Photo-Realistic Design Samples

While the samples referenced here have been created by other designers, you can create your own mockups—to showcase your design work too. This tutorial gives step-by-step instructions (and pictures). Design Panoply: Create a Business Card Mockup in Photoshop using the Vanishing Point Filter,
You may need to copy and paste the URL into a new browser window

Click to view full-sized: variations on an iPad mockup.

When showcasing your designs in a digital portfolio, it’s an excellent idea to provide up to three views of your samples; a full view, and 1-2 details. The freebies below offer you options.

*If these don’t work for you, search online for others—there are tens of thousands of useful PSD mockups available online–both free and paid.

Logo & Identity Package Full View:

Identity Package Details:

Graphic Narrative Collage Full View:

Pixden, PSD iPad Air Mockup,

Print and Digital Advertisements:

Infographic Poster Full View or for Details

Spray Mount Printed Design Samples

Okay I cut a few corners in this how-to. My X-acto blade was somewhere. This process worked well with the hand-razor. However, it’s the basics of spray mounting. Remember to always work in a well-ventilated area:


We’ve recently completed our first practice infographic, followed immediately by these. This assignment is one that I love to watch develop–and it outlines something  that aligns with my personal ethos…bike riding.

Here are several of our first series of designs:

Submitting Logo Files

Back in the Day… Printers and clients used to ask for an .eps or .ai file at the very minimum, but today they’re asking for a PDF file instead of an .eps file, in addition to other types of files. Here is the list of files that should be provided for project:

  • Editable Adobe PDF file (press quality): Color, and B/W
  • 1 Ea. JPG File: Color, B/W

As you can see, the industry expects a PDF file with very specific characteristics. No, they’re not just trying to add complexity to our lives — quite the opposite! This change addresses the fact that .eps files are becoming outdated and PDF files are becoming the standard universal file format. Need more pointers on submitting professional logo files?

Read all about it on 99

FYI, the instructions below also include web optimized files

Export Adobe PDF File
  1. Save your AI file
  2. Then File > Save As > enter the file name and then choose the format “Adobe PDF”Note: You may need to select “all pages” or a “Range”
  3. When the PDF Dialog box opens > Choose the Adobe PDF Preset: “Press Quality”and be sure that You have these items checked under Options: Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities Optimize for Fast Web View View PDF After Saving (for one last review)
  4. Save PDF & review before submitting
(optional) Optimize for Web
  1. Save your AI working Document.
  2. Choose the correct Artboard the go to File > Save for Web
  3. You may view single. 2-up, or 4-up examples of your art at different resolution
  4. Choose Jpg from the Presets
  5. We suggest using high or maximum quality
  6. Hit Save and name the file and choose its folder
  7. Save and repeat for each artboard
Export Logo Image (JPG, PNG etc.)
  1. Save your AI working Document.
  2. File > Export > Name the file and >Choose JPG from DropdownTo save time, check Use Artboards, and choose “All” > Hit Save
  3. In the dialog box choose, Quality = Maximum, and Resolution = High
  4. Your JPGs will appear in the folder you selected, numbered sequentially
  5. Rename the files to indicate which is color and which is Black and white FYI: Use this technique to export: JPGs, PSDs, SWF, TIFF, etc.
More about Save for Web More about AI Image Export

How to Submit: Place all in folder, entitled LOGO, zip and upload this file to Sakai in the appropriate assignment module.

Logo Design Comps

We’ve chosen our clients, completed the research, selected designs from our roughs to develop further, and set our color palettes. We’re following 5 rules of logo design to make these: simple,  memorable, versatile / timeless, simplicity leads to versatility, and audience appropriate. Here’s what we have so far:

Project: Logo and Identity

Use Adobe Illustrator to design a logo and identity package for a fictional client in one of three industries: bar/restaurant, retail bike seller, or commercial/residential architecture firm.

To complete this project:, we’ll first complete preliminary research on the selected industry, and fill out the online Client Creative Brief Worksheet, make and submit 10 preliminary logo design sketches for approval, and create a full identity package for this client (this includes a logo, business card, letterhead, and envelope).


  • Digital Design Skills: demonstrated use of AI type tool, shape tools, color options, and pathfinder
  • Typography Concepts: demonstrate balance, readability, contrast, alignment, and hierarchy.
  • Graphic Design Principles: contrast, alignment, repetition, and proximity


Gestalt Theory

Gestalt Theory is a psychological theory, which originated in Germany during the early 20th century and explains how the mind interprets and organizes visual information to create unity and meaning. A central concept of Gestalt Theory is that our mind seeks patterns and tends to group visual elements to establish a unified whole. According to this theory, when we see an image consisting of numerous elements, our mind forms an impression that is derived from the individual objects, but has a separate meaning based on the unified whole. This theory is the origin of the common phrase, “the whole is other than the sum of its parts.” (Ware, 2005)

Our brains are constantly seeking to make visual/spatial connections using Proximity, Continuation, Similarity, and Closure. Check it out: