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24
Flat designs are taking over quite quickly it seems. I doubt anyone could argue against it being the latest and greatest for (fairly) new trends on the web, in mobile devices, and even in print. The simple description for a flat style of design is one that lacks 3D effects, such as bevels or drop shadows.

The stylistic details of a flat design can vary somewhat, just as with most design styles. Usually, though, a flat design is quite minimalist with primary-ish colors and lots of "white space". The font is usually thin without too much flare. Boxes and buttons are, of course, withou
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t strokes or 3D effects. Some flat designs do contain shadows, but these are usually flat-ish as well.

Whether you are new to flat design or simply need some fresh, new resources for your next project, most should be able to find a few items below to help. The list below is divided into 5 categories: UI kits, icons, templates, WordPress themes, and tutorials. The best part? All are free. The ones that specifically mention "free for commercial use" are noted as well. Have fun browsing and be sure to let us know of any other amazingly free flat resources.
UI Kits
A UI kit is a user interface collection that comes with all the parts and pieces you need to design your own website. Usually they are PSD but sometimes will come with other components as well. While you can use the color scheme in the file, you can create your own color scheme. They also come with patterns, brushes, and much more. Hence, UI kits save a web designer a lot of time, improving workflow and decreasing time spent on projects.
DesignModo Flat UI
24
Have you ever noticed that walk-in shoppers love to visit the places or shops which give a posh look? No matter, whether a customer has the money to shop from these high-born places or not but the attractive look would make him visit your website at least for window shopping.
23
Authors: Mike RankinRating: 0/5Body: 

Amberlight is an app for Windows and Mac from Escape Motions (makers of Flame Painter) that you can use to create stunning images by manipulating fields of digital particles.



You can use Amberlight to add special effects to photos, or create interesting background images for presentations, project covers, and more. Here's a sampling o

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f the kinds of images you can make with Amberlight.





All images from Escapemotions.com


You can get Amberlight for an introductory price of $19.99 ($14.99 in the Mac App Store), and a free demo version is also available.


To see Amberlight in action, check out the demo video below. 



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PD Pro Digital Painter Demo Version 3.1 and New Plugin Doggybag #3

Dan Ritchie, author of PD Pro Digital Painter, today announced the availability of the demo version for version 3.1. Read More


Easily Create HDR Images with Hydra 2.1

Less than two months after releasing version 2.0, and based on the outpouring of feedback since then, Creaceed has come out with an update to its software for High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography.... Read More




onOne Software Delivers Tools to Create a Unique Touch to Images with Launch of PhotoFrame Pro 3

At PhotoShop World 2006, independent software developer, onOne Software, Inc., today announced details for its soon-to-be-released PhotoFrame Pro 3, the all-in-one tool set that allows users to frame... Read More


Create Stunning Slideshows with FotoMagico

Mac app for photographers offers the ability to create sophisticated slideshows with sound, video, and big end transitions.
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GraphicsGraphics Image EditingIllustration
22

One of the key components of good web design for an eCommerce store is the logo. Through your logo, you can set your store apart, and you can also make it easier for people to recognize your store. The logo should appear in one of the top corners on every page. You should also use it on your social media platforms to make sure people can quickly identify you. However, constructing a logo is more than just coming up with an image. You must make sure that you develop the logo so that it works within your overall web design

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and remains identifiable.


Simplified Palette


Some of the best logos are also some of the simplest. Think of the McDonald’s logo and the Target logo. Both of these logos are exceptionally simple in their formation, and they only have one or two colors. They aren’t great works of art. They aren’t incredible to look at. They are simple, and they are recognizable. If your logo has more than two colors, then you need to reconsider your logo design. You don’t have to match every color present in your web design in the logo. Choose the primary or the contrast color as the main logo color, and keep the color selection as simple as possible.


Viewability Regardless of the Size


You never know what devices people will be viewing your website or your social media pages on. Having a recognizable logo allows customers to immediately connect it with your brand. This means that you need to have a logo that is viewable regardless of the size. In other words, it should be viewable as a thumbnail as well as a on a large screen. Most of the time, when you’re using something like furniture web templates, you will have the option of uploading a standard sized logo as well as various thumbnails. Check to make sure that the logo can be viewed clearly in each of these sizes. To help achieve this goal, you should make sure that you use clean lines and avoid anything that distorts when it is shrunk.


guy-comp


Memorable Logo


The logo itself needs to be memorable. Otherwise, it does no good. Creating memorability can be challenging, but most businesses accomplish this by tapping into the core of their business. In some cases, you must think of your business in an abstract fashion. Target developed the bull’s eye to represent getting the best sales each and every time. Most people don’t automatically associate bull’s eyes with shopping, but Target managed to create that association. It is now one of the more commonly known logos in the United States.


