Envato https://envato.com Design & creative inspiration Fri, 22 Mar 2019 03:17:19 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 https://assets.wordpress.envato-static.com/uploads/2016/08/cropped-favicon-32x32.png Envato https://envato.com 32 32 2019 Color Trends https://envato.com/blog/2019-color-trends/ Mon, 18 Mar 2019 11:26:32 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=77016 When Pantone announced its 2019 color of the year as the bright and vivacious “living coral,” designers and artists all over took notice. And since color and culture go hand in hand, we’ve also seen a few new colors with even more vibrancy now emerging on the scene. The Impact of Color Color has always […]

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When Pantone announced its 2019 color of the year as the bright and vivacious “living coral,” designers and artists all over took notice. And since color and culture go hand in hand, we’ve also seen a few new colors with even more vibrancy now emerging on the scene.

The Impact of Color

Color has always played a huge role in our lives. We all know our favorites, and it’s not uncommon for us to share a few. Each hue transmits a particular feeling, energy and mood, and by learning more about these trends we’ll be able to explore exciting inspirations we might otherwise ignore.

So let’s take a look at a few more emerging color trends for 2019.

Gold

Minimal Black and Gold Flyer Template
Minimal Black and Gold Flyer Template

In the creative, makeup and beauty worlds, the color gold is the champion of luxury brands. Models adjust their selfies with that perfect golden-hour glow, artists attach gold leaf to their canvases, and jewelry designers go in on fantastic gold designs.

And with an ever-growing global economy, it’s not a total shock that our tastes are becoming more expensive. The color gold is, in fact, driving this trend as we find ways to exude a sense of confidence in all areas of our lives. Psychology tells us that gold can make you feel glamorous while also inviting courageous feelings of passion and wisdom. Pretty cool!

Gold Inspiration

Are you feeling a little fancy today? Try out one of these gold design tutorials. I myself have already used this color a few times this year! Not only is it applicable across a variety of projects, but it also ranks as the top searched color on both Envato Market and Envato Elements! How’s that for gold standard?

How to Create a 3D Gold Text Effect With Photoshop Layer Styles
How to Create a 3D Gold Text Effect With Photoshop Layer Styles

Recreate the metallic sheen and luster of stunning gold letters with this text effect tutorial! Join Enrique Elicabe as he explains how to use Photoshop layer styles to achieve realistic gold textures and colors.

More Gold Tutorials

Want more gold tutorials? Jump to a few of our favorites.

Natural Greens

Natural Magazine
Natural Magazine

Artists have always been connected to nature—and therefore, the color green. Green is the color of life. It’s associated with feelings of growth, harmony, renewal, and balance. It’s the circle of life all in one color, really. We notice it throughout the seasons, and now that we’re becoming more conscious of our environmental impact, natural green colors are dominating our work spaces, creative activities, and lifestyle designs.

Natural Green Inspiration

Hunter green is one of the most common greens designers are excited by, although you’ll also find many variations. Naturally, it inspires many creative projects with nature-infused themes, but it’s also associated with wealth and finance. So you’ll find it most prevalent in design topics like stationery, websites, and more.

Create Earthy 3D Typography in Photoshop

Create Earthy 3D Typography in Photoshop
Create Earthy 3D Typography in Photoshop

You can also use these colors for a brilliant text effect! Recreate this look with stellar stock images in Adobe Photoshop. Ed Lopez shows us how in this awesome tutorial above.

More Green Tutorials

Unwind and relax with a nature-inspired tutorial. Jump to a few of our favorites.

Neon Green

Green House Logo
Green House Logo

Remember the 90s TV show, Double Dare? Now you can relive all your favorite slime fantasies with one of the boldest fashion statements to hit the catwalk: UFO green. Daring and slightly unusual, this bold color choice has already been favored by fashion giants like Gucci and Versace.

So how do you stand out when everything is already so saturated? Many looking to this bright neon trend might be trying to do just that: stand out.

Neon Green Inspiration

From the catwalks of the spring 2019 runways to the fictional paradises seen in digital art, neon green is definitely a stunner. At the forefront of what you’ll see from this trend are vibrant vacation clothes, graphics, and colorful photography. But you can also check out our tutorials to find out how to use this cool color.

How to Create a Punk-Rock Portrait in Procreate

How to Create a Punk-Rock Portrait in Procreate
How to Create a Punk-Rock Portrait in Procreate

Procreate is the go-to digital painting app for many new artists. And now you can create epic, neon-colored hair with this tutorial from Maria Dimova. Learn how to use different brush settings and layer styles for a vibrant hairstyle.

More Neon Green Tutorials

Try out this wild color out yourself! Check out these helpful tutorials.

More Neon Colors: Pink, Orange, & Purple

Neon Sign Photoshop Effect
Neon Sign Photoshop Effect

Neon green isn’t the only psychedelic color to emerge for 2019.

And last year we called it! Many fan favorites come in the form of electric neon pinks, oranges, and even some unique purple flavors. Neon colors, after all, are an ode to the eclectic retro ambience of the 1980s. Everything certainly pops with them, and if used effectively, they can bring creative, spunky energy to any piece.

Neon Color Inspiration

Fashion designers like Jeremy Scott are also going full-on construction worker with bright, neon yellow accents for jumpsuits and other quirky designs.

Need some neon inspiration? Try your hand at a bold photo effect like the one below.

How to Create a Neon Rainbow Photoshop Portrait Effect

How to Create a Neon Rainbow Photoshop Portrait Effect
How to Create a Neon Rainbow Photoshop Portrait Effect

In this tutorial, Abbey Esparza shows you how to add a punk-rock pop art vibe to your portraits in Adobe Photoshop. Learn how to create the perfect neon glow and how to bring more vibrancy and brightness to any portrait.

More Neon Color Tutorials

Excited to try your hand at these colors? Check out these amazing tutorials.

Cobalt Blue

Blue Polygon Backgrounds
Blue Polygon Backgrounds

Will we ever grow tired of blue? Blue is a color you can feel and also design with. And the cobalt version refers to the extraordinary pure blue pigment discovered by chemists at the turn of the 19th century.

Cobalt Blue Inspiration

Cobalt blue was a favorite among legends like Vincent van Gogh. It also inspires a magical energy you might find in many neon-themed designs. Try out the one below for a cool text effect.

How to Create a Neon Glow in the Dark Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

How to Create a Neon Glow in the Dark Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop
How to Create a Neon Glow in the Dark Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

This insightful Photoshop lesson comes from designer Laura Keung. Follow along as she shows you how to use layer blend modes and multiple brushes for a unique neon look.

More Cobalt Blue Tutorials

Looking for something to make with cobalt blue? Check out these tutorials.

Try These Trends

How will color guide you in 2019? Explore these trends and test out new color palettes to improve your skills.  For more help, find exciting new tutorials to try over on Tuts+.

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The Secrets of a Successful Rebrand (And Why Some Brands Miss the Mark) https://envato.com/blog/rebranding-and-logo-redesign/ Thu, 14 Mar 2019 20:23:58 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=76420 No talk of successful rebranding is complete without mentioning the now legendary transformation of Federal Express in 1994. Fred Smith, its founder, chairman, and CEO, wanted to reinvigorate the company’s image. He challenged the creative team to make the Federal Express truck recognizable from five blocks away. The result: a shortened name—FedEx—and a bold, zippy […]

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No talk of successful rebranding is complete without mentioning the now legendary transformation of Federal Express in 1994.

Fred Smith, its founder, chairman, and CEO, wanted to reinvigorate the company’s image. He challenged the creative team to make the Federal Express truck recognizable from five blocks away.

The result: a shortened name—FedEx—and a bold, zippy new logo:

FedEx Rebranding Success Story

The new name and visual identity perfectly encapsulated the company’s value proposition: speed. Notice the hidden arrow in what looks like a simple wordmark?

The new branding catapulted FedEx into the next century and remains relevant and powerful even today.

But rebranding doesn’t always turn out the way it did for FedEx.

Take the case of Tropicana’s rebranded packaging in 2009.

What was supposed to make their brand more current and fresh soon became stale. Sales dove 20%—equivalent to $137 million—in the first six weeks after Tropicana unveiled its new look, from this:

Tropicana Original Packaging

…to this:

Tropicana Failed Rebranded Packaging

Cutting its losses, the company reverted to its old packaging, which is still in use as of this writing.

What makes the difference between a rebranding triumph and a fiasco?

We’ll explore some possible answers in this post.

The Hidden Costs of Rebranding

Rebranding entails huge costs and risks. Companies hire branding experts to conceptualize the rebrand. And then other consultants and vendors are needed to roll out the new identity.

After studying over 1,200 rebranding projects spanning 25 years, the VIM Group estimates that the cost of implementing a rebrand is 20 times the cost of developing the new brand identity.

In other words, for every dollar a company pays branding and design consultants to come up with the brand redesign, it will spend $20 to roll it out.

Not to mention the time the entire exercise takes and the potential loss of goodwill, reputation, and sales, should the new branding flop.

Yet for all its costs and risks, rebranding is surprisingly common. In the hospitality industry, for example, researchers have found that one-third of all hotel properties have changed brands since opening. And companies that have been around for decades have iterated their identities several times throughout the years.

Why do businesses make this terrifying leap? There are plenty of good reasons to do so.

Why Rebrand? Let Me Count the Ways

Whether internal to the business or coming from the environment, a number of factors may demand a rebrand.

1. Reflect the company’s new positioning

Like humans, companies change over time and, when it does, a brand redesign becomes necessary.

It’s like when children grow up into adults. They drop the silly nicknames and need a whole new wardrobe.

A variety of situations may account for this:

  • The company has evolved. It has shifted to a different market, product offering, or value proposition altogether.

Case in Point: Infusionsoft rebrands when its parent company becomes Keap to signal its expansion to a new market.

Infusionsoft Rebrand 2019
A comparison of the old and new logos on the Infusionsoft blog
  • The market has evolved. A business may need a new identity to respond to consumer demands and expectations.

Case in Point: Mailchimp makes room for customer-driven growth while refusing to grow up.

MailChimp Rebranding 2018

  • Technological advances. The emergence of new technologies can make a company’s positioning—sometimes even the company itself—obsolete.

Case in Point: Squarespace embraces a new brand that “makes sense in motion.”

Squarespace Rebrand 2018

  • Differentiation. As the market evolves and new players arrive, the company may need to reinvent itself to differentiate from the competition.
  • Internationalization. Entering a new country may compel a business to rebrand in order to better align culturally with the new market.
  • Negative image. A PR crisis, negative reaction from stakeholders, and other manifestations of a poor reputation could compel a massive identity makeover.

2. Make the branding more relevant

One of the most common reasons to rebrand is to keep current and cutting-edge. It’s like throwing out your grandma’s bell-bottoms and replacing them with bootcut pants.

Several situations may warrant a brand refresh:

  • An outdated brand. As with fashion, branding trends come and go. When a company’s brand looks old-fashioned and tired, then it needs sprucing up.

Case in Point: Bhutan gets a modern look for today’s marketplace.

Bhutan Rebranding

  • Misaligned brand expressions. Through the years, an organization’s brand expressions may have gotten scattered and inconsistent. Their website has one look and their product packaging another. A branding makeover may be called for to make everything look, not just fresh, but cohesive.

Case in Point: Slack gets its visual act together with a logo redesign.

Slack 2019 New Logo

  • Branding reset. The original branding wasn’t well-thought out in the first place, because the founder needed a brand name and logo quickly, not realizing how fast the business would grow. Now that they have the resources, they want to do branding correctly and drop the one that just happened to be the most convenient at the time.

3. Change in business ownership

Structural changes in a company arising from mergers, demergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, and spin-offs often require rebranding.

Rebranding may be part and parcel of the deal. Or, it may be the logical thing to do after the ownership change takes place. Mergers may mean a literal merging of business names, for example. And acquisitions may wipe out one company’s identity altogether.

Case in Point: Hewlett Packard Enterprise brands itself as “The Machine” to launch its demerger from Hewlett Packard.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise The Machine logo

4. Meet legal requirements

The courts may require a company to change its name and/or visual branding if these are deemed to infringe on the copyright of another company. This happens when the branding is too similar to one that’s protected by law.

5. Change in leadership

The arrival of a new CEO does not always require rebranding. But if the CEO is prominent and likely to stay on for many years, then rebranding may be a good way to reflect the company’s change in direction and vision.

An example that comes to mind is the rebranding of Apple when Steve Jobs returned as CEO in 1997. However, Jobs’ return to Apple also meant restructuring the company. And so, the rebranding was more a reflection of substantial changes than simply the return of its original founder.

Types of Rebranding

Rebranding takes different shapes and forms, depending on its scale and scope, which are dictated by the reason for rebranding.

  • Visual only. Rebranding may be a simple matter of a logo redesign, a font style change, or new colors. Freshening up an established brand or adapting the logo to digital media may require little more than a visual identity change.
  • Renaming + visual. More significant rebranding involves changing the name as well as the visual identity of a business. Ownership changes, restructuring, market evolution, and legal requirements are some of the drivers of a rebranding with this scope.
  • The Works. When the very essence of a business changes, then the brand redesign goes beyond skin-deep as well. Rebranding begins from the core of the business—its vision, mission, and values—and radiates to its outward expressions.

3 Rebranding Trends in 2019

Just as there are trends in fashion, there are trends in rebranding as well. Here are the top rebranding trends we’ve noticed:

1. Simplification

Companies seeking to refresh their identities are opting to make their visuals clean and uncluttered. This may be because minimalist designs look best on digital media, particularly on mobile devices.

Minimalist designs are characterized by the use of white or negative space, sans serif fonts, and flat—not 3-dimensional—forms (although depth may be going back in style again soon).

In terms of names, simplification means short and punchy monikers, as in the case of FedEx. Mastercard seems to be aiming for simplicity with its logo redesign:

Mastercard New Nameless Logo 2019
Mastercard’s new, nameless logo

2. Un-branding, reverse-branding, or debranding

Millennials become loyal to brands, not because of their image, but because of what they stand for. And so, they reject visual gimmickry (traditional logos, fonts, colors, and imagery) and instead look at a brand’s authenticity, values, and integrity.

In response, companies are adopting styles that may appear like the absence of branding: nondescript, generic, bland, even. Skincare brand, The Ordinary, exemplifies un-branding from its name to its visual design:

The Ordinary's Un-branded Logo

3. Throwback/Vintage

Rather than putting on modern appearances, some brands are donning vintage looks. Trend curator Rohit Bhargava calls it “RetroTrust.”

“Often unsure of whom to trust, consumers look back to organizations and experiences with brands that have a legacy, or those with which they have a personal history,” Bhargava writes in Non-Obvious 2019: How to Predict Trends and Win the Future.

This may seem to contradict the need to modernize and keep with the times. In fact, it’s the pendulum swinging in the opposite direction.

Many have become disillusioned with over-digitization, with its lack of personalization, unrelenting pace, and abstraction. They’re harking back to the “good ol’ days.” Hence, the return of vinyl records, retro gaming, and even the Ektachrome film.

Whistler Classic Soda’s retro logo embodies its 1950s origins:

Whistler Classic Soda vintage branding

5 Key Ingredients of Successful Rebranding

What can we learn from the experience of companies that have rebranded?

Success is never guaranteed, that’s for sure, but rebranding best practices help increase the chances of a positive outcome, such as:

1. Do it for the right reasons.

With the costs and risks inherent in rebranding, you better be doing it for the right reasons. Needing a fresher look, for example, is not always a good reason to rebrand.

Change for the sake of change can backfire. That seems to be the case with Zara’s logo redesign, which so far has brought out the worst in critics.

Zara's New Logo 2019
This tweet is only one of the many harsh criticisms against Zara’s new logo.

Companies may also be tempted to rebrand as a response to issues that require a different solution altogether. Low sales cycles, poor brand awareness, and dismal marketing results will only get worse with rebranding, according to Jon Simpson, member of the Forbes Agency Council and owner of Criterion.B.

2. Research, research, research.

Doing your due diligence by conducting research is the best insurance against a rebranding debacle. It begins with evaluating your current brand assets. How is your brand resonating (or not) with your customers, prospects, employees, and other stakeholders? Where are your competitors at?

Question your assumptions and examine them against your research findings.

3. Get buy-in.

Don’t rebrand in a vacuum. Involve stakeholders from the get-go and throughout the entire rebranding process, through to post-launch. Collaboration, participation, and communication are all part of rebranding best practices.

