Fun with Design in Photoshop


"IDEAS" We have the best!

When designing a logo or any kind of project, you may want to have several options to choose from or to work with. To that end, let’s see how to easily update our basic shapes with varying fonts or styles.

To start the file, we will go to the File menu and then click on New. Set the document size to 6 X 4 inches. As we may want this project to be printed, we will set the resolution to 300 ppi and the Color Mode to CMYK. Click OK.

Menu for a New Document


We would like to fill this rectangular shape with color. We can click on the foreground color so that the Color Picker appears. Graphic of tool option, foreground/background

Photoshop's Color Picker


Choose a color by click either in the big window or the “rainbow” bar and then in the center box. Your color choice will appear under the word “new” in the center section of the menu. Press Enter or Click OK.

To fill the entire background, hold down the Alt key (Option on a MAC) and hit the backspace. Our background color is now set. (It CAN be changed at any time.)



Blue Rectangle with Marque Selection


Let’s get a bit of contrast here. Using the Rectangular Marque Tool draw a selection about ½ inch in from the edge of our document.

Choose a contrasting color from the color picker and apply it using the Alt + backspace that we used earlier. Go to Select>Deselect or Ctrl+D to deselect the “marching ants.”


Blue Rectangle with Gold Rectangle

We will add another shape to the middle of this document. Let’s add an oval to this. To do this, in the toolbox, we will press on the rectangular marque tool and hold. There will be an option for an oval. Put your cursor on this option and let go of the mouse button.

Now we will draw an elongated oval that will stretch from side-to-side and top to bottom leaving a small frame around the outside of the oval. As we begin drawing,

The top four tools in Photoshop's toolbox

we may find that the oval isn’t located where we would like it to be. Should that happen, don’t restart your oval. Hold down the space bar and move your cursor to line up the oval the way we would like it to be.

We want to match the color we put into the oval with the outside frame. Activate the Color Picker by clicking on the foreground color. Now, to match the exact color we used for the outside frame, pull the cursor off the Color Picker and put it on the blue we want to match. Note that the cursor becomes an eyedropper. Click on the blue and note that the Color Picker updates to the exact color we used before. Again, let’s hold down the Alt key and hit the backspace key filling our oval with the same color as our frame. Only the selected area updates with the chosen color. Deselect.


Dark Rectangle, Contrasting Rectangle and Dark Oval


Click in the oval and type the desired text. The font in the sample at the top of this document is Broadway, size 50 pt., all caps. On the Control Panel, click the Character Panel icon. Icon to Access Character Panel


Make the text the contrast color and type the word: IDEAS. Grab your Move Tool and adjust the position of the text within the oval.  If you like the choices I made, change the tracking    Tracking icon   to 200 (this will stretch the spacing between the letters), the vertical scale   Vertical Scale tool icon      to 175% (this stretches the letters up from the baseline), and the horizontal scale  Horizontal scale tool icon  to 150%.

Sample of Text in the Oval

Now that we have our background completed, we can get creative with some text effects. Select the text only by holding down the Ctrl key (Move Tool active) and clicking on the “T” in the text layer in the layers panel. You will see the “marching ants” around the text. Now click on the layer mask icon on the bottom of the layers Layer Mask Tool icon from layers panel   panel.

Now that we have our base design in place, let’s look at how we can quickly and easily alter this file.

Start a new layer (  NEW icon in Photoshop  ). Fill it with a color (your choice!). Let’s play with some of the fun features in Photoshop. Go to the Filter menu and play with one of the filters. Some of the filters will be grayed out due to the nature of the project we are doing. Remember that the new layer we just made must be selected as the filter is added. When you are happy with your choice, simply click the OK button. We see that our file is completely covered with the filtered color that we chose.

Let’s apply this to our text. With the Move tool active, control key pressed down, on the T in the layers panel. This action will activate the letters and you see marching ants around the letters. Now click on the layer with the color we just created. We should see the marching ants on the filtered background. Last step: Click on the layer mask icon at the bottom of the layers panel.

Taa daa! Also, this is totally editable. You can change it at any time. Here is my sample:

 Sample of Yellow texture applied to text


Also, double click on the thumbnail for the layer Thumbnail of texture used    and you will have more options to choose from. Putting on a bevel & emboss will give you a result like:

New background file with Bevel/Emboss applied.

Blue texture with Bevel/Emboss


Play with more filters.

 Blue Striped Text


Purple blotched text


Yellow & White text Green and White text



To change the font style while keeping the original as an option, turn off the Text layer by clicking on the eye ( Eye icon from the layers panel  ) to deselect the layer.  Create a new layer. Just go through the same process and in a minute or two you will have something like:

Change of Font Style


Change of Font Style


Let’s move on and do some more enhancements to our text.

We are going to add the text: We have the best! Select your Type tool, click in your file and type the text. I used Gabriola 30 pts for my text and changed the color of the text to my preference. Select your Move tool and place the sentence where you want it. Other effects can be added to the test by selecting the text and then double clicking on the right side of the text layer for this text. Drop shadows, different colored stroke around the letters, bevel and emboss all can be added as desired.

We would like to raise some of the letters off the baseline as shown below.

Sentence: We Have the Best!

Here is how to do it:

Select the text that we want to raise up from the baseline. This can be tedious because each piece must be selected separately. On the Control Panel, select the Character options.Icon to Access Character Panel

A new menu opens. Place the cursor in the baseline shift field: Baseline shift from control panel

We can adjust this number up and down, but here I’ve used a 5 pt shift in this field. This will raise the selected text from the baseline. Now, select other letters in the sentence and repeat this process.

The two small bars underlining the raised letters were created on a new layer, drawing two rectangles with the marque tool. Both rectangles can be active at the same time by drawing the first rectangle, holding down the shift key, and drawing the second rectangle. Fill them with either the same color used for the small text or a different color if preferred!


Examples of final project:

Completed Sample 2


Completed Sample 3

Now go out there and CREATE!

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