Archive for the ‘Graphics / Design’ Category

Sticker Mule Review

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Have you ever wanted to get some custom stickers made for your website, business, band, or any other reason for which you might make a sticker? There are plenty of sticker companies on the internet to choose from, but a lot of these sticker companies require huge bulk orders of a thousand stickers or more. However, there is one company that lets you buy just the right amount of custom stickers, at a reasonable price, with great service. This company is Sticker Mule.

Sticker Mule, first of all, has a very good looking and easy to use website. Second, they are now the official sticker provider of Reddit. They offer free shipping on all orders, and have many different types of stickers to choose from. Your stickers can be different shapes, die cut, kiss cut, bumper stickers, sticker sheets, and even custom iPhone, iPad, iPod, Kindle, and Macbook laptop skins. For this review, I ordered some Reddit stickers, as well as a 50 pack of custom die cut stickers.

Choosing the type of sticker that I wanted was easy, due to the awesome website layout. For the custom stickers, I uploaded a PSD file, wrote a comment to let them know how I wanted it cut, and the next day I got a proof in my email showing exactly how the sticker would look if it was cut that way. I accepted the proof, and got a shipping time estimate for 13 days. After 7 days, I got an email with a UPS tracking number saying my order had shipped. It arrived on the 14th (and I had received my proof on the 1st) in a very sturdy envelope. Considering these were custom die cut stickers, in addition to the popular Reddit stickers, I think that this is a very reasonable time for order fulfillment and shipping.

I could tell right away that the stickers were printed on very high quality paper. They are not glossy, and have a very smooth matte surface. The sticker itself as well as the backing is relatively very thick, meaning you won’t accidentally bend the stickers or rip off a piece, such as the Reddit alien’s antenna. The resolution is superb, with no imperfections visible. There is no color bleed, and the colors were reproduced perfectly from the PSD I had uploaded. The cut was very clean and precise, and followed my outline exactly. I was very surprised at how heavy the stickers were due to the heavy duty paper used. According to the website, the stickers are fade and water resistant. This would take too long to test, but I have no doubts about this claim. In fact, I am going to put one of the Reddit stickers on my motorcycle helmet, which will be wet from rain periodically.

The photos of all the stickers can be seen below. I tried my best to reproduce the colors, and I think the photos come close, but they are not exact. The imperfections visible in the photos are not visible when actually looking at the stickers, even if looking closely. The camera shows things that you won’t be able to see with your eyes, so try to ignore that. Apart from that, as you can see in the photos, the ink quality is amazing. I am very satisfied with my order, and if I need some more stickers I will definitely order from Sticker Mule. The prices are reasonable due to the high quality, and if you are trying to spread your brand with stickers, these will definitely do the job very well. I highly recommend Sticker Mule for all your custom sticker needs, as well as for Reddit stickers. These are awesome stickers with superb quality. Check out the photos below.

Disclaimer: I was paid for my time spent on writing this review, and was given store credit to buy the stickers with. However, I can guarantee that this did not influence the review in any way. I have reported all facts as accurately as possible and left out no negative thoughts.

Posted in Graphics / Design, Reviews, Web publishing | No Comments »

Here is a standard size Reddit button for your website

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

If you have social media buttons on your website, and have ever tried adding a reddit button, you may have noticed that reddit doesn’t provide a standard sized button. Most other websites, such as Digg, Facebook, and Twitter, have 20px tall buttons as an option. Reddit didn’t have one 20px tall, so I made one by modifying an existing button, and here it is:

To use it, save this button to your own server and replace the image URL in the button code with your own URL (wherever you uploaded the button). Also, note that I say button, not widget. This won’t work with the interactive widgets because they are a javascript code. Use the “reddit this!” button under “commonly used buttons” to get the right code.

Posted in Graphics / Design, Internet, Web publishing | No Comments »

ArtsNow Custom Stickers Review

Friday, October 16th, 2009

I recently ordered a custom sticker from and here is a quick review.

For $1.99, you get a 5×3 inch “waterproof, weatherproof and fade proof” sticker “with an aggressive permanent adhesive.” I did not get a chance yet to test the ruggedness and stickiness of the sticker, but I plan to attach it to a freeride mountain bike, so it will eventually get a lot of abuse. If the sticker fails anytime soon, I will update this review. I don’t think it will though; it feels really tough.

Since this is a sticker there’s not much to review. The printing quality is bad and blurry. The blurriness is only noticed from one foot away or closer however. My home inkjet printer can make a much higher quality print. The colors are off from the original image I submitted, but that might be because I forgot to optimize it for printing when making it in Photoshop. I also was expecting it to be shiny, but it’s matte.

In conclusion, it’s cheap, but the quality is low. Shipping is straight from China, so it takes at least a week. The quality is alright for the price – most other custom sticker sites I found only let you buy in bulk. Look at the pictures below and judge for yourself. I did my best to optimize my point-and-shoot camera to show the true quality and color. The first picture is the original custom image I submitted, and the rest are of the actual sticker.

Oh and by the way, their custom mousepads also come out a bit blurry, but they’re a great value for the money.

Posted in Graphics / Design, Reviews | No Comments »

Google and Yahoo will crawl flash files

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Adobe has announced that they have made a deal with Google and Yahoo to make flash files indexable.

