Category Archives: graphics

Content Creation and Stock Photography

One of the projects I’ve been working on is a Spanish language blog. I’m not fluent in Spanish, yet I wish to be. So I decided to create mi-palabra-del-dia.com as a way to stay motivated each day and learn and practice my Spanish.

Each Monday, I usually spend the afternoon editing photos I’ve taken over the week and creating that weeks content for the blog. This morning I realised I really didn’t have any good photos pertaining to that subject matter. What to do ? morguefile.com is the answer.

When you’re in a pinch morguefile.com is a great place to grab some free stock photography for your blog or website. The term morgue file comes from the old newspaper days when journalists would need a picture for a story but didn’t have one. The photographers had what were called “morgue files” of images that could be used in a pinch. In a pinch the journalist would go to the morgue file and look for an image that pertained to their subject matter. I’ve used this site in a pinch for a long time now and you can find some really great photos there. The site really lives up to its name.

As far as I know , the only rule is that you can’t use the image in a standalone manner. In other words you have to edit the images a bit and personalize them for your content. Just what I needed. Here’s a couple examples of some things I created using there content.

artwork for my spanish blog

Strawberries for my Spanish blog. Las Fresas Amigos !

La ardilla, a squirrel for my Spanish blog.

la ardilla, the squirrel. Cute little guy isn’t he.

The top image has really been manipulated using Gimp. I did a cut out of the image using a font as a mask to cut the image. I then added a border, some more plain text, and the original image of strawberries. For the second image I simply added a little text and my site url.

I’m pretty sure using the images in a stand alone manner pertains to offering the images by themselves for download. However, you could simply add some text, a border, or create a collage out of a couple different images. I’ll explain more on these things in future post and maybe even use some of these photos for examples.

For the tweeted version of this post: “If you need stock photography in a pinch, try www.morguefile.com

If you open an account, make sure to follow me here. http://morguefile.com/creative/newaeondesign

Learning the hard way !

I was going through some of my graphics folders and came across some really great designs that I wanted to use for other things. These were projects I started when I first started learning graphics that came out really good. In order to save hard drive space once a project is completed I would save it as a jpg file, or gif file instead of say an xcf file for Gimp or a psd file for Photoshop.

Yup, it does save some hard drive space. The only problem is when you want to use those designs for other projects they pretty much become useless. I would strongly suggest to anyone just starting out, save your work in a project file. Use xcf, psd, or whatever your program saves them as so you can edit them in the future.

Sometimes you may want just a piece of clipart from the project. Maybe a background came out just right and would make a nice tile. You get the point. Saving your work in a project file makes all these options available to you. Note to self and anyone else just learning: Save project files in editable format !

93 93/93

A design I wanted to use for something else. It would of been nice to easily remove this background and use for another project. Now I’ll have to recreate the entire design. Save your work in an editable project file so this doesn’t happen to you .

New Twitter Header Dimensions

Twitter now gives you a 1500 x 500 px header image for your profile page. The new look of twitter is great and that’s a lot of real estate to fill. I decided to play around with it a bit and here’s what I discovered.

Going to the twitter help page https://support.twitter.com/articles/127871-customizing-your-profile# They give you the suggested dimensions for the new header of 1500 x 500 px. I used Gimp 2.8 and opened up a new image, 1500 width by 500 height. I added my spacey background, and then opened up some of my old header xcf files from Facebook and G+ and copied and pasted together a quick header image. I added the alien from some clipart, and copied and pasted the rest of the design from some other headers I created for the New Aeon Design. The whole project took about a half an hour.

twit_head1

The new header 1500 X 500 px shown in open browser. This was just a quick experiment. I would suggest adding some business keywords, url, and company logo. Keep it simple.

Once the file was completed I saved it as a png file and uploaded it to twitter. The first thing I discovered about the suggested 1500 x 500 px is that there is about a 50 px border from the top edge and along the bottom edge that will cut out on you. So I had to move the url found on the upper left hand corner of the image down about 50 px. I also moved all the images and graphics along the bottom edge up 50 px. This took care of the problem and when the browser window is resized it still shows all the graphics. However, when I redo this I will probably add another 10 px border for browser resizing. When the browser is resized I noticed that a very tiny amount of the lettering got cut off. Nothing major, and everything was still readable.

Now I tried to get creative and put a little u.f.o. with a light shining over my twitter avatar. I really liked the way this looked when the browser is set to full screen, however when the browser is resized the avatar doesn’t scale with the header image and off sets the u.f.o. I’m leaving it for now, but this has to be changed down the road.

twit_head2

Notice that when the browser window is resized the twitter avatar doesn’t scale with header image. This offset the U.F.O just enough to be annoying and unprofessional. When I update this header, that will have to be changed.

Outside of the avatar issue, the new header dimensions are great. That’s a lot of real estate to fill with information about your company, brand, or product. When creating your header I would suggest adding your url to the design, a couple keywords about what your company does, like “Web Design”, or “Wholesaler of World Class Widgets”, your logo and business name. Keep it clean and simple. In the world of headers less is sometimes more ! If anyone wants a header designed for their business message me on twitter with what you want, and I’ll shoot you a quick price. Most designs start around $40.00 bucks.

new-aeon-twit_sm

The header as it was designed. Notice the 50 px border along the sides. If you don’t move everything in about 50px you will have parts of the image cut out when you upload the final product.

Hope these tips help, and happy tweeting everyone ! If you have any further suggestions please comment, and if you’re on twitter folllow me and I’ll probably follow back .

Free Grunge Texture Pack

Finally got a nice day in the Buffalo N.Y. area and I wanted to snap some grungey style textures with my phone. I accidentally shot these in the wrong resolution and thought I would post them here as a freebie grunge texture pack. The images are unedited, and 640 x 480 px in jpeg format. I usually shoot my textures in a much higher resolution but I’m sure these are still usable to more than a few people out there. There’s about 14 images in total, the sample picture shows a few examples. All freebies are served thru Mega to help conserve bandwidth on my server. Enjoy!

Free Texture Grunge Pack

Freebie Grunge Texture Pack


Download Here

Link To Free High Resolution Textures.

Textures, patterns, backgrounds, fonts and graphics can get really expensive. I’m always looking for free commercial use goodies for design, and when I find them, I love to share them with you guys. Here’s 20 high resolution textures for free download from the fine folks over at SpeckyBoy.

These are great textures and have almost a new age pastel grunge look to them. I’m sure you all will find some way to put these textures to good use. These are high resolution, and the file is 194 megs so depending on your modem speed may take a some time to download but I think these are worth it. Click here to check out the textures and download.