Monday, May 19, 2008

Try Your Hand at Digital Art and See the Possibilities

Try your hand at digital arts and who knows what talent you may uncover. You'll hardly be a Picasso but with digital printers that allow you to convert these pieces to a real artist canvas you just might create the next masterpiece for your living room. Who knows, your large format printing might even land a spot in the museum of modern art.

Need an inspiration, just watch any of the recently released computer generated graphics movie and you know just how real graphic design can get. As a starter though, you would want to go for simple pieces you can use as a focal point for your home or office interior.

Here are a few design suggestions that will keep you glued to your computer:

• Graphic design is easy. There are a number of ways to start including with your digital camera. You can simply take your favorite snapshot, enhance it digitally and create your picture perfect profile you can hang in your bedroom or living room.

• When you want to create abstract art though, you can browse through the classic painters and choose a design school that draws your attention the most. You will be happy to find many filters in Adobe Photoshop that can help you emulate at least a basic art technique. Experiment with different tools and find the look you want.

• Aside from the classics, there are numerous graphic design superstars as well. You can look into these design subcultures in websites that host their pieces. Most of the time, they will even include a step by step tutorial that will help you copy certain techniques or create certain textures from scratch.

• You can start with small ideas and grow from there. You can work on a simple project and add layers of complexity as you go along and become more experienced in graphic design. Save different drafts so you can also observe the project as it develops.

• Digital art works well for the surrealist thinkers as well. If your idol is Salvador Dali, you can convert your photographs into surrealist art in one sitting. You can juxtapose pictures into different scenes stretching, bending, or blurring them as you go a long with various graphic design tools.

• Jackson Pollock wannabes on the other hand can have their fun playing around with paint brushes and extra large canvas. They can simply choose different paint brushes and splatter the blank screen. Or better yet, they can make their own paint brush.

And even if you want to design murals or extra small prints, you can simply adjust the size of your canvas. With digital printers, they can work on a variety of sizes from 8x8 inches to as big as 51x100 inches with half-inch increments.

Remember also that your artist canvas soaks more ink than your regular semi-gloss and will give you deeper and richer colors. In addition, you also have that beautiful fabric texture that builds up the drama for your large format printing.

Large Format Printing tips, guides and sizes can be found at Large Format Posters

By: Terry De Guie

Monday, May 5, 2008

Ten Font and Text Tips

1. Use reversed text sparingly, although it produces a dramatic effect it is easily overdone and small sizes are difficult to read on some monitors.

2. Keep it simple. Avoid over filling a page, good use of white space encourages the reader to focus on the content. Use bullets, indents, italics or headings to distinguish important points.

3. Do not use too many font types. Generally, two font types are enough—for example one serif and one sans serif.

4. Avoid the use of all uppercase, depending on the font, it can be difficult to read. If you want a certain word to dominate use small uppercase, but an entire sentence or paragraph in uppercase is too much.

5. Use your boldface lightly. Contrast creates attention, if there are many bolded words, nothing will stand out.

6. Choose the right font. For example, a casual or frisky font distracts from serious content. The font should match your message and tone, not contradict it.

7. Select the proper font format. If you do not know what kind of format to purchase, consult with your font provider.

8. Test your font choice. It may be a good idea to see how a certain font appears across a broad range of applications or systems. Some programs, browsers or operating systems convert fonts and they may look different than they do on your monitor.

9. Do not overuse fancy, complicated fonts. Calligraphy fonts or other loopy, sweeping fonts may be beautiful, but are hard to read. Use them in moderation and never in content. For example, perhaps for a title in a large size that is easy to read, this will show a little style.

10. It may not be a good idea to copy fonts. Although the technology is available to copy a font, many are protected by license. Instead of copying, consider developing your own font style and purchase a custom, licensed font.

Adobe. Tips for Type.
Adobe. Use the right character.

Pamela Stevens

Pamela Stevens writes for, a review site that publishes unbaised reviews on a wide range of subjects, including software, online services, hardware, movies and actors.