Is it time to break up with your difficult client?

The relationship between client and designer can easily be fraught with difficulties. Money, feedback and deadlines are some of the main pain points when it comes to looking at why a professional client-designer relationship has broken down, but how can you tell when it’s time to call it a day?

Breaking up is never easy, and it’s all too tempting to hang on to memories of the good times when you’re thinking of splitting. But at some point your heart will tell you the time is right.

  • Nightmare clients: How to deal with clients who think they can design

If you’re still sitting on the fence, digital consultancy Glaze Digital has created this flowchart to help you decide whether to break up or make it work. Answer honestly, and it should guide you through all your heartache hurdles.

The course of a client relationship rarely did run smooth

Related articles:

  • How to get clients on board with animation
  • Say no to clients with this interactive letter
  • Convince clients to commission your crazy ideas

This post comes from the RSS feed of CreativeBlog, you can find more here!

Mom entrepreneurs: advice from women who run businesses—and families

Long hours. Tedious work. Constantly worrying if you’re doing it right. Am I talking about being an entrepreneur or being a mom? Funny how the core tenets of both jobs are the same. Since we serve entrepreneurs, some of whom are moms, we wanted to better understand the many women who take on the enormity…

The post Mom entrepreneurs: advice from women who run businesses—and families appeared first on 99designs Blog.

This post was originally posted on 99 Designs and can be found here!

50 design agencies to follow on Twitter

Whether you work in graphic design, web design or 3D, the web is full of inspiring content – and Twitter is a great place to find it. But the social media platform can be an overwhelming experience if you don’t know where to look.

So to help you out, we’ve rounded up this list of top design agencies to follow on Twitter. They’ll point you in the direction of awesome creative content and industry insight in no time.

01. johnson banks (@johnsonbanks)

A veteran brand consultancy with over 20 years’ experience under its belt, johnson banks specialises in cultural, educational and not-for-profit clients, which makes for an inspirational Twitter feed. Recently the team has been celebrating founder Michael Johnson’s D&AD President’s Award, while giving his book, Branding: In Five and a Half Steps, a well-deserved boost. 

02. Sawdust (@sawduststudio)

Sawdust’s Twitter feed is full of innovative new design work

Sawdust, the creative partnership of Jonathan Quainton and Rob Gonzalez, has won D&AD and Type Directors Club awards, as well as coming a creditable 11th in Computer Arts’ 2016 rundown of the top 30 UK design studios. The pair’s Twitter feed is a great place to catch up on recent work, cool stuff and the odd Photoshop tip; apparently Batch Automate Sequential Saving has changed their lives.

03. Happy Cog (@happycog)

Web design and user experience consultancy Happy Cog specialises in targeted, effective content and standards based design. With multiple tweets a day, this is a brilliant Twitter feed to follow to keep up-to-date with all things in the world of web design.

04. Supereight

Supereight is a small and friendly UK studio that creates lovely websites, apps, icons and illustrations. The team don’t tweet so often, but everything they post on their account is certainly worth reading.

05. Zurb

Californian product design company ZURB is a close-knit team of product designers who help startups and larger companies design websites, services and online products. As you can see from their Twitter feed, they’re very responsive to their 32k+ followers and keen to engage in conversation with them.

06. SmashLab (@smashLAB)

Based in Vancouver, SmashLab is a creative agency with expertise in digital, brand and advertising. Its Twitter feed is a hearty mix of all the things agencies do best on the social network: sharing design process insights and useful articles, and truly engaging with the community.

07. Digital Jungle

Digital Jungle is China’s largest independent content-focused digital marketing agency, boasting 120-plus staff in China and Asia. Its main focus is working with Western organisations to deepen the relationships between their brands and Chinese consumers – so the firm’s Twitter feed often offers fascinating insights into how the East and West is working together.

08. SapientNitro

Sapient Nitro describes itself as a “new breed of agency redefining storytelling for an always-on world”. Find out what that means in practice by following its informative and regularly updated feed.

09. Stink Studios

Follow Stink Studios for cutting-edge industry insights and inspiration

With offices in  London, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Shanghai and Berlin, Stink Studios is an award-winning production agency and creative studio that’s home to over 100 full-time developers, animators, designers, digital producers, film producers and directors. We give them top geek points for holding a wide-ranging Twitter debate in binary.

10. Tool of North America

Tool has been “convincing people to buy things they don’t really need to buy since 95”, as this integrated product company proclaims on its homepage. It’s this sort of tongue-in-cheek honesty that makes the broadcast and digital agency a must-follow.

11. Reading Room

Follow Reading Room for up-to-date industry chat

Reading Room started with a staff of two from a flat in north London in 1997. Its now providing digital communications to clients around the world with a staff of more than 180 working from the UK, Australia and Singapore. Actively engaged with the design community, its Twitter feed is a must-read for anyone keen to keep up with the latest industry hot topics.

12. UNIT9

UNIT9 is a multi-disciplinary production company working across mobile, physical installations and the web in London, Stockholm, Florence and San Francisco. The agency makes good use of its Twitter account, making you feel part of every debate, development and activity it gets involved in.

13. Huge (@HugeInc)

The Twitter feed of the, er, huge global agency Huge is a great resource for design-related posts. Not ones to be selfish, the team regularly support and share their fellow designers’ work and news. They’ve also mastered the art of using 140 characters to attract attention too. Killer tomatoes? Come on, who wouldn’t want to read about that?

