We all learn in different ways. One particularly popular way of learning when it comes to software techniques is the use of tutorials.

Tutorials Header

Thanks to the internet we have access to a whole range of tutorials; many good, many less so! Designers of all levels are able to share with the world the skills, techniques and shortcuts they’ve learnt, experimented with and developed.

I tend to keep an eye out for ones that feature features and techniques I can utilise in my work rather than the more specific ‘How to draw an amazing…’ kind, although these certainly can have their place.

Here’s a small selection of the ones I’ve found the most helpful.

No. 10. Retro Style Geometric Lines Poster Design Tutorial

by Chris Spooner for SpoonGraphics

Spooner tutorial

A pretty cool effect mimicking 60s Op Art including the well known Mexico ’68 Olympics logo. The tutorial addresses the use of Illustrator’s custom art brush feature.

Click for Tutorial (Off Site)

No. 9. How to Create a Rubber Stamp Effect in Photoshop

by Owen Jones for Owen Jones Design

Rubber stamp tutorial

I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of recreating something as tactile and random as a rubber stamp so spent some time working out a successful way to achieve the effect. Shameless self promotion too, sorry… If you’ve seen another good tutorial on this, please let me know!

Click for Tutorial

No. 8. Papercut Aesthetics with Vectors

by Steven Bonner for Computer Arts magazine

Papercut tutorial

It’s a fairly basic lesson in textures and layer styles but the effect is slick! I also really like this Computer Arts tutorial by Ben Secret, about using channels to make selections in Photoshop – all interesting stuff.

Click for Tutorial (Off Site)


No. 7. Create a Reusable Retro Type Treatment

By Vectips

Vectips type effect tutorial

Another lesson in textures but this time in Illustrator. The use of object fills is a fantastic insight into non-destructive styling.

Click for Tutorial (Off Site)


No. 6. The Secret Law of Page Harmony

By Alex Charchar for Retinart

Page Harmony Tutorial

I came across this awesome technical explanation of optimum grid systems for page layouts. Really interesting if not directly a tutorial as we’ve come to understand them.

Click for Tutorial (Off Site)


No. 5. Perfect Your Kerning Skills

By Tom Sewell for Computer Arts magazine

Kerning tutorial

This gives an expert insight into kerning; a vital part of professional typesetting and design, often overlooked or incorrectly applied. The author offers some helpful tips to make it easier.

Click for Tutorial (Off Site)


No. 4. Brunette Background Removal

By Conzpiracy for SurrealPSD

SurrealPSD tutorial

A nice little tip to address the difficult technique of cutting out hair from a background in Photoshop. The technique can be applied to other situations, including overlaying shadows.

Click for Tutorial (Off Site)


No. 3. Photorealistic Perspective

By The Font Feed

Fontfeed Tutorial

A very helpful technique for adding a new dimension to client presentations – digitally recreating the effect of printing, lighting and photographing graphics, type or logos.

Click for Tutorial (Off Site)


No.2. Photo Retouching Tips & Tricks in Photoshop

By Dirk Metzmacher for Smashing Magazine

Smashing Mag tutorials and tips

Admittedly not ‘a’ tutorial, rather a series of helpful tips, this article includes several great little retouching techniques that can be taken and used in the context of your work. I particularly like the ‘Dodge & Burn’ effect (8th down in the list).

Click for Tutorial (Off Site)


No. 1. Dark Knight Rises Poster

By Fabio Sasso for Abduzeedo

Abduzeedo Batman Tutorial

Abduzeedo, for those who don’t know, is a resource that’s well worth a visit but make sure you have a few hours spare because you might just get sucked in! This tutorial uses Photoshop to recreate one of my favourite recent pieces of design but other cool ones to look out for include Captain America’s shield and an experiment in reproducing an embroidered logo effect.

Click for Tutorial (Off Site)

What do you think of this list? Did you find it helpful? Have you seen or written any you think should be noted?