Learn Photoshop: All of the Basics for Beginners

We frequently publish posts on this blog that feature tutorials for learning how to do various things with Photoshop, but we have rarely focused on just the basics. This post is intended for designers or aspiring designers who either want to get started with Photoshop or have limited experience and are looking to improve.

While there are plenty of great learning resources available online, it’s often difficult for beginners to know where to get started because everything seems to be scattered. With this post you’ll find links to plenty of resources to teach you all the basics and fundamentals of Photoshop.

Most of the resources and tutorials listed in this post will focus on teaching one particular aspect of Photoshop, such as how to use a specific tool. Everything is broken down into sections so you can find exactly what you are looking for.

Intro to Photoshop’s Tools and UI:

The resources in this section will serve as an introduction for those who are new to Photoshop. They will help you to learn your way around the interface and with some of the basics of Photoshop.

The Photoshop Workspace (video)

The Photoshop Workspace

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35 Beautiful Responsive Email Newsletter Templates

Email newsletters are an important marketing and communications tool for many businesses. You can stay in touch with past customers, market your products to those who have expressed interest but haven’t yet purchased, and get extra exposure for your sales and promotions. Email is an extremely cost effective marketing method and it is likely to produce a higher return on investment than any other type of marketing or advertising.

The appearance of your newsletter can be enhanced with an attractive design, but having a custom design isn’t the only option. Templates can be purchased for very reasonable prices. Here we’ll showcase 35 different templates, and each one sells for less than $20. All of these templates are responsive, so they’ll look great on desktops, tablets, and mobile phones. Most of them are HTML templates, although some come with alternate versions already coded for specific mailing list managers, such as MailChimp and Campaign Monitor. Other leading options for managing your list include GetResponse, AWeber, Constant Contact, and iContact.

Pure ($18)

Pure

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The Real Truth About Design Contests, What You Need to Know

And you just won…nothing.

That, right there, is the first truth that you need to know about design contests. Not everyone who enters a design contest will win.

Yet, it seems like contests are everywhere.

It’s easy to be enticed to enter contests with the shiny offers of exciting prizes and in some cases, cash. But if you do enter a design contest, don’t count on winning. Most entrants never place high enough to win a prize. And some contests are outright scams.

Is it worth it to enter a design contest? It depends. If you’re thinking about entering a contest, you should consider all the risks before you put serious effort into a contest entry.

In this post, I share four vital questions you should ask yourself before entering a design contest. If you liked this post, you’ll probably also like 7 Practical Ways to Gain Exposure as a Designer.

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Does Your Design Blog Need a Podcast? Plus, 8 Free Podcasting Software Tools

Blog content is important, right? If you have a web design blog for your freelance web design business, you already know how having a blog can help you attract traffic and establish yourself as an expert. (If you don’t have a blog on your freelancing website, why don’t you?)

Blogs need content, but not all content is writing. Podcasts are an important type of content that is often overlooked. Consider adding a podcast to your freelancing blog to give it more variety.

Podcasts are audio or video files that you add to your blog. You can also submit your audio file podcasts to iTunes. While some podcasts contain music, many successful bloggers present informative material with podcasts and you can too. For the purposes of this post, we’ll be discussing audio podcasts.

Podcasting is not for everyone. But adding a podcast to your blog may be just the thing you need to set your web design business apart from the rest.

In this in this introduction to podcasting, I’ll explain how podcasting can help you promote your web design business. I’ll also identify some tools to help you to get started with podcasting. Finally, I’ll include some tips and tutorials so that you can learn more about podcasting.
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Image Source: ON THE AIR by Rochelle Hartman CC by 2.0

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The Design Kickstarter Bundle (400+ items) – only $17! (sponsored)

MD

A graphic artist’s best friend is the designer’s toolbox. Full of a vast collection of textures, brushes, actions, vectors and more, the toolbox is always expanding. The more elements, the more choices. The more choices, the more varied you’ll find the designs.

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to beef up your own toolbox, this Mighty Deal is for you! The Design Kickstarter Bundle from Matt Borchert will keep you busy for a long time!

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Online Courses for Learning Web Design and Development

Web design and web development are popular career choices right now. One of the great things about getting into the industry is that there are a variety of different ways to build your knowledge and gain experience. You can attend a college or university and pursue a degree in a related field, you can learn on your own, or you can taken advantage of a growing number of resources that provide online training. In this article we’ll look at the best websites that offer online training to help you learn how to design and/or develop websites. We’ll look at free resources as well as others that require payment. Of course, the free resources are generally more limited, but they can still provide a good starting point.

For those that require payment, there are a few different varieties. Many of the websites operate an a membership bases, where you will pay a monthly or yearly fee in order to get unlimited access to their training materials. Others will sell a variety of different courses, and you can select the specific course that you want to purchase.

Online Courses and Training for Web Design/Development:

Treehouse

Treehouse

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Free Download: Glow PSD Theme

Do you want a eye catching theme for your next mobile app and get more sales? Look no further.

Glow is a trendy landing page for your next product or service. It comes complete with a fully layered psd file and can be edited to fit your exact needs. With its modern flat look and pixel perfect design you are sure to have a great landing page for you next mobile app or product. You can use this theme for personal and commercial uses.

Today’s exclusive freebie comes from our friends at www.bestpsdfreebies.com, where they provide high quality free web design resources.

Glow App Launch PSD Theme

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40+ of the Best WordPress eCommerce Themes

While there are plenty of options available when choosing an eCommerce platform, the possibility of using WordPress for eCommerce has become more enticing in recent years due to continued development of plugins and themes. Today there is no shortage of quality themes that can be purchased, or in some cases downloaded for free, to use WordPress for powering an eCommerce website.

One of the main benefits of having WordPress as an eCommerce option is that so many users and developers are already familiar with WordPress, so the learning curve can in some cases be shorter than with another platform. Another advantage is that WordPress is free to use and can be hosted anywhere. Many of the leading eCommerce options require your site to be hosted with them, which can be a good thing, but it’s not what every user wants.

Having a custom theme designed and developed is always an option, but the improving quality of available premium themes makes it possible to start a professional-looking eCommerce site with very little upfront investment. In this post we’ll showcase more than 40 eCommerce themes for WordPress, and every one of them sells for less than $100.

Some eCommerce themes come with their own eCommerce functionality built in to the theme, but most are designed and developed to integrate with one or more of the leading eCommerce plugins for WordPress. Those plugins include WooCommerce, Jigoshop, WP e-Commerce, Cart66, and Easy Digital Downloads.
Gather ($49)

Gather is an extremely well-designed and responsive theme from ThemeTrust. It comes with an extensive list of features and integrates with WooCommerce.

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Shopify Toolbox: Resources for Shopify Users and Designers

Shopify is one of the leading e-commerce options for companies and individuals who want to be able to quickly set up a feature-rich online shop. All Shopify users have access to free templates that can be used, plus a large and growing selection of beautiful premium templates that can be purchased for affordable prices. Shopfiy is a hosted system, so you won’t have to go through a complicated installation process on your server, and support and billing for e-commerce functionality and hosting is combined and managed in one place.

Many designers and developers love Shopify because it’s a great system to use for client projects. You can create custom themes for your clients, or even make money by selling your templates in their theme shop. Developers can also create and sell apps in the app shop. Shopify has a partners program that allows designers to earn a commission by referring clients, and they also have an experts section where you can get listed so Shopify users can easily find you for custom work.

In this post we’ll highlight a number of resources that will be very helpful to designers/developers who want to learn more about Shopify, and also for shop owners who want to find some great resources to make their e-commerce site even better.

Shopify Ecommerce

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