“To get [rebranding] right from the start, a mix of ‘hands’ must be on deck, from top to bottom, inside and out,” says Anaezi Modu, founder and organizer of the Rebrand 100 Global Awards. It’s not something management can simply hand over to the marketing department and its consultants.

4. Invest in implementation.

As mentioned earlier, implementing the rebrand requires 20 times the budget of the conceptualization side of it. Take this into account when allocating your resources. Sometimes, the rebrand is sound but it falls flat because not enough thought and energy was put into executing it.

5. Go deeper than skin deep.

Even a superficial rebranding is a good occasion to re-examine your essence and culture, so you can more accurately express it.

“There is often a tendency to miss opportunities for real innovation and advancement,” Modu observes, “If you must, ask others to help reveal your blind spots. This prepares you to evolve and maintain relevance even as things change—which they inevitably do sooner or later.”

Rebranding: The Bottom Line

Rebranding can be the best thing that’s ever happened to a company… or it can be the worst.

What makes the difference?

Being true to your company’s identity and making it all about the customers you want to serve.

They can tell if you’re rebranding just for the sake of change or because you want to tell the story of who you have become.

Rebranding isn’t just about changing graphic designs; it’s about making inner transformation outwardly tangible.

If you’re looking to conceptualize, refresh, or update your business brand, read about what makes a small business brand successful.

In the meantime, what recent rebranding examples strengthened your connection with the brand? Which ones alienated you from the brand? Tell us in the comments below.

 

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International Women’s Day: Celebrating Women In Design https://envato.com/blog/international-womens-day-celebrating-women-in-design/ Thu, 07 Mar 2019 22:31:56 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=76731 Art has never belonged to a single type of person. At least, I’d like to think that we can all express it—through a variety of mediums and styles. And although history hasn’t always given recognition to everyone, art can still be found in the caves, halls, laptops and devices of nearly any person wanting a […]

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Art has never belonged to a single type of person.

At least, I’d like to think that we can all express it—through a variety of mediums and styles. And although history hasn’t always given recognition to everyone, art can still be found in the caves, halls, laptops and devices of nearly any person wanting a voice or searching for an answer.

Over the last 100 years, the influence of women in design has especially been felt through the decades of social work and advocacy from the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Now, with the internet, we gain access to a new generation of women hoping to make their mark in design.

So to celebrate International Women’s Day in 2019, let’s take a moment to highlight the remarkable work of seven women in this exciting digital field. Learn more about these Envato authors and their work and stories.

Kerry

Kerry Kershaw

Astrologer Kerry Kershaw is an avid artist who transports her viewers to exciting, natural worlds. Inspired by her love of travel, FortySixandTwo has become her haven for stunning flyer templates and stationery essentials. Let’s discover who has inspired her through the years.

Q: Which women have inspired your career path?

I mostly get my inspiration from so many different places and from listening to my heart. Anais Nin, Debra Silverman, Elizabeth Hiach are a few of the women I follow.

LUMINA Pinterest Pack

The owner of a publishing company, Kerry shares her favorite work with us.

Q: What work are you most proud of?

Creating my own brand, the Magic of I, and launching a publishing company in 2018. I self-published a completely custom, small batch 2019 Astrological Planner that I designed, illustrated and wrote myself. I also crowdfunded just over 90k last year to get it sustainably produced, and have shared the moon and stars with over 5,000 customers all over the world.
LUMINA Letterhead
Here is her advice on working in this creative field.

Q: What tip would you offer other women looking to work in your field?

Create space to listen. Create for you first—if it doesn’t light you up, excite you and make you feel alive then find something else. Life’s too short; the world needs your magic.

Juniper Flyer

Irene

Irene Demetri

Freelance graphic designer Irene Demetri loves creating patterns and digital resources for her design community. A mother of twins, wife and digital designer, she makes simplistic designs that aim to facilitate the work styles of creatives everywhere. Here are her favorite designers.

Q: Which women have inspired your career path?

I have gotten inspiration from so many women during my career as a designer, usually by those who were strong and driven in what they did.  As a child, I remember watching the film ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ and being so touched and inspired by Dian Fossey’s strong will, determination and love for what she did. She inspires me to this day.
Girlboss Patterns
The owner of Youandigraphics on Envato Elements, Irene shares with us an appreciation for all the creative work throughout her journey.

Q: What work are you most proud of?

I don’t think I can single out pieces of my work that I am most proud of, I am proud of any work I put out there at the time of its release. I make sure each piece reaches the top of my capabilities and knowledge while I am working on it so I can be proud once I release it. At the same time I am always looking at how I can improve my products making sure I learn from any mistakes or feedback I get.

Boho Patterns Collection

Do you trust your gut? Irene recommends following your intuition.

Q: What tip would you offer other women looking to work in your field?

To trust their instincts and decisions! Being a freelancer means you need to make all your professional decisions by yourself and even though it is most helpful to ask for advice, at the end of the day you know what is best for you.

Graphic Flowers Patterns

Carolina

Next is Carolina, a talented graphic designer from Sao Paulo, Brazil. After dedicating herself to becoming an accomplished Envato author, Carolina has created amazing digital resources of colorful abstract backgrounds and graphic templates. Let’s hear more about her influences.

Q: Which women have inspired your career path?

I’d like to mention three remarkable Brazilian artists: Ruth Kedar, the woman behind the Google logo. Bea Feitler, the woman who created some of the most iconic magazine covers of all time. And Luisa Dörr, the woman who photographed Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Clinton, Ellen DeGeneres and the other nine influential women for TIME’s magazine project “Firsts.”
Colorful Motion Square Backgrounds
Every designer remembers the feeling of their first successful product. Carolina shares her memory with us.

Q: What work are you most proud of?

I’m very proud of my Glitch Photoshop Photo Template. This project was released in 2015 and it marks the beginning of my success as an author.
Wavy Abstract Backgrounds
Are you inspired by her incredible work? Here’s her advice to other women.

Q: What tip would you offer other women looking to work in your field?

You must understand your client’s needs and do your best to match your authenticity with their expectations. I believe a good designer is essentially a very curious person and an extraordinary observer. Also, don’t forget that there is absolutely no one else in this world like you, so acknowledge your strength, work on your weak spots, trust your inner wisdom and use your uniqueness in your favor.

Tokyo City Glitch Backgrounds

Daisy

 

Illustrator, musician and game developer Daisy Ein is the lead artist of Super Retro Duck, an indie game developer that she co-owns. She’s also the artist behind our amazing How to Draw Natural, Textured Afro Hair series on Envato Tuts+. Here’s her advice on getting into the field.

Q: What tip would you offer other women looking to work in your field?

I think the biggest tip I’d give—as simple as it might sound is: just go for it. Whatever your creative or professional goals are, life is too short not to try. When an obstacle hits, refocus and keep trying. Don’t know something? It’s time to learn!

Umbrella Blue
Daisy, an avid illustrator of colorful cartoons and character tutorials, is also inspired by talented women in the industry.

Q: Which women have inspired your career path?

One of my inspirations is a lovely illustrator named Rose—she goes by the pen name “barachan.” Her illustration skills and design knowledge are really out of this world. She’s self made and has been her own boss for at least the last ten years. I hope I can lift up and inspire someone, someday, the way she inspired me.
How to Draw & Paint a Galaxy Afro Portrait in Adobe Photoshop
So what’s it like being an indie game developer? Daisy lets us know.

Q: What work are you most proud of?

I’d have to say my indie game, Tiny Bird Garden! I co-own Super Retro Duck (the game’s developer), and we developed and published the game ourselves. We’re a team of two, so it meant wearing a lot of different hats at once. I did the branding, motion graphics, illustrations, merchandise, music… it’s been a big part of my life for several years.
You can check out our game at TinyBirdGarden.com! It’s available for Android, iOS, PC, and Mac!

Tiny Bird Garden

Laura

Laura Keung

Next up is Laura Keung, a graphic designer and publication design enthusiast based in Munich, Germany.  She enjoys passing her knowledge through Envato as a way of giving back to young designers who want to achieve their goals. Here are her inspirations.

Q: Which women have inspired your career path?

Throughout my studies I was lucky to attend CreativeMornings Toronto, created by Tina Roth-Eisenberg who also runs SWISSMISS.
Jessica Hische’s lettering artwork is also very inspiring. You can see her work on many magazine covers, books, and cards. She’s an inspiring woman who’s shown me that it is possible to have more than one passion project.
Playgrounds
And giving back to the community is important for many designers, including Laura.

Q: What work are you most proud of?

I am most proud of work that has helped raise funds for charity. As a designer, I believe we can help develop brands and create visuals that will make charities more relevant and reach their goals.
How to Create a High-Contrast Skateboard Flyer in Adobe Photoshop
Any last advice for her design sisters? Laura lends her wisdom.

Q: What tip would you offer other women looking to work in your field?

Take the leap. Whatever it is you are passionate about and scared of, take that first difficult step, run and rock it! Sometimes there’s pain and hardships involved, but it is all part of the learning process and a way to grow.

How to Create a Quick Repetitive Text Effect Illusion in Adobe Illustrator

Irina

Our next feature comes from the extraordinary city of Barcelona, Spain. Designer Irina Markevich showcases tasty restaurant menus and invitations in her shop, BarcelonaDesignShop. She makes creative food illustrations by hand and shares with us her favorite designers below.

Q: Which women have inspired your career path?

One of my favorite designers is Lauren How. She is so inspiring and such a positive woman. She teaches you how to start your personal projects and how important it is to push your boundaries. Her famous article “10 Things Beyonce taught me about being a boss lady freelancer” was great; she took her lyrics and disguised it as a design talk.

Food Truck Menu Template

Like many designers, Irina is a foodie at heart. Here’s her favorite work.

Q: What work are you most proud of?

During the last seven years, I’ve created a lot of menu templates thanks to my passion for food and design. Every new item that was created was a new step up for me. I use all my creativity to create each of my works so I can say that I am proud of all of them.

Seafood Menu Placemat

Procrastination is a problem for many creatives. Irina recommends taking the plunge in her final advice.

Q: What tip would you offer other women looking to work in your field?

Start today. Don’t wait for tomorrow, for the perfect moment, or for somebody that’s gonna tell you what to do. Every small step is better than nothing.

Ice Cream Menu

Genie Austin

Genie Austin

Our final feature belongs to Genie Austin, a writer and photographer whose work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Guardian and Envato Tuts+.  Here she shares with us a few of the characteristics she admires in strong women leaders.

Q: Which women have inspired your career path?

I’m inspired by all women who buck tradition and carve their own path. Women like Serena Williams, who is uncompromisingly black and unapologetically female, and who shuts out all the noise and hate around her and just plays the game of life exactly the way she wants to play it.

Native Strangers, 2018

Support and encouragement is a huge struggle for many new to tech and design. Genie explains her views on the subject.

Q: What work are you most proud of?

I’m very invested in a project when I’m working on it, but when it’s done, it’s in essence dead for me, and I don’t look back. What I can say, however, is that I’m happy that I’ve followed my own voice and embraced an eclectic approach to creativity and life which was very discouraged when I was growing up. My media of choice are writing, mixed-media textiles and photography. Sometimes I work with them separately and express myself quite differently in each, and sometimes I combine them, but either way, I’m glad I didn’t give in to the pressure to choose.

Native Strangers, 2018

Like many creatives, Genie emphasizes the importance of getting involved. Here are her final words.

Q: What tip would you offer other women looking to work in your field?

There’s a lot of advice out there for women in the creative arts already, but the one thing that is rarely emphasized is the need to be informed about and engaged with the great issues of our time. As image makers, we have an enormous amount of power and sometimes a small amount of awareness of how what we do shapes the world around us.

Native Strangers, 2018

Happy International Women’s Day!

Great advice, ladies! Today is a wonderful time to lend your voice to the new generation of design. I hope you’ve been inspired to tackle your creative projects just like the amazing women above. Thank you to all the artists who have lent their advice to this article.

Feel free to explore their portfolios by visiting the links below:

The post International Women’s Day: Celebrating Women In Design appeared first on Envato.

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Master These Awesome New Skills in March 2019 https://envato.com/blog/best-online-design-courses/ Fri, 01 Mar 2019 16:51:48 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=55304 Why not learn a new skill in March? Get inspired with these fantastic new courses and tutorials.

The post Master These Awesome New Skills in March 2019 appeared first on Envato.

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Why not start the new month by learning a new skill? March is when spring starts in the Northern Hemisphere, so it’s a great time for new beginnings of all kinds.

Whether you’re a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a web designer or a developer, this post will give you some great ideas for learning new skills. We’ll go through some great courses and tutorials on graphic design, web design, coding, photography, and business.

Many of these resources are free, and others are included in a subscription to Envato Elements. So there’s nothing stopping you from picking up a valuable new skill this month. Let’s get started…

1. Make Your Own Business Cards in Photoshop

If you want to make a solid first impression and spread your professional network, business cards are a great way to do that. And sure, you could use a template or get someone to design them for you, but why not get creative and make your own, from scratch. Watch this free video for full instructions on making your business cards in Adobe Photoshop.

2. Create an SVG Beating Heart Animation

See the Pen
Animated Beating SVG ❤️ Using animateTransform (properly)
by Envato Tuts+ (@tutsplus)
on CodePen.

This was a Valentine’s Day special, but love never goes out of style, does it? In this free tutorial, you’ll learn how to create an animated SVG beating heart to woo your loved one on the digital platform of your choice, and you’ll get the full code to do it yourself. Find out how it’s done.

3. Make a Time Magazine Cover

Time Magazine cover

Have you ever wanted to be on the cover of Time magazine? Well, instead of spending years working away at achieving something newsworthy enough to be featured, why not take a shortcut and make it yourself in Photoshop? Or, if narcissism isn’t your thing, it could be a great way to make a fun gift for someone special in your life who you think deserves to be given the star treatment. Get the full instructions here.

4. Use the CSS Multi-Column Layout

CSS Multi-Column Layout

If you want to create complex layouts in CSS, you’re probably familiar with floats, Flexbox, or even CSS Grid Layout. But not many people know about a very powerful option called “multi-column”. Learn why you should use it and how to use it in this short but information-packed course.

5. Make a Sticky Menu in WordPress

Sticky menu in WordPress

Sticky menus are everywhere, from Apple’s website to those of IBM and Ted Baker. They’re usually small, one-line menus that stay visible as you scroll down the page, helping users navigate the site while staying quite unobtrusive. Learn how to make one for your WordPress site in this tutorial.

6. Find the Best Alternative to Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is a great vector design package, but it’s not the only game in town. In recent years, new competitors have emerged that have a lot to offer. So why not explore some of the other options out there by watching the video above.

7. Create a Photo Campaign for International Women’s Day

International Womens Day image

It’s International Women’s day on 8 March, so why not support the event by creating a visual campaign to support this year’s theme of “BalanceforBetter? Read this tutorial for tips on creating a successful campaign.

8. Migrate a WordPress Site

Migrate a WordPress site

Some things sound so simple, don’t they? What could possibly go wrong when moving a WordPress site from a local development machine to a live server? Plenty, actually. Take this course to let Rachel McCollin guide you around the pitfalls and follow the right process.

9. Find a Profitable Business Model

Create a business model

Lots of people have business ideas, but sadly, many of those ideas come to nothing. Often, that’s because although people have talent and ambition, they focus more on what they’d like to do instead of getting clear on the business model, i.e. exactly how they’re going to make money. Read this tutorial for a guide to choosing a business model and a look at 15 different models to pick from.

10. Create a Cool Ice Effect Animation

Ice effect animation

More animation for you, this time in Adobe After Effects. Take this course to learn how to create a translucent ice animation that you can use for your animation and design projects, without needing any plugins.

Want to Learn More?

If these new courses and tutorials aren’t enough for you, check out the full Envato Tuts+ library of more than 1,200 courses and 27,000 free tutorials. There’s sure to be something there for you. Have a look at these recommendations from previous months to get some more inspiration.

Get the Most Out of Gutenberg

WordPress Gutenberg plugins

WordPress launched its new Gutenberg editor just a couple of months ago, but there are already some useful plugins that take advantage of Gutenberg’s capabilities to offer more than the standard WordPress installation. Take this course to discover how to use plugins to manipulate images, create testimonials, and more.

Paint a Flamingo

Flamingo illustration

This tutorial not only has a beautiful, elegant end result to aim for, but it also teaches you a whole lot about using Adobe Illustrator’s brushes—and even creating your own custom brushes. Learn more.

