Photoshop

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Tutorial: The Simple Way to Create Low Poly Portraits in Photoshop

by Maddie Stearn on April 27, 2017 No comments

Low poly portraits have become hugely popular for their minimalistic, edgy, and three-dimensional look. And while you may not recognize the term “low poly,” you’ve probably noticed these geometric portraits popping up everywhere—whether it be in advertising campaigns, illustrations, or even decorative art. Considering the popularity of low poly images, this technique is a great design hack to have under your belt, and it’s surprisingly easy to replicate.

Stock images pair perfectly with this design technique because of their versatility and color variation. Your end product will also look completely different from the original, so you save money but won’t risk running into the same image anywhere else. Our stock image library is also easy to search, so you can quickly find images that are perfectly suited to the low poly technique.

To make the process even easier, we’ve curated a gallery of stock images that work especially well as low poly portraits.

 

Step 1. Open Stock Image in Photoshop & Unlock the Background

 
We used a stock photo of a flamingo for this tutorial, but you can also check out the gallery mentioned above for even more stock images.

Open the image in Photoshop and unlock the background.

step 1 unlock

 

Step 2. Select the Entire Figure

 
Select the Polygonal Lasso Tool and start outlining the subject of your portrait. It’s totally fine if your outline is a little boxy or sharp—this will just add to the geometric effect of the final product.

step 2 outline

Be careful to include as little of the background as possible. Cutting off the edges of your subject a little bit won’t hurt and might make it easier to avoid including any background colors. You can see in the image below that I outlined the flamingo from the inside to avoid including any of the blue water from the background.

 

Step 3. Open in a New Photoshop Document

 
When you finish creating the outline, you will notice a moving dotted line surrounding your subject. This is the selection area. Cut this selection (Command/Ctrl + X) and paste into a new document.*

*If you want to keep the original background, create a new layer and paste your selection onto this new layer. This will prevent any background colors from merging with the subject when you start creating the low poly effect.

low poly

 

Step 4. Make a Triangular Selection

 
Select your subject’s layer (in this case, the flamingo layer). Make sure that the Polygonal Lasso Tool is still selected, and pick an area to draw a triangle. For each of your triangles, you want to select areas that have similar coloring.

Now, draw your triangular selection.

low poly

 

Step 5. Filter the Selection

 
With the triangular area selected (you should see the moving dotted line), select Filter > Blur > Average. This creates an average of all of the colors within your selection area.

Once the selection area is “averaged,” you can draw your next triangle. Make sure that one side of your triangle lines up with one side from the original. This will prevent any gaps between triangles.

Now that you’ve already used the Average command once, you can simply hit Command + control + F (Ctrl + Alt + F on PCs) on your keyboard. This keyboard shortcut repeats whichever filter was last used.

low poly

 

Step 6. Repeat Forever (Not Really)

 
This is the time-consuming part of the tutorial. The low poly technique itself isn’t hard at all, but making all of those triangles does take a chunk of time. Settle in with a good podcast or TV show in the background and the time will quickly fly by.

low poly

 

Tip 1: Filling in the Gaps

 
You might notice gaps between some of your triangles. These are easy to fix—just draw another triangle that covers the gap. (The gaps also might not even be visible once you zoom out to look at the final product.)

low poly

 

Tip 2: Getting the Details

 
Make smaller triangles to capture the more detailed areas of the image. Luckily, you don’t have to use small triangles for the entire portrait. The low poly effect looks best with a wide range of triangle sizes.

low poly

Keep on making those triangles until you’ve covered the entire image.

low poly

 

Now give yourself a huge pat on the back (and maybe take a break from the computer screen). You’ve successfully created a low poly portrait! This is an incredibly useful technique to have in your design arsenal, so congratulate yourself on a job well done.