When you are developing your logo, you need to keep in mind certain key elements for the design so that it will work within your web design as a whole. First, make sure that you use only a simplified palette. Logos are not places for details. Make sure that the logo itself remains viewable, regardless of the scale. This way, people can recognize it quickly. Also take the time to develop a logo that is memorable, even if you have to think outside the box.




22

Today we have one of the best deal we’ve ever featured, and you’d have to be crazy not to grab this deal.

Whether you’re a designer or developer, these vector sets, texture packs, photoshop brushes, fonts, vector illustrations will save you hours of work, so the bundle essentially pays for itself.


What you get:

- 250 Vector Illustrations worth $1000

- Hundreds of Vectors & Vector Elements worth $785

- 20 T-shirt Designs worth $300

- 56 Styles for Illustrator worth $95

- 263 PS & Ai Brushes worth $140

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- 48 Textures worth $40

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- 175 Web Elements worth $164


All these resources come with an extended, multi-use license, allowing you to incorporate them into merchandise like: product packaging, CD covers, mugs, hoodies, etc.


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Files are delivered as an instant download.
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Files can be used in an unlimited number of personal or commercial projects or in merchandise.
Reselling, sharing, redistributing and giving away is NOT permitted.

Get all these items, with extended license, for only $59! This is by far the best web design deal we have ever featured!


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20
Are you using the power of PPC to get the international traffic you deserve? This sort of advertising can put a brand or service in front of global customers who would otherwise be out of reach.Even if you already benefit from PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, using the English language will only take you so far in the rapidly changing online landscape…
19
Authors: Sharon SteuerRating: 0/5Body: 

My previous CreativePro post looked at the FujiFilm F900EXR, the only uber-compact (roughly the size of an iPhone), super-zoom, 20x camera, with manual controls that shoots in RAW and RAW+JPEG. However, if you’re willing to consider a camera without RAW (you’re likely already doing that with your iPhone or smartphone, right?), or are willing to wait and spend a bit more money, then there are three other uber-compact, super-zoom cameras that might be a better fit for your photography and video needs: The Canon Powershot S

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X280 (currently $189 at Amazon.com; discussed below) and the Panasonic DMC-ZS30 (TZ40), and its 2014 upgrade the DMC-ZS40.



source: canon.com


Before a closer inspection of the Canon, it might help you to differentiate the similar-looking cameras choices by considering the original focus for each of the companies.


FujiFilm was originally a film company, and as a result, it’s not surprising that the F900EXR provides the most “film-like” experience. Panasonic’s strengths have been as a leader in television, video, and electronics technologies. The Panasonic DMC-ZS30 (TZ40) incorporates best what Panasonic knows best, delivering the smoothest on-board video as well as the most impressive list of connectivity options, which even support remote camera operations from your smartphone or tablet. Contrasting with both FujiFilm’s film and Panasonic’s electronics innovations, Canon has been at the forefront of digital camera innovation for decades. Not only are Canon’s digital SLR cameras (the EOS line) considered amongst the best in the professional class, but for almost as long, Canon has led the market in super mini cameras with their ELPH series. The Canon Powershot SX280 combines some of the best of both the high end and of the miniaturizing technologies, making this camera a great fit for the digital camera enthusiast hoping to upgrade the miniature or smartphone experience.


Back before digital technology, there were a number of professional camera systems, and one of the undisputed leaders was Nikon. Even in the early days of digital, Nikon led the way with a digital camera back. According to my photographer friend Michael Bronfenbrenner, during the transition to digital, Nikon spent most of its resources to support existing analog lenses, while Canon jumped in and reinvented its cameras with faster digital-only technology.


