Showing posts with label Design. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Design. Show all posts

Managing Your Fonts With NexusFont

If you create logos or graphics for your Second Life business then you will often have to use fonts. Sooner or later, the more fonts that are used the more difficult it is to keep track of them, so having font manager software can save a lot of frustration. There are many font managers available, some paid for and some free, but the most useful I have found is called NexusFont.

NexusFont is a small and free application that will allow you to keep on top of your collection of fonts. One of the most difficult aspects of creating a design can be selecting the right font, but the time spent on this can be reduced dramatically with NexusFont because it enables you to sort fonts into folders and compare them.

Adding fonts to a folder is easily done:

1/ Right click on the font you want to add.

2/ Select Copy to Folder.

3/ From the drop down menu either select a folder name that's displayed, or select Browse.

 4/ When Browse is selected a window similar to the above will open. From here navigate to the folder you want to copy the font to.

Now each time you need to choose a font for a specific project you can use the folders as a guide to compare similar fonts. Fonts can also be copied to different folders if they fall into one or more styles.

Tracking Previously Used Fonts

Another time consuming aspect of using fonts is finding a font that has been used on an earlier project. If for instance a font was used on a particular logo some time ago it can be difficult to remember exactly what font was used for that design, and there can be little to jog the memory, except to run through all of your installed fonts..

However, in NexusFont a font can be given a number of tags. The example above shows the font used for the Chilly Bear Club logo, and it has clearly been tagged as such.

To add a tag to a font:

1/ Right click on the font in NexusFont, then select Edit Tags from the drop down menu.

2/ A window similar to the above should open. Type the tag name into the space provided and select either the Add or Replace options, depending on whether you want to keep or replace any existing tags.

3/ Click OK and thats it.

To find a tagged font simply use the search window to the upper right of the NexusFont window. So long as you give a font a tag thats relevant to the design it was used for, it should be easy to find when you need to.

NexusFont has a number of other useful features to help you manage your font collection, but the ones briefly summarised here will help you to get started and will probably be the ones you'll use most often. As mentioned earlier NexusFont is free to download and use with no annoying trial periods or nag screens, so why not give it a try.

Read More

Creating Textures With PatternCooler

Creating Textures With PatternCooler

The free online Patterncooler software created by Harvey Rayner is a remarkable tool for creating seamless patterns to use as backgrounds on blogs, web and graphic design projects, wallpapers, and of course textures for Second Life.

Getting Started

Because Patterncooler offers so many variations, it can be difficult to know where to get started, so after clicking the centre of the screen to open the Patterncooler interface, the best option seems to be to select a texture thumbnail at random and experiment.

Once you see how this works, you can also click on the 'Show color variations as thumbs' tab, which will allow you to edit the colours of the texture in the main window.

The Pattern Spread App

Creating Textures With PatternCooler

Patterncooler allows another way to work with textures other than the method above. Next to the Patterncooler logo is a white inverted arrow. Hover your cursor over this and from the drop down menu select Pattern Spread App. You will then be presented with a number of galleries of textures. Once you have selected a texture to work with, a window similar to the image above will open.

Under the Pattern Spread App, each texture is constructed of a number of layers of patterns. Each layer can be edited and new ones can be added and existing ones removed, by using the '+' or 'X' buttons next to each pattern. It is also possible to edit the size of each pattern on the texture as well as its colour values.

Registering With Patterncooler

Another option offered to users of Patterncooler is to register with the site, which will enable you to save projects and come back to them later as well as adding them to the gallery. You will also be able to view what textures you have downloaded, which all helps to make this app much more user friendly.

One of the remarkable aspects of Patterncooler is that it is free to use and that you can use the patterns you download pretty much as you like. However, depending on what the pattern will be used for, there is an option to pay for each download which allows for a better quality images. Also there is a donate button which I think is worth using considering everything Patterncooler offers its users.

This is a basic run through of what Patterncooler can do, so its worth taking a look and seeing just how useful a tool it is for creating online patterns for blogs and websites, and possibly textures to use in Second Life.

Read More