 

Get Geometric with More Graphics

 

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Maddie StearnTutorial: The Simple Way to Create Low Poly Portraits in Photoshop

Tutorial: Create Simple, Stunning Floral Typography with Photoshop

by Maddie Stearn on April 6, 2017 No comments

Do you need seasonal, standout creative that leaves a lasting impression? Ad agency bigwigs and book publishers often rely on floral typography when they need bold, organic imagery—but with our straightforward tutorial, you too can add this advertising “secret weapon” to your arsenal.

Floral typography describes the design technique of layering text and floral images to create a multidimensional effect. Yet, the name can be a little misleading since we’re not talking about text made from flowers; the text just lives amongst the flora and fauna. The trend has even expanded beyond florals to include other foliage as well as abstract designs.

Businesses have latched onto the trend, and many spring design campaigns make use of floral typography. The technique varies widely from design to design, so businesses can easily diversify their materials. Small businesses need not cringe in fear; floral typography is pretty simple to replicate, and stock images make the entire process even smoother.

Anyone can master the floral typography trend with a little practice. Armed with this tutorial and stock images, small businesses can easily keep up with the big guns without breaking the bank.

To get started, check out our hand-curated gallery of stock floral images from the GraphicStock library.

 

Step 1. Create New Photoshop Canvas

Create a new canvas in Photoshop and paste your floral image onto the canvas (we used this stock bouquet photo). Resize as needed by clicking Command/Ctrl + T.

(For clarity, we named the layer with the flower image “Floral Layer.”)

floral typography

 

Step 2. Duplicate Layer

 

Right click on the Floral Layer and select Duplicate Layer. In this example, we named the new layer “Floral Layer copy.”

floral typography

 

Step 3. Add Layer Mask

 

Select the new layer and click the Add Vector Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.

floral typography

 

Step 4. Invert Layer Mask

 

Select the layer mask (not just the layer) and click Command/Ctrl + i to invert the layer mask. The layer mask icon will turn from white to black.

floral typography

 

Step 5. Draw a Rectangle

 

This step is optional, but framing your text can add a nice touch to the design.

Select the Rectangle Tool and draw a new rectangle. Use the Properties panel to adjust the fill and line colors, as well as the line thickness.

floral typography

 

Step 6. Move Layer and Adjust Opacity

 

Select your rectangle layer in the Layers panel on the right and move the rectangle between the “Floral Layer” and “Floral Layer copy”.

With the rectangle layer still selected, lower the opacity so that you can see both the rectangle and the flowers underneath it.

floral typography

 

Step 7. Paint

 

Make sure that your foreground color is set to white and your background color is set to black. To adjust these colors, simply click on their respective boxes and select the desired color.

Select the layer mask and then click the paintbrush tool. Begin painting over the areas of the rectangle that you want to erase. If you erase too much, simply hit the X on your keyboard and paint over the area you want to correct. Hit the X again to switch back.*

The hardest part is deciding which flowers should cover the rectangle. Try to pick flowers that are in the foreground (as opposed to the fuzzier flowers in the back). This will help add dimension to your design.

(*The X command switches the foreground and background colors. You paint with white to erase and black to correct.)

floral typography

 

Step 8. Add Text

 

It’s actually more efficient to add the text when you create the rectangle, but the order doesn’t really matter. Just make sure that, when you do create the text layer(s), you place them between the “Floral Layer” and “Floral Layer copy” just like we did with the rectangle layer.

Again, adjust the opacity on the text layers so that you can see both the text and the flowers beneath.

floral typography

 

Repeat Step 7

 

Use the paintbrush to erase/repaint pieces of text to make it look like the text and flowers are overlapping. This is a little trickier than the rectangle because you don’t want entirely cover any of the letters. Try to find where the letters overlap with stems and the edges of petals.

floral typography

 

Once you are done painting, your image is complete!

floral typography

 
There you have it! You’ll be a floral typography pro in no time. It just goes to show that with a little practice, and some stock photos, your small business can have a big impact—and while you’re at it, incorporate some Spring sunshine with these stunning floral stock photos.

