Photoshop basic tools

November 29, 2008

Photoshop is a bitmap based program. Bitmap files are also known as rasterized or rastered files. Below is a brief explaination of photoshops basic tools.

marquee-toolMarquee tool: Rectangular, elliptical, and single row tools. Click and drag to make a selection. Hold Alt key (pc) to start selection from the center.




lasso-toolLasso tool: Lasso, polygon, and magnetic selections. Create a selection by drawing a perimeter around the area.





Magic wand: Selects pixels by clicking on a pixel and adds similar neighboring pixels. Uses a tolerance setting in the option menu to increase or decrease the range of pixels selected.




foreground-backgroundForeground color: Upper left chip in color pallet and tool pallet Color is choosen by double clicking to bring up color picker or by clicking on a swatch or by using the eye droper.

Background color: Lower right chip in color pallet and tool pallet. Color is choosen by double clicking to bring up color picker or by clicking on a swatch or by using the eye dropper.


brush-toolBrush tool: Most basic painting tool. Use options pallet to set type, size, mode, opacity, and flow. The left and right bracket keys lets you quickly resize the brush.



crop-toolCrop tool: Use options pallet to define area to be cropped in width height and resolution.




type-toolType tool: Click to type, options pallet controls font type, size, format, etc. Maybe used on path created by the pen tool. Creates new layer for each new click. Type maybe rasterized to convert into pixel, can not be edited afterwards.

Visit and sign up for the Quick Start video tutorials e- course. This will outline all you need to know to get up and using photoshop like a pro.



November 27, 2008


As an artist and musician some of my best work is done when I am inspired. Inspiration comes and goes but is everywhere. Family, friends, music, books and my enviroment many times motivates me to create.

In the Layout Book by Paul Rand he states that” Inspiration is the spirit or energy that motivates the
creative process and provides the impetus to solve communication problems. It engages the senses of the designer and fosters originality. Inspiration signals the beginning of an idea.”

Some of the ideas I’ve had are so fragile that if I don’t jot them down and get them in writting they are gone forever.

The Illustration of my son and daughter where inspired by them. The way in which it was drawn was also inspired by them.I tried to capture the feeling that I get from them. Naveh soft and gentle, Josiah was a little more firm. I have found that I am mostly inspired by my suroundings and great music.

This leads me to ask what inspires you? How do you communicate and express your creativity? Is it through writing, drawing, singing or some other form? Where has some of your best, most creative work been inspired from? Is it a person or a movie?


As a graphic artist it is important for me to continually keep fresh ideas and motivation to produce good work.I have found that a change of scenery and trying new things give a rejuvinating spark. Tell me, how do you keep yourself motivated to produce?

Sign up for the Quick Start video tutorials at  These are step by step instructions on how to use photoshop. This should be a little motivations for you

3D effect

November 27, 2008

In my poster I used the 3D effect on the arrows. Here is how I used it.


Select your object. Then select the effects tab and go to 3D –> extrude and bevel.


Set your perspective angle by typing in the degree or manually move the blue box. To see the moves, make sure the preview box is checked. Leave surface on plastic shading. When you are satisfied with the position click ok.


To change the color of the arrow, you must change the fill and stroke. If you have any questions leave me a message and I will respone.

72dpi to 300dpi

November 27, 2008

In building your brand through print media, the focus needs to be on quality. Good design, layout, quality images, and substrate. Pulling images off the web and placing them in your printed material can lead to poor quality print. Web images have a much lower resolution than print. A standard web image is set at 72 dpi ( dots per inch) while print is 300 dpi. If a web image is printed you will see pixellation. Pixellation is the display of pixels/ dots which are obvious to the eye.

Here is how you fix it in photoshop.

Open a picture

open picture

open picture

Go to image tag

go to image tag

go to image tag

Select image size and change the 72 dpi resolution.

72 dpi

72 dpi

Type in 300 dpi and hit ok.

300 dpi

300 dpi

This should correct the problem of pixellation. Notice by changing the resolution higher the size has changed also. If you have any questions concerning resolution for print contact me.

Sign up for the Quick Start video tutorials at These are step by step instructions on how to use photoshop.

Pathfinder tool

November 27, 2008
a poster

a poster

 In this poster recently done I used the pathfinder tool in Illustrator to create the arrows. To use your pathfinder tool:

First draw two shapes that you want to join together.

Then go to windows –> pathfinder and click on it.


Your pathfinder pallete will open up. Overlap the shapes and select them both. In your pathfinder pallete select add shape area then hit expand. ( now it is one shape)


That is how you use the pathfinder tool. Play with the other functions in the pallete to create other shapes.

To make the arrow look 3D I use the 3D effect. Check out the 3D tutorial.

Design Briefs

November 16, 2008


Write a good design brief

When you are hiring a graphic designer to do a project you need to provide him with a creative breif.   Let the graphic artist know about your business and be concise.

What is the goal of the new project?
What are you trying to communicate?

Are you trying to rebrand or just update promotional material.
If so provide the designer with the old material.

Who is the target market?
What are their demographics?
If there are many, rank in order of importance.

What information needs to be in the piece?
Who is providing the copy?
What pictures/ photos/ diagrams need to be used?
Who is providing them?
Where is the design going to be printed/ used? (Web, business cards, stationary)

Provide a budget so the graphic artist can maximize the project.


Set a realistic deadline.
Consider time for consultation
     concept development
     production and
With these questions answered expectations are set and the process will run smoother.