75 Outstanding Tutorials, Quick Tips, Articles and Interviews from Vectortuts+ in 2011
As the year comes to an end and we pack up our vector tools for some well deserved rest and relaxation, let’s take a look back at some of the best and most inspiring Vectortuts+ articles and tutorials for 2011.
The following collection is just a fraction of the fantastic content we have published this year, if there’s a tutorial or article that you have found particularly useful or inspiring this year, let us know about it in the comments section below.
InDesign is a powerful design program with so many tools and features it can a bit tricky to find a topic to begin with. With this in mind, we’ve put together a collection of beginner guides on various InDesign topics like the best way to create a new document, how to import text and images and even useful advice on what to do when a document is corrupted and how to make comments and track changes. Work your way through the guides and you will be well on your way to mastering InDesign.
Learning to draw the human figure and create stunning vector portraits can be an arduous task. Working with models, or photo references, finding the right pose, using just the right blend effect for skin, the correct vector brush for hair, are all subtle skills needed for the vector portrait artist.
In this Creative Session, take your vector people portrait work to the next level, by grabbing a heavy dose of inspiration from professionals working in the field, as well as hands on tutorials that teach you the big brush strokes and artistic nuances that will transform your vector portrait work.
The right text effect can be one of the most important elements in any design or illustration. Often text effects involve an interesting combination of unique vector tool usage, artistic innovation, a designers eye for font choice, drawing skills, and an illustrator’s touch. In this Creative Session, take your text to the next level with these vector text effect tutorials.
Successful poster designs communicate a clear message, make you halt and look, then draw you into the finer details. Posters are large canvases that give designers plenty of space to make masterpieces. In this session, you’ll learn how to incorporate the right font for the needed text, compose an effective layout, mix your illustration and design skills, grab attention, and more.
Icons can range in level of detail, from the simple and symbolic, to those with realism and intricate detail. In either case, they need to be metaphorically meaningful and instantly recognizable. They have to communicate at a glance. We’ve assembled the best tutorials, articles, and resources we have on icon design here on Vectortuts+ into this Creative Session. Learn how to create functional and beautiful vector icons that will fit seamlessly within your designs.
Learn how to create a retro vector seal logo in Adobe Illustrator with Ryan Quintal. Well be using simple shapes, effects, transparency masks, and a free grunge texture pack from PSD TutsPlus to create the final effect.
Ryan shows us how to get that old-school printed look. Mis-registered lines is key, as well as blending modes and more. You may even learn a lesson or two in the way things are printed classically. To kick us of, we will grab some resources from the Envato network.
In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a transparent ruler. The grid and the snap to grid will come in handy as we are about to create several paths with accurate dimensions. Using multiple fills and stroke with various blending modes and opacity percentages we will create the overall ruler illustration. For the final details we will use a built in brush and some basic effects.
You can get some interesting effects by combining Envelope Distort with the Rectangular and Polar Grid tools. In this Quick Tip you will learn how to create a few different effects that may spark your imagination.
Follow this quick tip to learn how to create a fresh and realistic cucumber text effect. You will work with multiple appearances, blending modes and effects like: Feather, Inner Glow, Roughen and Pointillize. You will also learn to create a multipurpose water drop. Let’s start.
Repeating patterns can be confusing to make and sometimes creating a quick and easy pattern will leave you with a result that is less than professional. In this basic Quick Tip tutorial you will learn how easy it is to use the Appearance Panel and an arch shape to create a harmonious Japanese Wave Pattern. Let’s get started!
In this video Quick Tip, learn how to use Symbols and the Symbolism tools to create a luminous autumn background. Let’s get started!
For today’s Quick Tip we are going to set up a letterhead within InDesign. However, before we can start, you need to have a logo, some content (you can also use place holder text) and contact details ready. I will be using a logo from GraphicRiver which happens to be the free file for October.
Learn how to create a radial mesh and a brushed metal effect as the basis for this stylish icon. Then make a beveled graphic style, which can be applied to any shape.