 

Discover More Floral Images

 

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Maddie StearnTutorial: Create Simple, Stunning Floral Typography with Photoshop

Tutorial: Create Photoshop Brushes with Stock Images

by Maddie Stearn on March 5, 2017 1 comment

“If I can’t paint with real brushes, why should I paint with Photoshop brushes?”

The idea of painting in Photoshop can be daunting, especially if you gave up on watercolors in elementary school. But here’s a secret that your 5th grade art teacher never told you: Photoshop will help you fake it ‘til you make it. While this is probably not a great lesson to teach 5th graders, as adults sometimes we need to figure out how to work within our limitations.

Watercolors are popular graphic design trend, but in real life they’re messy and difficult to master. Budding graphic designers shouldn’t be discouraged; with stock images, you can create custom Photoshop brushes that will make it look like you know how to paint.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to quickly make several watercolor brushes in Photoshop using stock images and vectors. You can even use these same steps to make any custom brush.

 

Step 1. Pick Your Watercolors

 
You should have your watercolors ready before you begin the tutorial, so here are some stock watercolor images from the GraphicStock library to get you started.

 

Step 2. Convert Your Images to Black & White

 
Open your images in Photoshop, then add a black and white adjustment layer. You can also add a brightness/contrast adjustment layer to vary the depth of color. You should also make sure that the background is as white as possible.

We recommend adjusting the image size so that your bush doesn’t start out too large (but you can always play around with the brush size later). To adjust the image size, go to Image > Image Size.

photoshop

 

Step 3. Create the Brush

 
With the brush tool selected, go to Edit > Define Brush Preset. Name your brush, then click OK. Repeat this step for all of your watercolor images.

photoshop

 

Step 4. Test Your New Brushes!

 
Open a new Photoshop document and select the paint tool. Open the Brush Presets browser (go to Window > Brush Presets) and select any of your watercolor brushes. Adjust the brush size using the slider or using the bracket keys on your keyboard.

Finally, click once on the canvas. You do not want to click and drag because that will just create a large blob.

Now start experimenting! Switch among your new watercolor brushes while adjusting the color and size. In the next step, we’ll show you how to adjust the angle of the brushes to prevent the image from looking too patterned.

photoshop

 

Step 5. Adjust the Brush Angle

 
To simply flip your watercolor horizontally or vertically, go to the Brush Presets tab and check the Flip X and Flip Y boxes, respectively. You can also adjust the brush angle in this tab.

photoshop

If you want to add some more variation to the size and position of your brush, click on the Shape Dynamics tab on the left. Experiment with the sliders and start clicking on your canvas. If you adjust the Size Jitter, for example, the size of your brush will change every time you click on the canvas.

photoshop

When you’re done, you’ll have a custom watercolor painting! Pat yourself on the back and relish not having to clean up any paint.

Using these same steps, you can easily create any custom Photoshop brush. Or check out our hand-picked gallery of stock watercolor images to find more inspiration for your next Photoshop brush.

 

Brush Up with Stock Images

 

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Maddie StearnTutorial: Create Photoshop Brushes with Stock Images

Stock Yourself: How One GraphicStock Member Got YouTube Famous

by Caroline Mercurio on February 10, 2017 No comments

Sometimes it’s hip to be “stock-y.” Music videos used to cost thousands of dollars and required high-tech hardware and editing programs. But now in the age of low-budget DIY creativity, YouTubers like Joe Penna—known as MysteryGuitarMan on his channel—can make engaging videos with just a few stock images and a talented hand in Adobe Photoshop, all without ever having to leave their homemade studio. Joe’s specialty is bringing the absurd to life with animation, special effects, and music.

Take a look at “Stock Photo-shop” and see for yourself:

 

 

Joe’s music video for “Believer” by the band Paper Lions features stock photos from GraphicStock, with Joe lip-syncing the lyrics. He even made sure the lighting on his face matched the lighting in the photo. The well-paced video over the infectious tune was uploaded on December 15th and has garnered over 300,000 views so far. The video was well-received by subscribers, who have been anticipating a new video from Joe since his previous upload two months prior.

