Category Archives: Tutorials

Drawing a Gear in Illustrator

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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

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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

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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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Imposing a document with InDesign


There is no imposition function within InDesign, but with a little creativity using the FILE > PRINT BOOKLET we can create a document that can made into a PDF and then printed and assembled into a saddle-stitched book.
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Color replacement using the HUE blending mode


For this tutorial we’ll be using the HUE color mode to replace an image’s color without affecting the underlying contrast or luminosity.
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Grids, Guides, Proportions and InDesign Math


You can get obsessed with grids. Grids act as the skeleton or backbone of most design work and are considered integral to the process of balancing aesthetics with information exchange. Grids are beloved by some and bemoaned by others – some find the rigid parameters invaluable to harmonious design, others find it limiting and constricting. I find myself falling somewhere in the middle – there’s an inner geek inside of me that loves to find a clever way to break up space, but there also the anti-establishment side of my personality that likes to break rules and push the boundaries. For that reason, I like using grids as I see it as an opportunity to act as both lawman and outlaw, I can be both the cops and the robbers.
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