The Lighthouse (2022, Figma edition)

Years ago, while exploring Gravit Designer*, I created with its help an illustration of a lighthouse on a night sea.

The Lighthouse -- a vector illustration created in Gravit Designer, in 2015.
“The Lighthouse,” a vector illustration that I created in Gravit Designer, in 2015.”

Fast-forward to today, now Gravit Designer is Corel Vector* (RIP, Gravit!), the world of graphic design software has changed a lot, and one of the most popular apps for screen design became Figma Design. I wanted to try Figma and learn its basic tools and workflows, so I opened Figma and tried to make a similar illustration in it. And couple of hours later — voilà, all done!

“The Lighthouse” (Figma Design, 2022) — final version with colors and everything.

The experience was fun and overall I liked Figma’s vector tools and how they behave. Only nitpick: I am missing a real noise filter in Figma, but now that Rogie King is working on a Noise & Textures plugin — currently it’s work-in-progress — I am sure this will be not an issue soon.

“The Lighthouse” (Figma Design, 2022) — vector outlines and colors overlaid.

“The Lighthouse” (Figma Design, 2022) — vector outlines only.

P.S. It’s sad to see Dribbble change so much — now it’s even impossible to post an image and not see it blurry and pixellated.

Photoshop CS5 “White Rabbit” (the hidden splash screen)

The codename of Photoshop v. CS5 [12.0] is White Rabbit.

Photoshop CS5 White Rabbit - official splash screen

Adobe like to invent various “codenames” for their apps, when a new major development cycle starts. For example, Fireworks CS5 was “Starman”, Dreamweaver CS5 — “Bowie”, Illustrator CS5 — “Ajanta”, etc. (I mention specific names because I don’t think they are such a big secret, and because the CS5 apps were released officially more than 2 months ago, at the beginning of May).

But there’s something that maybe not a lot of people know — initially on the splash screen of Ps CS5 White Rabbit there was… a white rabbit! Later, of course, this splash screen was replaced with the “official” one for the CS5 series (in the case of Ps CS5, it reminds me a bit of a blue fish, turned to the right).

Photoshop CS5 White Rabbit - the unofficial splash screen

(I do not use Photoshop (or very rarely), but it happened that I tried it a couple of times.)

If you’d like to see this hidden “unofficial” splash screen, hold Ctrl (Cmd) while clicking on the About Photoshop item from the Help menu.

As far as I’ve found, the screen was drawn by Daniel Presedo (from the Ps QE team), and I think it is even better than the later “official” version… :)

Daily Design: The Change

After 2 weeks of experimenting…

1) I don’t think you can create and perfection 365 designs/illustrations in one year, and without spending too much time for this task (actually, I like most of the things I have published up to now, but…)…

Still, the limiation “one design every day” makes things pretty hard. Some of the ideas need more time, but if you spend only 20 -30 minutes every day, the time is not enough. Maybe it would be good for me to spend more time, a few days or even a week, for some of my ideas…

2) For this reason, I may later decice to separate the RSS feed for the category Daily Design from my main RSS feed. Anyone that would like to continue following my progress, can simply subscribe to the Daily Design RSS.

Well, that’s it… Let’s see if later, something new will appear in the Daily Design… :)

UPDATE: Curious to see other “contestants”? In the comments for this blog post, there’s a long list of URLs! :-)

“$400 for a logo?”

1. Prospective client: $400 for a logo?! Why are you so expensive? My nephew has Photoshop—I can just get him to do it.
2. Me: Does your nephew have Microsoft Word?
3. Prospective client: Yes.
4. Me: Then have him write you a novel while he’s at it.

Well said! :-)

(via #)

A Creative Sunday: 3 imitations (Fireworks/Flash)

Last Sunday, it was a ‘Creative Sunday’. It turned so that I’ve spent almost the whole day, drawing in Fireworks and Flash.

It has all started like this…

The Rabbit and the Sewing Machine

First, my wonderful wife Ani found a blog with a nice header and mentioned that it is probably very difficult to make such a drawing or vector composition.

That was a reason strong enough for me to fire up Fireworks and start re-drawing this header image right away. It was a challenge! :-)

3 or 4 hours later, my imitation #1 was ready:

The rabbit and the sewing machine (imitation in Adobe Fireworks)
(click for larger size)

Compare it with the original that I was trying to reproduce:

original image from
(click for larger size)

You can see that the two images are almost identical, with the exception of a few details — for example, I’ve drawn a rabbit with long ears instead of a doll with no face expression (I like the rabbit more, actually). Also, you can notice that some other small details are not re-created in exactly the same manner, but this is intentional — I wanted to make a very similar image in Fireworks, not a 100% exact copy.

