Karen McDade Freelance Graphic Design
about
DEVELOPMENT TOOLS
  • Hetzner - Recommended hosting company with reasonable prices and excellent support centre.
  • Google Analytics - Google offers many free tools to maximise the efficiency of your website. Use Analytics to track who's visiting your site.
  • W3C - Visit the W3C for web content accessibility guidelines and much more about everything www.
  • Stat Counter - Free website tracker giving detailed real-time stats about who's visiting your website and where they're coming from.
  • Taskee - Taskee simplifies website task management communication process and makes it easier and cheaper to collaborate during website testing process.
  • Mon.Itor.Us - Checks server performance and availability, generates uptime and availability reports, tracks visitors, checks system resources, and alerts its users in case abnormalities are detected.
  • Orangoo - Spell Check your website
ART COMMUNITIES
  • slashTHREE - A digital-art based community that periodically releases exclusive art packs.
  • CG Society - This community supports artists by offering a range of services to connect, inform, educate and promote achievements, excellence and innovation in digital art.
  • depthCORE - depthCORE is an international art collective focused on modern and abstract art, incorporating design, photography, animation and audio.
  • Behance Network - A portfolio-based site to assist with feedback exchange, cross-pollination between creative industries and access to jobs and collaborations.
  • Deviant ART - Diverse art community for digital painters, photographers, poets, animators, traditional artists and graphic designers.
DESIGN PODCASTS
  • Pixel Perfrect - Learn the tips and tricks you need to whip those digital pictures into shape with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator curiosity of Bert Monroy.
  • dekePOD - Deke McClelland is a popular lecturer on Photoshop and general graphics and design. His podcasts are well explained and entertaining. This one is highly recommended.
  • The Design View Show - A weekly podcast that examines design fundamentals, business, culture and professionalism.
  • Freelance Switch - Freelance Radio is the place to hear all the tips, tricks and news of freelancing.
PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS
  • Slife - Slife is a time and activity analytics application for both Mac and Windows that automatically keeps track of where you spend your time on your computer.
  • Klok - Keep track of your time with Klok's simple work timer and visual display of how your days fill up. Requires Adobe Air.
  • Rescue Time - Let Rescue Time run in the background and keep track of your tasks. Weekly reports are sent your email for you to analyse which programs you're spending most of your time on.
MATTE PAINTING


PSD RESOURCES
RECOMMENDED READING
  • Advanced Photoshop Magazine - Great magazine to help you keep on top of the latest graphic trends. You can see my gallery here.
  • .net Magazine - Aka Practical Web Design magazine. A great magazine to help you keep track of the ever-changing trends and technolgies in the web industry.
  • Imagine FX Magazine - Some of the best artists around are featured in this magazine - also a great source of inspiration.
FREELANCE RESOURCES
  • Freelance Switch - Tons of great articles and useful resources for all the best freelancing advice.
SOFTWARE DOWNLOADS
  • Adium - Adium is a free instant messaging application for Mac OS X that can connect to AIM, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo, and more.
  • Firefox 2 - Excellent standards compliant browser with a plethora of add-ons and themes.
  • Thunderbird - Free email client, also from the makers of Firefox.
  • Joomla! - Open source CMS software. Version 1.5 has officially been released.
  • FileZilla - Good FTP program for PC and Mac.
  • Open Office - Multi platform and multi lingual office suite. Compatible with other major office packages as well.
  • GIMP - Image manipulation program for Mac, Windows and UNIX.
  • Notepad++ - Source code editor and notepad replacement for Windows. Supports various programming languages.
  • Blender - Free open source 3D content creation suite available on multiple platforms.
  • Aptana - The IDE I use for web development (HTML, JavaScript, CSS, PHP and more). A community edition and pro edition are available.
  • Skype - Make your calls online - it's perfect for cheap international calls.
  • SourceForge.net - Tons of open source programs available for download.
TUTORIAL SITES