14. Pentagram Design (@pentagram)

For anything design related – announcements, recent news, new work, interviews and so on – this is the feed to follow. One of the world’s leading multi-disciplinary design firms, Pentagram continues its great work on Twitter with continuous updates providing informative and inspiring creative content.

15. Mother London (@motherlondon)

The Mother crew have taken a novel approach to their Twitter feed

Want something a bit different? Then check out the Twitter feed from creative agency Mother London. Instead of using it in the normal, self-promoting way, these guys decided to open it up to one and all and every week allow a different person to control the ‘Tweet seat’. There’s no agenda and anything goes, so follow to find out!

16. The Barbarian Group (@barbariangroup)

If you like a bit of humour and fun in your Twitter feed then you should definitely follow the guys at creative agency The Barbarian Group. Not only is it a great resource for design-related information, they also tweet random amusing things to put a smile on your face, including the odd cheeky animated GIF.

17. The Neighbourhood (@neighbourhood)

There’s a friendly, personal and chatty Twitter feed from the guys at The Neighbourhood. As well as occasionally plugging work, the team also regularly engage in conversation with their followers, and fully support other designers and creative agencies.

18. Big Spaceship (@bigspaceship)

The Twitter feed of digital creative agency Big Spaceship is very matter-of-fact but, at the same time, it’s an absolutely brilliant resource for all things design. Whether it be web design, user experience, strategy or just pure inspiration – there’s a tweet here for everyone. If you don’t already, you should follow them immediately.

19. Studio Output (@StudioOutput)

For a regular dose of creative content, check out the Twitter feed from the guys at Studio Output. The personal, friendly tweets share interesting finds, images, informative posts as well as just saying hello. We really like the way the guys sign off some of their individual tweets too, a lovely personal touch.

20. Made by Many (@madebymany)

The Made by Many team are all over their Twitter account, constantly updating it and pointing the world in the direction of cool, design related content. We’re loving that most of the tweets have a short opinion on the stories they link to also. A friendly, honest and infomative feed.

21. The Partners (@the_partners)

This is a central account for brand and design agency The Partners, so tweets come from London, Singapore and New York on a daily basis. The friendly, engaging feed is full of links to awesome design projects and events. The New York office also posts a regular picture on ‘Bagel Thursday’.

22. Landor Associates (@LandorGlobal)

Leading brand consulting firm Landor Associates has a very active Twitter feed, featuring hints and links to lots of helpful and informative design-based information. If you’re interested in branding in particular, then this is one account you should definitely follow.

23. SapientRazorfish (@SR_)

Stay informed with Sapient Razorfish

If you like interactivity then give design agency SapientRazorfish a follow. Not only do they tweet regularly, they also regularly support other creatives and reply to users messages.

24. Digitas (@Digitas)

If you like all things digital then follow top global integrated brand agency Digitas. With at least three tweets surrounding digital design daily, you’re sure to find something of interest here.

25. Ogilvy & Mather (@Ogilvy)

The Twitter account of advertising and marketing agency Ogilvy & Mather is great for any creative. Tips, photos, insights and helpful retweets are posted regularly so if you’re looking for some inspiration then this is one for you.

26. David & Goliath (@DEFYyourGOLIATH)

The guys at advertising agency David & Goliath take both creativity and fun seriously, and you get lot of both through their Twitter feed. With regular updates, they’re short on words and big on pictures. Oh, and they have a thing for hamsters…

27. Ideo (@ideo)

IDEO likes to share

Global design consultancy IDEO clearly likes to share. With an active and regularly updated feed, IDEO tweets about everything design-related, and for an added bonus retweets inspiring content from other designers and creatives. With short and to-the-point tweets, IDEO lets its work do the talking.

28. Fantasy Interactive (@F_i)

The tweets by global digital agency Fantasy Interactive are short but sweet. The company regularly updates its feed with news of its latests works, which is all worth taking a look at and engages with its followers daily. Fi also shares cool content found and created by other creatives in the community.

29. AKQA (@AKQA)

The Twitter bio for digital service company AKQA says, “where the work does the tweeting”. And that it does. The feed is a mixture of informative links to creative content and personal, friendly messages to the online world. A great one to follow for inspiration, and finding other talented designers and creatives.

30. Form (@Form_design)

Award-winning London design studio Form is an avid Twitter user, and with over 20 years’ experience in the industry, its feed is definitely worth a follow. Tweets focus on design and related events in the industry, posting links to relevant articles and images. The team are very friendly and engaging, and clearly don’t take themselves too seriously – just what you need when limited to 140 characters.

31. B-Reel (@B_REEL)

B-Reel’s work is incredibly inspiring

If you want news from the world of digital design then you should definitely follow the Twitter account of digital production company B-Reel. This feed is rammed full of posts pointing you in the direction of crazy, cool stuff. The designers behind this account seem to really enjoy themselves, using the minimal character count in a very honest and humorous way.

32. Leo Burnett (@LeoBurnett)

American advertising company Leo Burnett specialises in advertising, digital, social media and much more. And it shares all the work it creates through this busy, friendly Twitter feed. So, if you’re looking for daily inspiration, you should give these guys a follow.

33. BBH London (@bbhlondon)

One of the world’s most famous creative advertising agencies, Bartle Bogle Hegarty‘s Twitter feed is certainly worth a follow. The team use the company account regularly, posting details of new work and job opportunities. It’s a very friendly feed, full of useful information.

