Monday, February 6, 2012

We’ve Started Using PunchTab! - You The Designer

We’ve Started Using PunchTab! - You The Designer

Link to You The Designer

We’ve Started Using PunchTab!

Posted: 06 Feb 2012 12:00 AM PST

PunchTab tour opening page

Here’s another one of our attempts to reward you loyal readers for sticking with You The Designer all this time, and this one is a pretty big deal! PunchTab is a loyalty program that lets us reward you for engaging with the blog, whether you visit, browse, comment on, and vote up our posts and more – with points you can use to redeem a reward from us!

As some of you may have already seen by clicking on the Rewards ribbon tab hovering on the left side of our pages, we have a 30-day leaderboard tracking the most active readers on the blog.

Right now we’re still using PunchTab’s default catalog, but soon we’ll be adding more prizes of our own. And since it’s also a convenient platform for giveaways, we’re looking forward to hosting our next giveaways with PunchTab here on You The Designer too!
Ranjith Kumaran, PunchTab Founder and CEO, comments, “We’re excited to be powering the You The Designer loyalty program. We love their passion for rewarding their most loyal users and their drive to help spread the word about this site across all the major social channels. We look forward to watching their growth and continued success.”

Behance Launches Student Show, an Initiative to Support Emerging Designers

Posted: 01 Feb 2012 12:00 AM PST

If you’re a student, here’s an exclusive design community where you can get your work exposure, get feedback from peers as well as world-renowned creative professionals, and even get hired!

Behance Student Show

Behance has launched a new student initiative called the Student Show Gallery, which aims to showcase the world’s next generation of creative talent. Membership is free! As a member, your work may be featured, “appreciated”, followed by fellow creatives, and noticed by recruiters. You’ll also receive updates on student competitions and exclusive discounts from some of the world’s top creative brands.

In fact, at the moment there’s a Student Showdown ongoing that you can participate in right now!

Behance Student Showdown: Final Class Projects - January / February 2012

Entry to this competition is free, and the current submission round runs from January 11 to February 20, 2012. To participate, all entrants must be currently enrolled in school or graduated within the last 3 months. Check the competition details to see how the series works and what great prizes and perks you can get! New competitions are hosted periodically based on creative field or concept, so keep checking back with the Student Show Gallery for updates.

The Behance Network receives millions of visitors each month, and Student Show is the only program that’s exclusively for students. Why wait until graduation to get your work out there? Start now!

30 Examples of Impressive Concept Art

Posted: 30 Jan 2012 12:00 AM PST

For both video games and comic books, concept artists are necessary to create the aesthetically-pleasing visuals that enhance the storyline's action and drama. From simple pencil sketches to 3D models, detailed character turnarounds to costumes, fantastic vehicles to intricate weapon design, the possibilities are endless.


These are some examples of impressive video game and comic book concept art.


BATMAN (DC/Rocksteady Studios)

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BIOSHOCK (2K/Irrational Games)

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DEAD SPACE (Visceral Games/EA)

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FINAL FANTASY Series (Square Enix)

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GEARS OF WAR (Epic Games/Microsoft)

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HALO (Ensemble Studios/Microsoft)

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PROTOTYPE (Radical Entertainment/Activision)

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The Best Looking Beer Cans – a Beer Can Appreciation Day Special

Posted: 24 Jan 2012 07:54 AM PST

January 24, 2012 marks the 77th anniversary of the day Gottfried Krueger Brewing Co. first brought canned beers into the market. Though it hasn’t been (and probably never will be) declared an official holiday, more and more people are celebrating Beer Can Appreciation Day to pay tribute to the creation that has changed the experience of buying, keeping and drinking beer, forever.

YTD takes part in the Beer Can Appreciation Day celebration with this collection of 35 tasteful beer can designs. Check them out and don’t forget to leave a comment after. Cheers!


Hurlimann Sternbrau


SAA Design
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Intuition Ale Works


DeRouen & Co
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Upslope Brewing Brown Ale


Anthem Branding
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Great Western


Saint Bernadine Mission Communications
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Heineken Rugby World Cup 2011


Raison Pure
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Bulldozer Beer


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Arctic Beer


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Howe Sound Lager


The Antidote Inc.
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Club Colombia Special Edition


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Tui Repackaged


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Tank Design
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Abro Organic Lager


Mattias Frodlund
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Austin Beerworks


Helms Workshop
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Vintage Packaging – Beer Cans


Hello Again
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Guinness Beer can re-design


Tamara Maksimovic
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Diesel 6%


Pavel Gubin
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Grolsch Beer Can FC Twente season 2011


Elroy Klee
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“1410″ Beer can design


Ignas Kozlovas
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beer can packaging


Sergey Prostov
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Carling beer brand design


Ingrida Liepyte
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Beer Can Label Design


Gradinar Razvan
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Brøckhouse 33cl Can


Morris Pinewood
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Saku On Ice 0,5L Can


Hannes Paesoo
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Asahi Breweries


Phil Munro
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John Davey’s Cornish Bitter


Pascal de Moratti
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Miller Cans


Tim Pokrichuk
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Three Towns Premium Lager (2009)


Mikael Hulkko
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Hockley Valley Brewing Co.