Photoshop

Illustrator

Website Development

WEB DEVELOPER LINKS
  • CSS Play - An excellent CSS resource for web designers.
  • A List Apart - Great source of information and interesting articles for those in the web business.
  • Sitepoint - Web developer community portal with tons of great articles and tutorial about all the latest web technologies.
  • TredoSoft - Install multiple versions of Internet Explorer on your PC.
  • Lovely Charts - A free online diagramming application that allows you to create professional looking diagrams of all kinds, such as flowcharts, sitemaps, organisation charts, wireframes and so on.
  • Web Resources Depot - Design tuts, developer tuts, articles, resources, free website enhancement scripts and licenses.
FONT SITES
  • DaFont - Massive online collection of mostly free (also shareware and demo) fonts available for download.
  • Identifont - Need to identify the name of a font? This website has the largest independent directory of typefaces on the net.
  • What the Font? - Another site that will help you identify a font. Upload an image of the font and let the font recognition system do it's thing.
  • Typophile - Have a look at the forums - tons of experts to help you with all your font queries.
  • Free Mac Fonts - Over 6 500 free Mac fonts available for download.
  • Urban Fonts - Over 8 000 freeware fonts for Mac and PC available for download.
  • Font Squirrel - Really nice fonts free to use for commercial use. Also has a @font-face kit generator (very handy for custom web fonts).
  • The League of Moveable Type - High quality collection of open source fonts.
  • Google Web Fonts - Free open source license collection of fonts available for use on your website. Google generates the code for you too!
ONLINE SEO TOOLS
  • Website Grader - Free tool to measure the marketing effectiveness of your website by providing you with a score that incorporates factors such as web site traffic, SEO, social popularity, and other technical elements.
  • Market Leap - Online tool for checking link popularity, search engine saturation and keyword verification.
  • SEO Tool Set - Contains a keyword density analyzer, competition research, ranked page reports and link analysis reports.
  • Google Webmaster Tools - Find out your Google crawl info and how your pages are indexed. There are also tips on how to increase your traffic.
  • Google Website Submission - Add your URL to Google.
  • DMOZ - Add your site to the Open Directory Project. The listings power the core directory services of AOL, Google, Lycos, HotBot, DirectHit among other search engines.
  • SEOmoz - Tools for term targeting, geo-targeting, popularity searches, link finders, rank checkers, page strength among other tools.
  • Blog Juice - Estimates blogís value upon the approximate number of Bloglines subscribers, Alexa rank, the ranking assigned by Technorati and the number of inbound links.
  • UrlTrends - The tool collects information about incoming links from Google, Yahoo and MSN as well as social bookmarks which point to your site and presents them in Flash-based graphs. Thus you can observe directly, how your site is growing, which tendencies occur and what changes might be important to increase your popularity. Highly recommended.
  • SEO Workers - This SEO Analysis Tool is to help you analyze and measure the ranking potential of your web pages.
  • Compete - Analyze the difference in growth of two or more web sites.
  • Microsoft Demographics Prediction - Predicts a visitorís age, gender, and other demographic information according to his or her online behavior that is examined from search queries and page views.
  • Popuri.us - A tool to check the link popularity of any site based on its ranking (Google PageRank, Alexa Rank, Technorati etc.), social bookmarks (del.icio.us, etc), subscribers (Bloglines, etc).
  • Xinu - Find out how well your site is doing in popular search engines, social bookmarking and other site statistics.
  • UITest.com - The site provides validators, checkers, generators and tools for sophisticated web development. Accessibility checkers, validation tools and further services are listed.
RECOMMENDED BLOGS
  • Roberto Blake - Blog of New York designer Roberto Blake. Great resource for interviews, tutorials, tips, videos and showcasing designer's artwork.
  • Just Creative Design - Blog of Jacob Cass which focuses on graphic design - includes many interesting articles.
  • Freelance Switch - An excellent resource for freelancers with many interesting articles and a great podcast.
  • GoMediaZine - From the Go Media guys - great tutorials, resources and articles.
FREEBIES
  • Bitbox - Free textures, vector packs, website components and plug-ins.
  • Cool Vectors - Free icons, templates, themes, Photoshop brushes, vectors and flash files.
  • Vecteezy - Free vector graphics for download.
  • Brusheezy - Free Photoshop brushes and patterns for download.
  • Stock.xchng - Free high-resolution photographs for download. Some have restrictions so read the copyright info.
  • CG Textures - Hundreds of some of the best textures on the net.
  • Grunge Textures - Large collection of grunge and urban themed free textures.
RECOMMENDED BOOKS