Surfing for Valentine's
Visit HP's "Projects" web site and check out their Expressions of the Heart section all about St. Valentine's Day. It includes a brief history of Valentie's day, Related projects and downloads like Romantic Valentine's Day table accents where HP teamed up with lifestyle and party planning guru Colin Cowie to design these romantic Valentine's Day table accents. The passionate party elements will make your Valentine's Day unforgettable.
HP also offers a variety of nice ideas in their Valentine cards department. Obviously, if you sell printers, you'll want to help your users get the most out of your products, right? Well, try some of these Victorian postcards. Download art (PDF) Their From the heart 3d card makes a nicely folded 3D card that's easy too. (PDF)
Find these and many more at the Hewlett-Packard web site.
Web Candy Dot Com
Here you'll find lots of images including these Victorian designs from antique picture greeting cards.
Also check out their rather special collection of hearts like this abstract modern heart, this row of flashing heart lights; or a wonderfully rendered box of chocolates that get eaten to reveal a message. Many more to be found at Web-Candy.com
Cal Shop "San Valentino
At this web site you'll find some good backgrounds and card art in sufficient sizes to allow clear printing on your inkjet printer. Pick designs like this huge heart field background, or an array of "soft art" card faces. These and many more can be found at calshop.biz
Do Crafts, UK
This site has lots and lots of crafts ideas and projects all of which are good idea starters. (Actually the ideas are better than the specific projects. Heart with Foil and Folding Tent Card are two examples. Others to see:
- Lucious Lips Valentine - Lucious Lips stamp has been used here to create a luurve themed card... (Picture)
- Whispers 'Love' card (Picture)
- Black, red and white love card
- 'Love Inspiration' Dress card
- With love card 'glitzy' loved up card to your other half
- Valentine - This funky card will bring a smile to anyone's face
- Will You Be Mine? - This simple card is perfect to surprise a loved one this Valentines Day.
- Loveable Bear Patch Card - This effective card is cute and easy to make for someone special.
- Be My Valentine - Show someone how much you care�
- Heart To Heart Card - Make a one off card that spells out how much you care for your loved one
- Love and Kisses Card - Nothing says you care more, than a handmade gift from the heart!
- Traditional Rose Card - Roses are the iconic symbol of love. Give the person you love a rose valentines card this year.
And, there's lots more at Do Crafts dot com
The Zoner Site
This site has some snappy images -- not much good except for the web, but most are pretty bright -- much better than those found at the hack clip-art sites. Here's their "Lovers" page. Their Resource Center has collections of Business cards , Flags, Frames, Invitations; Leaflets Menus, and Photo Albums all built around the Zoner Draw software. (Which I've never heard of!)
More. . .
Cochems Consulting has some backgrounds by Chris Cochems that look promising
Billy Bear for Kids - although this site seems to be primarily and advertising site, it does have some neat things for kids. Their Valentine's page (once you get by all the blinking ads) has a crafts department and some printable personalized stationery
but Billy Bear will be frustrating for most and should be avoided except as a last resort.
... and now for the bad news ...
Sites to avoid:
Knock-off sites Beware:
The clip art scene on the web is just about as jaded as the porno world. Rip-off artists abound and you need to be careful. For instance, several sites we visited promising "free" clip art downloads actually had scans of commercial products. The Rocky Raccoon and Ribbon Card are obviously scanned from commercial greeting cards -- I'm sure the site didn't pay any licensing or royalty fees. Some are blatant rips of licensed products like this Sponge Bob card and this "Oscar" animation obviously ripped off the Sesame Street web site.
Beware of the site: Holiday-clipart.net. Here you'll click and click and click to find only a few images -- all of the ones we found were low resolution and not usable for anything. The site is a spam site, and each click gains the owners a slew of affiliate link views. Avoid http://holiday-clipart.net/ for sure.
Clip art in the URL?
Another, suspiciously like the "Holiday-clipart.net" site is "Valentines-day-clipart.com" ... the art is basically the same, the scam is the same, just the domain has changed. Note, they've registered ALL of the holidays as domains, each of which merely leads to the same cookie-cutter site.
NOT. It took 12 clicks through blinking affiliate ad layout pages to get to this image - one of two "Cupids" from a link offering "Cupid Photo Library". The pitch is "Free stock photos" but the collection is dismal and it will cost you lots and lots of time to discover this for yourself. Stay away. Be aware of any clip art or image site with the word "Free" in the domain. We found a number of different variations all owned by the same outfit, or "affiliates" of the same outfit. FreeGraphics.com is another replicator site to waste your time.
Barb's Pics ... NOT
The promise of this site was undeniable, but with deeper exploration we found nothing usable. Most of the images are those picked up from various other clip art sites and stock photo houses that involved payment of some kind. Barb didn't have anything to offer other than letting you help stack up advertising pennies for the site. Avoid http://www.barbspics.com/
So there you have it -- the 2005 Valentine's surf. This one took about five hours, including building this page. I sincerely hope I've saved you some time by helping you get to the good stuff faster. If you find any really good references on your surfing trips, please pass them along to share with the rest of the readers. 'Til next time. . .
Happy Valentine's ... hope you enjoyed our surf!
Editor / Publisher, DT&G Magazine
Participate in your Design Center
Lots of fun and information for all... don't forget, any community is only as good as the participation of its members. We invite your tips, tricks, comments, suggestions and camaraderie.
- Ask for the DT&G Monthly: to receive DT&G newsletter each month, happenings in the Design Center and regular columns like the "Mail Bag" and "Cool Sites"
- SUBSCRIBE : to the Designers' CAFE email list
- Link to this site, and then show us the link. We'll send you any of our current door prizes, just for your trouble.
- SUBMIT: a news link, new font, or product review
- Visit our Windows Shareware / Freeware Department
- REVIEW a website: posted by our readers
- SUBMIT a Website: for review in Web Design & Review
- Submit a Critique: of a popular web site, or YOUR web site!
- WIN PRIZES: in our "Question of the Month" column
- Meet Friends of the Design Center people who care!
- Become a Friend of the Design Center: and put your link on the front page
- Submit News, Views or your latest press release
- Submit your Software Review: shareware, freeware, fonts, graphics, utilities -- if you've found software you like, let DT&G readers know about it!
Learning, training, tips, tricks, and moreThe Design Bookshelf team reads and reviews the best books for the creative visual designer, desktop publishing practitioner and visual communicator. If you want to know it -- we'll show you the very best way to learn it... in the Designer's Bookshelf
Get more out of your computer: join a user group - There are computer clubs around the world called "user groups" where you find fellow computer users ready and willing to share a wealth of information. If you're not a UG member, you should be.. find a group at the User Group Network