It’s great to finally see search engine technology progress into the modern web. Flash has been used for a long time to make menus and animations for websites. But until now, these flash files couldn’t be indexed by search engines, so web developers used normal text menus.

Flash content looks great on websites and gives sites more depth and a greater end-user experience. With today’s internet connection speeds, flash usually doesn’t take much longer to load than a site with images. Now web developers can use flash to make websites look better, make the customer more pleased, and still have the links, text, or even the whole flash site indexable.

This will be a great addition to Google search and Yahoo search.

image copyright Adobe

Posted in Graphics / Design, Internet, Multimedia, News | 1 Comment »

Photoshop CS4 in October, with GPU Acceleration

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

When Adobe Photoshop CS4 comes out this October, it will feature GPU and Physics acceleration, as well as 64 bit processing.

This means Photoshop CS4 will not only be the first version of Photoshop to come in a 64 bit version, but also the first version to feature graphics and physics processor acceleration. This will make Photoshop CS4 faster than any previous versions, and it will let you manipulate 3D graphics. The physics acceleration might be able to generate particle and lighting effects dynamically and in 3D.

The GPU acceleration alone will increase the speed of Photoshop CS4 in certain tasks up to 100 times. At a recent Nvidia demo, “the presenter playing with a 2 GB, 442 megapixel image like it was a 5 megapixel image on an 8-core Skulltrail system. Changes made through image zoom and through a new rotate canvas tool were applied almost instantly.”

There is no word yet on whether CS4 will only take advantage of workstation GPU’s such as the Nvidia Quadro series. I am hoping that it will be able to use any GPU for an extra speed and power boost.

More information should be available as the October 1st release date approaches.

Posted in Graphics / Design, Performance, Software | No Comments »

How to resize multiple images in Photoshop

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Digital cameras take pictures in huge resolutions. If you’re going to email your photos, post them in forums, or do things like that, you should resize your images so they’re not huge. This also makes them anywhere from 30% – 80% smaller in file size, so it will be much faster uploading them. It will also be easier for people to download them if they have slower internet connections. This short tutorial will show you how to resize multiple images in Adobe Photoshop with a few clicks. I’m using Photoshop CS3 for this tutorial.

  1. Once you have Photoshop opened, click on File > Scripts > Image Processor… (click here for a screenshot)
  2. In the Image Processor window, select the folder your images are in by clicking Select Folder… (click here for a screenshot)
  3. You can save in the current folder, or choose a different folder. If you save in the current folder, it will create a new folder inside it called JPEG and put the processed images there. It will not overwrite your original images.
  4. File Type – I recommend saving as JPEG with a quality of 10. Your photos will be reduced in file size noticeably and will remain good quality.
  5. If you want to resize your images, which I recommend for posting them online, select Resize to Fit and enter the dimensions you want. Note: you need to keep the aspect ratio of your images. Make sure your original images are the same dimensions (they should be if they’re from the same camera) and divide the height and width separately by the same number to keep the ratio. My photos are originally 2592 x 1944, so I resize them to 1296 x 972. This is half of the original size, keeping the aspect ratio.
  6. Click Run and Photoshop will start processing your images. Wait for it to finish, then you can close it.

And that’s all. Now you can resize thousands of images with a few clicks.

Posted in Graphics / Design, Software, Tutorials, Web publishing | 116 Comments »

Adobe working on 64-bit Photoshop for Vista

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

Adobe announced today that Photoshop CS4 will feature a 64-bit version for Windows Vista. The 64-bit version will not be available on OS X. Adobe gave no details of whether they will eventually develop a 64-bit version for Mac.

Performance will be 10% greater with the 64-bit version, and that’s not including the time it will take to load a file. It will also mean Photoshop will be able to use all of your RAM, so for those of us who have 4GB or more, this will give even greater benefits.

Speaking of RAM, it sounds like 4GB will be the minimum for CS4.

There is no word on when CS4 will be released.

Source: TG Daily

Posted in Graphics / Design, Software | 1 Comment »

Top 3 Photoshop resource and tutorial websites

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

If you are new to Photoshop, or even if you’re an advanced user looking for some new stuff to try out, these three sites are probably the only places you’ll need to visit to find what you’re looking for. Together they have thousands, if not a million, tutorials not just for Photoshop but for Dreamweaver, Flash, and other web media and coding. I highly recommend these sites to beginners and to pros.

  1. Pixel2life.comPixel2life was the first tutorial site I used, and I learned most of what I now can do in Photoshop from there. Pixel2life has all user-submitted content, so it is basically a huge database of tutorials. They also cover a variety of different programs.
  2. Tutorialized.comTutorialized has more than 8,000 Photoshop tutorials as of today. They also have sections for other 2D and 3D graphics, web development, and many applications. They have thousands of quality tutorials for almost anything design and code related you can think of.
  3. Good-tutorials.comGood-tutorials has more than 23,000 tutorials as of the time of this post. They have tutorials for CSS, Flash, HTML, Java, Photoshop, PHP, 3ds Max, and more. You should definitely check them out.

There are many, many more tutorial sites out there, but I think these have enough tutorials to cover everything you could think of.

Posted in Graphics / Design, Web publishing | 1 Comment »