Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2012 Holiday Gift Guide for Graphic Designers

In honor of the holidays, we came up with a holiday gift guide for graphic designers, which is what we did last year. Below is a list of some of our favorite gift ideas for graphic designers for the 2012 holidays. If you are shopping for a graphic designer and are stumped on what to buy, consider some of our suggestions:

1- A Lynda subscription: We know a ton of great graphic designers with tons of knowledge in the field, but no matter how much they know they always want to know more.  A subscription to Lynda.com is a perfect gift for that graphic designer in your life. Lynda is one of the best online resources available sharing tutorials and video lessons on popular techniques for graphic and web designers. Lynda has two packages available for their monthly subscription plans.

2- Digital Arts magazine subscription: Why not purchase a magazine of Digital Arts for the graphic designer in your life. Digital Arts is a great magazine for designers covering a wide range of topics from digital creative to feature tips and inspiration to reviews. Each magazine issue comes with a CD containing free stock photos, fonts, vectors and tutorials. This is the perfect gift that keeps giving year round for graphic designers.

3- Tablets: Okay, we'll admit it!  Our graphic designers here at Integraphix have an obsession with tablets. A tablet is a computer input device that has a pen and a drawing surface for digital illustration. The tablet is used in place of a mouse and is used to create complex designs efficiently and in a timely manner. As designers in Chicago, we strongly suggest all graphic designers to at least pick up a tablet and try it out for a day! We're sure you'll see how much potential it has to enhance your design capabilities!

4- iStock credit purchase: As web and graphic designers, we are constantly scrolling through different art and stock photos for our projects. If you are looking for a good gift idea for a graphic designer, consider purchasing credits to iStock.com. IStock has the largest library of stock photos and is a very popular resource for designers. 

5- CSSEdit 2: If you are looking for different types of software for the graphic designer your shopping for, check out CSSEdit 2. This program is specifically for Mac users and gives designers the ability to easily make changes to CSS coding. This software allows graphic designers to easily make minor edits to web designs. It’s a great resource for designers that may not have web developer capabilities.

6- App pillow: A silly and fun present that would make any graphic designer smile on Christmas day is the “app pillow.” App pillows are simply square, plush pillows that have different symbols that represent the products in the line of the Adobe Creative Suite. Each pillow is colorful and has abbreviations that represent an Adobe product. Not only is it a comfortable creative gift idea, but it can be purchased for under $20!

Looking for more holiday gift ideas?  Feel free to comment below or contact us.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

25 Creative, FREE Social Media Icon Sets For Graphic Designers

Have you ever noticed the creative icons that link to social media pages on web pages? Website icons and social media icons are designed to make your viewers intrigued to look more in depth in your webpage. As a marketing company, we always add social media icons to our websites and our client websites. Whether you own a 15 page website or only a blog, utilizing social media icons will definitely help drive traffic to your different web pages. You even have the option to add social media icons to your blog template websites such as blogger.

As a Chicago Web Design Company and a Chicago Graphic Design company, we like to be able to utilize all of our skills in single projects. As a creative agency we are always intrigued by projects that allow our designers in Chicago to let their creativity flow, and creating custom social media icons is definitely one of them. From simple black and white icons to detailed 3 dimentional social media icons, there are many options and styles for creating an appealing icon on your page. If you are creating your own social media icons, approach the project as if it were a logo. Create the icons in illustrator and use them as vector files. This file format will be beneficial to you in the long run if you are looking to use these images in the future. For more information on creating logos and custom icons, visit our logo design blog that features posts specifically on logos.

Some social media web pages you may want to consider when creating social media buttons are: Facebook of course, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube.

There are also many websites that provide free or commercial social media icons for free. Of course, these icons won’t be custom to your website, but still have a very big impact on the traffic of your webpage. If you are looking for social media icons for your own website design, below are a few sets of our designers in Chicago’s favorites.  Check them out, and let us know your favorite!

3D Vector Social Media Icons

Circular Stamp Social Media Icons

Classic Gray Social Media Icons 
Ice Icons

Social Media Bubbles

Bottle Cap Social Media Icons

Burnt Wood Social Media Set

Blueprint Social Icon Set

Social Media Balloons

Social Media Stars

Social Media Hearts
Dark Social Media Circles

Social Media Icons - Stained

Origami Social Media Icons

Retro Social Media Icon Set

Handycon Social Media Icons

Sleek Social Media Icons

Social Buzz Buttons

Paint Splattered Social Media Icons

Scribble Social Icon Set

Glossy Social Icons

Pagepeel Social Icon Set

Hand Drawn Social Media Icons
Social Media Stamps

Colorful Social Network Icon Set