As a result, the Canon SLRs are often considered the top of its class, with fast lenses, rotating viewfinders, and of course support for RAW format. While developing their SLR lines, Canon has also long dominated the compact digital market with the ELPH series of miniature cameras. Although not quite as mini as the ELPH, this relatively new line of cameras represented by the Canon SX20, represents a robust mid-range—between compact and professional. Although I think it’s a shame that this otherwise stellar camera doesn’t save images in RAW, but in many other ways this camera benefits by both Canon’s high-end and its miniaturized consumer-level digital technology.


Canon Design

I’m one of those people who has stayed loyal to Apple despite many frustrations, often just because I get joy from their superior industrial design. Though Canon’s industrial design isn’t quite at the level of Apple’s, I did find almost everything about the design and feel of the Canon to be satisfying. With uber-small cameras, where everything is and how it works is really important, and I found that I liked the locations and sizes of the camera buttons, zoom, and dials. I also appreciated the little things as well, like the way the battery was labeled so its arrows aligned to both the camera and the charger, that the plug for the charger folded to lay flat when not in use, and that the charging battery displayed either a red or green light to indicate its level of charge.


I also appreciated that there were a number of different methods to jump back to active shooting from the playback or functions modes (the FujiFilm kept flashing a notice that I needed to press the shutter to return to shooting mode). The onboard video recording in this Canon is much smoother than the FujiFilm, however if you shoot a still while you’re recording video, the camera returns to still mode and stops the video recording (the FujiFilm and Panasonic continue to shoot video while allowing you to simultateously shoot a still).


Manual Mode

One of the big differences between the FujiFilm and the Canon is how each interprets “manual mode.” While the FujiFilm provides the film-like experience of relying on the light meter to evaluate the absolute shutter and aperture effects, manual mode in the Canon is a much more of a WYSIWYG “digital camera” experience. When you use the Canon’s manual mode, the white balance and relative exposure are based on where you lock focus. The Canon also provides WYSIWYG feedback and records the exact exposure that you see in your LCD JPEG preview. Contrast that to the FujiFilm, which uses absolute exposure settings, and gives you a light meter to gauge the potential shot that you can capture in RAW.


Connectivity

Compared to the FujiFilm I found the ease of connecting the Canon to the iPhone to be simpler, with a very iPhone-like interface to choose which images to move over to the connecting device.


Conclusion

All three of these companies (FujiFilm, Canon, Panasonic) make cameras that are minimally larger than an iPhone, while representing huge leaps of technology beyond any smartphone. In my next review, you’ll see how the Panasonic is a good fit if you are looking for superior video and integration with smart devices. But if you’re willing to do without RAW, and are fine with decent video (versus the superior video and connectivity in the Panasonic), then the Canon is a very strong choice.


With a fairly intuitive interface, decent video recording, and a well thought-out design throughout, the Canon is a good camera for anyone looking to go beyond the capabilities of smartphone cameras. Honestly, when I was trying to grab a snapshot and had all three cameras available, I most often reached for the Canon. This model will continue to be in Canon’s line-up for 2014, with a couple of other cameras added with slightly different feature sets, but not replacing the SX280. And none of these other micro-cameras with super-zooms offer RAW. Stay tuned for the final miniature camera review in this three-part series—looking at a pair of cameras that can double as your video camera, and include superior connectivity to your smart devices: the Panasonic SZ30, and the 2014 model, the SZ40.


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New Canon PowerShot S2 IS Digital Camera Addresses High Performance Photography and Video Recording Needs

Family vacations. Weddings. Sporting events. Baby's first steps. Just hanging around. Canon's new five megapixel PowerShot S2 IS digital camera allows consumers from the novice to the photo... Read More


Canon Combines Top-Tier Tech and Classic Camera Design into Line Leading 10-Megapixel PowerShot G7 Digital Camera

Canon's PowerShot G7 digital camera, the new flagship of Canon's ever popular fleet of PowerShot digital cameras will be sailing into stores beginning in October, equipped with a boatload of Canon's... Read More




Canon Extends PowerShot Digital Camera Line-up with Two New Feature-rich Entry Level Additions

Building on a solid track record of quality and performance, Canon today announced two new entry–level PowerShot A–Series models, the 7.1 megapixel PowerShot A550 and the 5.0 megapixel PowerShot A460... Read More


Canon's New PowerShot A510 Digital Camera Provides Quality and Flexibility in an Affordable Compact Package

Building upon the enormous success of the PowerShot A70 and A75 models, the most popular digital cameras of 2003 and 2004 in the U.S.*, Canon's new compact 3.2 megapixel PowerShot A510 digital camera... Read More










HardwareCamera EquipmentPhotographyPhotography Equipment
17
Knowing how to create a strong brand is incredibly important whether you are a freelancer, own an agency, or have just graduated from school. In fact, for many web professionals, their business brand...

