10+ free font resource websites

Every designer knows that getting the right typeface is an important element to consider when creating an effective user interface design. Fonts, type or typefaces are often overlooked in providing visitors a unique user experience while they navigate your site from page to page. Websites using the right type can communicate better with their visitors, it will guide them to click on that innocent looking call to action button. Some designers even base their entire design layout to typefaces that would make each visitor go “Hmmmn, this looks interesting!” After all one of the first medium of communication that websites used in their infancy was their content, right? This is probably why as designers we can never have too much font in our personal library.

I’ve compiled 10 web resource sites of free fonts that houses some of the best and latest font styles available for personal and commercial use.

(Disclaimer: Do keep in mind that some of them may have some form of reserved rights attached so be sure to read the Terms and Conditions before downloading for any commercial purposes).

And if the font really helped you it’s always a good idea to donate to the font authors and designers, this will help them to continue giving away their awesome font creations for us to devour. Or simply give them some credit, we all know how it feels not getting credited for something we worked so hard for.

Hope you guys find these useful, continue reading and enjoy!

dafont.com

One of the most popular and my favorite source of free fonts is dafont.com it holds a huge collection of very cool fonts. What I like about them is the way they’ve categorized each font by theme, this allows you to view related fonts without wasting time going through the entire font archive because it’s really tough to search for the right font if you don’t even know the font name. I find it convenient that their latest added fonts get their own category listing, you will find their latest font additions displayed on the first page. And it also has this neat option that you can type any word you want and it will be displayed using the styles of the font themes they have . So if you are just looking for some visual suggestions of how your text will look this is a feature that will work wonders for you. For me that’s just awesome!

dafont.com

neatfonts.com

This is probably one of my earliest font resource discoveries, and as their name suggests neatfonts.com carries a library of pretty neat fonts. Like most font archive websites neatfonts.com has a large inventory of contemporary fonts. A little harder to navigate compared to dafont.com because they’ve archived their fonts alphabetically, and unless you already know the name of the font style you’re looking for it’s really time consuming to get through each one. But on the other hand if you’re not in a hurry it’s exciting to discover new styles along the way, because like dafont.com, neatfonts also allows you to view your chosen word or title in the style of the fonts you are currently browsing that makes searching for the right font quite fun.

neatfonts.com

urbanfonts.com

If there will be a rival to dafont.com in terms of usability and ease of use then it could be urbanfonts.com. Like dafont.com, urbanfonts categorized their font resources by theme. And they also have a featured font category.

urbanfonts.com

fonts2u.com

This latest addition proves to be a contender for the the best font resource website, not only does it support multiple languages it also has a font converter to support the following formats.

– TrueType (.ttf)
– OpenType (.otf)
– PostScript Type 1 (.pfb)
– Macintosh OS X Data Fork (.dfont)

fonts2u.com even has a list of font designers linked to their set of work. This is something new for me and should be given extra points. It enables you to browse the font designs by author. Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think.

fonts2u.com are either GNU/GPL, Freeware, free for Personal use, Donationware, Shareware or Demo.

fontsquirrel.com

This looks like fun, fontsquirrel.com finds all of the quality freeware that is licensed for commercial work, and then they manually select typefaces and presents them in an easy-to-use format. They’ve done the hard work for us and put it in one place so that we can take our picks hassle free. That’s so nice of them isn’t it?

fontsquirrel.com - Free fonts have met their match

And then there will always be the “Others”

Not as exciting as my chosen top half of this roundup in terms of design and usability but a font resource nonetheless. And you will never know what exciting font styles you will find hidden in these next set of free font resource websites.

1001freefonts.com

1001 freefonts - Free Fonts for Windows and Mac

simplythebest.net

simplythebest.net

acidfonts.com

acidfonts.com

actionfonts.com

actionfonts.com

ele-fonts.com

ele-fonts.com

fontgarden.com

fontgarden.com

fontspace.com

fontspace.com - browse through their collection of 13,726 fonts

If you have a font resource of your own that’s not included here and you would like to share it with the rest of us please use the comment form below this post so we could check it out.

Special thanks goes to

Dominic Le-Hair for the tribbon font I used for my excerpt image.

noupe.com for providing a free downloadable copy.

