Is WP Engine’s Free WordPress Staging for Developers Legit?

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A while back managed WordPress host WP Engine announced they were offering free unlimited staging for WordPress projects to freelancers and agencies. “Free and unlimited” aren’t usually things associated with services with real-world costs, but this offer from WP Engine is real and actually comes with some handy developer tools for working in WordPress.

How free staging works

WP Engine is offering free $29 hosting plans to verified freelancers and agencies. The $29 plan only allows for one live site, but like any other WP Engine plan comes with free and unlimited password protected WordPress installs you can use to stage client work. These WordPress installs (called “transferable installs”) do not count against the account’s total number of allowed installs so you can use as many as you need.

You’re even allowed to use the free staging for clients who don’t want to host on WP Engine. Basically, you can stage all of your WordPress projects for free on WP Engine.

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What’s in it for them?

Hearts and minds of course. WP Engine recognizes that you are the influencers over where your clients host. By giving away free staging and developer tools that make your job easier, you’ll be more likely to refer customers their way.

Also, by staging your work on WP Engine prior to releasing the site to your client, you can showcase your work in WP Engine’s impressively fast environment, which can ultimately help retain your client. .

How easy is it to work inside of WP Engine?

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So WP Engine has a suite of advanced “built for developer” features which we detail below, including a few workflow tools that stand out at helping freelancers and agencies onboard customers and launch projects faster and easier.

Onboarding: Use the WP Engine migration plugin to quickly move a new customer’s site into your free account so you can instantly start working. All the customer needs to do is give you wp-admin access and even a Project Manager can use the plugin to move a customer’s site into your account so your devs get to working on what they do best.

Launches: When your customer pays their bill and it’s time to move the site you’ve created to their hosting account, WP Engine makes it super easy to transfer that site to the customer.

Within the WPE portal, you can select to “transfer the site” to any email address you’d like. Current WPE customers can simply “accept” the transfer via a link in a confirmation email. Non-WPE customers can sign up for a new account and have the site you built them automatically available after they sign up.

WPE will also co-brand all of these emails with your logo and can automatically insert your affiliate link for new customer signups (WPE pays a minimum of $200 per referral). You are able to transfer client sites to 3rd party hosts using typical FTP workflows.

Backups / Rollback: Within the WP Engine portal (and in wp-admin), you can quickly trigger a backup or roll back to a previous manual or automated backup. This can be super handy for customers who make mistakes and come crying for you to fix. A few simple clicks in the portal and you can help customers quickly recover from mistakes.

One-Click Staging: If you need to perform a plugin update or quick change, you can use WP Engine’s one-click staging feature inside of wp-admin to quickly spin up a copy of the site to test changes and updates. You can easily then push to production in one click and roll back changes if things go wrong.

Enough with the parlor tricks, where’s the meat?

So WP Engine’s simplified site management tools are handy, but their platform goes much deeper when it comes to supporting tools and workflows for agencies and freelancers.

This suite of tools is available in the free account they offer to freelancers and agencies.

Collaborate and Maintain Control With Git Push: Use your favorite code versioning workflow to make your job easier.

Actual smart support people: WP Engine staff are 100% focused on WordPress, filled with WordPress influencers, and super deep in their ability to support developers. WP Engine’s team is literally the best support group in the world (not just hosting) having won the prestigious 2016 Customer Service Department International Gold Stevie award.

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Performance Intelligence: Run deep WordPress speed performance analyses on your sites.

Universal Login: Your login can be tied to multiple customers’ WP Engine accounts for all-in-one access.

Copy / Template Site: Instantly create copies of sites (or starter tech stacks) to use as a jump point for new projects.

One-Click CDN: Quickly add a CDN to any site. Available for free on all plans except the “Personal” plan.

Free SSL: With Let’s Encrypt, WP Engine offers free SSL, easily set up in your customer portal.

Vulnerability Scanning: All sites are regularly scanned for PHP vulnerabilities and Cloudflare is used to help mitigate outside attacks.

Environment Specifications Audit: If you have a large client who needs a larger cluster or to prepare for aggressive growth, WP Engine’s account team will help with right-sizing and load testing to make sure your big customers don’t have big problems.

Vagrant Environment Integration: WP Engine offers a vagrant environment solution; however, with one-click staging and super fast servers, you can replicate a site’s environment (including the CDN) with just one click directly on the server itself. Either solution gives you the flexibility you need.

Any tips on getting the free staging account from WP Engine?

All you really need to do is apply and their team will verify you as a freelancer or agency. They do require you send them four referrals per year to maintain the free account, but you have a whole year to get there. The WP Engine team is extremely laid back and easy to work with.

Make sure to ask about the co-branded experience for your customers and some free options WP Engine has that can help *you* get leads for your business.

Good Luck!

This post Is WP Engine’s Free WordPress Staging for Developers Legit? was written by Inspired Mag Team and first appearedon Inspired Magazine.

80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016


Continuing one of our annual traditions we will be looking back at an exciting year within the online design community, by rounding up and looking back at the top 80 Photoshop based tutorials, which where all written and published with 2016.

The roundup includes  a wide collection of various tutorials from photo manipulations to text effects. The compilation is aimed at all skill levels whether your a savy Photoshop user all just starting your journey with using Photoshop.  Theres no better way to sharpen and elevate your design skills in Photoshop by following tutorials, therefore I hope this roundup can be used as a great aid to learning new tricks or to help to start your journey in mastering Photoshop.

1. How to Create a 3D Black and Gold Text and Logo Mockup

black gold 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016This is great tutorial for creating 3d gold effect.

2. How to Create a Dark Gothic Portrait Photo Manipulation With Adobe Photoshop

gothic 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create a dark gothic portrait photo manipulation in Adobe Photoshop.

3. How to create a Vintage Light Bulb Sign in Adobe Photoshop

light 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016This tutorial will show you how to use a bulb image, with some textures and layer styles, to create a fabulous, bright illuminated text effect in Photoshop.

4. How to Create a Nature-Inspired Peter Pan Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop pan 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.” In this tutorial, we’re taking our text to Neverland, using some textures and images, along with layer styles and adjustment layers, to create a fantasy themed, Peter Pan inspired text effect.

5. How to create 80s Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop 1980 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

With all the bright colors, fancy gradients, and geometric elements, the 80s shiny chrome text effects were such a huge trend.  This tutorial will show you how to use Photoshop’s 3D Tools, along with a couple of gradients, styles, textures, and adjustment layers, to create an awesome 80’s style text effect.

6. How to Create a Floral Sugar Skull Photo Manipulation With Adobe Photoshopfloral skull 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create an abstract skull inspired by the Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday paying respect to beloved people who have passed away. A sugar skull is one of the most popular symbols in this holiday, with colorful decorations and makeup.

7. How To Create an Abstract Polyscape in Adobe Photoshop abstract 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

The final effect is achieved with just a few simple techniques, so hopefully this will be a great one for beginners to experiment with.

8. Photo Manipulation of a Warrior in Battle in Photoshopfire 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

In this tutorial, I will show you how to make this Photo Manipulation of a Warrior in Battle in Photoshop. This is a intermediate level difficulty tutorial and can be a bit tricky to complete, but why not have a try!

9. Photo Manipulation of a Warrior in Battle in Photoshop royal 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

This tutorial will show you a super quick and easy way to create a glossy, glittering text effect using a bunch of layer styles.

10. How to Create an Energetic Paint Splashing Effect in Adobe Photoshop enegtic paint 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

Shoe advertisements are an incredible source of design inspiration. Inspired by the energetic movement and power behind these ads, I’ve created a fun paint splashing effect you can recreate in no time!

11. How to Create a Magma or Lava Text Effect in Photoshopmagna 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

In this tutorial you will learn how to create lava or magma text effect in Adobe Photoshop using layer styles and textures. You will obtain a hot fiery text effect with molten rock lava in just a few easy steps.

12. How to Create a Glamorous Calavera Portrait in Adobe Photoshop galomrous 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

Learn how to create a glamorous Dia De Los Muertos photo manipulation using Adobe Photoshop

13. How to Create a 3D, Glowing, Retro Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop out 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

This tutorial will show you how to use smart objects and layer styles to create a 3D, retro, glowing text effect.

14. How to create a Double Exposure effect in Adobe Photoshopoverlay 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

This tutorial will show you how to use smart objects and layer styles to create a 3D, retro, glowing text effect.

15. How to Create a Glittering, Festive, 3D Text Effect in Adobe Photoshopparty 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

This tutorial will show you how to use Photoshop’s 3D Tools, adjustment layers, and a couple of textures to create a dazzling, glittery, festive text effect.