Click through to read the rest of the story on the Vandelay Design Blog.
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Vandelay?i=BZMgcUBmE9Q:_NpQC-etKF4:D7DqB2pKExk" border="0">
16
Choosing the right e-commerce platform for your website is now easy task. There are hundreds of different options available with options in all different price ranges and with varying features. If you're overwhelmed at the process of choosing the right platform for your site, or for the site of a client, the decision usually becomes much clearer once you've determined what is most important for your site. In this article we'll look at some specific questions to ask yourself, or your client, to help lead to the right choice. Make sure that you take the time to make a wise and informed decision,
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because changing platforms down the road can often be a time consuming and costly experience.
General Categories of E-Commerce Options
Before we look at the factors that you need to consider, let's first take a look at the general categories of e-commerce platforms. Most of the hundreds or thousands of e-commerce platforms out there will fall into one of these six categories.
1. Enterprise E-Commerce
Enterprise e-commerce systems like Magento's Enterprise Edition are feature-rich and robust systems that are typically used by large or fast-growing companies. Of course, with the advanced features and capabilities comes a higher price tag.

Magento Enterprise

15
Article Slider image: Rating: 

Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5





Body: 

Pros: Vastly better picture previews, lots of feature improvements.


Cons: Performance can suffer with lots of high-resolution pictures.


Rating: 8/10


 


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p1">When an application as mature as QuarkXPress gets a new version number, you can expect a few big improvements and a whole lot of smaller ones. For big improvements in version 10, Quark chose to take on graphics display and handling, and a complete rewrite of their code for Mac OS X. Then they tackled a long list of user-requested smaller improvements, and added a few surprises.



Here’s a partial list of improvements:


• An entirely new “Xenon” graphics engine, which provides crystal-clear, pixel-accurate previews of all page items, including imported graphics such as PDF, EPS, PSD, AI, TIFF, JPG, PNG, and more.


• Full PDF transparency (“pass through”) support.


• Support for HiDPI displays, such as Apple’s Retina display.


• Rewritten for Mac OS X as a native Cocoa app, with dramatic speed improvements and access to special OS X features such as Recent Items, Dictation, File List in Dock, etc.


• Master pages can now have Layers!


• Palettes that automatically dock to the edges of the display, and automatically show/hide.


• Full-screen display of your document.


• An improved Measurements palette that completely replaces the old Modify dialog.


• A Quick Response Code (QR Code) generator.


• East Asian typography in all editions of QuarkXPress 10.


• Import pictures and hyperlinks from Microsoft Word documents.


• Maintain QuarkXPress formatting when updating linked tables from Excel.


• Copy and paste items while retaining Layer information.


• A new Print Preview with thumbnail page previews.


• Select a Key item for Space/Align to align to.


• Highlight missing fonts.


• Easily join, extend and close paths created with the Pen tool.


• Apply a style sheet to the current paragraph as you create the style.


• Flip shapes horizontally or vertically.


• Set default tool preferences from existing objects.


• More than 50 additional productivity enhancements.


Any one of the features above can justify the upgrade cost, depending on how you use QuarkXPress.


Quark claims that QuarkXPress 10 has a “Native and deep understanding of image and vector files: PDF, AI, TIFF, JPG, PNG, PSD, and more.” To demonstrate their improved image preview, here’s an example of a photo in the standard display quality in QuarkXPress 9 vs QuarkXPress 10:


 


Some additional benefits arrive with the new Xenon graphics engine: other page items such as gradients, blends and patterns also now look pixel-perfect, and QuarkXPress 10 can manipulate TIFF color channels and clipping paths directly.


When you need to precisely position elements on the page in relation to a graphic, you’ll appreciate the vastly improved imported PDF display — unlike InDesign, when you move a PDF graphic it remains sharp and detailed. Also, because QuarkXPress 10 now understands PDF at a deep level, QuarkXPress objects can now interact with transparent objects in imported PDFs.


