September 2008 in Review

September was a crazy month for me but a great month for Colorburned.  I spent half of this month either without electricity or in New York City but in the time I wasn’t either traveling or sitting in the dark, I was able to post quite a few great articles and freebies to the site.  Below you will find a review of the great content that was posted on this site.

10 Tips for Effective Political Designs

For those of you who have been following my blog for some time, you may have noticed that I have quite a bit of experience in political design; that is graphic and web design for politicians, political organizations and government agencies. For a time, political design was my niche and I was able to work for quite a few politicians, organizations and government agencies including governors, congressmen, state representatives and city council members. I was also fortunate enough to do work for national and local organizations.

I will be the first person to tell you that political design isn’t the most glamorous sector of the design field. In fact, it can be downright boring sometimes. The upside to it is that it’s fairly consistent work. In the U.S. there can be elections every year with new candidates, new themes, new issues, etc. It’s also a great way to participate in the political process that does not involve stuffing envelopes, getting chased by dogs walking door-to-door and making phone calls.

With so much experience in political design I’ve decided to write a short article describing what works, what doesn’t and what’s just plain ugly so you don’t have to learn these things the hard way, like I did.

Lens Flares That Don’t Suck in Photoshop

knoll-light-factory.jpgEverybody knows that Photoshop‘s lens flare effect sucks! Unfortunately, it seems to be the first effect that people try after installing the software. It doesn’t take long, however, to realize how terrible it actually is. It gives you very little control over the look of the flare, it creates all sorts of little lines and circles that you really don’t want and takes a lot of trial and error to produce an effect that isn’t all that good in the end anyways. The question then becomes, how do you produce flare effects without it?

50 Killer Retro Starburst Brushes

If you have already downloaded my broken line brushes, these brushes may look somewhat familiar to you. If they do, it’s because they are nearly identical. There are two fundamental differences however. In this set, the corner tiles have been removed and the patterns have been rotated 90 degrees. I did this so that these brushes will produce radial patterns when you apply them to a circular shape.

Why Do Designers Hate Blackberries?

I don’t know about you guys but I don’t have an iPhone. I think that they are really cool devices, but they are just not for me. I used to have one of those old HP Pocket PCs, it was then when I learned to seriously despise a touch screen device. Try texting with one hand with one of those things, it’s not an easy task. I want buttons! I don’t like having to look each time I press a key to make sure I’ve pressed the right one. That makes a Blackberry the most obvious choice for me, not an iPhone.

104 Incredible Retro-Style Pixelated Illustrator Brushes

After designing last week’s HUGE set of Retro Line Brushes I went right to work on a new set of retro-style Illustrator brushes. At first I wasn’t exactly sure how they would turn out but the more I started to play with them, the more I realized how incredibly awesome they actually were. Today’s set of retro-style pixelated brushes includes 104 Illustrator pattern brushes, complete with corner pieces and a swatch palette for you to use in your commercial or personal work for free. Like the last set of retro line brushes that I released, each brush in this set is completely unique and should come in handy for a number of tasks. I’ve never seen any Illustrator brushes like these online so I am hoping that they go over well.

August 2008 in Review

When I launched four months ago, I had originally envisioned it as primarily a portfolio site to display my work. Since then, the design has remained largely the same but the scope and direction of the site has changed dramatically. While I am still using the site to display my work, I am also using the site share resources with my friends in the design community. Since I started offering textures, tutorials and vector freebies on the site, traffic has steadily increased and so has the readership. I’ve been excited but also humbled by the warm reception that you readers have given me. With August 2008 being my biggest month in terms of traffic, I thought I’d offer my first monthly review.