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The city of Los Angeles hit a nerve with designers yesterday when it shared an advert for a 'graphics designer' vacancy on its Twitter and Instagram profiles. And while it might initially seem to be a classic case of bad design, the ad – which looks like it was whipped up in Microsoft Paint or another piece of free graphic design software – could just be a stroke of genius.

We'll start with the city of Los Angeles logo, which is incorporated... clumsily. The lettering is inconsistent, both in terms of shape and colour. To cap it off, the salary details and opening dates are written in the font everyone loves to hate: Comic Sans – while the multicoloured square graphics add a child-like aesthetic. 

Or do they? 

Somebody seems to know an awful lot about graphic design... Yes, it's awful, but that's the point. It communicates in an instant that the team need a graphic designer. So does that make this a good piece of graphic design?

Either way, it's certainly proved popular. Currently the Tweet has over 11,000 likes and 5,400 retweets. Given how fast the ad is spreading, we're sure it'll have racked up plenty more by the time you're reading this

Design humour

Whoever created this image has already demonstrated a good sense of humour, but it doesn't end there. They've also taken the time to respond to some of the wittier graphic designers who have taken time to reply. There's even a reference to...

Web development is a rapidly growing field, and there's still plenty of room for you to get involved and start a career. You just need the right skills to get your start. Dive head-first into the field with the Complete Web Developer Course 2.0 and you'll pick up the talents you need in no time. It's on sale now for just $19 (approx. £14).

The Complete Web Development Course 2.0 is the perfect opportunity to pick up the web development skills that you've always wanted to have. This professionally-taught course will help you learn the fundamentals of web development and provide you with a complete understanding of essential programming languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and jQuery. Then you'll move up to full, creative projects that will help you put your new skills to the test.

The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0 usually retails for $149, but you can save 87% off that price right now. That means you pay just $19 (approx. £14) for a great course that could launch your next career, so grab this deal today.

About Creative Bloq deals

This great deal comes courtesy of the Creative Bloq Deals store – a creative marketplace that's dedicated to ensuring you save money on the items that improve your design life.

We all like a special offer or two, particularly with creative tools and design assets often being eye-wateringly expensive. That's why the Creative Bloq Deals store is committed to bringing you useful deals, freebies and giveaways on...

Choosing the best monitor for graphic design, illustration, 3D, photo editing and more can be a bit of a minefield. To make the most of your great graphic design laptop or video editing laptop – not to mention your top-class Creative Cloud subscription – you need to ensure your monitor packs colour accuracy, has the right number of inputs, is the right size and much more.

Just as well, then, that we are here with some terrific options when you're choosing the best monitor for you. (Make sure you pick up a quality monitor calibrator as well.)

And, as you'd expect, all of these monitors are 4K or above, making them an excellent choice for creative professionals and serious hobbyists alike. 

The best and most accurate picture quality carries a high price tag. Eizo displays are a familiar sight in professional photography and video production studios. The 31-inch ColorEdge CG318-4K continues this tradition, with not just full sRGB coverage, but 99% of the Adobe RGB spectrum and 98% DCI-P3. It fully supports 10-bit colour, taken from a 16-bit look-up table.

Unlike other 4K displays, the CG318-4K has a 4096 x 2160 resolution. This reflects the different, slightly taller 4K standard used in digital video production, compared with the 3840 x 2160 resolution used in most computer displays. 

All of these features come together to produce a jaw-dropping image, making your creative work shine.

Oh, and there's a built-in...

If you want to add vector art skills to your creative resume, you've come to the right place. A technique rather than a style, vector art is based on geometric shapes and created using vector image software such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. If you're a fan of vector art and want to start creating your own, these brilliant tutorials will help you on your way.

On this page, you'll find beginner tutorials that will help you master the basics of vector illustration=. For intermediate tips and tricks, head to page two, and for advanced techniques jump straight to page three.

Once you've motored through these, you may find our other collections of tutorials useful – there are Illustrator tutorials, Photoshop tutorials, and InDesign tutorials for you to discover.

01. Learn vector illustration in 10 easy steps

Ben the Illustrator explains how to create vector illustrations using Adobe Illustrator, explaining the key tools and offering expert tips. He walks you through the key tools, and gets you started on the road to translating your creative vision into incredible vector illustrations.

02. Beginner's guide to vector drawing in Illustrator

In this PluralSight tutorial, you'll learn essential workflows, terms, and techniques to help you get started with vector drawing. The course teaches you...

