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If you are looking for a powerful, easy-to-use publishing platform, you need look no further than the popular blogging software WordPress. The open source software can be customized with themes and plugins for use as an online magazine, storefront and bulletin board run with contributors, advertisements, SEO tools and affiliate links.


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WordPress has an expansive network of users who can assist you with tweaking, to make your website look and act like you want. To use the software with your own domain name, visit WordPress.org and check its technical requirements. You may want to confer with your web host to ensure the software will run properly. Then simply download it to your computer, upload it to your web address using a file transfer protocol client and follow the installation instructions.


Because the software is run on your website rather than on your computer, you sidestep any incompatibility problem between IBM compatible or Macintosh computers. That way you can easily have contributors from both platforms. The latest version of WordPress is 3.4.2 (available in two formats), but since 3.0, you can run multiple weblogs or websites with one installation, saving time and effort when administering a network of sites.


Building your website WordPress how tos tips 11 Building Your Website with WordPress: How tos and Tips


With WordPress, you choose from a wide variety of free themes to obtain just the look you want. Or you can pay for a professional or premium theme and/or support. Turn your website into a major storefront selling digital downloads, physical products or both. Use it as a membership site and sell subscriptions. There are lots of choices, so it’s easy to feel like a kid in a candy store.


Building your website WordPress how tos tips 4 Building Your Website with WordPress: How tos and Tips


After choosing a theme with the look and capabilities you desire, you’ll probably want to expand your site’s abilities even further with plugins. There is a plugin for every kind of use, including beefing up search engine optimization, managing site advertising, getting detailed statistics on site visitors, sharing posts on social networking sites and adding affiliate links to other websites. You can also add photo gallery capability, e-commerce functions and more.


WordPress lets you hunt for plugins by keywords, then choose those you want to download and activate. A star rating system is used to give you feedback about other users’ experiences. Be sure to see if the plugin is compatible with your version of WordPress. If you encounter problems, it may be because of one of your web host scripts. Your quickest way to troubleshoot may be the plugin manufacturer’s forum.


Building your website WordPress how tos tips 5 Building Your Website with WordPress: How tos and Tips


Building your website WordPress how tos tips 6 Building Your Website with WordPress: How tos and Tips


While many of the plugins are free, you also have a number of premium plugins available for purchase. These plugins may include extra perks such as free support troubleshooting usage problems, the ability to use the plugin on multiple websites and free upgrades. Besides themes and plugins, users rely on widgets to show page links and shopping carts,  for example.


WordPress was founded in 2003 and has been developed by a community of volunteers. Classified as an open source software, the code is visible and can be altered to suit your needs. It also can be redistributed and sold with the same license.


Building your website WordPress how tos tips 1 Building Your Website with WordPress: How tos and Tips


Administered from WordPress.org, users can host their own blogs to share expert business advice, share their faith or an online photo album and update family and friends on news. The software is popular for its interactive interface which allows website visitors to comment on blog posts. An administrator can delete the comments and utilize plugins to block unwanted commenting. WordPress also offers free blogging from their hosted site at WordPress.com. Other open source software that can be used for managing content online includes Joomla and Drupal, which also have an extensive network of users.


Last but not least, you can check out an infographic on how to create your self-hosted WordPress website step by step. Who says you can’t also have some fun with it?


Building your website WordPress how tos tips 13 Building Your Website with WordPress: How tos and Tips

Building Your Website with WordPress: How-tos and Tips is a post from Pixel 77


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Today’s free vector is a really cool vector Christmas tree with bird silhouettes. Download and enjoy! Feel free to use it in commercial and non-commercial projects, personal websites and printed work, as long as it’s a part of a larger design. Please do not sell it, redistribute it yourself, claim it as your own or give it as a bonus item to boost sales for your own products.


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ree-1030-600.jpg" alt="pixel77 free vector doodle christmas tree 1030 600 Free Vector of the Day #195: Doodle Christmas Tree" width="600" height="325" />


Note: There is a file embedded within this post, please visit this post to download the file.