Andrew Oliver
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Latas tematicas Nova Schin


Fausto Uehara
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Heisenberg Beer


This is
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package design


Tim Murphy
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Negra Modelo


Mauricio Muñoz
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Beer Can Appreciation Day (we’d like to believe) wasn’t just created to give people an excuse to drink more beer. A bit of research about beer cans would tell you that they do deserve our appreciation.

First, beer cans are relatively cheaper than beer bottles. They require minimal energy to produce and most of the materials used in these cans can be reused to manufacture new ones. Second, beer cans do a better job in preserving the beer’s flavor. Aluminum cans prevent beer from getting “skunked” due to exposure from UV light. They are also very durable and contain lower oxygen levels than bottles which increases shelf life. Lastly, the variety of beer can designs makes them perfect collector’s items. And with beer cans that look as good as the ones above, it shouldn’t be a surprise that some people are more interested in the cans than the booze!


An Introduction to Concrete5 CMS — Part II

Posted: 23 Jan 2012 12:00 AM PST

In the previous article,  we took an introductory look at Concrete5 as a CMS. In this follow-up part, we shall learn about the salient features of the CMS and learn to accomplish common tasks using its admin panel.


The Dashboard

Just like WP, Concrete5 also has its own Dashboard. Once you login to the admin panel, you will see it. The Dashboard gives you access to site updates and traffic stats. There is also a widget that lets you search the official documentation for help. Finally, a basic but nifty note taker widget is also available.

Adding Users and User Groups

You will need to navigate to the Users and Groups tab in order to add new users and/or groups. The process is simple – you simply need to specify a username, an email address and optionally upload an avatar image. In order to create groups, you need to mention the group’s name and description. User privileges can be specified after a group is created. If you intend to create a temporary group, you can also set a date and time for automatic deletion of that group.

Managing Appearance and Layout

Concrete5 offers many themes in its repository, both paid and free. In the Theme Options page, you can see a list of all the installed themes and templates. With each theme, there are options such as ‘Inspect’, ‘Preview’, ‘Customize’, ‘Install/Uninstall’, and ‘Activate’. Inspect lets you verify the integrity of the theme files (compare it to MD5checksum) while Customize allows you to manually modify CSS and other style sheets.

The default page types (or templates) are Blog Entry, Full Width, Left Sidebar and Right Sidebar. Full Width offers a simple one column layout. Blog Entry page type is automatically activated for the blog section of the website. You can merge the Sidebar page types to create multiple columned pages. Special pages such as Sitemap.xml and Contact forms have their own separate types and templates (yes, Concrete5 offers native support for Sitemaps and Contact forms and you do not need to separately install plugins yourself).

Plus, Concrete5 makes it very easy to edit the meta data (such as HTML <head> tag) without the use of any code. In the Attributes section, you can simply specify the text for pre-defined meta tags.

Addons and Plugins, Maintenance and Tweaks

Concrete5 comes with pre-installed addons such as support for embedded SWF files, RSS feedburner as well as native support for video playback (AVI, WMV, QuickTime/MPEG4, FLV, Youtube URL). However, you can easily install additional themes and addons from the Add Functionality tab. Themes and addons can either be installed by performing a search (which queries the default repository and any custom repositories that you specify), or by uploading a ZIP file from the admin interface or via FTP. (alternatively, you can also provide the URL to the theme or addon).

Concrete5 offers automated backups that you can schedule (the file is saved on the server itself). You can also encrypt the backups if you so desire, using the System and Maintenance Tab.

Overall Settings

In WordPress, how do you make your website load faster? By using a caching plugin, perhaps? In Concrete5, you technically do the same – but in this case, you don’t really use a plugin! Concrete5 comes with inbuilt caching support for faster page loading. You can setup caching in the Sitewide Settings section. By default, basic caching should suffice for a regular website. However, for the blog section and other dynamic content, you may consider activating Full Caching. You can also tweak the admin interface and add or remove the toolbars. Needless to say, such native functionality goes a long way in making the CMS nimble and light-weight.