34. ustwo (@ustwo)

The team at digital product and design studio ustwo are big Twitter fans. With multiple tweets a day, these guys post details of new work, support other designers with retweets and regularly engage in conversation with their followers.

35. I Love Dust (@ilovedust)

Multi-disciplinary design boutique I Love Dust is a relative newbie to the world of Twitter. However, since registering, the team are all over the social networking site, tweeting daily with details of new work and job opportunities in a relaxed, tongue-in-cheek style.

36. Plank (@plank)

Based in Montréal, Plank specialises in developing high quality websites, mobile apps and social media campaigns. While some agencies treat Twitter as an alternative RSS feed, just pushing out their own messages, Plank takes the trouble to share useful articles the team have read and retweet the day’s best tweets from the community. Good on them for that.

37. Dare (@thisisdare)

A “creative agency for a digital world”, Dare has offices in London, Bristol, Vancouver and Toronto. Its Twitter feed is a lively mix of industry news, insider insights and random musings.

38. Wolff Olins (@WolffOlins)

Not only is Wolff Olins a massive brand agency with branches in New York, San Francisco, London and Dubai, it also has a keen interest in the industry as a whole. The agency’s Twitter feed is rammed with links to fascinating articles on topics like “Why tech needs to bring us back to the real world” and “Using the connectivity of the web to rethink education”.

39. Sagmeister & Walsh (@sagmeisterwalsh)

New York outfit Sagmeister & Walsh never tire of creating wonderful, inspiring designs, and the studio’s Twitter feed is the perfect place to keep up-to-date with the cool things they’ve been up to lately.

40. North Kingdom (@NorthKingdom)

A Swedish digital agency of note, North Kingdom‘s Twitter feed is a must-follow, bringing you up-to-date news of its own design projects, new developments in the industry, and more.

41. R/GA (@RGA)

R/GA is a full-service, international digital agency with offices everywhere. But its Twitter account is far more than just a corporate news feed: fun and often frivolous, it’s filled with interesting tidbits from the world of design and beyond.

42. Hvass&Hannibal (@HvassHannibal)

Danish duo Hvass&Hannibal‘s Twitter account is very on-message, comprising mostly of links to articles where they’ve been mentioned and images of their latest work. On that note, their latest work’s always worth a look.

43. Marshmallow Laser Feast (@marshmallowlf)

To be honest, there’s a little too much U2 in ace video installation firm Marshmallow Laser Feast‘s recent Twitterings for our liking. On the other hand, there’s plenty of excellent video stuff. Swings and roundabouts.

44. Freytag Anderson (@FreytagAnderson)

There’s a great mix of content in Freytag Anderson‘s stream; just the right blend of recent work, office craziness and weird stuff from the internets. What better excuse to link to the image set above, which we love but couldn’t justify doing a proper story about?

45. Vallée Duhamel (@valleeduhamel)

Follow Vallée Duhamel for instant inspiration

Feel slightly cosmopolitan by hooking up with Montreal-based Vallée Duhamel‘s stream: sometimes it’s in English and sometimes it’s in French. Best of all, it often features great work by the Canadian duo.

46. Lundgren+Lindqvist (@lndgrnlndqvst)

If you like lamps, you’re going to love Lundgren+Lindqvist‘s Twitter stream. It’s not like all the agency’s posts are about lamps or anything like that – that’d be just weird – but there’s definitely a higher proportion of lamp-related tweets than you might expect. Luckily we love lamps, and there are plenty of other attractive things in the Instagram-heavy feed as well, so it’s all good. Lamps!

47. SomeOne (@SomeOnes_Tweet)

Officially the UK’s number one design agency for 2016, SomeOne is certainly an important account to follow. The team work on big projects like rebranding the electronics chain Maplin across their 200-plus UK stores, and have a highly enthusiastic and positive Twitter feed.

48. Horse (@horse_studio)

Horse is a must-follow on Twitter

With a new website waiting in the wings, Twitter and Instagram are currently the only ways to keep up-to-date with Horse – and we strongly recommend that you do. Horse is an independent design studio with only four full-time employees, yet the team picked up design agency of the year at the FAB awards last year. 

49. jonesknowlesrichie (@jkrglobal)

jones knowles richie is an independent design agency that’s worked with some pretty huge brands, including PG Tips, Dominoes and Budweiser. The team’s Twitter feed includes news and features from the world of design, and they do a lot of fundraising for different charities too.

50. Studio SutherI& (@andSutherland)

Studio Sutherl& (read it aloud and you’ll get it) only launched in 2014, but has quickly made a name for itself thanks to its stunning portfolio of work. The studio’s Twitter features some great examples of this, and is well worth turning to for graphic design and typography inspiration.

 Are you looking for typography related tips? If so, check out our article Typography Twitter accounts you must follow.  

That’s it for now! Let us know about other agencies to follow below!

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100 amazing Adobe Illustrator tutorials

Since its release, Adobe’s Illustrator has grown to become the designer’s right-hand man when it comes to creating premier vector graphics and elements. There’s so much you can do with it that it can be difficult to know where to start.

Happily, we’re here to round up the best Adobe Illustrator tutorials, covering everything from illustration to logo design, adding depth to your typography and much more, to help you get the most from this amazing app. Jump directly to a section using this handy category guide, or just get started browsing the whole list!

  • Getting started (this page)
  • Master your tools
  • Understanding gradients
  • Using patterns
  • Creating characters
  • Adding texture and detail
  • Working with 3D
  • Typography
  • Building objects
  • Analogue effects
  • Go retro
  • Pro techniques
  • Inspirational techniques

With so many to choose from, you’re sure to find a project to inspire you, whether you’re using an older version of Illustrator or are signed up to the Creative Cloud. Here goes!

