Category Archives: Tutorials

Ghosts, Pac Man and the Shape Builder Tool

Apparently, the ghosts in the game Pac Man had distinct personalities that were put to use within the game’s logic. Blinky followed Pac Man wherever he went, Inky was Blinky’s follower, Pinky tried to think ahead of where Pac Man would be and Clyde wasn’t very bright. I always thought it might be pretty entertaining if someone created a video game from the ghost’s perspective.
But I digress, in this tutorial, you will be introduced to the Shape Builder – a newish tool that makes building complex shapes from simpler ones very straightforward. Think of it as an interactive version of the Pathfinder’s Unite and Minus Front features. We’ll be using to Shape Builder to create the ghosts as well as Pac Man.

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Tracing an Egg with the Pen Tool

This tutorial demonstrates some of the fundamentals of using the pen tool to draw curves. In it, we will trace an egg (yes, that very same egg that has become the most popular Instagram post ever) and will consider best practices for drawing curves as well as strategies you can use in determining how to trace curves for your own projects.

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A logo made with Type on a Path and the Appearnces Panel

In this tutorial, we’ll create a circular logo using the Appearances Panel and the Type on a Path tool. As with many of these tutorials, the steps can be adapted for a multitude of projects.
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Using a Displacement Map for T-Shirt Mock-ups

In this tutorial, we will take a blank t-shirt mockup and apply a color overlay with a white graphic. The tutorial uses a displacement map to achieve the effect of the graphic appearing to be contoured to the surface. A displacement map is a separate grayscale graphic that uses black and white pixel information to distort the graphic in horizontal and vertical directions. Lighter pixels will push the image up, darker pixels will push the graphic down, and 50% gray will not push pixels in either direction. For this tutorial, we will use a grayscale copy of the base image to control the displacement of the graphic so that it conforms to the figure.

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Creating a two-tone image with Photoshop

There are a number of reasons to create an image comprised of only two colors – it may work within your color palette or you may need an expressive graphic image that can have text placed on top of it and be easily read. Below is a very easy way to make a two-tone image using adjustment layers allowing for endless possibilities.

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A Monochromatic Gradient Map in Photoshop

There are many reasons why you would want to make a monochromatic version of an image – some reasons may be that the color scheme of a selected photo doesn’t work with the other colors of a layout, or that the layout itself is intended to work with just one color as well as black and white. This tutorial will use the gradient map adjustment layer to create a monochromatic image and provide a lot of flexibility for any further adjustments.

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An InDesign Inspiration Board


This tutorial will take you through the steps of setting up a basic inspiration board. The page is divided up into a modular grid to a number of cells of your choosing. Options for placing in content is explored as well. An inspiration board is a great tool for displaying images that are relevant to your design needs. Unlike a Pinterest board, a series of pages in Microsoft Word or Google Slides, this format presents all of your inspiration to you at one time at one glance.
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How to recolor Swash Artwork in InDesign


In this tutorial, we will use the InDesign Effects Panel to change the color of a black and white piece of swash artwork. This is a great technique if you want to have graphic embellishments match the color palette of an existing layout.
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Design a Tri-Fold Brochure using InDesign


This tutorial will take you through the steps of creating a basic tri-fold brochure. There are endless variations on this┬ábut the underlying idea is to keep the document structured and to consider how you want a viewer to experience the information. Designing a tri-fold brochure presents a small difficulty as the finished product is three dimensional and is intended to be folded – you will see on page two of the document, the front panel appears on the right. The copy used in this tutorial is actual advice for the production of a brochure, I hope you find it helpful.
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A Multi-page Layout in InDesign


For this tutorial, you will be making a multipage layout in InDesign that can be used for a simple lookbook or photo journal. The tutorial uses master pages so that you can have elements repeat on every page in the same place, you will also create a second master page that can have elements that differ from the original.
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