Free Vector of the Day #195: Doodle Christmas Tree is a post from Pixel 77


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Typography is believed to date back to the 15th century, so it is as old as the earliest writing systems, but it sky rocketed in last couple of years, becoming an important element in website design and not only.
Although typography has developed since then in a specialized field, it’s only recent that creative users of typeface in web design were able to go beyond the limitations of their operating systems. Today, designers, with the help of the new and improved systems, get the chance to go further than the standard system fonts.

Before we talk about this important qual
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ity of typography in web design – creativity, I would like to go through a couple of reasons why typography plays a big role in web design and some basic short tips on choosing the right type for a website.
The Importance of Typography in Web Design
As Robert Bringhurst states in his book, “The Elements of Typographic Style“,
“Typography exists to honor content.”
Typography is very important in visual communication – it is one of the elements that plays a huge role in the perception, quality and usability of a website design. It’s an integral part of web design that shouldn’t be taken for granted at any cost because the correct use of typography has the power of creating or breaking the whole feel of the web design.

Although excellent typography can be defined as attractive but at the same time completely functional, the real beauty of typography is that it creates a communication bridge with the visitors, providing them with the information they came to the website for. So it’s just not all about graphics – although it plays an important role in web design – it’s also about implementing the right typography in order to create effective results.
Choosing the right type, although it depends mostly on the designer, is essential because it is in a close relationship with the services or the products being marketed and with the message the website is trying to send.

Using a professional type in your design will create the perspective of a more legible and organized website.
Making use of creative fonts and styles will most certainly help get some attention and position in the mind of the users with the impression of a unique website.

The aesthetics of your web design must go hand in hand with its functionality so be careful how you approach typefaces in your design because it may diminish or it can enhance the visual impact of the website. So remember, looks are as important as functionality!
Tips to Consider When Using Typefaces
Limit the number of fonts you use - It’s not a good idea to use too many fonts throughout your website – you can try to make some small adjustments to the existing font or only use two types of font. This helps maintaining a sense of continuity in your design.
Choose the right size for your fonts - The size of the fonts must be in correlation to the theme and the style of the website design – note that some typefaces are designed to be used as small fonts and they don’t have the same effect if they are too big. Moreover, take in consideration that the text size on your website should be readable on different browsers and technologies.

Make your typography legible - When designing a website, you must have the user in mind, after all, the website’s purpose is to communicate information. Your goal is to encourage people to go through the information on your website with ease.

Choose wisely the color of your text - the color of the text must be chosen according to the color of the overall design. Remember that the color of the text shouldn’t overwhelm your design and, on the other hand, it shouldn’t be consumed by it.

Spacing for more readability - make sure you edit effectively the text by giving it line spacing/leading because the placement of space between the words can impact the readability of the copy.

Apply Font-Smoothing - Consider that many of your users may have a windows operating system lower than Vista and that means that it does not apply “font-smoothing” as a default setting. This is important because it can really make a difference on how the viewers see your text.
Creative Typography in Web Design
Although I’ve stated above a series of tips on how to choose the appropriate typography for your website, there are always some exceptions. There is always someone who bends the rules, who wants to be unique, creative or out of the box.

We all know that there is a list of the most used fonts in web design and you can find information all over the web about these “safe” fonts. The most beautiful part about web design nowadays is that you have the chance of personalizing your website design, making it fit your needs – starting with its design and the typography used.

A mix of vividly created graphics or images and typography has the power of taking web design to the highest level of attractiveness and creativity.

Some of the most creative website designs are the ones of graphic designers, illustrators or other types of creatives. The thing is that creative people like to use various techniques to establish themselves as creative voices on their websites – and that seems natural.

That’s why, creative web designs will most often include hand-drawn illustrations, personalized fonts, organic shapes, full bold colors and other unique elements of design – all destined to leave you with a strong impression of creativity.

The only thing to add here is that the custom handwritten font must be restricted to only a few key areas of text. If you set all of your content in your personalized handwritten font, you may affect the readability of your content. The purpose is to create a design which combines illustrations and typography that will send a message – the message intended by the artist. And that message should reach you, the viewer, and it should give you the sense of high creative energy.