We love seeing projects that our creative community makes—from fun music videos by YouTubers like Penna to exciting designs like last year’s Creative Rewards winner. That’s why we’ve made it our mission to provide high-quality stock content that fits any creator’s budget. The possibility are endless!

 

Discover Stock Images

 

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Caroline MercurioStock Yourself: How One GraphicStock Member Got YouTube Famous

The Ultimate Guide to Adobe Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts

by Caroline Mercurio on January 4, 2017 No comments

These days, Photoshop is everywhere—in your newsfeed, on your Pinterest board, and maybe even amongst your New Year’s Resolutions. The ability to transform and customize stock photos and create graphics is one of today’s most sought-after skills.

Whether you’re a Photoshop novice or expert, efficiency is key—and that’s where this printable guide comes in. Sure, there’s going to be some memorization involved, and maybe even a bit of a learning curve—but once you master these handy shortcuts, you’ll be flying through your projects faster than a cheetah on a coffee break. You can download a PDF version here and tape it to your desk for easy reference.

 
Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts
 

Keep it for yourself, or spread the wealth—Photoshop mastery is at your fingertips. You can share the guide on your own blog or website using the embed code below:

<a href='http://blog.graphicstock.com/graphic-design-tutorials/the-ultimate-guide-to-adobe-photoshop-keyboard-shortcuts/'><img src='http://d2436y6oj07al2.cloudfront.net/assets/gsblog/2017/01/GS_Photoshop-ShortCuts.png' alt='Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts by GraphicStock' width='800px' border='0' /></a>
 
 
Best of all, these are the standard keyboard shortcuts in PS, so there is no setup involved.
With all this knowledge literally at your fingertips, go ahead and jump right into any Photoshop project.

Need a little inspiration? Check out these tips, tricks, and tutorials, or explore our library of royalty-free stock photos for the perfect start to your next Photoshop adventure.

 

 

read moreCaroline MercurioThe Ultimate Guide to Adobe Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts

50 Best Photoshop Tutorials of 2016 — The Year’s Top Graphic Design Tips and Tricks

by Maddie Stearn on December 28, 2016 No comments

2016 has been on point in the world of Photoshop tutorials. With dozens of new and unique tips and tricks for Adobe’s most popular design program, Photoshop has only gotten better with age. From trendy effects like double exposure and text portraits to evergreen favorites like added grunge textures, there’s always more to learn. Even better, it’s never too late to start since there are always new and updated tutorials to help you along the way.

We’ve curated our 50 favorite Photoshop tutorials from 2016 for designers of all skill levels. Stock photos and graphics are also a great resource for testing these tutorials—check out our library to help you get started.

Tutorial Categories

Beginners
Text
Illustrations
Vintage
Small Businesses
Special FX & Fantasy

 

Beginners

It’s never too late to learn Photoshop, especially since every year brings a wealth of new tutorials. Whether you’re learning for the first time or looking for a refresher, these are some of the best beginner-level Photoshop tutorials from 2016.
1. How to Add Textures in Photoshop

1-compressor-copy
2. This Game Will Help You Conquer Your Fear of the Adobe Pen Tool

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3. How to Change Colors in Photoshop

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4. How to Add Bokeh Overlays in Photoshop

happy childredn outdoor
5. How to Create a Dazzling Holiday Card with Your Annual Family Photo

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial
6. How to Easily and Accurately Select Image Areas

6-alt
7. How to Use the Lasso Tool in Photoshop


8. Create Animated GIFs in Photoshop


9. Color Luminosity and How to Change It


10. The Channel Mixer Adjustment and Creative Coloring


11. Photoshop Tip: What to Do If Your JPEG Image Won’t Open


12. How To Use The Content Aware Crop In Photoshop

 