Here’s an imported PDF file as seen at the standard display quality in QuarkXPress 9 vs QuarkXPress 10 (high-resolution previews are always on in version 10):


 


Unfortunately, if you work with a large number of high-resolution pictures in a lengthy document, moving around can get a bit sluggish (depending on your hardware, operating system, color management settings and so forth). I tested performance by importing about 200 high-resolution TIFF images into picture boxes on 16 pages (12 per page), and found that the first time I scrolled from page to page, it took from three to six seconds to view the new page. Also, the first time I clicked to see page thumbnails, it took 27 seconds for them to display. Subsequent scrolling was faster, possibly due to some kind of image caching. Quark plans to release a fix for this behavior in October.


The Measurements palette also received an overhaul, finally eliminating the old Modify dialog box. Now, everything you could formerly do in modal dialog boxes is available under these reorder-able tabs:


 


While some users will cheer at having everything in one place, some old-time users are likely to squawk about having to learn a new way of interacting with page items.


Working with color swatches in QuarkXPress is now a lot easier, due to the GIANT color swatch picker:


 


The Print Preview dialog now not only shows actual thumbnails of your pages, it also shows how the page will fit (or not!) onto your current paper choice:


 


Those who work with east Asian languages will be thrilled that all editions of QuarkXPress 10 now support advanced east-Asian language features. Here’s an example of using Chinese characters alongside western characters in a book I’m working on:


 


If your clients or co-workers use Microsoft Word, importing their work into QuarkXPress 10 is a lot smoother because QuarkXPress can now import inline pictures and hyperlinks. That’s a huge improvement.


Quick-Response Codes (QR Codes) are all the rage, so QuarkXPress provides a simple way to create one right on the page. Just type in a URL, a phone number, a mailto: or any other text (or a complete address VCard containing name, phone number, email and website) and QuarkXPress fills a picture box for you: 


 


The QR Code picture box contains native QuarkXPress rectangles, so you can resize the QR Code without losing clarity, and you can change its color by using the standard color controls in QuarkXPress. Unfortunately, when moving the QR Code on the page you’ll experience the same delays as when moving picture boxes (see above), but Quark promises a fix will be released in October.


For several versions now, QuarkXPress has let you add complex interactivity to page items. Previously, it output to Flash format, but QuarkXPress 10’s interactivity features are now all about HTML 5: 


 


If you use QuarkXPress with App Studio to create apps for mobile devices, you’ll enjoy several new features, such as “Page Flip”:


  


If you’re not familiar with App Studio, here’s a diagram of what you can give it, and what it can export to (click to enlarge):


  


Some important things got left behind:

With this rewrite of the code base, QuarkXPress 10 will only open QuarkXPress files back to version 7. If you have documents last saved in version 6 or earlier, you’ll want to keep a copy of QuarkXPress 8 or 9 handy to open and re-save those. QuarkXPress 10 also drops support for exporting to Flash, Blio and HTML 4 (HTML 5 is SO much more capable!).


Bottom line:

I’m not going to get into the question of whether QuarkXPress is “better” than its competition — that totally depends on what kind of work you do. If you use QuarkXPress, you’ll find that version 10 has a giant number of large and small improvements that will make your work more efficient, and open up additional project opportunities for you.


 


System Requirements:


Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and later (including 10.9 Mavericks)


Windows 7 and 8


 


Hardware requirements: 


Mac: Intel processor, 2 GB RAM, 2 GB hard disk space


Windows: 2GB RAM, 1GB hard disk space


 


Price:


$849 (upgrades: $349 from version 8 or 9)


Discounts for non-profits and education


http://shop.quark.com/am/


 



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Quark Announces QuarkXPress 10

Latest version of XPress offers a new graphics engine, Retina display support, and more than 50 feature enhancements.
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Quark Offers “Buy QuarkXPress 7, Get QuarkXPress 8 Free” Promotion

Today Quark announced QuarkXPress® 8, the next major release of the industry standard page-layout and design software that delivers superior design power through a new, modern and intuitive interface... Read More




Turn a QuarkXPress Document into a Web Page with BeyondPress


Version: 4.1
Operating systems: Macintosh, Windows Read More


Page Layout Tips: InDesign Techniques for QuarkXPress Users

This story is taken from "InDesign for QuarkXPress Users."
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