A good mobile app must boast a great UI design and an engaging user experience, of course, but people also judge by appearances. In a crowded marketplace, developers must make sure that their app is beautiful enough to stand out. Animations, when used properly, help reduce cognitive load, attract and direct users’ attention, and make an experience easier to follow.

I work at EffectiveSoft, a custom applications development consultant, which often advises developers on integrating animations into their UIs in order to win over customers. Get it right, and it really works. But use too many animations or use them in the wrong places, and it can create an irritating or noisy experience. 

So, when are animations appropriate? This article pulls together some best practices for using animation in mobile apps.

01. Animated app launch screens

Studies show that people expect apps to load instantly, but with complex mobile apps this isn’t always possible. Loading animations can help distract users and make the load time appear shorter than it is. There are a lot of different animation options for load screens. 

A simple option is to use an animated logo, as Édouard Puginier has done here in his design for the launch screen of Wit. 

Other designers like to get more creative, and tie their animation in with the theme of the app itself or the rest of the...

For as long as humans have crawled upon the surface of the earth we have held a fascinated with art and motion. Early cave drawings show that even primitive man would try to give the illusion of movement by posing the limbs on their animal sketches.

Fast forward to the 1800s and even before the invention of the motion picture camera, Edward Muybridge was using photographs taken sequentially to help study human and animal motion, images which are still frequently used to this day.

Improve your skills

These days we are surrounded by animation in one form or another, be this film, television or more traditional methods. So with animation all around us, how do you as an animator stand out from the crowd and improve your own skills?

What follows are 15 tips to improve your character animation. Although some of these are aimed at 3D animation, most can also be applied to other, more physical genres too.

01. Observe real-life characters

Breathing life into a once inanimate object may seem a simple task, yet it's those subtle nuances that can help to portray emotion and give a true feeling of thought and consideration behind each movement.

Observing people, how they interact, how they express themselves and even how they move around is essential in helping you gain a good understanding, not only of motion but also timing and weight. Why not take some time to go out, grab a coffee and observe the world around you? (You're not skipping work - it's research!)

02. Study...

The heady aroma of artists' grade turpentine is not everyone's cup of tea. Aside from the smell, some are worried about reported health concerns associated with the product, and so the need for water-mixable oil paints was born.

What started out as a limited palette of colours from just a few suppliers has now grown into a sizeable range of paints. Australian company Mont Marte has created yet more choices for the smell-sensitive consumer with its H20 Water Mixable Oil Paint set.

The 36-tube set comes in a single-piece cardboard box, with two trays of 18 tubes covering an impressive range of colours. The colours squeeze out with a little splitting as the pigment separates from the oil. A slight graininess can be felt under your palette knife and the finish on some isn't that lovely gloopy gloss you get with high-end oil paints.

When mixing, be careful how much water you add. Anything more than one-part water to three-parts water-mixable oil paint (WMOP) can change the consistency of the paint and cause cloudiness.

You can also mix WMOP with gouache and acrylics, but again, watch those ratios. Adding more than one-part gouache or acrylic to four-parts WMOP can affect how it cures. The colours react well when mixed, and make for pieces that weren't far from the expected results.

If you're looking for a serious...

We Create Digital is made up of highly experienced web developers and graphic designers fuelled by a genuine passion for technology. Until recently, Adobe Illustrator was our go-to application for graphic design – indeed, it has been a mainstay for many designers since its introduction in 1987. While a plethora of competing products have been introduced since, most have fallen by the wayside and allowed Adobe to maintain its domination of the market.

Affinity has risen as Adobe’s newest– and possibly fiercest– challenger yet, drawing influence from two of Adobe’s flagship applications: Illustrator and Photoshop. Affinity Designer is a professional vector graphics app with power to spare. Affinity Photo is a dedicated image editing application boasting a wealth of highly refined tools for image readjustment and enhancement.

Affinity Designer is better geared towards the needs of the modern web designer

Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo are available for a one-off fee of £48.99 each, for Mac and Windows, which represents a more cost-effective solution than subscription-based plans. However, that's not to say you'll be getting a sub-standard product.

Affinity’s improbable success hasn’t gone unnoticed, with Apple awarding Affinity with its highly coveted Design Award in June 2015, unveiling Affinity Photo for iPad onstage at WWDC last year, and then naming it App of the Year.

We first started considering moving away from Adobe as our team began to expand. Ultimately, what was instrumental in our decision was a belief that the Affinity Designer is better geared towards...