Create a cute Twitter bird iCon in Photoshop

Twitter is such a powerful social networking and micro blogging service. It gives users the ability to reach out to a large audience with only a few line of text, which is why it’s a very popular tool with bloggers and especially online entrepreneurs because they are able to drive a lot of traffic to their website via twitter. You will find a bluish twitter bird icon link on most sites redirecting you to the site or site owners twitter account. So today I’m going to give you a walk through on how to make a cute twitter bird iCon in Photoshop.

Create a cute Twitter bird iCon in Photoshop @prodigalconcepts.com

Difficulty: Beginner – Intermediate

Duration: 30 mins – 45 mins (plus or minus)

Setting up the stage

Let’s begin by creating a new file in Photoshop and name it “twitterBird”, then let’s give it a work area of 700 pixels x 700 pixels, we want it big so we will have enough space to play around with. Just keep the background color white for now.

twitterBird icon tutorial stage

We need to make sure that our rulers are in view, if not go to View > Rulers and then just click on it, or use the short cut Ctrl + R.

twitterBird icon tutorial stage 2

Next drag your ruler from the left to the stage and keep it at the center, then drag the top ruler probably 1/3 from the top of your stage like this.

twitterBird icon tutorial stage 3

Creating guidelines is a good way to get your symmetrical elements aligned, just like the way Jeff Scarterfield does in his cartoon drawing tutorials as featured in Inspiration: How to Draw Cartoons Online – Jeff Scarterfield.

For the last guide, we will need our Ellipse Tool (U), make sure that Paths is selected in your tools options. Then simply drag it on to our stage to create an Oval shaped outline keeping the cross of the ruler guides inside the Ellipse.

twitterBird icon tutorial stage 4

Hit Ctrl + Enter to turn it into a selection. You will see the running ants. Now create a new layer and name it “ellipse-outline” then go to Edit > Stroke set the width to 1px and color can be any color you want. This will be your outer guide, while the rulers are your symmetrical guide.

twitterBird icon tutorial stage 4.4

Start creating the Twitter bird

Your work stage should now look like this, almost everything we do from this point on should be inside the ellipse. If you have not yet centered your ellipse guide by now, just select the “ellipse-tool” layer on your layers panel. Hit (Ctrl + A) then click on Align horizontal layers option at your control selection bar near the top.

twitterBird icon tutorial stage 5

Twitter bird’s head

Now we are ready to begin, create a new layer on top of the “ellipse-outline” layer and rename it “bird-head”. Get your ellipse tool out again but this time hold the Shift key while dragging the ellipse tool inside your ellipse-outline. Drag it until you get something like a 220x220px circle path (check the info tab).

You should have something like this.

twitterBird icon tutorial step 1

With your “bird-head” layer selected, go to Edit > Transform path > Warp (if your Photoshop is pre Warp option version play around with Distort and Skew) moving on, push the handles in, slowly and one at a time starting at the corners and work yourself around to put a light dent on our circle, if you are not sure how it should look like you can use the final output for reference.

Start warp

End warp

When you feel comfortable with the shape of the head hit the Enter key, and remember to just try and keep things clean don’t worry if it’s not perfect. We are now going to turn this into a selection by hitting Ctrl + Enter (ants should be marching here). With the “bird-head” layer selected and marching ants marching, click on the foreground option and pick a nice blue color from the color palette, I think #02A7CB will do fine then hit Alt + Backspace to fill your selection with the foreground color. Keep it centered to your cross guides. Your image’s shape should be similar to a “guitar pick” or a rounded “Dart’s wing”.

Next we need to give it some ruffled feathers for extra details, don’t be afraid it’s just a simple procedure. Create a new layer below your “bird-head” layer and name it “ruffled-feathers” then grab your Pen tool from the tools palette and starting from just below the top of our “bird-head” and the mid cross guide going to the left create a short path.

Drag out the handles to make an outward curve.

Cut one of the handles to create a corner by holding the Alt key and click on the 2nd point. You will know you’re in the right point when you see a (^) when you hover your mouse over it.

Bring it back to the head just below the 2nd point and drag the handles out again to create an inward curve. Cut the handle as before to make a corner and close it off by joining it to the primary point. You should get a shark fin looking shape.

