Improve Your Graphic Design

The list of lists of things to do and learn keeps going, ever growing. Like in this case, 20 New Tutorials for 2017 to Improve Your Graphic Design.

How to is the name of the game;

    • create a geometric pattern
    • dynamic gradients
    • optimise and export SVGs
    • create digital particle waves
    • create an editable retro text style
    • making quick selections for masking
    • quick and easy duotone text effect
    • endless picture within a picture illusion
    • vintage film title text effect

     

  • Good Graphic Design is Key to Communicating Your Message.

PS~Branding Package

This months Photoshop walk though is on developing a branding package for a modern sushi restaurant called Fe Sushi.

Uses a clean, minimal design to communicate the modern feel of the brand while using brightly colored, tasty food images for instant consumer recognition of the type of cuisine.

Step 1: Ad Layout

Laying out a basic ad with a logo to shape our brand look in a 9×12″ sheet. Mostly for me this was an exercise in using the Duplicate Group tool.

Here is a simple break down of the steps I took in this stage of the project:

  1. Create a New Document.
    Open Photoshop and go to File > New. In the New Document dialog box, enter a width of 9 inches and a height of 12 inches. Set your Resolution to 300 ppi and your Color Mode to RGB. >> Click OK to create the document. Then Save your working .psd.
  2. Set a background image.
    In this case we are going to use a paper texture. Go to File > Place Linked. Navigate through your folders and select ‘MockupCloud_20-paper-texture’. Press Place.
    At the top of the artboard next to Angle, enter -90 degrees. On the artboard, hold Shift and use the corner handles to increase the size until it fills the entire artboard. Press enter when done.
    Then Save your working .psd.
  3. Add the wood block.
    1. Navigate back to the folder and open ‘MockupCloud_Serving Boards-Trays-Pads’. When the file opens, you may get a warning about a missing font. Click Cancel – we won’t be working with the text at all.
      In the Layers palette (Window > Layers), click once on the top Serving Board group.
      Go to Layer > Duplicate Group. In the popup window, select the ad layout file for the Destination Document and click OK.
    2. Back in the ad layout file, you won’t be able to see the serving board just yet. It copied over, but it’s somewhere off the artboard. To see it, press Cmd – (hyphen) several times to zoom out. Now go to Edit > Free Transform to see the edges of the selection.
      Use the Move Tool (v) to drag the serving board up to the visible part of the artboard.
      At the top of the artboard, enter a Width (W) of 75% and click the link icon between Width (W) and Height (H) to maintain the aspect ratio. Enter an Angle of -28 degrees. Press Enter.
    3. Position the serving board at the bottom right corner of the artboard so we only see a small portion of it. Then Save your working .psd.
  4. Add the bamboo mat and tea pot.
    1. Go back to the MockupCloud_Serving Boards-Trays-Pads file. Select the group named Pad. Go to Layer > Duplicate Group. Select the main ad layout for the Destination Document and press OK.
      In the main ad layout file, zoom out (Cmd -) and go to Edit > Free Transform to locate the Pad group. Drag it to the top right corner of the artboard so we only see the lower left side of the bamboo pad.
      Press Enter to set it. Now Save your working .psd.
    2. In the Freebies folder, open MockupCloud_Kitchenware-Misc. Choose Cancel on the popup window for the missing font.
      In the Layers palette, select the Tea Pot group. Go to Layer > Duplicate Group and select the main layout file for the Document Destination. Press OK, then close this file.
      In the main layout file, go to Edit > Free Transform to locate the teapot. Drag the teapot to the top right corner on top of the bamboo pad.
      Press Enter. Now Save your working .psd.
  5. Add the black serving slate.
    1. Go back to the MockupCloud_Serving Boards-Trays-Pads file. Select the bottom group named Serving Board. Go to Layer > Duplicate Group. Select the main ad layout for the Destination Document and press OK. You can now close this file.
      In the main ad layout file, zoom out (Cmd -) and go to Edit > Free Transform to locate the new Serving Board group.
      At the top of the artboard, enter a Width of 78% and click the link icon between W and H.
      Position the black serving board halfway between the top bamboo mat and bottom wood board, partially off the left side of the artboard.
      Press Enter to set it. Now Save your working .psd.
  6. and

And that’s just the background and laying down 3 mockup objects. You still have the two groups of sushi and the font logo, and marketing ad tagline to build.

Step 2: Logo and Tagline

Adding and editing some text, and adjusting my layers in groups and stacking order.

Step 3: Outdoor Sign Board Mockup

Could be applied to a variety of banners and signs showcasing our new ad on an outdoor board.

Step 4: Tablet

Now let’s try a website mockup on a tablet screen.

Step 5: Restaurant Sign

Now that we have a handle on reusing our groups of objects and mockups we build a restaurant sign.

Step 6: Employee Shirt

The last piece to create for this brand is a shirt that would be worn by a member of the kitchen staff who isn’t in a chef uniform – bussers, dishwashers, etc.

Now just so you don’t think I can create this stuff off my head yet, I will let you in on the secret. I used this DesignCuts tutorial,
Create A Japanese Style, Branding Package in Photoshop.


At the end of the day it really is about good UX

PhotoShop Basics with Layers

What to learn and know about PhotoShop Basics? Well back in 2012 I worked on PhotoShop CS5. I first took classes in PhotoShop back in 2000 when it was 5.5 and Illustrator was v8. But I think I am most comfortable with the basics as set in CS5. I  always figured I was a web developer, who could do the basics of design, and I still pay for that mindset. Starting NOW, January 2015, I am going to sit down once a month for a whole day, and work through some kind of project to keep my skills going. Eventually it was make more sense.

I created a rack card, which is your basic 4×9 postcard type advertising printed on both sides, usually one side in glossy coated color. Started with a photographic and tweaked it a bit, added a border and played around with some text on the back.

Created a table tent card, a movie poster, have done some photo cleanup from old scans, and a wide variety of projects, but never thought of myself as a graphic artist. I  always figured I was a web developer, who could do the basics of design, and I still pay for that mindset. So being as its January 2015, I plan to sit down once a month for a whole day, and work through some kind of project to keep my skills going. Eventually it was make more sense. I am glad we are about done with the PSD3HTML craze, and are building to a standard of using HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery for design.

I know I need to learn to create a web page in Photoshop and then get it out to a good web page, but that day has not yet come. Meanwhile….


Working with Layers

  • Lock Transparent Pixels
  • Apply a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer
  • Work with a Layer Mask
  • Use One Layer to Mask Another Layer
  • Mask a Layer with the Paste into Command
  • Scale an Image
  • Use the Free Transform Command
  • Use a Single Layer to Mask Multiple Layers
  • Paint in a Layer Mask
  • Add a Stroke Layer Style
  • Add a Drop Shadow Layer Style
  • Edit Layer Styles
  • Copy Layer Styles Between Layers

and that’s just in Working in layers. And that really kind of covers PhotoShop Basics. Everything is and has a layer.