16. How To Change a Photo from Summer to Winter in Photoshop vintage 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

The Adobe Photoshop tutorial will take control of the seasons with some Photoshop trickery by converting a bright and sunny summer photograph into a snowy wintry scene. We’ll make adjustments to wash out the colours and give the photo a cold atmosphere, then use a clever selection technique to add a covering of frost. We’ll even change the weather by adding a flurry of snow to completely transform the scene!

17. How to create a pixel room in Adobe Photoshop pixel 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

In this tutorial you will learn to create a bedroom in the isometric view. It will continue to be compatible with our pixel art assets from previous tutorials; if you haven’t yet, check those out first, especially the character tutorial. But if you’re ready, fire up Adobe Photoshop and let’s get to work on this interior scene, taking your pixel art to the next level.

18. How to Create a Realistic Burnt Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop burn 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

This tutorial will show you how to use two layer styles to create a super easy, but very realistic burnt-in-leather text effect.

19. How to create 3D Retro text effect in Adobe Photoshop retro 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

This tutorial will show you how to use smart objects, with some textures and layer styles, to create a 3D, retro text effect in Photoshop.

20. How to Create a Quick Broken Glass Text Effect in Adobe Photoshopglass 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

This tutorial will show you how to use a couple of layer styles to create a glass text effect. Then, it will show you how to use selection tool and masks to turn it into broken glass.

21. How to Create an Abstract, Psychedelic Portrait Photo Manipulation in Photoshopcolorful 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

In this tutorial you’ll create a colorful digital manipulation using minimal stock images.

22. How to create Sidney opera Illustration in Adobe Photoshoplearn how to create 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

In this tutorial you are going to learn how to do a Sydney Opera House illustration using basic shapes and the Shape Creator Tool and then we will take it to Adobe Photoshop to create a little animated GIF.

23. How to Create a Frankenstein’s Monster Photo Manipulation in Adobe Photoshopfrankinstien 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

Learn how to create your own Frankenstein’s monster using Liquify, Adjustment Layers

24. How to Create a Stylized Chalk Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop old school 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

This tutorial will show you a really quick and easy way to create a stylized chalk text effect, using some filters and drop shadow effects.

25. How to Create an Easy Sketch Effect skecth 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

sketch effect takes an ordinary photo and transforms it to a work of art—as though it’s been drawn by a professional artist. Using an inverted Layer Mask and a stiff, pencil-textured Brush, you can achieve this look easily with a little time and strategy. When creating this effect, make sure to follow the traditional drawing rules of hatching and cross-hatching for a believable look.

26. How to Create a Muddy Boot Print Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop muddy 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

This tutorial will show you how to use Adobe Photoshop’s transform modes, shape tools, brushes, layer styles, and filters, along with some textures, to create a muddy boot print text effect.

27. Create Ship Fleet Under Sea Monster Attack Scene in Photoshop sea monster 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

In this tutorial, It will show you the process used to create Ship Fleet Under Sea Monster Attack Scene in Photoshop. The concept of this artwork is that a ship fleet was attached by sea monster when passing though uncharted water.

28. How to Create a Pixel Car in Adobe Photoshop pixelcar 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

How create a cool pixel car.

29. Enchanted Halloween Pumpkin Photoshop Tutorial halloween 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

Learn how to create an enchanted Halloween pumpkin in Adobe Photoshop using premade backgrounds and stock images. It is an easy to make Halloween photo manipulation even for Photoshop beginners. All we need are some simple blending techniques, adjustment layers and gradient maps for color tones.

30. How to Digitally Paint a Haunted Doll in Adobe Photoshop dolls 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

Dolls are just plain ole creepy. And possessed dolls always have a way of causing infinite destruction. Inspired by the movie Annabelle,

31. How to Create a Medieval Metallic Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop kalio 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

In this tutorial I will show you how to create a metallic medieval text effect, using a pattern and layer styles.

32. Coffee Stain Text Effect Photoshop Tutorialcoffee 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

Learn how to create a Coffee Stain text style in Photoshop using layer styles and stain brushes. You can use this effect to create coffee stain typography for your projects. This effect works great for any type of layer, for both text and shapes. Using the premium Photoshop action you can even create stains from images.

33. How to Create a Freddy Krueger Inspired Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop fred 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

In this tutorial It will show you how to create an easy text effect inspired by Freddy Krueger from the horror movie A Nightmare on Elm Street, using patterns and a layer style.

34. Create a Set of Hand Drawn Icons Using Adobe Photoshop handdrawn 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

In this tutorial I will show you how to create a set of hand drawn icons using only Adobe Photoshop.

35. How to Create a 3D Floaties Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop 3dfloaties 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

This tutorial will show you how to use Photoshop’s 3D tools and material settings, along with a couple of images, filters and adjustment layers, to create a retro, summery, floatie-inspired text effect.

36. How To Create a Blueprint Effect in Adobe Photoshop blue print 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

Will go through the process of creating a blueprint effect in Adobe Photoshop. If you don’t fancy spending hours construcing a technical drawing from scratch, this is a great technique for faking it. We’ll use some built in Photoshop filters to produce the basic outlines from a source photograph, then mix in some grid patterns and textures to enhance the realism.

37. How to Create a 3D Cylinder Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop red 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

You’re going Red for World AIDS Day 2016 with this 3D text effect. Use Photoshop’s 3D tools and settings, along with adjustment layers and filters, to create a simple, 3D cylinder text effect.

38. How to Create a Computer Screen LED Text Effect in Photoshop tv text 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

Learn how to create a LED screen text effect in Adobe Photoshop from this quick tutorial for beginners. You an now create realistic computer screen RGB effect in Photoshop using text layer and even vector shape or images.

39. How To Create a Grungy Star Wars Propaganda Poster in Photoshop destroy 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

’ve been wanting to have some fun with the low-fi poster style that’s usually associated with punk rock gigs and revolution propaganda, but I couldn’t decide what to base my fictional design on. Then I saw the trailer for the new Rogue One movie and I knew I had to produce a Star Wars themed design for this tutorial! Follow along to see how to create a grungy propaganda poster for the Rebel Alliance in Adobe Photoshop with dirty textures, spray paint effects and a low-cost, hand made feel.

40. How to Create a Retro Vintage Badge in Adobe Photoshop retro3 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

This tutorial will show you how to draw your own shapes and use layer styles to create a vintage advertising badge.

41. Electric Lightning Text Effect in Photoshoppower 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

In this tutorial you will learn how to create an electric lightning text effect in Photoshop using lightning textures and brushes. You can use this lightning light effect for text layers and shapes.

42. How To Create a Surreal Hollow Face Portrait in Photoshophollow 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

In today’s tutorial we’re going to play around in Adobe Photoshop and have fun creating a faceless man with a window to his soooouuuul! We’ll use some simple photo manipulation techniques to digitally cut away the face and tidy up the edges, then we’ll place a vibrant cosmic space image inside the head and finish it all off with some refinements, lighting effects and a complementary quote to produce a surreal piece of artwork.

43. How to Create a Fun Underwater Photo Manipulation With Adobe Photoshop under water 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

n this tutorial I’ll show you how to create a funny underwater scene featuring a big fish stuck on a tree.

44. How to create a Foodtruck in Adobe Photoshop food truck 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

Create a food truck illustration.

45. How to Create a Fireball Brush From Scratch in Adobe Photoshop fireball 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

Crafting home-made fire effects is a fun way to add visual energy and excitement to your digital artwork. I’ll show you how to safely create, capture, and use custom-made fireball brushes in Photoshop.

46. How to Create a Romantic Rose Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop i love you 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

This tutorial will show you how to use a bunch of floral illustration images, with a couple of layer masks, textures, and adjustment layers, to create a fresh, floral text effect.

47. How to create a Halloween Pattern in Adobe Photoshop halloween pattern 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

Learn how to create a rapport (or repeat pattern) that you can use to create your own fabric designs, papers… So leave the broom aside for a while and let`s get started!

48. How to Make a Portrait with City Elements in Photoshop portait 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

In this tutorial, It will show you how to make a portrait with city elements in Photoshop. This is a intermediate level difficulty tutorial and can be a bit tricky to complete, but why not have a try!

49. How to Add Drama to a Rainy Scene With Adobe Photoshop rainy 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create a colorful rainy scene featuring an emotional woman. You’ll learn how to add a colorful background using blending modes, retouch the model and take care of details, make rain using a custom brush, adjust the color, and enhance the depth of field.

50. Create an Epic Battle Zone Montage Effect in Photoshop montage 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

In this tutorial, I will show you the process I took to Create an Epic Battle Zone Montage Effect in Photoshop.