Still not happy with the goodies? Concrete5 also comes with a basic email settings management section. You can either use the Default PHP Mail() Function, or the External SMTP server (in the latter case, you’ll need to provide additional settings). However, as far as my guess goes, you’d probably prefer reading your mails in your desktop mail client and/or GMail account and thus, Concrete5 need not be bothered with the same.

You may also block or whitelist users and visitors on the basis of IP addresses for the sake of security (mischief?).

Thus, on a concluding note, Concrete5 is an awesome CMS if you are looking for easy customization along with security for your website. If you wish to try it before downloading, you can visit the demo site here. And finally, you can explore additional features of Concrete5 in this video:

concrete5 – scrapbook and page type defaults from concrete5 on Vimeo.

An Introduction to Concrete5 CMS — Part I

Posted: 18 Jan 2012 09:59 PM PST

When we talk of CMS, the options are plenty. For a start, we can opt for some of the biggest names in the game – WordPress, Drupal or Joomla! However, in this article, we shall take a look at one of the fastest growing and light-weight CMS, that is, Concrete5. Since this is Part I of the two-part series, we shall be familiarizing ourselves with the CMS by taking a look at each of its menus. In the concluding part, we shall delve into deeper details.



Concrete5 is an extremely easy to use CMS that has a fairly simple mode of operation and can be employed to power various genres of websites, including blogs, portfolios and enterprise sites. It comes with a WYSIWYG Editor and in-context editing toolbars, along with drag and drop support, native Flash support as well as Youtube, Google Analytics and Google Maps integration. Not satisfied yet? Well, Concrete5 also offers native SEO in the form of clean URLs, RSS syndication and pre-formatted dynamic HTML tags.

Getting Started

To begin with, you will need to download Concrete5 from here. If you are not into coding or manual installs, fear not – there is also a one-click installer file.

Once you login to Concrete5, you will be presented with the sample page of the website and a toolbar on top. Concrete5 boasts of its WYSIWYG abilities and thus, you won’t take time in noticing that the entire page and all of its components can be edited simply by selecting and/or clicking on them. Neat, isn’t it?


If you have been a WordPress user, you won’t take much time in getting used to the admin area of Concrete5, except for the few additional features that are otherwise not part of the native WP installation. The major tabs in Concrete5 are as follows:

Sitemap: This section gives you access to, well, the Sitemap! Also, you can have a bird’s eye view of your entire website including taking a look at files and scripts. Note that you cannot modify any files/scripts from here.

File Manager: File Manager lets you update the files and directories. You can upload, download and modify or remove files and directories. Further more, you can perform functions such as backup and/or restore. Interestingly, Concrete5 lets you set attributes and access permissions on the fly! Just select a file for modification, and its attributes and access permissions shall be highlighted by default!

Reports: This section contains data collected via forms and logs. By default, Concrete5 creates a log of daily activity (and a special log for error messages). Of course, you can specify the frequency of maintaining logs as well as alter the time limit for which data from logs and forms is to be retained.

Users and Groups: Users and Groups let you manage the user accounts associated with your website. Just like WordPress, in Concrete5 as well, you can sub-divide the user accounts into groups such as Administrators, Editors, Contributors, Subscribers, and so on, thereby restricting the level of access that each user group has to the website’s content.

Scrapbook: Scrapbook lets you maintain a record of your notes for personal reference as well as sharing them with other users. The content you save in Scrapbook does not go public on the website (unless you install a script that makes it publicly visible). Personally, I find the Scrapbook ideal for keeping reminders and making notes while developing the website. You can also selectively provide access to users or user groups for each Scrapbook. As long as the available system memory allows, you can have an unlimited number of scrapbooks.

Pages and Themes: This section lets you tweak the look and feel as well as layout of your website. You may compare it with Appearance menu in WP. Concrete5 comes with 3 pre-installed themes, while more can be downloaded from the website itself. The number and quality of themes in the repository is good, though obviously Premium/Paid themes do not match those available for WordPress.

Add Functionality: Nothing too grand here — you can install custom themes and addons or plugins (extensions) from the admin panel itself. Alternatively, you can also FTP the required files and they will automatically show up in this section.

System and Maintenance: This section provides options such as backup, cleaning cache files, updating Concrete5 and other site-wide settings.

Sitewide Settings: You can tweak the security of your website here by specifying rules for user login, comment moderation, etc. Further more, you can also setup features such as RSS feed if you are hosting a blog.

With this, we come to the end of Part I of this two-part series. I hope you’ve liked what you’ve seen about Concrete5 so far. In the next part, we shall take a closer look under the hood and learn how to accomplish general tasks using Concrete5. If, however, you can’t wait for the next part, feel free to give Concrete5 a spin yourself by downloading it from here. Be sure to let us know your experiences in the comments!

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