Freebie Friday: Mandela Creator for Illustrator


Sometimes, we need a break just to doodle.  Here’s a free mandela creator for Adobe Illustrator to help you get into the zone.  Enjoy!

Ask The Designer: Negative Space?


Embrace negative space

The proper use of negative space is often overlooked by beginner and advanced designers alike. What is negative space (or “white space”)? It’s the space in your design that’s not occupied by any visual or written element. A design piece that doesn’t incorporate enough negative space is like a sentence with no spaces – itisdifficulttocomprehend.

Jan Tischold, one the most influential typographers in history, stresses this importance: “White space is to be regarded as an active element, not a passive background.” The effective use of negative space is just as crucial as the design itself. Don’t believe me? It’s scientifically proven that white space improves legibility and comprehension. Consider white space at every stage of your design.

Try It Yourself

Learning to effectively use white space won’t happen overnight. You’ll have to try out many different options to find what works for each design. First, I’d recommend reading some of the articles on this reading list, compiled by David Kadavy of Design For Hackers. Then, try and put some of these theories into action.

Remember, there’s no hard-and-fast rule to using white space. It takes practice. Eventually, you’ll find that exercises in resizing elements in your composition and changing the layout will lead to a natural understanding of the amount of breathing room required.


Images: Google search

#dinasdesktop #graphicdesigntips

Ask The Designer: Color Choices?


Choosing a graphic design project’s colors in 3 steps.

1. DEFINE the project and the audience.

  • Consider the elements within the project such as typography and graphic icons or shapes.
  • Consider the viewing location and the demographics of the audience.

2. DISCOVER colors relevant to the industry represented by the project.

  • Resource sites such as and offer a plethara of color schemes for inspiration.
  • Seek inspiration from images related to the project to visualize color schemes in real life settings.

3. DEVELOP the color scheme by styling the project with sample palettes.

  • Sort and cull the sampled color combinations to narrow down the selection to the best 3-5 possibilities.
  • Refine the combinations using a color wheel to define complementary color groups, compound color groups or contrasting color groups.

Sampling the best picks and experimenting with a few combinations will help find the one that feels right.


Be inspired! Imaginative Graphic Design

Just for your viewing pleasure, take a gander at these lovelies found over at  #dinasdesktop


Eiko Ojala Illustration


Unknown Artist – Couldn’t find it, anyway.


Oscar Ramos Illustration

How’d they do that? Photoshop Halftone


Create a halftone effect in 6 quick and easy steps using Photoshop’s built-in halftone filter. Of course, there are a variety of ways to make this effect using many different graphic design applications. But, for the sake of expediency and illustration savvy, Photoshop is sweet and to the point. This effect can add a groovy retro vibe to any of your design layouts.

#1 Create a new document.

For this example, we made the document 800PX x 800PX.

#2 Apply a black to white gradient.

Using a simple black to white gradient, apply it to the document from the bottom up evenly spaced between the image edges.

#3 Apply the color halftone filter.

Select the drop down menu for filter, select pixelate, and then color halftone. Adjust the settings as indicated.


#4 Rotate the halftone layer.

For great effect, rotate the halftone layer counter-clockwise by 45 degrees.


#5 Crop the image.

Tidy up the the image by cropping it tight. For this example, we trimmed it down to 325PX x 625PX.


#6 Add a gradient layer.

And to really make it pop, add a color gradient either above or below the halftone layer. Adjust the opacity for the gradient layer if you opt above or adjust the opacity of the halftone layer if you opt below. The color gradient layer was added above the halftone for this example and adjusted to 85%.


and TADA!



Be inspired – or burn?

“Those who don’t build, burn.” – Ray Bradbury

Ask The Designer: Why Copyright?

Why is ownership of a graphic design important, anyway?


It’s a given that the client will usually want exclusive usage rights for custom designs when branding their identity. While stock designs have a generic appeal and are available to multiple users.

Very much like buying real property such as a car or a home, title is everything. Ownership of a graphic design’s rights allows freedom of its use. It can be used where and when needed without infraction to copyright law.

Designers may like to reuse some of their creations in future projects and thereby would not be willing to release the rights. At least, not without reasonable compensation. Many may barter for royalty fees in lieu of transfer of rights. However, custom logos are rarely suited to other applications and transfer of rights is typically incorporated into the cost.

Bottom line is, it’s about the bottom line.  Paying extra for full usage rights makes the design uniquely yours.

#dinasdesktop #graphicdesign

Doodle Know How

​Would you like a quick doodle “How To”?

I, for one, spend every free minute that I am not exhausted doodling and learning new digital art techniques. Not quite art school, but Creative Bloq makes a great effort to share links to some of the best graphic design tutorials on the web.

View a few from their latest recommendations at the link below and have some left brain fun.

Digital Design Tutorials at Creative Bloq

#graphicdesign #dinasdesktop

Friday Freebies from Design Bundles


Please enjoy these freebies from Design Bundles over at boho-totem-sacred-geometry


Things To Know About Web Design…

This is how I feel when I’m building the internet…

It starts with understanding the difference between web design and web development.

The difference will matter when it’s time to build your next website.  Of course, the online site builders like Wix and Weebly have come a long way for the do-it-yourselfer.  However, their built-in resources are relatively limited and you do still have to face a learning curve, though not as complicated as learning to code HTML5 and CSS.  There is also the consideration of your time and the professional quality of the end result.

The online site builders are also not exactly compatible with many extra features that only a designer or developer can produce.  If your site will need to handle custom design layouts and behaviors, keep in mind that it will require extensive styling scripts, programming of customer management systems and hypertext processing.  Programming the back end of a pretty page can become quite complicated.  Hence, calling on the professionals will take your site above the rest and win the most potential customers.

Web design is about the look and the workings of a website.

Design is the styling of the viewing page and involves the site’s appearance and function.  A good web designer takes into account the principles of visual design, the user experience and the business’s needs.

Web development is about the how and why that brings life to a website.

A developer’s focus is on how a site works, how actions are performed and how things function behind the scenes.  A good developer makes the function of website design happen effectively and without any bugs.

Designers and developers generally work together to build the internet.  Though some designers are very capable developers and vice versa, most tend to prefer one aspect or the other.

You may find a designer and developer working together as a team or in association with one another.  It is still good to be aware that when you hire that freelance web designer, they may outsource third-party connections and resources for development features.  And that’s okay.  That combination will empower your virtual space above and beyond the World Wide Web.

#graphicdesign #dinasdesktop