51. How to Turn a Landscape Photograph Into an Isometric Icon in Adobe Photoshop

island 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016In this tutorial we are going to create a 3D isometric map made from combinations of a few landscape photos. No 3D software is used in this project—we are going to use only Adobe Photoshop. The end result can be used as an icon or as part of an infographic.

52. How To Create a Distorted VHS Effect in Photoshop

distotred effect 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016Your going to have some fun mimicking the distortion effect of VHS tapes in Adobe Photoshop. This is quite an unusual topic, but hopefully it will come in handy for those rare projects where you might need to replicate such a style. We’ll take a photograph and distort it with a variety of techniques to simulate the warping associated with old analog film footage, then we’ll apply some OSD text as a finishing touch to give it the appearance of a home movie being played on a VCR.

53. Paint with blend modes

watercolor boat thumb 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016Learn a simple painting technique that can bring the best out of your brushes!

54. How to Create Rock 3D Text Effect with Flying Fire Sparks in Photoshop

rock text 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

In this tutorial, I will show you the process I used to create this Rock 3D Text Effect with Flying Fire Sparks in Photoshop. This is an intermediate level difficulty tutorial and some steps can be tricky. Have a try!

55. Create a Shiny Textured Chrome Text Effect in Photoshop

tough text effect 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016This tutorial will show you how to use a couple of Photoshop’s layer styles, along with some flare photos, gradient fills, and a simple pattern, to create a shiny textured chrome text effect.

56. How to Create a Winter Landscape Photo Manipulation With Adobe Photoshop

winter snowflake pattern 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create a winter landscape using a variety of photo-manipulation techniques. You’ll learn how to combine different stock images together into a cohesive scene using adjustment layers, masking and brushes. You’ll also learn how to paint the snow, make the sunlight, create lighting effects, take care of the details and more.

57. How To Create Your Own Hateful Eight Movie Poster Design

hate8ful8 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie The Hateful Eight has been highly anticipated by film fans. During the build up to its launch a series of movie posters were released that were made using one of the free design resources from Spoon Graphics, hat tip to James White for the spot!

58. Master the Harris Shutter Effect

harris shutter effect 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016Create this classic colour-channel-splitting effect in Elements

59. Retouch Your Photos in a Dramatic Way Using Photoshop

dramatic retouch 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016n this Photoshop tutorial we will retouch a portrait in order to obtain a dramatic but good looking effect.We will use various tools and techniques in order to achieve our goals and I’ll guide you along the way.

60. How to Create a Futuristic Metal Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

poweer 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016In this quick tip, you are going to create a simple Layer Style text effect, similar to the text effects that can be purchased on Envato Market. So you’ll be just using a texture, a pattern, and a couple of layer styles to create a bright, futuristic-themed text effect.

61. Create “Drift in Space” Digital Art in Photoshop

drift space 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016n this Photoshop tutorial, I will show you the process of creating this “Drift in Space” Digital Art in Photoshop. This is an intermediate level difficulty tutorial and some steps can be tricky.

62. Geometric Collage using Illustrator & Photoshop

geometric 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016In today’s video tutorial we’re going to combine the powers of Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop to produce a trendy geometric photo collage. This style of artwork has a somewhat retro vibe and it’s the kind of art you would see on album covers or as a series of abstract poster prints. We’ll be using Illustrator for its powerful shape building tools to construct a geometric vector pattern, then we’ll transfer the artwork over to Photoshop to use the image editing tools to digitally cut and paste snippings of a photograph into a cool looking collage.

63. Create a Long Shadow Text Effect in Photoshop Using Layer Styles

long shadow 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016With the release of Photoshop CC 2015, we now have the ability to add multiple instances of the same layer style to a single layer. This opens the door to creating more advanced effects quickly (and more importantly, non-destructively). This works well especially with text effects. In the past, it could be cumbersome to create a simple effect such as a long shadow, which often required several steps, making it difficult to update the text on the fly. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you a quick technique to add long shadows to your text without losing the ability to edit quickly.

64. Create a Porcelain Skin Effect in Photoshop

skin effect 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016In this tutorial we will create a porcelain skin effect using a beautiful portrait of a woman and the power of Photoshop’s blending modes.

65. How to Create a 3D Antique Metal Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

love 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016In this tutorial we will create a porcelain skin effect using a beautiful portrait of a woman and the power of Photoshop’s blending modes.

66. 80’s Style Chrome Text Effect in Photoshop

turbo lazer 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016In this Photoshop tutorial you’re going back to the 1980s to create a rad text effect based on those 80s style chrome logos we used to see for games, movies, TV shows and more. The overall design incorporates the classic bold chrome text effect with a hot pink script font. It’s all done in Photoshop using a mix of layer styles and colour overlays to reproduce the shiny metal effects and vibrant colours.

67. How to Create an Animated Work-in-Progress Action in Adobe Photoshop

animated effect 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016How do you make your art? We would love to see! In this quick tip, I’ll show you how to create an animated GIF in Adobe Photoshop to show the evolution of your digital work.

68. Create Typography Using a Mixture of Snow and Fire Elements in Photoshop

anchient 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016How do you make your art? We would love to see! In this quick tip, I’ll show you how to create an animated GIF in Adobe Photoshop to show the evolution of your digital work.

69. Create a lightbulb composition

light bulb effect 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

Use non-destructive techniques to blend your images and create an eye-catching composition

70. Create a shattered glass portrait

glass effect 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016Use a combination of clipping mask, layers and blend modes to create this smashing glass portrait effect

71. How To Create a Suicide Squad Inspired 3D Text Effect

sucide squad 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016Another movie themed tutorial, this time inspired by the vibrant text effect from the Suicide Squad trailer. Follow along to see how the 3D typography is made in Photoshop, along with various lighting effects to illuminate the design with bright colours.

72. How to Create a Rusted Metal Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

rusty 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016In this tutorial, you will learn how to use some real-life rust textures and the 3D tools in Photoshop to create some wonderfully flaky, crispy, crunchy rusted text without the fear of even getting cut!

73. How to Create a Glittering Gold Thread Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

glitter 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

Glittering text effects are such a lovely addition to almost any design! This tutorial will show you an easy way to create a glittering gold thread text effect, using a simple glitter texture and one layer style.

74. How can I create a rainbow in Photoshop?

rainbow effect 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

When creating a rainbow, open a new document of 10,000 square pixels, just to give yourself enough space. This way, you can paste your finished rainbow onto any picture you like.

75. Add an Intense Effect to a Photo in Photoshopintence 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016

In this Photoshop tutorial we will add an intense effect to a photo using simple and easy techniques.

76. Re-colour a black-and-white photo

recolor 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016Enliven a black and white photo with colour using adjustments, masks, brushing and blend modes

77. Create an Emotional Photo Manipulation in Photoshop

manipulations 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016Enliven a black and white photo with colour using adjustments, masks, brushing and blend modes

78. Create an Embossed Glitter Text Effect in Photoshop

thelittlethings 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016This tutorial will show you how to create an embossed, glittering text effect in Photoshop using Layer Styles and a few other tricks.

79. How to Age a Photo in Adobe Photoshop

authentic photo 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016Digital photos are amazing technology. They are superior to working with old film in a number of very real ways. But for all their digital perfection, they often lack the character of old film. Film, being a physical medium, was susceptible to the ravages of time and would show signs of wear, tear and deterioration. This often produced a very attractive effect that we just don’t get with our digital photos.

80. How to Fix Color Errors in Digital Painting With Adobe Photoshop

galaxy 80 best Photoshop tutorials created in 2016Are you scared of painting with color? Many beginners avoid working with color out of fear that they might ruin their ideas with the wrong combinations. Why you might feel this way is actually not your fault. This kind of thought process stems from traditional art because you’re often locked into the color scheme you choose. And if you want to change the colors, you’re usually out of luck.

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Website Discovery Questions

If you’ve done your job during the sales process, you’ll have a solid understanding of what you’re building when a project kick offs. Knowing what is important, but there is still more to learn before you can actually start designing. Finding the right design approach requires a unique line of questions.

We’re always evolving our design discovery process. We’ve found the more informed you are at the start of a project the more successful the end result. Getting the right information is a product of asking the right questions. At 3.7 DESIGNS, we’re always monitoring, adjusting and updating our questions.

We commonly ask the following questions during our design discovery process.

Background

  1. What is your number one objective in this project?
  2. Do you have any other objectives? Can you rank them by priority?
  3. Is there anything about your existing website that doesn’t work well?
  4. Is there anything about your existing website that works particularly well?
  5. Describe the typical touchpoint-to-sale process for your company?