Do another one but slightly bigger and going in the opposite direction. Then after that go to the top of your horizontal guide near the left cheek start your path from there and do two more fins but this time they should curve in the same direction like waves. Actually you can play with this and do as many as you want that you feel would compliment your drawing. But for this tutorial we’ll stick with this. So by now you should have an image similar to this.

Hit Ctrl + Enter to turn it into a selection and fill it with the same blue color. We will now merge this two layers together so while your “ruffled-feathers” layer is still selected hold your shift key and click to select the “bird-head” layer. You should have both layers hi-lighted now, right click on it to open your options menu and click merge layers.

Now it’s time to add some definition and hi-lites. Pick a darker blue for the background color, I’m using #2A8A9F then with your newly merged layer selected press Ctrl and click on the merged “bird-head” layer, this will turn the outline of your image into a selection. Click on your gradient tool or hit (G), then make sure your gradient effect is on Radial Gradient and drag you gradient horizontally starting from the upper left hand going down.

Your gradient gave your image a bit of depth, now we’ll give it some outline shadows, Right click on your layer and open your Blending Options and tick on Inner Glow then match the settings to what I used here pick a nice shade like #0C8FB7 for your color and click OK.

Twitter bird’s eyes and brow

We’re now going to add some features like eyes, eyebrow and beak. We’ll use our Ellipse Tool again and create a small version of our “ellipse-outline” layer inside the “bird-head” layer. You can zoom in a bit to get a better look of what were doing. Drag your ellipse tool until you get a nice sized ellipse. What we want is an exaggerated version of the eyes.

When you’re happy with the ellipse for the eyes go to Edit > Transform Path > Distort because we want our ellipse / egg shape wider at the top and narrow at the bottom.

Hit enter then go to your Paths tab and drag your path to your create new path button and rename it “eye” we want to save it for later.

Return to your layers panel and create a new layer on top of everything else and name it “shadow”. Go to your foreground color picker and find a nice dark blue with a hint of gray hue something like #1F4D57, then hit Ctrl + Enter to turn your path into a selection. Select gradient again then from the gradient picker at the top choose foreground to transparent and your “Gradient Effect” to linear gradient then just drag it diagonally across your selection starting from the outside of your selection.

When you get the right amount of shadows, create a new layer and call it “eye” then go back to your Paths tab and select the “eye” layer path we saved earlier. You should have the path we used to create the “shadow” layer. Turn it into a selection (Ctrl + Enter) then set your foreground color to #FEFEFE and your background color to #DCDCDC, set your gradient picker to foreground to background and gradient effect to radial, then drag it diagonally across your selection.

Reduce the size of this layer slightly until you see enough amount of the shadow layer behind it and rotate it a few degrees counter clockwise.

Go back to your “Paths” tab (you better get used to it we will be going back to the paths panel a lot in this tutorial) and select the “eye” path layer one more time, with your “eye” path layer still selected create a new layer in your layers panel and rename it “iris”. Set your foreground color to a nice blue color like #02B0E6 and your background color to a lighter version like #99DFF5 we will use the same gradient effects settings as the original “eye” layer image. Turn your path into a selection and start dragging your gradient across this selection just like before. Resize this layer to make it smaller than the “eye” layer image probably around 30% – 45% depending on what looks good to you. Rotate it clockwise leaning opposite the previous layer’s position. Use your personal judgment to make some adjustments. Right click this new layer and go to “Blending Options”, add an “Inner Glow” and use another blue color like #0B3D4B for the color glow, then set the size to 12px click OK.

This time we are going to use our “iris” layer to make a selection. So go ahead and turn it into a selection like what we’ve done for the “bird-head” outline. Then create a new layer and name this layer “gradient”. Change your foreground color to white #FFFFFF and your gradient picker to foreground to transparent then drag your gradient starting from outside the selection like what we did for the “shadow” layer, hit Ctrl + D to turn off the selection. Now take your pen tool out and make a path across the “gradient” layer. Start from the upper right hand side going to the lower left side. Then drag your handles to make a nice upward curve make a big loop outside the iris to cover the whole lower area, you can now close your path and turn it into a selection then hit “Del” or “Delete”. Change this layers opacity to somewhere around 65%. We will then link these two layers (“iris” and “gradient”) by selecting them both, and with a right click of your mouse on the highlighted layers click on the “Link Layers” option. You should be able to see link chains on your selected layers which mean we can now move these two layers together by selecting one of them.