Getting started

Adobe Illustrator for beginners: 11 top tips

If you’re just starting out with Illustrator, here’s a fantastic guide to some of its tools. It’ll take you from the basics of getting to grips with Bézier curves, strokes and paths, through to more advanced techniques, such as warping objects with the effects tool, editing type and creating eye-catching blends using gradients, and plenty more besides.

Setting up a new document

illustrator tutorials

Click on the image to head to the video tutorial…

In this video tutorial presented by Angie Taylor, you’ll learn how to set up a new Illustrator document. She looks at options in the New Document dialog box like Width and Height, Color Mode, and Transparency Grid.

Essentials of the Pen and Pencil tools

The Pen and Pencil tools are very useful, but require a little practice to get comfortable with. This video tutorial explains how to start using the Pen tool to create clouds and the Pencil tool to create hills. (You’ll also find a faster way to vectorise hand lettering with the Pen tool here.)

Creating objects with the Shape tools

In this video tutorial, you’ll see how to use Illustrator’s Shape tools to create primitive shapes that you can use as the basis for objects. You’ll also learn how to use the Shape Builder tool to combine shapes. (And here’s a bonus tutorial for creating complex shapes with the Shape Builder tool.) 

10 things beginners want to know how to do

Here, Terry White shows you how to get started with Adobe Illustrator CS6.

  • Empty list

5 tips for drawing in Illustrator

In this video, artist Mordy Golding gives five tips to make drawing easier in Adobe Illustrator CS5. These are great tips for beginners as well as experienced users who are new to CS5.

Master artwork techniques

Here, you’ll learn how to master artwork techniques in the new realms of CS6. This handy video tutorial is easy to follow and uses processes that are simple enough for beginners.

Blend tool tips for beginners

Steven Bonner looks at how to use Illustrator’s Blend tool to create smooth and curved blends, blend by specific distances, and blend different transparencies and shapes.

Next page: Master your tools

How to use the all-new Pencil tool

The revamped Pencil tool in Illustrator CC offers a new way to draw vector paths. These videos from Adobe show you how to use it.

Examples and tips for using Illustrator’s Warp tools

The Warp tools, also known as the Liquify tools, are not dissimilar to Photoshop’s Liquify tool – but instead are set out into seven different categories. Master them with this Illustrator tutorial.

Create custom brushes in Illustrator CS6

Illustrator comes with a selection of default brushes but it’s really easy to create your own too. This tutorial explains how

Creating graphs with Adobe Illustrator

If you’re unfamiliar with the process of creating graphs in Adobe Illustrator, this article will give you some insight into the workflow. You’ll be a pro in no time!

How to edit drawings in Illustrator with Image Trace

Retain the hand-drawn, linear quality of your artwork in Adobe Illustrator. Artist Anna Wray shows you how to get to grips with the Image Trace tool.

How to layer up vectors for unique effects

Tom Mac reveals how to create a drip-effect portrait using Illustrator’s Pen tool and some clever object layering techniques.

Next page: Understanding gradients

Gradient opacity masks in Illustrator

This quick video tutorial shows you how to use a basic gradient as an opacity mask over text. Once you know this method, you can utilise it in different ways to benefit your designs – as an easy-to-use alternative to a clipping mask, for example.

Create a colourful parrot using gradients

illustrator tutorials

Get colourful in Illustrator

Here, you’ll learn how to create volume in vector illustrations using a few colours per object. Bring a sketch of a beautiful tropical bird to life using vectors and a handy colouring process.

Create a pearl brush from gradient meshes

Follow this tutorial by Iaroslav Lazunov. By controlling the transparency of gradient meshes with the help of blending modes, and by adjusting colour transition between mesh points and changing its opacity, you’ll make a brush that you can use to create an impressive pearl necklace in seconds.

Master dynamic gradient techniques

Many images that look complicated are really made using simple effects. Get to grips with gradients by layering and building up small, straightforward segments, always varying them to prevent monotony.

Bring a fluorescent transparency to life in Illustrator

Using Illustrator with finesse and perfecting the finer details can take practice. This tutorial looks at a selection of transparency and gradient tools, and uses them to create a lifelike but contemporary animal study. The techniques covered can be applied to any subject matter that requires a striking dynamic look or an elegant subtle shine.

Adding gradients to stroke lines

Brought to you by, you’ll get to grips with some of the new tools in Adobe Illustrator CS6. The video will show you how to apply a gradient swatch to a stroke that is surrounding an object.

Next page: Using patterns

Create a repeating pattern

In this 15-minute Illustrator tutorial, Andy Buckle explains how to use Illustrator’s pattern-creation tools to create a seamlessly repeating design for use in your websites.

illustrator tutorials

The Pattern Options dialog lets you control how your pattern repeats

How to create seamless patterns in Illustrator CS6

This quick tip utilises how you can use the pattern feature in order to construct seamless vector patterns. This Illustrator tutorial is a great starting point for gaining an understanding of how the new pattern tool feature works.

Using the pattern options tool

Another great Illustrator tutorial brought to you by, this shows you how to create repeatable patterns in different styles and configurations using the Pattern Options tool.

Next page: Creating characters

How to draw Happy Tree Friends characters

illustrator tutorials

Create your favourite characters from the hit TV series

Create this softer, cuter image of the hit series with this simple Illustrator tutorial. You’ll be using the Pencil and Pen tools, as well as Ellipse tool for this creation.