Stakeholders

  1. Who individually, or what departments have a vested interested in the outcome of this project?
  2. What is most important to them?
  3. Can you rank them in terms of priority?

Users

  1. What different groups of people do you anticipate using your site? What do they care about?
  2. What is the primary task they’re looking to accomplish by using your site?
  3. How do they learn about your company/product/service?
  4. How familiar are they with technology?
  5. Is this a casual visit or a goal driven visit?
  6. Are they likely to be mobile when visiting?
  7. Can you rank the users in terms of importance?

Competitors

  1. Who are your direct competitors?
  2. What makes you different?
  3. Can you rank the competitors in terms of closeness?
  4. Are there any non-direct competitors? (i.e. alternative products or services.)

Priorities and Metrics

  1. Please rank your needs, stakeholder needs and user needs by order of importance
  2. How can we measure the success of meeting these needs? (This usually is collaborative.)

Branding

  1. Do you have any brand guidelines?
  2. Do you have official brand typefaces?
  3. Do you have official brand colors?
  4. Is there a style, tone or specific imagery we should consider?
  5. What archetype does your brand align with?

Communication

  1. If you could only tell a visitor one takeaway, what would it be?
  2. What is the personality of your brand? Describe it in five adjectives.
  3. If your brand was a car, which car would it be and why?
  4. How should someone feel when they first see your site?

Making Design Discovery Work

The direct answer to many of these questions is less important than the discussion that they spur. Your goal is to get the client comfortable enough where they’re able to elaborate and provide in-depth answers. It’s critical you fully understand the answers as well, it’s not enough to take notes and make assumptions.

Also, pay attention for opportunities to dig deeper. Some questions will have quick answers where others will turn into entire conversations. Much of the golden insight is found in the later.

If you’re looking for help with your next website redesign, give us a shout. We have over ten years of business experience in WordPress development, user experience design, search engine optimization and graphic design.

The post Website Discovery Questions appeared first on Psychology of Web Design | 3.7 Blog.

Best of the web for Design and Web Development November 2016


Rounding up the month in our usual fashion where taking a look back the best Photoshop and illustrator tutorials, which have been published through the month of November across the online web community. We have include too some really good web articles such as easy ways how to use vectors and top eCommerce web design trends.

Illustrator

Create a Water Gun in Adobe Illustrator

create a water gun in adobe illustrator Best of the web for Design and Web Development November 2016

The entire design is made from Illustrator’s basic tools and effects and some gradients.

Create a Semi-Realistic MacBook Pro Illustration in Adobe Illustrator mac book 1 Best of the web for Design and Web Development November 2016

In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a semi-realistic MacBook Pro illustration in Adobe Illustrator.

Get Gilded with this Gold Ribbon Banner Vector Tutorial gold ribbion Best of the web for Design and Web Development November 2016

Add a touch of luxury to your designs with these shiny golden ribbon banner vectors. Easily create banner vector shapes with warped rectangles and apply a series of gradients to the shapes to get a gilded perfection.

Turn it On! Neon Light Vector Text Treatment turn on 1 Best of the web for Design and Web Development November 2016

Brighten up your day with this fantastic neon light vector text treatment! We’ll use custom brushes and the Appearance panel in order to turn any text into bright, neon light text!

Photoshop

Photo Manipulation Using Ice Texture, Moon And Human Face In Photoshop ice texture Best of the web for Design and Web Development November 2016

In this tutorial, I will show you the steps I used to create this interesting photo manipulation using Ice Texture, Planet and Human Face in Photoshop. Plus we will be using a number fractal stock and apply some custom brush painting effect.

How To Create a Diamond Embellished Text Effect using AI & PS dope2 Best of the web for Design and Web Development November 2016

The video tutorial you’re going to combine the powers of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator to create a diamond embellished text effect. Illustrator will be used to produce the initial layout, with the help of a couple of third party scripts, then we’ll transfer the artwork over to Photoshop to add some finishing touches and really bring the effect to life.

Interweaving Text Effect in Photoshop new york2 Best of the web for Design and Web Development November 2016

In the video tutorial It will take you through the process of creating a fun design that combines the wording “Just another day in New York City”. The words ‘Just another day in‘ are set in a cool mono weight script, which are overlaid against ‘New York City‘ in a tall bold sans serif. We’ll then use a Layer Mask to erase certain bits of the text to give the impression that the script weaves in and out of the other letters. To finish off the artwork, we’ll also use a similar technique to place the typography within a scene of New York City, masking out the text so it seems to sit behind the skyscrapers.

How to mix watercolours and photos in Photoshop with stunning results water color mix Best of the web for Design and Web Development November 2016

In this tutorial, Murilo reveals how he composes these pieces. You’ll learn not only how to mix watercolour with photos, and use blending modes effectively, but also how to marry them together, harmoniously.

Web and design articles

WordPress hacked? – 7 essential steps to fully restore your website hacked Best of the web for Design and Web Development November 2016

Sucuri releases a website hacked trend report for each quarter. In their latest report, they have revealed that WordPress powered 78% of the sites hacked in the second quarter of 2016. WordPress hacked sites remain a real problem.

Bye raster, hello vector: 3 ways to use SVG easier svg Best of the web for Design and Web Development November 2016

Yet from a front end developer’s perspective, we prefer SVG graphics, which have become widely supported on all modern browsers and are in vector graphics format, which make them easily scalable on different screen resolutions. Moreover, developers have the ability to change SVG graphic properties through code, because SVG is an image and a XML document. This creates myriad options on how to use them. Following are three different approaches.

Top 7 eCommerce UX Design Trends to Look out for in 2017 ecommerce Best of the web for Design and Web Development November 2016

Shopping was the last thing on your mind amid the US presidential election, which was keeping the world on its heels. But now the elections are over and we know IT’S A BOY. Moreover, Thanksgiving is around the corner with Black Friday in tow, so the shopping craze is about to start. This season, more people are planning to avoid the long queues at shopping malls and shop right from their cozy La-Z-Boy recliners.

Best of Visual Studio Code: Features, Plugins, Acting Like Atom and Sublimevisual studio Best of the web for Design and Web Development November 2016

Visual Studio Code is a free, open source, cross platform text editor made by Microsoft. They essentially took their online editor Visual Studio Online (codenamed “Monaco”) and used Electron by GitHub to deliver a cross platform editor. They have taken great strides to create a fast and highly efficient work environment for programmers.

Not An Imposter: Fighting Front-End Fatigue imposter front end Best of the web for Design and Web Development November 2016

I recently spoke with a back-end developer friend about how many hours I spend coding or learning about code outside of work. He showed me a passage from an Uncle Bob book, “Clean Code”, which compares the hours musicians spend with their instruments in preparation for a concert to developers rehearsing code to perform at work.


User Psychology in Website Design

Usability discussions are plagued with self-reflection. Designers assess how obvious something is by putting themselves in the user’s shoes. The notion behind this practice is if it’s obvious to you, then it must be for the user as well. This approach contains two fundamental flaws:

  1. It provides a false sense you’re designing with usability in mind; that you’re actively addressing usability issues.
  2. If the user doesn’t think like you (very likely), any assessments or subsequent steps based on those assessment are not only unfounded, but potentially misleading.

I was guilty of this for years. Every decision I made, I evaluated by asking “would this make sense to me?” The first time I did a usability test I was startled to discover just how much I differed from what I perceived was an “average user”. Even in cases where the user seemed similar to myself, they would frequently do the opposite of what I expected.

The study was one of the biggest “Ah-Ha” moments of my career. The truth is, you can’t put yourself in the users shoes because you are not the user. Even when you think you’re designing for people exactly like yourself, the fact is you know too much to have an objective opinion. Trying to pretend you don’t know anything about the project is impossible.

Trying to evaluate website usability by putting yourself in the user’s shoes is called using a “mirror persona” and leads to misinformed design decisions. The best way to understand usability is to watch user behavior while they interact with the design.

I want to introduce you to my friend The User. The User is very different from you, despite any notion that he or she thinks and acts like you. I confess, despite my efforts to understand my friend The User, they often surprise me and do unexpected things. If you have ever witnessed a usability study, you have experienced the same jaw dropping experience I just described. If you have not, I recommend you do. Only by participating in such a study will witness — and ultimately understand — how wrong our expectations as designers typically are.

How People Actually Use the Web

Websites are typically designed with high user expectations. Even simple sites assume users:

  • Take the time to at least scan through all presented content
  • Digest all navigational options
  • Weigh all available options carefully
  • Ultimately make an educated decision about what to click on.

We also expect users to be patient, rational and open to what we think they should do, ignoring their own motivations.

