Google Pixel 3 deals: Get the best price

When it launched late in 2018, Google's Pixel 3 quickly won over a legion of admirers thanks to its industry leading camera. It's no exaggeration to say that if you're after snazzy little snapper on your phone, you currently can't do any better than this rather special device.

If you're tempted to splash out on this phone, you've come to the right place. You'll find the best Google Pixel 3 deals available right now on this very page. Our handy price comparison tool will help you sift through the best offers, and what's more, you can narrow your search by contract, SIM-free, and SIM-only packages. 

If you're not quite sold on the Pixel 3, take a look at our guide to the best camera phones for designers to help you decide.

Google Pixel 3: Key features for creatives

Google Pixel 3

It looks unassuming, but the Google Pixel 3 rules the roost when it comes to photography

Hardware can be overtaken fast, but the Google Pixel 3 is still number one when it comes to mobile phone cameras, despite being released in November 2018. The strength of its camera is undoubtedly the main draw for creatives who want to take eye-popping pictures while out and about without one. Basically, if you don't want to splash out on one of the best cameras for creatives currently available, this is the phone for you.

So what's so special about the Google Pixel 3's camera? On the face of it the Google Pixel 3 might not blow you away, given that it packs a 12.2MP rear camera with a single lens and an f/1.8 aperture. However it's Google's machine-learning software that sets this camera apart from the competition.

With the help of Google's Pixel Visual Core chip, users can take sharper, crisper and brighter pictures than the likes of iPhone XS or Samsung Galaxy Note 9. Additions such as Top Shot and Night Sight are there to pick the best pictures and take nighttime snaps respectively.

And while there's no telephoto lens, the Super Res Zoom …

A beginner’s guide to camera aperture

Why do some photographs look flat and others look like they have depth? This is usually due to how blurred the background looks. This effect is controlled by a camera’s aperture and is defined on a camera by its f-stop (or t-stop on some movie camera lenses).

Understanding aperture will help sell 3D movie scenes by giving a true ‘movie’ look, a sense of scale both large and small. As always, once the fundamental rules have been understood, the artist will be able to creatively subvert them in order to achieve their own desired effects in their 3D movie projects.

In terms of how a lens works, the aperture is created by the number of blades that close over the lens – in just the same way that an eye’s iris closes up in bright light.

When the camera aperture is wide open, a lot of light comes in and the depth of field is reduced. Altering the depth of field enables us to blur any of the unwanted elements in a scene. Having a shallow depth of field means that everything other than the focused object is blurred, and a large depth of field means that everything in the scene is sharply in focus.

‘Bokeh’ is a term that is used when discussing lens performance, especially at wider apertures, and it refers to the quality of the blurred highlights. Understanding bokeh is critical if working in VFX to match CGI to existing footage, as many lenses have distinctive bokeh due to their differing construction. The size of a camera’s sensor is also important for understanding apertures, a lens with an f-stop of 1.8 on a 50mm lens on a smartphone looks very different to a lens with exactly the same numbers on a full-frame camera.

Aperture is one of the most creative tools available to photographers in the field and the same can be said when working with CG cameras.

01. What is an f-stop?

A pair of camera apertures

f-stops dictate how aperture blades appear

The …

Add SVG filters with CSS

SVG has been around since the early 2000s, and yet there are still interesting ways that designers are finding to use it. In this tutorial the focus will be on the filters that are applied through SVG – but instead of applying them to an SVG image, we'll show you how they can be applied to any regular page content.

The way the filter is applied to the SVG is actually through CSS, by telling it what ID the filter has. Using that same idea, the filter can be applied to regular text, for example. The good part about this is that you can add some great graphical looks to your text, which would have only been previously possible by applying a number of Photoshop filters and saving as an image. Using the SVG filter, the text remains accessible and selectable, as it is still just a regular text element on your page. 

The code here will create a displacement map to text that also contains an alpha map to make it appear watery and fit the theme of the page. Then another filter will be created that makes a menu appear as water blobs, which stick slightly together but blob apart as they move further away. Again this keeps with the theme of this particular page and shows two creative ways to apply SVG filters to other content.