In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a slick golden text effect. Although it’s a pretty short tutorial, the sixteen steps cover many techniques and effects that can be used for other projects. The Pen Tool steps may be a bit challenging, but with patience and some basic knowledge you will succeed.
This tutorial will show you how to create a cell shaded character in Adobe Illustrator, this is a fast technique utilizing the Live Paint bucket for block coloring, the gradient tool to add depth and form, and masked blended shapes for texture.
Learn how to create a repeating floral pattern that’s perfect for gift wrap, desktop wallpapers or textile designs. This tutorial uses one of our very own free vector packs and is great for readers with a beginner to intermediate skill level.
In this tutorial we will learn how to create Watercolor Background using a Gradient Mesh, tools of deformation and Blending Modes. The techniques which are described here allow the creation of complex textural backgrounds in a simple and effective way.
Illustrator’s Blob Brush is an intuitive and versatile tool. When used with a graphics tablet, you can create loose, painterly images that venture far from the sharp, clean lines usually associated with vector graphics. These files retain all the benefits of vector files, however, allowing you to experiment and be flexible with scale, color and composition. Let’s get started!
In this tutorial we create two wedding rings using 3D modeling in Illustrator. We learn a few operation techniques with gradient mesh. If you need to create an upcoming wedding invitation, this can serve as an excellent centerpiece for that kind of design.
In this tutorial you’ll learn how to create a colorful rocket from simple geometric forms and 3D effects. We’ll use filters like Blur to create smoothness and movement in some of the illustration elements. Effects like Inner Glow will also be used to accentuate the depth of the 3D forms.
Hey Vectortuts+ faithful! Welcome back for part two of my tutorial series on the advantages of using the Variable Width Stroke Tool. If you haven’t read the first tutorial, I suggest you go back and read: Illustrator CS5 Variable Width Stroke Tool: Perfect for Making Tribal Designs!, which covers how to use the tool, and then shows how to create tribal designs with it. You’ll need to know those basics before proceeding with this part two of the series, where we use it to create gestural sketches and digital inking.
This tutorial will cover a set of tools and techniques for creating a photorealistic vector chopper, such as Blends, Gradient, Gradient Mesh and most importantly we will meet the new VectorScribe plugin, which will make your job easier.
In this tutorial you will learn how to use Shape Building, Clipping Paths and Opacity Masks to make a metallic Padlock. You will also learn how to use the VectorScribe Adobe Illustrator plug-in to save time when creating vector illustrations and designs.
Do a search on “coloring comics,” and you get dozens of Photoshop tutorials. They all seem to involve building up areas of color with transparent brushes. Now you can achieve that same effect with Illustrator CS5, using the Bristle Brush.
In today’s tutorial, I’ll show you how to create a quick, loving cup of tea using Adobe Illustrator CS5 using 3D effects and the Bristle Brush Tool.
VectorScribe is an Illustrator plug-in that will change the way you work in your favorite vector drawing program. After you’ve used it for a while, the old ways of file construction will feel cumbersome and tedious. VectorScribe is powerful and intuitive, but like everything, it has a learning curve and takes some getting used to. Don’t let that deter you &mdash once you know your way around this toolset, you’ll work faster, smarter and more cleanly. Let’s get started!
In the following tutorial I will show you how to create a marker illustration. This tutorial involves intermediate vector shape building skills in Illustrator to create the markers, along with some layering and script usage to create the text effects. Let’s get started.
This work is a common project created together with Iaroslav Lazunov and Oleksandr Iegupov. We have used 3D-modeling, Gradients, Blends, and Gradient Meshes for creating this picture. Lets get started!
Gradient Mesh can be intimidating for novice and experienced Illustrator users alike, but sophisticated results can be achieved with a simple mesh and careful coloring. This tutorial will set you on the road to mesh mastery. Let’s get started!
In this tutorial you will learn how to create a simple Origami style piece of Typography. You will create a set of basic shapes to build letters from and see how to refine those into a more realistic look of your type. Gradients and the appearance panel will help us, to create the final completely custom type.
