Instagram Envy? This might help.

Earlier this month, Angry Birds became available in the Chrome web store, and I said:!/jazzs3quence/status/79187238893789185


Here’s another reason not to get an iPhone.

Pixlr is an online photo editor.  It’s sort of a mini Photoshop that’s completely web-based.  It’s also the default image editor application that comes bundled (well, sort of) with PeppermintOS.  But for people who want to add that vintage, old, grungy, ruined flavor to their digital pictures and make them look like they came from their parents’ photo album, Pixlr created the Pixlr-o-Matic.

Pixlr-o-Matic has, up until recently, simply been a menu item in my graphics menu on my laptop that I didn’t look at.  I decided to check it out and see if it did what I thought it might.  The answer is yes.  Pixlr-o-Matic is for people (like me) who have Instagram Envy.  I love the shots that people post with Instagram on their iPhone but I don’t have — nor do I plan to get — an iPhone.  Pixlr has developed a tool that gives you the ability to make your images go vintage without strapping a nuclear reactor to the back of your Delorean.

You start with a picture.  It can be a picture off your computer or the internet.  If you have a Pixlr account, you can pull images from various online services as well (Facebook, Picassa, Flickr, or Pixlr itself}.  One you load it into the app, you can choose from enough color filters to make you start seeing things.  The next step lets you pick various effects to make your image look vintage, destroyed or otherwise old.  The last screen lets you choose what kind of edges you want.  When you’re done, you can download it or post it to the internets.[clear]


So here’s an example of it in action, and my first attempt.  This was my starting image, a nice shot of me and my (in the picture) wife-to-be from college:

And here’s the finished product after running it through Pixlr-o-Matic:

I was using Photoshop effects for this stuff, but, it seems, I no longer have to.  Now I really don’t need to get an iOS device…

Free Facebook Fan Box Widget PSD Template

As designers, we often find ourselves spending exorbitant amounts of time working on fake content.  It’s hard to describe something to some people without being able to show it to them.  Facebook fan page widgets are something you see everywhere, and yet, how do you incorporate them into a mockup without using someone else’s box or resizing it to fit into dimensions that fit your new design but aren’t the original widget’s proportions?  I have found myself in this position many times and, yesterday, set out to find a PSD solution.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t exist.  There are a couple really good Facebook UI templates (like this one from Fuel Your Creativity which has you covered on everything you need for an actual fan page, or this one that was featured on Smashing Magazine and includes everything else, from pop up messages to chat boxes to “loading” boxes), but nothing — nothing — for fan boxes.  This was a bit surprising considering the depth and detail of what was offered in those links above, but changing my query around got me no closer to a solution for what I was looking for.

So, I decided to make my own.

This Facebook Fan Box widget is fully layered and editable, down to the dividers inside the box.  The background is a shape with a stroke applied to reproduce the border around the Facebook widget’s iframe.  The size of the widget is 237 x 300 — which is what I generally use when I add fan boxes to sites I’m working on because it gives enough room to have an equal amount of padding on both sides around four columns of user photos.  The photos themselves are generic Facebook avatars that can be swapped with any image you want (or not).  All the text is editable and in Lucida Sans (which can be substituted with Lucida Grande for Mac-users).

This is version 1.0 of this PSD template, designed specifically for our own typical needs when we are designing mockups for clients.  It only includes the face-box-style fan box, but leave your comments below, and we might consider updating the template to accomodate different sizes or fanbox styles.

Download Facebook Fan Box Widget PSD Template 2.05MB
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