Below you’ll find bet 10 tutorials on pixel perfect design available on the web.
Pixel perfect design is something of a lost art, you know. Mostly because it’s an incredibly laborious and long work; it’s a technique that requires dedication, effort and an almost obsessive level of attention to detail and not many designers are cut out for it. It requires a Zen-like personality and meditation-like levels of concentration. Here at Iconshock we decided to become archeologists, historians and paleontologists; adventurers, searching for a long lost past; explorers, looking for ancient documents; collectors, carefully selecting from the rabble raw gems of pure design. In short, we decided to explore the web and get you the best tutorials we could find on this humble craft. We have carefully selected the best of the best among them and we now present them, along with an useful overview on it’s content and quality, for your viewing (and reading) pleasure.
Master perfect Design 1
The beauty of the pixel grid. We kick off the list with a tutorial of our own creation because, among the best ones available, this one is certainly important.
A nice piece piece of non fiction, it is. We starts off explaining the importance of mastering pixel perfect design and actually make a compelling argument of it because mobile devices are taking slowly taking over the marketplace and to design for the largest possible market means to design mobile.
The article then goes into detail about the nature of pixel perfect design and it’s subtleties. what is a pixel, how does it work, what are it’s limits? Those questions are all fully addressed here before going into the tutorial itself, the hands on experience that will give you the basic techniques and skills to design with maximum pixel perfection.
Following that, the article offers an overview of several advanced techniques to help you go further down the road and gives a sneak peek into the future of pixel perfect design and screen optimization, ending on a sweet note as it presents an incredibly useful video tutorial on screen optimization for retina displays and scalable vector graphics.
It’s a must read if you are interested in perfect design.
Pixel Perfect Techniques
The left and right hand of a web designer.
The guys at Medialoot sure love their pixel perfect design, otherwise they wouldn’t have poured so much dedication into these two tutorials, which are an in-depth look at some of the techniques used to achieve perfect screen optimization with 100% pixel accuracy.
The first one offers you a very complete review of 6 crucial pixel perfect techniques using Photoshop to achieve maximum sharpness. It’s a very precise set of tips, complete with videos and all regarding each technique. Highly recommended.
The second one is a lengthy article describing several techniques and options used to get pixel perfect designs using Illustrator, it goes in-depth into each one of the options and methods mentioned with pictures and detailed explanations. It’s a must read, specially since illustrator isn’t the best software for pixel perfect illustrations since it uses vectors instead of bitmaps.
The two articles complement each other, covering most of the software used to design for the screen, they are a must reed for any graphic designer interested in full digital design.
Pixel perfection for the web
Wow, what a shocking website.
Freelance web designer Alex Scian brings us an interesting tutorial on, possibly, the most challenging of all subjects: pixel perfect optimization for the web. He begins by explaining the futility of pixel perfect optimization for web environments, “TL;DR: Pixel perfection on the web is nearly impossible” as he puts it, yet he still challenges himself to do it as best as he can.
He follows that by explaining all the techniques he used in his quixotic adventure, displaying a virtuoso understanding of design like few others He ends his wild goose chase by remarking that, although to optimize a web design to pixel perfection is nigh impossible, he was able to perfect his website for Google Chrome, Ipad and Iphone, which is quiet impressive.
You should not only read this because it’s a great display of design, it’s also one of the few indepth tutorials on pixel perfect design for the web available, since most people don’t even try, opting for responsive design instead.
Well, we’ve got 10 answers right here.
In our own article article regarding pixel perfect design we mentioned and described a technique called “pixel hinting”, that technique is further described and showcased in this helpful video tutorial by the guys at the Gotreehouse Youtube channel.
The video explains very clearly how to use the pixel hinting technique to get rid of unwanted anti aliasing and align the pixels perfectly. Not much more needs to be said other than go watch so you can get a better idea of the craft.
Smashing pixel rotation and nudging
50 shades of anti aliasing.
The nice folks at Smashing Magazine created this tutorial for the benefit of any lucky soul that happens to stumble upon it, lucky you that we found it. It’s an extremely useful collection of advanced pixel perfect design techniques used to manipulate pixel perfect designs elements without breaking them in the process.
The article describes how to to rotate an already perfected design without breaking the pixels and causing blurriness, how to paste vectors from Illustrator into Photoshop without losing quality and some further tips about pixel hinting.
