Showcase of Designs made with Cool Overprint Effects

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Classic printing techniques such as screen printing rely on old school techniques to mix inks to form a colourful design. One of those methods is to directly overprint two colours on top of each other as a subtractive mix to provide additional hues alongside the primary ink colours. Typically this effect is produced at the printing stage, but similar effects can be replicated digitally in Photoshop and Illustrator. This showcase features 30 fantastic designs where the classic overprint effect is prominently used, resulting in interesting blends of text and images.

Wolf & Lion by Joshua M. Smith

Wolf & Lion by Joshua M. Smith

Broad Strokes by Jamie Rickett

Broad Strokes by Jamie Rickett

Pirate Republic by Ryan Feerer

Pirate Republic by Ryan Feerer

Greeting Card by Make Good Things Happen

Greeting Card by Make Good Things Happen

Crawfish Boil by Ryan Harrison

Crawfish Boil by Ryan Harrison

Love & Creativity by Ryan Frease

Love & Creativity by Ryan Frease

Work / Play by iamalwayshungry

Work / Play by iamalwayshungry

Tick Tock Boom by Mitchell Thompson

Tick Tock Boom by Mitchell Thompson

I Have No Idea by JHEMINGTON

I Have No Idea by JHEMINGTON

Fake 82 by Mark Weaver

Fake 82 by Mark Weaver

Frightened Rabbit Poster by withayou

Frightened Rabbit Poster by withayou

Summit Brewing Co. by Aesthetic Apparatus

Summit Brewing Co. by Aesthetic Apparatus

Roman Candle by Doublenaut

Roman Candle by Doublenaut

Lover! Gig Poster by Mart Infanger

Lover! Gig Poster by Mart Infanger

Jack of Heart Gig Poster by Mart Infanger

Jack of Heart Gig Poster by Mart Infanger

The Feeling of Love by Mart Infanger

The Feeling of Love Gig Poster by Mart Infanger

Heirlooms Gig Poster by Brian Cook

Heirlooms Gig Poster by Brian Cook

Cute Lepers, Modern Pets by Fancy Art Club

Cute Lepers, Modern Pets by Fancy Art Club

Artcrank 2012 by Allan Peters

Artcrank 2012 by Allan Peters

Awesome Awesomeness by 55 Hi’s

Awesome Awesomeness by 55 Hi's

Never Let Me Go by Emory Allen

Never Let Me Go by Emory Allen

Bird Dog & Bird by strawberryluna

Bird Dog & Bird by strawberryluna

More we. Less tea by Northcoast Zeitgeist

More we. Less tea by Northcoast Zeitgeist

Josh Ritter by Shawn Hileman

Josh Ritter by Shawn Hileman

Mustard Overprint by Jonathan Schmitt

Mustard Overprint by Jonathan Schmitt

Shapes of Cities Screenprints by Yoni Alter

Shapes of Cities Screenprints by Yoni Alter

Knight by JooHee Yoon

Knight by JooHee Yoon

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Why Modern Movie Poster Art Sucks

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Some great posters from 2013 (just my opinion, obviously):

All Is Lost
The Butler
The Conjuring
Escape From Tomorrow
Fast & Furious 6 (teasers)
Fruitvale Station
Gravity
Hell Baby
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (teaser)
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Imax)
Iron Man 3 (First full poster and Imax)
The Last Exorcism Part II
Oz the Great and Powerful (teaser)
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (teaser)
The Wolverine (teasers)
World War Z (teaser)

Top 40 Godzilla 2014 Posters

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Top 40 Godzilla 2014 Posters

My favorite Godzilla posters top 40.
Video Rating: 5 / 5

The Warner Brothers panel at the San Diego Comic-Con surprised the audience at Hall H with a sneak peek at WB/Legendary Pictures’ upcoming film, Godzilla, fr…
Video Rating: 3 / 5

When posters attack: the artist being shot at by Hollywood stars

Incredibly bone-headed liberal crap thought:

Head Shots by Jon Burgerman

Head Shots, Jon Burgerman’s photographs of himself being ‘shot’ by actors on film posters, seem wide of the mark. It’s not the movies that kill people: guns do

As the film industry prepares to celebrate its achievements at the Oscars, an artist is offering an alternative take on Hollywoodland in a series of interventions at New York subway stations.

Jon Burgerman poses for photographs in front of the gun-toting stars on violent film posters. With generous dollops of red goo, he looks as if he has been shot in the head by the likes of Jennifer Lawrence and Daniel Craig. In one picture he’s even been hit by an elvish arrow fired from a Hobbit poster.