Text

Fonts and lettering have surged in popularity in recent years, so it’s no surprise that 2016 really pushed text to the limit.
13. How to Create a Visually Striking Text Portrait in Photoshop 

Tutorial How to Create Striking Text Portrait Photoshop
14. Hand Lettering Tutorial for Beginners


15. Create a Realistic Fire Text Effect in Photoshop

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16. Create a Long Shadow Text Effect in Photoshop Using Layer Styles

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17. Create a Multi-Stroke Text Effect Using Photoshop’s New Layer Style Functionality

16-compressor
18. Banksy Style Stencil Graffiti Effect in Photoshop

 

Illustrations

Illustrations can be one of the most important and versatile assets for a design project. Luckily, 2016 provided us with plenty of Photoshop tutorials to keep our illustration skills sharp (regardless of drawing ability).
19. How to Color Illustrations in Photoshop

How to Color Illustrations in Photoshop
20. How to Create a Realistic Pencil Sketch Effect in Photoshop

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21. Photoshop Tutorial: Low Poly Portrait


22. How to Create a Blueprint Effect in Adobe Photoshop


23. How to Create an Abstract Polyscape in Adobe Photoshop

23-compressor
24. Create Digital Collages Without Using Filters

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25. Using Patterns in Digital Art

 

Vintage

No matter how close we are to a robot-controlled world, we hope that vintage design will always have its appeal. At the very least, vintage Photoshop tutorials were still hugely popular in 2016, so we’ve collected a few of our favorites.
26. Add a Vintage Grunge Effect in 5 Easy Steps with Photoshop

Vintage Grunge Effect Photoshop
27. How to Create a Distorted VHS Effect in Photoshop

27-compressor-copy
28. Re-Color a Black-and-White Photo

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29. Creating a Film Noir “Light Coming Through the Blinds” Look in Photoshop

 

Small Businesses

Knowledge of Photoshop can make a significant difference for small business owners, and these tutorials from 2016 will help you stay ahead of the game. We also recommend checking out these stock photos for social media images, stock vectors for creating logos, and stock graphics for website optimization.
30. The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Image Sizing

Facebook Image Sizing
31. How to Make Social Media Banners in Photoshop

Make Social Media Banners in Photoshop
32. Learn How to Design a Profile UI in Adobe Photoshop


33. How To Create a Watermark

33-compressor-copy
34. How to Create a T-shirt Mockup

 

Special Effects & Fantasy

These tutorials give us a glimpse at Photoshop’s incredible power, supernatural or otherwise. From fireworks and surreal photo composites to mesmerizing smoke and shattered glass effects, these tutorials will take your projects to an unreal level.

 

Special FX:

35. 7 Easy Steps for Adding Fireworks Using Photo Composites

Adobe Photoshop Tutorial 7 Easy Steps for Adding Fireworks Using Photo Composites
36. Adobe Photoshop Tutorial: How to Add Light Beams to Images

Adobe Photoshop Tutorial How to Add Light Beams to Images
37. Create a Shattered Glass Portrait

37-compressor-copy
38. Cutout Paper Style in Photoshop CC


39. Smoke Effect


40. How to Photoshop a Tattoo on Someone

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41. Dispersion Effect: Photoshop Tutorial


42. Photoshop Tutorial | Fire Portrait Manipulation


43. Create Sun Rays in Photoshop


44. Glass Window Reflection Effect in Photoshop


45. How to Create Realistic Jedi Levitation Portraits

 

Fantasy:

46. Create a Fantasy Seascape with Stock Photo Composites

Photoshop Tutorial Create Fantasy Seascape Stock Photo Composites
47. How to Create a Game of Thrones-Inspired Crest in Photoshop

How to Create a Game of Thrones inspired Crest in Photoshop
48. How to Create Double Exposure Effects in Photoshop

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49. Create a Lightbulb Composition

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50. How To Create a Surreal Hollow Face Portrait in Photoshop

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With all of these awesome tutorials, it’s hard not to feel inspired. Get your creativity flowing and take these how-tos for a test drive using royalty-free stock photos from our library—all with unlimited downloads for our members.