Interested in learning more about SVG? Take a look at our article on everything you need to know about SVG on the web. Alternatively, add some interest to your sites with one of these cool CSS animation examples.

01. Get started

First, you need to download the project files using the link directly above. Once you've done that, drag the start project folder onto your code IDE and open the index.html page. You will see there is some page content already written. The header section needs to be created, and this will contain the headline that will be affected by an …

10 apps for endless design inspiration

 Inspiration is essential for every creative person. If you are in the right mood, it can come from almost anywhere. However, when you feel tired or distracted, your imagination may need additional sources to get inspiration from. 

Having scoured the internet, we've collected a selection of what we think are the best apps to give your inspiration a boost. We've included loads of free apps, and some worth paying a little extra for. So read on to get your creative cogs whirring.

For an extra creative boost, take a look at our articles summing up the best iPad apps for designers, and our pick of the best drawing apps for iPad

01. Creative Live

Creative Live logo

Creative Live delivers classes from world-class creators to get you learning and inspired

'Master your craft, your passion or something new with creative classes taught by the world's best.'

Creative Live streams classes taught by master creators including Grammy award winners, best-selling authors and world-renowned photographers. This app has the potential to be life-changing and we don't say that lightly

With free classes streaming 24/7, you could stay on the sidelines and dip in and out of the impressive free timetable. If you choose to dive in deeper, the 1500+ classes are available on-demand and you have payment options including individual classes (variable) and a monthly subscription ($39).

02. Coolors

Coolors colour palette tool

Find a colour palette in seconds

$1.99/£1.99

Coolors is a super-popular app that does its one thing extremely well: it generates colour palettes. If you're having trouble finding the right aesthetic for your design, simply hit the spacebar to scroll through Coolors' collection of colour palettes. You can then adjust the temperature and hue, and export your palette in a number of different formats.

As well as an iOS app ($1.99/£1.99), you can now use Coolors as a Chrome extension ($1.99/£1.29) or plug it into Photoshop CC or Illustrator CC ($5). It was designed, developed and is maintained by one man – Fabrizio Bianchi

Moleskine launches Adobe-connected paper notebook

There's nothing like drawing straight into your notebook and feeling the bite of the pen on the page. However digital tools make it much easier to edit these rough ideas and refine them into a finished design. Migrating from page to screen can involve scanning and editing that eats into your time, but with the latest partnership between Moleskine and Adobe, that process just got easier.

Meet the Paper Tablet, a new smart notebook from Moleskine that integrates with Adobe Illustrator. This snazzy notebook allows users to draw on the page and watch as their creations are recreated in Adobe Illustrator in real time.

The Moleskine Paper Tablet – Creative Cloud Edition mirrors free-hand drawings with the help of the Moleskine Pen + Ellipse optical pen. Images drawn in the notebook are processed in Adobe Illustrator CC as a .JPG file before being converted into .SVG assets. Watch it in action with the video below.

"The new notebook, combined with Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse optical pen, lets you seamlessly mirror free-hand drawings with pen and paper to Adobe Illustrator in real time," says Adobe's senior marketing manager Minson Chen over on the Adobe Blog.

"This reimagined workflow transforms this creative process into a few simple steps and offers the most seamless analog-to-digital experience to date."

And if you want to use your notebook without syncing to Adobe Illustrator, simply tap the "Illustrator" icon found on each page to pause the process. Perfect for giving your digital work an organic touch, the Paper Tablet looks set to streamline the workflow for creators in various disciplines.

Related articles:

from Creative Bloq http://www.creativebloq.com/news/moleskines-adobe-connected-notebook-makes-doodles-digital…

How to manage your freelance cashflow

The relationship between creativity and commerce is a rocky one, and it's particularly rocky when you're a freelancer. For all its joys, being your own boss also means being your own accounting department and occasional bailiff.

Freelancers face three key issues: staying on top of the paperwork, getting paid and ensuring the taxman doesn't chuck you in prison. Taking care of all that can eat into the time you'd rather spend on designing. So how do others do it?

01. Start a spreadsheet

Elly Walton has been a freelance illustrator for over 10 years. Her client list reads like a who's who of the advertising, design and publishing fields, but despite her success, she's been using "pretty much the same old Excel spreadsheet with my incomings, outgoings and tax payable on it" all that time.

