How to use Photoshop to make notepad sketches

Written by Verne on February 22nd, 2008

A few days ago, I wrote about the making of Creative Briefing and touched briefly on how the notepad sketches that you see on the top left of this site came to be. I’ll now go more in depth and offer a quick and easy tutorial on how I produced the image using Adobe Photoshop.

It should be noted that much of the work in this tutorial can be replaced by simply purchasing stock photos of notepads. However, if you’re not into spending money or aren’t able to find a stock photo that suits your needs, then this tutorial is for you.

The Goal

Here’s what this tutorial will help you achieve:

The final product!

Let’s get started!

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Write and win cool free stuff

Written by Verne on February 21st, 2008

Freelancers and entrepreneurs love free stuff. It’s in our blood to be frugle and get as much as we can while paying the least we can. Asians have been known to share this same nature. So fortunately or unfortunately for me, my love for free stuff is multiplied.

That’s why when I found out about the Graphic Design Group Writing Project, I got a bit excited. Jacob Cass of Just Creative Design recently launched an initiative to get design geeks like me to write on the topic of graphic design with hopes of bringing the community a little closer through exposure and link love. As we write more articles, Jacob adds links to our articles from his site to share it with everyone else.

And to add some extra incentive, he’s giving away $5000 worth of prizes through random draw. What does the $5000 include, you ask? Some pretty kick-ass stuff. For example:

  • A Squier Strat by Fender electic guitar and a crap load of accessories is being donated by
  • Go Media Vector Packs and an Adobe Photoshop Brush Pack. PLUS 55 iStockPhoto credits from PJ of Premium WordPress Theme showcase.
  • Everyone’s favorite logo designer and blogger David Airey is offering his brain to help improve your identity and its integration into your site.
  • Jacob Cass himself is going to pimp your logo or your blog.
  • Advertising space on Estetica Design Forums (donated by Toon) and on Just Creative Design.

And those are just some of the prizes that are up for grabs. Tons of sponsors have already signed on to help this initiative out so big props to them as well: Vivien of InspirationBit, Daniel Scocco of Daily Blog Tips, Audee from Graphic Identity, Bloggeries, JasMate from Digital Point Forums, Freelance Folder, Jillian of The Minty Ferret, Lauren of Creative Curio, Ruchir of Technomoney, Meryl, and Design Sojourn. Wooo. That’s a lot of link love.

So how to you win some of these bad boys? It’s simple, you write a graphic design-related post and you send it in. Jacob also has a handful of other easy things that you can do right away that will immediately get you some free entires. All the contest details can be found here. The contest ends March 4th.

If you know me, you know I have my eyes set on the Fender guitar. I’ll try to control the drooling while I work on my entries for the contest.

I hope some of you will take some time and get some entries in yourself. But if you don’t, I’ll forgive you. :)Икони

The making of Creative Briefing

Written by Verne on February 19th, 2008

Over the Christmas holidays is when it first struck me that maybe it was about time that Creative Briefing got a little bit of a face lift. It took me awhile to really set this thought into motion but when I finally did, the ideas started flowing. I made sketches and mock-ups, and finally after one long and cold December night’s work at the Photoshop factory, I had a new masterpiece. One week later, I hated it. So I scrapped it and started all over again.

Fast forward a month and we’re at last week when I finally launched the new face of this site, which fortunately has been met with a lot of positive feedback thus far. But let’s rewind the tape a bit, and let me fill you in on some of the process that’s led me here.

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Stumbling around

Written by Verne on February 17th, 2008

StumbleUponThe one pitfall of all these social communities spawning every day is that it becomes somewhat of a chore to upkeep them. And because everything you do online seems to be publically available thanks to great tools like Google, managing your online identity, whether you blog, tweet, digg, stumble, link in, facebook, or all of the above, can get quite exhausting.

Despite this, my social curiosity (or is it ‘curiosity 2.0′?) continues to drag me hesitantly down these beaten paths, led by my ambition to stay ahead of the game, yet lagged by my lack of bandwidth to build up another social identity.

That having been said, I finally gave in to StumbleUpon and have been putting in a three-quarter-ass effort to be active in the SU community. And because it’s not cool to stumble alone in an environment that jives on social interaction, I thought I’d share my profile with everyone in hopes of finding new people to fan and possibly some new fans in return as well.

So if you’re on StumbleUpon, leave a link to your profile in the comments so I can check it out. Help support my social addiction by checking out mine here: Add me as a friend if you like my taste.

I’m armed with the toolbar now so you can expect some good stumbles from my end. I look forward to seeing yours!

I met the walrus

Written by Verne on February 15th, 2008

I came across a website today off my Facebook mini feed called I Met the Walrus. It is a microsite for an animated short film based on 14-year-old Jerry Levitan who, in 1969, snuck into John Lennon’s hotel room and interviewed him during his in-bed-for-peace phase. The film has already been nominated for a handful of awards, including an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

I watched the trailer, which is available on the site, and the art work really struck me. The film is completely animated in a sketchbook art style to the spoken words of the interview. For anyone who knows Lennon’s reputation as somewhat of a literary magician in his time, you’ll know you’re in for some seriously deep imagery. The flash-based website is done in the very same style as well, with quirky but unobtrusive animations dispersed around the site. The imagery is definitely odd but filled with meaning – almost as if Lennon had written the creative brief for the site himself. Even if you’re not a Beatles or Lennon fan, you should check out the site for some kick-ass art and animation.

I Met the Walrus

Props to Dungeon for the great site work and James Braithwaite, Alex Kurina, and Josh Raskin for the art and animation.