In the following tutorial you will learn to create an attractive emoticons icon set. Learn an easy to follow workflow for creating each of these little emotional character faces in Adobe Illustrator.
In this tutorial you’ll learn how to create a security seal using Guilloche, the artistic technique that is typically used in banknote design and other documents to prevent them from being forged.
In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a classic baby stroller illustration. If you’re looking to create vintage stroller art, modern baby stroller graphics, for stock art or to illustrate your next graphic project, then jump into this tutorial and learn every detail: from constructing the bassinet area, carriage handle, to wheels and more.
Coloring a character sketch can sometimes take much longer than anyone expects. With a few layer tricks and Graphic Styles, I will show you how to create a character that is quick to ink, easy to edit and a breeze to re-color. Let’s get started!
Infinite shapes are fun to design. In this Illustrator tutorial, learn how to create a specific impossible shape: an ‘Infinite Triangle.’ This vector drawing of an impossible object couldn’t be physically constructed, but we can design it in Illustrator in around an hour. You will be using Guides, Gradients, the Rotate Tool, and a simple Transparency Blend for the final touches.
In today’s tutorial you’ll learn how to create a bamboo vector illustration with the help of custom art and pattern brushes, blends and profiles on strokes in Adobe Illustrator CS5. Vector bamboo is an excellent element to use in your work to give a classic Japanese fine art print feel, for use as bamboo forest art background in a larger illustration, and to make your vector pictures stand out with stylish bamboo art. So let’s jump straight into it!
In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a vintage, vector stamp set in Adobe Illustrator. Learn how to build a stamp illustration, shape by shape. We’ll construct the stamp border vector shape, highlight the edges, create the branding, and give the vector postage stamp a vintage texture, and final illustrator stamp effect. Let’s get started with making this vector stamp in Illustrator and then transform this into a vector stamp set.
Take an in-depth look at the process of designing and illustrating a holiday reindeer illustration. This tutorial covers illustration style, color selection, shading and touches on typography. The process of adapting your illustration during creation is also covered. This tutorial is created by Jesse Hora and Darrin Higgins. Time for some holiday fun!
In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a grungy, 3D text effect. Learn how to draw highlights and shadows on your text to give it that 3D punch. Then design grunge effects using blending modes and other Illustrator tools. This grungy text effect is relatively simple to create, though does require quite a bit of attention to detail. Jump into this Illustrator text effect tutorial.
Today, we have another Vector Premium tutorial exclusively available to Premium members. If you want to learn how to create a poster design, in the style of 1950′s air travel tourism. We’ll take a look at the typographic qualities and composition of late 50′s posters, then utilize modern digital rendering techniques to create an illustrated Australia tourism ad campaign.
Today, we have another Vector Premium tutorial exclusively available to Premium members. If you want to take learn how to create an elegant female portrait from a photo, then we have an awesome tutorial for you. The reference photo in this tutorial is used mostly for structure and some color points, a dramatic transformation takes place through the vector drawing process. Learn some key cosmetic tips as well.
Today, we have another Vector Premium tutorial, which is available exclusively for Premium members. If you want to learn how to create a faux 3d style object with creative flavour, then we have an awesome tutorial for you. Learn how to quickly add dimension to your work, which will give your skills an edge in the marketplace.
Today, we have another Vector Premium tutorial, which is available exclusively for Premium members. If you want to learn how to create complex vector art with Illustrator’s gradient tools, then we have an awesome tutorial for you. Learn how to use a variety of inovative advanced Illustrator techniques in your work.
Today, we have another Vector Premium tutorial, which is available exclusively for Premium members. Learn how to create light painting effects in Illustrator, with high style and professional results. The key to this effect are Vector Brushes and Blend Modes.
Today, we have another Vector Premium tutorial, which is available exclusively for Premium members. If you want to learn how to use Illustrator’s Paintbrush Tool to bring your sketches to life, then we have an awesome tutorial for you. Learn how to give your work a sharp outline, and use limited color to add lighting and dimension, which will which will give your work a striking and professional look.