Check your work against mine and do some tweaks where it’s necessary.

One more visit to the paths tab and again select our “eye” path layer, return to your “Layers” panel and create a new layer. Name this layer “pupil”, do the same procedure as what we’ve done for the “iris” layer only we will use a darker shade of gradient. For this one set your foreground color to #0D94B9 and background color to #08516B, add an “Inner Glow” of #0C8FB7, “Blend Mode” set to multiply, Opacity 45%, Size 10px. Rotate image is optional.

Let’s add some glint to give the eyes more life. Create a new layer and name it “glint” take the ellipse tool and while holding down the “Shift” key drag it inside our “iris” layer to get a small circle shape. Turn it into a selection and fill it with white #FFFFFF. Make sure you position it a little outside upper left of the “pupil”. Now go to Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur and give it a nice 1px radius.

That should do it for the eyes, let us now work on the eyebrow. I know birds don’t have eyebrows except for the cute ones. So we will make this really simple.

Let’s create a new layer and call it “eyebrow” then take the ellipse tool again, and while holding down the shift key create a circle as wide as your “iris” layer, then turn it into a selection and fill it with #08516B. Turn off your selection and grab the handy dandy pen tool make a horizontal path halfway near the top and make a curve, make sure you have a crescent shape facing down, do a big loop to cover the entire lower portion and close the path, hit “Del”. Move the eyebrow image on top of the eyes and rotate it clockwise just a little bit to give your drawing more character.

Group your eye layers by selecting all of them (Ctrl + Click) on each layer used for the eyes including eyebrow then drag it to the Create a new group button (the folder looking button) third from left.

Rename the group folder “left eye”, then make a copy of the group folder by dragging the whole folder to the Create a new layer button beside the Create a new group button and rename the copy “right eye”. Select the group “right eye” then go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal and move it to the right and make adjustments based on your vertical guides.

Twitter bird’s beak

After you finish making final adjustments to the eyes it’s time for us to start making a beak for our Twitter bird. So create a new layer and call it “beak”.

Take the rounded rectangle from your shapes tool and make the radius around 10px. Drag it on to our stage, make it a nice rounded square up to around 50 x 50 pixels, to turn it into a selection and fill it with yellow #FDCB01.

Edit > Transform > Rotate it around 45 degrees so it becomes more like a diamond than a square.

Then Edit > Transform > Scale down to about 10% – 20%, don’t bother holding down the Shift key here because we want it to be pinched but keep the width as is.

Ctrl + click on the “beak” layer to make a selection. Then create a new layer and call it shadow. Take the “Rectangular Marquee” tool and set it to “Intersect with selection”. Drag the “Rectangular Marquee” tool starting from the bottom ending midpoint of your selection. Make sure you are at the horizontal center of your “beak” layer. Let go of the marquee tool, you will see your selection changed to only half of the “beak” layer outline. Fill the new selection with a dark yellow, almost brown #322801. Now go to Edit > Transform > Warp then push the two inside handles from the top going down. What we want is to have a nice outline of the upper beak and lower beak, when you’re done hit Enter.

Next we’ll just give our beak a very light hi-lite to give it more character. Create a new layer and name it “hilite”. Pick a light yellow for our foreground like #ECE294. Set your gradient to Foreground to transparent and use the Diamond Gradient effect. Ctrl + click on the “beak” layer so we can get a selection. Then drag your gradient across the selection from the top going down.

Take a moment to look at your work and do some adjustments that you think your drawing needs. The hard part is over. We are almost done. It’s time to give our Twitter bird a body, it’s wings and it’s feet. But first group your beak layers so we have a nice looking layers panel. And should the need to move the beak around arises we could just select the group and move it in one motion like what we’ve done for the right eye. Don’t forget to name your group, let’s just call it “beak”.

