Best of MyInkBlog, 2009 Wrapup

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2009 marked the end of a swift moving decade. For MyInkBlog, it was filled with big statistical growth and lessons learned. I am thankful for all the awesome readers and guest authors that helped make this community fun and possible.

The end of the year is always a great time to look forward and make resolutions (I have plenty of those), but it’s also a good time to look back and reflect on the year that was. Here is a month by month roundup of the 2009 highlights for MIB.

Some 2009 Statistics


A Discussion On Web Maintenance Contracts

I love getting the design community perspective on gray areas of webdesign, and dealing with web maintenance contracts is certainly qualifies. The advice given in this group interview was superbly helpful and a great way to kick off January.


Create A Photoshop Action For Screenshots

I don’t think Photoshop actions get nearly enough pub around the interwebs. They are really useful and powerful, but they are generally treated like the dorky, unnoticed brother of brushes. This tutorial showcased an easy to create action for saving you time when you need to style lots of screenshots.



Create a Sleek Pressed Letter Design

February featured a couple of popular tutorials, including this one which showcased how to create a slick letterpress design on a colorful space background. This style was one of the most popular trends of the year.


Design A Fresh Blog Theme On The 960 Grid

This was my first effort at doing a site design in Photoshop tutorial. I actually just finished the coding of this site and plan on releasing the coding followup to this tutorial sometime soon.



4 Principles of Good Design for Websites

This was one of the most popular posts I’ve ever had here on MIB. It reached the front page of Digg, which predictably overloaded my (at that time) shared server. This helped push my switch to a dedicated server, I was also introduced to the entertaining, yet blindly arrogant array of comments from the infamous Digg users. Nevertheless, the post was mostly well-received, and it’s one of my personal faves.



Design a Realistic Chalkboard in Photoshop

Sometimes it’s just fun to design things in Photoshop. This was a fun little project on creating a realistic chalkboard. The tutorial shows off how to combine simple layer, texture and filter techniques to create a pretty polished piece of digital art.


10 Awesome Free Sans Serif Fonts

This post marked the 1st of a 5 part series on awesome free fonts. Each post showcased my 10 favorite fonts in 5 major categories. The other 4 categories were: serif, script, hand-drawn and grunge.



A Showcase of Popular Web Design Trends

A compilation of some of web design trends that made up 2009. See if you agree with some of the trends with saw, and at the very least get inspired by the awesome examples showcased.



Left-Brained vs. Right-Brained – The Developer/Designer Paradox

In this post I had some fun with the inherent differences between developers and designers and how that relates to left vs. right brained tendencies. It was interesting to see how many of the readers felt they fell somewhere in the middle.


Logo Inspiration With Clever Typography

I love logos, and it’s clear from the success of logo showcase posts like this one that you do as well. This roundup features logos with clever typography. I focused a lot on logos that make good use of negative space.



Add Progressive Icons to Your Site Using :after pseudo-element

This tutorial shows you how to dynamically add icons to your site using the css psuedo element. It’s a really simple way to improve the usability of your site.



Managing Your Time: A Design Community Discussion

In this post I reached out to the design community to get some advice about the best practices for time management. Although it’s a skill I’ve yet to master, the incite of other designers proved to be quite helpful.



Design a Slick 3D Ice Text Effect

The 3D effects that you can create in Illustrator are powerful. This tutorial is my attempt to experiment and learn some of the possibilities. I also take the text into Photoshop to add some cool (pun intended) textures and filters.



3 Powerful Ways To Make Typography Talk On Your Website

Sneh from Little Box of Ideas guest writes this dynamic post on 3 ways to make your website typography more powerful. I love the attention to detail and clear examples that are shown.


Create a Stunning City Skyline Made of Text

In October Ben from Digital Art Empire also droped by for a guest post. His first tutorial of many to come here on MyInkBlog. This tutorial shows you how to use a combination of layer masks and adjustment layers, with some cutting and selection methods to produce a stunning typography cityscape.



6 Ways To Take Your Webdesign From Good To Great

This article was somewhat of a continuation of 4 Principles of Good Design for Websites. It turned out to be madly popular in it’s own right (without the help of Digg). In the post I discussed ways and showcased awesome examples of how to make your webdesigns great.


Getting to Know Clipping Masks and Layer Masks in Photoshop

This is a fantastic post that will help you get a better handle on the differences and similarities between layer and clipping masks within Photoshop. In the end, both techniques will be used to produce a cool design and further emphasize how to properly use both types of masks.



Building Clout for Your Design Blog The Bard’s Way

Rob Bowen’s writing style is distinctly different and refreshingly original. In this clever post he calls out a post that suggests you “make your online interactions not about the substance and the content that appeals to you or through thoughtful sharing of your true opinions and ideas, but by essentially name-dropping and instigation through automatically taking up opposing stances with the post’s author.”


About the Author

Andrew is a primary contributer for MyInkBlog. He is a full time web developer for Niagara University. When he's not working there, he's a blogger, twitter'er, wordpress'er, silverstripe advocate, blessed father and husband.

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  • Xpirt Web Design

    You’ve had a great year for awesome articles. Many of your articles inspired me. Thanks for all your hard work!

  • Jay


    Great blog you have here going!
    little remark, “Design A Fresh Blog Theme On The 960 Grid” the link has a ” at the end.


  • Andrew Houle

    @Jay – Thanks for catching that, it’s fixed now.

  • Emina

    Andrew, those are some really great stats. Keep up the good work, I love your articles.

  • Benjamin Rama

    Hi Andrew ,
    great to see MIB is doing so well,
    and thanks fo including my October tut .


  • Kevin

    Looking forward to another year of great articles

  • Kamila – Darc Vanilla Design

    Well done :) 2009 was for you really productive :) I wish you this year will be even better one :)
    Looking forward to another great articles

  • baratas

    Great selection. Congratulations.

  • Dumm

    Great list. I like all your post especially the slick 3D ice effect

  • Subash

    Nice list.

    I wish more success for MIB in future.

    I liked all the posts listed and especially “Design a Slick 3D Ice Text Effect” one.