Add Closed Captions to Social Media Videos

adding social media video captions

There are loads of good reasons to add captions to your social media videos. The most important, of course, is accessibility—you want to be able to reach the millions of people out there with hearing difficulties. But there are other reasons, too, which this article explains, before explaining how you go about adding those captions. Read about it here.

Learn React While Playing Hangman

React app example

React is a wonderful front-end framework for building dynamic single-page applications quickly and easily. This course teaches you how to use it while putting together a hangman app from scratch. You’ll learn how to create a new app project, build out all the components, handle states and styles, and work with web and lifecycle events. Take the course!

Responsive Design in Adobe XD

If you’re creating a website design in 2019, clients will definitely want to know what the site looks like on different devices and screen sizes. A responsive design mockup is a great way to illustrate that, and you can learn how to create one in this free YouTube course.

Add a Music Player to Your WordPress Site

WordPress audio player example

WordPress has its own default media player these days, so why bother with a music player plugin? What do they give you that the standard WordPress option doesn’t? And what about directly embedding audio players from other sites? This article runs you through all the options, clearly explaining the pros and cons of each. Find out more.

Manage a Web Design Project With Paymo

Paymo project overview screen

You could be the most talented web designer in the world, but if you can’t manage a project, you won’t be very successful. Web design projects can be large and complex, involving many tasks and sometimes many different team members. This tutorial shows you how to use Paymo to manage even the most complex project with ease.

Create a Cinematic Text Animation in Adobe After Effects

Cinematic text animation

Yep, it’s awards season again. Will Black Panther beat Bohemian Rhapsody? If you’re creating video content to tie in with the Oscars, you’ll love this course on creating a cinematic text animation. Whether you’re creating a movie trailer, an animated sequence or another type of video, it’ll help you create titles that belong on the big screen. Take the full course.

Give Yourself a Deer-Inspired Photo Makeover

Deer photo manipulation

Have you ever wondered what you’d look like as a deer? No, me neither. But you will after you follow this amazing photo manipulation tutorial. It shows you how to use Photoshop to combine photos to create this stunning deer effect. Why not try it with your own photo? Find out how it’s done.

Create Popups for Your WordPress Site

Elementor WordPress popups

Popups can often be annoying, but if done the right way, they can be hugely beneficial for your site while also respecting the needs of your users. This tutorial shows you how to add popups to your WordPress site the right way, using some of the brand new features of the popular Elementor page builder. Start creating great WordPress popups now.

Create Style Variations for WordPress Gutenberg Blocks

Gutenberg block style variations

WordPress made a huge change a few weeks ago with the launch of its new editor, Gutenberg. If you want to get the most out of it, check out David Gwyer’s two-part tutorial on customising block styles. Up your Gutenberg game today. And if you want to find themes that are already optimised for Gutenberg, you can do that here.

Create Complex Layouts With CSS Grid Layout

If you want to get creative in your website designs, you need to know about CSS Grid Layout. It’s the most powerful layout system available, and in this comprehensive YouTube video, Adi Purdila teaches you how to use it. It’s called “A Quick Introduction to CSS Grid Layout”, but I think that’s under-selling it! Watch the hour-long video here.

Make a Creative Religious Calendar for 2019

Religious calendar infographic

Calendars usually all look the same, but this one really stands out with its bold, colourful, wheel-based design. So why not learn how to make it in Adobe InDesign? The skills you learn will help you create other diagrams and infographics as well. Read the full instructions here.

Use Audio the Right Way in Websites and Apps

Audio now available on Envato Elements

No, I’m not talking about annoying auto-playing background music. Don’t ever do that. This quick tutorial covers some of the most useful ways to include audio in your websites and apps. These tips will help you enhance the user experience and give useful feedback, rather than imposing your random musical tastes on every visitor. Get the tips here.

Get Hapi

Hapi.js logo

OK, a name like Hapi.js just begs for puns, but I’ll leave it there. Express has long been the leading HTTP server framework for Node.js applications, but Hapi.js is probably the most popular alternative, with many devoted followers. Learn about it here—you’ll be Hapi you did (sorry, couldn’t resist!).

Start Colour Grading Your Video

Colour grading sounds like a dull, technical topic, but it can make a huge difference to how your videos look and how your viewers respond to them. So settle in for an hour and a quarter with Dave Bode and learn all the ins and outs of colour grading. Watch the free course on YouTube.

Make an Eye-Catching Movie Poster

Post-apocalyptic looking movie poster

If you’ve had enough of all the cute, cheerful holiday-season fare, why not go dark and design a gritty, post-apocalyptic movie poster? It looks complicated, but with the step-by-step instructions in this tutorial, you’ll be able to create it all in Photoshop. See how it’s done.

Make a Winning PowerPoint Pitch Deck

PowerPoint pitch deck slide

New Year, new projects. Maybe you’re pitching an idea for a creative project, or maybe you’re after something more corporate. In either case, this half-hour course is just the ticket. You’ll come away from it knowing how to create a PowerPoint pitch deck that will convince more or less anyone to do more or less anything. Use this knowledge wisely.

Make Money From Your Website in 2019!

WordPress theme for selling ebooks

Hey, we all want to do it, right? Take that blog or website and turn it into a money-making machine that will let us do what we really want to in 2019. Well, I can’t promise that this tutorial will get you there, but it’ll certainly give you some useful ideas. Get all 12 money-making ideas here.

Design a Winning Project Proposal

How to Design a Project Proposal in Adobe InDesign

When you’re putting together a proposal, the design really matters. Your prospective client will probably have dozens of other proposals to look through, and grabbing their attention with a clean, elegant design will give you a crucial advantage. This course teaches you how to stand out from the crowd by putting together a great proposal in InDesign.

Learn CSS Animation

Who uses Flash these days? CSS3 gives you so many great animations while providing a seamless experience for users. This free video course lets you build your CSS animation skills by completing six small but useful projects that use CSS animations. Take the free course now.

Build a WordPress Website With Elementor

If you don’t know code, you can still build your own website easily. Just use WordPress and a special builder plugin like Elementor. In this tutorial, Adi Purdila walks you through how to get set up, so you can quickly go from zero to a functioning website—with no coding skills required. Get started here.

Edit Video With Adobe Rush

Adobe Rush

When Adobe comes out with a new app, it’s worth paying attention. While the company isn’t flawless, it does have a great track record at producing software that becomes the new industry standard. So take the time to have a look at Adobe’s new video editing app, Adobe Rush. Follow this tutorial to see how it works and get up and running quickly.

Make Interactive JavaScript Maps

Interactive JavaScript Maps With Leaflet

Maps are everywhere on the web, but how many interactive ones do you see? Learn how to make your maps stand out with interactive features in this fascinating course by Craig Campbell. You’ll use the powerful Leaflet framework to create a map and add a range of shapes, markers, click events, and more. Take the course.

Draw a Peacock

How to draw a peacock

If you’re anything like me, you take one look at an image like this and think, “I could never draw that!” But Monika Zagrobelna’s instructions are so detailed and simple that you may just have a chance of reproducing it—or at least getting close. See how it’s done.

Use MongoDB Stitch in Android Apps

How to Use MongoDB Stitch in Android Apps

MongoDB Stitch is a powerful serverless platform that can meet all your back-end requirements. This tutorial takes you through every step required to use the platform in an Android app. Read the tutorial to find out how it works.

Animate SVGs

Animated SVG

We all know about animated GIFs, but did you know that animated SVGs are a great alternative? You can even use them for things other than cute cat memes. Find out how to animate SVGs in this amazing tutorial by Adi Purdila.

Use Custom Post Types in WordPress

How to Use Custom Post Types in WordPress

WordPress has so much flexibility built in, but many people never use it. For example, most people stick with the default post type, but you can create your own custom post types to include data that’s useful for your own website, saving you a lot of time. See how to use WordPress custom post types.

Peer Into the Future of Graphic Design

2019 graphic design trends

OK, this last one is not a skill, exactly, but if you want to be a designer, it’s essential to keep up to date with trends in the industry. This article takes a peek into 2019 to predict what’s coming for designers. Read Grace Fussell’s predictions for 2019 design trends and see if you agree.

Create a Split Image Poster in Adobe Photoshop

Split image poster

Isn’t this a striking poster? I love the combination of shapes and colours, and the way the image in the center is split into full-colour and black-and-white segments. It looks complex, but in this free tutorial, Laura Keung teaches you to create this poster step by step in Photoshop. Read the instructions.

Edit Video the Right Way in Adobe Premiere Pro

Time for a free YouTube course now. That’s right, you can find a lot more on YouTube than cute cat videos. This comprehensive three-hour video takes you through the nuts and bolts of editing video in Adobe Premiere Pro. It starts with the basics of getting set up and importing your footage, and then it takes you through the whole editing process, right through to the final stage of exporting your finished video. Set aside some time to watch the video, or bookmark it to watch later.

Go Further With Figma

Figma online course

Figma is an incredibly versatile app for designing user interfaces, and it’s quickly becoming a favorite tool for UI and UX designers worldwide. This course helps you learn some of the more advanced aspects of working with it, such as styles and team libraries. So watch Beyond the Basics: Figma to get up to speed. Or try A Guide to Prototyping in Figma for a practical guide to using the software for prototyping.

Make Your Site Accessible for Keyboard-Only Users

Navigating quick links in the Tuts+ footer with the Tab key

Here’s the problem: most web interfaces are designed with mouse cursors and touch interaction in mind, but many users rely on the keyboard to navigate. This tutorial teaches you the important skill of designing for keyboard accessibility. You’ll learn some great techniques for assisting keyboard users and making your sites accessible to a broader audience. Read the full tutorial here.

Create a Scary “La Llorona” Photo Manipulation

La Llorona photo manipulation

With the terrifying trailer for the new horror movie The Curse of La Llorona generating quite a bit of buzz, why not take inspiration from the movie—and the original Mexican folk tale—by creating a “La Llorona” illustration of your own? The best part is that it’s easy to do in Photoshop, thanks to this free step-by-step tutorial by Abbey Esparza. Learn to create the image here. They should definitely have used this for the movie poster!

Build a Real-Time Applause Feature

Pusher real-time applause feature

You know those features on sites like Medium.com that let you recognise a post by clicking the “applause” icon and seeing the number of claps increase in real time? With this tutorial, you can create that feature for your own app, using Angular and Pusher. Get the instructions and source code here.

Master Affinity Designer

Here’s another comprehensive YouTube course for you. This one is 2 hours 45 minutes long, and it takes you through using the Affinity Designer app in all the detail you could possibly need. If you want to get started with this popular alternative to Adobe Illustrator, all you need to do is watch this video.

Test Your Site for Accessibility

Accessibility test screenshot

Yes, another accessibility post! Why? Because it’s an important subject that’s been neglected for too long. Envato Tuts+ Web Design just devoted a whole week to it—read more here. This post is about testing your site, and what better way to do that than by discovering how we actually do it an Envato? Get the inside scoop from Envato developer Luke Jones.

Create PHP Forms

Coding a PHP form

Forms are not the most exciting aspect of a website, but they’re one of the most important. They let visitors contact you, give feedback, and interact with the site in lots of other ways. This course shows you how to create functional forms in PHP. As a bonus, you’ll get to learn and practise some useful PHP skills too! Take the course!

Write a Letter in the Right Format

Writing a formal letter

We cover a lot of technology topics on Envato Tuts+, so let’s finish with something more old school. You may not need to write many formal letters these days, but you’ll have to do it at some point. And chances are that when you do need to write a letter, it will be important to get it right. Think about a cover letter for an important proposal or an invitation to a prestigious event. Getting the details right is very important, so get the full lowdown here.

Discover a Brand New Design Program

Affinity Publisher magazine layout

Affinity Publisher is still in beta testing before its official launch, but it promises to be a fabulous alternative to Adobe InDesign. So why not take it for a test drive by downloading a free trial version and following the steps in this tutorial to create a stylish magazine layout. Get started now!

Make a Professional Resume

Are you tired of your job? Looking for a new challenge? If you want to start 2019 in a more rewarding role, you’ll need to start the process now. This free video course takes you through the process of creating a professional resume to kick-start your job hunt in just ten minutes. Just watch the video above, or check it out on YouTube.

Design Your eCommerce Website in Adobe XD

If you need to design an eCommerce site, this tutorial will teach you everything you need to know to get started with an effective prototype in Adobe XD. You’ll get full instructions on how to create the prototype and how to master some key features of the software. Learn more here.

Learn to Use CSS Grid Layout

CSS Grid Layout

If you’re still using floats or Flexbox to create grid layouts in your web design projects, there’s a better way. It’s called CSS Grid Layout, and you can learn all about it in this one-hour course. Take the course to master the most powerful layout system currently available.

Create a Hand-Lettered T-Shirt Design

Hand Lettering T-Shirt Design

This tutorial is two for the price of one. You get to learn some amazing hand lettering techniques, and you also learn to create a striking T-shirt design in Photoshop, complete with a realistic mockup. Oh, and the tutorial is free, so it’s really two for the price of none. But that doesn’t sound so good… Anyway, start learning here!

Create Advanced 3D Web Animations

3D Animation with Three.js

Three.js is a powerful JavaScript animation framework, and in this course you’ll learn some amazing techniques for animating complex scenes in Three.js. Take the course to take your animation skills to the next level.

Weave Some Keynote Magic

Keynote Magic Move feature

Do you know how to use the power of the “Magic Move” feature in Apple’s Keynote presentation software? It’s a great way to give your presentations a distinctive, professional look by incorporating some slick animated transitions. Learn how it works in this quick video tutorial.

Create an Email Template—The Easy Way

Email template

Email templates aren’t easy to create because they often rely on complex table-based structures. In this course, you’ll learn an easy way to create a beautiful email template by customizing a premade starter template from Envato Elements. Find out how it’s done.

Troubleshoot Your Web Apps With Raygun APM

Raygun APM

We’ve covered a lot of design topics, so here’s one for the developers out there. In this tutorial, you’ll see how to monitor the performance of your web apps, identify problem areas, and figure out solutions. It’s all done using the Raygun APM dashboard, and you can get the details in the full tutorial.

Learn Adobe Illustrator From Start to Finish

Illustrator for Beginners course

This course is a comprehensive guide for complete beginners to Adobe Illustrator. It starts with zero assumed knowledge and in over three hours of video lessons, it takes you up to the point where you can create finished illustrations using the Pen Tool, the Curvature Tool, brushes, and more. Take the course to go from zero to competent illustrator in a few hours!

Create a Back-to-School Icon

Back to school icon

Since it’s back to school time, let’s start by creating a simple icon to mark the event. Do kids still use rulers and calculators these days, or are they doing everything on their smart watches? In any case, the symbols are very recognisable, and you’ll also learn a lot about creating any type of icon in Affinity Designer. Take the free tutorial to get started.

Design a Corporate Website the Easy Way

UI kits in Sketch

When you need to design a corporate website, there’s no sense starting from scratch. Instead, you can give yourself a solid head start by using a UI kit. This in-depth course will teach you what a UI kit is and how to use one to design a corporate website using Sketch. Find out more.

Create a Seamless Real-Time Experience in Web & Mobile Apps

 

Channels by Pusher

Users now expect the same real-time experience across web and mobile apps. Delivering that just got a whole lot easier thanks to this comprehensive series of free tutorials on Pusher and its Channels platform, which allows you to give your users a seamless real-time experience across multiple channels. Browse through the series to get up to speed with this powerful technology.

Create an Awesome Portrait on Your iPad

Punk portrait in Procreate

Can you believe that this stunning portrait was created on an iPad? And can you imagine creating it yourself with step-by-step instructions? That’s exactly what you’ll get in this tutorial. So view the instructions and start using your iPad for something other than Netflix!

Watch the Sketch vs. Adobe XD Face-Off!

Sketch and Adobe XD are both useful programs for web designers, but which is better? What are the pros and cons of each, and how can you decide which one to use? Find out in this video.

Make Some Creepy Halloween Images

Halloween cat photo effect

Frankly, the scariest part of this tutorial for me was its claim that Halloween is already approaching. Can’t we stay at the beach a little longer? But I have to admit that some of the photo effects you learn how to create in this tutorial are very creepy and impressive. So if you want to get spook-ready well in advance, follow this tutorial.

Make a Flyer

Make a flyer

Ah, that’s more like it! A summer music festival, beaches and palm trees… You can really feel the summer vibe in this flyer design. So if you’re not ready for creepy Halloween cats just yet, stave off autumn with this fun flyer design project in Photoshop. As usual, you’ll learn loads of useful skills along the way. So sign up for the course now!

