How to do distressed, grunge or rubber stamp designs in Photoshop


Put type or whatever you want distressed, grunged or “rubber stamped” on one layer in Photoshop with a white background layer beneath it. The create a blank layer above it (Cmd/Ctl-Opt-Shift-N). Then you need to create some clouds. Very easy. First of all make sure your background and foreground colours in the Tools palette are […]

How to design shiny interface buttons in Illustrator


These little buttons take a few seconds to make in Illustrator and give a nice polished, “web 2.0″ feel to a website or interactive environment. Firstly, when creating this shiny effect in Illustrator remember to make the document RGB. Go File > Document Color Mode > RGB. It won’t work otherwise. Many thanks to Simon […]

How to design a cool web 2.0 button in Illustrator and Photoshop


An earlier tutorial on how to make a shiny button in Illustrator using the Opacity Mask feature can be improved upon greatly by adding a sexy brushed steel surrounding ring to your amber jelly button! As previously explained, the shiny “web 2.0″ button look can be made by placing a circle with a linear black-to-white […]

How to turn a photo into an illustration


Remember Adobe Streamline? Adobe stopped upgrading its vector conversion application some time ago. But with the advent of CS2, Illustrator’s old Trace Tool became the new super Live Trace and opened up a new world of possibilities! As soon as you place or paste a photo into Illustrator a button on the Control Palette offers […]

Graphic design an eye


This is one way of reproducing a striking image without having to pay for it! The logical way of doing an image made of dots would be like this: Make sure that your image’s width and height are divisible by 10 pixels (the above is 450 by 300 pixels). Nice round numbers make the following […]

Designing photo montages in Photoshop


Although it’s important to cut out images well when composing a montage in Photoshop, it’s definitely not the most important thing. Images should be chosen for their ability to fit in with the other graphic elements in the composition. Usually one piece or element should stick out more than others – the “hero”. It is […]

What is an artworker?


Many people have asked me this question and, in the absence of a Wikipedia entry, here’s my definition. The term pre-dates desktop publishing when “artwork” or “mechanical art” meant the material (photography, bromide, film, tranparency) or completed, camera-ready pages that could be photographed with a stat camera to make a same-size film that would be […]

Graphic designer’s picture quiz #3 with hidden famous faces


How many famous faces can you spot, who are they, what’s the background they’re superimposed on? I did this to illustrate an article I wrote commenting on the music industry. I used paths, marquees with a feather of two pixels and a brush eraser with a hardness of 0% to cut out the heads. It’s […]

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