Walton also records "the jobs as they come in, how I got them and whether it was a result of promotion or word of mouth," she explains. "It makes a nice, pretty graph that I look at occasionally to review my marketing."

Walton uses an Adobe Photoshop template for invoices, prints hard copies – "I like to have a stack of physical paper to check through and stamp a little 'PAID' on it when it's paid" – and invoices jobs on completion.

02. Don’t procrastinate

Hand Lettering Headlines

Hand Lettering Headlines, by Elly Walton

Procrastination, says Walton, is the enemy: "[Tax] isn't really that painful, but it's a hell of a lot more painful if you leave it until the deadline."

If you're a sole trader in the UK you'll pay Income Tax on your profits (sales less expenses) as well as National Insurance contributions; limited companies pay Corporation Tax on business profits; and if you're turning over more than £85,000 per year (it happens!) there's quarterly VAT, too.

It may be worth registering even if your turnover is less: under the Flat Rate Scheme someone in advertising can charge 20% but only pay 11%.

03. Consider an accountant

An architectural drawing of Belle & Bunting clothes shop

Belle & Bunting,

The 30 best free graffiti fonts

Defining what makes a graffiti font isn't as easy as you would think. That's because the word ‘graffiti’ today means something very different to a few decades ago. Once associated with ugly, scrawled obscenities and inner-city blight, the rise of creative, attractive and thoughtful street art has brought it into firmly in the mainstream. 

Its influence can be seen across numerous creative disciplines, from album art to advertising, and as part of this renaissance there’s a wealth of themed graffiti fonts to use in your typography projects.

In this post, we've collected together the best free fonts with a graffiti influence, so you can bring some street art style to your project. From spraypaint, splatter and stencil styles to brush lettering, handmade approaches and beyond, we've got it all covered. Enjoy!

01. Hoodson Script

Free graffiti fonts: Hoodson Script

The Hoodson Script comes with extras

With a bouncy baseline and a perfectly paired complimentary marker font, this retro style graffiti font comes with handy bonus swashes. Created by Hendra Dirtyline(Dirtyline Studio), it is free for personal use or $17 for a commercial license.

02. The Graffiti Font

Free graffiti fonts: The Graffiti Font

A handmade font, this is graffiti at its finest

This colourful bubble writing packs a vibrant punch. Created by graphic designer Mike Karolos, this font is totally free and although it is only available in a png format (it's not keyable), it does also come in a black and white option.

03. Knight Brush 

Free graffiti fonts: Knight Brush

Knight Brush is adaptable and bold with realistic brush strokes

Inspired by the vintage era, Hendra Pratama created this font with hand-painted signage in mind. This adaptable font is made to resemble real brush strokes and is a bold choice. The free version is a demo for personal use only, and you can download the full commercial option for $15.

04. Fat Wandals

Free graffiti fonts: Fat Wandals

Get your chisel tip on

Fat Wandals, created by Mans Greback, is a free, personal use-only version of his Wandals font family. It's a great-looking script font with lovely flowing strokes that look like they've been done …

30 perfect font pairings

Finding font pairings that set each other off, don't fight the eye for attention, and harmonise without becoming homogenous and dull is an art. The age-old rule goes: concord or contrast, but don't conflict.

But with so many professional typefaces and free fonts to choose from, how do you find two that work in harmony? Read on for our pick of the best font pairings – or jump to the end of page 2 for some top tips on finding your own.

01. Alegreya Sans SC and Source Sans Pro

Alegreya Sans SC and Source Sans Pro font pairing

Alegreya is a super-family that includes sans and serif sister families alongside this small caps version, designed by Juan Pablo del Peral for Huerta Tipográfica. The family has a slightly calligraphic edge, and is designed to be suitable for long blocks of text. However, the small caps variant is best suited to headers. We suggest pairing it with Source Sans Pro, Adobe's first open source typeface family, designed by Paul D. Hunt.

02. Julius Sans One and Archive Narrow

Julius Sans One and Archive Narrow font pairing

If you're aiming for a professional look, this is a great font pairing to try. Julius Sans One works only comes in one weight and is an all-caps font, but it's a top choice for a display font, with its fine stroke and broader baseline. The more geometric Archivo Narrow is a perfect match. It has been designed to work equally well in print and digital.

03. Playfair Display and Raleway

Playfair Display and Raleway font pairing

Display font Playfair draws inspiration from the period in the 18th century when quills were being replaced by pointed steel pens. This, alongside printing developments, led to high-contrast letterforms with delicate hairlines becoming popular. Elegant sans serif Raleway makes a perfect font pairing.

04. Oswald and Lato

 Oswald and Lato font pairing

Oswald was launched in 2011 as a reworking of the 'Alternate Gothic' sans-serif type style. It makes a great pairing with Lato (which translates as 'summer' in Polish), a  warm yet stable sans serif. Both are available in a range of different weights and variants, making this font …

How to get a career in graphic design: 13 pro tips

Looking for a career in graphic design? You’re not alone. This popular profession has never been more competitive, and you’ll need to stand out from the crowd if you’re going to make it.

There’s no 'one true path' towards a successful graphic design career, but rather a variety of routes to pursue, none of which are mutually exclusive. It’s about seizing opportunities, working hard, and attacking every project with vigour, passion and determination.

Whether you’re a recent graduate, seeking your first job as a junior designer, or are more advanced in your career, but still seeking to climb the ladder, this post contains 14 pieces of expert advice to help you progress as a graphic designer. 

01. Pursue formal study

Student holding folder

A design degree remains the standard way in to the profession

Yes, some people do become graphic designers without the benefit of a formal education. But a university degree remains the most safest and most reliable route into the industry. And it’s not just about getting a job – a thorough grounding in design theory and practice will enable you to do that job well.

That said, not everyone can afford to take three years out of the workplace to study. Also it has to be said that some design degrees still leave graduates lacking in many of the basic skills and aptitudes needed in today’s design workplace. 

Both of these factors have led to the rise of short, intensive courses, now offered by the likes of Shillington, Hyper Island, Escape Studios and the new Strohacker Design School. These can get you trained in as little as three months, and are well respected within the industry.

02. Work on your software skills

Person using design software on laptop and tablet

Formal study is about principles, but you’ll probably want some more practical software training too

Most programmes of formal study don’t focus heavily on specific software skills, and for good reason. Academic courses are more about understanding timeless concepts and principles, and developing the broad ability to solve problems. Software packages, in contrast, …

What website do you wish you’d made yourself?

Remember when the internet was a creative frontier where people could express themselves in all sorts of ways? We'd forgive you if you don't because over the years large parts of the web have settled down into a pattern that's sure to drive clicks from users.

Not that this is a bad thing. In fact a website template is a useful way to get a practical site up and running in no time. And there are plenty of creative sites out there if you know where to look.

To help you discover some of the internet's hidden gems, we asked experts for the sites that are so good, they've made them green with envy. Read on to be inspired, and get ready to get jealous.

01. Oribi

Oribi homepage

Oribi avoids web design trend fatigue

"I stumbled upon Oribi and its UI simplicity grabbed my attention right away, which rarely happens," says ecomm.design owner Catalin Zorzini.

"People develop ‘trends fatigue’ with websites that follow the same design ‘norms’. As designers, instead of trying to impress our colleagues, we should focus on being fresh, useful and relevant to our users. What I like most about Oribi is its use of scrappy visuals (as opposed to pixel-perfect illustrations), simple typography (instead of highbrow font pairings) and a down-to-earth feel."

02. Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet homepage

The Lonely Planet site is both practical and beautiful

"I would have loved to have been involved with the current Lonely Planet site," says freelance UI and UX designer Mike Hince.

"This website is not only beautiful to look at but functional too. It combines stunning photography, video and typography without overwhelming the user. Every section has a clear purpose that draws you in and inspires you to start planning your travels. You can see the team's passion and skill in this piece of work, which is a true masterpiece of modern web design."

03. mica.edu

Mica homepage

Mica stands out by not using templates

"I am really impressed with mica.edu, the redesigned website for MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art), which came …