Create a cool vector yeti character

Follow this step-by-step Illustrator tutorial to create a cool vector Yeti character. You’ll use as many basic shapes as possible to achieve that quirky style of illustration, then bring the character to life with a palette of cold colours.

Create Courage, the cowardly dog

This tutorial is half a case-study and half a tutorial, so you may notice some fast pacing in some parts. But if you’re used to Marcos Torres’ illustration tutorials, you’ll be fine.

Create a cute snail character

illustrator tutorials

You’ll be using the pen tool and ellipse tool to create this cute snail

Here, you’ll learn how to draw a snail using the Pen tool, Selection tool, Direct Selection tool, Ellipse tool and Gradient tool. Some shapes will be created with the help of the Pathfinder panel.

Create a badass hip hop character

For this Illustrator tutorial, Marcos Torres recommends that you install the San Locisco, The Black Bureau and Ghetto Wolves fonts. You can get them at Legacy of Defeat.

Create a retro fox illustration

This retro fox illustration is a great Illustrator project for beginners

Use basic shapes, stylish colours and the Warp Effect tool to create this adorable fox illustration in Illustrator. This retro illustration tutorial is a great project for beginners.

Create the Sonic the Hedgehog opening

illustrator tutorials

Create some of your favourite game characters with these tutorials

This is a more advanced Illustrator tutorial, so a previous knowledge of the software (and the character) will be helpful. It can all be crafted using a mouse, although using a tablet will make the process quicker.

Create Super Mario’s head

This Illustrator tutorial is for beginners but it’s a great way to practice your skills in the software. You’ll be creating Mario’s face using some simple and easy-to-create shapes.

How to create abstract characters

Celebrated Russian illustrator Zutto reveals how you can make a balanced character composition and add shading using vectors.

How to integrate characters into your work

We’ve got more Illustrator tutorials than you can shake a vector stick at and we’re adding new ones all the time. In this one, Junichi Tsuneoka explains how to create a unique character, build up its background and incorporate custom type to make a stunning composition.

Create a colourful stylised portrait

This tutorial focuses on creating a vibrant, poppy portrait in Adobe Illustrator, using bright colours and transparent gradients. You’ll be constructing facial features and candy hair in no time.

Create a comic book style character

illustrator tutorials

Bring some comic influence into your illustrator designs

William Beachy shows you how his company created this comic book-style flyer. Starting with a pencil sketch and then importing it into Illustrator, you should be a dab hand at drawing by the end.

Next page: Adding texture and detail

Add depth and texture in Illustrator

illustrator tutorials

Make your mark and add depth to your illustrations

Adding extra depth to an image can be a quick process that utilises some simple tools. In this Illustrator tutorial, Jeffrey Bowman explains how to use grids, gradients and textures to add depth to illustrations.

Create your own leather texture

This Illustrator tutorial shows you how to create a leather texture of different colours. This is a basic tutorial to follow and will take around 30 minutes to complete.

Adding texture to your vector illustrations

Adding texture to your vectors is a great way to give them more dimension and perspective. In this easy-to-follow video, Illustrator expert Alexandra Cecilio explains how to get the most out of textures.

Get a vector sponge texture

illustrator tutorials

Bring out your inner child with this cute sponge effect

Today designers and illustrators strive to add that retro/vintage style to their work with textures. This Illustrator tutorial covers the process of creating a cute kids-style illustration complete with a vector sponge stamp effect.

How to add textures to vectors using smart objects

In this Illustrator tutorial, see how Amy Martino designs a fashion illustration (using a vector drawing created in Illustrator) that’s editable as a Smart Object in Photoshop. As a bonus, she also explains how to create and apply textures to Photoshop images to add character.

Next page: Working with 3D

How to use Illustrator’s 3D capabilities like a pro

Steven Bonner explains how to add a new dimension to your work with Illustrator’s powerful 3D tools.

Create a bending 3D text effect

illustrator tutorials

Get bent into shape with this 3D text effect

In this Illustrator tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a bending 3D text effect that will make any design stand out. There are plenty of skills to soak up here.

How to make your type stand out

illustrator tutorials

Add some depth to your type

Alex Gill walks through how to combine Illustrator’s 3D capabilities with Photoshop work. Learn how to manage layers more efficiently and the best ways to add subtle lighting techniques.

How to create isometric grid-based 3D lettering

illustrator tutorials

This 3D lettering makes a great weekend project

This makes a great weekend project. Follow along as Steven Bonner works through the process of building a grid that will form the basis of your design. He then shows you how to draw, colour and light your letters to create an amazing 3D architectural scene.

Working with 3D objects and transparencies to make a vector Coca-Cola design

If you’re already familiar with the 3D effects in Illustrator, then this is a great way to test those skills and take them up a notch. Here, you’ll learn how transparencies can make all the difference.

Next page: Typography

The Easy Way to Roughen Your Typography in Illustrator

Find out how to quickly roughen your typography in Illustrator to create a warm, handmade feel, in this short four-minute video tutorial. 

How to design a headline typeface

illustrator tutorials

Creating a unique typeface can help define a brand

Whether it’s for an ad campaign, product, publication or identity, a unique typeface can help define a brand, message and tone of voice – giving the client something unique. In this Illustrator tutorial, you’ll look at the creative process of designing a new display typeface.

