How to Use Photoshop to Make Creative Designs

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Adobe Photoshop is a useful tool for creating unique designs and logos for your t-shirts and accessories. It’s a graphic design software that can edit photos, videos, design websites, and even create 3D artwork. Learning all you can about this program will help you be able to put together designs for your t-shirts exactly the way you want them. When you’ve acquired a plan with Photoshop and downloaded it to your device, you can follow these tips to make the most use of the software.

Opening Photoshop

When you open Adobe Photoshop, you’ll notice a few things. Similar to other programs, you’ll first see the main menu at the top. The main tools will be located on the left side of the screen. The color tool and the layers tool will be located on the right side of the screen.

Opening a document

When you want to open a file or create a new document in Adobe Photoshop, you first need to select File. The “File” button is located on the top left side of the menu. After you select it, then you can click “New” to create a blank document. If you want to open an existing file, click “Open” and select the file that you want to be opened.

A dialog box will come up every time you create a new document. You’ll have the option of selecting size, resolution, and naming the file. You can set your design or photo at the right size for your products. Once you set up all of those options, you can click OK and get started on your design. Be aware that the new document will be locked from any edits directly to the layer. You’ll have to click the lock icon to unlock it.

Photoshop tools

It’s important to familiarize yourself with the tools that Adobe Photoshop gives you. As mentioned earlier, your main tools are located on the left side of the Photoshop screen. At the top section, you’ll see the slicing, selection, and cropping tools. When you want to select parts of your image that you want to edit, enhance, crop, or slice, you can use these tools. In the second section, you’ll notice the paint and retouch tools. These tools can help you draw on your image, remove unwanted spots, erase certain areas, color in certain areas, or enhance through blurring or sharpening your image. The drawing and typing tools are located in the third section. You can use these tools for drawing images onto your design by hand and writing text over your image.

Photoshop layers

Sometimes when photoshop isn’t designing your image the way you want it to be, it’s possibly an issue with the layers. Layers are basically like glass stacked on top of each other. If you want to edit one part of your image without messing up the whole image, using multiple layers allows you to do this. Clicking the eyeball icon located on the left of each player’s name will give you the option to either add, delete, or hide the layer. New layers will often be automatically created for you by Photoshop when you do certain actions. When you paste an image onto your document, a separate, unnamed layer will be created. The same event will occur when you select the Type tool and write on the background image. Be sure to name your layers as you’re working, so you can avoid any confusion. In the Layer panel, double-click the current layer name and type in the name you want to give it.

Photoshop pen tools

The Pen tool is what you use to do the drawing mentioned in the third section of the Photoshop tools. There are four types of pens that you can use. The Standard Pen is used to draw straight segments and curves. If you want to intuitively draw straight segments and curves, use the Curvature Pen. The Freeform Pen allows you to freely draw as if you were using a pen and paper. Lastly, if you want a more precise drawing of paths that snap to the edge of different defined edges, use the Magnetic Pen.

The pen you may likely use the most is the Standard Pen. If you want to use it, you can click and hold the pen icon and then choose Pen Tool. Another way you can do this is by typing “shift+P” in the toolbox menu and selecting the pen tool you want to use. Once you’re using the Standard Pen, you’ll be able to create an anchor point when you click the document. Anchor points will be like your corners or the point where the curving of the shape begins.

Photoshop type tool

When you’re ready to write words on your image, select the type tool icon located in the left toolbox and choose the option to either type horizontally or vertically. There are different font styles within Photoshop, and you can also install your custom font if you already use one for your brand. Installing your custom font is done through installing the OTF or TTF file in your fonts folder on your computer. After you restart your computer, the font can be available in Photoshop. Many different options come with the Type tool. Among them include size, color, italics, underline, small caps, superscript, and subscript. You can also adjust the spacing between the text and letters. Along with spacing, the text can be made taller or wider as well.

Photoshop gradient tool

If you’re unfamiliar with what a gradient is, it’s a smooth color transition between multiple colors. It can help give your design a more professional look. There are preset options you can choose from within the tool, or you can choose to create a custom gradient. If you want to create a gradient, click the paint bucket icon and hold it down until the menu appears. Then you should select Gradient Tool. After you select Gradient Tool, choose the option menu located under the main menu bar. The Gradient Editor will open, and you’ll be able to choose a preset, and then make changes to customize it.

Click OK after you’ve selected all the gradient options that you desire. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to draw your custom gradient onto your document by clicking the starting point, holding the mouse down, and dragging your line to where you want the ending of the gradient to be. You have five different gradient options that you can choose from. Linear gradients are straight lines. Radial gradients are circular patterns that symmetrically go outward from the starting point. Angular gradients are counter-clockwise sweeps around the starting point. A reflected gradient is a mirror image of a linear gradient that’s on both sides of a starting point, and lastly, a diamond gradient is a diamond pattern from the middle to outer corners.

Photoshop Lasso Tool

When you want to cut, isolate, edit, or enhance a part of an image, the Lasso tool will accomplish that for you. When you’re cutting something out on other programs, you’re probably used to using a rectangular or circular shaped tool to remove parts. In Photoshop, the Lasso tool allows you to create a custom shape to be more precise in the part that you want to remove from your image. There are three types of Lasso you can use. The standard lasso lets you draw the shape that you desire to remove. This action can be done by drawing the shape while holding down the mouse click. If you want to control the way the selection closes, you need to make your way back to the starting point.

The second lasso you can use is the polygonal lasso. With this tool, you can draw a polygon with straight sides. As opposed to creating the shape you want by dragging the mouse, you click where you want to end the line of your polygon. The last type of Lasso you can use is the magnetic lasso. It’s recommended as the most suitable one for getting the precise shape you want to be taken out. What the tool does is it snaps to the time you select, giving you more accuracy than if you did it by hand. 

Click the edge of the item as your starting point, hold down the mouse, and trace the item. Photoshop will create a selection once you release the mouse. In addition, you can increase or decrease the size of a certain part of the image as well. When you hold down the “Control + Shift” keys while you draw, it will add to your selection. “Control + Alt” held down will subtract your selection. The options “Add to selection” or “Subtract from selection” are also available in the Lasso tool’s menu.

All of these tools will be useful in creating quality designs for your t-shirts and accessories. You can find Adobe Photoshop tutorials to continue to improve in your photo editing skills. When your design is ready, you’ll be ready to screen print it on your t-shirts. You can learn more about screen printing at Thrive Screen Print.

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