 

Start Your Design Project
Discover Creative Stock Photos

 

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Maddie Stearn50 Best Photoshop Tutorials of 2016 — The Year’s Top Graphic Design Tips and Tricks

Tutorial: Add a Vintage Grunge Effect in 5 Easy Steps with Photoshop

by Maddie Stearn on November 16, 2016 No comments

Grunge textures are one of the most popular search terms in our GraphicStock library–and for good reason! Textures are an invaluable resource to graphic designers and photographers alike. Grunge textures, in particular, can send a picture back in time, creating a dramatic, vintage effect. That’s why we’ve created this simple tutorial to show you how to quickly add grunge-styled textures using stock vectors and photos.

Whether it’s for home decor or website illustrations, the grunge effect is one of the most versatile graphic design techniques. In this tutorial we’ll show you how to add a grunge texture to an image in five easy steps. And if you’re anxious to learn more, you can also check out our tutorial on adding background textures in Photoshop.

 

Step 1. Choose an Image

You’ll want to pick an image that looks convincingly vintage when you add the grunge effect. To get you started, we put together a gallery of stock photos that would work well with this tutorial. You can also download the image we used here.

Once you’ve selected your image, go ahead and open it in Photoshop.

1

 

Step 2. Add the Grunge Texture

Select a grunge texture. To make things easy, we curated a gallery stock grunge textures from the GraphicStock library.

Drag the grunge texture file onto your Photoshop workspace. Adjust the size of the texture as needed by dragging the corners of the image.

2

 

Step 3. Choose a Blending Mode

Select a blending mode from the drop-down menu under the “Layers” panel on the right. You can experiment with blending modes until you find one that fits your project. We selected “Hard Light” for this tutorial.

3

 

Step 4. Add a Black & White Adjustment Layer

Under the “Adjustments” panel, click the “Black and White” icon. You can also go to the menu bar and select Image > Adjustments > Black & White.

4

 

Step 5. Adjust the Opacity on the Grunge Texture Layer

Select your grunge texture layer, click “Opacity,” and adjust the slider until you achieve the desired effect.

5

 

Pro-tip: Remove Unwanted Marks from the Image

If you find that the texture is just a little too grungy, you can always make more adjustments to the image. For our picture, we wanted to get rid of a few of the marks that were obscuring the girl’s face.

Select the texture layer, then go the menu bar and select Layer > Rasterize > Smart Object.

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Once you have rasterized the texture layer, click on the “Healing Brush” icon on the left (it looks like a Band-Aid).

Before you can fix the image, you need to select a “source point.” The source point is a location on the image that you want to use to repair a damaged area. To select a source point, just Option+Click on a clean area near the damaged area. We selected a part of the girl’s cheek without any grunge marks as our source point.

Once you have selected your source point, just click and drag your mouse over the area that you want to repair. You can experiment with the length of your strokes to see what technique works best for your image.

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Voila, your image is complete!

Children at the beach

 
Now go forth and create faux-vintage photos!

Check out our galleries of royalty-free stock photos and stock grunge textures to find some inspiration. You can download all of these photos, textures, and more as part of your GraphicStock subscription. Once your project is complete, share it with us in the comments, or upload it to Instagram and tag @graphicstock_.

 

Unlock More Grunge Graphics

 

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Maddie StearnTutorial: Add a Vintage Grunge Effect in 5 Easy Steps with Photoshop

Tutorial: How to Create a Dazzling Holiday Card with Your Annual Family Photo

by Caroline Mercurio on November 1, 2016 9 comments

It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing, temperatures are dropping, and pretty soon Christmas music will start streaming in through your radio. Every holiday season, we decorate our refrigerators and mantles with cards from family and friends wishing us health and happiness through the cold winter months. This year, stand out from the crowd with a beautiful, one-of-a-kind holiday card that you can personalize to exactly your taste.

