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Archive for the ‘graphic design’ Category

HTML coding as art?

For a while now…

I’ve been delving into designing some basic websites. But recently, I’ve invested some more time and effort into this creative venture.

From the first ever website that I worked with back in college more than a decade ago (wow I’m feeling old now) a lot of my friends did not like the dreaded acronym HTML. In fact, I generally held a similar opinion and to some extend still do. Back then, I thought of HTML as another one of those “four-letter” words of foul language. Now, I view it more like a fungus, it grows on you over time.

To keep the whole analogy thing going, I see HTML as being kind of like the annoying relative that you see a couple of times a year for holidays or special events. You can take him or her in small doses but wouldn’t want to have to deal with them all the time. They may be a bit difficult to handle but can have some redeeming qualities.

The “redeeming qualities” of HTML are all about the virtually unending possibilities for customization. And that’s something that no template or drag and drop setup can offer.

This customization is where the artistic quality of this coding system finally comes into play. A really good, easy to use source is the W3schools website. Give it a try and the artist in you might just be happy you did.

HTML code

 

 

 

 

 

Simple but elegant thank you card

While the first think that probably comes to mind…

when you thing about a “thank you” card is something that a person sends after receiving a gift for a wedding, birthday or other occasion. However, not only is it polite but it can also be good business for small companies, community organizations or entrepreneurs.

Several years back when I was a young child, my other sold homemade baked goods to help with the family finances. Off and on since then, she has taken up the same activity on a smaller scale. Recently, she began working on it a but more seriously.

At her request, I created this graphic design piece as a thank you card for those who place orders for any of her amazing treats.

For any of you who have seen my work before, you may have gathered that I tend to be a bit of a minimalist and believe that in design, less can be more. With that in mind, this card is simple yet elegant and most importantly gets the point across to the customer.

thank you card

Graphic design project without all the special tools

When it comes to working with the graphic arts…

there are generally a few specific tools of the trade. Some that come to mind include Photoshop, Illustrator, In Design and those sort of programs and utilities. However, whether it be an issue of cost or just that we do not have access to a given program on the device we are working with, sometimes we have to use other applications to get the job done.

This was the case when a friend of mine asked if I could come up with an appealing and informative bifold for a major event she is involved with in the Pittsburgh area.

Using an MS Word template, a modified photo and some additional information she had provided, I came up with one that she has raved about many, many times. Here’s a snapshot of the front and back cover:

bifold

 

The lesson here is that while we would all love to have every tool possible available to us as providers of creative graphic services, if we really try, we can do a lot without them if necessary.

Accidental Art – Beauty via Photoshop

A few days back…

I was experimenting with the idea of creating a number of digital photography backdrops in Photoshop. While I plan on selling these customized backdrop files ($5 each or 3 for $10), I had been looking to bring out a specific satin looking effect. Eventually, I was able to do just that. But before finally succeeding, I had to go through quite a bit of trial and error. And while that can be frustrating, it can also be an opportunity, a chance to create what I like to call accidental art.

I decided to share the two pieces I chose to save in this post for your enjoyment.

I hope you like them.

Title: Art

digital graphic artwork

Title: Color

colorful digital art piece

Quality graphics (and other work) on the cheap

Sometimes you might just have a reason…

to need some sort of graphic design work but either don’t have the knowledge or time to complete the project yourself. And if you’re anything like this blog owner, you may not have the funds either.

One option is to hire someone who engages in what is known as “micro-jobbing.”

So what is micro-jobbing?

Actually it’s a very simple concept. People provide a service, such as graphic design, for a very small fee in order to complete a relatively quick or minimally time consuming job. Sometimes you can get things done for as little as $5!

Some other types of services include:

Search engine optimization

Photo editing

Writing

Video

Audio

One of the top sites for this type of business exchange is Fiverr.com.

Check out a few examples of some work I offer below:

graffitti message spot color in photo facebook cover photo animation

If you need something quickly and at an affordable price, this may just be your answer. Or, if you’ve got some extra time on your hands, you can possibly make a few extra bucks here and there by offering your skills in this capacity.

Tutorials and easy, affordable promotion

In a previous post…

that can be read here, I mentioned the idea of experimenting with creating a new membership resource for video tutorials on anything and everything related to photography, audio and video. Well, I’m happy to announce that this site is now a reality and will be going live on July 1, 2013.

Check out the image below for a screen shot and the one after that for specifics on how to join in on this really cool concept.

