Free For All: Photo and Font Resources, plus Pinterest

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Cupcake Ipsum

No one in our business doesn’t know — and isn’t at least mildly bored with — the placeholder text Lorem Ipsum. The design helper is ideally suited for its purpose of substituting for live text yet is so nonsensical that it forces clients to focus on how the text is formatted rather than on what the text actually says. Still, it’s so boring!

If you’d like to have a little fun with your placeholder text while still retaining its main qualities of unreadability with a capability to vary word, sentence, and paragraph length, why not indulge your inner child with Cupcake Ipsum? This unique and fun online placeholder text generator gives you not bastardized Latin as in Lorem Ipsum, but a random collection of words and phrases pertaining to confectionary delicacies such as souffle, pastries, tarts, cakes, gingerbreads, and of course, cupcakes. The words and short phrases are readable, which runs contrary to the main purpose of placeholder text, but when strung together, the sentences and phrases are just nonsensical as regular Lorem Ipsum, but with a sweeter, friendlier topping.

Sugar plum sweet danish fruitcake cake jelly-o apple pie. Faworki cheesecake dragée. Candy canes soufflé wypas applicake candy topping. Brownie lemon drops pastry tiramisu wypas croissant cupcake cookie.

It's guaranteed to make your client crave a trip to the local bakery to treat you to a cupcake.

Five New Free Stock Photo Sites

We all need stock photos from time to time — or constantly, depending on your particular work — so I’m always on the lookout for new resources of stock photos, especially free ones, to pass along to you. Here is a quintet I’ve recently discovered.

  • EveryStockPhoto
  • FreePhotosBank
  • FreePhotoStation
  • OpenPhoto
  • Pixelio (Site in German, but Google can translate)
    • Ten Fresh Free Fonts

      I loves me some free fonts, and I know you loves you some free fonts, so here’s a fresh batch.

      New Panel for Photoshop

      At first glance you might think that the commands available on Trevor Morris’s new Dmonzon Tools panel for Photoshop are already available within Photoshop’s Options panel. After all, selecting two or more layers with the Move tool active automatically shows a dozen alignment and distribution buttons.

      What you may not realize, however, is that nowhere among those buttons are options to distribute spacing of layers and layer-based objects. Photoshop will let you distribute center points and left, right, top, and bottom edges just fine, but if the objects you’re distributing are not the exact same dimensions, you’ll wind up with different spaces between them. Trevor’s panel, however, lets you distribute the spacing of any size objects, ensuring that the gutter or space between multiple objects is identical. This is an essential ability in Illustrator and InDesign, so why isn’t it in Photoshop? Well, now it can be.

      And those are just the first two buttons on a panel with 12 highly useful commands. Array Generator is useful from time to time — or always, if you’re in the business of putting together grids of images — as is the Import Folder as Layers, which is actually a shortcut to doing it manually through Photoshop’s File > Scripts > Load Files into Stack command or a similar command in Bridge. For my work, which invariably entails a bunch of layers in a composition, the buttons to Sort, Find, and Hide or Show all layers have become such incredible time savers that I can’t image working without Trevor’s panel ever again.

      Give this elegantly simple and very useful panel a try — it won’t cost you a thing except a tweet or like — and I bet you’ll become as dependent on it as much and as quickly as I have.

      Pinterest for Designer Promotion

      If you’ve been online within the last 90 days, you’ve certainly heard about the exploding popularity of new social networking site Pinterest.com. And interest in Pinterest has exploded. According to Shareaholic, a site that tracks which content and how much is shared, Pinterest beat YouTube, Reddit, Google+, MySpace, and LinkedIn for percentage of total referral traffic in January 2012. In fact, even venerable Twitter leads Pinterest in that category by a scant .01%.

      Here's why creative pros should care about it: Pinterest is a social media service that revolves entirely around sharing pictures of things people like — photographs, paintings, apparel, vehicles, gadgets, typography, infographics, tattoos, demotivational posters, logos, murals, Website designs, product packaging, scenery, and everything else that could possibly be presented online as a JPEG, PNG, or GIF. When someone initially shares a picture that she likes, others can re-share, what Pinterest calls "re-pin," those same images. Then there’s the buttons to click to share with Twitter and Facebook. In other words, Pinterest is designed to help pictures go viral.

      Why can’t some of those pictures be of your designs? Heck, they should be!

      Plenty of photographers and designers are already sharing their work through Pinterest, watching their images spread through re-pinning and social sharing. Even better, Pinterest links images back to their original sources — your portfolio site. Pinterest is the greatest opportunity for promotion of visual communicators’ (i.e. designers and photographers) work since the portfolio sharing site target="_blank">Behance. If you aren’t already promoting your work on Pinterest, go now and start! Don’t even finish reading this arti —

      Don’t let the opportunities inherent in Pinterest pass you by. And, since you’ll be setting up an account to promote your own work, explore the pins of others for inspiration and fun. You can find me on there, too. Though I rarely post my own work, I frequently pin and re-pin design and typography images I find interesting and inspiring, as well as images related to my personal interests like gadgets and technology, Star Wars, super heroes, steampunk, and humor.

      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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