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American business author Denis Waitley once remarked that “continuous learning is the minimum requirement for success in any field.” As self-employed professionals, we never know enough. Part of our jobs is to keep learning. For designers, design tutorials that help keep skills sharp are a huge help. From learning how to create patterns to brushing up on Illustrator skills, these are a few of the online design tutorials that can help designers stay on top of their game in 2018.
7 Graphic Design Tutorials Worth Checking Out in 2018
1. Pattern Design Tips
DigitalArts offers one tutorial on repeating pattern design with tips from leading illustrators and designers from the U.K. and Europe. As Uzbekistan illustrator Dinara Mirtlipova suggests: “Creating patterns for me is like playing a mental puzzle—like building Lego or playing Tetris. The rhythm of every pattern depends of how it is going to be used and the purpose of it. When I design something for wallpaper I need to make sure that the repeat will look even and smooth on an eight-foot wall.”
2. Creating Geometric Patterns
Envato tuts offers a number of inspiring Photoshop tutorials, but one of the most under-rated ones is the geometric patterns tutorial, which shows how simple it actually is to create geometric patterns. Follow their one example with a two-hued hexagon pattern that fills the page ever so pleasantly with a palette of blue and orange.
3. Master Polygon Tutorial
Over on the U.K. blog Advanced Photoshop, you learn how to turn a photo into a geometric polygon image in a Photoshop tutorial that walks you through the process with a simple 12-step example, complete with screen grabs. As they advise: “Resist the temptation to rush through the drawing stage, really focus on varying the sizes and shapes of the triangles. The more we vary the locations of our shapes, the more unique our illustration becomes.”
4. Frequency Separation Retouching in Photoshop
PHLearn is a YouTube channel with more than a million followers. It’s run by a group of dedicated designers who offer high quality, in-depth graphic design tutorials. On their channel, they have more than 600 tutorials, from altering photos in Photoshop to brightening portraits and creating a Lomo effect in Lightroom. Probably their most interesting tutorial is the frequency separation retouching tutorial in Photoshop. As the YouTube video explains: “Frequency separation works because it allows you to separate the texture of an image from the tone and color. When retouching, you can focus on just the texture or the skin beneath it. It sounds quite complex but in practice it is quite simple. If you want to work with texture, choose the high-frequency layer; if you want to work with skin, choose the low-frequency layer.”
5. Make and Sell iMessage Stickers
Malaysian designer Adelyn Tam explains how she was able to create and sell her dim sum cartoon-themed stickers to Apple iMessage, which she got online to the Apple store in eight days. Her design tutorial starts with her concept in drawings, learning Xcode to create stickers, uploading her work to Illustrator and getting her series approved on the App Store. “Being a heavy iMessage user, when emojis weren’t enough to convey my thoughts, I would make a doodle, take a photo and send it to the other person,” she writes. “I loved the idea of seeing some of my artwork being used in daily chat conversations and decided to give this a go.”
6. Custom Vinyl Sticker Tutorial
Florida-based illustrator and designer Chris Parks has created a how-to tutorial on creating clear vinyl stickers on Sticker Robot. The stickers are meant to be pasted over the Apple logo on laptops. After going through the brush-rendering process on Photoshop, he explains everything from how to set up the file for printing the die-cut sticker to ordering them online.
7. Beginners Tips on i-Adobe
For beginners, try the online Adobe design program blog i-Adobe, which offer solutions for Adobe programs, from vectoring photos to guest posts from industry professionals, who are mostly based in Europe. There are also 3D programs to check out, YouTube interviews and tips on grease pencil modifiers.