544 vector symbols and counting, representing the visual language of the world, is what you’ll find at the NounProject. Clicking on an individual icon will reveal what the icon means (when known) and allow you to download it. All superbly created vector icons are free for personal and commercial use. The only downside to the site is there is no way to download a single archive of all the icons.
With iOS4’s recent release, you may be searching for UI elements to build your iPhone app, or use various elements in your designs. Here are two fantastic resources for you to download the UI elements, and they’re absolutely free.
iOS4 (iPhone 4) GUI in PSD format – Teehan+Lax has released their latest PSD file with updated and accurate UI elements.
iPhone 3 OS UI elements in vector format – These elements are older, but since they’re in vector format, they’re much easier to work with.
Adding leaves (particularly green ones) appears to be a trend that has held on for quite a while. If you’re looking to add a little “green” to your logo design, here are a few resources to download to make your job a little easier.
- Green Leaves: 36 beautiful green leaves
- Foliage Vectors: Viny (is that a word?) leafy strings
- Ecology Vector 4: A plethora of leaves and “Green” initiative icons
- Flower Tree: A tree full of (barely) leaves
- Leafy Pod: A simple leaf collage
- Vector Floral Elements: A huge collection of leaves and other floral objects
- Abstract Tree: A simple artsy tree of leaves
- Leaf Silhouettes: 80 silhouettes – make ’em green yourself
- Nature: A little grass to keep the leaves company
While the linked artwork is all free, be sure to check for any license-restrictions on the individual download pages.
4 Free graphics editors
Seashore – open source image editor using Cocoa framework. Inkscape – open source vector graphics editor similar to Illustrator & CorelDraw CinePaint – open source image editor that supports 8, 16 & 32-bit images Gimp – the most popular open source image editor with a huge following of users
Dealing with disk fragmentation in OSX
OS X does a great job at minimizing file fragmentation by rewriting files in contiguous space when a file is opened, is under 20MB and contains more than eight fragments. This works quite well to prevent heavy file fragmentation, but what it doesn’t prevent is free space fragmentation. TheAppleBlog covers disk framentation in this informative article. The article includes a brief tutorial on how to tell if your free space is fragmented without the use of a commercial program.
Adobe Creative Suite tips
InDesignSecrets offers a tutorial on how to customize your Links Panel and have the settings stick across workspace resets and app restarts. VectorDiary has a quick tutorial showing you how to converge points together using the Average function. The Average function is pretty powerful, and wildly under-used.
Snap2Objects discusses all aspects of typography, including anatomy, categories, adjustments and more in Fonts101. The article is fairly informative, and includes plenty of links to find fonts, font managers, and more type-related articles.
If you’re not on Twitter, you’re missing out on a great resource. You can follow me on Twitter to receive tips and links I don’t normally post here, as well as general discussion. If you’re already using Twitter and looking for a more advanced desktop client, you might want to check out atebits on Monday – as they’re scheduled to release a desktop version of their popular iPhone Twitter client, Tweetie. There’s a brief intro video posted their now, and it looks fantastic. If you use the popular Evernote service, you’ll be interested in knowing that they now have Twitter integration.
There are plenty of sites that offer the opportunity to view other designer’s work on the Web. The latest I’ve come across is DesignFridge. The site offers a clean interface for viewing inspirational Web design from users around the world. The gallery is categorized by style, so it’s easy to find samples of just what you’re looking for.
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…)
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.
The complete set of 50 passenger/pedestrian symbols developed by the AIGA is available for download, free of charge, in EPS format. You can download individual symbols, or the whole set from the AIGA Web site. This system of 50 symbols was developed for use at the crossroads of modern life: in airports and other transportation hubs, as well as large international events. Produced through a collaboration between the AIGA and the U.S. Department of Transportation, they are an example of how public-minded designers can address a universal communication need.
Every once in a while, a truly useful piece of free vector art pops-up on the Web. VectorTuts has made available one of those must-have downloads in the form of Firefox and Safari Web browser windows, complete with buttons, location bar, scroll bars and other browser assets. The browser windows and elements are perfect for using as mock-ups for presentations, as well as dropping screenshots into for showing off your Web designs in your portfolio. You can also grab a set of really nice watercolor brushes for Adobe Illustrator while you’re there. Both the browser windows and the watercolor brushes are free of charge, and can be used in personal or commercial projects. You can download them exclusively from VectorTuts.