Today, we have another Vector Premium tutorial, which is available exclusively for Premium members. If you’ve thought of becoming an editorial illustrator, then this tutorial is a must read. It reviews the complete editorial illustration with loads of tips inside as well. The process from sketch, through research, communication with the art direction, and vector build process is covered. If you’re a Premium member, then you’re in for a treat.
Today, we have another Vector Premium tutorial, which is available exclusively for Premium members. Learn how to paint imaginative landscapes in vector. Today, Zzanthia shares her workflow with us. If you’re looking to create unique vector illustrations, with an exotic feel, then this tutorial is a must read.
Test your knowledge of Adobe Illustrator with the Vectortuts+ Illustrator Basics Quiz! How well do you know the basics of Adobe Illustrator? Find out at the jump!
Test your knowledge of Adobe Illustrator with the Vectortuts+ Illustrator Type Basics Quiz! How well do you know the basics of using type and text with Adobe Illustrator? Find out at the jump!
Meet Travis Price, freelance designer and illustrator from Australia. He also runs a kids label called Mister Mista. Travis says as a child he did a lot of drawing and was fascinated with skateboarding, graffiti and clothing design. Those early influences can be seen intertwined in his work. His style of illustration is versatile, having the ability to appeal to both kids and grown-ups. Travis also creates a lot of print posters. He tells us that posters are the perfect medium where you can combine typography and illustration. Let’s have a chat with him.
Today we have an exciting interview with Alex Storch of Carson Mag. Get to know his passion for magazines, and how working with David Carson, and his team, they’re pushing forward with a quality publication. Readers can appreciate these themed issues conceptually and touch the nuanced design details of every page. Get inside the mind of the Editor-in-Chief of Carson, and take a look at this exciting new publication from the trenches.
Today we’ll meet British designer Chris Spooner. He became widely known thanks to his two successful blogs Blog.SpoonGraphics and Line25. Chris has written plenty of excellent tutorials on vector graphics and web design. Learn more about Chris Spooner, his tutorials and blogs after the jump.
Michael Doret’s career works have influenced generations of designs. You might be familiar with his design works if you have seen his logo for the NY Knicks or one of his many Time covers or the album cover design for KISS band and the Squirrel Nut Zippers.
Today we meet Australian designer Karan Singh. Karan is an experienced designer who has worked with a wide range of clients from local boutiques to internationally recognized brands. Learn more about Karan and his Illustrations after the jump.
Today our guest is a true expert and person who will be interesting to talk to – Ukrainian designer Sant Valentin. “I believe that line should be alive, it does not have to have clearly defined directions, the more smooth and hasty lines, the more there is life in illustration style. I did not make up the name for my style, but to me it vaguely resembles watercolor,” says Valentin about vector graphics, and his style.
Today we are going to meet our old friend, great Italian designer Andrea Austoni, who wrote some brilliant tutorials for Vectortuts+. Andrea is a many-sided personality, beside design, he is interested in music, learning foreign languages, cooking, the eastern philosophy. “Only by partaking of a large spectrum of life’s many offerings will you become a better person and thus a better designer”- he says. Learn more about Andrea, his thoughts and illustrations after the jump.
Meet Yoann Lim aka Dismecha, a vector artist from France. In this interview he talks about his childhood passion and fondness towards drawings and comic books and how it led him to become a self- taught vector artist. He has developed his own distinctive style of drawing. He loves to create doll-like characters which are colorful, detailed and have a theme behind them. Read on to learn more about his working process, ideas and inspiration.
ABC Animals is a fun and engaging application that teaches kids how to write letters. My client, a savvy developer who had done other apps in the past, came to me with an existing concept for this application. ABC Animals for the iPhone had already been produced and my client was looking to migrate this concept over to the iPad. With increased visual real estate and a rapidly increasing interest in the device, this application is ideally suited for the iPad. This article details the process of creating the design for this application.