Create the Twitter bird’s body

OK for the body create a new layer above the ellipse-outline layer because we want this behind the head image layers. Name this layer “body-outline” then go back to your “Paths” tab and duplicate your “eye” path layer, just drag it down to the Create new path button and rename it “body”. Next we’ll move your body path below your Twitter bird’s head image by using Ctrl + T and then while holding down the Shift key use the arrow keys to position your path. Then Scale it up to match your heads width holding down the Shift key so it stays proportion. Now make the same adjustments we made for the head and make the top portion narrower than the bottom by using Edit > Transform > Distort. Adjust the alignment to match the head.

Then with your warp tool pull on the handles and make the bottom part less pointed and more rounded. Similar to what we did for the head.

Make sure you have the “body-outline” layer selected then turn the path into a selection and using the gradient settings we used for the head (foreground color = #02A7CB / background color = #2A8A9F / gradient effect is on Radial Gradient) fill your selection with this gradient.

Locate your “bird-head” layer select it, then Right click on it and choose Copy Layer Style now Right click on your “body-outline” layer and pick Paste Layer Style. You now have the same Blend mode effects as the head.

Now use the “body-outline” to make a new selection, create a layer on top of the “body-outline” and call it “breast” set your foreground color to a very light blue #D4F6FD and your background color to #51DEFD, gradient effect Radial, drag it from the center going out.

Edit > Transform > Scale it down 30% more or less. And check alignment.

Move it down a bit and give it some Inner Glow of #B3F0FD with 65% Opacity and 10px size.

Group the body layers and name it “body”. Now we are ready to make our Twitter bird fly.

Let’s have some Twitter bird wings

Create a new layer below the “body” group folder and call it “wing”. Take your Ellipse Tool and without the Shift key make a nice thin ellipse like a small grain.

Edit > Transform > Warp your new ellipse path to make the left side rounded and the right pointed. This would be similar to an extreme warped version of our body outline.

Turn it into a selection and fill it with gradient (foreground color = #02A7CB / background color = #2A8A9F / gradient effect is on Reflected Gradient) then Blending options set to (Inner Glow > Blend Mode to Multiply > Opacity to 45% and size to 10px).

Rotate this layer clockwise to have an angle and move it near the top of the body a few pixels below the head. Make a copy of this layer and rename it “wing 2”. Drag the image “wing 2” below your “wing” and rotate this layer, now overlap it with the original image so it doesn’t show any space in between the two layers and try to match the original wing’s direction. Push the second wing a few pixels in. Then duplicate the second wing layer and call it “wing 3” make the adjustments same as that of “wing 2”.

Group your wing layers and rename it “left wing”, duplicate the group and call it “right wing”. Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal the group “right wing” and move it to the other side of the body.

Now we just need to make a nice pair of feet and our Twitter bird project will be finished.

Let’s give our Twitter bird a nice pair of feet

We don’t need to make this part fancy so let’s create a new layer on top of the “ellipse-outline” and call it “left-foot”. Using the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) create a vertical rectangular shape and fill it with a gradient (foreground color = #FDEBA1 / background color = #FDCE10 / gradient effect is on Reflected Gradient ) start from the center going to the right.

Then take the pen tool and make “W” like cuts at the top.

Hit Ctrl + Enter to make the selection then “Del”. You will have something like a long king’s crown, now Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical and then Edit > Transform > Distort. Drag the top left and top right handles downward going to the right. Then push the top left and right handles in to make your image narrow at the top and wide at the bottom.

Now scale it down and position it under our “body”. Add some inner glow #BC9601 with 65% Opacity and 15px size. We will just duplicate our “left-foot” layer and rename the copy “right-foot”, go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal then move “right-foot” layer to the opposite side.

Hide the ruler guides by pressing Ctrl + (: ; key) then for your “ellipse-outline” just click on the eye icon of the layer, just like poking it in the eye :D. And now you may admire your work!

Create a cute Twitter bird iCon in Photoshop @prodigalconcepts.com

Let’s have a short recap

Aside from creating a really simple but cool drawing of a Twitter bird, we’ve also learned:

  • The importance of using guides
  • How to use the gradient tool
  • How to play with the pen tool
  • How to select, link and group layers
  • How to save paths
  • And how to control blending options, copy and paste it on another layer

Fini! – follow me on twitter @xzykho

In the end it’s not the final result that matters in this tutorial it’s the process, like the great Bert Monroy always says… “It’s not work, it’s play. It’s not the end result that’s important it’s how you get there.”

