Teach for Us: Design & Illustration Gurus Wanted!

Do you want to share your design knowledge with an eager community of millions? Are you looking for a way to supplement your income? Would you like to establish yourself as an expert in your field? Well, this may be the opportunity for you.

What We’re Looking For

Envato Tuts+ has many areas of content, and while we love a variety of avenues, we’re specifically looking for instructors to create written content. The topics we’re specifically looking for are:

  • Photo manipulation
  • Product mockups
  • Logo design
  • Text effects
  • Photoshop Actions
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Procreate

Vector Software Gurus: 

  • Affinity Designer
  • Sketch app
  • Inkscape

Your area of expertise not listed? We never turn a good application down!

You must also be comfortable with the English language. We can proof your content, but we can’t rewrite everything for you. To put it simply, if you struggle when deciding whether to write its or it’s, this might not be the gig for you.

We’re looking for content from quick tips to in-depth tutorials. Most of all, we want instructors who can explain themselves clearly and accurately and produce quality end results. Whether you’re an expert in Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Inkscape, Adobe Photoshop, Sketch or any other design package, we want to hear from you!

What Do You Get Out of It?

There are many benefits in becoming an Envato Tuts+ Instructor:

  • Getting paid for a subject you’re passionate about is always rewarding. Depending on the content type and subject, you could be billing thousands per month! We pay $250 USD for a standard length tutorial.
  • Get your name out into the community. This is especially good if you’re just starting your freelance career.
  • Establish yourself as an expert in your given field by writing regularly for a respected educational network.
  • If you provide assets to Envato Market or Envato Elements, then use this opportunity to help promote your items!

Pitch a Tutorial!

While I can tell you which areas we’re specifically looking into, it all comes down to which areas are your strongest and what you feel most confident in teaching. If you are interested in becoming an Envato Tuts+ Instructor, why don’t you pitch us an idea? We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

Microsoft adds Reddit data to Bing search results, Power BI analytics tool

Microsoft is bringing the self-proclaimed “front page of the internet” to the pages of its search results.

Microsoft has struck a deal with Reddit to pipe data from the social network into Bing’s search results, as well as Power BI’s analytics dashboard, the companies announced on Wednesday.

Now, when people search on Bing, posts published to Reddit may be included in the search results. For example, if a person’s query asks something like “what were the best video games released in 2017,” answers may be sourced from comments left in Reddit’s “gaming” subreddit, or topic-specific forum.

People will also be able to use Bing to specifically search for content from Reddit. Typing “reddit [subreddit name]” will return a link to that subreddit and a selection of top comments that have been posted to it. And typing “reddit AMAs” will return a collection of popular AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) sessions, which are live question-and-answer forums that people can host on Reddit. Additionally, if people search for the name of a person who has a hosted an AMA on Reddit, a selection of responses from the Q&A session will appear among the non-Reddit results.

In addition to bringing Reddit’s data to Bing users, Microsoft is also opening that data up to brands. Brands will be able to access Reddit data through Microsoft’s Power BI analytics tool, with options to specify the keywords to track and toggle the time frames to examine. As a result, marketers will be able to monitor what people are saying about their brand or competing brands on Reddit and have that information processed using Power BI’s sentiment analysis feature and plotted into data visualizations.

The deal with Microsoft’s Power BI is similar to one that Reddit announced with social marketing platform Sprinklr last week in terms of accessing Reddit data. Brands will be able to see which subreddits they are mentioned on and then buy ads targeted those audiences.


How to Create a Shiny Tinsel Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

This tutorial will show you how to use brush settings, layer styles, healing tools, adjustment layers, and some tips and tricks to create a shiny, bright, fun tinsel text effect. Let’s get started!

This text effect was inspired by the many Layer Styles available on GraphicRiver.

Tutorial Assets


The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial:

1. How to Create Background and Text Layers

Step 1

Create a new 1613 x 1075 px document, and go to File > Place Linked to open the Background Image.

Resize the Background Image to fit within the document and hit the Return key to commit the changes.

Background Image

Step 2

Create the text in All Caps using the font Quicksand Bold. Change the Size to 300 pt, the Kerning to Optical, and the Leading value to 325 pt if you have multiple lines of text.

Place the text however you like, and don’t worry about the background as we’ll fix it at the end of the tutorial.

Create the Text

2. How to Create Inner Work Paths

Next, we are going to create work paths inside the letters we have.

You can do that using the Pen Tool, but in this tutorial, we are going to use Photoshop’s new Curvature Pen Tool.

Step 1

Pick the Curvature Pen Tool, make sure to choose the Path option in the Options bar, and click once in the center of the first letter where you want to start creating the work path.

The Curvature Pen Tool is different from the Pen Tool. So to create corner points, you need to double-click when you add the point, and to create a curve, you can either click once or create a straight line instead, and then click on that line to add a point and drag it to create the curve.

When you finish creating the path, Command-click anywhere outside it.

Curvature Pen Tool

Step 2

You can also use any other shape tools to help you easily create the work path for some of the letters. For example, you can use the Ellipse Tool, with the Path option active, to create the work path for the letter O.

Ellipse Tool

Step 3

Make sure to create all the work paths needed to fill all the letters you have.

Create the Inner Work Paths

Step 4

It is very important to save the paths created. To do so, open the Paths panel, double-click the Work Path tab, and type Center in the Name field.

