of our 52-week photography and Photoshop projects.
If you are like me, you do not have the budget to pay a third person to create your website banners for you. I do have super talented in-laws who I could harass, threaten, or perhaps blackmail into creating banners for me on a regular basis. But because I love the hunk in my life and do not want to live alone with 2 small kids, I decided to make peace and nice with my in-laws and fiddle around with Photoshop CS3 myself. And, maybe see what I can come up with.
Here is the story of my life in 25 pictures or less. I am by no means a Photoshop expert. What I am is an enthusiast with "some" time on her hands. That's my story.
Here we go...
First, you need to determine the size of your banner.
Click File < New and a box will launch. You need to fill in the dimensions of your project. I typically use 900 x 300 pixels for this blog. This is a nice size banner that fills up the header of my blog.
Ta-da! Now you have your base.
Next, you want to set the background color of your banner.
Click Layer<New Fill Layer < Solid Color
This will launch a box that will let you select the color you want.
Because I want to match the background of my blog, I chose white. You can select any color you wish to use.
Click 'OK' once you've made your selection by positioning the little circle over the color you prefer. You can click on a section of the rainbow bar in the middle of the box to select another color, and reposition the little circle on the specific shade/hue you want. Click 'OK' to set the color.
Tabularasa! My clean slate.
We are ready to put our blog title/name onto the banner.
You will need to click on the 'T' icon on the left bar of your screen.
Select the font style and size you want (we prefer Modern No. 20).
Put your mouse on the spot on the banner where you would like your text to be. Left click and type away!
To change the color of your text, highlight the text you want to change and click on the colored boxes on the top bar or the side bar.
This will launch the color palette box. Select the color by moving the little circle over the shade/hue you prefer. Click OK. Don't be afraid to play around with the font style and size. Nothing is permanent until you 'Rasterize' your project.
When ready to move on, click Layer< Rasterize < All layers.
Remember, this will set your text. In case you make an error and want to change the size or color of your font, click Edit < Step Backward.
Next is the fun part - adding the flourishes and other designs to your blog. I am going through a 'flourish' phase, and love the online brushes that I have found. Click the 'brush' icon on your left bar.
This will launch your brush presets.
Select the brush tip shape you want to use. Remember to adjust the master diameter of your brush. For the 900 x 300 banner I typically stick with 375 to 400 px for the main design and resize it to 175- 225 for embellishments.
I have downloaded a lot of free brushes from the web (hawksmont is a favorite!).
Your mouse is now your brush and you will see the outline of the brush tip you selected. Drag your mouse over the spot on the banner where you would like to add your flourish and left click. Woo-hoo!
Remember you can change the color of your brush, by clicking on the small box on the left bar.
It will launch the color palette box.
Move your mouse (little circle) over the color you prefer. You can click on a section of the rainbow bar in the middle of the box to select another color, and reposition the little circle on the specific shade/hue you want. Click 'OK.'
Your brush will now be whatever color your have selected. To switch between colors for your brush, click on the arrow on top of the 2 colored squares.
Drag the mouse over the area on the banner where you would like to add the flourish and left click on your mouse.
A lot of possibilities. You can change the brush preset by clicking on the preset that you prefer. Adjust the master diameter of your brush.
Lather, rinse, repeat.