Side projects are a great way to pick up a new skill, hone your creative talents, and, if you're lucky, make a bit of money. Thanks to online resources it's now easier than ever to take your pencil drawing techniques to the next level and learn how to start a blog, but turning your side project into a success is still incredibly difficult. 

To help you on the way to side project satisfaction, we asked designers for their expert hints and tips.

01. Break it into smaller chunks

“I think about side projects as these bursts of activity,” says Jessica Hische. “I didn’t think of Daily Drop Cap as a big project: I thought of it as 20 to 40 minutes a day. That was very palatable and easy to figure out how to work into my life.”

02. Do it regularly

“For larger projects, I’ll usually do a day or two at a time,” adds Hische. “So I’ll commit a Thursday or a Friday. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in two consecutive days. If you did that every other week, it’s enough to get through a big part of a larger project.”

03. Turn it into a habit

It’s easier to stick with a side project if you can establish a regular routine, and you’ll find friends and...

Described by one critic as "a shotgun wedding between Bauhaus and Fisher-Price", the Memphis design aesthetic embodies the 1980s in so many ways: colourful, kitsch and garish. In recent years it's come back into fashion in a big way, so what can we learn from this major design trend?

Simple geometric shapes; flat colours combined in bold, contrasting palettes; stylised graphic patterns defined by black-and-white stripes and abstract squiggles – these are the ingredients of Memphis-inspired design, fuelled by influences from earlier movements such as Pop Art and Art Deco.

How the Memphis Group began

The Memphis Group was a collaborative design group founded by Italian designer Ettore Sottsass, with its roots in furniture design – it made its influential debut at the Milan furniture fair in 1981. But it was relatively short-lived as an actual collective, closing down after just six years.

Memphis Group products were never intended to be timeless, or to have mainstream appeal. They were a statement; a protest against the neutral, understated and functional Modernism that preceded them. Here was a passionate movement driven by form, not function – designed to provoke an emotional response.

Not all those responses were positive. Memphis Group products were much-derided by critics at the time for being ugly, expensive and impractical. Many assumed the movement was a brief flash in the pan. Few...

Diversity, like accessibility, is a huge topic in UX – and indeed in all areas of design right now. If you need a little help increasing the inclusivity of your user experiences, then check out these 5 tips.

01. Understand it’s the right thing to do

This one’s short, but simple. Before any other reason, decide that being more inclusive in your work is absolutely the right thing to do. Sure, there’s plenty of rational, strategic business decisions behind targeting a more diverse audience for your product or brand, but you need to decide that it’s important to you.

We have the power as designers, art directors and developers to redefine what’s normal. There’s a long history in our profession to use design as a tool to affect perspectives on race, gender, sexual orientation and culture. No-one’s asking you to make a direct political statement or be inauthentic. Just be self-aware. Don’t just talk about it, do something about it.

02. Show diversity in visuals

When generating content or visuals for your site, you may have the opportunity to shoot custom film or photography. If filming, be sure to incorporate diverse representation early on in the storyboarding/concepting process.

People will naturally follow the boards as they are approved; it’s the path of least resistance. Laying the groundwork now makes justifying your casting...

There are a few factors to consider when you're looking for the best laptop for Photoshop work. Firstly, think about where you will be doing most of your work. If you want a laptop for Photoshop that you can take out and about regularly, you’re always going to have to sacrifice a little portability. 

If you simply move from studio to studio – as a freelancer maybe – you can get away with a heavier, more performance-orientated machine. If you want a mixture of both, there are options for you as well. But don’t expect them to be cheap. 

We’ve rounded up five of the best laptops for running Photoshop that cover all of these bases – so read on and make your choice.

If you’re looking for all-out power and price isn’t too much of a consideration, check out the rip-roaring HP ZBook Studio G4 – the latest in HP’s line of mobile workstations.

The top-end model isn’t cheap, but it packs incredible specs including a 15.6-inch 4K DreamColor display that can easily be colour calibrated, a blazing-fast Core Intel Xeon CPU, 32GB RAM, a 512GB SSD and NVIDIA Quadro M1200 dedicated graphics with 4GB VRAM. There’s also a healthy range of ports for peripherals and Bang & Olufsen speakers.

At just over 2kg (4.6lbs), it won’t break your back carrying it around, and it’s pretty thin at 18mm.

Read our sister site TechRadar’s HP...

