With simple shapes and gradients, this Adobe Illustrator tutorial will show you how to create an alarm clock icon. We’ll be using Illustrator CS4 for this tutorial, but those of you with older versions of Illustrator should be able to follow along as well. VectorTuts is a great site for Illustrator users to explore. Be sure to check out the community links section as well!
FontFabric has made a delicious font called MOD available for download which you’re free to use in your personal and commercial work. At first glance, the font doesn’t appear to be all that attractive – particularly when it’s just against a white background. But the font really shines when you use it as a mask on a photograph. It’s also perfect for creating a subtle text headline against a richly colored backdrop.
Bittbox gives away a pack of high-resolution textures for use in your design projects. Each texture is very high-quality, suitable for commercial printing. This week, Bittbox released their 100th texture – Concrete. The pack contains five grungy, cracked and spotted concrete textures. You can download them here.
The good folks at FontSquirrel have yet another great font for designers to download, absolutely free to use in personal or commercial projects. Aller includes 7 font styles, light, light italic, regular, regular italic, bold, bold italic, and display regular.
Logo, Web and print designers, as well as Adobe Illustrator users in general, will find the following free vector art sites to be a great resource, and a huge time-saver. Before you start squacking about “real designers don’t use clip-art,” consider that you don’t have to use the artwork as a whole. I often times use small pieces of the artwork found on these sites as logo elements, highlight graphics in brochures, etc. Because they’re vector, they’re easily manipulated and customized. None of these sites actually create the vector art. Instead they simply do the searching for you and put it all into one easy place. Because of that, you’re likely to notice that many of these sites feature the same artwork. Don’t let that fool you into thinking they’re all the same. Most of them feature artwork not found on the other sites listed. Bookmark the sites and check back often, as they’re constantly updated with free vector art. As always, check for a license or other stipulations before using commercially – though most allow it. (more…)
I’m always on the lookout for interesting stock photo sites. Everyone knows about stock.xchng for a huge collection of free photos. But there are other options out there. One of my long-time favorites is the Morgue. MorgueFile has been around for years, and is a great public image archive for creatives, by creatives. MorgueFile offers a massive collection of user-contributed images, free for personal or commercial use. The images are high resolution, and vary greatly in quality and content. It’s a great site to find photos of obscure topics.
BittBox is a great resource for textures, fonts, tutorials and more. Normally I’m really good about checking the site out, but I apparently missed a font post from December of 2008. Shame on me! Baja California is a cool font, available absolutely free. The demo font contains full alphabet characters in upper and lower case. Because it’s a demo font, it doesn’t contain a full character set, but it’s perfect for headlines or highlight text in your designs.
There’s a renewed interest in using vector artwork in print and Web design the last year or so. Many years ago, we had to rely on a monthly subscription to some clip-art service. Thankfully we don’t have to wait any more. There are a plethora of sites dedicated to providing free vector art from talented artists from around the world. VectorValley is the latest site I’ve come across that offers quality vector art files compatible with Adobe Illustrator. The site is fairly new, but is growing. As with all such sites, be sure to check for licensing restrictions before using.