Jan 21

BrushLovers Review

Fri, 01/21/2011 - 20:47 — julie

[Whilst the following is a paid review, my opinions are totally honest/unbiased, and I will only ever review sites/services that I feel are useful to our audience]

BrushLovers.com

When Walter Apai contacted me about reviewing his new photoshop brushes website, I was of course already aware of his hugely popular design blog WebDesignerDepot. Without this backing of quality and reputation I may have just assumed that BrushLovers would be ‘simply another brush site’. However, I would have been very wrong!

Today we’re going to take a look over the site, some of it’s great features and exactly what makes it stand out in an overly saturated market. I think the sign of a good review is when the reviewer would honestly use the service themselves. In this case I was so impressed with Walter’s service that I will be using BrushLovers as one of my primary sources for photoshop brushes – so look out for their brushes in some of my upcoming tutorials.

Exclusivity Matters…

As I mentioned, the Photoshop brush site has been done to death. Generally how it works is a webmaster will setup a site with a submission service, whereby brush authors can submit their handmade Photoshop brushes, which then appear in a gallery format, ready for download. This is how a lot of the main brush sites such as Brusheezy work, and it’s been very profitable for them.

However, the problem arises with the huge amount of non-exclusive content on these sites. Brush authors naturally submit to every resource they can, meaning that pretty much all brush sites offer the exact same variety of brushes, and we as designers don’t really get to see anything new or original.

What BrushLovers does is create all of their own brushes in house, and provide them exclusively via BrushLovers.com. The beauty of this approach is that you won’t find their brushes anywhere else, which really gives them the edge of uniqueness. For me this approach has two main benefits:

  • You don’t need to waste time browsing over the same brush sets on multiple sites, which can become frustrating and pointless.
  • Every designer aspires to come up with fresh and interesting compositions. It’s pretty hard to be fresh/unique when every other designer out there is using the same brushes as you in their designs! Using a more niche/exclusive service like BrushLovers allows you to introduce some lesser-known, but high-quality brushes into your work, and really make it stand out.

Quality and Quantity!

Because BrushLovers create all of their own brushes, they have far more control over their quality. With many competing brush sites, the quality of brushes varies hugely, and much of their collection can be simply unusable. You can really see the time and effort put into each of BrushLovers brush sets though, as the level of detail, sharpness and professionalism is second to none!

“Our brushes are meticulously crafted with hours of work going into each and every shape. They’re all high-resolution, and perfect for both Web and print design.”
- BrushLovers.com

Luckily for us BrushLovers also offers a huge variety of brushes, so you should be able to find exactly what you need! From what I can see they’re expanding rapidly, but currently they have already built up:

  • Almost 160 FREE brush sets (so hundreds, if not thousands of individual brushes!)
  • Over 60 PREMIUM brush sets, sure to add an extra touch of professionalism to your work

Whilst some brush sites offer more brushes than BrushLovers, I would personally much rather browse a smaller collection of brushes that were consistently quality, rather than sift through thousands of mediocre brushes.

What Sets Them Apart?

For me the main appeal of BrushLovers is their exclusive, high-quality brush sets. However, I spotted some extra benefits that really drew me to the site:

  • As a designer I hate browsing ugly sites. Luckily BrushLovers is beautifully designed, meaning that it’s a real pleasure to use. (It’s designed by Claudiu Cioba by the way).
  • Very straight-forward account system. You can view all your previous transactions and downloads in a second, and easily redownload them whenever you need. Signing up took literally about 10 seconds, and I was logged straight in!
  • There isn’t a load of fluff on the site. Sure, there are a few adverts, but the content is what really stands out. The browsing experience is simple, and feels very natural. Calls-to-action are elegantly introduced, and non-invasive.

Great Premium Service

We all love free brushes, but sometimes it’s necessary to purchase our brush sets. Whilst BrushLovers offers the majority of their brushes totally free, they also offer some really high-quality premium brushes. Brush Sets range from $3 to $7. If I’m being picky, $7 seems quite expensive considering the number of brushes available online. However, I’d certainly spend the money if I really needed the brush set for a project of mine.

Luckily, BrushLovers offers a far cheaper way to purchase their premium brushes. They let you buy in bulk, which makes the whole process a lot better value:

  • 10 brush sets for $12 ($1.20 per brush set or less* – Credit never expires)
  • 20 brush sets for $20 ($1 per brush set or less* – Credit never expires)
  • 40 brush sets for $30 ($0.75 per brush set or less* – Credit never expires)
  • VIP Unlimited: $49 (Download all you want – Valid for one month)

You can purchase these bulk options here.

My Favorite BrushLovers Brush Sets

After browsing through their entire archive I can already see some brushes that would be perfect for some upcoming projects of mine.

Importantly, all their brushes can be used for commercial purposes, as long as they aren’t directly redistributed..

Here are some of my absolute favorite brush sets from the site. I hope that you’ll find these useful for your own projects:

Check out BrushLovers.com Today

I really hope that you enjoyed this review, and find the BrushLovers service useful.

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