In recent years, Adobe Illustrator CC’s position as the go-to tool for vector graphics has come under increasing pressure, with new competition from the likes of Affinity Designer and Sketch.

But it remains the industry standard, and the web is packed full of tips, advice and tutorials to help you get to grips with it. So in this post, we bring together the best Illustrator tutorials in one handy place.

Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced user, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for here. Make sure you bookmark this page right now.

The basics 01. Get to know Illustrator

If you’re totally new to Illustrator, here’s a great place to start. This tutorial, which includes sample files, introduces you to the Adobe Illustrator workspace and shows you how to open and save your images.

02. Set up a new document

This beginner-level tutorial will teach you how to set up a new document in Illustrator. You’ll discover how to set up the various options to configure variables such as width, height and colour mode.

03. Create and edit shapes

This tutorial introduces you to the process for creating and editing shapes in Adobe Illustrator CC using the Shape tools. Learn how to draw, combine, and trace shapes using the sample files provided.

04. Transform and edit artwork

In this tutorial you’re walked...

For the best part of a decade, 2K was the prevailing production norm. But in the last couple of years it has been increasingly difficult to stick at this resolution, as film production has shifted to 4K monitors, 5K, and even 6K. 

The 2012 Olympics even saw some early testing of 8K television cameras. If you’re going to produce 3D art  content for the market from now onwards, you will need to have the ability to produce in 4K, and preview results at this resolution. 

Here, we're going to look at six monitors that can give you the 4K experience, with a range of sizes and prices on offer. 

(With brilliant Black Friday deals already coming in, and Cyber Monday just around the corner, you might just be able to snap up a bargain on a 4K monitor if you're quick.)

It is now possible to purchase a 4K monitor for as little as £250. But screens at this price will primarily be aimed at consumer usage, and won’t be best suited to professional 3D content creation. Primarily, this will mean colour accuracy won’t be guaranteed to an adequate level, but could also imply deficiencies in a number of other areas. However, the screens start at £350, up to nearly £1,000 ex VAT, so there is something here for every budget.

Displaying Colour

The first thing to consider is what 4K actually means. This just refers to...

Looking for an Adobe CC deal? Well, you've come to the right place. We've scoured the web to bring you the best deals on Adobe software for designers, illustrators, photographers, web designers and more. 

(And if you're looking for a deal on any other creative hardware or software, head over to our Cyber Monday deals page to see if you can find a bargain on the one you want today.) 

Adobe's Creative Cloud subscription packages continue to divide designers. They offer great flexibility, regular updates and the latest app updates, but they do cost more for long-term users than outright purchasing used to.

If you use more than one app (which you almost certainly will), you’ll find yourself paying at least $600/£600 per year to use the Creative Cloud package. 

That's why we've put together this collection of the best Adobe deals and discounts on Creative Cloud to be found. Starting with this one...

Special Cyber Monday deal

Adobe is currently offering special Black Friday deal of 20% off Creative Cloud membership for new subscribers. That means, for the All Apps plan, instead of paying the usual $49.99/£49.94 every month, you’ll pay just US$39.99/£39.95 per month for the first year. Or if you want to pay it all in one fell swoop, you can shell out £476.98 rather than £596.33 (or $479.88 rather than $599.88 if you're in the US).

So if you've been debating whether to sign up, now’s your chance to get hands-on with Adobe's stellar suite of world-class design tools,...

Sure, you've got your laptop and monitor sorted. But what's the best mouse for designers and creatives? 

The humble computer mouse is probably one of the most important tools you use each day, so it's essential to find one that's both responsive and comfortable. 

We've spoken to many designers who still prefer to use a mouse when working on digital projects despite the continued improvement of tablets and styluses. But there are thousands of variations of computer mouse out there – including trackpads – so how do you know you're using the right one? Here we list four of the best mouse options out there to help make your day more efficient.

01. Logitech MX Master

Logitech produces some of the most responsive computer mice on the market, which is pretty handy when you need a tool with precision. Its cordless MX Master model is designed to fit comfortably in your hand over a long period of time, and includes a super responsive scroll wheel that lets you browse web pages or documents at your own speed, depending on how fast you flick the wheel.

Buttons located on the side of the mouse also let you flit between windows without having to use the usual Alt+Tab, and can easily program your shortcuts. The only downside to the MX Master is the pretty hefty RRP price tag of around £80 – but there are great deals to be had.

Prefer a new model? The...