Save Work Path

This will save the work paths so that you can go back to them and use them any time.

Saved Work Path

Step 5

Right-click the text layer and choose Create Work Path to create the outer stroke path.

The dots on top of the letter E are a bit too big and will overlap with the letter when stroked with the tinsel brushes, so we’ll create smaller ones.

To do so, pick the Direct Selection Tool, select the dots, and hit the Delete key to delete them.

Create Work Path

Step 6

Then, use the Ellipse Tool to create smaller circular paths.

Once you’re done, double-click the new Work Path tab and name it Stroke.

Ellipse Tool

3. How to Create a Tinsel Brush Tip

Step 1

Pick the Rectangle Tool, choose the Shape option in the Options bar, and create a small 3 x 30 px Black rectangle.

Ellipse Tool

Step 2

Pick the Add Anchor Point Tool, and click once in the middle of each of the rectangle’s vertical sides to add two anchor points.

Add Anchor Points

Step 3

Use the Direct Selection Tool to select both added points, and click the Left Arrow key three times to nudge the points 3 px to the left.

Nudge the Anchor Points

Step 4

Command-click the Rectangle shape layer’s thumbnail to load the selection.

Load Selection

Step 5

Go to Edit > Define Brush Preset, and type Tinsel Brush in the Name field.

Define Brush Preset

4. How to Modify and Save Brush Tip Settings

Step 1

Pick the Brush Tool, choose the Tinsel Brush tip, and open the Brush panel to modify the settings:

Brush Tip Shape

Brush Tip Shape

Shape Dynamics

Shape Dynamics

Scattering

Scattering

Color Dynamics

Color Dynamics

Step 2

Click the Create new brush icon in the bottom right corner of the Brush panel, and change the Name to Brush 01.

Create New Brush

Step 3

Modify the same tip’s settings to create another variation:

Brush Tip Shape

Brush Tip Shape

Shape Dynamics

Shape Dynamics

Scattering

Scattering

Color Dynamics

Color Dynamics

Step 4

Click the Create new brush icon, and change the Name to Brush 02.

Create New Brush

Step 5

This is optional, but it’s a cool new feature in Photoshop that will help keep things a bit more organized.

Click the Brush Preset Picker icon in the Options bar, Command-click the icons of the three brush tips you’ve created for this tutorial (Tinsel Brush, Brush 01, and Brush 02), click the flyout menu icon, and choose New Brush Group.

Name the group Tinsel Brushes, and click OK.

New Brush Group

5. How to Stroke Work Paths

Step 1

We will create six new layers that will be used to create the main tinsel effect, and we will name them according to what they will contain. So it is important to name the layers as mentioned below to follow the tutorial easily.

The names from bottom to top are:

  • Stroke – Brush 01
  • Center – Brush 01
  • Center – Brush 02
  • Stroke – Brush 01 – White FG
  • Center – Brush 02 – White FG
  • Center – Brush 01 – Desaturated
Create New Layers

Step 2

Put all the new layers in a group and call it Tinsel, and set the Foreground Color to #d9001f and the Background Color to #300600.

New Group

Step 3

Open the Paths panel, and for each layer, select the path in the layer’s name, and stroke it with the brush tip mentioned along with it.

So if you select the Stroke – Brush 01 layer, you’ll need to click the Stroke work path in the Paths panel, pick the Brush Tool and choose the Brush 01 tip, and hit the Return key to stroke the path.

Stroke the Work Path

Step 4

To quickly switch between the brush tips, you can right-click anywhere to get the preset and choose the tip you need.

Switch Brush Tips

Step 5

Make sure to set the Foreground Color to White before you stroke the two layers that have White FG in their name.

White Foreground Color

Step 6

Change the Foreground Color back to #d9001f before creating the Center – Brush 01 – Desaturated layer’s stroke.

Stroke the Work Path

6. How to Add Glow and Shadow Effects

Double-click the Stroke – Brush 01 layer to apply the following layer style:

Step 1

Add an Inner Glow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Linear Light
  • Opacity: 50%
  • Color: #a7a7a7
  • Size: 10
Inner Glow

Step 2

Add a Drop Shadow with these settings:

  • Opacity: 36%
  • Distance: 10
  • Size: 5
Drop Shadow

This will style the first layer.

Styled Layer

Step 3

Double-click the Center – Brush 01 layer to apply an Inner Glow effect with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Linear Light
  • Opacity: 74%
  • Color: #a7a7a7
  • Size: 10
Inner Glow

This will help build the glow effect to add more dimension to the tinsel.

You can hide the top layers to see the effects you apply, and then show them again.

Hide and Show Layers

Double-click the Center – Brush 02 layer to apply the following layer style:

Step 4

Add an Inner Glow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Linear Light
  • Opacity: 74%
  • Color: #a7a7a7
  • Size: 10
Inner Glow

Step 5

Add a Drop Shadow with these settings:

  • Opacity: 50%
  • Distance: 0
  • Size: 5
Drop Shadow

Step 6

Change the Center – Brush 02 layer’s Blend Mode to Overlay.

Blend Mode

7. How to Style Layers

Step 1

Change the Stroke – Brush 01 – White FG layer’s Blend Mode to Linear Light and its Opacity to 60%.