How to create a delicious chocolate text effect

Sweeten up your design with this tasty text effect. You’ll need to be at an intermediate level as you will be using the Blend tool; effects like Roughen and Chrome; different Blending modes and also the 3D Extrude and Bevel effects to create perfect chocolate squares.

Create a marker text effect

Get creative with this cute Illustrator tutorial. It involves intermediate vector shape-building skills so make sure you’ve got those down before you go any further.

Create a BBC-inspired mosaic text effect

Inspired by BBC1’s mosaic idents – recently given a 2014 refresh – this tutorial by Andrei Marius shows you how to create a colourful text effect made up of lots of little pieces.

Create The Avengers text effect

Make your text leap off the page – in the style of Marvel’s logo for The Avengers – by creating a path in Illustrator, then importing it to Photoshop and applying effects and texture.

How to create an ambigram-style logo

illustrator tutorials

Bring rotational symmetry to your work

Graphic artist and ambigram pioneer John Langdon reveals how to bring rotational symmetry to your work.

How to create a custom lettered logo

illustrator tutorials

In this typography tutorial, designer Chandler Van De Water shows you how to use Illustrator CS5 to creatively manipulate letterforms in combination with unique shapes and negative space. The result? A solid, recognisable logo mark.

Create an illustrative monogram

A monogram is a symbol made by combining and overlapping two or more letters; it can be straightforward and functional, or a lot more ornamental in appearance. Here Chris Comella demonstrates how he made a monogram for his colleague’s business card.

How to design an experimental typeface

In another one of our favourite Illustrator tutorials, learn how to use the Liquify tool creatively; how to combine stock imagery with custom marks; and to create an illustration from type.

Make the most of Illustrator CC’s Touch Type tool

Computer Arts’ Jo Gulliver reveals how to edit and manipulate live text on the fly, using Illustrator CC’s new Touch Type tool.

Next page: Building objects

Create a semi-realistic lifebuoy graphic

illustrator tutorials

Start off with basic vector shapes to get a detailed effect

In this Illustrator tutorial, you start with a bunch of concentric circles and some basic vector shape-building techniques. Once you create the starting shapes you’ll continue with some Pathfinder options, several Warp and Gaussian Blur effects, plus some basic masking techniques.

Create a scanner illustration

In the following Adobe Illustrator tutorial you’ll learn how to create a detailed scanner illustration. You’ll start with a bunch of simple shapes, some basic vector shape-building techniques and a host of effects.

Create a printer illustration

Here, you will learn how to create a detailed printer illustration using simple rectangle shapes. Some basic vector shape-building techniques will come in handy for this one.

Create a vibrant peacock

Use Illustrator’s Appearance panel to draw this fabulous colourful peacock

In this tutorial you’ll get to know one of the most useful Illustrator features – the Appearance panel – and draw a fabulous colourful peacock with the help of various effects. The Appearance panel helps you to add as many fills and strokes as you need, applying various effects and arranging them in the necessary order, all applied to one object.

Draw a city portrait

How to create a television icon

This easy step-by-step Illustrator tutorial by Ryan of Vectips shows you how to create a retro television icon with just some basic shapes and gradients.

Spark some creativity with these fireworks rockets

Here you’ll learn how to create a neat icon of firework-rockets. 3D Effect is a convenient tool for creating this kind of illustration, but you have to be aware of the fact that 3D effects can mess up your illustration. This tutorial will show you how to avoid that.

Create sketched weather icons

Here you’ll draw sketched weather icons on a paper note with a clip. First you’ll illustrate a background with the Appearance panel, and then you’ll create weather symbols and a paper note with a clip before finishing it off with some text.

Create a PlayStation controller

This Illustrator tutorial is less focused on drawing skills and more into the tools, so this shouldn’t be that hard for beginners. You execute it using a mouse or even a track pad.

Next page: Analogue effects

Convert a drawing into vector artwork

This 45-minute video explores how to convert a scanned drawing into vector artwork in Adobe Illustrator.

How to achieve a handmade print effect

Learn how to import textures into Illustrator; use custom presets in Live Trace; and successfully apply textured effects to vector images. You’ll be pleased with the results.

Explore 3D papercut aesthetics with vectors

illustrator tutorials

Learn how to layer an image for a 3D effect

Steven Bonner has done some cracking Illustrator tutorials for our friends at Computer Arts. In this one, he shows you how to layer an image for a realistic 3D effect, and how your use of colour can increase relevance and impact.

How to work with raster effects

Used sparingly, raster effects can help you achieve results in your Illustrator vectors that you’d normally have to cross over to Photoshop to get. If you experiment with them, they can add a dramatic difference and new dimension to your images.

How to create monstrous characters with Illustrator’s bristle brush

Top illustrator and web designer Paddy Donnelly shows you how to use Illustrator CS5’s Bristle Brush feature to create monsters…

Next page: Go retro

How to create retro graphics

Illustrator tutorials

Create a retro T-shirt graphic in Illustrator

This Illustrator tutorial takes a look at how to create a T-shirt graphic (pictured above) with a cool, retro feel. There’s only a few simple steps. Form simple vector shapes with the Pen tool and then add textures to create that retro aesthetic.

How to make vintage vector textures

Learn how to use halftone patterns and to add a retro, hand-printed effect in this Illustrator tutorial. You’ll be one step closer to mastering the Illustrator Brush libraries.

How to Create a Retro Inspired Logo in Illustrator

Ever wanted to create a retro style badge design in Illustrator? This time-lapse tutorial will show you how to create a really simple logo using just two fonts and a few graphics. 

How to create a vintage type postcard

illustrator tutorials

Get the vintage look with this postcard tutorial

Follow this in-depth look at the process of designing type for a vintage style postcard. This Adobe Illustrator tutorial delves into clipping masks, using bitmap images, working with layers and type effects.

Create detailed vintage typography

In this Illustrator tutorial you’ll discover how to customise a typeface and then use Photoshop to create a stunning vintage detailed typographic design.

Create a ’50s ad poster

Get vintage inspired with this ’50s ad poster. You’ll be creating images as well as vintage typography.

Design cool, scalable pop art

In this Illustrator tutorial, Nils Davey, from Binary & The Brain, guides you through the process of making pop art-style vector graphics.

Next page: Pro techniques

How to create shapes faster in Illustrator

illustrator tutorials

Create shapes faster and improve your workflow

Do you ever wish that you could work faster? In this Illustrator tutorial, Jonny Wan shows you how he created a promotional poster for Ford. See how the Pathfinder panel played a key part in speeding up his workflow, ultimately giving him more time to incorporate client feedback and amendments.

Accelerate your branding workflow with artboards

Graphic designer Andy Cooke explains how to make full use of Illustrator’s artboards to easily construct and edit a range of printed branding material for a company.

How to make the most of your graphic assets

Whether it’s vector experimentation in Illustrator, manipulation in Photoshop or tinkering around with a 3D application, if you make something interesting then make sure that you categorise it and keep it. You might be able to reuse it (or elements of it) in other projects. Here Anthony Neil Dart demonstrates a practical way to utilise your graphic asset library.

How to use Illustrator’s Appearance panel

Watch how Steven Bonner harnesses the power of the Appearance panel in Adobe Illustrator. See how easy it is? It’s a wonder we ever worried about it.

How to build experiments into your workflow

Experimentation is key to remaining creative (and sane). Find out how to create artwork that has a solid foundation, yet still enables you to mess around along the way. This process might even speed up your workflow and help you get better results in the other Illustrator tutorials.

How to merge vectors with photographic imagery

Learn how to merge a few found images and to mix them in with vector shapes to create a unique editorial illustration.

Create a colour group with Live Color

illustrator tutorials

Use the Live Color tool to create a colour group for a logo or brand mark

As enjoyable as it might be, choosing a colour palette for a new brand or design can prove time-consuming. In this Illustrator tutorial, Lee Barnes demonstrates how you can use the Live Color tool to create a colour group for a logo or brand mark.

How to use Adobe’s Kuler engine with Illustrator

illustrator tutorials

Turn a good image into a great image

The right colour palette can turn a good image into a great image, but it isn’t always easy to select the best combination for your work. Learn how to get the most out of Adobe’s Kuler, a web-hosted community-based colour scheme editor.

Next page: Inspirational techniques

Create a greyscale monochrome vector portrait

With a bit of effort you can use Illustrator to create a portrait like this

You might not immediately think of Illustrator as the right tool for creating a portrait, but this tutorial by Sharon Milne will set you straight. Here she takes you through her process for creating a monochrome vector portrait from a photograph, using a picture of transgender vlogger and activist Aydian Dowling as her subject, with stunning results.

How to add depth to abstract illustrations

illustrator tutorials

Create an elaborate, eye-catching and abstract illustration

This is one of the more effective Illustrator tutorials we’ve come across. Focusing on the Ellipse and Lasso tools, see how you can create a sense of depth in your designs by using drop shadows. The result? An elaborate, eye-catching and abstract illustration.

How to create atmospheric digicollages

Ever tried a digital collage or ‘digicollage’? Today is as good a day as any. Follow BECHA as she walks through a process for developing a distinct aesthetic that combines textures, photos and elements.

How to create slick abstracts with a limited palette

In this Illustrator tutorial, graphic designer Dines reveals how to create an imposing mixed-media image using limited shades.

How to create a trippy kaleidoscopic effect

illustrator tutorials

Get a kaleidoscope effect in Photoshop and Illustrator

This is a Photoshop and Illustrator tutorial double-header. Join Spanish illustrator Marti Sati as he shows you how to how to add a sense of motion to your work by combining vector illustrations with Photoshop’s Pen tool. By the end you’ll have a head-turning kaleidoscopic effect.

How to give your graphics a glossy shine

Luke O’Neill demonstrates how you can quickly and easily add a layer of gloss to various graphic elements. Think slick, shiny graphic buttons and icons…

How to design a mixed media portrait in Photoshop and Illustrator

Learn how to combine photos and custom artwork with style. This tutorial walks you through using your digital camera and scanner, how to introduce Smart Object/Smart Filter workflow, and playing with Illustrator’s Warp tools.

Creating complex style illustrations: a process

Heinritzh Sales explains the process of creating a complex style drawing in Illustrator. It will consist of a number of layers and a fair few steps, so you’ll need to be at an intermediate level for this one.

Design a branding solution in Illustrator

Sebastin Litmanovich tells you how to create a set of vector icons using a logo as a starting point. You’ll learn how to combine and rearrange the shapes of an existing logo or typeface into new forms.

How to create an elegant graphic illustration

See how you can strip a concept back to basics and create versatile graphic shapes that work in different contexts. This Illustrator tutorial will help you improve your skills with the Pen and Pathfinder tools. It will also show you how best to work with bold, simple colour palettes.

Keep regularly checking back for more updated tutorials.

