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The creative tutorial home of image wrangler, Lesa Snider.

graphic design

How to access advanced OpenType features in a variety of apps

Fancy typography doesn’t require expensive software. Thanks to the OpenType font format, the newest versions of everyday software (and the pro stuff) can tap into a multitude of alternate character designs if you know where to look. In this column, you’ll learn to use a variety of applications to add a special flourish to an important letter in a word—say, the first or last letter of a name—or to change the appearance of any amount of text. It’s a wonderful way to enliven an invitation, greeting card, inspirational graphic, logo, headlines, stationery, resume, and so on...

Understanding basic image file formats

Chances are good that you’ve witnessed a wide variety of file formats flit across your screen, but do you really understand what they mean? For example, you may understand that a JPEG is for pictures but what’s a PNG and a TIFF? And which format supports an image with a see-through background? In this column, you’ll get answers to those questions and more... click here to read the full story on Macworld.com

How to design your own great-looking business cards

Few design projects are as nerve-wracking—and important—as designing your own business card. Just like the clothes you wear, your business card tells the recipient if you’re professional, artistic, or a big ol’ ball of cheese. Aside from the aesthetic message, you’ve also got to pack a ton of info into a tiny-teeny space and keep it readable. To put your best business card forward, try following these essential design tips...click here to read the full story on Macworld.com

Photoshop User magazine column teaser

Teaser alert! Here's one of the three techniques I'm writing about today for my Beginner's Workshop column in the November issue of Photoshop User magazine. It's a classy yet simple promotional / ad design for photographers, all done in Photoshop. The stock imagery is from Fotolia.com. In fact, you can visit http://www.lesa.in/fotoliaoffer to sign up for a Fotolia account and get 10 free images (new customers only; offer does not expire).

Picking the Perfect Palette

There’s nothing quite as powerful as color, for within it lies the ability to evoke emotion, capture attention, and send a message. But even if you had color theory in college (and who remembers that?!), picking colors that go together can be an exercise in frustration. Some colors look good together, some don’t, and who the heck knows why. Where do you start? Is there some kind of voodoo involved in creating a visually pleasing color scheme?

Let Your Graphics Do the Talking

“A picture is worth a thousand words,” the saying goes, and I really believe it to be true. No matter what you’re creating, a striking image has the power to deliver your message better than anything.

But to create or download? That is the question!

The Basics of Design

It ain't rocket science, but by gosh it can feel like it: You've got a brochure to create, maybe an ad for a newspaper or magazine, and no matter what you do, the layout just doesn't gel and quite honestly, it looks like crap.

What do you do? Where do you even start? How, I ask you, do graphic designers create such works of beauty? What are their secrets?