Layer Settings

Double-click the Center – Brush 02 – White FG layer to apply the following layer style:

Step 2

Add a Pattern Overlay with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Vivid Light
  • Opacity: 70%
  • Pattern: FDR Glitter Pattern 02
Pattern Overlay

Step 3

Add a Drop Shadow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Linear Burn
  • Color: #8e8e8e
  • Opacity: 35%
  • Distance: 0
  • Size: 5
Drop Shadow

Step 4

Change the Center – Brush 02 – White FG layer’s Blend Mode to Linear Light.

Blend Mode

Step 5

Select the Center – Brush 01 – Desaturated layer, and go to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate.

Desaturate

Step 6

Double-click the Center – Brush 01 – Desaturated layer to apply an Inner Glow effect with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Linear Light
  • Opacity: 60%
  • Color: #a7a7a7
  • Source: Center
  • Size: 7
Inner Glow

Step 7

Change the Center – Brush 01 – Desaturated layer’s Blend Mode to Soft Light.

Blend Mode

8. How to Colorize a Layer Group

Double-click the Tinsel group to apply the following layer style:

Step 1

Add a Color Overlay with these settings:

  • Color: #c29816
  • Blend Mode: Hue
Color Overlay

Step 2

Add another Color Overlay effect instance with these settings:

  • Color: #cecece
  • Blend Mode: Divide
Color Overlay

Step 3

Add a Drop Shadow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Linear Burn
  • Color: #1e0700
  • Opacity: 10%
  • Distance: 30
  • Size: 5
Drop Shadow

This will create the final tinsel effect.

Tinsel Effect

9. How to Create a Texture Overlay Using Filters

Step 1

Create a new layer on top of all layers, name it Texture Overlay, fill it with White, and right-click it to choose Convert to Smart Object.

Set the Foreground and Background Colors to Black and White.

Texture Overlay

Step 2

Go to Filter > Render > Fibers, and change the Variance to 30 and the Strength to 3.

Fibers Filter

Step 3

Go to Filter > Filter Gallery > Sketch > Bas Relief, and use these settings:

  • Detail: 13
  • Smoothness: 3
  • Light: Bottom
Bas Relief Filter

Step 4

Click the New effect layer icon in the bottom right corner, go to Texture > Grain, and use these settings:

  • Intensity: 40
  • Contrast: 50
  • Grain Type: Regular
Grain Filter

Step 5

Clip the Texture Overlay layer to the Tinsel group, and change its Blend Mode to Soft Light and its Opacity to 50%.

Layer Settings

10. How to Add Global Adjustments

Step 1

Add a Selective Color adjustment layer with these settings:

Yellows

  • Cyan: -10
  • Magenta: -2
  • Black: -5
Selective Color

Step 2

Add a Color Lookup adjustment layer, choose the Fuji ETERNA 250D Kodak 2395 (by Adobe).cube table from the 3DLUT File menu, and change its Opacity to 15%.

Color Lookup

Step 3

Add a Solid Color fill layer with the Color #150806 and change its Blend Mode to Soft Light and its Opacity to 20%.

Solid Color

Step 4

Use the Elliptical Marquee Tool to create an elliptical selection around the text, select the Solid Color layer mask’s thumbnail, and fill the selection with Black.

Layer Mask

Step 5

With the mask’s thumbnail still selected, open the Properties panel, and change the Feather value to 52% to create a quick simple vignette effect.

Vignette Effect

11. How to Add Glitter Using Brush Settings

Step 1

Create a new layer on top of the Background Image layer, and name it Background Glitter.

Background Glitter

Double-click the Background Glitter layer to apply the following layer styles:

Step 2

Add a Pattern Overlay with these settings:

  • Pattern: FDR Glitter Pattern 16
Pattern Overlay

Step 3

Add a Drop Shadow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Linear Burn
  • Color: #0a1119
  • Opacity: 15%
  • Distance: 1
  • Size: 2
Drop Shadow

Step 4

Pick the Brush Tool, choose the Airbrush Hard Low Density Grainy tip, and open the Brush panel to change the Scattering settings as needed.

The important thing for this to work is to use a big, 300px brush tip Size.

Scattering

Step 5

Click-drag slightly to add the glitter behind the text. You can change the brush settings to get a result you like.

Add the Glitter

12. How to Modify a Background Image

Step 1

Double-click the Background Image Smart Object’s thumbnail to open its file.

Pick the Content-Aware Move Tool, and set the Mode to Move in the Options bar.

Select the object you want to move and place somewhere else, and make sure to include some empty space around it within the selection.

You can check the Transform on Drop box if you want to transform the object after moving it.

Content-Aware Move Tool

Step 2

Move the selected object to its new position, transform it if needed, and then hit Return.

Move the Selected Element

Step 3

After that, you can use any of the other Healing Tools to better blend the object’s edges with the new background.

You can also use the Dodge, Burn, and Sponge Tools wherever needed.

Blend with the New Background

Step 4

If there are any parts you want to remove completely, select them using any selection tool, and go to Edit > Fill and choose Content-Aware from the Content menu.

Content-Aware Fill

Step 5

Again, use the Healing Tools to make any further adjustment to the area after removing the object.

Healing Tools

Step 6

Make any other adjustment needed to the background using the same tools.

Adjust the Background

Step 7

You can save the file and go back to the original document to see the changes there and make any necessary adjustments.

Make Further Adjustments

13. How to Add Finishing Touches

Step 1

Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and clip it to the Background Image layer.

