You Can't Rush (pixel) Perfection

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About a year ago I started digging deeper into design and found one little gem that I shared with my circles a while back, The UsTwo Pixel Perfect Precision Handbook. Check it out, it's a good read and has come in handy on many a project of mine.

So what is pixel perfection and how is it achieved?

Well, the first step is getting those edges sharp. I won't get into such great detail as the iBook, but this is where it begins! It all comes down to crisp, straight edges that fill solid pixels, no half measures here!

Pixel hinting in Photoshop is a task that requires patience, zooming and a lot of nudging those anchor points into place. Check out the video after the break to see what I'm going on and on about.



So there you have it. Grab yourself a free copy of the Pixel Perfect Repression Handbook and get to cranking out those flawless designs.
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Influx: A Surprising Addition to the Flood of Long Shadows

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I know what you're thinking. "Not another long shadow icon pack." Well this isn't that. Entirely. What makes Influx different is the love that goes into each pixel. You'll find no scripts or batch operations here. Each shape is in vector format and optimized and aligned to achieve pixel perfection before shining a little light on things. Using a subtle gradient structure and (finally) sticking to a fixed color palette, Influx is slowly proving itself to be my best offering into the world of Android customization.









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Android App Icon Template (For Modern Devices) [FREEBIE]

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This template was created to make generating Play Store and app icons a breeze. It comes with three styles and multiple configurations to choose from. Designed with modern Android devices in mind it features a Nexus 5 mock up to see your app's new icon in all it's glory.

Update: Now has options for icon backgrounds that conform to Android guidelines.

So, what do I do with it?

Simply download the .PSD file below and open it with Photoshop.
In the layers panel, find the layer that's titled "Artwork" and double click the layer thumbnail.
What opens is a .PSB smart object, go ahead and choose your style and add your logo, artwork, etc.
Close the .PSB window and make sure to save the changes.
Once it saves all of the scaled icons will automatically render along with it.

Cool, now what?

Use the provided action to export the assets.*
*Using CS6? There is a known bug that saves the files as .html files. Simply rename the extensions to .png and you should be fine.

If you have any questions or something doesn't work, email me. arandompackage@gmail.com


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Nexus 5 Concept Lock Screen

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I saw a Nexus 5 concept by @TechyTee and knew I had to have the lock screen immediately......

So I went ahead and used a couple handy apps to create the sumbitch. First off, this is a Widgetlocker theme, however, the Zooper skins can (obviously) be used wherever. 

I also threw together a handy installer app for the skins and the slider. Get it HERE

Need a dark wallpaper? Get one HERE

Use an image editor (Photoshop, GIMP, etc...) to personalize the widget. 225x225 pixels is a good size. ;)
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It's French For Timeless

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√Čternel 



Influenced by modern design and inspired by minimalism, √Čternel is an attempt to beautify your Android device. Paired with Apex launcher take the experience further with a themed application drawer. Enjoy wallpapers personally curated from brilliant artists like Merek Davis, Kyle Gray and others.

With 277 skinned icons at launch this theme should take care of your most used apps. If not, use the built-in request feature. 

A New Hybrid Dash

Over the past couple of months, in my spare time, I have been mixing up a new theme dashboard. Using the1dyanasty's template, features from BigDx's source and a new upgraded Widgetlocker section, I've picked only the features that you guys have been most vocal about. As such, wallpapers are now back in the dash. I have also been working with Zooper widgets and plan to make the switch and include some skins down the road.

All of your favorite themes will be updated to the new hybrid dash in due time. I'm also trying to figure out how to package up all versions of FlatCons into one dashboard. Wish me luck on that one ;)

Demo

 

Full Version

  





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365 Days of Random: A Year In Review (Sort Of)

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Wow, an entire year has passed since I started sharing my themes and icons with the world. When I look back, it all really got started when I was rocking a Blackberry Storm 1. However, I didn't really get into making high quality icons and themes for Android until August of 2012. With nowhere near enough thanks to the minds behind MyColorScreen and r/androidthemes for creating awesome communities full of helpful people and great artists that were just a little bit ahead of their time.

Back then I was in between careers because of a bad back and just being basically fed up with the industry I was in. I was doing everything I could to learn Android development on my own. Staying up all night studying the sample projects included in the sdk, spending countless hours on thenewboston.org, learning about the Android kernel and even compiling my own for my Evo. I was having too much fun and decided that, after tons of research, I could possibly make a career out of this.

So I set off to make an app. I was going to call it "Geo Tasks"(1)..you can imagine what the app would do. It would have been a location based reminder app. Sounded so simple to me at the time. There were one or two apps like this in the Android Market but they didn't work. So I thought that I, with my limited knowledge of java, would set out to solve that problem. Kind of naive, yet I pushed on. 

Eventually I needed some graphic assets for the app. I fired up my girlfriends MacBook and went to town in Photoshop. Only problem was my skills were lacking. That's when I found TutVid and other helpful design sites and suddenly realized that if developing for Android was going to be a fun career, then DESIGNING for Android would be, just, pure bliss.

So I started a project, lets call them Greycons. :) And released them on XDA as a zip file to some success. Hell I figured one dowload would be a success so in that regard, I knocked it out of the park so to speak. I had multiple requests to make them into an apk. But I wasn't quite sure how to do that. I took it as a challenge and quickly found the Apex Theme Guide on XDA. Even more helpful developers and designers were to be found there. With their input I was able to put together the apk and release it. The real task was compatibility. Scouring the tutorial I found so many tips and tricks for handling other launchers. 

I then even put together a repo on Github hosting the template that I had put together using all those tips and tricks.(2)

But after a while that just wasn't enough. I had used other designers icon packs that used the dashboard style UI and I wanted in. I had the honor of being offered the chance to be part of a project that included new source code that I could study. (Thanks Addie) 

Since then I have gotten an invitation to dribbble and recognition from devs and designers alike that I look up to. I don't know if you can imagine how cool that is to me. And more work just keeps coming. I love it and never want it to stop!

Anyway, I've rambled on long enough. Flash forward to today and all I can say is WOW. I never thought I had it in me to be a designer but that is one huge life lesson to anyone reading this. Sometimes it can take 25 years for one to find their true passion or calling in life. I thought that I would be running an asphalt company for the rest of my life five years ago. That was such a depressing thought. Now when I look to the future I get nervous, but in the good way. Ya know, when you're excited about the unknown and what may come. Priceless.

1. Obviously I was in way over my head with this project so I scrapped it. Since then there have been more efforts to get this kind of app off the ground. 

 2. I also started a tutorial channel on YouTube to try and give back some of the things I've learned. Check it out.
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