This month, our search for the best new graphic design tools took us from painstakingly created Photoshop brushes to Bjork, and back to the UK town of Bolton, which inspired the latest new font from designer Rick Banks.
As always, everything in this list of new tools for graphic designers is designed to speed up your workflow and aid your creative process. Read on for our selection of the best new design resources this September…
Perfect for students and branding aficionados alike, Michael Evamy’s latest book Logotype mini is the definitive modern collection of logotypes, monograms and other text-based corporate marks.
Featuring more than 1,300 international typographic identities, it’s also an essential reference book, offering a shot of inspiration for design studios and freelancers alike.
02. F37 Bolton font
Rick Banks’ stylish new sans-serif font F37 Bolton is a veritable workhorse. Highly legible whether used as large display type or small body copy, it’s perfect for everything from branding, packaging and logo design to annual reports and brochure design.
Its clean form gives a nod to German designer Günter Gerhard Lange, while distinctive flat horizontal ascenders and descenders place F37 Bolton at the centre of an emerging new trend for modern sans-serifs. You can get one weight for £35, or all eight for £100.
North Carolina-based illustrator Kyle Webster updated his Ultimate Megabuck for Photoshop recently with new inks, paints and blenders, taking the number of brushes to over 200.
For $15 every medium is covered: oils, inks, pencils, pastels, gouache, drybrush and watercolour. You’ll need Photoshop CS5 or higher, and if you have CS6 or higher you’ll be able to load two bonus pencils that also included in the download.
To find them, head to Webster's brush website at the link above and scroll down.
04. Glitter Brushes
Add some dazzle to your designs with this set of 30 glitter Illustrator brushes, created by British designer Jeremy Child, aka The Artifex Forge. Each brush in the $15 set was painstakingly made with real glitter, and then photographed cleaned up and converted into a vector, resulting in a collection of ultra-realistic brushes that sparkle like the real thing.
Grab 123 vintage restaurant brushes for just $10 with Blue Line Design’s diverse tavern-themed collection. Each brush is sized at 2500 x 2500px, and the pack comes with a brush reference chart to make it easier to select the brush you want.
As you read this, Florida-based graphic design company Seasalt & Co is offering five of its most popular – but now “retired” – collections of Photoshop actions for just $20, for a limited time only, instead of their previous retail value of $195.
Inside the collection are: Repli Film (17 Photoshop actions for adding tones and grains), Unapologetic (actions for black and while photography), Wanderlust (36 Photoshop actions), Soul Chasing (27 Photoshop actions to enhance fine art images) and Genesis (28 Photoshop action to help prime your images). Bargain.
New type-based website Get Your Shirt Together sells high-quality, custom T-shirts and unique products designed to indulge your inner typophile, as we reported earlier this month.
Whether you’re after a gift for a designer friend or want to shamelessly treat yourself, the site sells an exclusive range of beautiful, affordable, limited-edition T-shirts, mugs, phone cases, prints, pillows – all featuring world-famous typefaces, created by the globe’s leading designers (including Rick Banks, top left; and Anthony Burrill, top right).
This atmospheric plug-in for Photoshop and Premiere Pro adds smokey textures to stylise your videos (you’ll need the Overlays Manager panel if you’re working in Photoshop).
There are 30 different static textures in one second of video textures, and this package contains 540 seconds - giving you 16,200 textures to create endless stylised effects (in both black and white, and colour). You’ll also find a number of tutorials for working with video overlays and texture on the Video Smoke Creative market page, above.
For an ancient, old-world vibe try Jeff Finley’s Esoteric hand-drawn brushes for Photoshop and Illustrator. They’re ideal for album artwork, band T-shirts, gig posters and any artwork you want to give a magical or alchemical aesthetic.
The set contains 13 vector elements for $9, and can be resized and modified as much as you want.
10. Björk Digital
This month’s curve ball comes in the form of Björk Digital, an impressive global exhibition of the progressive Icelandic artist’s best digital and video works, where visitors are invited to engage with the show through the latest VR technology. It’s received mixed reviews from a tech perspective, but one thing’s for sure: the exhibition offers a tantalising hint of the incredible artistic possibilities of VR that are just around the corner.
The European premiere takes place in Somerset House between 1 September and 23 October, before travelling to Montreal for the last of its global tour on 15 October.