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dec-2008-review

Best of Colorburned – December 2008 Reviewed

As you guys know, each month I post a review of all the things that I’ve been up to on this site.  December was another great month, I was able to get a lot of things done in what seemed to be a very short amount of time; especially with the Holidays coming at the end.  This month I was able to post quite a few articles, tutorials, freebies and of course contests in addition to some other exciting projects that I am working on.  So, if you missed anything because of the holidays, please feel free to review some of the things I’ve been up to this month.

elegant-themes

Check Out Elegant Themes

There are a lot of ways to set up a WordPress theme. As a designer, my first instinct is to open up Fireworks or Photoshop and start designing a custom theme. After that, I cut it up into CSS and HTML. Then, I bring it into WordPress and convert it into a fully functioning blog and CMS. This however can take up quite a bit of time and money depending on your knowledge of HTML/CSS. That’s why many designers have begun to rely on premium WordPress themes to get their work done faster.

There are a lot of WordPress theme sites out there.  If you haven’t checked out Elegant Themes already and are an avid user of themes than I would definitely suggest that you take a look.

shop-15-dollars

Only 4 Days Left to Purchase all 300 Premium Colorburned Textures for $15

With just 3 days until Christmas, I wanted to post a quick reminder that there are only 4 days left to purchase all 300 premium high resolution textures in the Colorburned Shop for the amazing price of just $15.  That’s just 5 cents a texture.  To redeem this discount, simply enter the discount code HAPPYHOLIDAYS during checkout.  This discount code will deduct $55.40 USD off the original price.  So go ahead and purchase these textures today.  The price will go back up on December 26th!

lsw

Meet Lisa Sabin-Wilson, The Person Who Literally Wrote the Book on WordPress

This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Lisa Sabin-Wilson of E.Webscapes Design Studio. E.Webscapes is a blog design studio with a huge client base of over 1,000. She’s an experienced blog designer and author of the “WordPress for Dummies” book. In this interview Lisa offers some fantastic advice as well as some very interesting insights into how she got her start as a designer. Scroll down and learn more about Lisa and when you’re done, feel free to visit her website and to connect with her using the social network of your choosing.

arrowheads

10 Arrowhead Brushes for Illustrator

If you have ever tried to create arrows in Illustrator you probably know that there are a lot of ways it can be done.  If you’ve ever explored some of the menus in Illustrator you probably have noticed quite a few options that allow you to create arrows rather quickly.  The problem is that each option has some pros and cons.  For instance, if you need a quick arrow, you can create one from scratch using basic shapes.  This is pretty easy to do but if you need a lot of them it can become rather inefficient.  Another way to do it is to do so by adding effects to paths. You can do this by going to Effects > Stylize > Add Arrowheads. This is a fairly decent way of adding arrowheads to lines but this too can be time-consuming and cumbersome if you are adding arrowheads to lots of lines in an illustration.

You may also have noticed a couple of art brush sets that ship with Illustrator.  These work great unless you need your arrows to have corners tiles.  As you may have noticed, art brushes don’t do corners that well.  Pattern brushes however can.  That’s why I decided to create a set of 10 arrowhead pattern brushes for Illustrator. These brushes will enable you to quickly draw arrows in Illustrator with very few draw backs.  I hope you enjoy them and can use them in your designs.

knoll-light-factory

Win a Free Copy of Knoll Light Factory (x2) – Comment to Win

I love giving away free stuff on this site and this week I’ve got 2 copies of Knoll Light Factory to give away to you guys.  Knoll Light Factory is a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop that allows you to design photo-realistic or enhanced lighting effects and can be used to add flare or sparkle to any photograph or image.  Knoll Light Factory was originally designed by Photoshop co-creator John Knoll to generate Photon Torpedoes for the Star Trek movies.  So if you’re looking to create some amazing flares or effects in your designs, Knoll Light Factory is really what you need.