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Colors in marketing and advertising

The psychology of color plays a seriously important role in marketing and advertising, so in this post we will explore how to choose the colors you use wisely, based on your specific marketing and advertising goals. Tech startup founders and small business owners—and in fact anyone who needs to advertise or market their products or…

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Design a Computer Arts cover and win £500

Computer Arts has a history of showcasing and supporting new talent, as well as creating eye-catching, innovative covers. Now in its fourth year, Computer Arts’ annual cover design contest – in partnership with its friends at D&AD New Blood – returns this summer with a search for another exciting new cover artist.

And the team has its most exciting print finish yet for you to play with, courtesy of print finishing partners Celloglas: Mirri. Read on to find out more…

Win a £500 commission

The brief is simple: create an original cover illustration for CA’s New Talent special, an annual celebration of the best graduate talent from across the UK. Simply submit a sketch/scamp/mockup of your concept, with a short paragraph (100 words max) explaining it – full details on how to enter are below.

The winning entry will receive a commission fee of £500, and will be featured in the magazine and on Creative Bloq. Computer Arts will also feature selected highlights from the shortlisted entries.

Who’s eligible to enter?

The team are keen to commission someone they haven’t come across or worked with  before, so the brief is only open to current students and recent graduates (within the last two years). Mature students are welcome of course! 

You can be based anywhere in the world, if you meet the above criteria.

Get creative with print finishes

This is CA’s fourth cover design contest, and its print finishing partner Celloglas has supported it since the beginning, with innovative special treatments to enhance the winning designs.

In 2014, Paddy O’Hara’s winning design used a simple graphic metaphor of  a glass of lemonade surrounded by lemons to represent new talent standing out from the crowd – and Celloglas applied a zesty lemon fragrance to the final print.

2015’s winning design by Julia Frances depicted a young designer nurtured inside a ‘talent terrarium’, surrounded by plants and foliage – here, Celloglas stamped a transparent glitter foil over the dome to add eye-catching sparkle.

And in 2016, Krystina Chapman literally wrote the destiny of that year’s crop of new talent in the stars, with a constellation-inspired design. Each star was stamped with a rainbow diffuser foil, while a blue-tinted pearlescent varnish gave the night sky a stylish shimmer.

Once again, Computer Arts is teaming up with Celloglas – but this year it has made an even more special print finish available to all entrants to consider as part of your design from the outset: Mirri.

How Mirri works

More common in high-end packaging applications than editorial, Mirri is a luxurious metallic laminate, available in silver, gold and a broad range of colours, as well as holographic and iridescent varieties.

It will first be applied to CA’s cover stock, and then the winning design will be printed on top in CMYK, with a metallic shimmering effect underneath. Where you can really get creative with the finish, however, is by ‘underpinning’ certain areas of the design with white, to make them opaque – and really punch out.

If you’d like to know more about how this treatment works and how you can apply it effectively, email

Where to draw inspiration

The New Talent special (issue 269) is released at the end of July, as grad show season comes to a close. It will include an extended feature on the rising stars of design and illustration.

As with previous years, themes such as  ‘fresh talent’, ‘rising stars’ or ‘getting noticed’ could be potential starting points – but feel free to be creative and explore something  more abstract and conceptual.

Remember to make full use of Celloglas’ Mirri finish within your concept, and consider how a white ‘underpin’ base layer can be used to turn the shimmering metallic finish on and off in certain areas – we look forward to seeing how creative you can be with this stunning print treatment.

How to enter

Submit a mockup of your concept, a short paragraph  (100 words max) explaining it, and a link to your portfolio, to

Entries will be judged by the CA team based on creativity of concept, its  suitability for use as a magazine cover, and the quality of your  existing portfolio – and the winner will receive a paid commission to develop it into a final cover with direction from CA’s art editor.

Deadline for entries: Midnight (BST) Friday 2 June 2017

We will also showcase a selection of the best entries on Creative Bloq, including a paragraph about the artist and a portfolio link. Good luck!

Hi-res artwork (or any amends!) will only be requested from the chosen designer once the commission is set up. All IP remains with the creators, until a contract is set up with the winner.

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Creative and crafty tips for Etsy branding

If you’ve got an Etsy shop, chances are you’re super creative, artistic, and can craft circles around the rest of us (especially the craft-challenged Pinterest-fail regulars like myself). But finding success is bigger than being amazingly creative. It’s about developing unique Etsy branding that sets your shop apart from the other 1.7 million ah-mazing artists on…

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Make a logo in Illustrator

This week saw the release of some new videos on Adobe’s Make It Now playlist, a collection of clips all about how to create design projects with Creative Cloud applications in a minute or less.

If you’re a designer looking for some logo design tips, this mini Illustrator tutorial is sure to interest you. Whizzing through how to create shapes, flip designs and drop in colour, this video makes creating a logo look easy. You might even see some tools used in ways you’d never thought of before.

So if you’ve literally only got a minute to spare, stick on this video to see how the pros whip up a logo. If you’re after something  little more in-depth we’ve got you covered with these 20 free resources for learning logo design.

Related articles:

  • How to price logo design services
  • Serif vs sans serif in logo design
  • 5 ways to use shape psychology in logo design

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58 cafe and coffee logos creating a buzz

Everyone loves coffee, right? What’s better than sitting at your local coffee shop, ordering a cup (or three), and cracking open a book? You might even be thinking it’d be a great idea to own that experience, by starting your own cafe or roastery. Well, good luck! Coffee shops are a notoriously tough, saturated market…

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