Just think that each one of the elements used contributes to the impact the design has on the viewer’s perception. For example, the colors you use in your design always influences the way people interpret something and the typeface you use brings a meaning to the design through its style, weight, connotation and context.

Nevertheless, it’s not that easy to create a new font type that is decorative, unique and in the same time practical. A creative font used in your design can give the feeling of the website and an insight to the designer’s style or the personality of the owner. It certainly adds character to the website and it can help create a theme for the website – so nothing must be done random, every element of the web design should work in harmony to create one great symphony of meaning.

And although creative fonts have the power to compliment the design and the content of the website, they can also be used too much and can even become annoying or at least distracting – that’s why you should restrict the use of these type of fonts to a maximum of 3 in your design.

Big Typography
Although web design trends are shifting from year to year and it’s overwhelmed with ideas, big typography remains a trend preferred by web designers throughout the last couple of years. The important thing about big typography is that, when used correctly, it helps visitors to pay attention to the part where you want them to focus.

Big typography will also place emphasis on the hierarchy of the content  – there will be a visual contrast between it and the smaller text around it.

Remember that words are one of the most powerful elements you creatives work with – sometimes they are even stronger than the color or imagery. Words can implant information in ones mind, they can create mental pictures and ideas. As a designer, you have the great task of shaping those words to achieve the greatest possible effect.
Your turn now
I gave you only a few examples of creative typography in website designs. Do you know other web designs with creative typography? Please share them with us.
 
 
Creative Typography in Web Design – Breaking the Rules is a post from Pixel77 – Graphic design blog with tutorials, resources and inspiration.
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Another great week has passed and I came across a lot of useful and interesting articles on the the Web. If you didn’t get the chance to spend your free time updating your feeds with the latest articles published in the week that just passed, here are some of the most interesting reads:
Smashing Magazine - A Comprehensive Website Planning Guide

CrazyLeaf Design Blog - 30 Beautiful Free Icon Sets for Web Designers

Hongkiat - Email Marketing: Tips To Do It Well

Skyje - 33 SEO and SEM Blogs Every Webmaster Should Read

Blog.SpoonGraphics - Sho
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uld You Learn Photoshop or Fireworks? (and more!)

Sixrevisions - Getting Users to Sign Up: Factors in Design and Content

Webdesignledger - The Anatomy of An Effective Web Design

Bittbox - Design a Textured Button in Photoshop

Webdesignerdepot - Good Web content examples and what makes them work

1stwebdesigner - Tips and Considerations for Self-Promotion

Inspiredm – The History Of Social Media [Infographic]

Naldzgraphics – Ways to Achieve a Relaxing Workspace

Do you know any other interesting, useful articles that were published this week? Please share them with us.
Favorite Design Related Articles of The Week #4 is a post from Pixel77 – Graphic design blog with tutorials, resources and inspiration.
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Chris Parks is fantastic illustrator & graphic designer from St. Petersburg, Florida. Chris is a graduate of the Ringling College of Art & Design with a BA in graphic and interactive communication and he has been working in this creative field for over 8 years. In 2006, Chris opened his own design studio – Pale Horse Design – and since then he had the opportunity to create artwork for companies like Iron Fist, Nike, Vans, Etnies, Red Bull, The Cartoon Network and many others.

In addition to its studio clients, Chris likes to actively participate in self-initiated
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collaboration projects like ‘Back in Black’ – a live printing t-shirt exhibit, featuring top apparel artists from around the globe, running Golden/Black – a royalty-free stock vector art and fonts website and curating, hosting and participating in various gallery exhibits throughout the year.
Check out some of his amazing work:
La Calavera Catrina

Japanese Koi: Illustration

7 Skate Deck Totem


Yamī: Illustration

The Pale Horse: Illustration

The Book of Five Rings

New Print: Geisha Samurai

Super7 Florida x Pale Horse

Zap Skimboards: Board Graphic

Baroness / Torche Gig Poster

Various Type And Logos

If you want to see more awesome works from Pale Horse, visit the website, Pale Horse Design, his Behance profile or his Facebook page.
 
