Graphics are am important aspect when it comes to your blog/biz/website – they portray the mood, style, and feeling of your website right off the bat. Graphics are often the first thing people see before they come to your website either through Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or other social media outlets – so you want to make sure you are giving off a great first impression!
Picmonkey, Gimp, and Canva are great alternatives to Photoshop, but if you do have Photoshop, don’t let it sit there on your computer collecting digital dust! You can do some really great things with it.
Photoshop is an amazing tool for bloggers, business owners, and creatives. There is so much flexibility involved and the possibilities are endless! But Photoshop can be overwhelming, especially if you rarely use it. That’s why I am choosing 5 tools and tips/tricks that Photoshop offers that will allow your graphics to really pop, no Photoshop overwhelm involved! I will also show some examples at the end of this post of blog graphics that other creatives/bloggers have created on photoshop. Use them as inspiration!
The shapes tool allows you to place and size various shapes like squares, rectangles, lines, circles/ellipses, and other random shapes like arrows, music notes, birds and anything else that you can find online and download. You can really get creative with these and create some great eye catching graphics!
How to use:
Right click on the shapes icon in the toolbar. Your options for shapes should pop up (lines, ellipses, rectangle, etc.) Click and drag in the canvas to create the shape. If you hold down shift, the shape will maintain its shape without stretching. If you hold down option and shift at the same time while clicking and dragging, the middle of the shape will start from the point you’ve clicked. Place each shape on a new layer so you can easily move them around. Play around with colors and sizes, and have fun!
Fonts are a great way to set the mood of your graphic. They can be playful, modern, bold, or sophisticated, depending on what mood you want your graphic to give off. Mixing font style is a great way to create contrast within your graphics as well. Try mixing a bold font with a fun and lightweight font!
There are tons of websites where you can download free fonts. (Make sure to check the font license before using!)
Free font resources:
There are also many ways to edit your text under the character toolbar. The graphic below will explain what each of these options does.
Brushes are a fun way to add some style, flourishes, and personality to your graphics. They are similar to shapes, but have more of an opacity to them. You are able to change the size of the brush, or even create your own brushes. I like using the brush tool for watercolor brushes! You can find tons of free resources where you can download free brushes online.
Clipping masks allow you to place images within a shape. They are great for making mood boards or style guides – but you can do some creative things for your graphics using this trick! Check out my blog post on creating clipping masks – it also includes a video tutorial.
I like to put a tint of color over images in my graphics – like you see in the image above. Here is how I do that:
- Find an an image and put it in photoshop.
- Create a new layer and put that layer on top of the image.
- Fill the top layer with a color using the fill tool.
- Change the opacity of that layer so you can see the image through the color.
INSPIRATION GALLERY – SOME GRAPHICS CREATED WITH PHOTOSHOP
Take a look at some of these amazing graphics created by other bloggers/creatives/biz owners and gain some inspiration. Think about the different tools photoshop has to offer, how these creatives have used those tools to create these amazing graphics, then go see what you can do!