Choose the Yellows channel, and change the Saturation value to -25.

HueSaturation

Step 2

We need the Hue/Saturation layer to affect only the bells in the image.

So fill the Hue/Saturation layer mask with Black, set the Foreground Color to White, and use a soft round brush tip to brush over the bells.

Adjust the Layer Mask

Step 3

Select the Background Glitter layer and click the Add layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.

Set the Foreground Color to Black, and paint over the areas you want to remove the glitter from, like the bells and the trees, since the glitter is supposed to be under them.

Modify the Background Glitter

Congratulations! You’re Done

In this tutorial, we created a simple brush tip and adjusted its settings to create the main tinsel effect.

Then, we styled the many layers used in creating the effect to achieve the final result. After that, we added glitter, modified the background image, and added global adjustments to the effect.

Finally, we used some more adjustment layers and layer masks to add final touches.

Please feel free to leave your comments, suggestions, and outcomes below.

Final Result

Hurricane Irma was the No.1 top trending Google search in the U.S. & globally for 2017

Google has released its “Year in Search” for 2017, offering up more than 40 top ten lists for searches in the U.S. and globally. The search terms are ranked based on the top trending searches that saw the highest spike in traffic over a sustained period in 2017 compared to 2016.

In the U.S., the No. 1 top trending search term was “Hurricane Irma” — it also ranked No. 1 on the top trending global searches, and top news searches in 2017.

In addition to “Hurricane Irma,” “Hurricane Harvey” also made showed up in the top overall searches and top news searches in the U.S., as did “Las Vegas Shooting” and “Solar Eclipse.”

“Many of our trending questions centered around the tragedies and disasters that touched every corner of the world,” says Google, “In these moments and others, our collective humanity shined as we asked ‘how to help’ more than ever before.”

For U.S. top searches, Google released a number of categories, covering everything from the top searches overall, to the top searched people, athletes, how-to searches, actors, movies, consumer tech and even the top searched celebrity break-ups of the year.

Former Today Show news anchor, Matt Lauer, who was was fired in November by NBC over inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace, was the No. 2 top searched term overall in the U.S., as well as the No. 1 top searched person, followed by Meghan Markle.

Markle ranked as the No. 1 top searched actor, most likely the result of her engagement to England’s Prince Harry, which was announced in late November.

The top how-to search was “How to make slime,” and the top athlete search was Floyd Mayweather. The iPhone 8 beat the iPhone X for top searched consumer tech, and the top searched celebrity break-up of 2017 was, “Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell breakup.”

Here are a selection of Google’s year-in-search lists from the U.S.

Top 10 Searches Overall

  1. Hurricane Irma
  2. Matt Lauer
  3. Tom Petty
  4. Super Bowl
  5. Las Vegas Shooting
  6. Mayweather vs McGregor Fight
  7. Solar Eclipse
  8. Hurricane Harvey
  9. Aaron Hernandez
  10. Fidget Spinner

Top 10 People Searches

  1. Matt Lauer
  2. Meghan Markle
  3. Harvey Weinstein
  4. Michael Flynn
  5. Kevin Spacey
  6. Bill O’Reilly
  7. Melania Trump
  8. Kathy Griffin
  9. Milo Yiannopoulos
  10. Gal Gadot

Top 10 News Searches

  1. Hurricane Irma
  2. Las Vegas Shooting
  3. Solar Eclipse
  4. Hurricane Harvey
  5. Bitcoin Price
  6. North Korea
  7. Hurricane Jose
  8. Hurricane Maria
  9. April the Giraffe
  10. DACA

Top 10 Consumer Tech Searches

  1. iPhone 8
  2. iPhone X
  3. Nintendo Switch
  4. Samsung Galaxy S8
  5. Razer Phone
  6. iPhone 8 Plus
  7. Super NES Classic
  8. Google Pixel 2
  9. Apple Watch 3
  10. Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Top 10 How-To Searches

  1. How to make slime
  2. How to make solar eclipse glasses
  3. How to watch the solar eclipse
  4. How to watch Mayweather vs McGregor
  5. How to buy Bitcoin
  6. How to freeze your credit
  7. How to solve a Rubix Cube
  8. How to make a fidget spinner
  9. How to cook a turkey in the oven
  10. How to screen record

Top 10 Celebrity breakups in 2017

  1. Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell breakup
  2. Malika Haqq and Ronnie Magro breakup
  3. Dutchess and Caesar breakup
  4. Aaron Rodgers Olivia Munn breakup
  5. Kylie Jenner and Tyga breakup
  6. Lindsey Stirling and Ryan Weed breakup
  7. Chris Pratt and Anna Faris breakup
  8. Nick Viall and Vanessa Grimaldi breakup
  9. Amy Schumer and Ben Hanisch breakup
  10. Lady Gaga and Taylor Kinney breakup

For global searches, Google put together 15 different categories of the top trending search terms. Many mirrored the results of the top searches in the U.S., with “Hurricane Irma” at the top of the list for global searches overall and “Matt Lauer” leading the top searched people list.

The top searched global news stories was also “Hurricane Irma.” This list was nearly the same as the U.S. version, except it included a search for “Manchester” in place of “DACA.”

