Monday, May 10, 2010

Designers | Creatives : online resources Vol1

So I figured a good way to start a new graphic arts blog would be with a post on some of my favorite and most useful graphics related online resources, by no means is this list all inclusive, rather just the tip of the iceberg. I'm sure I will follow with many more posts of this sort as I discover more and more of the constantly expanding web-o-verse.

Lets start with image and portfolio hosting: has always been my favorite, they are among the least intrusive with their watermark ads, their interface is easy to use and you get practically unlimited storage for free. I use my photobucket account to host images i'm placing around the web (facebook,myspace,blogs,ect...), i find this much easier to keep tabs on than hosting all these varied images on my personal site. This site is especially helpful for bands who manage their own promotions, as you can have a centralized location from which all members can post promotional images from, plus they can create a public folder which they direct fans to copy/paste and embed band banners ect. is an amazing site for graphic artists and magazine publishers, it is one part social networking site, one part on line content hosting | publishing. Not only does issuu allow you to upload | publish unlimited PDFs but it allows you to embed you content around the web and apply your own skins to issuu's viewer. I host my online portfolio with issuu, you can find examples of embedded issuu content on my website's portfolio and this very blog. Issuu is free, easy to use and full of inspired designs by some amazing artists. is the everyman/woman solution to e commerce, basically as long as you create it and its not manufactured you can sell it on etsy. From knitting to original art it is all there, easy to navigate and shop as well as presented pleasingly. From a sellers perspective the listing and commission fees are very reasonable, your store is easy to set up and maintain, all you really need is bank account, a paypal account and digital images of your products. Etsy handles hosting your images so there is no coding or embedding,in one click it integrates fully with your facebook page plus the site is chocked full of useful suggestions, tutorials, forums and a vibrant blog community. Oh and while your there check out the Insanity Shack Poster and Print Shop.

Web Design:

If your like me your an art nerd, not a code nerd, while I love designing beautiful websites I'm completely lost when it comes to writing JAVA script, java and other advanced coding languages beyond HTML & CSS. That's where Dynamic Drive saves the day. This is by far the best java script and CSS Library I have found online, hundreds upon hundreds of useful scripts to help you create great effects and solid functionality in your websites, all for free.


So many sites, so much wasted time. For my money is the best free font site on the web. I especially like the What the Font? font finder tool, it will try and help you figure out a match for a mystery font you may need to match for some reason.

Stock images:

We all know there are millions of images all over the web we can copy paste and download, but most of them are protected by copyright law, and for good reason. is a repository of stock photos that the photographers have posted specifically to be used by designers and others. You must still respect the photographers wishes, each poster sets different use parameters for their images.


CreativeCommons - Web 2.0 copyright and open source sharing agreements

AIGA- The professional association for design. a trade organization, membership dues are pricey (i can't afford it right now) but their agency | illustrator | designer directory is the most respected in the industry and often times key to landing larger corporate & publishing clients. is pretty much just what it says, all and all a pretty awesome community of graphic designers, tutorials, articles, forums, resources, portfolios and a nice online directory of designers.
is a sort of artistic social networking site, forums, portfolio hosting and peer review, a facebook for creatives if you will. I just signed up for this and have not yet really dug in yet but it seems to have a lot of interesting features, including the ability to sell your work and be critiqued by the community. I plan to use mine to display a collection of my favorite posters that I've done for bands over the years.

I think i'll call it at that for my first post.

-making the world more beautiful one square inch at a time

Cullen Balch
"the lunatic in charge of the asylum"
[insanity shack] design studio

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