Burgerman says his “Head Shots” are a protest against the violent imagery put out by Hollywood: “There are quite regular occurrences of gun violence and tragedy around the country, yet we have these celebrated members of society on giant billboards holding weapons”. The photographs are not anything like as gory as they would be in real life – Burgerman’s surreal demonstrations of what it might look like if a movie star shot you from a poster are comic provocations rather than tragic extrapolations. But is his message about the dangerous power of the movies actually true?

America has a catastrophic problem with gun violence. Obama’s failure to get the gun law reform he wanted is the tragedy of his second term. Nor is Burgerman the first to blame Hollywood for helping to shape a lethal gun culture. Jim Carrey refused to publicise Kick-Ass 2 because he found its violence unacceptable after the Sandy Hook murders.

But this is all hopelessly beside the point. America’s gun fans are, I believe, fond of saying that guns don’t kill people, people do. But guns do kill people. They were invented for that purpose. Obviously murder can happen without them but a gun just makes it infinitely easier. Two people arguing without a gun are much less likely to kill each other than if there’s a gun in the house. And it’s obvious that a troubled individual can do far more harm with a gun than without.

It is obscene that such a large and powerful lobby in America refuses to accept these basic logical premises. To blame the film industry is a feeble distraction from the reality that Americans just have too many guns.

Movie posters don’t kill people: guns do. The fear that films promote violence is misconceived because it ignores the nature of art – a representation of the world is not a set of instructions for acting in the world. We are not robots and art cannot programme us.

Art has always dwelt on violence. The first great European poem is Homer’s Iliad, a gory account of the Trojan war: Homer glorifies heroic battle far more explicitly than any film ever would.

Hand Made Vector Halftone Textures for Members

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Access All Areas members may remember the fantastic Emergency Retro Kit that was kindly donated by RetroSupply Co. If you enjoyed that set of resources you’re going to love these latest goodies that have been kindly gifted to members. This VectorSupply pack contains 16 seamless screened halftone vector textures that can be quickly applied as infinite area fills in Illustrator to create awesome aged effects.

RetroSupply resources

RetroSupply Co’s mission is to bring the awesomeness of handmade goods to digital design. Their range of products make it easy for designers to add the craft and tradition of retro design to their work via textures, brushes and actions. Check out the full range in the RetroSupply shop, and receive a free Retrostarter kit by signing up for their newsletter. If you fancy getting your hands of any of the other retro goodies, knock 25% off the price with the special code SPOON2.

RetroSupply Co 25% discount code: SPOOON2

Vector Halftone Textures for Members

VectorSupply Halftone Textures

This set vector halftone textures has been created exclusively for Access All Areas members. It contains 16 premium vector swatches that can be seamlessly tiled to generate infinite areas of distressed halftone screen patterns. Each texture is hand crafted from hours of pulling screens and abusing printers to create the most authentic design resource possible.

RetroSupply Vexture

Download the source file

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How To Create a Grainy B&W High Fashion Photo Effect

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In today’s Photoshop tutorial we’re going to play around with various image adjustments to recreate the emotive style of high fashion black and white photography. Typically these photographs feature many of the characteristics of old school 35mm film, such as heavy film grain and low contrast. Follow this step by step guide to quickly transform your own photos into artistic black and white pieces of art.

High fashion photo effect

The photo effect we’ll be producing is inspired by traditional high fashion photography, as seen in this set of B&W High Fashion Photography on Pinterest. The most obvious characteristic of these photographs is that they’re all black and white, but look closely and you’ll notice that many have low contrast with the blacks not being entirely black (more of a dark grey). These black and white images don’t completely lack colour either, there will often be a very subtle warm or cool tone that adds to the feeling and mood of the shot. We’ll take these common characteristics and replicate them on our modern digital photographs to create a high fasion inspired effect imitating 35mm film.

Grainy B&W High Fashion Photo Effect

We’ll first need an image to edit. A portrait of some kind will work best, but go for something a little conceptual for that abstract high fashion style. This particular image is a beauty portrait from Shutterstock.

The first step towards the black and white high fashion effect is to convert the colour image to monotone. The best way to do this in Photoshop is to use the Black & White adjustment layer to avoid any kind of destructible editing.

The Black & White adjustment layer retains the contrast of the image, unlike a basic desaturation filter. You can also make some adjustments to fine tune the tonal balance. The Default settings may be satisfactory, but presets such as Darker might help create a moodier image.

One of the key characteristics of those high fashion images was the low contrast. Add a Levels adjustment layer in Photoshop then move the black handle from the overall output level inwards to clip the shadows. The whole image will become brighter because the darkest areas are being lost, so use the usual Levels adjustments below the histogram to darken the shadows, brighten the highlights and adjust the midtones to find a balanced range of tones.