Users don’t behave in this way at all; in fact usually they do the opposite. You might imagine users behaving online like they would in a physical store: carefully browsing all the available options, leaving only after they’ve exhausted their hunt. This isn’t the case.

Many users fail to read much of any content, examine options, or make calculated decisions. Instead they scan text, try to identify the first viable link, and click on it before looking for a better option.

Accomplishing tasks in the physical world — versus online — are two very different exercises. To continue the shopping example, the effort involved in visiting multiple stores is high. Best-case scenario: you are at mall where you can walk to a similar store; worst case, you have to find another store and travel several miles to reach it. It takes less effort to continue browsing a confusing store than find another one.

The web is exactly the opposite. It is often quicker to find a better site rather than navigate a difficult one. Because humans have evolved with a desire to conserve energy, the path requiring the least effort is the one most traveled. In this case, finding a new site requires less effort.

To understand the user, you must first understand general online behavior. There are common behavioral patterns, even though every user group behaves differently. Knowing these patterns will not only make for better design decisions, it contributes to better-informed user research (when performed). Most users avoid reading and learning, have little patience and modest goals.

Users Don’t Read

Content is king, but online users don’t read (at least in the way you would expect). It sounds contradictory, as information gathering is a common primary task and most information is still text-based content (although video content is rapidly rising.) The problem is that content is frequently written with the intention it will be read word by word. Sentence structure and wording is scrutinized at the highest level to ensure that it is on-message, uses the brand voice, and carries the right tone. This sounds like a solid approach, except very few people actually read content on the web in this manner.

ch06_johnson_sixlayers_fig04

Users don’t read all of the text on the page; in fact they typically skip 80% of it. Most users scan through a page, focusing on words and headlines that pop out to them; they ignore the rest.

It is common for people to read printed material with a high level of concentration, interpreting paragraphs line by line. When in a hurry, they might skim the text picking out key messages. On the web users don’t even skim; it takes too much effort. Instead they scan, ignoring large blocks of text completely only focusing on text that catches their attention.

Experienced users are experts at scanning, adept at skipping everything but headlines, bold text, and links. They are even able to spot words that seem task relevant, ignoring all other text.

Once the desired information is found, users read at the “print” level. However they have probably skipped over 80% of the text in getting to that point. Skeptical? Monitor how much text you actually read next time you surf the web.

This behavior is a result of a natural “effort verse reward system” called the cost-benefit principle. We only exert energy when the perceived reward is greater than the effort required. On the web it’s not worth the effort to read every word. If the average homepage has 500 words on it (and that figure is probably low), it would take most adults two minutes just to read it. This may not seem like an inordinate amount of time until you put it in perspective.

The average user visits three pages per site and three sites total in an effort to finish a task. If the user tried to read all of the content on every page, of every site they visited, even extremely simple tasks like deciding where to eat could twenty minutes or more.

Ultimately users don’t read everything on the page for several reasons:

  • Reading every word doesn’t make the user proportionally more successful in task completion.
  • Users know they don’t have to (a small fraction of the content is usually relevant).
  • Users are in a hurry, less time spent reading means more time spent doing.

Keep this in mind when you write web copy. Every word on the page should have a reason to be there and should be terms the user associates with their task.

Users are Impatient

Skimming content is just one example of user impatience. In the early days of the web browsing was limited by bandwidth, where even basic tasks took a long time. With widespread adoption of high-speed Internet, some assume site speed is no longer a problem. Overall, the web is significantly faster, but user patience has dropped as a result.

ch06_johnson_sixlayers_fig05

A study done by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Akamai Technologies discovered most users abandoned a site if it took longer than four seconds to load. They also determined most users expect the site to load with in two seconds.

As the web becomes faster, users expect a more delay-free experience. Figure 6-5 shows a study of page load time and it’s effect on traffic. If the page load takes longer than three seconds, large portions of users leave.

Intolerance for delays is not limited to site speed (although it’s an important factor). Users don’t want delays in finding their information. Slowdowns due to confusing content organization or legibility issues send users packing. Two common causes of failed tasks is inability to find information and inability to understand the information once found.

Users Don’t Want to Learn

Learning is energy intense and, generally speaking, people are out of practice. Many cultures emphasize learning as a child and working once adult. Career advancement also favors specialization, accomplished by improving existing skills rather than learning new ones.

Like any exercise, the more learning you do the easier it becomes. For this reason, children and young adults often learn new concepts easily. They learn every day, so their mind is used to making new connections. Older generations are not opposed to learning; it’s just harder because they don’t do it as often.

Any new visitor to a site must learn the interface. Most designers assume new users will naturally invest the effort required to learn navigation components, site hierarchy, and design conventions, but 99.9% of the time this simply does not happen. The effort required is not worth the reward. Instead, users act impulsively, guessing their way through a site rather than learning it.

ch06_johnson_sixlayers_fig06

Users won’t dig through every menu to find best choice; they select the first reasonable option. On the Microsoft.com website, a user looking to purchase Microsoft Windows could easily end up clicking on the “Windows 7” link in the Windows menu rather than the better link in the “Buy” menu. The miss click means going through two more pages, a plugin upgrade notice, and popup to fill out an online survey.

If you design a site to be intuitive users don’t have to learn. You can establish design conventions to inform repeat visitors, but don’t depend on them. If you are expecting the user to learn how the site works, you will find yourself sadly mistaken.

Users Have Modest Goals

The web has come a long way since the early days of just sharing static documents. It now facilitates countless activities, such as making travel arrangements, socialization, and online shopping to name a few. Despite the huge range of potentials present, most users have modest goals when they surf. Sure they can make purchases online, leave comments, and interact with a site in hundreds of different ways but it doesn’t mean they want to.

It is easy to over-complicate design. Users often have modest goals and don’t want extra bells and whistles. Finding information is still one of the most common user tasks and all it requires is text on a page, located in a logical place.

It’s estimated 1% of visitors use the available functionality of a website, such as signing up for an account, leaving a comment, or publishing a video. The remaining users just browse the content and move on.

The most common task is still searching for and consuming information. Making a site more interactive can be wasted effort. Don’t design a website incorporating the latest technological bells-and-whistles unless you know — beyond a shadow of a doubt — it will be used the majority of visitors.

Behavior patterns give us a basic understanding of what users might do once they reach your website. There is more to consider however; users don’t always browse in an ideal environment.

The User’s Environment

This description of users may depict them as fickle and impulsive, and they are, but not because of intelligence. The environment users browse within is far from ideal. Unrealized by many, there are challenges users must battle while they navigate a website. The most notable are time constraints and distraction.

Time Constraints

Users are frequently challenged by a variety of constraints. Sometimes the constraints are self-imposed, sometimes not. Whatever the source, the constraint means the user must rush to complete their task. When rushing, mistakes are easier and clues get overlooked. If your design isn’t obvious to a frantic user, time constraints will cause usability issues.

In some cases users set their own time constraints. Most activities fall into one of two categories: leisure or utility. Leisurely activities are enjoyable, and slow paced. The slower pace allows the activity to be enjoyed longer. Cooking, enjoying a meal, or savoring a warm afternoon are good examples. Leisure is often synonymous with relaxation. Browsing websites, for most people, is the polar opposite.

Some website exist for leisurely reasons, but they are not the majority. The rest are closer to “digital tools.” Like a tool, a site has a specific purpose allowing a user to accomplish a task.

Even “leisure” sites have a utilitarian side to them. Facebook, for example, is used to keep in touch with friends and family which can be relaxing. Socialization is enjoyable, which Facebook facilitates, but the site is still a communication tool. The site can be leisurely because the utility is addressed so well. Socialization on Facebook is easy.

Utility focused browsing isn’t methodical; accuracy is sacrificed for speed and efficiency. Would you consider a trip to the bank leisurely? Or would you rather the trip be as short as possible? The same mindset applies to websites. The user’s intention is to complete what they set out to do as quickly as possible.

Outside Distractions

Remember the last time you were able to do something without being interrupted or distracted? I don’t. Between e-mail, cell phones, text messages, instant messaging, Twitter, Facebook, and in person discussion, it’s a miracle we get anything done. Add the adoption of “multi-tasking,” and distractions not only come from others, but you as well.

According to a study published by Cubesmart Inc., the average person experiences six to seven interruptions per hour (Cubesmart Inc, 2002). That’s one interruption every eight minutes. At this frequency, one out of every four users are interrupted while browsing your website.

Interruptions are more damaging than they seem. A phone call in the middle of a task causes a loss of focus, even if you don’t answer. It sounds harmless, but it takes an average of 20 to 25 minutes to regain intense focus. Most users only reach moderate focus, which still takes a few minutes to regain once distracted. In those few minutes, they can forget their place within a task requiring reorientation. In some cases users completely forget their task, causing them to abandon it completely.