Everything you see is just vectors and a few effects added here and there.

I do not know how was the original created (I tried to contact the author of the blog, but did not receive a reply to my e-mail) — maybe it’s Illustrator or Photoshop — but I think I have demonstrated that Fireworks is powerful enough to make quite complicated vector imitations. That’s the reason why I love Fireworks so much — it is powerful enough to do 90% of my graphic design work, and yet, very easy and intuitive to use! :-)

The City of Darkness

Next, I switched to Flash, and tried to recreate a nice drawing, made by Ani on paper, a few days ago.

Here’s my first try with a tablet (this is imitation #2):

The city of darkness (Wacom tablet + Adobe Flash)
(click for larger size)

I used a Wacom tablet and Adobe Flash; when the drawing was ready, I exported the image and then used Fireworks again, for the final version you see.

It took me maybe 2 hours to make the drawing — I think the results are OK for a first try with a tablet and Flash:)

Here’s the original image that I was trying to re-draw:

A drawing by Ani (scanned)
(click for larger size)

Again, there are some differences between the two images, but they are minor…

The solar eclipse & the statue of Mahatma Ghandi

The same day, I also had the idea to re-create a real photograph, taken during the last solar eclipse (on it, you could see the sun against the statue of Mahatma Ghandi, on a very dark sky).

Unfortunately, the day was too short for this purpose, but after two days, I went back to this idea of mine, and so my third imitation was born.

Here’s imitation #3 — what you see is Adobe Fireworks again, only vectors and a couple of live effects:

Imitation of a real photograph, made in Adobe Fireworks
(click for larger size)

And here’s the original, so that you can make the comparison:

A photo by REUTERS
(click for larger size)

This was quite a quick job, maybe less than an hour. I was not trying to make a 100% perfect copy, but rather check if I can quickly make a vector re-drawing of this photo. The results look quite OK to me;-)

Adobe Fireworks

I love using Fireworks.

“Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal.”
Good artists copy, great artists use Fireworks.
—Pablo Picasso

Am I a great artist? Sure no! :-)

But it’s fun for me to try to imitate some other people’s work, especially using Fireworks, my favourite graphic design editor of all time! :-)

And what still continues to amaze me is how good Fireworks can be, both with vectors and bitmap editing… and how underrated it continues to be, for Adobe and for many design professionals… (I hope this will change some day!)

…Meanwhile, I’ll continue to copy imitate in Fireworks, just like I did last Sunday, when the mood comes. It’s just too much fun! :)))

W3C HTML icons (by Veerle Pieters), PNG+alpha

I wrote recently about some very nice HTML icons which Veerle Pieters created and released for free.

W3C HTML icon from Veerle, PNG

Unfortunately, the icons were in JPG format, which restricted their possible uses (they were also released in MacOS icon type, but this format cannot be used in the Web, obviously).

To my deligh, after a few commenters (including myself;-) asked for a PNG+alpha version, Veerle most happily shared it with us, too! :-)

You can download the icons from her website and/or from here (the distribution of the icons is absolutely free and unlimited, as well as their use):

download all icons in one ZIP archive, PNG+alpha

Cool! :-)

New W3C HTML icons (from Veerle)

Veerle just released a set of great looking HTML icons:

W3C HTML icon from Veerle, variant 1

W3C HTML icon from Veerle, variant 2

W3C HTML icon from Veerle, variant 3

W3C HTML icon from Veerle, variant 4

If you are a Mac user (and Web designer), then you maybe use the Markup Validator S.A.C. — this app is a stand-alone version of the W3C Markup Validator. The new icons from Veerle could replace the default icon of this application in your MacOS X dock.

the icons (compared)On the left you can see the current icon of the Markup Validator S.A.C. You may compare it with the variants that Veerle has made. Personally, I like her design of the icons much more! :-)

Plus, she is releasing the icon set for free to the community!

Unfortunately, the icon set is available for Mac users only. It’s a pity, because I think that these icons could be used in many more ways… Of course, you can use the JPG variants (which are high quality), but without the optional alpha transparency, which is available in the PNG format only…

If you want to use any of the icons on MacOS X, a link for download is available in the Veerle’s blog post:

(There you will also find instructions, how you can change the icon of Markup Validator S.A.C. in the dock of MacOS X.)

As to the JPG variants, you can copy them manually from Veerle’s blog, or download them as one ZIP file, which I made for my own convenience (as the icons are released for free):

download all icons in one ZIP archive, JPG format

Finally, what can I say? Another great design from Veerle! :-)

[UPDATE] Same icons, but in PNG+alpha file format. Cool! :)