Code With Swift on the Server

Server-side Swift

Swift is well known as the programming language you use to develop apps for the iPhone and other Apple devices. But did you know that it’s now a server language too? In this tutorial, you’ll learn what server-side Swift is and why you would want to have Swift on your back end. You’ll also see how to get started with the Kitura, Vapor, and Perfect frameworks. Get started with server-side Swift!

Design a Book Cover

How to design a book cover

People used to dream of having their book published one day. Now, with services like Amazon and CreateSpace, it’s easy to skip the dreaming and go straight to the publishing. But as you’ll see if you browse any online bookstore, getting the cover right is easier said than done. So take this book cover design course to learn how to create a professional-looking book cover that will entice new readers to buy and read your book.

Use an Image as a Base for Your Web Design Project

Image used for web design

In web design as in other creative endeavours, getting started is often the hardest part. How do you find inspiration to get beyond that blank page? This video tutorial introduces an interesting concept: using an image as the base for a web design project. It shows you how to pick a good image, pull it into Adobe XD, and use it to create your colour scheme. From there, you can build out the whole site much more easily than you would have been able to with nothing but white space to look at. Watch the video to see how it works.

Create Your Own Smartphone Mockup

Smartphone Mockup

Envato just launched a new partnership with Placeit, which makes it easy to create photo-realistic mockups with no design skills at all. But if you want to create a mockup the old-school way, with smart objects and smart filters in Photoshop, then read this tutorial for the full lowdown on how to do it.

Make Your Own WordPress Plugins

WordPress call to action plugin

Often, the best way to learn something new is by rolling up your sleeves and doing it. And if you have the right guide, you can even get the practical experience without having to waste time on missteps. That’s what this course offers: you get to create a series of practical call-to-action WordPress plugins, with expert guidance to help you through the whole process from start to finish. Take the course to get started right away.

Be Popular in China

Baidu screenshot

Making it big in China is every website owner’s dream. But making it happen is more complicated than you might think. The SEO practices that you’ve followed with Google in mind just won’t cut it in China. Read this in-depth China SEO guide to learn about everything from on-page optimisation to business licenses.

Go Offline

Going Offline

No, I’m not talking about unplugging and going to the beach (although that’s not a bad idea). I’m talking about making your website available even when people have bad internet connections. An offline website? How is that even possible? With the magic of service workers. Learn about them in our new short course, or read an in-depth eBook if you prefer.

Brush Up on Photoshop Brushes

I included this course not just for its pun potential, but also because it’s a really useful guide to getting the most out of Photoshop brushes. If you do any kind of art, design or other creative work in Photoshop, you need to watch this video. Oh, did I mention it’s a free course? That’s another good reason to watch it.

Build Your Own Music Player

Vuetify music player

Well, this is just cool. I don’t know much about Vue.js, let alone Vuetify.js, but I love the idea of building my own music player. If you do too, and if you know a little bit more about progressive JavaScript frameworks than I do, you’ll love this tutorial. What are you waiting for? Get started already.

Photoshop Your Own Sci-Fi Scene

Scifi photo manipulation

This amazing sci-fi scene looks impossible to create, but this tutorial makes it easy. All you need to do is download some images and textures, and then follow the step-by-step instructions on how to put them all together and make the necessary adjustments. Find out how it’s done.

Make a Landing Page—the Easy Way

Landing page example

If you need to get a landing page up and running quickly and easily, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Just pick a professionally designed landing page template, customise it to meet your needs, and focus your time and energy on the important part: making the page successfully convert. Take this short course to find out how to go from zero to a professional landing page in no time.

Make Kinetic Typography in PowerPoint

Even if you don’t know what kinetic typography is, I bet you’ve seen it. Think about those slick text effects you see on presentations or videos, where text comes together in smooth animations. Well, instead of reading my description, it’s probably better just to watch the video. It only takes 60 seconds, and you’ll not only see what kinetic typography is, but learn how to create it too!

Get People to Register for Your Webinar

Webinar registration page

Webinars are a great way to build your audience by giving people valuable information. Do it right, and you can convert casual visitors into engaged followers and future customers. But first, you have to get people to sign up. This article gives some great tips on creating an effective registration page that will give you a full set of attendees every time, and it links to some useful resources for building the page. Read the article to find out how.

Design in Memphis Style

Memphis Style
Do you like bold colours and playful design elements? Then you’ll love the Memphis Style, created in the 1980s and now back in vogue. From three of our recent tutorials, you can learn what the Memphis Style is, and then make a text effect and a poster in Memphis Style.

Master Variable Fonts

Variable fonts

If you do any work with web typography, you need to learn about variable fonts. They’re a fantastic new development that lets you get much more creative with typography than you ever could before—while also reducing your font load time. Get up and running with variable fonts in our comprehensive new course.

Make a Competitive Premium WordPress Theme

Make a competitive WordPress theme

We’ve all seen them, haven’t we? Those WordPress theme authors who rake in thousands of dollars from a single popular theme. How do they do it? You’ll get some great tips in this tutorial. Generally, articles only tackle one aspect of theme development: business strategy, technical quality, or marketing. This one covers all three. Read the tutorial to help you create the next hit WordPress theme.

Customize a Logo Sting in Adobe After Effects

Logo stings are those cool animated logo effects that you often see at the start of videos. They’re a great way to communicate your brand in a stylish way that even jaded YouTube viewers will remember. In this course, you’ll learn to create a complex logo sting the easy way, by downloading an awesome template and customising it. For a limited time, the Projection Mapping logo sting template is available for free for you to follow this course and learn. Simply create an account on Elements and then download it for free.

Make a Professional Invoice

Professional invoice

I’ve been a freelancer for over a decade now, so I know the importance of getting paid on time. Even if you do all the creative stuff well, you still need to handle the invoicing properly so that your clients pay you before your bills are due. This quick, ten-minute course will help you create a professional invoice in either Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop. Watch the course now.

Go Further With Gutenberg Blocks in WordPress

Extending Gutenberg blocks

If you work with WordPress, you probably know that a major overhaul of the classic post and page editor is coming soon. Although many articles present it as a problem (how do you get ready for it, how do you make sure your themes are compatible, etc.), it’s actually a great opportunity to offer a whole range of new functions to your theme and plugin users. Read this tutorial in our Gutenberg series to learn about extending custom Gutenberg blocks. Or take our new in-depth course, Coding Blocks for WordPress Gutenberg.

Make Great Landscape Photographs With Your Smartphone

Smartphone landscape photograph

Smartphones are great for casual photography, but can they really compete with digital SLR cameras for shooting landscapes? The answer, as you’ll see in this tutorial, is a resounding yes. You’ll learn some tips and tricks that will take your landscape photography to the next level, with nothing more than the phone in your pocket (although a tripod and access to Photoshop will also help!). Get started here.

Learn Node.js From Scratch

Nodejs from scratch

What do you mean, you don’t know Node.js? It’s a massively popular open-source, cross-platform JavaScript runtime environment that will take your JavaScript development to the next level. If you’re a Node.js beginner (or a more experienced developer who needs a refresher), this two-hour introductory course is perfect for you. It’ll take you through Node.js concepts from the ground up, while introducing you to some great tools for Node.js developers. Take the course here.

Create a Rainbow Pride Text Effect 

Pride text effect

We ran various tutorials to celebrate Pride Month in June, including this great little piece on creating a rainbow text effect. It doesn’t matter that June has now ended—any time of year is a great time to show your pride or solidarity. Plus you’ll pick up some great Adobe InDesign skills if you follow along. Get the step-by-step instructions.

Go Live!

Live screencast

Live streaming can be a great way to boost your online profile, connect with your fans and followers, and reach out to a new audience. But it can also be completely terrifying. In this tutorial, you’ll learn why you should do live streaming or screencasting, and you’ll pick up some great tips on how to do it, from the tools and equipment you need to the techniques that will help it go smoothly. Find out more.

Create Custom Blocks in WordPress Gutenberg

If you use WordPress, you’ve probably heard all about Gutenberg, an entirely new editing experience coming to WordPress later this year. Most of the articles so far have focused on adapting to it and dealing with issues, but what I like about this tutorial is that it focuses on the opportunities Gutenberg offers. Specifically, it shows you how to create your own custom version of a block—the drag-and-drop unit that Gutenberg is built around. With custom blocks, you can offer truly unique experiences in your themes and plugins. Find out how.

Learn Photoshop From the Ground Up

We often focus on new technologies in these posts, but sometimes it’s good to get a refresher on something that’s been around a long time. This comprehensive three-hour video-based course treats Photoshop as if it’s a new piece of software, introducing it to you from start to finish, with no prior knowledge assumed. This is a perfect way for beginners to master Photoshop, whether you’re a designer, photographer, marketer, or hobbyist. Take the course to learn about layers, adjustments, masking, Smart Objects, and a whole lot more.

Code an Image Gallery Android App With Picasso

If you’re creating a mobile app, you’ll probably need to load images at some point. This tutorial teaches you how to do it quickly and easily with Picasso, a popular open-source Android library for loading both local and remote images. It gives you an introduction to what Picasso is and why you should use it, and then it takes you step by step through the process of using it to create an image gallery app. Get the full instructions and source code here.

Make a Website Using a Responsive WordPress Theme

If you’re a small business owner or freelancer who wants to set up a professional-looking website quickly and easily, this short course is perfect. You get to see the full process of creating a site using a premium WordPress theme. You’ll install and activate the theme, configure the options, and then create the home page, menu and hours page, contact page, and so on. Take the course to get started.

Think Like a Designer

When you hear the phrase “design thinking”, what comes to mind? Maybe putting good design and aesthetics at the centre of whatever you’re working on? That’s not a bad definition, but this tutorial argues for something different. Design thinking is about seeing everything from the customer’s point of view and designing everything with a view to what the customer needs and wants. Read the full tutorial to learn more about how it works and what the implications are for designers.

Use Regular Expressions in JavaScript

The most exciting tutorials are usually the ones where you build something. This isn’t one of those. There isn’t even a good preview image to show. It’s very much about the nuts and bolts of code, and yet those nuts and bolts are very useful indeed. With regular expressions, you can manipulate strings of data in pretty much any way you want, allowing you to find matches, replace parts of the string, and much more. Read this beginner’s guide to get an idea of what’s possible.

Make Extra Income From Side Gigs

Are you a designer? Do you want to make some extra money? If you answered “Yes” to both those questions, then this tutorial is for you. In it, you’ll learn about ten different ways of using your talent to bring in income from side gigs. Teaching, writing, consulting, merchandising, and more—these ideas will get you thinking about new possibilities for your design career. Read about all ten side gigs here.

Create a Porg

We couldn’t let May the 4th go by without a Star Wars tutorial, could we? And what better choice this year than those cute, fluffy porgs? This is actually a two-part tutorial. First, you can learn how to draw a porg by slowly adding simple shapes and then shading. Then you can take that drawing and create a beautiful vector illustration in Affinity Designer.

Break the Grid With CSS Grid Layout

Traditional grid-based layouts have a lot of advantages, but you also end up with a lot of websites that look pretty reminiscent of other websites. If you want to make an impression, try breaking the grid. This course shows you exactly how to do it using the CSS Grid Layout model. Learn the full process with video instructions here.

Animate an Explosion!

Boom! The explosion effect above looks complicated to create, but it’s actually quite simple to build it using the Toon Boom software. You’ll get the step-by-step instructions in this tutorial, and you can use the skills you develop to build all kinds of different animations. Read the tutorial to get started.

Get to Grips With WordPress Gutenberg

If you use WordPress to create or update websites, you’ve probably heard about a massive change that’s coming soon. The update, codenamed Gutenberg, will change the way you create and edit posts and pages—probably for the better, but with some major adjustment required. Take the course to see how it will work.

Also check out these helpful Gutenberg articles:

Draw a Puppy

Who doesn’t love puppies? Just look at how cute and chubby that little guy is. But seriously, there’s more reason to take this tutorial than just the cuteness factor. You’ll also see how to break down a fairly complex thing like a puppy into simple ovals and lines so that you can draw it easily. Read the instructions here.

Create Double Exposure Effects in Adobe Photoshop

Double exposure effects, where multiple images are blended together, can be very visually powerful. But there’s more to creating them than simply slapping one photo on top of another. This course takes you through three separate examples to give you a comprehensive understanding of the dos and don’ts of double exposures. Take the course to discover how it’s done.

Create Accessible WordPress Themes

Accessibility is crucial when designing WordPress themes in 2018. But how do you ensure your theme is fully accessible to everyone? This tutorial guides you through the essential steps, from using semantic HTML to checking for color contrast and avoiding repetitive link text and more. Read the tutorial to get up to speed.

Master the New Bootstrap 4 Grid System

Bootstrap is an incredibly popular framework for building websites, and the new version 4 comes with a lot of changes. One of the biggest is a complete revamp of the grid system. Take the course to learn all about the changes and practise using the new system.

Do Better Market Research With Focus Groups

No matter what industry you’re in, knowing what your customers want is a pretty essential part of staying in business. You’ve probably heard of focus groups and how big companies use them to decide which variant of a product will work better. But did you know that small firms can use them to? Do you know how to set one up and use it effectively? If not, read the tutorial to find out.

Get the Most Out of Medium Telephoto Photography Lenses

Sometimes, having the right piece of gear can make a real difference to the quality of the images you produce. But with such a wide array of cameras and lenses out there, it can be tough to know where to start. This video tutorial breaks it all down for you, showing you the benefits of a medium telephoto lens and how to get the most out of it. Watch the video to get clued in.

Upgrade to Java 8 for Android App Development

The technology updates seem to be coming thick and fast. Along with Gutenberg and Bootstrap 4, there’s also Java 8 to look out for. Although Java 8 has actually been around for a few years now, Android app developers couldn’t use it until recently. However, in version 3.0, Android Studio started supporting Java 8, and this short course shows you how to add Java 8 to your Android Studio projects and upgrade your code to take advantage of all its new features. Take the course to prepare for the upgrade.

Create a Cute Spring Illustration

No drawing skills required! You can construct this cute illustration using simple shapes and tools in Adobe Illustrator. Get the full step-by-step instructions to see how it’s done.

Design Better User Experiences for Global Audiences

Creating an engaging user experience (UX) is hard enough anyway, and it gets even tougher when you have to consider the different cultural contexts of people around the world. This short tutorial introduces you to some important best practices. It’s also worth reading up on what dark UI patterns are and why you should avoid them.

Create a Photorealistic Digital Painting in SketchBook Pro

Fruit? Really? Yes—there’s a good reason why painters have honed their skills for centuries on this classic still life subject. Fruit gives you a variety of colours and textures to work with, and its various surfaces reflect light in different ways. This tutorial takes you through the whole process in detail, using techniques from 3D modelling to make the end result look incredibly realistic. By the end, you’ll be ready to use the same techniques to paint any subject you want. Follow all the steps here.

Create a Small Business Branding Package the Fast Way

If you’re a small business owner or freelancer who wants to create professional branding materials quickly and efficiently, this quick ten-minute course is for you. You’ll learn how to select appropriate templates from Envato Elements and bring them together to form a cohesive brand identity that instantly builds customer trust. Take the course now.

Manage Storage on Your iOS Device

Does this sound familiar? You buy a phone or tablet, it comes with a ridiculous amount of storage that you’re sure you’ll never end up using. Then, within no time, you get messages popping up saying the device is full. This tutorial takes you through some useful steps to avoid that problem for iOS devices by freeing up space and using storage more efficiently for common problem areas like photos and music. Learn those iOS storage secrets here.

Learn PHP for WordPress

For me, the attraction of WordPress is that it lets you build sophisticated websites without having to understand PHP, the underlying programming language it’s built with. You can bolt together themes and plugins, tinker around with a few settings, and you’re good to go! But, of course, if you want to go to a deeper level of customization or become a WordPress developer, you will need to learn PHP eventually. This course is a great introduction, letting you take your first steps with PHP in the familiar environment of WordPress. No more flaking out and using the Customizer—go ahead and take the red pill to see what’s really happening under the hood.

Overcome Your Cognitive Biases and Design Better Websites

If you want to be a great web designer, you probably think you need to learn all the latest CSS and JavaScript tricks and master the latest frameworks. While all of that is useful, you’ll also need to do something more important and often more difficult: know your own cognitive biases and work to overcome them. This fascinating tutorial digs into some of the weird biases lurking in our brains and shows how they can affect your work as a web designer. Read the tutorial to learn about your biases and master them so you can design better websites.