Users are in a hurry to begin with; the possibility of distraction encourages an even faster pace. The motivation is to complete the task before an interruption resets one’s focus. Refocusing requires you to remember all aspects of the task and your current state, including the goal itself, your current page, and your next steps. Doing so requires mental energy. Trying to refocus with a poor design feels like you were dropped in the middle of the desert, with no reference as to how or why you are there.

Anticipate the users poor environment and ensure they can figure out the site whether they are browsing at 70 miles per hour, or were just interrupted for the fifth time. Not only will this improve their success (and thus the site’s), it also improves usability for those browsing under ideal circumstances.

Summary

Websites are created for people; how they want to use them is critical. Users don’t have the patience, motivation, or environment to figure out a confusing website. Why should they? If your site isn’t easy, there are lots of alternatives.

The post User Psychology in Website Design appeared first on Psychology of Web Design | 3.7 Blog.

44 free technology of the future themed icon set


This another is a tremendous icon set courtesy of the great folks over at Free Pik. The icon set includes  a jaw dropping 44 unique technology of the future themed free icons from robots to rockets a wide variety of various types of different cool fun icons. The set comes in both SVG and PNG format perfect for your any type of digital or print project. This is certainly a must download resource your’ll really enjoy using in your web projects.

Please leave your thoughts on the icon set your feedback is always welcomed, and appreciated to allow us to create even better design resources.

Check out Freepik

A special thanks to the team over at Free Pik who have kindly crafted together this spectacular free Icon set exclusive to Creative Nerds readers. Please download the icon set, and tell us what you think in the comments section.  Please do also check out Free Piks website. good freebies thumb 44 free technology of the future themed icon set

License Details

The design resources distributed on Creative Nerds may be used in commercial and personal design projects, but may not be redistributed or modified for resell. Any further question or queries don’t hesitate to contact us.

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small preview technolgy of the future 44 free technology of the future themed icon set


Christmas cute fun free semaless vector pattern


A cute christmas seamless scalable vector pattern, which has tons of christmas themed elements used to create a unique pattern. This is the perfect pattern to be used in your christmas festive designs from print projects to digital designs. I hope you like this pattern, and would love for you to share your thoughts on within the comments section.

License Details

The design resources distributed on Creative Nerds may be used in commercial and personal design projects, but may not be redistributed or modified for resell. Any further question or queries don’t hesitate to contact us.

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green christmas pattern Christmas cute fun free semaless vector patternchristmas seamless pattern grey Christmas cute fun free semaless vector pattern

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Premium members: Animal Sketch character illustration


This is our first ever Sketch resource we have ever added to our premium section. The resource features in total 4 animal chracter illustrations created using pure skecth to craft them together. I had a lot of fun creating the set, and i hope you equally enjoy using the illustration character set.

If you’re interested in becoming a Creative Nerds Premium membership feel free to sign up by clicking here. You will be granted access to a library of tons of high quality design resources for a year, as well as new resources which are added to Creative Nerds Premium through out your membership period.

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animal illustrations watermark Premium members: Animal Sketch character illustration

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60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016


This is our annual tradition where rounding up a collection of original illustrator tutorials, which where all created throughout 2016. Where a massive advocate of design tutorials, because they are such a massive aid in terms of further developing your skill set empowering you to become a better designer. The roundup includes a mixture of tutorials aimed at novice to a master we have mixture of tutorials at a range of skill levels some great tutorials included in the roundup.

Please feel free to share a link in the comments to your favourite tutorials included in the roundup, or a tutorial that hasn’t been included in the roundup.

1. How to Create Realistic Vector Leaves in Illustrator leaves 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

In this tutorial, you’ll find out how to create a realistic vector leaves which can be always used in your future projects. This leaf is essentially universal, i.e. you can always change its color and form. It might seem to you that it’s created with the help of the Gradient Mesh. But nope, it’s not the case. I used plain gradient fills. Would you like to learn how to create such leaves? Then put all your businesses aside and let’s draw!

2. Create a Highlighter Text Effect Vector in Adobe Illustratormarker 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

3. Create Six Sacred Geometric Icon Vector Designs!  geometric shapes 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

Be one with the universe and create some fun sacred geometric icon vector designs with simple shape and vector tools!

4. How To Create a Cute Dinosaur Character in Adobe Illustrator  dinsaur 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

Creating cartoon characters in Adobe Illustrator is always lots of fun! You don’t even need great drawing skills. Making illustrations out of basic shapes not only simplifies the process, it also produces a stylised appearance that adds to the cute factor.

5. How to Create Vector Floral Typography in Adobe Illustrator vector floral 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

Follow this inspirational tutorial and learn to create an elegant floral typography composition in Adobe Illustrator! We’ll be working with text, creating custom vectors brushes and using various drawing tools of Adobe Illustrator to create flowers, leaves, and floral elements. We’ll be comparing different tools, so you can see how they work and follow the inspiring workflow with some hand-drawing.

6. How to Create a Light Bulb Text Effect in Adobe Illustratorturn on 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

In the following steps you will learn how to Back to School in Style with School Banner Vectorscreate a light bulb text effect in Adobe Illustrator.

7. How to Create a Light Bulb Text Effect in Adobe Illustratorpencil 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

Summer is quite nearly over, and students of all ages are filling up classrooms once more. Take that inspiration and create your very own back to school banner vectors, ready for notebooks, newsletters, and more.Create a Fancy Cartoon Building in Adobe Illustrator

8. Create a Fancy Cartoon Building in illustrator house 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

Learn how to make a cartoon-style building, using basic geometric shapes and various tools and functions of Adobe Illustrator, making our illustration look playful and fancy.

9. Turn it On! Neon Light Vector Text Treatment turn it on 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

Brighten up your day with this fantastic neon light vector text treatment! We’ll use custom brushes and the Appearance panel in order to turn any text into bright, neon light text!

10. Create a Semi-Realistic MacBook Pro Illustration in Adobe Illustrator mac book 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

Brighten up your day with this fantastic neon light vector text treatment! We’ll use custom brushes and the Appearance panel in order to turn any text into bright, neon light text!

11. How to Create a Set of Spirit Day Icons in Adobe Illustrator

yellow icons 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016Get ready for Spirit Day! Today’s the day when millions of people go purple to show their support for LGBTQ youth against bullying. We’re proud to stand together with GLAAD and celebrate this day by wearing purple and creating this set of flat purple icons, representing strength, courage, love and support! Follow this article and learn how to use simple shapes, warp effects and various functions of the Pathfinder panel to design these icons dedicated to Spirit Day.

12. How to Create a Colorful 3D Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator change 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

In the following steps, you will learn how to create a fully editable, colorful, 3D text effect in Adobe Illustrator.

13. How to Create a Hanging Monkey Illustration in Adobe Illustrator monekey 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a monkey hanging on a vine. As usual, we will use basic shapes, warp effects, and the Pathfinder panel. We will also move some anchor points and learn how to use the Line Segment Tool and the Arc Tool.

14. How to Design a Krishna Janmashtami Postcard in Adobe Illustrator yoga 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

You’ll be depicting young stylized Lord Krishna in a trendy flat style, using basic geometric shapes and modifying them with the help of Live Corners, the Pathfinder panel, and other handy tools of Adobe Illustrator.

15. How to Create a Game Boy Illustration Using Adobe Illustratorgameboy 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

This is probably going to be one of my favorite tutorials yet, since not only do I get to recreate this awesome device, but I also get the chance to share the process with you and show you how easy it is to build it. We’ll be using basic shapes such as rectangles, rounded rectangles and circles to gradually create our little illustration.

16. How to Create an Ice Cream Cone in Adobe Illustrator icecream 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

Follow this tutorial and learn how to create a vector ice cream cone in Adobe Illustrator.

17. How to Create a Cherry Pie Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator pie 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

Love a good cherry pie? I do! So let’s have fun and turn it into a cherry pie text effect.

18. How to Create a Sunny Bee Illustration in 10 Easy Steps! sunny bea 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

n this tutorial we’ll be creating a fancy thin-lined bee illustration. We’ll learn using simple geometric shapes, applying strokes and modifying our objects with the help of the Live Corners feature and the Direct Selection Tool. Then we’ll finish up by adding a simple sunny background with combs.

