Photoshop

The purpose of this page is to provide a simple breakdown of the most commonly used styles within print design. These were inspired by several brochures and other print graphics collected over time. Taking the best styles displayed in those brochures, I broke them down to the basic elements of design.

This is an effect you will see often, either a person coming out of a TV screen, or off a billboard, or something of the sort.
Here is another nice effect, the use of a color element over top of the rest of the photo that has been converted to black and white.  It adds a great amount of emphasis to your primary subject.
Often you will see several images displayed in a simple rectangular pattern, typically with a light photo in the background (which I didn’t include here- see ‘Brightened Levels’ image further down).
Some photos can be used with just a solid fill outline of the image rather than the original photo. This effect comes in handy when you have a photo may not be good enough quality to use as is.
Enlarging the object of emphasis can be a great way to communicate your message to the reader.
Often you will see text and background that are both similar in hues. (see also ‘Lots of Type’ image further down). When you look around you will see that this effect is common.
This effect is also common and greats a nice 3D effect. To create the shadow here, the layer for this oval painting was copied, squashed almost flat, and the Levels adjusted to turn the image black. Then it was blurred. The reflection is simply another copy of the layer after using ‘Flip Vertical’ option under the Edit menu.
Sometimes a unique photo can be used to surround your primary image in order to add emphasis to it. For a Fall theme, perhaps use as a border a close-up photo of orange and yellow leaves, then use your Fall photo (a pumpkin, perhaps) in the center of your composition.
Transparent elements used to overlay on a photo can create a nice effect. This not only creates a visually appealing look, but provides a text bar on which to place type since it may not be easily legible directly on top of the photo.
Simple effect but still used on brochures and other print graphics.
This effect makes a mediocre photo a little more appealing and colorful. Again, if you are taking your own photos and you don’t end up with stellar photos, you can use this type of effect to jazz it up a bit.
While in Lowe’s recently I saw a brochure that had several window shutters arrayed in this type of pattern. Creates a very nice look, and the direction of the subjects (the pencils in this case) will direct the viewer’s eye to the text.
Breaking up one image into separate tiles can be helpful to engage the viewer into putting the image together in their mind, which gets them to think about it more and solidifies the image in their mind.
Sometimes type is the best way to tell your story. Again, using a photo outline rather than the photo itself can be a nice touch, as seen here with the Chicago skyline.
Brightening the Levels of the image allows you to place type or other imagery over the photo, causing greater contrast and less unwanted blending, which can cause difficulty in reading or viewing the graphics.
Same effect as above but with the Colorize effect in the Hue and Saturation dialogue box.
One of the most popular effects used in graphic design is the create an image with an alpha channel that is placed directly over another background graphic. Moreover, photos with alphas are often placed over a dividing line in the graphic, as seen here where the hand overlaps the maroon surface and the photo, creating more depth.
Feathered edges always create a nice effect, particularly when blending from one photo to another when creating a collage, or using a simple solid color that blends into another photo as shown here.
Have you ever seen a creative blend of photography? There was once a creative ad in which the middle section of a pack of apple flavored gum was digitally removed and replaced with an apple core, causing the illusion that the pack of gum had been bitten into and revealing a real apple inside. Stretch your mind to look at things differently and uniquely.
Very simple effect but a nice one. When a border is applied to these round images, they are great for overlaying on just about any background graphic regardless of how light the background is. (lightening the BG in this case would still be wise)
This is one of the best effects to use to engage your viewer and create appeal in your design. Ever seen an ad in which someone is leaning on a large cup of soda (a popular tactic used by gas stations during the summer months to give you something to view while pumping gas in super hot weather!)

Photoshop Video Tutorials

The video tutorials below are for those new to Photoshop. The Project videos are intended to demonstrate how to design a brochure or marketing piece from start to finish using an existing advertisement.

Photoshop Intro_part 1
Photoshop Intro_part 2
Photoshop Intro_part 3
Photoshop Intro_part 4
Edit Menu_part 1
Edit Menu_part 2
Image Adjustments
Image and Canvas Size
Layer Menu
Project 1_Mailer Design
Project 2_Simple Brochure

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