Select New Layer from the fly-out menu at the top corner of the Layers palette. Name the new layer Film Grain and set the Mode to Overlay. Check the option to fill the layer with 50% gray.

We’ve used non-destructive adjustment layers so far, let’s make sure that our film grain effects can also be edited or removed later. Right click and convert this Film Grain layer into a Smart Object.

Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise to add some grain to the image. Change the settings to Monochromatic, Uniform and alter the amount to between 10-15%.

Photoshop noise looks a little fake with it being so perfectly crisp, so add a very subtle 0.5px Gaussian Blur to take the edge off the noise and create a slightly more realistic film grain effect.

Alter the opacity of the Film Grain layer to fine tune the impact of the noise. It should add to the mood of the image but not be too intrusive.

Add a Curves adjustment layer and change the channel selection to Red. Drag the curve line to add a slight positive bend to increase the warmth of the image.

Change the channel selection to Blue and drag the curve in the opposite direction to produce a negative bend, resulting in sepia style tones.

Adjust the opacity of the Curves layer to reduce the impact of the colour adjustment just enough so the image still seems black and white, but the warmth of the sepia tones make a subtle difference.

The final photo effect definitely has more emotion and mood than the original colour photograph, all thanks to the black and white contrast, film grain effect and subtle sepia tones. All the image needs is the addition of a logo for a top perfume, jewellery or fashion brand to make it the perfect full page magazine ad!

Download the source file

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Just Grabbed Myself These Awesome New Fonts!

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Designers can never have enough fonts! If you’ve ever splashed out on premium fonts before you’ll know just how much better in quality they tend to be than the run of the mill freebies you find on the web. No ugly paths when you look up close and no horrendous kerning issues! The trouble is these pro grade fonts are usually so high in price it’s difficult to acquire a decent collection. However, there’s currently a bundle of beautiful professional fonts on offer for 94% off at Design Cuts. Take this opportunity to grab yourself some complete font-families for just $ 24.

Achille (Complete Font Family)

Achille is a lovely slab serif combining chunky headlines with elegant body text. The subtle curves really make this one stand out from your typical blocky slab typeface. This font comes in 4 weights and even includes a licensed web variant.

Achille font preview

Leano (Complete Font Family)

Leano is an fun curvy font available in 5 weights. It’s full of character and would be a great candidate to consider when creating artistic headlines.

Leano font preview

Booster

Booster is a clean sans-serif with round cap lines. It works great in large scales for use in logos and identity designs, but the web variant is also right at home when used for small body text.

Booster font preview

Bonus: Lullaby Type Vector

Lullaby is an usual typographic resource. It isn’t an actual font where you type out the letters, instead it’s a vector file where you can select, copy & paste the letters into your own projects. This is perfect for creating typographic designs where the first step would be to outline an existing font anyway. The vector paths give you complete control over the shape, so it’s great for custom type or lettering designs.

Lullaby font preview

Professional Font Bundle for 94% Off

This fantastic font bundle from Font You contains these 3 font families with tons of variants, extra characters and vector bonuses. The retail total of these fonts weighs in at $ 390, but as part of this limited time bundle from Design Cuts you can get the whole lot for just $ 24 (that Lullaby bonus is $ 25 alone!). I’ve already added these to my own font library and I can’t wait to find a project to make use of them!

Buy the Professional Font Bundle (94% off)

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7 Beginner Mistakes to Avoid When Designing for Print

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Designing for print can be a minefield for beginners. There’s so many easy mistakes to make that can have a serious impact on the quality of your final prints. With print runs also being very expensive, these mistakes can prove very costly. Hopefully today’s discussion about common beginner mistakes to avoid will help prepare you with the crucial knowledge required to correctly set up a design for print.

Know the difference between RGB & CMYK

RGB CMYK Difference

The most obvious mistake that newcomers fall victim to is the misuse of RGB and CMYK colour modes. RGB (red, green & blue) is an additive colour system where light is used to mix colours; the more light you add the brighter and more vibrant the colour gets. When working on digital designs you’ll often be working in RGB mode because that’s how your monitor works, but the problem arises when we’re creating a design for print using a RGB based tool.

CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow & black (key)) is a subtractive colour system where inks are mixed to create a range of different hues, much like mixing paint as a traditional artist. The more ink you mix the darker the colour gets. The spectrum of colours that can be produced by light is much wider than the range achievable by ink, so our design applications have a special CMYK mode to limit the “gamut” of the colours we have available when creating a design that will ultimately be printed.