Code a React App With GraphQL

Often, the best way to learn something is to get your hands dirty with a practical example. In this course, you’ll be building a trip-planning app for the Finnish public transport system. Along the way, you’ll learn how to seamlessly retrieve and integrate live server data into your app, while structuring your queries, accessing real-time data, and handling errors. You’ll also get to know the quickest route from Mäkkylä to Espoonlahti. Take the course to start building and learning today.

Create a Shatter Effect in Photoshop

A shatter effect is a powerful visual metaphor that you can use in a range of designs to illustrate progress, change, or breaking through boundaries. This tutorial shows you how to create the effect easily in Photoshop, starting with a stock image and creating a special “shatter brush” to let you apply the effect, before making all the necessary adjustments so that it looks realistic. Get the full instructions here.

Create a Weight Tracker App With Cloud Firestore

Cloud Firestore is an easy, secure way to store your Android app’s data in the cloud. This tutorial shows you how to use it to create a simple weight tracker app. You’ll learn how to set up user authentication and a basic user interface to make a fully functioning app in a surprisingly short amount of time. See how it’s done.

Animate a Rubber Hose Character in Cinema 4D

The simple, fluid “rubber hose” style of animation is a great way to learn the basics of animation without worrying about the detailed anatomy of your characters. And although the characters are often simple, their movements can look very realistic. This course shows you how to animate a rubber hose character in Cinema 4D, giving you a perfect introduction to 3D animation along the way. Take the course now.

Create a Truly Terrifying Photo Manipulation

Too often, things like this get published around Halloween, but I think we should be able to scare the bejesus out of each other all year round. As well as being nightmare-inducing, this photo manipulation project is a great way to learn about techniques like using colour grading to add atmosphere and mood to a scene. Read the tutorial to start assembling this scene step by step.

 

Build a WordPress Portfolio Site in 1 Hour

A portfolio website is a must for people in all kinds of different industries. It lets you pull together your work and show it off in a visually engaging way. This course shows you how to create a portfolio site the easy way, using WordPress and a pre-designed portfolio theme. Take the course to build a great-looking site in just an hour.

Create a Surreal Portrait in Photoshop

Some designs are so striking that you just think, “Wow, I could never create that.” Well, I do, anyway. But this tutorial breaks the whole process down into easily manageable steps. If you’ve got a copy of Photoshop and some time available, you can work your way through this and create a stunning photo manipulation with a stitching effect. Get the full set of instructions.

Build a React Component

Are you up for a challenge? This post sets you the challenge of building a React component for displaying a Twitter avatar, and then you can either work on it by yourself or watch the video to see how it’s done. Take the challenge here.

Brush Up on Your Illustrator Skills

Adobe Illustrator is one of those programs that you can use for years without discovering all its features. This course takes you through 10 essential design tips to help you get the most out of Illustrator and bring your creative ideas to life. Take the course to discover all 10 tips.

Get Up to Date on SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is one of those subjects that changes all the time. That’s why Envato Tuts+ publishes annual reports on The State of SEO. Check out the latest SEO report for 2018 to discover the ins and outs of AJAX crawling, artificial intelligence and more.

Create an Online Store With Shopify

If you want to set up an online store or monetise an existing site, Shopify is a popular solution. This course makes it easy for you to get up and running with your own online store. Take the course to watch 12 detailed video lessons that will take you from zero to a functioning store in no time. Bonus: the sample store you’ll be creating is a pet store, so plenty of scope for cute dog photos!

Replace a Laptop With an iPad

Haven’t we all dreamed of leaving the laptop behind and going for the simplicity and comfort of an iPad? For “power users” like professional graphic designers and coders, this may not be practical, but for many of us, an iPad can now handle most if not all of the tasks we use our computers for. So if you’re ready to slim down, read this article for details of how to make the switch successfully.

Learn Vue.js

Vue is a progressive framework for building user interfaces using HTML and JavaScript. In this short course aimed at designers, you will learn the basics of pulling data into your web pages using Vue’s simple templating syntax. Take the course now.

Master Lightroom’s New Dehaze Tool

Take a close look at the image above. The left half is how the photo originally looked, and the right half has had the Dehaze tool applied to it in Adobe Lightroom CC. As you can see, it’s a powerful tool, and this tutorial teaches you exactly how to use it. Read the tutorial to get up to speed.

Create a Modern Restaurant Website

What I like about this tutorial is that it goes beyond the technical aspects of building a website to deal with the whole process, from defining your target audience through the design of the site and then marketing and content creation. While some of the tips are specific to restaurant websites, others could be applied to a range of other business websites. Read the article here.

 

Learn to Design for Colour-Blind People

Colour blindness test

If we’re putting something out into the world in the year 2018, it really should be accessible to everyone. What I like about this tutorial is that it explains in lots of scientific detail what colour blindness is and how things look to people with different kinds of colour blindness, and then it goes on to give tips on what you can do to make your designs easier for everyone to view. Read the tutorial to learn how to tell protanopia from deuteranomaly and cater for people with either of them.

Switch From Font Icons to SVG

SVG icon

Icon fonts are popular among web designers, and for good reason. But did you know that SVG can sometimes be a better choice for handling icons? Take the course to find out why you should consider using SVG for icons and to learn the practical steps for switching from icon fonts to SVG.

Make an Unbounce Landing Page

Landing page example

A well-designed landing page can make a huge difference to your website, enabling you to steer visitors clearly towards the action you want them to take, whether that’s signing up for your mailing list or buying your latest product. Luckily, Unbounce makes it easy to create the landing page you want, and this tutorial shows you exactly how to do it. Start creating your landing page now.

Create an Artistic Collage in Photoshop

Collage in Photoshop

Feeling creative? This next tutorial is perfect for anyone who wants to experiment with new artistic techniques while picking up some tips on Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom too. Juxtapose jarring images and symbols, mix in some bright colours, and create a striking result. Get the step-by-step instructions here.

Build a CMS With Laravel

Build a CMS With Laravel

Or for a very different kind of creativity, why not learn to build your very own content management system? This is a really comprehensive course that includes 23 video lessons with a total viewing time of over four hours. It’s recently been updated with brand new lessons to take advantage of the latest features in Laravel 5, so why not take this comprehensive course and learn pretty much everything there is to know about creating a CMS with Laravel.

Colour Correct Video in Adobe Premiere

How to Color Correct Video in Adobe Premiere

Don’t you just hate it when you shoot video that looks perfect in every way—except that the colour balance is off? Problems with tone, white balance and other colour settings are common when shooting video, and they can ruin the end result. So watch this free video to get instructions on salvaging your work by adjusting the colour in Adobe Premiere.

Create Cool Text Styles With SVG

SVG text styles

Remember that earlier I was extolling the virtues of SVG for fonts? Well, it turns out that you can create some pretty amazing text effects with it too. Bubble bevel, anyone? Chunky metal? Or how about a neon light effect? Take the course to complete five practical projects that will teach you a whole lot about using SVG to manipulate text.

Create a “Celebration” Illustration

Champagne celebration illustration

The holiday season may be over, but hopefully there’ll still be plenty of reasons to celebrate in the year to come. So why not celebrate with this elegant champagne illustration? What I like about it is that it’s built using just basic shapes, tools and effects in Adobe Illustrator—no drawing skills required! Find out how to do it.

Build Your Own Web App With Flask

Build a Web App With the Flask Microframework for Python

Sometimes, the best way to learn is by getting your hands dirty and doing something. Flask is a popular microframework for creating web apps in the Python language, and this course teaches you how to use it to build your very own file-based wiki app. Watch the free preview to find out more.

Write a Great Motivational Speech

Motivational speech

Whether you see yourself pacing around the stage at TED or simply want to deliver a compelling speech at work or school, this tutorial is packed with tips to help you put together a killer motivational speech. Read the tutorial to learn not only how to engage your audience, but how to inspire them.

 

Master Photo Manipulation Techniques

Egyptian goddess photo manipulation

The great thing about photo manipulation is that if, like me, you can’t draw to save your life, you can still create some amazing scenes like the one above, just by merging photos together and applying some effects. There’s a bit more to it than that, of course, but this tutorial breaks it all down into easy steps. So why not learn photo manipulation today?

Make a Professional Resume in 10 Minutes

Resume building in Photoshop

Along with making New Year’s resolutions, another popular activity at this time of year is making a new career move. If you need to update your resume to propel you towards that dream job in 2018, this short course is for you. Building on a professional template from Envato Elements, you’ll learn how to create a resume that is clean, targeted, and highlights your skills and abilities. Take the course to give your career a boost this month.

Learn Natural Language Processing (NLP) in iOS 11

NLP tweet analyzing app

Machine learning is a hot topic right now, and it’s only going to get more important as time goes on and the possibilities and capabilities of the technology multiply. This tutorial will help you surf the crest of the wave by introducing you to natural language processing, a key element of machine learning. Essentially, it’s the means by which computers understand human speech—not just grasping the basic meaning, but doing complex things like analysing sentiment and pulling out key information. Read the tutorial to find out more about how it works and to get some practice using it in iOS 11.

Take Better Photos by Knowing the Sun’s Position

Calculate the sun's position with SunCalc

We’ve all seen great photos ruined by the sun being in the wrong place—usually right behind our beautiful subject, making it into a silhouette shorn of all its details. Of course, the sun is never really in the “wrong place” at all. It moves predictably around the sky, and there will be a time of day—or a different season—in which you can get the shot you want. Read the tutorial to find out how you can use a simple web app to plan your photography shoots with the sun in mind.

Design a Mobile UI in Sketch

Mobile UI design in Sketch

Sketch is a powerful digital design application, and it’s perfectly suited to those who design user interfaces for web or mobile apps. In this course, you’ll learn how to create a mobile UI design in Sketch, working from an initial wireframe all the way through to a completed design.

Make a Climate Change Infographic

Climate Change Infographic in Adobe InDesign

Here’s an idea for the New Year: do something to help future generations have a habitable planet on which to make and break their own resolutions. An infographic is a great way to communicate complex information and statistics in an engaging way, and this tutorial teaches you how to create one in Adobe InDesign. Find out how it’s done.

Build a Branding Package the Easy Way

Making a Facebook cover

Branding is a powerful tool for building a company’s reputation—some of the major world brands are worth billions of dollars. Having a consistent and professional branding package across print and web can really help set a business apart from its competitors. This course teaches you how to create this package on a budget by using Envato Elements and Affinity Designer. You’ll produce a logo, branding colors, a customized website, a business card, a Facebook cover design, and more. Get started here.

Create an Android Music Player App With Anko

Create a Music Player App With Anko

Anko is a Kotlin library that makes it easier to build Android apps. What better way to learn it than by getting your hands dirty building a music player app that can automatically pick and play random songs from the user’s device? It’s quite a complex app, but the tutorial makes it easy to understand. Get the full instructions and code.

Design for Visual Impairment

Example of an accessibility browser plugin being used to change the contrast of a web page

If you have a website or do any kind of design work for the web, you should be conscious of how to design sites that everyone can view easily—including the millions of people with color blindness, low vision, blindness, or other visual impairments. If you’re not, or if you need a refresher, then read this accessibility tutorial to make sure you’re not inadvertently excluding potential visitors and customers through simple but common design flaws.

Learn the Fundamentals of JavaScript

JavaScript fundamentals

There are lots of JavaScript tutorials and courses out there on the web, but many of them deal with a particular aspect of the language and assume some pre-existing general knowledge. It’s quite rare to find a systematic guide that teaches you the language from the ground up. This JavaScript Fundamentals course does exactly that. It starts with the basic concepts and builds slowly over the course of 7 hours and 61 separate lessons to teach you more complex topics and show you how to use JavaScript in practice. If you want to code for the web, you need a solid understanding of JavaScript, and this course is perfect. Take the course to start learning today!

 

Create Your Own Color Font

Make a color font

In case you haven’t heard the news yet, color fonts are shaping up to be one of the hottest design trends of 2018. This tutorial teaches you how to create your very own color font using the latest version of Adobe Illustrator and the powerful Fontself extension. So why not learn this important new design skill?

Learn Gravit Designer

Gravit Designer

Speaking of new skills, have you tried Gravit Designer yet? It’s a completely free vector application that was launched earlier this year. It’s available in the browser as well as on Linux, Mac, ChromeOS and Windows, making it arguably the most accessible application of its type in the world. Learn how to use it in this thorough introductory course.

Build a Slack Bot With Python

Slack Bot with Python

If you do any kind of online collaboration, you’ve probably come across Slack. It’s used by over 50,000 companies—and yep, Envato is one of those. This tutorial shows you the code and takes you through all the steps to build your own unique integration with Slack, using Python for the logic. Learn the steps here.

Master PowerPoint Templates

Use PPT templates

We all know that a presentation looks smarter and more coherent when we use a well-designed template, don’t we? But getting the most out of a PowerPoint template is another story. This in-depth video course shows you how to create a polished presentation from start to finish, using the popular X Note template as an example. So take the course and move your presentations to the next level.

Speed Up Your Design Process With Studio

Studio

More new design software for you to learn. Studio is a free online UI design tool, ideal for web designers or anyone else designing for digital products. Watch the video to get up to speed with Studio quickly and easily.

Stabilise Your Video Footage

Stabilise video

Have you ever taken some great video footage, only to find that it is too shaky to be usable? Unless you use a tripod or have the steady hands of a neurosurgeon, the answer is probably yes. Luckily, Apple’s Final Cut Pro X has stabilization processing built in. Find out how to stabilise your video footage in this video tutorial.

Understand Basic Typography

Typography terms

Any designer will tell you that typography is crucial to good design. From company brands to newspaper headlines to advertisements to websites, you can see the power of typography in action everywhere. But, like any specialised field, typography has its own vocabulary, which can be confusing for beginners. Watch this 60-second typography video to learn how to tell your counters from your spines and your stems from your shoulders.

Type International Characters More Quickly

International characters

If you often switch between different languages (or if you just enjoy using words like “smörgåsbord”), you’ve probably encountered the annoying situation of taking ages to type a letter with an accent that’s not included on your standard keyboard. On a Mac, of course, you can hold down the key and see a range of common accents, but that can still take a while. There’s a better way, involving automation apps. Learn the shortcuts here.

Design Icons With Adobe XD

Adobe XD icon design

In the wake of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and all of the associated consumer frenzy, you may well be sick of 2 for 1 deals. But this course offers genuine value, by allowing you both to brush up your icon design skills and to learn Adobe XD at the same time. Take the course to get instructions on using Adobe XD to design a range of useful icons.

Learn to Code Securely in Swift 4

Secure coding in Swift

If you want to create apps for Apple devices from watches to iPhones, Swift is the programming language to use. With version 4 only released a few months ago, now is the perfect time to get up to speed with secure coding in Swift 4. Read the in-depth tutorial to learn about concurrency, race conditions, Grand Central Dispatch, and more.

Master PHP

Fundamentals of PHP

Take a look at your favourite website. There’s a good chance that it was built with PHP. This powerful programming language created a big proportion of the web, and it’s easy to learn and easy to use for writing web applications. In this comprehensive, seven-hour video course, you’ll learn all the fundamentals of PHP, from the basics of using variables and writing loops and functions up to coding classes for simple object-oriented programming (OOP). Along the way, you’ll learn all the most important skills for writing apps for the web. Take the course to get started building your own web applications.

Create an Inspirational Photo Grid for Instagram

Photo grid for Instagram

You’ve probably seen them before—those grids of beautiful photos, often accompanied by an inspirational message. This tutorial shows you how to create them yourself, either in Photoshop or with a simple grid-building app. It’s quite easy, and the results can be impressive. So why not give it a try?

Draw a Mandala

Draw a mandala

This tutorial hits the trifecta—you can learn a new skill, explore your creativity, and relax at the same time! What’s not to like? Drawing a mandala can be very therapeutic, and although it looks complex, it’s actually quite simple to do. So learn all the steps and start sharpening your drawing skills while relaxing your mind.

Use Gulp to Speed Up Your Web Design Work

Using Gulp for Web Design

If you’re a web designer, you’ll want to learn about Gulp, a simple JavaScript task runner that can really speed up your work and save you a lot of time. Take this in-depth course to discover what Gulp is, how it works, and how you can set up some super-efficient workflows for handling CSS files, JavaScript files, images, and more.