Top 10 Searches (Global)

  1. Hurricane Irma
  2. iPhone 8
  3. iPhone X
  4. Matt Lauer
  5. Meghan Markle
  6. 13 Reasons Why
  7. Tom Petty
  8. Fidget Spinner
  9. Chester Bennington
  10. India National Cricket Team

Top 10 People Searches (Global)

  1. Matt Lauer
  2. Meghan Markle
  3. Nadia Toffa
  4. Harvey Weinstein
  5. Kevin Spacey
  6. Gal Gadot
  7. Melania Trump
  8. Floyd Mayweather
  9. Michael Flynn
  10. Philippe Coutinho

Top 10 News Searches (Global)

  1. Hurricane Irma
  2. Bitcoin
  3. Las Vegas Shooting
  4. North Korea
  5. Solar Eclipse
  6. Hurricane Harvey
  7. Manchester
  8. Hurricane Jose
  9. Hurricane Maria
  10. April the Giraffe

You can find Google’s full list of 2017’s top U.S. searches and global searches on the Google Trends website.


How to Create a Menorah Illustration in Adobe Illustrator

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In this tutorial we’ll be creating a Hanukkah holiday card and illustrating one of the most popular Jewish symbols, the Hanukkah Menorah. The Menorah is one of the oldest symbols in Judaism. Sometimes called the ‘Chanukiah’, the Menorah is a nine-branched candelabrum that is used on Hanukkah. It stands for light, wisdom, and Divine inspiration.

We’ll be creating a trendy flat design style, using a lot of basic geometric shapes, combining and transforming them with the help of the Pathfinder panel, Rounded Rectangle and Ellipse Tool. We’ll also learn some useful shortcuts that actually help us to create an illustration without requiring any drawing skills!

You can visit Envato Elements, where you’ll find a wide selection of elements to help you create beautiful card layouts for every occasion.

1. How to Set Up a Card Design File

Step 1

We will be designing a simple 5″ x 7″, one-page Hanukkah holiday card.

Have Adobe Illustrator CC 2018 up and running. Let’s set up a New Document (File > New or Command-N) using the following Print format settings:

  • Number of Artboards: 1
  • Width: 5 in
  • Height: 7 in
  • Units: Inches
Create and set up New dDocument Width height Units

Step 2

Next, let’s set up our layers for the artwork.

Open the Layers panel: Window > Layers. Name Layer 1 as ‘Background’ and click the Create New Layer icon to create another layer on top. Name it ‘Menorah’.

Create Name and Set up layers panel

2. How to Design the Card Background 

Step 1

Lets start by designing our background.

Make sure you are on the ‘Background’ layer. Turn on your Smart Guides (Command-U). These are short-term snap‑to guides that appear when you manoeuvre objects. 

Select the Rectangle Tool (M). Tap once on the artboard and create a rectangle that’s the same size as the artboard: Width: 5″ and Height: 7″

Give the rectangle a Fill hex color of #FFF3DA and use the Smart Guides to center it.

Create Rectangle with Hex color and Align with Smart guides

Step 2

Let’s create a frame for our card.

Select the Rectangle Tool (M), and create a rectangle that’s 4.6″ Width and 6.6″ Height.

There’s a new cool feature in Adobe Illustrator CC 2018, which is the Properties panel. The new Properties panel (Window > Properties) lets you view settings and controls, plus it provides you with all the editing options when selecting shapes. It also allows quick access to options, alignment, pathfinder options, positioning and transform options all on one panel!

Select a Fill and a black Stroke of 6 pt, and use the Smart Guides to center it on the artboard.

Use properties panel set stroke width height

Step 3

Next, we need to create four ellipses on the edges of the frame to give a simple design.

Take the Ellipse Tool (L), and tap once on the artboard to open the Ellipse Options dialog box. Set Width and Height to 3.5 in, and with the Selection Tool (V), use the Smart Guides to center the ellipse on the left corner.

Next, with the ellipse selected, hold down the ShiftAlt keys to constrain movement and duplicate the ellipse. Drag the selection to the right, until ‘intersect‘ appears within the Smart Guides.

Then select both ellipses on the top and Shift-Alt-Drag downwards until the new duplicated ellipses are centred on the bottom edge, as in the image.

Ellipse Tool duplicate shift-alt-drag align with Smart Guides

Step 4

Select all four ellipses, and then, in the Properties panel, you will find the Pathfinder options. Select the Unite icon.

Then hold down the Shift key and select the black border line, and click the Minus Front icon from the Properties panel Pathfinder Options.

Properties panel pathfinder minus front option

Step 5

Object > Expand the black stroke to open the Expand dialog box, and check Fill and Stroke, and then OK.

Give the frame shape a hex color of beige #F9bd5d. Then give the frame a Stroke of 1 pt from the Properties panel, and hex color #EF7A2B.

Expand Stroke shape and give hex color

3. How to Illustrate the Menorah

Step 1

Lock the ‘Background’ layer, and move onto the ‘Menorah’ layer.

Select the Rounded Rectangle Tool, under the Rectangle Tool from the Tools menu. Tap once on the artboard to open the Rounded Rectangle dialog box and choose the following settings:

  • Width: 0.8 in
  • Height: 3 in
  • Corner Radius: 0.6 in
  • OK

Use the Selection Tool (V) to center the shape onto the artboard using the Smart Guides.

Set the Stroke from Properties panel to 13 pt.

Rounded rectangle tool set width height corner radius stroke

Step 2

With the rounded rectangle selected, Object > Path > Offset Path, and set the Offset to 0.4 pt.