 
Artist of the Week – Graphic Designer Chris Parks aka Pale Horse is a post from Pixel77 – Graphic design blog with tutorials, resources and inspiration.
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Today’s freebie is a not so scary Halloween spider. Feel free to use it in commercial and non-commercial projects, personal websites and printed work, as long as it’s a part of a larger design. Please do not sell it, redistribute it yourself, claim it as your own or give it as a bonus item to boost sales for your own products. Download it now!


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en Spider" src="http://pixel.bnetwork.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/pixel77-free-vector-spider-1101-630.jpg" width="630" height="341" title="Free Vector of the Day #457: Halloween Spider" />


 






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This Friday we have a special surprise for you! We are cutting the price in half for Grunge Mega Pack 1! So instead of $45, you get this awesome vector mega pack for only $22,5!


Grunge Mega Pack 1 includes 9 of our premium vector packs:

- Grunge Chaos Vector Pack 4

- Grunge Chaos Vector Pack 5

- Grunge Corners Vector Pack 1

- Halftone Vector Pack 2

- Grunge Aged Vector Pack 1

- Paint Vector Pack 2

- Scratches Vector Pack 1

- Spraypaint Vector Pack 3

- Stains Vector Pack 1
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r />This is a limited time offer, it’s only available this Friday, June 3rd, so make sure you visit Designious.com and get your hands on this cool vector mega pack!
Special Friday’s 50% Discount from Designious.com on Grunge Mega Pack 1 is a post from Pixel77 – Graphic design blog with tutorials, resources and inspiration.
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About Pixel Comic Strip and its creator  – Alan Jones
Alan has been drawing Pixel comic strips for a few years, but he didn’t publish them anywhere except his Facebook. Alan is working in the IT world and he always had a fascination with the overlaps between the digital and the real.
Here is what Alan says about his comic strip
Pixel’s life is, at this stage, fairly simple. I’m happy with this stage of his development with very few characters. There is ample room for more characters and staging, but I think it’s important that he develops a character before we add mo
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re. I do plan, however, to develop Pixel, his relationships, new characters and stages. I’m particularly interested in him finding his nemesis – not sure who that is just yet.

Pixel is created entirely on computer in Vector format so all Pixel panels can be scaled to any size without loosing resolution.


Meet the Pixel Characters:
Pixel is the hero of my panel. He’s a cynical underachiever, trying very hard to make sense of the digital world and the possibilities beyond.

Al Gore-ithm is Pixel’s best friend, super intelligent Al is savy and way ahead of what’s current in technology developments. But Al has an over-reliance on what he thinks he knows.

Text is a very basic character. I have only used him once in a panel, but he adds some really great depth for the main characters to work off of.
Text expresses himself through his style: “Bold”, “Caps”, “Underline”, etc.

Sound File is a sneaky one. He lives to give other characters a fright.

I have hinted at other characters in the strip, like the hot Graphics Processor who will probably become Pixel’s girlfriend.
Others I’m thinking about are WAN and LAN (twins from Japan) and perhaps a BUS Driver (he may even be a Serial BUS Driver!).
Now that you got acquainted with the story behind Pixel and it’s characters, here is the first Pixel Comic Strip created by Alan for Pixel77:

I hope you enjoyed it, as we will have a weekly Pixel Comic Strip by Alan Jones, right here on Pixel77! Please let us know what do you think about the comic strip and the characters, we would love to hear from you.
 
Pixel Comic Strip #1 by Alan Jones is a post from Pixel77 – Graphic design blog with tutorials, resources and inspiration.
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I came across the amazing works of Can Soner while searching for some awesome inspiration. I found his work so fabulous and I was surprised to see that he can design warriors and monsters as well as children illustrations! And I said wow, this guy is really talented and he must really enjoy doing both type of illustrations. I wanted to know more about Can and his work, so I interviewed him, check it out.

When did you start your career as illustrator?
I made some freelance illustrations when I was in high school but I started my career as a professional when I came to İstan
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bul in 2000, where I worked as an illustrator in an agency from the first year of university.