19. How To Create a Flat Style Vector Map in Adobe Illustrator landscape 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

There’s some fantastic examples of flat style map designs out there on the web that depict a city or country with ultra simplified illustrations with basic shapes and flat colours. I really fancied giving the style a try myself, so I thought ‘why not make a tutorial to share my process with others?!’. Follow along with today’s guide to learn how to build a creative vector illustration of a landscape with trees, roads, mountains and towns using a range of tools in Adobe Illustrator. Working in the flat design style involves simplifying an object to its most basic form, so Illustrator’s various vector shape building tools are ideal for crafting your illustrations.

20. How to Create a DJ Themed Icon Pack in Adobe Illustrator music icons 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

In today’s tutorial we’re going to get our groove on by creating a small DJ icon set, which I thought would be a nice change of pace from the themes that we’ve covered lately.

21. Create a Water Gun in Adobe Illustrator watercoolor 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

In this tutorial you will learn how to create a detailed water gun illustration in Adobe Illustrator.

22. How to Create a Wood Block Print Text Vector old school printing 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

Let’s go old school with recreating a time honored printing technique in Adobe Illustrator. With a modified photo texture, we’ll quickly edit any text to look like a wood block print text vector design, ready for whatever your digital needs may be!

23. How to Create Vintage Cocktail Icons in Adobe Illustrator CC

sprung 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016Using basic shapes and a fun grainy texture we’ll create vintage-styled cocktail icons in no time flat. Cheers!

24. Illustrator Tutorial: Create an Ice Cream Cart cart 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

Using basic shapes and a fun grainy texture we’ll create vintage-styled cocktail icons in no time flat. Cheers!

25. How To Create a Decorative Drop Cap in Adobe Illustratordrop cap 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

A fun personal project designers and illustrators often take part in is ’36 Days of Type’, or equivalent challenges like ‘Daily Drop Cap’ where artists express their style on a new letter or number every day. Initials have received decorative treatment throughout history, with examples dating as far back as early biblical texts. In today’s tutorial I’ll take you through the process of decorating a letter in Adobe Illustrator with a range of vector embellishments. We’ll make use of some really useful techniques that you’ll be able to make use of in all kinds of illustration projects in the future.

26. How to Design a Vintage Book Cover fairy tales 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

To celebrate the start of our Fairy Tale Week here at Envato Tuts+, I’ll show you how to create a cover design for a book of fairy tales with a vintage-inspired look.

27. Create a Halloween Set with Pumpkins in Adobe Illustrator

halloween 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016In this tutorial you will learn how to create a Halloween set with pumpkins in Adobe Illustrator.

28. Create a brand new style of vector portraitvector portait 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

Use Adobe Illustrator – and a bit of Photoshop – to develop a new look when creating vector portraits from photos, using this simple step-by-step process.

29. How to Draw a Pack of Six Sport Icons in Illustrator icons 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

In this Illustrator tutorial you will learn how to draw a pack of six sport icons.

30. 3D Text Effect in Illustratortype 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a vibrant, 3D text effect in Adobe Illustrator. For starters you will learn how to setup a simple grid and how to create your own, pixel-perfect letter shapes using basic tools and effects along with the Live Corners feature. Moving on, you will learn how to create the isometric 3D effect and how to add vibrant coloring using several gradients and colors.

31. How to Create Flat Profession Avatars in Adobe Illustrator

avatars 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

In this tutorial we’ll be making a set of flat-style portraits, depicting people of different professions and occupations. Such images can be used as avatars for social networks or as design elements for your website, depicting various categories. Or you can even draw yourself, using such flat-style portraits for your business card.

32. Create a Toothpaste Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator!

brush your teeth 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a neat toothpaste text effect in Adobe Illustrator using a pattern brush. For starters you will learn how to setup a simple grid and how to build pixel perfect vector shapes using basic tools and the Pathfinder panel. Moving on you will learn how to use a simple script and how to ease your work using the Shape Builder Tool. Next, you’ll learn how to easily and rename two simple patterns and how to create your own pattern brush. Finally, using your pattern brush along with some subtle Drop Shadow effects you will create your text effect.

33. Create vector type with an animal themelion 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

He used geometric shapes and symmetry for the illustrations, a muted palette and use of space to help give a stylised approach to the concept.

34. How to Create Delicious Toast Icons in Adobe Illustrator

toast icons 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

First, you will learn how to draw a simple slice of toast followed by the vector bread texture and the toasted look. You will continue with the toppings: the melted butter, the fried egg, the chocolate spread and banana slices. Sounds great? Let’s begin!

35. Round Flat Pub Icon

flat pub icon 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a detailed pub icon in Adobe Illustrator. For starters you will learn how to setup a simple grid and how ease your work using the Snap to Grid feature. Moving on you will learn how to organize and group your shapes and how to create a neat wooden effect using a set of rectangles, the Roughen effect and a simple mask.

36. How to Create a Greyscale Monochrome Vector Portrait in Adobe Illustrator

portait illustration 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016In today’s tutorial, I’m going to show you how to create a monochrome portrait from a photograph. Today’s subject is the inspiring Aydian Dowling, who has given us permission to use one of his photos for this tutorial.

37. Create a Set of Simple Line Icons in 20 Minutes or Less!

line icons 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

Create colorful simple line icons from basic shapes for a cool, cartoony vibe to your content!

38. How to Create a Chalkboard in Adobe Illustrator

chalkboard 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016 In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create a Chalkboard in Adobe Illustrator. We will use the basic tools, some vector shape building techniques along with some gradients and effects to achieve the final. The tutorial is relatively simple and can be applied to many other Illustrator projects.

39. Illustrator Special Effects: Cloud and Grass Background

grass background 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016After studying this cloud and grass tutorial, you will learn many useful and necessary techniques that will help you to create an eye-appealing wallpaper quickly and effectively. We’ll cover on how to use shapes and gradients to achieve a simple landscape environment.

40. How to Create a Cute Spring Rabbit in Adobe Illustrator

spring rabbit 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016Believe it or not, spring is almost upon us! In this tutorial, you will learn how to create an adorable rabbit delivering a bouquet of tulips just using basic shapes. You’ll also learn to recolor the flowers in one easy step. Once you finish, you will have a lovely spring illustration on your art board.

41. Create a Bright and Fun Plastic Text Effect with Graphic Styles

fun plasic 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

Keep things candy-like and bright with this plastic text effect treatment tutorial! We’ll create a fantastic graphic style and easily transform it into a completed text design.

42. How to Create a 3D Pie Chart Design in Adobe Illustratorchart design 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

In the following steps you will learn how to create a detailed 3D pie chart design in Adobe Illustrator.

43. Create A Four Leaf Clover Vector for St. Patrick’s Day

vector clove 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

In celebration of St. Patricks Day, I wanted to do a four leaf clover vector tutorial. Some of you might not celebrate St. Patricks Day or have no use for a four-leaf clover, but still take a look at this tutorial. This tutorial combines some good techniques. You will Divide, Transform, and add Warping Effects. These techniques will help you quickly and easily create with Illustrator!

44. How to Create a Bird’s-Eye View of Retro Cars in Adobe Illustratorcars 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

Everyone feels a certain passion for retro style! Those extraordinary clothes, those fancy hairdos, the music and, of course, the cars! In this tutorial we’ll combine our love for the 50s, cinematography and games, creating a crazy mix. We’ll make an aerial view of a stylized Greased Lightning retro car, using basic shapes, various types of gradients and blending modes, working with the Pathfinder panel and other functions of Adobe Illustrator.

45. On the Hunt for an Easter Egg Vector? Learn to Make Your Own!

easter egg 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

In the following Easter egg vector tutorial you will learn how to create a detailed Easter egg illustration in Adobe Illustrator. In the first steps you will learn how to set up a simple grid and how to save a simple symbol. Taking full advantage of the Snap to Grid feature and using basic vector shape building techniques you will learn how to create your main shapes. Next, you’ll learn how to add a complex 3D Revolve effect. Moving on you’ll add shading and highlights using basic blending techniques and a bunch of simple effects. Finally, you will learn how to add a simple background.

46. Geometric Collage using Illustrator & Photoshop

collage 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

In today’s video tutorial you’re going to combine the powers of Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop to produce a trendy geometric photo collage. This style of artwork has a somewhat retro vibe and it’s the kind of art you would see on album covers or as a series of abstract poster prints. We’ll be using Illustrator for its powerful shape building tools to construct a geometric vector pattern, then we’ll transfer the artwork over to Photoshop to use the image editing tools to digitally cut and paste snippings of a photograph into a cool looking collage.

47. Cute character art techniquescute character 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

For this masterclass, Meni reveals how she created the character above from initial sketch through to working in Adobe Illustrator. The initial sketch is included as a download for you to work along with. The masterclass draws on vector art skills, exploring the power of various stroke techniques.

