Category Archives: Tutorials


stipples00I love being able to replicate analog world looks in Illustrator. Its not that I don’t enjoy hand stippling my drawings (I do) but this Illustrator process offers a lot of possibilities especially when you move your drawings from paper to the computer screen. The effect is super easy to achieve and there are endless variations.
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Banners Everywhere

Here is a tutorial to make a banner in Illustrator. A banner is all well and good on its own , but a banner really should have a reason to exist, it should celebrate something or at least make something look important. We’ll make a banner that you can then use to embellish some of your favorite drawings or photographs. Here goes…
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Making Magic Markers in Photoshop

magicmarker00This tutorial will replicate a magic marker tip using the brush tool. The overall effect is very close to an actual magic marker with the exception of not having any fun chemicals to smell 🙂

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Drawing a Gear in Illustrator

This tutorial shows you how to draw a simple gear shape using transformations and the pathfinder panel in Illustrator. Continue reading

Raggedy Edges in Photoshop

ragged01In traditional darkroom photography the photographer had the choice of cropping the shot to just the image or preserving the ragged edges of the negative. This is also something found in more intentionally primitive modes of photo image making like pinhole photos or cyanotypes. This tutorial will outline one method of achieving this effect.

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Photoshop does Instagram


As much as photographers strive to make great images with tremendous clarity, amazing tonal range and rich vibrant colors there’s a sometimes curious preference among the public for photos that are exactly the opposite. Faded photos present a notion of recent history, a yearning for another time and nostalgia for events that may or may not have happened in the way they have been portrayed. Regardless of where you fall within this spectrum, having an understanding of why old photos look the way they do and how we can use Photoshop to mimic it are invaluable tools. Continue reading

A perfect heart


Finding a tutorial for drawing a perfect heart was proving quite a challenge until I found this one. The steps below are based on Deke’s tutorial.
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Sexy Pull Quotes pt.1

I think pull quotes are great because they typically use pure typography to draw interest into magazine articles. If  the typefaces we have chosen stir us emotionally, these discrete instances of pure type should send shivers down our readers spine.
This tutorial will introduce the technical steps and considerations needed to set up compelling pull quotes in InDesign. Although set up for one specific layout approach, the steps and considerations can be tailored to meet many design needs.
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Sexy Pull Quotes pt.2

In the first part of this tutorial we set up a document and placed a text frame that held a pull quote. In this second part we’ll add the sexiest part of pull quotes – the actual quote marks – and customize how they look.
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Don’t Break the Grid redux

There is an unfortunate dearth of InDesign tutorials online – good ones at least – and when you find one that addresses  the software as well as design it is always worth sharing.  I found this one a while back and liked it quite a bit, but I thought it needed a bit of a rewrite for my students.
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