With these tips you’ll avoid having to redo everything whenever you need to manipulate an already completed design, thus saving time and, as you’ve probably heard before, money as well.
Mr. Dustin Curtis, creator of the Svbtle Magazine, created a very useful tutorial regarding a technique used to optimize vectors pasted from illustrator into Photoshop called “Pixel Fitting”.
The technique allows for easy and convenient use of vector graphics for digital design while still allowing the microscopic control Photoshop offers while avoiding the anti-aliasing imperfections brought by porting over vector graphics from Illustrator to Photoshop. It involves carefully moving around the paths that are created in the shape layer when you paste vectors from illustrator into Photoshop and making them closer to the actual, physical, pixels.
With this technique you should be able to use Illustrator and Photoshop simultaneously for better, more precise, and faster results in digital design. What, are you still reading? Go and give that tutorial a look first!
Design a social icon like a pro
Like a pro.
Now that it’s time to put all that knowledge and craft to use, what better way to start than to try your skill at creating a pixel perfect social icon? Well, now’s your chance because we found the perfect tutorial, just for you.
It’s a comprehensive, step by step, guide on how to make an awesome social icon with pixel perfect design techniques, which will surely increase your popularity with the opposite sex (guys and girls just can’t resist pixel perfect design), cure male pattern baldness and increase your self esteem, seriously. And if it doesn’t, then, by the end of it, you’d have at least become a better designer; be sure to try it.
Be sure to thank the kind guys at Photoshop Tutorials as well as us for their time and effort when you master pixel perfect design.
If you want to read something deep and insightful, with interesting points of view regarding life, the universe and everything and, finally, find of the meaning of life (which, contrary to popular belief, is not, in fact, 42), well, i’m afraid you’ll have to look somewhere else, because that’s not the depth we’ll be talking about here, it’s pixel depth.
That’s right ladies and gentlemen, you, too, will be able to use perfect pixel design to add depth to your designs! How, you ask? Well, as the tutorial previously linked should have told you, it’s actually pretty simple. You just need to add contrast. A pixel thin highlight deep within the shadows should be more than enough. But wait, there’s more! You can also go for grooves and all manners of cavities by cleverly mixing light and dark pixel thin lights and shadows respectively and then use that to subtly divide buttons, and all sorts of information.
All this, and more, was brought to you by Web Design Ledger through Iconsock, stay tuned for more tutorials to come!
Perhaps the oldest form of perfect pixel design is pixel art. It’s even older than the web itself, and that’s because it was originally created for the videogame medium, which has quiet a few years on it’s back by now. It’s also almost absolutely hand crafted from scratch, without vectors or any other shortcut. It’s just you, the pixel grid and the pencil tool. For that reason it’s also one of the hardest forms of perfect pixel design as well as being the one that’s the closest to illustration. So we found it appropriate to find a tutorial on this style of illustration, which is actually in vogue now that it looks “retro” instead of archaic.
Pixel Art Tutorial for Beginners from Jen Gordon on Vimeo.
You won’t be able to master this style right away, it’s the ultimate test of pixel perfect skill, the one that separates pixel kids from pixel men. Drawing a box may be simple but it’ll be a while before you reach the level of the masters.
The Master Class on icon design
The master class.
We could finish this list with some average tutorial or other. It could’ve even been finished with the last entry, you know, but we know better, we’re going out with a bang instead of a whimper. We’re going out in a blaze of glory. We’re going out with style, pixel perfect style. That’s why we decided to leave the best for last.
Behold, from the maker of the “Pixel art tutorial for beginners”, the master class in icon design, a work of tireless dedication and time consuming love for spreading the knowledge. It’s a pretty long series of videos which contain almost everything you’ll need to know to design pixel perfect icons. The only thing left, after this, would be to practice and practice until you dream in pixel perfect style. Remember, it’s not just one video, it’s a whole collection of videos so, in order to get the most out of this collection, you’ll need to watch them all.
And, with our work over for the moment, we’ve nothing left but to hope this is of use to you. We invested a great deal of time finding the best tutorials available and we hope it makes people more aware of pixel perfect design. It’s a style that’s very precise and useful, fragile and laborious as it may be, no one can deny that, when done effectively, the results can be beautiful. With nothing further to add, “May the pixel be with you, Luke”.