Repeat the action twice until it looks like the image below.

Object path offset path to create candelabra

Step 3

Select the four rounded rectangles, and then Object > Expand, and check Stroke, and OK. Then, to create a compound shape, Object > Compound Path > Make (Command-8).

Object expand select stroke and Unite from Pathfiner

Step 4

To crop the top of the candelabra, select the Rectangle Tool (M), and draw a rectangle to cover the upper part of the candelabra shape.

Select both shapes, and then Minus Front from the Pathfinder options. Give the shape a hex color of #B27B3E.

Create rectangle and Minus front from Pathfinder give hex color

Step 5

Now let’s create a highlight color for the bars. Object > Path > Offset. Set the Offset to -0.04 in. Give the shape a Fill Hex color of #E8B44BEffect > Stylize > Feather. Set the Feather to 0.06 in.

Offset path and set effect as stylize feather

Step 6

Next, let’s create the center stem for the candelabra.

Select the Rectangle Tool (M), and create a rectangle with Width of 0.14 in and Height of 2.9 in, and center it in the middle of the branches, using the Smart Guides.

Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow, to open the Inner Glow dialog box, and set the settings as:

  • Mode: Multiply
  • Hex Color: #9A6527
  • Blur: 0.08 in
  • Check Edge
  • OK
Rectangle Tool Stylize with Inner glow settings

Step 7 

Now for the base of the candelabra.

Select the Rectangle Tool (M), and use the Smart Guides to draw two rectangles on top each other and center-aligned with the branches.

Give the top rectangle a Fill Hex color of #E8B44B and the bottom #C1843F.

Create base with rectangle Tool set hex color

Step 8

Select the Rounded Rectangle Tool, and create a rectangle with the following settings:

  • Width: 0.3 in
  • Height: 0.1 in
  • Corner Radius: 0.4 in
  • OK

Give the rounded rectangle with Fill Hex color of #E8B44B, and use the Smart Guides to center it on the far left branch.

Then, with the rounded rectangle selected, Shift-Alt-Drag down slightly to create a parallel duplicate, as shown below.

create decoration with rounded rectangle duplicate parallel

Step 9

Select both rounded rectangles and Group (Command-G). 

Then Alt-Drag the group to the right branch. 

Repeat the action, but place your bars on different levels to create diversity, as in the image below, and use the Smart Guides for assistance.

Group bars and duplicate with alt Drag

Step 10

Let’s create a spherical bead shape to decorate the menorah.

Select the Ellipse Tool (L), and let’s draw three circles within each other:

  • circle one with Width & Height of 2.5 in, and with Fill Hex color of #E8B44B
  • circle two with Width & Height of 0.17in, and with Fill Hex color of #FFCC71
  • circle three with Width & Height of 0.095in, and with Fill Hex color of #FFF3DA

Group (Command-G) them all together.

ellipse tool set width height group together 3 ellipses

Step 11

Select the round bead form and duplicate it by Alt-Dragging, and then center align them on top of each branch.

Looking good.

Duplicate bead for all branches

Step 12

Now let’s create a leaf-like form on top of the beads to lay our candles on.

Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and create two intersecting ellipses that are 0.4 inches in Width and Height.

Select both circles and click the Intersect icon from the Pathfinder options in the Properties panel, and give the leaf a Fill Hex color of #E8B44B .

Intersect two circles from Pathfinder option in properties panel

Step 13

Copy (Command-C) and Paste (Command-P) to duplicate the leaf. 

Object > Transform > Rotate and set the Angle to 40°. Then select the leaf behind and Object > Transform > Rotate and set the Angle to -40°.

Give the front leaf a Hex color of #FFCC71 and use the Right Arrow key to position the leaf to the right slightly.

Now, Group (Command-G) the two leaves together.

duplicate leaf copy paste to front rotate angle and group

Step 14

Select the leaf group and send to back: Object > Arrange > Send to Back.

Position the leaf group behind the bead, and then Scale (Object > Transform > Scale), and set Scale to Uniform, at 80%.

scale uniform leaf object 80

Step 15

Position the leaf behind the branch head, and then Alt-Drag to duplicate the pattern and position it behind the other branches.

Place one in the center as in the image, and Object > Arrange > Bring Forward (Command-]) until it’s arranged behind the bead.

duplicate then Object arrange bring forward shortcut

Step 16

Now lets draw the Star of David.

Select the Star Tool, from the Rectangle Tool drop-down. 

Chose a Stroke Hex color of #3D77B2 and a Stroke Weight of 3 pt. Click once on the artboard and set the Points to 3.

Delete the shape that’s created, and then hold down the Shift-Alt keys and draw an upright triangle.

Draw star of David star tool Stroke Weight Set Points

Step 17

Copy (Command-C) and Paste (Command-P) to duplicate the triangle.

Object > Transform > Reflect and select Horizontal, and OK. Then use the Down Arrow key to align.

Select both triangles, and Object > Path > Offset, and set the Offset to 0.05 pt

Give the offset null Stroke and a Fill Hex color of #164875 and Object > Arrange > Send to Back (Shift-Command-[).

Then, with both offset triangles selected, Object > Path > Offset, and set the Offset to 0.0 pt

Give the offset null Stroke and a Fill Hex color of #1FFCC73 and Object > Arrange > Send to Back (Shift-Command-[).

