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By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Drawing a Möbius Strip in Illustrator

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Möbius strips: the stuff of wonder. A favorite of Escher and other pop artists. The shape that launched a thousand armchair philosophers.

It’s a flat loop with two sides—but only one continuous surface. The best example is a long strip of paper, like a streamer, that is twisted once and then looped. If you were small enough (or the strip large enough) to walk along the surface, you would traverse both sides of the paper without ever crossing the edge.

This week Deke shows you how to create an even more complex variation of a Möbius strip, which wraps around on itself a total of six times.

By Scott Fegette | Monday, June 30, 2014

GitHub for the Rest of Us

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Designers often work alongside coders on technical projects ranging from traditional web design to interactive documents and books, HTML5 web applications, and more. This not only means that we’re having to learn a little code ourselves these days, but also to integrate with code-centric workflows. And increasingly, the interaction between creative and technical professionals is happening on GitHub.

Although sharing and collaboration are popular reasons to use a GitHub repository to manage project assets, backup and recovery are even more fundamental reasons to “git” with the program and start using version control yourself. GitHub helps manage (and back up) text-based design assets like CSS, HTML, and JavaScript, and it can also help track graphic and binary files as well. Once you get started, you’ll find a lot of reasons to keep GitHub looking over your project assets.

By Kristin Ellison | Friday, June 27, 2014

Create an Oozing Jelly Donut—Digitally

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This week, Bert walks us through turning a photo of a sugar donut into a jelly donut with a bite taken out of it.

His first step is removing the donut’s hole, so he selects the clone tool and clones from different areas of the donut to get a random effect with no duplication. Next, to create the bite effect, he clones from the background to remove that section of the donut and roughs out the edges.

By Anne-Marie Concepción | Thursday, June 26, 2014

Find Document Errors with InDesign Preflight

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Your design is done. It looks great! But when you go to print it, InDesign squawks at you. It’s finding problems that aren’t detectable to the naked eye: overset text, missing fonts, missing links. That’s all fine and good—but why doesn’t InDesign alert you to these issues earlier in the process?

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mask a Caricature Against a New Background

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Last week Deke showed you how to turn a portrait into a crazy carnival-style caricature with Photoshop. This week, he’ll show you how to mask that caricature onto a more dramatic background using the Color Range command, Quick Mask mode, and a layer mask.

By Garrick Chow | Monday, June 23, 2014

Consider the Dingbat

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Most people have dozens if not hundreds of fonts installed on their computers in the form of serif, sans-serif, mono-spaced, and script fonts. But an often overlooked font type is the dingbat font.

On the computer you’re using right now, especially if you have a version of Microsoft Office installed, you probably have at least a handful of dingbat fonts available, such Webdings, Wingdings, or Zapf Dingbats.

Unlike other types of fonts, which are collections of letters, special characters, and punctuation marks, dingbat fonts are collections of unique non-letter ornaments, symbols, or shapes. You’ve most likely checked out the dingbat fonts while trying to format a document, only to quickly dismiss them when you found there were no letters in those fonts.

By Kristin Ellison | Friday, June 20, 2014

Create a Top Secret Envelope in Photoshop

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This week, Bert walks us through how to create a top secret manila envelope in Photoshop. He begins by creating a new layer called envelope, draws a rectangle, and fills it with a beige color. He then converts this box to black and white, and applies both a cloud and an emboss filter, which creates the paper texture. Lastly, he goes into hue/saturation and colorizes it to achieve a nice beige color.

By Lauren Harmon | Thursday, June 19, 2014

Make a Transparency Mask with InDesign

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Most Photoshop and Illustrator users are familiar with the concept of a mask: a layer or selection that hides the artwork immediately beneath it.

Though you won’t find the word “mask” in InDesign, you can still create masking effects with this technique from David Blatner, involving InDesign’s Knockout Group option. He’ll also show you how to edit your masks and preserve them when you export to PDF. Watch the free video below to get started.

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