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Best of the Web – February 2009

February was another fantastic month in the design community.  Tons of excellent articles, tutorials and resources were published on a growing number of design websites.  February in particular was one of the busiest months I’ve had in a long time.  In addition to keeping this site up-to-date, I have also been working heavily on my book, as well as guest posting on some other sites as well.  This post is a review of some of my favorite articles from the month of February.

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Interview with Alex Dumitru from Designious

This week, I had the opportunity to interview Alex Dumitru from Designious.  If you are not already familiar with Designious, they are a design studio that specializes in premium stock vector designs.  The quality of their work is really top notch so it was really exciting to get to learn more about their business.  Alex works mostly with the business side of the company so it was very interesting to gain some insight into how the other side of the design industry works.  As always, I hope you enjoy this interview and when you’re done, I hope that you will visit Designious’ website, connect with them on Twitter, and of course purchase their products.

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10 Incredible Seamless Destroyed Vectors

One of the best things about vectors graphics is their scalability.  If you’ve ever worked with vectors, you know that you can scale them as large or as small as you like.  This is the biggest advantage that vector graphics have over raster graphics.  The problem with vectors comes with your perspective to the artwork.  It doesn’t matter how detailed your vector is, the more you enlarge or zoom into the design the more detail you lose.

I often have this problem when I attempt to distress my vectors.  The more I enlarge my vector, the more the distressed elements tend to become distorted.  To solve this problem, you either have to find a very detailed and very large distressed vector or you need to find some distressed vectors that are seamless and have the ability to repeat.

This set of vectors is a mix of both.  Included in this set you will find 10 seamless destroyed vectors in SVG format that are perfect for creating distressed vectors.

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85 Illustrator Paint Brushes

This set of 85 Illustrator paint brushes is a remake of some brushes that I previously released on this site.  Since releasing these brushes, I’ve received quite a few emails from people who have had some difficulty opening or downloading them.  The reason for this is that they were not contained within a zip file, nor were they saved for legacy versions of Illustrator.  So instead of updating the files one by one, I decided to combine all 4 sets into one and save them back as an Illustrator brush file and then re-release them to you guys.  Enjoy!

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Interview with Caleb Kimbrough from Lost and Taken

This week I had the opportunity to interview Caleb Kimbrough from Lost and Taken.  If you aren’t familiar with Lost and Taken, you should really check it out.  Lost and Taken is a blog dedicated towards free high resolution textures.  Caleb really does a great job with the site and always seems to find new ways to surprise us with new and creative textures.  I hope that you enjoy this interview and when you’re done, feel free to visit Caleb’s website and to connect with him via Twitter.

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Proofing Your Designs Made Easy With Proof HQ

As a designer I am often presented with the same question.  How do I send proofs to my clients?  In the past, I have always relied on email; email works most of the time but if you’re like me then you know its limitations.  Some times, we work with files that are too large to email, some times client requests can get lost in the noise, and worst of all, occasionally, we email a client our design only to have them take the proof and use it without paying us.  That being said, getting approval for your designs can be one of the most important aspects of the design process.  Why isn’t there a better solution for sending drafts and receiving feedback?  Well, there is!

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10 Lovely Valentine’s Day Heart Patterns

With Valentine’s Day less than a week away, I spent a little time over the weekend putting together a set of 10 Valentine’s Day heart pattern swatches for you guys to use in your designs.  This set of 10 Valentine’s Day swatches is available for Illustrator CS and above.  I hope that you all have an enjoyable Valentine’s Day and I hope you can find a place in your heart for these patterns in your designs!

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A Chat With Twitter Master & Designer Calvin Lee

This week, I had a digital chat with Calvin Lee from Mayhem Studios.  If you’re on Twitter, than you probably already know Calvin.  Calvin is without a doubt one of the most helpful designers on Twitter.  You can always depend on Calvin for a re-tweet of an interesting article and occasionally a witty comment.  In this interview, I decided to stray away from my usual questions about design and instead ask Calvin questions about how he became one of the biggest design Twitterers out there.  I hope you enjoy this interview and when you’re done, don’t forget to follow Calvin on Twitter or any other social network that you subscribe to.

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10 Vector Halftone Patterns

I’ve always loved halftone patterns but, I’ve always been stumped when it came to trying to figure out how to create them.  For a long while, I experimented with various techniques, some better than others, but in the end, I found that none of them gave me the result that I was looking for.  That was until a couple weeks ago when Adelle from Fuel Your Creativity asked me to review Phantasm CS for her website.  I jumped at the opportunity and finally found what I was looking for, a plug-in that could create amazing halftone patterns.  After a bit of experimentation, I decided to create a set of halftone vectors for you guys to use in your designs.  So feel free to download them and use them for free.

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My Best Buds on Twitter

In life, it’s important to surround yourself with good people.  I’ve always felt that the difference between being successful and unsuccessful in life or in business can often be the quality of the people that you choose to surround yourself with.  On Twitter, surrounding yourself with good people is equally, if not more important if you want to get the most out of your Twitter experience.  So today, I’ve decided to draw up a list of some of the most influential people in my list of followers and why.