Symbolize and summarize. —Saul Bass A lot of graphic design work is pretty specific in nature. Brochures have specific sizes and folding patterns. Direct mail has to meet postal regulations. Web design has to be flexible, legible, and accessible across many devices and browsers. But logo design? Well. Logo design is in its own category. Think about the projects mentioned…
Using smart objects, I’ve created a high-resolution open booklet or magazine template (sized 8.5″ x 11″) that can display an interior spread and front cover. You can even remove the staples if you like (if, for instance, your publication was saddle-stitched or perfect-bound). All you have to do is paste your 300dpi 8.5″ x 11″ page into one of 6 specific smart objects, and you’re good to go for your portfolio or client presentation.
This week, my company has been working on a client’s website, making some slight design adjustments and choosing new photos for some of their pages. They’d expressed a desire to use this image as the header for their site:
The most glaring problem was the pole and myriad telephone lines distracting from the main subject of the photo. So they were the things I took care of first, creating a new layer entitled “clone stamp” and using the clone stamp, healing brush, and paintbrush tools to clean everything up. This was rather painstaking, taking about 40 minutes to do since some of what I was removing was in heavily detailed areas, like the white house on the right and the tiles on the main building.
Then I wanted to adjust the color and contrast a bit. I created two Hue/Saturation adjustment layers: one for the whole photo, and one with just a mask to target the main building. I also created a building-specific Color Balance layer to help it stand out just a little bit more. Finally, I created a Curves adjustment layer to adjust the contrast of the entire image. Here is the final result:
And just for funsies, here’s the before and after together.
Not too long ago, my partner and I discovered the joy that is Aaron Nace‘s Phlearn Photoshop and Photography Tutorials. We spent hours almost every evening for a few weeks watching the tutorials, and it seemed like a whole new world had opened to me. I’ve always been competent in Photoshop, don’t get me wrong. But suddenly it seemed like I could move from mere competency into proficiency. In fact, I must heartily thank Phlearn for making their valuable resources so readily available, as even little tips and tricks I’ve picked up from the show have been so helpful to me in my job as a graphic designer.
Particularly when working with stock imagery that’s close to what a client wants, but not quite.
I do a lot of custom typography and lettering in my graphic design and personal calligraphy work. I aspire to create vector images that are clean, crisp, and intuitively drawn so as to make the job easier for the next designer who has to touch my work. As I continue to read and watch tutorials from experts in the business, like…
A while ago, a friend asked me about my creative process for my artwork. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, mostly since I feel like I don’t really have a process. I was able to identify 8 things I typically do to stay creatively in shape, and share them here with you now, in case you want to be like me! (Or, you know, something.)