Image Aids

membership site details and info

Along the same lines, sort of, I’d like to offer our readers at Creative Dreamers or anyone else out there the chance to get involved with something mutually beneficial. 

As a small business person myself, I know that it can be hard at times to both make ends meet as well as find an affordable way to get your name out there. Well, this new venture can kill two birds with one stone.

What is it? - 

Permanent online ads (with backlinks) for as low as $5.00 total!

Here’s how it goes with pricing options ranging from high to low.

One of the site’s we work with called Twisted Angels will post ads for a monthly fee of either $10.00 (for a 300×300 ad) or $5.00 (for a 300×90 ad) on one of four of their publicly accessible pages. The site will also offer to design your ad and provide one revision for $15.00 or $10 respectively. See screen shot from the sight below:

ads

 

Then there’s the one-time only payment ads:

The costs are still $10.00 and $5.00 but while these ads will remain on the site, they will lose primary positioning and viability over time.

These will be posted on the following additional blogs that Creative Dreamer’s works with:

Life is Your Canvas 

Mad Hot and Artsy

And then there’s one more option:

In addition, larger ads (up to 600×600 pixels) or even video ads can be posted on the two blogs listed above. These will require a single payment of $25.00.

See the chart below for all the details:

ad chart

If interested, please let us know.

Recent graphic design project

A local actor recently hired me

to create an online portfolio and some promotional materials for him. Here’s the post card I came up with:

JPC1JPC2

The front features our home city of Pittsburgh in a washed out photo as the background. It also emphasizes his build and history as a boxer.

The back uses a plain white, non-distracting background for sort of a minimalist effect. It also shows a few different look variations with the small images as well. I’m sure he won’t mind the contact info being out there, after all, that’s the whole point of promotion isn’t it?

I made sure to use a fairly interesting font but also tried to keep it simple enough to be easily readable.

Here’s the online portfolio I built on his behalf:

Julio

Cool custom layout tool for the artistically inclined

I love WordPress

It’s an amazing platform to showcase your work and thoughts as well as to discover some really interesting things that others have put out for your viewing and reading pleasure. With that being said, I also enjoy another similar tool called Tumblr. With that being the case, I thought I’d share a site I found that can be a major asset to any graphics enthusiast who might want to design his or her own layout without having to be heavily technically skilled.

The site by Totally Layouts is provides a Tumblr theme generator allowing you to customize everything from fonts to backgrounds with just a little creativity on your part. If you use this platform at all or are considering doing so, this might just be a good place to start.

I know that being a provider of creative graphic services and recently starting to help others with SEO efforts through social media, the visual and creative can be just as important to drawing attention to your work as it is fun to work on in the first place.

tumblr theme

Help choose the new photos for my website

What do you think?

My photography and creative arts business website is going to be getting a makeover in the near future. And, I’d love to have the readers here at Creative Dreamers offer up your suggestions for a new look.

The current look of the Three Rivers Creative Arts website features six photos on the homepage that rotate in something of a slideshow. While this format will remain, I’m looking to change the featured photos and replace them with others from the various galleries on the site.

In the end, a mix of photos from the following galleries will be chosen to be included in the new homepage layout:

Landscapes

Models

Occasional Portraiture and Events

Wildlife

To have your two-cents considered, feel free to choose up to six photos from the site by providing the name of the gallery, the page number within that gallery and the number sequence in which the photo appears. See example below:

Landscapes

You can submit you favorites by commenting on this post.

Thanks for your feedback!

Another useful online photo editing option

Anyone who does even basic work with photography probably realizes that Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard when it comes to photo editing. However, it can be a bit cumbersome and also tends to be quite pricey. This being the case, some people have opted to use online photo editing tools to do the job when possible.

A while back I mentioned several interesting and effective options for working with your images that can be used as an alternative to the aforementioned Photoshop. However, I just randomly came across another the other days and decided to test it out.

fotoflex

FotoFlexer

This application can be found at www.fotoflexer.com and while it isn’t free, it does offer a 30 day free trial. If you decide to continue to use it, the cost is less than $4.00 per month which seems pretty manageable compared to some of the other options out there.

Pros:

- Fairly user friendly layout.

- Allows importing images from a number of popular sites like Facebook, Picasa and Flickr for example.

- Offers quick fixes for basic problems like the redeye effect.

- Allows for various effects, the inclusion of text, animations, work with layers and more.

Cons:

- Grabbing images from other sites sometimes fails to work properly.

- Some elements are a bit simplistic.

Check it out for yourself if you like.

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