We’ve created this quick tutorial for designing a custom photo card that will dazzle everyone on your mailing list. All you need are a few easy-to-edit graphics and you best family pics, and you’re ready to get started. Here’s what we used:

 
And here’s a preview of our final product:

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

 

Let’s Get Started

 
Step One: Create a Canvas

First, we need to create our canvas. Start by opening a new document, and set the dimensions to 5”x7”, with 300 px/inch.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

 
Step Two: Build your Border

Now that you have your canvas, select the shape tool and set it to the rectangle shape. Draw a rectangular fill shape ½ inch in from all sides.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

Once you have your shape, select the “Paint Bucket” tool to fill the square with an ivory color.

A popup will ask you to rasterize the shape, click “okay” and then click inside the shape with your paint bucket.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

 
Step Three: Add Some Sparkle

The holidays are a festive time of year, and how often do you have free reign to add some gold glitter to your life? We decided to use a gold glitter background for the border, and that’s just what you’re going to do next.

We used this gold glitter background. Simply go to File>Open, then select your image. Once it is open in a new Photoshop screen, select the “Move Tool” and drag it into the canvas. From there you can resize the image as you see fit.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

You will notice that it is currently in front of that pretty ivory rectangle we made. To fix this, go to your layers panel, and pull the layer labeled “Rectangle” above “Layer 1.”

 
Step Four: Add the Banner

For our banner, we started with this red satin image. Open and drag it into your canvas the same way you did for the gold background.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

Next you will need to crop out a long rectangle. To do this, you first need to set your primary color to black. Then, Using your marquee tool, draw a rectangle over the area you want to save. With this selected, go to the layers panel and select the “add vector mask” button at the bottom of the panel.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

Now you should have a long, thin red banner. Move the banner to the center of the canvas.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

We added an additional satin effect by going to the “fx” button at the bottom of the layers panel and selecting “satin.” Make sure the color is set to a burgundy red and adjust the settings as you see fit. You can see here the settings we used to give the banner a rich, velvety texture.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

 
Step Five: Add Your Family Photo

For our “family photo,” we used this stock image.

Insert your photo into your canvas as you did the other images, and crop as necessary using the vector mask and marquee tool like you did with the red satin banner. Move your image into place.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

We didn’t want to crop off the top of the frame any further, so we let the image stay a slightly larger than the frame and moved the banner in front of the image to cover the extra. We did this by dragging the layer above the photo in the layers panel.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

 
Step Six: Edit Your Photo

Go ahead and apply any edits you would like to your photo. We chose to desaturate this image so that it wouldn’t compete with the bright gold and red in the design. You can do this by selecting Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

 
Step Seven: Start Adding Text

Let’s start by adding text to the lower portion of the canvas, just to get the words in there and figure out what and how much we want to say.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

To make the card look really beautiful, we need to lay out our text in an interesting way and add exciting fonts. Play around with this and let your creativity really shine.

Don’t be afraid to rotate the text and use a couple of sizes and fonts. We also chose to move the “sentiment” up into the ribbon banner for better balance.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

Finally, to help the text really pop, we added drop shadows to some of the text layers. With the text layer you want to edit selected in the layers panel, click the “fx” button at the bottom of layers panel, and select “Drop Shadow.”

Here you can see the settings we used for the banner text.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

 
Step Eight: Send it to the printer

We recommend using a professional printer with a high quality cardstock to really make your card stand out. Or if email is more your pace than snail mail, save your cards as high quality PNGs or PDFs to share virtually with all of your loved ones.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

 
That’s it! This beautiful card is simple, elegant, and entirely yours. Customize this design however you like–or if you are feeling inspired, you can start your own from scratch. With thousands of photos, vectors, and graphics, your options are endless.

