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Classic Photography is our latest free WordPress theme, and this one has loads of features that make it a great choice for photographers who need a quality website.
Theme features include:

An adaptive layout that looks great on desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
Full-color control! You can change the color of almost every element of the design.
Customizable homepage slideshow to showcase your photos.
Customizable photo galleries.
Upload your own logo.
Widget-ready sidebar.

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sic-photo-theme.jpg" alt="Classic Photography Theme for WordPress" width="615" height="806" />
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Grunge effects like textures and scratches can be used create backgrounds, to distress text, or just to add a subtle texture to an element in a design. One of the easiest ways to add texture and scratches is through the use of Photoshop brushes. In this tutorial we'll show how you can create a custom scratched surface brush that will be highly useful in your own design work.

This is the same technique that was used to create our set or Scratched Surface Brushes that are available at Vandelay Premier.

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pg" alt="How to Create a Scratches Photoshop Brush" width="615" height="300" />
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Ask five designers how they handle client design presentations and you’ll get five different answers. Some like to do their presentations in person, accompanying their designs with printouts detailing specific highlights. Others prefer utilizing an online screen sharing experience and talking their clients through their design in real time. And then there are those who simply ship off the jpgs in an email outlining the design’s main points. No matter what your method is for revealing your design, it is important to use tools and resources that can make your presentation successful. Without fur
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ther ado, here’s a list of some of the best apps and tools for delivering the perfect client presentation.
Calls and Screen Sharing
Join.me
It’s simple, easy, and free. Either join someone’s screen share or share your own. You can invite up to 250 viewers into your screen share and can even let them take control of your computer. Join.me has a great list of features, such as internet calling, chat, and file sharing, which makes it a great all-in-one solution for screen sharing presentations.

Join.me
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Our friends at W3 Markup have offered to provide free PSD to HTML credits for two lucky readers of the Vandelay Design blog! The first prize winner will get $400 in credits and the second prize winner will get $300 in credits.

W3 Markup
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A few months ago at Vandelay Premier we recently released a set of highlighter brushes for Adobe Illustrator,and in this tutorial we'll show how you can accomplish the same thing on your own. We'll scan some lines made by a highlighter and that will give us a nice brush for using whenever highlighter or marker effects are needed.

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ighter Brushes" width="550" height="358" />
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Anyone who has maintained a blog for even a few months or more knows that there are frustrating times in the life of a blogger where growth seems to come to a complete standstill. The nature of blogging involves adding new content to the site and continually picking up new readers through that content. However, there are times when common measurements like visitors, pageviews, subscribers, and even income are extremely difficult to improve upon.

These blogging plateaus typically lead to frustration. In this post we'll look at some things that you can do when you're on one of those p
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lateaus to help make that push and get things moving forward again.
1. Focus on Actions Instead of Results
A lot of bloggers incorporate goals into their daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly routines. Goals can be highly effective because most bloggers are working on their own, and there's no boss or anyone else to keep them motivated. In this type of situation, goals can help by encouraging the blogger despite that lack of accountability to others.

Typical goals for a blogger might include:


Draw X,000 visitors in a month

Attract X,000 search engine visitors in a month

Make $X,000 in a month

While these goals can serve as motivation they don't show you what you need to do in order to achieve them. If you've hit a plateau one of the best things you can do is forget about statistics and results and focus instead on actions. Actions will be more relevant to you in this situation because if you set up good action goals they can show you exactly what you need to do in order to get better results, removing the mystery of where to focus your efforts.

For example, here is a set of action goals that you could use:


Create a list of 100 possible post topics, and then chose the top 10 ideas.

Write and publish 2 news posts each week.

Write guest posts for 2 different blogs in the niche.

Introduce yourself to 10 other bloggers in the niche.

Submit 1 post per week to 5 different social media sites.

While it may be things like number of visitors and number of subscribers that you are having trouble improving, by focusing on these specific actions you're likely to improve your blog, which will result in better numbers that help to get you off of that plateau.
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Our friends at IconShock and WordPressThemeShock have designed a beautiful set of 10 icons especially for our blog readers. The icons can be download for free from Vandelay Premier. Please visit this page and use the promo code "iconshock" to get the icons for free. Each icon comes in PNG format, plus the original source Illustrator files are included.

Free Set of Web Designer's Icons
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Email newsletters are an important marketing and communication tool for many businesses. The appearance of your newsletter can be enhanced with an attractive design, but having a custom design isn't the only option. Templates are available for newsletters, and many of them are provided by companies that manage mailing lists like MailChimp and Campaign Monitor. Those two providers market towards designers more than competitors like AWeber, so as a result they tend to have bette
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r quality and quantity of templates available.

Here is a look at some of the templates available.
MailChimp Templates:
These templates are free for use on paid accounts. Free accounts are limited to more basic templates.

newsletter templates
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Restaurants that use their websites effectively are able to have a significant impact on their business. Whether it is allowing customers to view menus and specials, find a location, make reservations, sign up for a mailing list, or place an order online, there are a lot of ways that restaurants can benefit from a website.

National chains and small, local restaurants both have the potential for impact with their website, and in this post we'll showcase 25 well-designed websites for your inspiration. You'll see a lot of sites that make use of vibrant colors, and of course photos of t
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emping food. At the end of the post we'll also list a few options for creating a restaurant website, including some of the best templates and themes.

Mellow Mushroom

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With so much competition out there, freelance designers are always looking for new ways to stand out from the crowd. Some designers have used free resources to build their reputation. While it may seem counterproductive to give away resources that you have created, there can be significant benefits that make it worth your time. In this post we'll take a look at 7 examples where giving away freebies has been beneficial to the business and career of designers.

Free resources like Photoshop brushes, textures, vectors, icons, and PSD files are in high demand because they can help
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designers to save time and create impressive results. Those who provide the free resources can also benefit from this interest even though they are not charging anything for the resources. The designer can benefit from added exposure and name recognition, from traffic to their site or blog (and possibly increased ad sales), and from the opportunity to promote their other products and services to these new visitors.

Let's take a look at some specific examples of designers who have helped the design community, and themselves, by distributing free resources.
Jay Hilgert
Jay Hilgert is a designer and blogger that has used freebies to boost his profile within the industry. Jay's blog Bittbox is one of the best resources for design freebies. Over the last several years Jay has distributed freebies such as Photoshop brushes, textures, vectors and fonts. Each week a new free texture pack is released, and the Bittbox Photoshop brushes are some of the most popular brush sets found anywhere (the watercolor brushes have been downloaded more than 1 million times). Currently, Bittbox release freebies from other designers as well, but Jay's freebies are what established the site's reputation.

As a result of the Bittbox freebies, Jay has a successful blog and is recognized as a creator of high-quality graphic design resources.

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Design Buzz is a community for all those involved in designing, developing and running websites, web mastering, etc. Here are featured new design trends, news and events, design articles, design software, webmaster tips and tricks, creative tutorials and hand-picked design stuff from all over the world.

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