Pay Tribute to a Hitchcock Classic

Vertigo movie poster tribute

I love old movie posters from the 1950s and 60s. The tools available to designers back then were so much simpler, but there were no limits to their creativity, and some of the results were just fantastic. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a movie poster paying tribute to the classic Vertigo poster designed by Saul Bass. You’ll learn a lot about Adobe InDesign along the way, while also doing some Photoshop and Illustrator work. So get started on this wonderful project, and upload your own version in the comments for others to take a look at.

Confront the Command Line

Terminal

If you use a Mac, you’ve probably come across the “Terminal” icon, and if you’re like me, you’ve probably ignored it. But the Terminal gives you unfettered access to the deeper reaches of your Mac via the command line (if you remember MS-DOS, think of that classic C:\> prompt and the commands you used to enter). You can do some pretty useful things that just aren’t possible with the usual graphic interface (such as “caffeinating” your Mac). So take this beginners’ tutorial to discover some nifty examples and get started using the command line.

Design a Landing Page With Adobe XD

Adobe XD landing page

It’s still quite early days for Adobe XD, Adobe’s user experience design software, which only came out of beta a few weeks ago. So why not be one of the early adopters? This course shows you how to use Adobe XD to wireframe and design a landing page from start to finish. Take the course and build your skills in this useful application.

Create a Spirit Day Text Effect

Create a Spirit Day text effect

Envato Tuts+ ran quite a few tutorials and articles last month to mark Spirit Day. Although the day has now passed, this tutorial will still teach you some useful skills for creating text effects in Adobe Illustrator. Plus you’ll be prepared for next year’s event, which will probably come around again sooner than you expect! Find out how to create the effect.

Childproof Your iPad

Childproof your iPad

Those newspaper stories about kids running up huge credit-card bills on their parents’ iPads are fun, aren’t they? But they’re probably not so much fun for the parents involved. If you have kids or know someone who has kids, there’s a high chance that your beloved iPad will fall into their hands one day. So take this tutorial and find out how to protect your iPad from damage (both internal and external), as well as protecting kids from coming across bad stuff on the internet.

Learn the Kotlin Programming Language

Kotlin fundamentals

Kotlin is a new programming language for coding Android apps, and it’s way more concise and secure than traditional languages like Java. This course teaches you everything you need to know to get started coding in Kotlin, from the basics of getting set up and writing your first code right through to advanced features like lambdas, higher-order functions, and using Java and Kotlin together in the same app. Take the course and add a powerful new language to your toolkit.

Learn Creative Typography

Creative Typography course

Think of creative designs, and maybe you think of a creative use of images, shapes, and colour. But you can do a lot with plain old letters, and this course shows you how. You get to play with typography and develop your creativity as you create a concept-driven typographic artwork. Take the course to give your creativity a boost this month.

Turn Your Cat Into a Zombie

Zombie cat

Yes, Halloween is coming around again, and that can mean only one thing: it’s time to turn your cat into a zombie. In fact, this tutorial shows you how to turn any portrait, whether human or animal, into a terrifying, dead-eyed, blood-spattered zombie. Even if you hate Halloween as much as I do, you’ll still pick up some useful Photoshop techniques in this one. So take the zombie-making tutorial and see how it’s done.

Beef Up Your WordPress Security

WordPress security tips

If, like me, you run a WordPress site, you probably alternate between feeling good about the number of websites that use your chosen platform (currently 28% of the web and rising) and feeling worried about the constant security threats. Take this short course to learn the key steps you should take to make your WordPress site much more secure.

Create an Android App That Recognizes Images

Image recognition app

OK, the simple app created here doesn’t look as good as the zombie cat, does it? Fair enough. But once you’ve learned the skill of incorporating image recognition into an Android app, there are so many possibilities for more complex apps. This tutorial shows you how to use machine learning to recognize the content of images with the IBM Watson Visual Recognition service. Get the step-by-step instructions and code samples here.

Draw a Monkey

Draw a monkey

Drawing tutorials can be frustrating—they sometimes seem to be written for people who already know how to draw. But this tutorial is truly for beginners, and it breaks the whole process down into simple shapes like ovals, curves, and crosses. It’s a great way of learning to draw, and it may just help you see the structures behind objects so that you can draw things other than monkeys. Read the full instructions.

Optimize Your Website Without AMP

Optimize a Website without AMP

Google’s AMP is awesome! It’s a great way of optimizing your website with simple plug-and-play code. Why would you want to optimize a site without it? Well, actually there are several reasons, and you’ll learn more about them in this course. You’ll also learn exactly how to convert an existing AMP-based site to use non-AMP equivalents, helping you to make your site blazing fast while keeping total control. Take the course to find out more.

Make a Professional Business Card in 10 Steps

Design a business card in Adobe Indesign

Lots of people just use generic business cards, but if you really want to make an impression, it’s much better to do it yourself. You get a chance to showcase your creativity while ensuring your business card sticks out from the crowd. It doesn’t have to be complicated either—this tutorial shows you how to create a great-looking business card from scratch in Adobe InDesign in just ten steps. Find out how.

Create a Job Board Website With WordPress

job board website

A job board is a great type of website to build for any industry or niche—it allows you to provide really useful information (everybody likes to be able to find job opportunities), and your traffic and referrals can grow fast. This tutorial shows you how to create one using a WordPress theme and some simple customisation, with no coding skills required. Start creating your job board website here.

Use Swift Design Patterns

Swift design patterns

In the world of coding, design patterns are incredibly useful ways of solving common problems that arise in development. But they can be abstract and hard to grasp for beginners, and you can end up struggling to tell your factory from your facade. This comprehensive, 24-video, 3.5-hour course will set it all straight, with detailed explanations and examples of how each pattern can be used in the Swift programming language. Take the course here.

Create a Plastic Jelly Style

Plastic jelly style

Wait, doesn’t that style look a bit dated? More 2007 than 2017? Yes, well spotted! This last tutorial is a bit of a nostalgia trip. Tuts+ turned 10 years old in September, and to celebrate, we decided to recreate the very first tutorial on the site, by Envato founder Collis Ta’eed, but this time using up-to-date techniques in the latest version of Adobe Creative Suite. So step back in time with us, and start making plastic jelly like it’s 2007!

Create an Android Instant App Feature

How to Create an Instant App Feature

If you’re not up to speed with Android’s new Instant Apps feature yet, this tutorial is ideal for you. Instant Apps let people load entire sections of your app on demand, just by tapping a URL and without having to download the full app. This gives you a great opportunity to get your app in front of as many new users as possible. Learn how to create an Android instant app feature here.

Create a Modern Business Card Using Adobe Photoshop

Create a business card in Photoshop

Yes, we do live in a world of social media and online connections, but a good printed business card is still as important to today’s freelancer or business owner as it was to Don Draper in Mad Men. Learn how to create your own professional business card design in this step-by-step Photoshop tutorial.

Use Linux for Web Design

Linux for Web Design

If you’re a web designer, your choices are not limited to macOS or Windows. You can also work very effectively in Linux, and in fact there are some real advantages to doing so. Take the course to find out all about using Linux for web design.

Improve Your Email Open Rates

Increase email open rates

No matter what kind of work you do, I’m willing to bet that you send emails, and that you want people to open them. This tutorial shows you 10 simple steps you can take to improve your email open rates. Who knew that the way you capitalise your subject line can make more people open the email? I didn’t, but the data suggests it’s true. Read the tutorial to discover all 10 email tips.

Create an AI-Powered Chatbot

Create a chatbot

Artificial intelligence is here—and I’m not talking about those dumb social media algorithms that collect masses of data on you and yet still can’t arrange your feed in the right order. I’m talking about chatbots that can hold increasingly realistic conversations with us. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a simple conversational chatbot using the IBM Watson Conversation service. The best part, for me, is the way it serves up inspirational quotes. Get the step-by-step instructions here.

Learn About HDR Photography in 60 Seconds

What is HDR photography?

Sometimes you just don’t have a lot of time to spend learning something new. But everyone can spare a minute, can’t they? That’s the idea behind the Tuts+ 60-second videos—you learn a new skill or technique in just one minute. In this one, you’ll get an introduction to HDR photography. Watch the 60-second video here.

Create a Surreal Photo Manipulation

Surreal photo manipulation

What do you get if you take a photo of the sky, put it in Photoshop, and add photos of a cat, a wall, some trees and a bunch of fish on top? The result, for most of us, will be an amateurish mess. But with the techniques covered in this tutorial, you’ll get the bizarre, impossible and yet weirdly realistic scene shown above. Click here to learn how it’s done.

Learn React Through 5 Practical Examples

Five Practical Examples to Learn React

React is one of the most popular web frameworks, and if you want to learn to use it, what better way than through some practical examples? In this course, you’ll build a digital clock, an Ajax-powered navbar and more, and in the process you’ll learn all the basics of coding React components from JSX and managing state right through to higher-order components and lifecycle methods. Sign up for the course.

Understand How the WordPress Loop Works

The WordPress Loop

If you’ve been working with WordPress for any length of time, you’ve probably heard about the Loop. But do you really understand what it is and how to use it? This short, ten-minute Coffee Break Course will get you fully up to speed. Start learning about the WordPress Loop.

Create Your Own Stress Cave

Stress Cave

It’s great to learn new technologies and computer skills, but it’s no use having these skills if you’re too unproductive to use them. In a busy work day, it’s easy to get derailed by stress and its close companion, procrastination. So read this quick productivity tip to learn how to take a step back into the stress cave and take some simple steps to help you see the right way forward.

Create a Haunting Photo Manipulation

Surreal photo manipulation scene

Photo manipulation is a wonderful way to create whole new worlds from your imagination, without needing to draw or paint anything yourself. In this tutorial, you learn how to take seven different photos and blend them together into one weirdly haunting scene. Get the step-by-step instructions here.

Animate Icons!

Create animated icons

Sometimes good design is eye-catching, but other times it’s almost unnoticeable. A well-designed icon may not win any great plaudits, but it’s one of the little details that adds up to a better user experience for your website, app, game, presentation, etc. So why not take things to the next level by adding animation. Take the short video-based course for full instructions on creating icons in Adobe Illustrator and then animating them in After Effects.

Draw Hair in 4 Different Styles

How to Draw Hair

Did you know that the average human head has about 100,000 individual hairs? What that means is that if you want to draw someone’s hair, you can’t draw separate lines for each strand—you need to learn some tricks to create the illusion of 100,000 hairs while using far fewer lines. Take this drawing tutorial to see how it’s done.

Get Up and Running With Sketch

Sketch course

Most of these design tutorials and courses use Adobe software because it’s so popular and offers so many features. But Adobe is not the only game in town. Take this comprehensive, 17-part video course to get up and running with Sketch, a powerful digital design application that’s great for icon design, web design, and more.

Learn the Quick Way to Create Professional Logos

Create a logo kit

Have you ever had one of those annoying clients who demands double the work in half the time? Of course you have. Here’s a trick for icon designers: have a few flexible logo kits ready to customise so that you can meet even the tightest deadline. Take this short course to learn how to create the three building blocks of a successful logo kit.

Paint “Love” in Sign Language

Love in sign language

OK, I’ll be honest—I’m mostly just including this one because I love the end result. But it does also teach some really useful digital painting skills. Look at the dramatic lighting and the realistic textures of each hand; those are some techniques you could use in a wide variety of projects. See how to create this painting from scratch.

Make an Animated GIF

Create an animated GIF

Whether you love them or hate them, animated GIFs are all over the web. This tutorial shows you an easy method of putting together an animated GIF in Adobe Photoshop. The example is of a wolf’s glowing eyes, but feel free to use the same techniques for laughing dogs, weird celebrity mashups, or whatever your heart desires. Start animating your GIFs here.

Go Back to the Nineties

Nineties flyer

The 1990s are popular again! Who knew? As far as I remember, the 1990s weren’t even popular in the 1990s. But if those headache-inducing colours and shouting fonts give you a flood of happy nostalgia, this is your chance to step back in time to the days of oversized cargo pants, overused fluorescent colours, and Hootie & the Blowfish. (Oh, and you can also learn some useful flyer design skills in Adobe InDesign.) Enter the time machine here.

Send a Ransom Note

Ransom note text effect

Well, no—don’t actually send a ransom note, OK? That would be creepy. But this tutorial does teach some useful skills to help you manipulate fonts and work with shapes and textures in Photoshop to create a realistic text effect. Take the tutorial to learn how it works.

Create a Realistic Mockup

Create a wine bottle mockup

If you’ve ever worked in product or packaging design, you know the importance of a good mockup. Clients often struggle to see the potential of a design until you show them how it will look in the real world. This final tutorial in our list teaches you to create your own wine-bottle mockup from scratch in Photoshop. Along the way, you’ll learn how to manipulate photos, create realistic shadows and reflections, add lighting, and more. Ready to get started? Click here for the full instructions.

Publish Facebook Instant Articles

Create Facebook Instant Articles

OK, it’s true that Facebook’s “Instant Articles” feature has been controversial, and you may not love the idea of having your content living on Facebook’s platform instead of your own. But the advantage is that readers get to access your articles at a lightning-fast speed, and your content fits in seamlessly with the Facebook app, making for a great user experience. And whereas at first it was only for large publishers, now it’s available for all of us. Get a step-by-step guide to publishing Instant Articles in this tutorial.

Master Affinity Designer

Learn Affinity Designer

Just when Adobe seemed to have the vector design market locked down, along came Affinity Designer a couple of years ago, winning a whole host of new admirers among web designers and graphic designers. If you haven’t tried it yet, this course is a perfect way to find out what all the fuss is about. You’ll learn Affinity Designer from the ground up—and the course was recently updated to cover new features like artboards, constraints, symbols, and some powerful new typography tools.

Use Style Guides for Accessibility

Accessibility style guide

Keeping your skills current is not just about learning new technologies. It’s also about important concepts like accessibility. Making your sites accessible to as many people as possible is not just the right thing to do; it also makes business sense. You work hard to attract visitors, so why turn some of them away because you’ve failed to make the simple changes that would allow them to view your site? I like this quick tutorial because it shows you how to create a style guide for accessibility, while also introducing you to some important accessibility concepts and techniques along the way.

Build an Onboarding Tour Using JavaScript

JavaScript onboarding tour

I don’t much like the word “onboarding”, but I do love those interactive tours that pop up when you visit a new site or app, showing you how everything works with simple boxes that you can click through (or click out of) at your own pace. This short course shows you how to build your own tour from scratch, using HTML, CSS, and vanilla JavaScript.

Design Better Logos

Logo design in Adobe Illustrator

Logo design is one of those things that may well be handled by a specialist graphic designer, but it’s always a useful skill for a web designer to possess. You’ll also get a useful rundown of the major tools, panels and features in Adobe Illustrator, which will be useful for other design tasks beyond logos.

Manipulate Colors in JavaScript

Chromajs

It’s good to learn new skills, but it’s even better to build something useful. This screencast ticks both of those boxes. Take a look at the demo—a neat little tool that lets you select a starting color and have a tasteful color scheme generated for you. You’ll learn how to create that yourself, using the Chroma.js library.

Get Hands-On Practice With the CSS Flexbox Model

Flexbox slider

Flexbox is a relatively new layout mode in CSS3, and as the name suggests, it can give you some wonderful flexibility in your page layouts. This popular course lets you get your hands dirty by tackling six projects designed to help you learn Flexbox thoroughly. And now it’s been updated with two more bonus projects on modals and sliders, so it’s an even better way of getting up to speed.

Work Better With Other People

Collaborate on website content

No matter how well you know the ins and outs of CSS, the reality of working as a web designer is that you’ll have to deal with other human beings at some point, and that’s when things can get so complicated that you end up yearning for the comfort of your code editor. This tutorial looks at some useful ways to get the content of a website prioritized among multiple members of a team with the least fuss.

Build Forms With CSS Grid

CSS Grid form

Yes, I know. Forms are not the most exciting topic in the world, are they? But the attraction of this tutorial is not the forms, but the way you create them—using the CSS Grid Layout Module, another quite recent addition to the web designer’s arsenal. It shows you how to create a form the “traditional” way, using floats, and then how to achieve the same end result using CSS Grid.

Get a Refresher on the Basics

Web design pointers

With so much new stuff to learn, sometimes it’s valuable to go back to basics and make sure you’ve still got a solid grasp of the essentials. Or maybe you’re just getting started and want to avoid some of the most common mistakes. Either way, these 10 simple design pointers from Tuts+ Web Design Editor Ian Yates will help you make sure you’re on the right track.