Duplicate Reflect triangle and offset path send to back

4. How to Add Candles & Details to the Artwork

Step 1

Let’s add some candles.

Select the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a rectangle with a Width of 0.15 pt and Height of 0.8 pt. Give it a Fill Hex color of #1FFCC73 .

Then select the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw an ellipse with a Width of 0.06 pt and give it a Fill Hex color of #6CA6E5. Position the ellipse on top of the rectangle using the Smart Guides for guidance.

Again use the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw an ellipse with a Width of 0.12 pt and Height of 0.77 pt. Position it in the middle of the rectangle and give it a Fill Hex color of #6FA4D8

draw candle with rectangle ellipse tools

Step 2

Let’s place a flame and glow.

Select the Pen Tool (P) and draw in a flame shape.

Then select the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw an ellipse with a Width of 0.03 pt and Height of 0.08 pt. Position it within the flame and give it a Fill Hex color of #FBD76D

Open the Gradient panel: Window > Gradient. Give the flame a yellow-orange 90° Gradient Angle.

give flame gradient angle and create ellipse flame

Step 3

Let’s draw the flame glow. 

With the Ellipse Tool (L), draw an ellipse with a Width and Height of 0.35 pt.

Make the Fill a Radial Gradient from light yellow to white.

Object > Arrange > Send to Back.

create ellipse glow with gradient arrange send to back

Step 4

Select all the candle parts and Group (Command-G). Then Object > Arrange > Send to Back.

Select the candle and duplicate it by Alt-Dragging, and then center align it on top of each branch, and on different levels, as in the image below.

Duplicate candles by Alt Drag and position

Step 5

Let’s create a wreath-like decor at the base of the candles.

Select one of the leaf groups on the middle branch, and Shift-Alt-Drag to the base of the candelabra. 

Then duplicate another copy by selecting the leaf group and Alt-Drag slightly to the right. Object > Transform > Rotate.

Set the Rotation Angle to –63°.

Shift Alt Drag to duplicate then object rotate angle

Step 6

Then duplicate another copy by selecting the leaf group and Alt-Dragging to half the branch distance.

Select the Free Transform Tool (E) and scale the group slightly down from the bounding box by holding the Shift key to constrain proportions, and rotate it slightly.

Select both the leaf groups, and then Object > Blend > Make.

Then Object > Blend > Blend Options to open the Blend Options dialog box, and set:

  • Spacing: Specified Steps: 3
  • Orientation: Align to Page
  • OK
Make Blend Set Options Specified Steps and orientation align to page

Step 7

Select the Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C), and pull the path slightly down.

Use Anchor point to tug path

Step 8

Select the Pen Tool (P) and draw a path from the base to the top of the leaf group, to create a branch.

Give it a Stroke of 3 pt and a Hex color of #C1843F

Object > Arrange > Send to Back

Pen tool create branch stroke and arrange send to back

Step 9

From the Tools panel, select the Blob Brush Tool (Shift-B).

Select a Stroke Hex color of #EE7A29.

To control the Blob Brush Tool brush size, hold the left square bracket key ([) to decrease and the right square bracket (]) to enlarge.

Decorate the lower wreath, and then select all the related shapes with the Selection Tool (V), while holding down the Shift key to add on to the selection. Then Group (Command-G) them together.

Object > Arrange > Send to Back.

Step 10 

Let’s create a symmetrical branch, with the branch selected.

Take the Reflect Tool (O) and set the center reference point at the end of the branch; Option-Shift-Drag and release when the group is mirrored into position. 

use reflect tool to create symmetrical branch

Step 11

Select the Ellipse Tool (L), and create a circle with Width and Height of 2.5 in, and with Hex color of #F8BD5D.

Duplicate the ellipse by Alt-Dragging, and place the circle between the rounded rectangle on the menorah and the base of the branches.

ellipse tool to decorate menorah branches

Step 12

Select the Star Tool, from the Rectangle Tool drop-down. 

Click once on the artboard to open the Star dialog box, and set:

  • Radius 1: 0.1 in
  • Radius 2: 0.05 in
  • Points: 6
  • OK

Then randomly draw six-pointed stars around the menorah and give them a Fill Hex color of #EFA4D8.

draw 6 point stars set radius and points star tool

Step 13

Select the Blob Brush Tool (Shift-B), and with a white Stroke draw in several white circles around the candles of the menorah. Also draw some dots around with Hex Stroke color of #FFDE8D.

Don’t forget, you can control the Blob Brush Tool brush size with the left square bracket key ([) to decrease and the right square bracket (]) to increase.

blob brush tool create dots white stroke hex color

Happy Hanukkah!!!

I hope you’ve learned some new tricks from this tutorial and can apply these techniques in your future projects. Show your friends, loved ones and fans how you can create some stunning cards!

Feel free to adjust the final design and make it your own, and then share your results in the comments below. 

Let’s kindle light for Hanukkah!!

Final Menorah Hanukkah car by Miss Chatz

20 Creative Free Christmas Labels to Download

This holidays you can create postcards, flyers, invitations, and gift tags yourself. Just use these fantastic Christmas labels we have collected for you. This way you can add a personal handmade touch to your gifts and cards. Besides, it will help you to save money.

These incredible free Christmas labels can be downloaded, print and used for your postcard or gift tags. Here you’ll see Christmas labels with various decorations, snowflakes, trees, stickers, bells, and flowers. Just scroll down and choose which one you like.