The folks at Digital Anarchy were kind enough to donate 2 copies of this amazing plug-in to you guys just in time for the Holidays.  So please leave a comment for a chance to win this great tool for Photoshop.

andrew-houle

Meet Andrew Houle, Founder of MyInkBlog.com

This week I had the opportunity to interview Andrew Houle from My Ink Blog.  Andrew interviewed me about my site very early on and has always been a huge help to me as well as a resource for me whenever I’ve had a question.  I have really enjoyed reading his blog and in this interview Andrew shares some great insights into the world of design blogging.  I hope you guys enjoy this interview and when you’re finished, feel free to visit his websites and to connect with him using the social network of your choosing.

holiday-sale

HOLIDAY SALE: 300 Premium High Resolution Textures for $15

As many of you know, I sell several collections of premium high resolution textures in my online shop which I’ve been selling for around $25 USD. Today, I’m dropping that price from $25 to just $15 from now until December 26th. What that means is that you can purchase all 300 premium high resolution textures for $15. I’m practically giving them away folks.

To redeem this amazing discount, simply enter the discount code HAPPYHOLIDAYS during checkout.  This discount code will deduct $55.40 USD off the original price.

If you’ve been on the fence about purchasing these textures don’t wait any longer, purchase all 300 premium high resolutions textures today before time runs out.

steven-snell

Meet Steven Snell, the Man Behind Vandelay Design, DesignM.ag and Traffikd

This week I had the opportunity to interview Steven Snell, the man behind Vandelay Design, DesignM.ag and Traffikd. I visit all three of his blogs fairly regularly and find them all to be excellent resources for design-related and social media information. In particular, I have found DesignM.ag’s “Community News” area to be a consistent source of traffic for my own website.

In this interview Steven offers some really interesting insights into the world of Design Blogging. I hope you enjoy this interview and when you’re finished reading it, be sure to visit Steven’s websites and connect with him using the social network of your choosing. Also, feel free to offer your insights into the best tablet for design in the comments. Steven is considering purchasing one for himself for Christmas.

extraordinary-advertisers

63 Extraordinary Companies that Support the Design Community

As bloggers and designers, we’re used to getting a lot of things for free.  Free content is an excellent way to bring new visitors to your website and many visitors these days expect to see free content.  Personally, I love giving away free content; I love receiving it too but as a blogger and supporter of the design community, I think it’s very important to not only visit my favorite sites but to also support those site’s sponsors.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday I decided to write this post and say thanks to the advertisers who keep the design community alive and keep much of the content free.  Listed below are as many advertisers as I could find that advertise in the design community.  I encourage you all to visit these sites and support them as best as you can.

nov-2008-review

Best of Colorburned – November 2008

November was by far the biggest month this website has seen in terms of popularity and traffic.  I’ve been humbled and excited by the support that I have received from my readers and friends in the design community and am very excited to see what the future has in store for this site.

In this past, I’ve posted a monthly review of everything that has happened on this site.  This month, I’ve decided to try something a bit different and instead of simply re-posting what I’ve done on this site, I’ve recorded a few comments on video and have made some notes below.  I hope you enjoy this new feature and cut me a bit of slack as I get used to being on camera.  Feel free to leave your comments below; I am interested to know what you think about this format.

line-crosshatch

55 Seamless Line & Crosshatch Swatches

The first graphic design software I ever learned was Macromedia Fireworks. For those of you familiar with the software you may be aware of the many tileable vertical, horizontal, diagonal and crosshatch patterns that ship with the software. These patterns were great; they allowed me to quickly create graphical mockups without having to spend a lot of time trying to get background tiles to line up properly. When I began branching out to other design programs such as Illustrator or Photoshop however, I quickly noticed how those patterns were missing. I spent a lot time frustrated in those early days trying to figure out how to create repeating backgrounds. Most of the time, I simply gave up and went with a design without those elements.

That’s why today I am releasing a set of 55 seamless lines & crosshatch swatches for Adobe Illustrator.  Just because it took me a little while to figure out how to design these elements, doesn’t mean that you guys should go without them as well.  So feel free to use these patterns in both your personal and professional work.  They are perfect for just about any type of design and I tried to include a variety of patterns with lines of varying width and direction.