Best of the Vector Web – July 2011

Each month, we search the web for the best vector-related content and showcase it here for you all to enjoy. This month, we showcase high quality tutorials on creating isometric 3D architectural lettering, rockstar clubtastic shades, as well as stylized logos, and more. We have loads of tutorials, in addition to inspiring articles, resources, and useful freebies inside. Dig into July’s illustration and design material for vector professionals and enthusiasts.

Vector Tutorials

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    Create an Impactful Slab-Serif Poster

    Vilaz’s Pedro, Vilas-Boas, and Cátia Oliveira use a strong heading typeface along with techniques for blending that type with illustration in InDesign. Learn to set up a suitable grid, master kerning and leading, and work with vibrant colors and shapes to create a vibrant poster design.

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    Create Isometric Grid-Based 3D Lettering

    In this awesome tutorial, Steven Bonner shows how to maximize the use of an isometric grid by creating a unique 3D typeface, which is populated by people and feels like a modern architectural scene. The workflow in the tutorial is easy to follow and the final style is polished.

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    InDesign Tutorial: Take a Design from Print to iPad

    In this tutorial Fabio Benedetti, a designer with Thinkology, shows us how to use InDesign CS5.5 and the beta of Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite (DPS 1.0) to create a range of digital publications. This tutorial shows the advantages you can add in an iPad magazine app over a print mag. The tutorial covers adding in videos, slideshows, interactivity, and music to create an engaging reader experience.

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    How to Create an Illustration of Stylish Club Shades Using Adobe Illustrator

    Iaroslav Lazunov shows how to create sunglasses that have a lighted club theme inside the lens. This tutorial shows you how to add disco atmosphere and add numerous types of interesting, subtle light effects. You’ll also work with Blending Modes and learn professional tips along the way.

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    How To Create a Colorful Logo Style Ribbon Graphic

    Chris Spooner shows us how to create a colorful logo in Adobe Illustrator. He makes creative use of multiple ribbons to create a cohesive and stylish logo. The focus of this tutorial is on the step by step graphic creation, which is meant to enhance your skills with creating this type of logo. He doesn’t cover a typical client workflow for producing logo design work.

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    Create a 3D Opera Logo

    In this tutorial Andrei Marius shows us how to create a 3D Opera Logo. You’ll use simple build techniques, such as creating ellipses, using strokes, Opacity Mass, and Pathfinder tools. You’ll also add some interesting lighting that bring the logo to life. As usual, Andrei thoroughly explains each step.

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    Draw an Ornate Bell in Adobe Illustrator

    Jasmina Stanojevic shows us how to create an ornate bell in Adobe Illustrator. This feels like a holiday bell, but could be used for other purposes. The shape building process on this is fairly simple, and well explained, using tools such as the Pathfinder Panel, and colored gradients. The final result has a nice, well-lit, 3D feel to it.

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    Drawing a Vector Diamond in Illustrator CS5 shows us step by step how to create a simple, elegant 3D diamond in Adobe Illustrator. This tutorial is short, more of a quick tip tutorial based on size. After drawing the vector shapes, the Live Paint Tool and gradients are used to color the final diamond.

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    Create a Vector iPhone in Adobe Illustrator

    Petar Vagner shows us how to created a detailed iPhone illustration in Adobe Illustrator. He demonstrates how to use basic shapes, gradients, and great use of the Mesh Tool to add realism to the graphic. If you need to create your own iPhone for your next web or print project, then jump over to this tutorial and get busy.

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Vector Inspiration, Articles, and Resources

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    Illustrator CS5 Tutorials: 70 Wicked Tips

    Big collection of Illustrator CS5 tutorials. You’ll find loads of tutorials from Vectortuts+ listed, as well as more from across the web. If you’ve invested in upgrading to CS5, then bookmark this list, as it’s got some great material to explore CS5 tools while learning new techniques and creating interesting artwork.

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    Digital Folios on the Move

    Presenting portfolio work to clients with the iPad and other tablets is moving from fashionable to the norm. As the popularity, and refinement of these devices grows, so has the use of them to present client work. A handful of hard at work designers explain how they use tablets, and their smart phones, to enhance their print folios and in many instances replace it altogether. It really depends on your market and style of presentation, but iPads built in tools and presentation apps are simply awesome for showing your work and pitching clients.

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    Weekly Vector Inspiration #129

    Ryan Putnam of Vectips delivers another assortment of vector awesomeness. He has a great eye for exciting vector work. If you’re looking for inspiration, then check out this roundup, which showcases illustrated essential art tools, little vector monsters, elaborate maps, vintage style cards, and more. Strongstuff’s Kung Fu Panda stands out as noteworthy. No matter the subject his style always jumps off the page as recognizable.

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    Typography Mania 88

    Paulo Canabarro creates inspiring visual posts every week for Abdueezdo. While not all of this stunning typographic work is vector, it all really colorful and interesting. If you’re looking for a kick of illustrated lettering and typographic goodness, then this article has you covered.

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    17 Pillar Articles to Help You Master Creative Briefs

    Creatives need a detailed brief. Without it we are feeling in the dark, with little clue of our destination. Dive into this collection of articles that will assist you with creating questionnaires for your new clients and improve the client briefs you have to work from. This will improve your bottom line greatly, as you’ll have much better information to work with to produce your client projects, which will lead to greater results. Learn more at FreelanceSwitch.

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    Don’t Just Create “On Demand,” Create For You

    This article explores the idea of unnecessary creation, and the benefits that giving a bit of freedom to create will kick back into your life and work. Think of a drawing and writing in your sketchbook as one such daily practice that isn’t about creating content specifically to get paid, but rather to explore ideas for our own amusement. These type of personal meanderings are our creative rocket fuel.

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(FREE!) Vector Downloads

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    Free Vector Corkboard with Frame

    This is not a live trace from an image – it’s made from scratch in Illustrator. The results are good quality and would work great to add to a design project that needs a sketch-to-done office feel added. You can download this freebie in multiple vector formats (AI versions or PDF), as well as JPG.

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    99+ Free Vector Icons for Web, Mobile and Print

    I came across a link to this great freebie on Jeff Adam’s site. He mentions a high quality download available on Roam Design Blog, linked to below. In this free download you can grab a large selection of simple, free interface icons. The quality on these are great and the simple style makes them versatile. You can use in web, mobile or print projects. There’s great icons for batteries, contacts, security and more.

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    Free Google Plus Vector Icon Pack

    Abhash Bikram Thapa of Pixel Pinch shares with us a free Google Plus icons set. In addition to multiple common pixel formats available, there is also a vector file, which delivers maximum flexibility. There are numerous styles in the download with white matte, black matte, white gloss, and black gloss.

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    10 New High-Quality Free Fonts

    Prakash Ghodke shares ten high quality free fonts with us this month. Legion Slab Typeface has a nice combination of thick flat areas (you’d expect from a slab display type) and curvature. Dash Typeface is highly stylized with multiple race lines, awesome for adding some style to your next design. And many more to add to your font collection.

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    Bezoman Cartoon food

    This small set of silly cartoon food from Bezoman is alot of fun. It mixes thick lines with flat colored areas, subtle gradients, cartoon fun, and caricature goodness.

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