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Pack a punch in your next promotional piece with this bold technique

Added on Thursday 15th of January 2009 01:45 am EST


Adobe Photoshop CS/CS2/CS3

Operating Systems:

Macintosh, Microsoft Windows



When you’re strapped for time, coming up with a creative way to advertise your next event might seem more like a root canal than free-flowing expression. Well we have just what you need—a tutorial that combines punchy graphics, a personalized message, and enough flexibility to suit any output method.


Whether you’re designing a web banner ad, poster, newspaper insert, or flyer, if you’re advertising an event, you want your design to stand out from the pack. So try this technique to create punchy promotions that will rock your customers’ socks off!


Pick your subject

You can use any photo subject for this technique. To follow along with our example, download the file from the URL given at the beginning of this article and extract the file poster.psd. (Images provided by PhotoSpin. Some images modified for educational purposes.) Then, launch Photoshop and open the file shown in Figure A.




Isolate your subject

First, you need to isolate your subject. For our sample file, we’ll use CS3’s Quick Selection tool to select the white background, but if you have an earlier Photoshop version, you can use the Magic Wand tool or any other selection method that works best for you.


To isolate the subject:

1.       Double-click on the Background layer to display the New Layer dialog box, enter Woman (or another intuitive name) in the Name text box and click OK to rename and unlock the Background layer.

2.      CS3 users: Choose the Quick Selection tool from the Tools palette. CS/CS2: Select the Magic Wand tool from the Tools palette, or any other selection tool of your choice.

3.      Select the white area around the woman’s face, including the negative space inside her headset, as shown in Figure B.



4.      Press [delete] ([Backspace] in Windows) to remove the white background pixels and press [command]D ([Ctrl]D in Windows) to Deselect All, for results shown in Figure C.



Posterize your subject

Next, you’ll create a black and white rendition of the woman. You’ll do this task by removing the color from the layer, and then applying the Posterize effect.


To posterize the woman:

1.       Select Image > Adjustments > Channel Mixer to display the Channel Mixer dialog box.

2.      Select the Monochrome check box and click OK to remove the color from the image.

3.      Choose Image > Adjustments > Posterize to display the Posterize dialog box.

4.      Enter 2 in the Levels text box and click OK for results shown in Figure D.




Get some elbow room

Now that you’ve completed the main subject, you’ll want to increase the canvas size to accommodate any items you wish to add to your promotion.


To increase the canvas size:

1.       Choose Image > Canvas Size to display the Canvas Size dialog box.

2.      Select an anchor box, input your desired canvas measurements in the Width and Height text boxes, and click OK. For our example, we selected the bottom right anchor box and changed the canvas size to 6 inches wide by 10 inches high, for results shown in Figure E.



Add color and design elements

Now you can start addi...


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