How To Create A Flat & Minimal Avatar

Flat design is clean and modern—you won’t ever find elements like drop shadows, gradients, or textures used. It’s a great way to keep things simple, clear, and free of distraction. Plus, it just looks cool.

There are endless applications for flat design, but I’m going to talk about one of my favorites: the flat and minimal avatar. These avatars are all about showing your face in a simple way.

Creating a Flat & Minimal Avatar

Since the rise of flat and minimal trend in design, people have been incorporating it into all the design aspects all over the internet. Be it User Interface or Graphic designing, the trend has simply taken over. You must have also noticed your friend’s facebook profile photo from the beach vacation turning to a flat and minimal avatar.

Yes, there’s no denying of the fact that such avatars look pretty cool on your social media profiles. Flat and minimal avatars are all about showing less, but showing the most identifiable parts of your own.

Feel like you’re the only one on the block without a flat and minimal avatar? Not for long. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making your very own.
Continue reading

A Conversation with Spaceman (Khoa Ho)

DG: What’s up, Khoa? How about a little introduction to start off with?
Spaceman: Hey Darshan, I’ll keep my intro short. I’ve always loved & had an obsession with art at a very young age. I studied Fine Art & Graphic Design at my University in hopes to pursue a career in the art world. As far as Pop Culture Art is concerned, I started in 2013 & never looked back. I hope to continue this journey for as long as I can.

DG: When did your design career picked up pace & what got you into design?
Spaceman: I would say, I got more attention in 2013 for my Superhero – Past/Present work. My love for art & curiosity for computers led me towards a design path.

Superhero-Past/Present

DG: How does your design stack looks like?
Spaceman: Photoshop & Illustrator are my software choices. iMac & Wacom tablet for hardware.

Continue reading

My 7 Awesome Highlights of 2015

2015 was one heck of an year. It was an year with so many jaw-dropping moments to cherish. I learnt so many new things along the way to the year end. I inspired & got inspired. This was also an year when this blog’s visibility grew the most than ever. Here are some of my awesome-st moments of 2015 (chronologically listed),

1. Bagged 2nd prize in State-level project competition

However self flattering it may sound, this is one event I cannot miss out on mentioning in this list. We were a group of 3 best friends working hard & smart for our BE project (BE project is Engineering students’ mandatory final year project in Mumbai University). Our project was based around gesture recognition system. We had initially planned to just develop a hand gesture controlled game that captures inputs from the user’s hand gestures via a webcam. Unexpectedly, we finished our project well before time & had left with a plenty time for experimentation. Hence, we modified our code into a hand gesture module & worked around it to be able to build another few applications such as Virtual Mouse, Virtual Paint & Arduino Robot. We also got our research paper published in IJRITCC. No wonder, we were to bag at least a consolation prize in the ISTE organized project competition called ‘Prakalpa’15‘ in our very own college. To our amazement, we won the 2nd prize.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2. Project X is here to help you get your business online

I had been freelancing for a good 2 & a 1/2 years by now. These 2 besties of mine (Same 2 guys from my BE project), also got pretty enthusiastic about the idea of freelancing & growing their web skills. Their seriousness about freelancing itched me to think of some way to get our talent channelized. And bang, we got our creative ruts running & started Project X. At Project X, we help you get your business online. Remember, your projects are as important as X in maths, to us.

Project-X Continue reading

A Conversation with Spizak (Adam Spizak)

DG: What’s up, Adam? Let’s start with a little intro.
Spizak: Hi Darshan, I’m a Visual Designer & Illustrator. My work combines my two passions of drawing & 3D design. I’m also a full time UI Designer for a finance market.

DG: You’ve been making a lot of photo manipulations around fantasy & sci-fi. What drives you towards such awesome stuff?
Spizak: Think it’s just how I grew up – reading a lot of sci-fi books (like Frank Herbert’s “Dune”), watching sci-fi movies & playing video games. Sci-Fi is still one of my fave themes to get inspiration from.

Thicker Than Matter

Thicker Than Matter by Adam Spizak

DG: Fantasy & science fiction is all about vision & imagination, it doesn’t come that easily to everyone. I’m sure your design process must be asking a lot of thinking. How is it to design fantasy? How’s your design process?
Spizak: Embracing narrative is something I always loved, but not through extensive exposition but rather via hints & clues. This idea of storytelling is something that always resides in my brain when trying to make new illustrations & that is also the especial step for me to build anything new. All new work starts from basic idea & from there I ask basic questions about narrative & characters, etc. A game which I call “Why is the zebra white?”, where you assume there’s a white zebra & you ask questions why is it white? The more, the better i.e. is it in fancy dressing? Is it scared & it lost its stripes? Is it from space? Was it running really fast?
Asking these questions helps me come up with ideas that help with the image. Continue reading

Top 5 Laptops Under Rs. 30k

We live in a techie world where internet has become the 4th basic need of man. You would rarely find a 17+ guy/girl without an internet enabled smartphone. This implies that smartphones are quite an affordable thing, but what about laptop computers? Nope, those will still cost you some bucks. Well, there are some quality laptops available out there in the market which fall under the affordable range of under Rs. 30k & are equipped with quite some power.

The obvious question would be, “How are these laptops this cheap?”. The answer is pretty logical, most of them won’t have a paid OS. Worry not, you can install the Linux freeware or a cracked version of Windows (I’m not promoting piracy in any way, just that it’s pretty obvious what people do. Forgive’em, Billy). The other cost cutting would be low hard disk space & no graphics card, meaning it won’t support high end games. But, that’s okay for people who want to purchase a laptop for non-gaming & non-storage purposes.

Top 5 Laptops Under Rs. 30k

1. ACER E5-573 ASPIRE

This piece of tech is bundled up with the 4th Generation i3 Core, 1.7 GHz processor, 4 GB RAM & a 1 TB hard drive. It also has anti-glare screen that’s not so hard on your eyes. Continue reading