1. Beautiful Christmas Label Set

beautiful-christmas-label-set

2. Free Christmas Vector Labels

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3. Typographic Christmas Label Set

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4. Pack of elegant christmas stickers

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5. Christmas logo collection

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6. Cute Hand Drawn Christmas Labels

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7. Merry Christmas Background

merry-christmas-background

8. Hand Drawn Marker Pen Style Christmas Labels

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9. Merry Christmas Greeting Labels

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10. Creative christmas tree design made with dots background

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11. Free Vintage Hand Drawn Christmas Ball With Lettering

free-vintage-hand-drawn-christmas-ball-with-lettering

12. Free Vintage Hand Drawn Christmas Card Background

free-vintage-hand-drawn-christmas-card-background

13. Christmas Chalkboard Labels

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14. Ornamental Merry Christmas Template

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15. Christmas Vector Badges And Labels

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16. Free Vector Christmas Floral Background

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17. Free Vector Christmas Tree

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18. Free Vector Christmas Bell

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19. Retro Merry Christmas Illustration

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20. Free Christmas Deer Vector

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SearchCap: Google customer match, local SEO & SMX West

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

From Search Engine Land:

Recent Headlines From Marketing Land, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Internet Marketing:

Search News From Around The Web:


Robert Koch Google doodle honors German physician awarded the 1905 Nobel Prize in medicine

Today’s Google doodle pays homage to Robert Koch, the German physician and microbiologist credited with ushering in the Golden Age of bacteriology.

Instead of marking his birthday, Google is honoring Koch with a doodle on the anniversary of being named the Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine in 1905.

“By developing many of the basic principles and techniques of modern bacteriology, he inspired a new generation of scientists and microbe-hunters, ushering in a Golden Age of bacteriology,” writes the Google doodle team on the Google Doodle blog, “During this Golden Age, scientists discovered the microorganisms responsible for causing twenty-one different diseases.”

Designed by doodler Sophie Diao, the doodle leads to a search for “Robert Koch.” The imagery highlights the potato slices Koch used to isolate bacterial cells during his research, as well as Koch’s image in a Petri dish. Google says Koch used potato slices for his experiments until his assistant, Julius Petri, came up with the Petri dish.

As Google notes, Koch understood how solutions to big problems can often be found in their microcosms. It was his research that resulted in the ability for scientist to identify the bacterium for anthrax, cholera, and tuberculosis: “Countless lives have been saved thanks to his role in proving the revolutionary idea that germs cause diseases.”


Search Engine Land’s Community Corner: Dixon Jones retiring from Majestic, UK Search Awards winners & how to speak at SMX

This week’s roundup of news, announcements and events happening throughout the search marketing industry includes:

Industry veteran and Majestic SEO CMO Dixon Jones announced he’ll be retiring from Majestic in November 2018, and will move into Global Brand Ambassador role at Majestic until that time. He’s been a key member of the search community since founding the UK’s first search consultancy in 1999, and contributing as a WebmasterWorld forum moderator since 2004. We at Search Engine Land wish Dixon the best and look forward to what’s next for him!

The UK Search Awards were held last week – cheers to all the winners!

We’ve also opened up the session pitch & session ideas forms for our two upcoming Search Marketing Expo events – SMX West and SMX London. Please consider submitting your SMX West (San Jose – March 13-15, 2018) speaking pitch here; and if you have a terrific session idea for SMX London (May 22-23, 2018), please submit that here.

Our own Barry Schwartz continues his “Honor an SEO/SEM” series at his blog, and this weeks’ honored nominees included:

Ammon Johns: Ammon is an SEO industry veteran – also known to other veterans as Black Knight. Described by Nick Wilsdon as “one the great thinkers in the industry” and as noted by Doc Sheldon (who also nominated him), “he has probably forgotten more than most of us will ever know about SEO.” Read more about Ammon here.

Lisa Barone: I recall first meeting Lisa at our inaugural SMX Advanced conference in 2006. A gifted writer, intrepid live blogger, and mentor for so many in our industry, it’s been amazing to see her grow from her role back then at Bruce Clay to become CMO of Overit. She was nominated by Melissa Fach and an anonymous member of our community. Get to know more about Lisa here.

Barry Adams: Described by Paul Cawley as having “an insatiable appetite to continually improve,” Barry is also one of the more outspoken members of the SEO community, willing to call it as he sees it where others might pull punches. You can review his full profile here.

Kim Krause Berg: One of the first people in our industry to focus on site usability, experience, and how those elements tie into web design and SEO, Kim’s been sharing her expertise with the community for over 2 decades now. Donna Cavalier nominated Kim, and you can learn more about her via the profile here.

Rand Fishkin: “humble, passionate, honest, kind, generous, smart, funny …” these are just a few of the ways the many folks that nominated this industry luminary describe Rand. I for one will always recall the first time I met him (Pubcon 2005) thinking “It’s about time someone threw Anton (Konikoff) some competition in the ‘snappy dresser’ department!” His legacy in our community spans far beyond those bright yellow shoes however, and you can see the accolades and his profile here.

Have some industry or community news you want to share? Drop us a note at community@searchengineland.com!


SearchCap: Bing Ads call conversions, Google doodle & Google audiences

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

From Search Engine Land:

Recent Headlines From Marketing Land, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Internet Marketing:

Search News From Around The Web: