Free For All: High Quality, No Cost
Countries and States Clipart FontGeobats is a symbol font composed of the shapes of countries and states, which makes getting geography into a design application even easier than using clipart. If you're in Illustrator or InDesign, for example, just load Geobats into the Glyphs panel, add your desired map as text, then size it -- as text or after converting the text to outlines.
Tilable Whitewashed Grunge Textures & Patterns
As a design meme, dark and grungy may have reached the tipping point where it goes from edgy to tired. Why not shake off the dark and grungy by going light and grungy? Check out this set of seamless whitewashed grunge textures. The set comes in 1024 x 1024 pixel JPEGs, with an included Photoshop .PAT pattern set for easy tiling.
Illustrator How-To Guides and Resources
Normally, I don't count tutorials as freebies, but these, with their free downloadable resource files, were just too good to pass up. Adobe asked a few designers to create some amazing artwork in Illustrator, and to document the process of the artwork's creation. Each of the seven illustrations, which range in theme from pop art to pencil sketch, dark portraiture to kaleidoscopic cubism, include a complete tutorial and the original Illustrator art. Follow along with the step-by-step instruction, or dive in by autopsying the vector artwork itself.
Branded File Transfer and Dropbox
In the past I've recommended several different services to help you transfer large files. Dropbox.com is my favorite; in fact, I employed Dropbox.com to get this column and its figures to my editor. It's faster and more reliable than e-mailing them; I just drop the completed "Free for All" and images into a folder Terri Stone and I share, and, bam! Terri has my files in seconds.
Dropbox.com is ideal for most large-file collaboration, but it's lacking one thing I want for file transfers with certain clients: my branding. I don't mind most of my editors, collaborators, vendors -- heck, even many of my clients -- recognizing that I'm using a third-party service like Dropbox.com. Once in a while, though, it would be nice if such a service looked like it was my own, like I was hosting it on my own server. What I don't want is the expense and hassle of actually hosting it on my server.
Enter Onehub Transfers, which is effectively Dropbox.com with private labeling.
Onehub Transfers offers four packages, the largest being $99 per month for 10 users, 100 GB of file storage, a maximum per file size of 2 GB, and unlimited downloads per file. The Basic and Personal packages ($29 and $9 per month, respectively) don't support as many users or store as many gigabytes, but you get the same maximum file size and unlimited downloads. The free account includes 500 MB of file storage, a maximum size of 500 MB per file, and up to 100 downloads per file per month.
Compared to other free file-sharing services, which typically offer 1 to 5GB of storage and unlimited downloads for no fee, Onehub Transfers seems a little constricting. However, Onehub Transfers has something the other services don't. Even the free account offers custom branding; you can share files with, or receive files from, a client who sees not a Onehub Transfers branded page but a page with your logo and branding. That's unmatched in the field, at least for free.
Tilt-Shift Photo Maker
Tilt-shift is a photography technique in which focus is manipulated so that the scenes -- landscapes, crowd pictures, product shots, etc. -- look like they're scale models populated with miniatures. You can achieve the effect with hardware or software, but both are usually either time-consuming or expensive. Here's an example taken with a DIY tilt-shift camera lens:
Lucky for those of without time or money to spare, someone built a nifty Web application that applies the tilt-shift effect to any photo you can upload to the site. It's free, yet it offers the kind of control I'd expect in a native Photoshop effect dialog box.
What can I find free for you? Want more free fonts? More Photoshop brushes? How about more online applications that do this or that for free? Tell me in the comments what you'd like to see in future installments of Free for All, and I'll do my best bloodhound impression to track it down for you.
Please note: Free for All will often link to resources hosted on external Web sites outside of the control of CreativePro.com. At any time those Web sites may close down, change their site or permalink structures, remove content, or take other actions that may render one or more of the above links invalid. As such neither Pariah S. Burke nor CreativePro.com can guarantee the availability of the third-party resources linked to in Free for All.
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