48. How to Create Wrapped Candy in Adobe Illustrator

candy wraped 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016In this new tutorial you will learn how to create colorful wrapped candy in Adobe Illustrator.

49. How to Create Cartoon Style Vector Burger

vector burger 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

Watching the trends on the market, I have noticed that cartoon style vector images are becoming more and more popular. This is a slight modification on a classic, with a moderate use of gradient fills. In this tutorial, which was created in collaboration with a professional illustrator, Alexander Onica, we will share the secrets of creating modern cartoon style vectors. Many effective techniques described here will allow you to achieve excellent results.

50. How to create a Realistic Cell Phone

realistic cell 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a realistic cell phone by using simple shapes and gradients. I will show you working with the Align, the Pathfinder and the Stroke palettes along with the blending objects to reach our last result.

51. Skills Radar Chart

skills radar 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a sleek radar chart in Adobe Photoshop. For starters you will learn how to setup a simple grid and how to create a set of concentric hexagons using basic tool and vector shape building techniques. Moving on, you will learn how to create smart objects, how to take full advantage of layer styles and how to use blending modes. Finally, you will find out how to save and use a simple pattern and how to create a blurry background.

52. How to Create a Set of Fitness Icons in Adobe Illustrator

fitness icons 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016In this tutorial we’ll be creating fitness icons, depicting the items which are well-known by both beginners and advanced level athletes. These are a fitball, a dumbbell and weight scales. Let’s make them one by one, starting with the fitball icon.

53. How to Create a Pearl Brush from Gradient Meshes in Adobe Illustrator

pearls 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

In You will learn how to control transparency of gradient meshes with the help of blending modes, and by adjusting color transition between mesh points and changing its opacity, create a pearl brush. Moreover after reading this tutorial, you’ll be able to create Illustrator brushes from gradient meshes of any difficulty with the help of free Mesh Tormentor plug-in.

54. How to Create Watercolor Brushes in AI

watercolor background 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

You’ll show you how to transform that art – specifically our watercolors – into AI brushes. Follow along to create your own and make sure to pick up our brand new Watercolor Illustrator Brush Pack while you’re at it!

55. How to create a Paper Knifepaper knife 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

In this tutorial you will learn how to create a paper knife in Adobe Illustrator. We’ll be using basic shapes and playing around with the Pathfinder palette, blend objects, the Offset Path along with some basic effects.

56. How to Create a Character Kit in Adobe Illustrator

character kid 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016This new tutorial is quite unique—unlike the other tutorials we’ve done in the past, this one is more like a game. First we will create many different elements of character design from scratch, and then we will use these elements to create different characters. I promise you that you will have lots of fun combining different parts together and experiencing the excitement of creating various characters.

57. How to create a Light Bulb

light bulb 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how I create a light bulb in Adobe Illustrator. Most of the time, we’ll be using the Pen tool, so this is great practice for those struggling with drawing freehand. We’ll also use numerous techniques and effects to create this illustration. Follow the steps below and you will easily see the steps in getting the light bulb that you need.

58. How to Design a Retro Poster in Adobe Illustrator

coffie 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

In this tutorial, you’ll be using a variety of tools in Illustrator (including the Pen, Pencil, and Pathfinder tools, among others) to create easy vector illustrations. We’ll also modify some stylish typefaces to complete our design.

59. How to Create a Gorgeous Metallic Text Effect – Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

metalic 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016Get luxurious with this gorgeous metallic text effect. Create something fit for a king with 3D effects, gradients, and a patterned background in well under an hour.

60. How To Create Circular Patterns with the Blend Tool in Adobe Illustrator

circleular patterns 60 best Illustrator tutorials from 2016

Get luxurious with this gorgeous metallic text effect. Create something fit for a king with 3D effects, gradients, and a patterned background in well under an hour.


Depositphotos.com Gives Designers a More Affordable and Flexible Stock Photo Solution

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Whenever I need an image for a blog post, I immediately start looking at free stock photo sites. There aren’t too many good ones out there, but it’s worth a shot to save a little money.

If my efforts fail, I then move onto the paid, royalty-free stock photo sites, where I utilize some of my subscriptions. The only thing is that I’m a writer/hobbyist developer. Therefore, my need for photos is not nearly as thirsty as someone who actually makes money as a designer.

Regardless, most paid stock photo sites make it difficult for designers, since you generally end up getting far too many photos for a subscription, or the on-demand plans drain your wallet.

Most stock photo companies don’t have that in-between plan with reasonable monthly rates for maybe a few dozen photos per month.

Until now.

The Depositphotos.com website recently came out with a Flexible Plan, which is far more suitable for mid-sized companies and designers.

The company seems to have talked to some of its customers to understand what they are looking for, and I’m certain they discovered a group of users who are unsatisfied with the current price offerings of most stock image sites.

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Therefore, keep reading to learn a little more about the new Flexible Plan, along with which industries and companies might find it useful.

How does the New, Flexible Pricing Help Designers?

Here’s the deal: The Flexible Plan from Depositphotos.com goes for $29 per month. With that, you gain access to 30 high-resolution photos, all of which you can immediately download at any size or resolution.

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In addition, you don’t have to utilize all of your downloads each month. So, if you have a slow month and leave five or ten of the images undownloaded, these roll over to the next month, saving you even more money.

Since some folks might go over the 30 image limit, the charge for going over is $1 per photo. This is far better than most on-demand plans in the industry, and you still receive access to the same library of over 50 million royalty-free options.

Furthermore, the Depositphotos.com library includes other items like vectors and videos. All of the photos and videos on the site have no expiration date, so you can log into your account and find your past purchases in case you need to download them again.

Oh yeah, and if you decide to pay for an entire year upfront, you save $49 overall.

How Does This Compare to the Other Plans?

all-plans

Here’s where the true benefits come into view. The on-demand pricing starts at $99 for 25 images. On the other end of the spectrum you can choose a monthly subscription for $69 (giving you 75 images). Those are the lowest priced plans in those categories.

It’s easy to see that many designers and brands might not like this setup, considering a regular freelance designer might not ever use more than 30 images per month. On the other hand, you end up paying an insane amount of money per image if you go the on-demand route.

That’s why $29 per month for 30 images makes more sense. Heck, when you compare this to the $99 for 25 on-demand images, it’s pretty much a no-brainer.

Does the Depositphotos.com Library Have Worthwhile Photos and Videos?

tree-photo-search

As we talked about above, the Depositphotos.com site provides over 50 million images, vectors and videos. This is a solid selection, but what do the images actually look like?

After all, I’ve seen some huge libraries, but sometimes the stock images seem outdated-looking or corny.

However, that’s not the case with Depositphotos.com. I made a few simple searches for keywords like “office,” “tree,” “camping,” and “party.” The results were relevant, and I would be more than happy to use most of them for blog posts, ecommerce promotional banners, slider images and more.

Although I’m not as experienced with vectors and videos, these collections seem intriguing as well.

One of the things I noticed was that Depositphotos.com provides lists of popular searches, along with categories and collections. this way, designers can go in there to view pertinent collections, like for holidays and such.

download-image

Some Standout Features

My favorite part of the Depositphotos.com interface has to be the ability to Favorite certain photos for later use. An account must be created for this, but you can list and categorize your favorite images, just in case you’re preparing for a project into the future.

The lightbox preview of each image lets you share the item with friends. Not to mention, it displays a wonderful view of the image for seeing if you actually want to buy it.

It’s also nice that you receive an incredible amount of picture information from each option. For example, you can look at related photos for each one, while also searching for similar photos with the same models in them. The resolutions, sizes and formats are mentioned in the lightbox as well, along with a large Download button for when you’re ready to buy.

downloads

Finally, you do have the ability to create folders and share them with people in your organization. For example, a design company might have a group of people working on an email marketing campaign. If that’s the case, they’ll need to select certain photos to break up the text.

Instead of opening a Google Drive file, you can keep all of the photos on the Depositphotos website for quick and easy viewing. That’s all there is to it.

Who Should Consider Signing Up For The Depositphotos.com Flexible Plan?

I really like the Depositphotos.com Flexible plan for medium-sized companies and designers. Some bloggers might find it reasonable for their budgets as well.

The only reason I would go with a monthly plan is if my photo usage was far higher than 30 images per month. The on-demand plan doesn’t make any sense to me unless you’re only grabbing less than a handful of items per month.

Feel free to try out the new plan here, and let us know in the comments section if you have any thoughts about Depositphotos.com in general.

This post Depositphotos.com Gives Designers a More Affordable and Flexible Stock Photo Solution was written by Inspired Mag Team and first appearedon Inspired Magazine.

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