Become a Graphics Designer Using Pixelmator

As a professional Photoshop user, it can get tiresome to toy with the mouse and pixels all day. Seriously. Photoshop is a tank, and that tank is powerful, but it’s not always the right solution. Photoshop often times is overkill and difficult to master. I’ve overcome the challenges in Photoshop over the years, but as I find others in the office that are new to Photoshop, it’s very difficult to explain design tool concepts to them if they don’t have an artistic bone in their body.

This is where Pixelmator comes in. It’s one of the most thought-through tools for everyday Mac users. It strips down Photoshop to its simplest essence and potential users-freindliness. Pixelmator is powerful, but in an elegant way that is conducive to creativity 100% of the time.

The first thing you’ll notice as a professional working with Pixelmator is just how many features/tools there are in it today. The app has come a long way from its humble beginnings. If you used the app in the not-so recent past, look at it again. It’s not the same young whipper-snapper it used to be. There are blend modes—every last one you have come to know and love in Photoshop. This is just one example where Pixelmator packs in the necessities; the things designers return to most frequently.

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Nexus 7 Branding Copycats Apple’s Branding

Apple’s website has a distinct look and feel. The way their products are photographed, laid out, and the text orient around them was unique to Apple for many years—not to mention the soft colors, lots of white… Well, not anymore.

This is a screen shot of Google’s new Nexus 7 Android tablet webpage. It doesn’t look much like the iPad’s webpage on Apple.com from June 2012, but it does reflect the design and layout Apple used in 2011. The sub-navigation menu is just about in the same place. the three widgets of floating text beneath the featured image and “the playground is open” headline is very similar. Even the way the tablets are standing up together with fading reflections below them is straight up from an Apple iPhone/iPod/iPad marketing banner. Read more »

Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths New Cover Art

The final cover

I create cover art every now and then. I like the creative. I could do without producing creative for others. : ) I like every mockup I create just about. For each book cover I work on I mockup at least 5 unique covers. Inevitably, the authors choose my second or third favorite of the lot. For once, I wish my preferred mockups would be chosen. Maybe one of these days….

The cover that was chosen was inspired by some new book covers I’ve seen at Barnes & Noble in the past year. Maybe the next time you’re browsing a book store, you’ll recognize a cover or two that also have a torn cover effect. Continue reading

Art for Commercialization

As I was saying yesterday, art is primarily used commercially. You may take this for granted, or flat out object. Some artists like to defend their work as purely inspirational—as if to say, it doesn’t mean anything, but it is intended to get you thinking and inspire you to draw your own conclusions… And on the gobble-dee-gook goes. This is all sweet-sounding empty-thinking. All art has a definitive purpose/use. One way or the other, that always involves something commercial, unless the art is good for nothing. Continue reading