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Best mouse for designers

World's first laser sensor gives 20 times more precision and works virtually on any surface. Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery is cost efficient, lighter and lasts longer. Gives you wireless freedom, but unfortunately it's not based on bluetooth technology.

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Layer mask quick edit

Alt-click (option-click) on the layer mask thumbnail right next to the layer thumbnail in the layer palette to show and edit the layer mask. You can use all the tools and filters to edit your mask and once you're done, the same simple option-click will revert to normal view.

Thanks to kirk for the tip.

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Create a neon sign

There are many ways to create a neon sign, but I can guarantee that this is the fastest and simplest one.

Choose a bold font and type up your sign. Fill it with black on black background. At this point your sign is off. :)

Let's switch it on. Click the first icon from the left on the bottom of the Layers palette to add a layer style. Choose Stroke and follow the settings below. Make sure you choose a big number for the Size, such as 35. Select Position: Center. Fill Type: Gradient. Style: Shape Burst.

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Learn from eye tracking

I came across a very interesting research which will help web designers tremendously to make the most out of the content with design. Here are the learnings in a nutshell:

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Accidental creativity

Sometimes a creative idea hits you when you least expect it. The other day I wanted to try out the ink-jet iron-on transfer for t-shirts, so I sat down to think of a cool design. I like to use books with pictures as inspiration, so I took a book about modern art to see if I get an idea. I opened up the book on Joseph Kossuth's frames. It's a conceptual piece of art. His art piece consists of three objects besides each other.

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A tribute to logos

Some great logos are not in use anymore. Logo R.I.P. is project that pays tribute to discontinued logos.

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Preview your Shadows and Highlights

When working with the levels dialog box Alt-click (option-click) on the highlight triangle and it reveals the pixels affected by moving the highlight triangle. Same thing applies to the black/low key triangle.

This is very useful when correcting levels, because sometimes the amounts of certain colors are so low they barely show up on the graph, but they might be important parts of your image.

Thanks Kirk for the tip.

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Burning pages

This tutorial may require a little bit of experimenting to create a realistic burn pattern, but don't get too scared. :)

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Socially responsible advertising

The other day I saw this window sticker for mentos that I really liked. Besides delivering a clear message about the product benefit it also did a good job at suggesting to quit smoking. There are so many things we need to educate the general public about. Companies are spending billions of dollars to convince consumers that their brand is better than another similar one. Wouldn't it be great (and utopistic) to see that some of these companies would actually care to incorporate a socially responsible message into their communication?

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Zoom in on your screen

If you didn't know about this trick than take a seat.

Press Apple-Alt-8 (Command-Option-8) to switch on zoom. Now press Apple-Alt-"+" (Command-Option-Plus sign). Hold it to zoom in more. The minus sign will zoom back. Now try to move around your mouse. Experience how a 30" Apple Cinema Display feels like. :) For more options open System Preferences/Universal Access/Seeing.


Creativebits is a blog about Creativity, Graphic Design, Adobe, Apple and other related subjects.

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