What will you design? Share your finished project with us on Instagram, (simply tag @graphicstock_), and let us know how it goes in the comments section below.

 

Send Holiday Wishes

 

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Caroline MercurioTutorial: How to Create a Dazzling Holiday Card with Your Annual Family Photo

Have No Fear—These Halloween Stock Vector Projects Are Scary Easy

by Caroline Mercurio on October 7, 2016 1 comment

We love Halloween. As soon as the calendar hits October 1st, we start thinking of ways to utilize our royalty-free stock vectors for all sorts of inventive Halloween designs. Last year we created awesome printable Halloween masks, but this year we’re taking it to another level with festive posters, invitations, and pumpkin carving templates.

Our library is full of unique Halloween vectors, and the beauty of working with them is how easy they are to customize or incorporate into your larger design—even in Photoshop. Here are three fun and spooky ways you can bring your Halloween creations back from the dead this year.

 

1. An Eye-Catching Event Poster

 
Halloween Stock Vector Projects
 
Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, starts the day after Halloween and brings colorful inspiration beyond orange and black. With one of the intricate sugar skull vectors in our library, we created a vibrant event poster highlighting this traditional illustration.

To recreate this poster:

1. Open a new Photoshop file with poster dimensions of 24 x 36 inches and color the background black.

2. Drop in this sugar skull vector, then select and delete the white background—you may need to rasterize the layer first.

3. Enter your desired text with your chosen typeface.

4. Warp the top text by clicking menu item Type>Warp Text>Style: Arc. Be sure Horizontal is checked and adjust to your desired bend.

To add a little more depth to the poster, we also added a few texture layers. Place this grunge texture image as the top layer. Resize it to the full width of the poster, change the blend mode to Multiply, and lower the opacity to 25%. Add another geometric texture above the background layer and adjust the opacity to 25%. These textures add visual interest and keep the poster from appearing too flat.

 

2. Spirited Party Invitations

 
Halloween Stock Vector Projects
 
Sometimes you’ve got to get punny, and there’s no better time than Halloween. Our library has plenty of festive and easily customized illustrations and vectors, like this owl artwork.

To recreate this invitation:

1. Open a new Photoshop file sized at 4 x 6 inches.

2. Place the owl image into the file as a smart object, resize it to 4 inches wide, and center it horizontally and vertically.

3. Rasterize the layer and fill in the remaining background by selecting the surrounding area and clicking menu item Edit>Fill>Contents: Content Aware.

4. Create new text and add in “Owl See You Oct. 31” or your own customized text. For this poster, we continued to use the Google Font, Creepster.

5. Add any additional party information below the owl.

Not much of a planner and afraid of using snail mail? Don’t worry, these graphics are also great for social media use. You can make the dimension of your artwork either square or horizontal and still achieve the same effect by posting to a Facebook event or even by sharing through email.

 

3. Spooky Pumpkin Carving Templates

 
Halloween Stock Vector Projects
 
Halloween is incomplete without an old fashioned carved pumpkin or two. While carving pumpkins maybe be a timeless tradition, you can apply some tech-savvy techniques to your artistry. We’ve gathered a few simple and spooky graphics that would make excellent templates for your pumpkins.

To create your own carving template:

1. Open the vector file in Photoshop and convert the images to a highly contrasted black and white graphic. (Image>Mode>Grayscale; Image>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast—and increase contrast to desired level.)

2. Print them out and stencil in the black areas after cutting them from the paper.

3. Carve the appropriate portions of each design into your pumpkin. We used these freaky teeth and added some basic eyes before printing. Or check out more vectors and illustrations we’ve used for pumpkin carving.

Halloween is about having fun and letting loose. Don’t feel like you have to play by the rules when creating your designs. You can take them to a scary, horror-inspired level or get silly and playful like we did. But start prepping soon—Halloween is just around the corner.

 

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Caroline MercurioHave No Fear—These Halloween Stock Vector Projects Are Scary Easy