The Elements of Typographic Style Applied to the Web
For how long the name is, this site provides a good resource for the application of type to your site. There is a bit of theory, but since it is so well organized, it is easy to follow.
Web Design Ledger
A site which houses inspirational material and blog information pertaining to web design. They have a nice gathering of particulars that make sites look good.
Typography: Rules, Guidelines and Common Mistakes
This site explores typography for the Web and describes the methods and techniques of composition that bring documents to life and facilitate understanding
GIF Optimization Settings in Photoshop
Brainbell.com is a site put up by I.T. pro’s looking to lend a hand. While not utilized much for graphic design, they do offer good tidbits relating to saving; in this case, optimization for the web.
Sometimes complex designs mocked up in Photoshop become such a pain to dissect for your website that slicing is a much better option. Being a product of slow dial-up internet speeds and tiny amounts of space available of servers, this method is a little more “old school” than the conventional modern approaches to save information to the web. Here are two videos explaining why and how this should be approached. 1 + 2
Mr. Mary’s How-to Videos for website element construction. Using Photoshop, these elements can be easily created, modified, and saved to become intricate interactive points on your website.
-Photoshop GIF animation
Submitting your website as a PDF
This handout illustrates how to take screenshots of your website and reassemble them in Photoshop. Illustrations and simple directions, 10 pages total.