Visit other prodigalconcepts.com tutorials…

Annie Leibovitz and the Disney Dream Portraits

Who doesn’t read magazines, fashion, entertainment or music magazines we all love to browse through them and read the articles, but how does a magazine catch your attention? It gets you with the cover of course. Annie Leibovitz began her career working as a staff photographer for the then newly launched Rolling Stone magazine in the 70’s. She toured with the Rolling Stones band in ’75 and covered their concert “Tour of the Americas”. But going back to magazine covers one of the most famous cover photos Annie Leibovitz gave us was the John Lennon, Yoko Ono cover for the Rolling Stone mag just a few hours before John was tragically taken from us.

Annie’s style of lighting combined with the use of bold colors and poses in the 80’s got her a position with “Vanity Fair” where she photographed celebrities for the American Express ad campaign that won her a Clio Award which is given to reward individuals for creative excellence in advertising and design. We all could learn a lot from Ms. Leibovitz’s style of photography or just be inspired by what she has already done. In this post I would like to share some of her work from 2007 when the Walt Disney Company hired her to do a series of photographs with celebrities in various roles and scenes for Disney Parks “Year of a Million Dreams” campaign.

So drop everything for awhile and let’s bring out the inner child in all of us, during the time when anything seems possible and worries are a million miles away. Let’s all just sit back and find inspiration in the photos of Annie Leibovitz.

Alladin

Jennifer Lopez as Princess Jasmin and real life hubby Marc Anthony as Alladin, this is obviously “A whole new world”.

Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony as Princess Jasmin and Alladin

Whoopi Goldberg as the playful Genie, is there still time for my three wishes Genie? There is? Whoppi! Hehehe, I couldn’t help it!

Whoopi Goldberg as the Genie

Alice in Wonderland

We have here Beyonce as Alice, then Grammy winner country crooner Lyle Lovett as the March Hare then last but not the least Mr. Oliver Platt as the Mad Hatter.

Beyonce, Lyle Lovett and Oliver Platt in Alice in Wonderland

Cinderella

Scarlett Johansson accidentally left a glass slipper or is it a shoe in Cinderella.

Scarlett Johansson in Cinderella

King Arthur

Roger Federer traded his tennis racket for a sharper “Excalibur” as King Arthur.

Roger Federer as King Arthur

The Little Mermaid

Julianne Moore dreams of feet as Princess Ariel while Michael Phelps practices his Olympic lungs in Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

Julianne Moore and Michael Phelps in The Little Mermaid

Peter Pan

Mikhail Baryshnikov the Russian dancer daintily flies into the room as Peter Pan, while Gisele Bündchen looks ravishing as Wendy, and although she’s too small to be recognized at first glance Tina Fey spreads some magic dust as Tinkerbell.

Gisele Bündchen, Tina Fey, Mikhail Baryshnikov in Peter Pan

Pinocchio

Julie Andrews poses as the Blue Fairy while looking at Abigail Breslin “Little Miss Sunshine” herself as the apprentice fairy in Pinocchio

Julie Andrews and Abigail Breslin in Pinocchio

Pocahontas

Run Forrest ruuuun, seriously it’s Jessica Biel and her obviously strong legs running through the forrest as Pocahontas.

Jessica Biel as Pocahontas

Snow White

Rachel Weisz rolls around with some forest critters as Snow White.

Rachel Weisz as Snow White

And of course Snow White’s friend Princess Aurora better known as Sleeping Beauty wouldn’t be awake if it wasn’t for Prince Charming *slash Prince Phillip and who better to pose as a prince than David Becham.

David Beckham as Prince Phillip

And they lived happily ever after

I hope you’ve all enjoyed this post, now I want to share with you my first wish to the Genie, I wish that if people likes this article that they share it with their friends using the social bookmark buttons and leave comments. Does that count as 2 wishes already?

Find Annie Leibovitz on the web

Vanity Fair Profile: Annie Leibovitz

PBS Photo Gallery: American Masters

Andrew Smith Gallery: American Music

A very Special Thanks goes to thedisneyblog.com and milliondreamphotos blog for the hi-res images I used in this post, you guys are awesome!

