Home » Archive by Category "Graphic Design"

10 Common Mistakes People Make in Photoshop

We all love to critique photos right? If you’re anything like me, you click on articles that say things like “Horrible Photoshop Mistakes” and spend time trying to figure out how a particular image has been altered. And while there are lots of “bad” photos out there, many of them started with a good idea in mind. Programs like Photoshop are amazing and powerful tools, if you know how to use them right. I’ll go through a list of some of the most common mistakes beginners make in Photoshop, and help you find a workflow that is not only efficient, but ends with a clean and professional-looking...

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Understanding Resolution

During every graphic design class we run at the Fort Collins Digital Workshop, there’s almost always a lengthy discussion about image resolution. Imagery used to be so simple when the world was still analog. But with digital imagery, there are many factors to consider when determining resolution. First, to understand resolution you need to understand that all digital images are made of pixels, which is short for “picture elements.” A pixel is the smallest meaningful unit in an image and holds all of the color definition information, including color and brightness. When you group a large...

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The Concepts of Strong Visual Design

Strong designs go far beyond looking cool. When you load a website, watch an ad on television or peruse magazine ads, are you looking at them with random purpose, or did someone sprinkle a breadcrumb trail for you to follow? A well-designed document leads viewers from point A to B, highlighting and emphasizing key components without shouting in all caps “HEY! LOOK OVER HERE!” While there are many creative and intricate ways to draw viewers to the important content like moth to flame, there are basic (and highly effective) methods that are commonly used in just about all of today’s media....

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Cooking Up Basic Photoshop Designs

It will take some time, patience and practice to master Adobe Photoshop. But, there’s no time better than the present to roll up your sleeves and whip up some basic designs to get your feet wet. The interface and terminology might be intimidating at first, but when you boil things down and use Photoshop’s tools in bite-sized portions, you will be amazed with how quickly the software becomes familiar to you. Also, feel free to learn more general information about Photoshop and Adobe Creative Suite in our September blog. If you feel more like a fry cook at McDonald’s than Mario Batali at the...

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Vector Items Are Clean, Smooth

[Originally published in The Coloradoan on 3/23/12] Last week, I began discussing the differences between raster and vector graphics in digital images. This week is part two of the discussion and focuses on vector graphics – what they are, and how they can benefit you and your business. Whereas raster graphics, discussed last week, are made up of a grid of pixel information, vector images are not. Rather, vector images are mathematically created images made up of lines, curves, anchor points and shapes. Vector graphics can be used for simple or complex logos, diagrams and more. If you...

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Choose Graphics Program Based on Type of Images Handled

[Originally published in The Coloradoan on 3/16/12] Many of my students ask me whether Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator is the correct program for their graphic design, print media or image editing needs. And it’s always a tough question to answer. To understand what choice makes sense for you or your business, you must first understand the definition of the two major types of digital images used in graphic design: raster and vector graphics. A raster graphic is a graphic made up of a grid of pixels, often referred to as a “bitmap” format. The word raster is really just...

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