Social media has the ability to reach billions of people, which means your audience is almost certainly out there. Now is your chance to reach them. The Social Marketing Mastery Bundle will teach you how to make the most of social media, and you can pay what you want for it.

Social media is an essential piece of any marketing professional’s job. You can learn how to make the most of these wide-reaching platforms, from Facebook and Instagram to Google and Snapchat, and bring your products and services to those who will be most interested in them with the 15 courses included in the Social Marketing Mastery Bundle. 

You'll find over 75 hours worth of lessons and 87 lectures to teach you how to use social media to drive traffic to your site and turn visitors into customers.

You can get the Social Marketing Mastery Bundle on sale for a price you can pick. Beat the average to unlock it all, get your name on the leaderboard, or just pay what you want. No matter what, you'll get great courses that will help you find your audience.

The 15 courses in this bundle include:

  • Facebook Marketing Made Easy
  • Facebook Ads For Beginners
  • Instagram Marketing: How To Build Your Brand
  • The Complete Google AdWords Course: Beginner To Advanced
  • Twitter Marketing Essentials: Get More New Followers Daily
  • Social Media Marketing Masterclass
About Creative Bloq deals

This great deal comes courtesy of the Creative Bloq Deals store – a creative marketplace that's dedicated to ensuring you save money...

Used by the likes of ILM, Digital Domain, Sony Imageworks, Activision, BioWare, Guerrilla Games and many more, SpeedTree is pretty much the industry standard for the creation of vegetation in visual effects and video games. So what has changed in version 8 of the VFX-focused Cinema edition?

First of all, SpeedTree Cinema 8 has had a price drop from $4,995 to $1,650 for a perpetual node-locked license, or $2,500 for a perpetual floating licence – although if you want unlimited access to the SpeedTree library, the cost increases to $3,150 or $4,000, respectively. 

However, you can rent the app, starting from $200 for three months, and buy individual VFX plants for anything from $8 up to $75 for a species pack.

One of the big upgrades to SpeedTree is the move to PBR (physically based rendering) materials, with a new non-destructive workflow in which you can alter the colour, hue and contrast of textures without having to leave the app. 

This is accompanied by a brand-new library of 150 trees, bushes and plants, which have been scanned from real-world examples at an arboretum in North Carolina.

By employing a mixture of 4K and 8K textures, you...

Having a comprehensive 3D anatomical model of the human body is essential for medical illustrators, among others. The ability to rotate the model and render from any angle is particularly useful and time-saving, as is the ability to hide or slice individual muscles, organs and blood vessels, essentially creating different levels of dissection.

The following 10 tips are based on my own personal workflow, where I jump between Blender and ZBrush to create a 3D model of the human body.

Don’t worry if the subject looks too complicated – the core workflow can be applied to many modelling and sculpting processes, particularly if you’re aiming to create realistic, accurate human figures. 

I’ll begin by explaining my process with an overview of how you should prepare for a complex project like this, then we’ll get into the software tools that can really help make anatomical modelling a lot easier, plus how to use them.

01. Always start with good reference

The quality of your reference material is very important in creating a successful and accurate model. It’s important to consider the function of the anatomical structure before modelling. Learn and understand what it does: does it extend, flex or rotate the bone? 

“Leave paper and pencil alone until the mind has grasped the meaning of the object,” said Max Brödel, first professor of medical art and founder of the Art as Applied to Medicine Degree at...

Looking to upgrade your laptop? Maybe you're heading to college and not kitted out yet. Either way, if you're in the market for a new machine, our pick of the best laptops for graphic design will help you select the right option. 

When choosing a laptop for your daily design work, there are many things to consider. One is power versus portability: you need something that’s thin and light enough to throw in your backpack, but also powerful enough to run your suite of creative tools. 

And you need to decide whether macOS or Windows is right for you. The former used to be the staple of creative professionals, but it really doesn’t matter what platform you use these days. 

Whatever your preferences, each of the three machines here will give you all the power and performance you need to hit the ground running with your studies. Read on for our pick of the best laptops for graphic design.

Microsoft's Surface Book is an incredible machine – even in its lowest spec option. That's why we're highlighting it as our overall best laptop for graphic design. 

The fact that you can use it as both a tablet and laptop makes it the ultimate digital sketchbook. Just detach the screen and draw using the included Surface Pen, or buy the innovative Surface Dial for £90 and get an intuitive way of controlling your creative tools. 

Even better, flip the screen around, reattach...