Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A design idea from last year

I'm taking the easy way out today and doing a re-post from last year. In preparation for the holidays, I did some posts about design inspiration, including a series about Criterion DVD design. This was a follow-up that shows how you can recontextualize a design to suit your needs:

It can be a lot easier to adapt a pre-existing good design than to invent something from the ground up. And you would be surprised how easy it is to do. I won't do a whole tutorial in this post, but you will have plenty in the coming months. For now, I just want to show you how fun it can be to go from foreboding drama...

to happy holiday card...
using the things you've learned on this blog.

The shorthand version of how I did it:
1. I brought up the inspiration photo and turned on the grid to approximate the layout.
2. I opened a new document (with "show grid" enabled) and used the rectangle shape tool to draw the shapes. For the tree on top, I used a dingbat from a free Christmas collection (it was the letter "d").
3. I toned the image of the girl (a stock photo for demonstration purposes) and then copied it into the other document.
4. I created a clipping mask using the shapes in exactly the same way as with fonts.
5. I used a red-to-green gradient, a duplicate clipping mask, and a layer mask to fill with color up to the tree.
6. I added text (using two different fonts to make the spacing match up better).

The shorthand explanation of that post was more about adaptation than a step-by-step tutorial. When you encounter designs you like, think about how you might do your own version in Photoshop. And if you've got something you would like to do but don't know how, leave me a comment about it and maybe I'll cover it in a future post.


michelle said...

Great example of using design inspiration to create something new. I keep clipping things for my inspiration file, I just know they'll come in handy someday. (Now if I can get my skills up to the level of being able to do all I want to...)

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