Inspiration: Fish House by Guz Architects, Singapore

Whenever design meets functionality the result can always be a mixture of jaw dropping sensation with a mind boggling experience, strictly in that order. I saw this posted on Abduzeedo about a month ago and I just couldn’t keep my eyes off of it. The geniuses behind this structural phenomenon are the team from Guz Architects of Singapore. Their vision was to create a modest yet luxurious home that would be comfortable in the tropical climate of Singapore and being a garden city it must also blend in with its natural surroundings. Located in Sentosa, this architectural inspiration boasts of eco friendly elements and a very modern living space design.

Let me give you a sort of guided tour around the house that could possibly be mine in another life or parallel universe. Excuse me while I drool during the walk through.

Roof

Shaped to represent the waves of the ocean and almost totally covered with thin bendable photovoltaic panels to supply enough energy to the house. The Fish House’s roof is partly carpeted by grass to help cool it’s interiors even on the warmest days and provide some outdoor leisure spaces.

fish house - guz architects

fish house - guz architects

2nd floor den

Roomy and airy this 2nd floor entertainment area, with high ceilings that effectively help in distributing and circulating natural air coming from the sea, it also has a floor to ceiling view of the ocean that will make any guest want to stay long after the party.

fish house - guz architects

Masters bedroom with T&B

A luxurious masters bedroom with open toilet and bath and a view of the garden, the Fish House integrates nature into its living space perfectly. It’s like living outdoors with all the amenities and comforts of a modern home.

fish house - guz architects

fish house - guz architects

Pool

A key part of the Fish House is the large pool that almost surrounds the entire structure like a moat, being a house with a full ocean view the pool links the house to the landscape and ultimately creates a visual connection with the sea.

fish house - guz architects

fish house - guz architects

Submerged den

This is actually my favorite part, a den with a view from the inside of the pool, here you can relax watching your favorite movies while being underwater and without getting wet. I bet the acoustics here will blow your mind!

fish house - guz architects

Floor plans

fish house - guz architects

fish house - guz architects

fish house - guz architects

To know more about Guz Architects

Visit guzarchitects.com where you can find a gallery of their works and discover their inspirations to create the living spaces that’s eco friendly, functional and beautiful.

Harnessing your creativity – the Eminem hypothesis

Do you ever find yourself staring into space when you’re conceptualizing a design or in the middle of writing an article? I’m sure that some of us get into some form of creative block every now and then. There are people who don’t, apparently their creative juices just keeps on flowing like a natural spring (makes me envious). Well it’s just my luck I guess because I’m not one of them. “I’m unique! Just like everyone else.” So whenever I hit a dry wall I stop whatever project I’m doing, I find no point or pleasure in racking my brain for some ideas when something else is blocking it. I usually just play some music until I get my groove back, which brings us to Eminem’s latest single “Love the way you lie” from his new album “Recovery”.

I think we can learn a few pointers from Mr. Mathers about creativity, after all he’s been hacking it up in one of the toughest creative business environment for awhile and he seems to be doing pretty well. This makes him a brilliant wire-frame of what you could do to come up with killer design concepts or articles when the juices aren’t flowing.

Introspect and retrospect

Megan Fox - Love the way you lie

Eminem’s music always talks about things that happened to him or people he knows, personal life experiences that he artistically shares with us. As creative’s we should not wander too far from who we are, and what we’ve learned from our past. Dig into that memory and look within yourself to get some inspiration. An old movie you saw, the billboard that jumped at you while you were cruising, these seemingly innocent bits of memories can be a springboard of ideas. Your music and literary preferences can speak for you so make sure you start by knowing who you are. Seek your inner flame and let it burn bright.

You will always be hated

Dominic Monaghan - Love the way you lie

Sometimes I freeze dead on my tracks during a creative process because I’m already thinking ahead and hearing how people hate my work keeps me from getting anything done. Eminem had people picketing against him, he was so hated early in his career that his songs wasn’t even getting airplay from any radio station. There’s really no point in trying to please everybody because you can’t, no one can, there will always be someone, somewhere who will hate you no matter what you do. So take out pleasing everyone out of the equation, remove it, trash it and dump it in the bin because you have your niche and people who share the same interests will follow just the same. So keep them in mind and write or design for them and keep the haters hating. After all there’s no such thing as bad press.