Deep down inside every designer loves a good ol’ fashion logo. In-fact, as a kid you probably redrew the Nike or Lacoste logo over and over, just for fun. Or was that just me? So when a start-up business owner of an athletic training company approached me to help with their identity I was super excited about the opportunity. In this case study I will cover the process that I went through to the create the logo as well as a few of the identity pieces.
Infinite Skills is a software company that develops learning materials for people to enhance their knowledge of a variety of applications, from industry software to commonplace word processing programs. Infinite Skills approached me to create a series of application icons that will accompany their software. Needless to say, with my insatiable appetite for icon design and branding it was game on!
Are you the kind of person that — no matter how many job interviews you attend — youre a ball of nervous energy? Youre not alone! In the following article I will share a few tips on how to be prepared and sail though your interview like a professional.
Want vector to pay your bills or an extra piece of income with your vector illustration and design skills? Then you’re in the same boat as me, as I want to know more about careers in vector too! Check out today’s article that asks the question to some big names in vector, as well as what qualities you need to make that career launching step!
If you’ve been using design software for as long as I have, you will no doubt have more than a few obsolete skills up your sleeve. Those of you who have mastered the notoriously difficult QuarkXPress will know what I mean. Dropping to a 25% market share, behind InDesign, many Quark users found themselves having to learn a new piece of software just to stay relevant in the workforce. With the current speed of software updates, how can you be sure that your skills will stay relevant in the future?
So you’ve decided you want a portfolio, but aren’t sure what you want in it, or which route to go. Maybe you’ve just started out and have a low budget. In today’s article I look at starting a new portfolio with advice from vector artists and a look at two low budget portfolio options.
On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9 Earthquake hit Japan. The Earthquake and the subsequent Tsunami caused wide spread damage to the country and many people lost their lives. As the shocking events unfolded, artists and designers from across the globe created images to show their support for the people effected by this disaster and began to raise funds for the Japanese disaster relief efforts. Find out how you can help.
Making an image is fairly straightforward, but making an image that stands out from the crowd is more science than it is luck. With the right combination of aesthetic and design, you can turn a good idea into a great piece of illustration. Today we will take a look at nine different design principles and how to apply them to the world of illustration.
Mac ‘vs’ PC, ‘vs’ Linux, ‘vs’ Mobile Device… Is the competition really worth it? In the past, "Computer A is better than Computer B" may have been a fair argument, but with multi platform graphics applications and more power in a mobile phone than a room full of vintage computers, is there really an ideal machine for Graphic Designers? Read on and share your thoughts with the Vectortuts+ community.
Original artworks can be highly sought after, but how does digital media fit into the equation? Because a Vector file can be infinitely reproduced, will this form of art ever be held in the same esteem as its traditional cousins? Join us in our community discussion: Is vector an art form?
Consider an artist using 90% vector in their work and only 10% raster live effects, would you class this artist as a “vector artist” or would you see them as a “mixed medium artist”? Do you think “vector art” should be without raster live effects? Today’s article looks at this debate.
Lately I have been working some extraordinarily long days in front of the screen. Not only has it been exhausting it has made me think much more seriously about the importance of a proper office setup. Today I will share some tips and ideas for your office space that will make you more productive and keep the aches and pains away.
Skin shading is a large part of creating portrait and people art. In today’s article I’m going to show you different styles of skin shading and give you some helpful tips on creating flawless skin in your vector work!
Vexel art has been mentioned on a variety of websites, be it talking about vector art and vexel art, or featuring the wonderful work created by vexel artists. However, do you actually know the answer to “What is vexel art?”
What makes a successful icon designer? Is it their skills in digital rendering, the clever ideas they have or is it something else? The truth is, it’s managing to be many things at once and keeping a balance between communicating a concept and crafting great designs. Do you have what it takes to be a productive, happy and successful icon designer? Find out at the jump.
Thankyou to all of the Vectortuts+ writers and contributors for making this year truly fantastic and teaching us some pretty cool things along the way. To everyone who participated in one of our Community Projects this year, it’s been lots of fun running them, and to our Facebook fans, Twitter followers and Google+ circle, we hope you have a safe and happy new year, and look forward to an inspired and productive 2012!