Futuristic GUI design is sought after by companies in niches like electronics, software, and gaming. It’s a style of design that requires intensive Photoshop skills. Let’s take a look at some artists that are masters in this area of design. We’ll point you in the direction of some beginner tutorials on the subject. Also, let’s look at some additional resources where you can continue to be inspired and hone your skills.
Signal by Lance Thackeray
Lance Thackeray, aka Pureav, is a seasoned graphic user interface designer. He’s now running GUI.Station as well, which is a forum for GUI design (See last section). His work is amazingly detailed and his portfolio is a must see. Follow the link below to the audio player skin titled Signal.
Assault Skin by Dan O’Brien
Dan O’Brien, aka DemonDan666, creates highly detailed futuristic vBulletin skins. He does so on a regular basis working at exaltic. He has a large selection of detailed shiny interface designs and skins in his gallery. Follow the link below to see a larger image of his Assault Skin forum design.
System Force Japan by Homer Yulo
Homer Yulo is a Japanese Photoshop designer that creates intricate futuristic interface designs. His gallery features a small selection of interfaces designed with mechanical style parts and deeply glowing orbs. Follow the link below to see a larger image of the System Force Japan wallpaper.
Sci-fi interface template by Anton Wiklund
Anton Wiklund, aka karsten, creates futuristic and intricate interface website designs for gaming sites. He runs GameSiteTemplates.com. It’s inspiring to see Photoshop designers filling niches like this online. Here is a link to his gallery. Below you can view his Alien Vs. Predator Interface Template closer.
KrazyPlayer by Tim Silva
The KrazyPlayer is a skin designed by Tim Silva, aka krazytim. Others helped on the design as well. The KrazyPlayer is a futuristic skin design for Winamp and won a competition. You can view Tim’s gallery or jump straight to the KrazyPlayer Artwork below. Tim has started a new digital art forum called Encide.net with some friends. You can also see his interface design tutorials at his site.
[Design] Interface Elements – Knobs (part 1)
This tutorial over at GUI.Station shows how to create an interface knob. It’s an element meant to symbolize in this case a volume button, but the principles involved in creating it would apply to other knobs as well. “In this tutorial, the knob is most likely something you would see on a DJ rack, stereo, or anything of that style. It has an outer rotating ring with “finger grips”, with a nice orb in the center displaying what it does, and the current level (in this case, volume.)”
Learn some tricks and techniques while creating this loading interface. The design has a detailed plastic future feel. It’s a seven part tutorial and a good place for a beginning level Photoshop user to start.
Interface/Skin Design tutorial in photoshop
Learn how to create a application interface design. It has a smooth plastic style of design. The Photoshop version covered in the tutorial goes back to version 7, but should still be relevant with modern versions of Photoshop as well.
Interface Design Tutorials on Psdtuts+
We don’t have futuristic GUI design tutorials on Psdtuts+ yet, but there are a few other tutorials that teach skills that could be implemented in that style. For example, we have two mobile phone tutorials that show you how to create mobile device interfaces from scratch. The tutorial Create a Realistic Blackberry Style Mobile Phone From Scratch and Create a Mobile Phone Styled Like the HTC Touch Diamond. You may want to browse the interface section of the site as well, link below.
Multi-Part Interface Design Tutorials by Andrew Williams
Andrew Williams, aka EliteSniper177, has a couple of multi-part interface design tutorials aimed at beginners. One shows you how to create a music player skin. The other shows you how to crete a detailed gear. Follow the link below to his tutorial gallery.
Other Cool Stuff
This is a cool forum run by Lance Thackeray featured in the Digital Art section above. You can access the growing section of GUI tutorials and many areas of the forum. Also, if you join you can download source PSD files to analyze. Some interesting downloads include a futuristic grunge file, some helpful layer styles, and many others. Signing up is free and gives immediate access to the addition features of the site.
The Skins Factory
This is a GUI design company that creates richly detailed skins, interfaces, and more. Their portfolio showcases a variety of detailed futuristic design work in a combination of multiple styles, though a lot of their work has a plastic shiny look to it. Browse through their portfolio for some inspirational work. They fluidly combine eye-candy with functional design and have been at this for a long time. Here is the link to the project in the image shown.
This is an exclusive Deviantart club for talented GUI designers. There are pages and pages of advanced interface and GUI design in their Gallery. It’s a great place to find more talented designers working in this field. Lot’s of future and retro-future GUI design can be found here.
Skinmasters Interview Series
This is a running series from mrrste in which popular skin designers are interviewed. It’s part of Deviantart news. You can find it under the Customization tab. In the fifth Skinmasters installment Badboythemer is interviewed. He has a nice collection of futuristic interface designs among other themes and skins. You can follow the link below to the interview.