Keep Your Mac Efficient and Well Maintained

Mac maintenance

Have you ever taken your Mac to an Apple store and seen the “genius” running a diagnostic test on your computer? This post shows you how to run that test yourself and interpret the results, as well as checking the health of your hard drive—all without the help of a lanyard-wearing hipster genius.

Design a Vintage Music Festival Flyer

Music festival flyer

Here in the northern hemisphere, summer is just around the corner, and festival season will soon be in full swing. I love the summer colours and the vintage VW campervan in this design—but more importantly, the tutorial teaches you some great skills in Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. If you’re shivering in the southern hemisphere right now, just think of this one as forward planning.

Add MailChimp Signup to Your WordPress Site

MailChimp WordPress form

Some Tuts+ courses are several hours long and cover lots of ground, but this one is very short (just six minutes) and very simple. It teaches you something that sounds straightforward but can cause headaches if it’s not done right—how to add a MailChimp signup form to your WordPress site. In six minutes, you can get your site fully set up to start gathering email subscribers. Not bad, huh?

Know When to Fly Your Drone

When to fly your drone

I love watching aerial video footage. There’s something so calming and majestic about seeing the world from the perspective of a bird. In this video tutorial, you can learn about the best times of day to fly your drone for filming purposes (and in a companion tutorial, you can learn about the pros and cons of different weather conditions). I’m sure it’s all useful information, but I like the tutorials purely for the eye candy.

Make an Explainer Video

Explainer video

Have you noticed that explainer videos are everywhere? And they all have the same annoyingly cheery music? In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to put together a good explainer video for your company or personal site. My one gripe is that it’s a written tutorial—being a fan of recursion, I’d have preferred an explainer video on how to make explainer videos. But it’s still a good post. Check it out.

Convert a Photo Into a Charcoal Drawing

Charcoal drawing Photoshop action

Charcoal drawings look amazing, but creating them involves both getting your hands dirty and spending years on the painstaking and often frustrating process of learning to draw. This video shows you how to skip both of these steps and just create a cool charcoal drawing from any photo with a simple Photoshop action.

Create a Split-Screen Slider With JavaScript

Splitscreen slider

I love the split-screen effect here—as you drag your mouse across an image, a line splits the screen and it changes from colour to duotone. Try the demo at the top of the tutorial to see how it works! Then you can learn the process of creating it, with both a screencast and written instructions to make it easy to understand.

Design Buttons, Textures and Icons for Video Games

Design game UI assets

The thing about what video-game designers call “UI assets” (and the rest of us call “buttons, icons and stuff”) is that, if they’re designed well, you probably don’t even notice them. But if they look clunky, they can ruin the gaming experience. This course teaches you how to design them well. Plus the aesthetic reminds me of playing The Secret of Monkey Island as a child. Remember Guybrush Threepwood, anyone?

 

Record Vocals Like a Professional

Record vocals

Want to be the next Lana Del Rey or Justin Bieber? Or maybe you even have some more up-to-date cultural references. In any case, this tutorial will teach you everything you need to know to record professional vocals using just your computer and some simple equipment. Then you’ll be well on your way to YouTube stardom—all you need to do next is….

Make a YouTube Banner

YouTube banner

Even with the most professionally recorded vocals, some of your potential fans may be put off if your YouTube banner looks as if it was designed by a hyperactive child with unsupervised access to Microsoft Paint. This tutorial teaches you to put together a simple banner for a YouTube channel using stock images and basic tools in Adobe Photoshop.

Draw a Skull

Draw a skull

Macabre? Perhaps. But what I like about this tutorial is that you can produce a great end result even if you have zero drawing skill (yes, that would be me!). Monika Zagrobelna breaks the whole process down into such simple steps that you really can’t go wrong. If you can draw lines and circles and have access to a pencil, you can draw a convincing human skull.

Tell Your “em” From Your “rem”

em and rem

If you’ve even dabbled in web design, you’ve probably come across the “em” and “rem” units of measurement. But what are they? What’s the difference, and when might you want to use each one? This one-hour course will get you crystal clear.

Solve Android’s Most Common Error Messages

Android error messages

Stumped by a ClassCastException? Tearing your hair out over a missing R.layout.main? Wondering who in Android-land thought that “Only the Original Thread That Created a View Hierarchy Can Touch Its Views” would be a helpful error message to give to human beings? This article demystifies 13 of the most common error messages to plague Android developers.

Hit Inbox Zero

Inbox Zero

I’ve saved the best for last. While we may love to be able to draw, paint, create apps or become a YouTube star, I think a lot of us would settle for an empty email inbox. This tutorial will teach you how to reach the “You have no messages” promised land. You can also grab a free eBook for more detailed email mastery tips.

There’s More…

This post has just skimmed the surface of what Tuts+ has published recently, and in the full archives going back ten years, there’s even more. So if you don’t see what you’re looking for in this post, you can search the full Tuts+ library of more than 1,200 courses and 27,000 tutorials to find exactly what you need.

The post Master These Awesome New Skills in March 2019 appeared first on Envato.

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We Need to Talk About Copy https://envato.com/blog/we-need-to-talk-about-copy/ Fri, 01 Mar 2019 05:02:16 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=76670 Not considering copy early on in the design process can lead to serious problems and delays further down the track. Find out how we (try to) tackle this at Envato.

The post We Need to Talk About Copy appeared first on Envato.

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What is content-first design?

Content-first design is exactly what it sounds like: thinking about what content will be required and how it will be structured before launching into visual design. Content, in this case, means copy, images, videos, etc. basically, all of the textual, aural and video components that will be on the page of whatever you’re designing.

Despite the general agreement that Lorum Ipsum is now obsolete, copy is often the part of ‘content’ that usually doesn’t get the love and attention it needs early on, causing major problems further down the track.

Still from film 'We Need to Talk About Kevin' showing mother and son sat together looking stressed.
When is the right time to talk about the design problem child, copy?

Dangers of not putting copy first:

1. Your message will get lost

People only read around 20% of the text on a webpage. If you haven’t thought about copy before you start wireframing, you won’t be clear about what the key messages are or their order of importance. By considering this early on, the key messages will dictate the hierarchy and are more likely to get seen and absorbed by the user.

2. Voice and tone won’t be consistent

Even though the brand voice should always be the same, the tone must adapt to the context. By leaving copy until later in the design process, you stand a good chance of misjudging the tone of the design. At best this leaves the user with a vaguely weird, disjointed experience, at worst it can lead to offense and misunderstandings.

3. Just because changes can be made, doesn’t mean they should

How many times have you heard or said, “don’t worry about the text, the developers can change that later.”? This is usually said when referring to CTA’s, button text and other microcopy. It is just a good excuse to not think about something at that moment and often ends up either being forgotten or left to a developer to figure out.

4. Translation will be difficult

Visual design can cross language barriers, words often cannot. Leaving copy until late in the day can lead to issues with formatting and context. This will cause low-level issues for users who have the same first language but will be a nightmare for people who need to translate the copy themselves or use translation software/apps.

5. Content will hold up delivery

Leaving copy until later in the design process will slow things down. Agreeing on the key messages and the order of importance at the outset of a project gets everyone aligned and leaves less room for disagreement later down the track. This means that the focus can be on UI, branding, functionality, usability, visual design and all the other good stuff when it should be.

6. User testing will be less accurate

Copy provides context, direction and tone. You can’t expect accurate results when user testing with placeholder copy as a huge part of the experience is missing.

How to put copy first

Major caveat: this is still very much a work in progress at Envato and we do not claim to have all the answers (yet). However, here are some things we have found to be useful in the quest for content-first design perfection.

How we put content first at Envato

  • Have a content brief that is quick and easy to fill in collaboratively with your key stakeholders.
  • Get wider stakeholder agreement on the brief before proceeding.
  • Instead of launching straight into wireframes and prototypes, we start with a very basic spreadsheet which lists the page functionality, user flows and first pass at the copy. This lo-fi approach keeps the focus on the copy and the functionality in the early stages.
  • Move on to early-stage visual design, e.g. wireframing/prototyping.
  • The copy is user tested and updated based on feedback (hopefully, just small changes).

Looking for more advice from the Envato design team? Check out part 1 and part 2 of the introduction to our Design Framework.

The post We Need to Talk About Copy appeared first on Envato.

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How Designers Are Amplifying Their Portfolios in 2019 https://envato.com/blog/how-designers-are-amplifying-their-portfolios-in-2019/ Mon, 25 Feb 2019 22:24:09 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=76470 Need advice on your portfolio? Learn from four wonderful designers, illustrators and artists who share their methods for taking your online portfolio to new heights.

The post How Designers Are Amplifying Their Portfolios in 2019 appeared first on Envato.

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Need advice on your portfolio?

Starting your creative business is a multi-level dance of technical skill sets, as you balance exposure, professionalism and ingenuity in this tech-driven world.

And for so many of us, business is just not familiar territory. But 2019 is showing a strong change as many turn to tech and design industries for new and empowering opportunities.

Today, I’ve gathered four wonderful designers, illustrators and artists who are sharing their methods for taking your online portfolios to new heights.

Check out their valuable advice and lessons from their life and work.

Tati Astua

Graphic Designer Tati Astua
Graphic Designer Tati Astua

Costa Rica-based graphic designer Tati Astua uses bold colors to stand out. She makes incredible, photo-realistic 3D scenes of clever typographical pieces and shares some of her favorite portfolio advice below.

“For me, the most compelling thing in a portfolio is consistency. I find it more valuable to create a small book with high level pieces, than one with lots of work that’s not that good.”

36 Days of Type
36 Days of Type

Is your portfolio looking a little cluttered? It’s pretty understandable. And many designers have trouble letting go of past work. Tati recommends making room for the future.

“Sometimes we get attached to old work and it creates an emotional bond. And that’s okay, but we should let go a little more and include fresh pieces in our portfolio.”

LOLA
LOLA

And learning from past mistakes is invaluable for the growth of your business. As an avid fan of online platforms like Instagram and Behance, Tati reflects on her start online as a junior designer.

“In the beginning, we try to put all of our work in our portfolio because clearly there’s not that much, but we should try to reflect on what we have and complement it with our personal work. In most cases, this tends to show our style better.”

Collection Numbers
Collection Numbers

Gabriel Alexandre Meza

Designer and Illustrator Gabriel Alexandre Meza
Designer and Illustrator Gabriel Alexandre Meza

Our next bit of portfolio advice comes from graphic designer and illustrator, Gabriel Alexandre Meza. With a focus on sports illustrations for TV and digital media, his work features colorful sports portraits with exceptionally crisp details. Here are his best tips.

“Always stay busy. Post your work often because you never know who might stumble across it.”

Champions League 2019
Champions League 2019

Creative platforms like Behance are becoming the go-to portfolio choice for many designers. Since launching his Behance portfolio, Gabriel has also seen success.

“Behance has been the best platform for me to post my work. It has given me career opportunities I otherwise wouldn’t have had. Through my portfolio on Behance I have been approached by huge companies like the NBA and Aardman Nathan Love, to name a few.”

Zion Williamson Duke Illustration
Zion Williamson Duke Illustration

Becoming familiar with multiple design trends and software is also essential to building a professional reputation and portfolio. Gabriel, himself, mentions a love for several great design tools.

“I primarily use Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects, along with my Wacom tablet. But I have recently joined the iPad Pro world and am loving my Apple Pencil and working in Procreate!”

NBA MVP ILLUSTRATION
NBA MVP Illustration

Lyndi Priest

Graphic Designer Lyndi Priest
Graphic Designer Lyndi Priest

Graphic designer Lyndi Priest is a multifaceted creative who has lived and worked in San Francisco for the past ten years. With a background in multiple areas, she shares the key to balancing a versatile portfolio.

“My favorite aspect of being a designer is the versatility of work. Embracing different backgrounds while harmoniously applying my own style to everything is what drives my designs forward.”

OLLI & CO. AGENCY - Branding
Olli & Co. Agency – Branding

Does diversifying your projects affect the overall impact of your portfolio? She says:

“Quality over quantity. It’s common to hyper-focus on the sheer amount of content in one’s own portfolio. But as long as there is enough variety, the talent and skill will shine through effectively.”

Stinner Frameworks
Stinner Frameworks

Using social media to gain more exposure and business opportunities is also a must. Lyndi recommends online portfolios or professional websites for opening new doors:

“I’m very fond of the Behance network, and Squarespace makes it easy to deliver a portfolio quickly. But I’ve always been fond of pushing myself and going custom. My website—a custom designed WordPress site—sets itself apart and truly reflects myself as a designer.”

Rec Club Brand Agency
Rec Club Brand Agency

Ali Taylor

Designer and Creative Director Ali Taylor
Designer and Creative Director Ali Taylor

Creative director and designer Ali Taylor is the CEO of BelMarketing Design Studio. When he isn’t pursuing his love of design, he actively participates in local business-building activities in New Jersey. Here’s some insight into his advice on creative portfolios:

“Every good portfolio should allow the person viewing it to get an idea of who you are, your style, what you’re really good at, and a sense of your approach to problem-solving. “

Choir Nation Logo
Choir Nation Logo

Which platforms have worked the best for him? He says:

“For sales, prospecting and showcasing my work, my own website is my greatest platform and asset by far. But for discovery and broadcasting to as wide an audience as possible—Instagram is definitely the champion.”

Choir Nation Branding
Choir Nation Branding

Building a strong network of creative colleagues can also help you when making important decisions about your portfolio. Ali’s final recommendation is to be open to sincere constructive criticism.

“Get feedback from your trusted colleagues—the ones who aren’t afraid to give you honest feedback with love.”

The Ross Maghan Agency Website
The Ross Maghan Agency Website

Let’s Recap

So let’s go over a quick recap of four essential portfolio tips from these talented designers.

  1. Diversify your talents.
  2. Use Instagram and Behance for promotion.
  3. Let go of past work.
  4. Embrace honest feedback.

Now is the time to make the most out of your resources. Though it’s natural to feel stressed over your portfolio, I hope these designers have inspired you to tackle the challenge.

Thank you to all the artists who have lent their advice to this article. Feel free to explore their portfolios by visiting the links below.

The post How Designers Are Amplifying Their Portfolios in 2019 appeared first on Envato.

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Hunting for unicorns in the local tech sector https://envato.com/blog/hunting-for-unicorns-in-the-local-tech-sector/ Fri, 22 Feb 2019 02:46:37 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=76467 It might not be the most obvious career transition, but for former circus performer Sunni Cooper it was a seamless step from the trapeze to the tech sector. “I’ve always been super fascinated with narrative – I read up to three books a week, that kind of love – and I’ve worked in a publishing […]

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It might not be the most obvious career transition, but for former circus performer Sunni Cooper it was a seamless step from the trapeze to the tech sector. “I’ve always been super fascinated with narrative – I read up to three books a week, that kind of love – and I’ve worked in a publishing company before, as well as the circus and various public and private sector organisations. I realised there are so many people making cool shit on the internet, and I wanted to be part of that, and Envato appealed as a leading example of this.” 

A former marketing and communications specialist for organisations like the University of Melbourne and the State Library of Victoria, Sunni initially had reservations about how her work experience would apply in a such a different setup in her role as a Digital Producer.  “I’m a language person, and I originally wasn’t sure how much of a good fit I would be. I even explicitly asked that question at my interview – I said I have a background quite different to a lot of your employees and how will that pan out?”

“The chats I had with people around the business made me feel a lot better and very comfortable with the decision to shift into tech. There were people from a lot of different backgrounds, but like me, they all wanted to work for a place where people do exciting and positive work.”

Digital Producer Sunni Cooper
“(Envato) genuinely employs individuals rather than just someone who does the job. They care about you as a person, not just your job history,” says Sunni Cooper.

A fairytale come true

Sunni is just one of a handful of new starters at Envato in the last six months, part of a new generation of ‘unicorns’ in the tech sector who are choosing to take their skills and apply them at one of Victoria’s fast-growing startups. It’s part of a wider sector-push lead by LaunchVic to attract talented professionals from a diverse range of career backgrounds into a career in the local tech sector.

Concerns about not having the right skills for a job in tech were also front of mind for Envato’s new Author Communications Coordinator Steve Lamattina. “I guess my journey was never aimed squarely at working in tech, it was just an environment and topic I was interested in more generally. I’d never really considered tech at all before, as I didn’t believe I had the skills required for a tech company.”