Don’t be afraid to go against the flow and get burned

Eminem - Love the way you lie

In real life going against the flow is tiring, it feels literally like swimming opposite the current. But if you believe in what you do you will get to where you want to be soon enough. Marshall Mathers had everything going against him, a white boy in a black dominated industry, but he kept on and now it seems nothing can stop him. So don’t be afraid to try something new something that’s never been done. You don’t have to follow a path you can always be a trail blazer .

Collaborate

Megan Fox and Dominic Monaghan - Love the way you lie

I’m sure EM has a free flowing spring of ideas, but he makes them fresh and diverse by collaborating with other artists, Dr. Dre, Dido, 50 Cent, D-12, Pink, Sir Elton John (during the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards in 2001) and now Rihanna. So don’t be a lone wolf, creative work blooms when there’s more than one person with a single idea. But take care in choosing who to collaborate with.

Related article

Find a Collaboration Partner That Fits Your Style

Create something from something

Love the way you lie - Eminem ft. Rihanna

Eminem did not pioneer hip-hop, it was already flourishing when he embraced it as his own thing. Sometimes you don’t have to create something from scratch, I hate to sound like an American Idol judge but you can always take something that’s already there and make it your own. Create something else of what’s already out there and give it some WOW with your magic touch, do an Andy Warhol.

Go green

Love the way you lie - Eminem ft. Rihanna

Recycling is not only good for mother earth, your creations can be recycled and be given new life. Eminem does it all the time, you can hear words or phrases in his lyrics that he used in one song and reused on another. I don’t think it’s laziness or lack of new material that makes EM recycle his lines, because he reuses them with a touch of genius. “I just drank a fifth of vodka – dare me to drive?” from – My Name is (Slim Shady), reused in Stan. So go dig up your old files and take something from it that will work with your latest project. Who knows it might be the missing piece you’ve been losing sleep over.

That’s it ladies and homies

Take what you can and use it accordingly, and be sure to check out Eminem’s latest album “Recovery”, just pop it in then crank it up and if the neighbors complain you can always flip ’em the bird Eminem style. Meanwhile let’s all sit back and enjoy the disturbingly steamy scenes between Megan Fox and Dominic Monaghan for the “Love the way you lie” music video.

Watch: Love the way you lie – Eminem ft. Rihanna

27 FREE Assorted Textures for photoshop

Texture plays a big part of graphic *slash web design and sometimes even photography work, yes siree! From enhancing a background to becoming the background, textures takes on a very important role for some of our projects. That’s why aside from a library of stock images and photos most web and graphic designers and yes some professional photographers have a folder exclusively for textures.

As an enthusiast “image trapper” I’ve compiled some of the textures I was able to capture in the past few weeks and I’m sharing it with all of you totally gratis, yup it’s free for your personal and commercial use (some rights reserved). If you happen to find these textures useful a comment or a link-back to this post would really be much appreciated. Thank you and Enjoy!

(Disclaimer: Use with caution not all are very good quality, some needs tweaking. Perfect for practice though.)

Related readings

How to Create a 3D Leaf from a Texture Photograph

Photoshop Tutorial: How to Apply Textures to Photos

Using Light to Create Texture in Your Photography

How to add texture to a photo using Photoshop

Add Stock Textures to Images for extra ‘Oomph’

FREE Assorted Textures

Working sample

Textures can add a lot of character even to the simplest layout like a poster, here is one I created using the grayish textile texture that’s included with this set. Love it or hate it, just leave your comments…

free textures @prodigalconcepts.com

Food for thought

Before I wrap this up, one of the best sites to get quality textures is at “graphicriver.com”, they provide some of the best quality textures online at very affordable prices. But if you want to make some extra cash instead, grab your camera and take pictures of your very own textures because “graphicriver.com” will also help you sell them. Who knows your texture could end up on the next blockbuster movie poster or the web site that will topple the Facebook empire, “You are only limited by your own imagination”.

Texture photography tips

10 Texture Photography Tips

10 Tips for Shooting for Graphic Textures

How to photograph textures

Ultimate Guide for Creating High Quality Textures

Aside from comments and link-backs, donations are now being accepted.