What is your educational background?
I went to high school of fine arts in Ankara. Then I came to İstanbul in 2000 for Mimar Sinan University Of Fine Arts and I graduated in 2006.

You have surely worked on several projects so far. What would be the most relevant ones? Which one did you love working on and you considered important to you?
Yes I’m working on so many projects as a freelance illustrator for 12 years such as concept illustrations, comics, storyboards, character designs etc. I love working in most of them but if I have to choose the most important ones I have to say the children books that I’m making for my publishing house in Australia. The reason is I love being a kid when I’m working on them. The books are sold everywhere in the world from Brazil to China, Europe to America and it’s a great satisfaction that thousands of children from all around the world are dreaming with your illustrations.

Can you name 3 designs from your portfolio you like the most?
I can say the cold battle, dwarven king and orc warrior because I’m a big world of warcraft fan :)

Our readers would definitely love to know what hardware and software you use when you create your designs?
Im using Corel Painter and Photoshop.

What are the things that inspire you? Can you name a few websites you use for inspiration?
I try to follow other illustrators website, especially from my country such as Emrah Elmasli. And other portfolio sites such as Deviantart and CGSociety.

When you began your journey as a graphic designer you probably had a few role models, would you name two of your favorite artists?
Im a big Conan fan so first of all John Buscema. And others Frank Frazetta, Alex Ross, Ashley Wood, Hajime Soroyama.

Designing has its ups and downs, what is the most difficult problem you ever faced as a designer?
Sometimes I’m fading out to work. When I have this feeling I leave everything away for a while and clear my head.

How do you get your work out there? Do you promote yourself online in any way?
I don’t have too much time to promote myself. I can’t even update my own website often. I need to improve myself in this matter.

Looking a bit into the future, what do you see yourself doing in 5 years from now?
Well I love being a freelance illustrator but I’m trying to organize some of my friends to open a design agency. Maybe we can make it happen in 5 years.

What advice would you give to the newbie designers?
I’m not a master designer or anything but I can give this advice, focus on one thing that you love doing and improve yourself on it.

What do you think your greatest achievement is so far?
To reach thousands of children with my illustrations.

How much free time you have in a week and how do you usually spend that?
I’m trying to create free time for myself. I don’t draw or anything like that in my free time. I usually go out and have fun with my friends. I love sports. And I’m living in Istanbul, one of the most beautiful cities in the world so I love walking on its streets.

What is your favorite PC game and how many hours you spend playing it?
World Of Warcraft but I quit playing it a couple of years ago because it never ends and it takes too much time from my life. Now I’m playing Pes or fps games occasionally.

I really liked this design. What was your drive to create it?

It was for a chocolate company. I designed characters and 4 islands with different themes. This one is one of them, it’s called Chocolatefall Island :)

Check out more of Can Soner‘s artworks by visiting his website.
Interview with Graphic Designer Can Soner is a post from Pixel77 – Graphic design blog with tutorials, resources and inspiration.
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Richard Roberts is a talented illustrator who is currently living in Milwaukee, USA. Richard has a background of over five years in illustrating digital artworks, he was featured in publications and worked with clients world wide. Roberts works mostly in the digital illustrations and photo manipulation area, but he is a versatile artist, he uses an array of different styles and takes a variety of projects.
Check out some of his amazing artworks:
Supernova

Advanced Photoshop Issue 70

Advance Photoshop Issue 71

The Cage Keeper

DACS
R
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20;Illustration for an upcoming live exhibition for Designers Against Child Slavery in Columbia, SC. The groups aim is to enable creatives from all over the world to rise up against the child sex trade. The brief was to illustrate a piece representing the abuse of children in some way or form.”

Inner Struggle

Rhian Benson




Tiger Beer

depthCORE XXXVII – Her

Zen – Advance Photoshop Issue 74

If you want to see more of Richards’ awesome work, visit his website, his behance or deviantART profiles.
You can also “like” him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.
Artist of the Week – Illustrator Richard Roberts is a post from Pixel77 – Graphic design blog with tutorials, resources and inspiration.
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