“My fear was that I wasn’t qualified to work within tech, as my skill set was focussed on communications and media more generally. I thought that you either had to be a product manager, a developer, or a CEO.  And although I technically had a taste of CEO-life in a small arts organisation, I definitely did not consider that path!”

It took working for a small Barcelona-based startup who focussed on mobile apps and email tools to open up the door. “After working with people who have a passion for technology, I realised that this was also where one of my interests lay. These interests roam pretty far and wide, as my work history can attest, but I decided to follow this thread and see where it led.”

For Steve, the change has been a positive one “I love the people I work with and have found most people to be good collaborators who are easy to talk to. There’s a level of trust and agency that can be hard to find within other workplaces. I also find it very accepting, and being part of the queer community, I’ve felt super welcome and have joined the LGBTIQ+ committee which has a bunch of passionate, friendly members.”

Author Communications Coordinator Steve Lamattina
“I think it helped to speak to people who had worked at Envato previously, and listening to them discuss the benefits of working here,” observes Steve Lamattina.

What’s in a name

Envato’s name in the local tech sector also appealed to Product Manager Richard Burke. “(It) has a good name in the Melbourne tech community. After my role in the State government, I was looking to move to a more tech-focused and nimble organisation that has a history of delivering good products.”

“Envato is actually a bigger organisation than what I was thinking of joining, but after talking with the team I felt I had a lot to offer in terms of my Government experience and being at Internode during their growth phase.”

And Richard says he has joined at a perfect time. “Envato is investing in growing its product practice, so it’s an exciting time to join and be a part of that. I can see that my career is following a similar path as I want to focus more on the people and ensuring good product practice, and as the company grows there will be other opportunities.”

Product Manager Richard Burke
“As the company grows there will be other opportunities so it’s good to be open to change,” notes Richard Burke.

On the path of growth

Professional growth was also high on the priority list for Product Marketing Specialist Madeleine Rochecouste. While no stranger to the startup scene, having co-founded the company behind portable coffee machine NowPresso, Madeleine was keen to boost her experience and skills by working within a larger tech company.

“The first thing that attracted me to Envato was the ‘Working for Envato’ video. I was really inspired by the team members and CEO, the culture, values and work environment, and what they are looking for in someone who wants to work there. I just knew Envato was going to be an awesome place to work and grow.

“It’s turned out exactly like the video, but even better as I am now, fortunately, a part of it! From the moment I joined I have felt so welcome, respected, included and encouraged. I love the agile work culture, clear communication and our productivity working together as a team. I am so grateful for the guidance and growth I have already experienced working at Envato.”

Product Marketing Specialist Madeleine Rochecouste
“I personally really love the role I currently have and am so excited to be working on a brand new product,” says Madeleine Rochecouste.

 

For more information about the unicorns of the local tech sector, check out LaunchVic’s ScaleUp campaign.

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Flexibility at the heart of life at Envato https://envato.com/blog/flexibility-at-the-heart-of-life-at-envato/ Thu, 21 Feb 2019 05:11:52 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=76457 There’s no typical start time for a ‘normal’ day working for the staff of Envato. With staff in different time zones around the world, the day could start in a Collins Street cafe, a former night club in a Mexican university town, or even the rolling hills of the English countryside. And while one person […]

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There’s no typical start time for a ‘normal’ day working for the staff of Envato. With staff in different time zones around the world, the day could start in a Collins Street cafe, a former night club in a Mexican university town, or even the rolling hills of the English countryside. And while one person might be starting their day by cycling into Envato’s headquarters in King St Melbourne, their team member in the United States is starting to get dinner ready while finishing up their last meeting of the day.

It helps that Envato is one of the earliest and most successful adopters of flexible working, building it into the fabric of Envato’s culture in a way that makes it appealing and accessible to every employee.

It’s not just about having a “work-life” balance at Envato; it’s about being able to build a life that you enjoy, having the power of choice over where you work and how. This is all enshrined in one of Envato’s core values, “The right people and the right environment”. It’s an approach that has inspired the company to hire people based all over Australia, USA and most recently Mexico, while at the same time, contributing to a dedication to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace.

Work life at Envato HQ has never been about sitting desk-bound for hours at a time!
Work life at Envato HQ has never been about sitting desk-bound for hours at a time!

Reclaiming important time 

For Adam Noonan, Envato’s flexibility has made balancing family life with two young kids and his role as the company’s Marketing Director much easier. “Just the ability to work from home, to be there for school and kinder drop-off and pick-up times is invaluable. It’s a very family-friendly culture, our management team is very supportive of us making our employee and family life work harmoniously together, it’s terrific. And the kids always get such a huge kick out of the annual family day. ” New father and Development Team Lead  Anthony Bordonaro, a describes how Envato’s unlimited work from home policy enabled him to be more involved when his son was born. “Being able to work from home allowed me to drive and also attend maternal health nurse, immunisation, doctors and other important appointments and check-ins.

Meanwhile, on the beautiful NSW Central Coast, Ben Askins starts his day checking emails while getting his four boys off to school. A Development Team Lead, Ben is one of over thirty Envatians working remotely around Australia, and he says a commitment to remote working has simplified Ben’s home life “The flexibility to work remotely full time for Envato lets me be home for my kids when they’re leaving for school in the mornings, and when they return home again in the afternoon. Without these benefits, I’d be looking to arrange before and after school care for four young boys.”

Ben Askins and family at home in NSW
Ben Askins and family at home in NSW

Zoe Rowley, the Project Coordinator in the Customer Success Team loves the freedom working at Envato affords her. “The ability for me to work from home and around appointments and kids has meant a lot less stress in my life, and it is probably the biggest perk for me at Envato”

Zoe is also heavily involved with Envato Does Good which is the company’s fundraising and volunteer program. “I even work while  I am donating plasma twice a month. I am passionate about volunteering and Envato enables me to do this.”

Bec Covington in training
Bec Covington values Envato’s flexibility as it lets her build a work schedule around her cycling training.

It’s not just parents that utilise Envato’s flexibility. Bec Covington is Envato’s Organisational Development Consultant and a competitive cyclist and says it’s refreshing to work at a company where there is no judgement on her need for flexibility around training times. “I’m not sure many other workplaces would be okay with me starting at 10 am just because I want to go out and ride my bike for a couple of hours in the morning and enjoy a coffee with my mates afterwards. The trust Envato has that their employees will do the right thing is so valuable and truly helps me get the best out of every aspect of my life.

Under the hood

The view from the home office of Ben Askins on the NSW Central Coast
The view from the home office of Ben Askins on the NSW Central Coast

There’s a lot going on behind the scenes when it comes to running a remote office. In 2018 alone, Envato staff organised more than 40,000 video hangouts with each other, sent more than 13 million emails and uploaded more than 250,000 files to Google Drive. Not to mention all the coffee…! 

For Ben Askins, this hustle and bustle of the online environment is not too dissimilar from being in an office. “A large part of my day is spent interacting with my team or stakeholders. Much of this is done via Slack, but there is a good deal of video-calls and emails as well.”

“Slack gives me the sense that I’m working in a dynamic alive environment, so much more than email. Particularly with a healthy ratio of work-related channels and more general interest channels like #daily-fire (music recommendations) and #videogames. Whatever your interests might be, you’re likely to find someone at Envato who’s created a Slack channel to suit.”

Briany Kalms, Customer Success Manager has been at Envato almost six years and says while the flexibility is terrific, what she appreciates most is that Envato is a genuinely values-driven company. “When you can listen to your CEO address the whole company and say that he expects people to call him out if they think he’s making a decision that doesn’t align, then you know you’re onto a winner.”

“I also secretly give myself mental high fives when I hear other people complaining about their jobs!”

The day is winding down at Envato HQ and people start to head for home. While they are exiting the building they say hello to a group of people on their way in for an Elixir meetup hosted at Envato. By the time the meetup is finished, our Envatians in beautiful Barcelona will just be starting their morning. It may not be easy to make complete flexibility work but Envato shows that it is worth the effort!

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YouTube Premiere: How to Make Business Cards in Photoshop https://envato.com/blog/youtube-premiere-design-business-cards/ Mon, 11 Feb 2019 17:26:44 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=76400 Watch our brand new course premiere free on YouTube—join us and ask instructor Melody Nieves any burning design questions in the chat! Learn how to stunning design business cards in Adobe Photoshop that make an impact! Our new course is premiering on Tuesday 12th at 10am EST. You’ll learn how to make three stunning designs inspired by […]

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Watch our brand new course premiere free on YouTube—join us and ask instructor Melody Nieves any burning design questions in the chat!

Learn how to stunning design business cards in Adobe Photoshop that make an impact! Our new course is premiering on Tuesday 12th at 10am EST. You’ll learn how to make three stunning designs inspired by minimalist, photographic, and artistic concepts—including all the techniques you need to design your own business cards and get them print ready. Sign up now!

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Growing a more inclusive and diverse Envato https://envato.com/blog/growing-a-more-inclusive-and-diverse-envato/ Thu, 07 Feb 2019 23:19:08 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=76319 When Envato enshrined diversity and inclusion in its values, it did so on a very clear understanding: that the company, and the people within it, will thrive if we continue to champion for positive change. Our leaders reflected at the time that it was on all staff to take up the responsibility for ensuring Envato […]

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When Envato enshrined diversity and inclusion in its values, it did so on a very clear understanding: that the company, and the people within it, will thrive if we continue to champion for positive change. Our leaders reflected at the time that it was on all staff to take up the responsibility for ensuring Envato was a place where talented, value-driven people thrive; a workplace that was welcoming, respectful and supportive.

A happy snap of some of the Envato staff at our Melbourne HQ

But such an approach still remains the exception, and not the rule. A recent Atlassian study revealed that while as many as 80% of the US tech sector believes diversity and inclusion (D&I) is an important issue, as many as 50% of those same respondents have decreased their participation in programs related to D&I.  It’s an alarming figure when all evidence points to the number of easily definable benefits a diverse workforce provides.

So while some of the biggest tech companies in the world, such as Spotify and Pinterest, took up the mantle and shared their diversity data in 2018, we continue to be served reminders of just how many challenges exist in continuing to make the sector a more inclusive place, despite the prominence of discussion around such issues.

Below you will find a summary of both new and existing activities that showcase how Envato has focussed on its commitments to growing a culture of inclusiveness and diversity across all aspects of our people experience and levels of the company, an approach that goes beyond just focussing on improved hiring practices as we scale our business.

This is now the fourth year we’ve reported on such activities, and you can read the 2017 report here.

Existing Activities

Gender equity across the business

One of the most visible and important measures we’ve set for ourselves at Envato is growing the number of female staff across all levels of the business. There’s never been a more important time to do this, with recent studies showing that while women are entering the tech force at an increased rate, the growth is still slowing (US), even if they’re able to land tech jobs at all (UK).

We need to ensure that the possible pipeline of female tech talent feels empowered about their career and that opportunities will exist for them if they go down this path,” said our Chief People Officer Michelle Ridsdale. “The most inspired and proactive young women who are keen to get involved in tech are often still finishing their education, so it’s still going to take time for a major shift to happen.”

In 2018, we saw an increase in female representation across the business, growing by 6% when compared to the year before. It’s worth noting that we are well aware that our current reporting has a binary view of gender, and is not inclusive of those who are gender diverse or non-binary. This is something we are seeking to resolve in future reporting on this subject.

Total Company

In technical roles – be they developers, product managers or UX and UI experts – we’ve also seen an equivalent increase.

Technical Roles


Growth in representation across all other, non-technical, roles was slower, but in line with the previous two years.

Non Technical Roles

Finally, Envato’s leadership structure has never been more diverse, with this cohort of female staff growing by 7% when compared to 2017 levels.

Leadership Roles

Developer Apprentice Program

In 2017 we launched a successful trial of a developer apprentice program targeted specifically at women wanting to enter the tech sector in a technical or development role. It was a lot of fun and we received a heap of great feedback from all involved. So in 2018, we offered it up again, with the second cohort of fantastic candidates currently embarking on their new career path.

Photo courtesy of AFR/Josh Robenstone
From left: Envato co-founder Collis Ta’eed, Chief People Officer Michelle Ridsdale, inaugural apprentice Jaime Gunther, apprentice trainer Mario Visic and Sharon Vaughan, who was another of the inaugural apprentices. Photo courtesy of AFR/Josh Robenstone

Mental health training for managers

This has been a consistent part of our inclusiveness program for the last few years, and as part of R U OK Day, we ran another two mental health awareness and resilience sessions for Envato’s people managers.

Ally and pride training

This year we partnered with Pride in Diversity to run the second round of ally awareness training. The training focused on three different aspects of being an ally, as well as the importance of LGBTI inclusion and awareness.

Envato CXO Justin French joins in the Pride Month celebrations at HQ.
Envato CXO Justin French joins in the Pride Month celebrations at HQ.

Targeted partnerships, including Code Like A Girl

One of Envato’s core values is that ‘When The Community Succeeds, We Succeed’. A big part of that is partnering with industry groups, not-for-profits and tech communities of all sizes, to try and have a positive impact in the areas in which we operate. One such partnership which entered its third year in 2018 was our sponsorship of Code Like a Girl. We love watching this organisation grow as it supports more and more girls and women to flourish in the world of coding. In turn, the team at Code Like a Girl have also provided group mentoring sessions to our own women in tech at Envato.

AWEI submission

For the third straight year we completed an Australian Workplace Equality Index submission. We’ve found that this process gives us a great gauge on our LGBTI inclusion practices, as benchmarked against other organisations around Australia, both within our sector and further afield. While we have great engagement within our LGBTI community, we know we have more work to do in providing more consistent practices to build on that level of inclusion.

Supporting international campaigns through local events

Envato is very lucky to have an active and engaged group of staff, not just in our Melbourne HQ but around the world as well. As a group, we’ve thrown our support behind major national and international awareness campaigns such as Wear It Purple Day, International Women’s Day and Pride Month. 

Envato HQ was as vibrant as it's ever been for for Wear It Purple Day
Envato HQ was as vibrant as it’s ever been for Wear It Purple Day

 

New Activities

Envato Health & Wellness Expo 2018
Envato hosted a health and wellness expo at HQ for the first time in 2018.

Unconscious bias training

All new starters at Envato are now asked to complete a training program on unconscious bias as part of their onboarding program. While such programs won’t solve our problems of bias on their own, we believe it’s important that we are all aware of the effect our biases can have on who we are and how we work.

Family Violence Leave

The Australian Government has identified family violence as a major national health and welfare issue, with recent data highlighting just how prevalent and damaging such occurrences are. Envato has long supported the New Day Box project and in 2018 we introduced our first Family Violence Leave guideline, for any staff who experience a family violence-related challenge in their life. The guideline provides for 5 extra days of paid leave a year.

Updated Parental Leave

You may have seen our Chief People Officer Michelle Ridsdale talking about this issue already, but we feel like the Aussie tech sector could always do more to support parents who work in tech, especially as the number of women entering the local sector workforce increases.

Our updated parental leave policy includes:

  • Increasing primary caregiver leave from 18 weeks to 20 weeks, full pay
  • Increasing partner leave from two to three weeks, full pay
  • Providing two professional coaching sessions to the parent taking primary leave, to better assist with their workforce and professional development planning
  • All primary caregivers will also receive superannuation across both the paid and unpaid portions of their leave. For example, if a primary caregiver was to take 12 months of leave, Envato would continue to pay their superannuation contribution for the full year, even if the paid leave concluded at 20 weeks.

Safe Space Guidelines

Envato isn’t as small as it once was and we don’t always know each other well enough to know what’s okay and what’s not for someone else. We want Envato to be a place where people feel safe, heard, able to speak openly and with respect when communicating with others. Our new Safe Space Guidelines aims to ensure that as we grow, we continue to live by our values of Diverse and Inclusive, Fair Go and Tell It Like It Is.

Envato at the Tech Diversity Awards 2018
Inaugural developer apprentice Sharon Vaughan and Organisational Development Consultant Bec Covington attend the Victorian Tech Diversity Awards in 2018, where Envato was shortlisted in the Business category.

LGBTQI representation in Great Place to Work survey

We introduced an LGBTI demographic to the annual Great Place To Work survey we participate in every year. This has given our LGBTI community the opportunity to tell us how they feel about working at Envato, which will allow us to provide better awareness and support in the future.

The Future of Inclusion at Envato

Are there other areas of focus you would like to see Envato turn its attention to? Or an existing area you think we could do more in? Have your say here.

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