2009 wasn't the best year for the economy, but it was an unbelievably good year for creativity. Here we've collected the 10 most popular Photoshop and Illustrator tutorials from the past year, so you can see what techniques have been most inspiring readers.

Design repeating T-shirt motifs in Photoshop
This tutorial guides you through the process of creating a repeating pattern for a T-shirt print. We’ll focus on creating one main element that will function as the key character of the pattern. We’ll then create elements that will make up the linking imagery – or ‘glue’ – that holds it together.



Master custom brushes in Photoshop
Get down and dirty with inky, customized Photoshop brushes and brilliant photomontage techniques.




Create fab 1980s type effects in Photoshop

The 1980s are back – their influence is currently everywhere, from fashion to music, and nowhere are they more visible than in digital art. Creatives are combining the trashy glamour of the decade with the fantastic toolsets of Photoshop and other creative tools, to come up with kitschy effects that raise a smile – at the same time as showing off technical skill.



Create cool character art in Illustrator
Learn how to create charmingly appealing character art in Illustrator (and a bit of Photoshop) with this guide by design stars onesidezero.



Create amazing water-drenched photomontages in Photoshop
Nik Ainley shows you how to make a splash, blending two very different images to create this amazing underwater effect, complete with a dissolving figure of a man.