Failing to select the CMYK colour mode and instead creating your designs in RGB may result in you selecting awesome colours that just can’t be reproduced in print (without special inks). If you don’t realise this early on you’re going to be in for a surprise when your prints come back all dull and muted.

Watch your CMYK color values

High CMYK colour values

We’ve already talked about how the typical CMYK color model gets darker as you add more ink. In the printing process this is done using an offset lithographic printing press (or a digital printer for small runs). This machine lays down a coverage of the four inks of cyan, magenta, yellow and black over the same area of paper to overlay the inks and create a much wider range of colours. Tiny halftone screens determine how much ink from each plate is applied across the print.

In our design applications we can easily select colours using the color picker tool as well as ready made swatches and adjustable sliders for the C, M, Y & K values. You must keep in mind that colours that use large amounts of cyan, magenta, yellow and black will quickly become oversaturated and any total values containing over 280% coverage may result in ugly muddy colours and set-off (when the ink remains wet and transfers from one sheet to another). Our computer applications might show the colour looking fine on screen, but in reality prints always appear darker than your original design.

Fuzzy text

Using mixtures of multiple inks will also result in potential fuzziness, especially when applied to fine artwork such as text. If those four C, M, Y & K plates are just slightly misaligned (known as registration), your text will appear blurry and difficult to read. Perfectly sharp text can be created by using just one process colour value, so 100% K (black) will be as crisp as you can possibly get.

Don’t use Photoshop black

Different types of black

Open Photoshop and hit the D key to reset the foreground and background colours to their default values. Select the black that has been generated for you, it looks… black, right? Now look at the CMYK values that colours is made from, you’ll find 75% cyan, 68% magenta, 67% yellow and 90% black (300% total coverage). This is a lot of ink to put down on paper. Always manually set your black appropriately. This could be 0,0,0,100 for that crisp black for text, however this doesn’t look great when used as a background colour with it looking more like a dark grey than black. Instead you might opt for a “rich black”, of which there’s many recommendations, but 50,40,40,100 is a popular choice. This addition of other colours darkens the black to provide a much deeper colour, but it’s still well within the coverage limit.

Read more about designing with black

Keep an eye on your font and line weights

Small font sizes don't print well

Those halftone screens in the printing press do a great job of controlling how much ink is placed onto the paper. They work by simply using a lower density of tiny dots in areas that don’t need much coverage. The trouble is you also lose detail when you try going too small, so tiny text and fine hairlines in your artwork are the first elements to become illegible. A limit of 6pt text size is the rule of thumb, but it all depends on the style of your typeface. Helvetica Ultra Light will probably disappear at much larger sizes due to its super fine lines! Keep this in mind when setting any small print within your designs.

Set the correct resolution

Setting 300ppi resolution

On your computer the resolution only really alters how large your image physically looks on screen, whereas in print resolution determines how sharp and crisp your designs will appear. 72ppi is the usual figure for web images, but in print 300ppi is the standard. The more dots or pixels you can put in every inch the more detail the overall image will retain when the image is reproduced in ink.

Make sure all your artwork is created at 300ppi, that includes all images and photography. If you happen to throw in a 72ppi image into your 300ppi working document it will appear tiny because it will be resized accordingly. You’re going to need massive images to fill most documents at 300ppi, so random images from the web just aren’t going to cut it.

You can’t scale a design up in resolution, so make sure you set the document size correctly to begin with to avoid having to start from scratch.

Read more about image resolutions

Don’t forget the bleed

Print document bleed

Resolution isn’t the only crucial factor when setting up a print design layout. You’ll also need to remember to accommodate for bleed. Bleed is an extra margin around the edge of your design where any background elements that touch the edge of the page are extended slightly. This allows for slight inaccuracies when the printed sheet is trimmed to size, so cutting through that buffer of colour will avoid leaving any thin white strips of paper along the edge of your print.

The actual amount of bleed you require will differ between print supplier and project, so be sure to select a printer beforehand and acquire their specs.

Learn how to set bleed in your print designs

Kern, proofread and spell check

Business card spelling mistake (fake)

Typos suck! Despite proofreading this blog post there’s probably a couple of errors that still slipped past me. Fixing mistakes is easy on the web, but imagine how devastating it would be if you take delivery of your 5000 prints only to find a glaring error staring right back at you on every single one! Mistakes in print can’t be rectified, so take your time to check for ugly kerning, misuse of em/en dashes, curly quotes and the usual there/their/they’re errors that aren’t picked up by spell check. The image above is fake by the way… That would have sucked big time!

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