Easy Photoshop Color Splash Tutorial for Photos and Images


Color Splash Black and White Photo - Plant through Brick

Color Splash Photos with Photoshop

Photoshop Color splash is a method for emphasizing areas or objects inside of black and white photographs, with color. Very popular with wedding pictures and vintage photography, color splashing gives images an extra dimension of beauty: Color can be used creatively to change the perception of the image.

 

Step 1: Duplicate the Layer

Duplicate Layer in PhotoshopPhotoshop has several different ways to duplicate layers. The one in the image is probably the easiest:

Right-click on the layer and click “Duplicate Layer…”. This will make a duplicate layer above the original.

As you become more familiar with Photoshop you will find that keyboard shortcuts make certain actions faster to do than going through the menus and right clicking. With some practice it becomes a reflex such as typing; you know what keys to press without even thinking about it.

Duplicate Layer Keyboard Shortcut: CTRL + J (PC) or Command +J (Mac)

Step 2: Desaturate the New Layer

Desaturate Layer in Photoshop

Desaturation is a different process in comparison to converting an image to grayscale or a black and white yet renders the same visual effect. Desaturation occurs by pushing the CMYK values of the image towards their respective grey tone.

Photoshop automates this function for us using the Desaturate Adjustment

The two easiest ways to Desaturate a layer are as follows:

*Make sure you have the new layer selected in the Layers palette.

Click: Image>Adjustments>Desaturate.

Desaturate Layer Keyboard Shortcut:

Press Shift + CTRL + U (PC)
OR Shift + Command + U (Mac)

 

At this point you should see a black and white photo like this:

Desaturated Flower Girl in Photoshop

Step 3: Adding Color with the History Brush

Photoshop History Brush Tool

The History Brush Tool can be used to restore color and other attributes to an image from an earlier state in its history.

Once we desaturate the image, the original color becomes part of that image’s history. By using the History Brush Tool we can then selectively restore parts of the desaturated image to its original color version. In short, we are erasing the desaturation back to color except only where we want the color to appear.

Select the History Brush Tool by clicking on it in the tools palette.

*Make sure your new desaturated layer is selected in the layers palette.

History Brush Tool Keyboard Shortcut: Press the letter Y (Mac or PC)

Begin by setting the brush size to 200px and 0% Hardness.
This gives us a large brush size to work with and the 0% hardness creates a faded finish around the edges of the brush so that we do not end up with a hard edge:

 

Photoshop Brush Hardness Comparison

Now you can begin coloring in the parts that you would like to have color. Adjust your brush size accordingly to get into those tight spaces and remember that you can zoom in to make sure you add nice clean details to your image.

Brush Size Keyboard Shortcut:

  • Increase Size = [ (Mac or PC)
  • Decrease Size = ] (Mac or PC)

Take a look at the Color Splash I did in Photoshop for this tutorial, it took me less than 10 minutes:

 

Color Splash Using Photoshop History Brush

Experimenting with the history brush and different brush shapes for that matter can result in some unique and/or abstract photo manipulations.

 

Show us your skills! Tell us about your color splash project below..

Valentine’s Day Design Inspiration and Free Downloads

Valentine’s Day is here and you know some graphic designers out there are scrambling to complete - or start! –  their Valentine’s Day design projects. Whether it’s for a company promotional project or simply to impress your Valentine with your awesome romantic design skills, everyone needs a breath of inspiration sometimes.

I present to you an inspirational collection of Valentine’s Day art to give your designs a little Heart & Passion:

 

Be Mine by : Q. Cassetti

Valentine by Alexandra Zaharova & Ilya Plotnikov

Valentines by kwedo

Valentines by Peeewax

Vector Valentine by HyperCannon

Valentine’s Heart Brushes

Hearts Brushes by Hawksmont [Photoshop] – Commercial use: yes

Love Icon Brushes [Photoshop] – Commercial use: yes

Heart Brush Set by Robert Redwood [Photoshop] – Commercial use: yes

Balloon Heart Brushes by Daniel Jordanov – [Photoshop] – Commercial use: yes

Valentine’s Vector Downloads

HQ Heart Illustration [.eps] – Commercial use: yes

Floral Heart by VectorCity [.eps] – Commercial use: yes

Glossy Hearts by OpenGraphicDesign [.eps] – Commercial use: yes

Will you or did you create your own Valentine’s Day Greeting cards this year?

Please leave your comments below…

Refreshing and Tasty Design Inspiration

Art is a fruit that grows in man, like a fruit on a plant, or a child in its mother’s womb.
Jean Arp

When in need of inspiration I always turn to nature. Curves, colors, shades, reflections, beauty; You name it, she’s got it.

Here’s a healthy dose of inspiration:

INDIVIDUALISM POSTER by fatihtokoz

Rebuild the Aesthetic Poster by gomedia

poster by solo designer-d32lw4j

Killer Grapes Poster by GraphZ

Tropical by Creatunco

Print Infographics by Rhysbol

Fruit by sweetchantal1989

FRUIT RAIN by illugraphy

cherry stick heart-shape by dkraner

updated fruit poster by sweetmisery11

Becoming Reality vII

 

Quick Fun Fruit Facts:

  • Avocados are commonly used as vegetables. Botanically they are fruits.
  • Very few fruits contain fat: avocados, olives and nuts are the only ones with significant amounts.
  • Cranberries, Concord Grapes and Blueberries are the only major fruits native to North America.
  • Strawberries, bananas, grapes, apples and oranges are Americans favorite fruits in that order (2008).
  • The Red Delicious is the most widely grown variety of apple in the world.
  • There are 3,236  people in the U.S. listed on whitepages.com with the last name ‘Orange’
    (Mark Morton, ‘Gastronomica’, Fall 2010)
  • Grapes are about 80 percent water.

 

Is there something in nature that you find inspirational to your design?

The Need to Bleed


Bleeds and crop marks business cards
I recently asked my production manager and the graphic department manager here at Marsid M&M:

- What is the most common mistake that you find in artwork submitted by customers?
Answer: Missing Bleeds.

They also added that it is one of the biggest causes of delays in the customer receiving their order. It’s a fact that many businesses hire outside designers and when we contact the customer about the missing bleeds, it can take a matter of minutes to a matter of days to get the adjustments made by their designers.

Unfortunately our graphic department cannot always add the bleed because the file is not editable which is a whole other blog post (coming soon).
If we can add the bleed ourselves, we do it free of charge as a courtesy to our customers.

Bleed and Crop Marks

What is Bleed?

Some designs contain graphics or solid backgrounds that reach the edge of the paper as shown above. Printers require an additional stretch of these graphics or solid backgrounds, usually about 1/8th of an inch called a “Bleed” in order to guarantee the edges are not left without ink when the paper is cut.

Stack of paper showing bleed being cut

Quick tutorials: Adding bleed to your artwork

The easiest thing to do to prevent forgetting to add bleed is to simply make a bleed guide as the first thing you do when beginning a new design. Some professional design software makes this incredibly easy to do, some you have to do manually (still pretty easy).

Adobe Illustrator LogoAdobe Illustrator:

Illustrator offers one of the easiest and most convenient ways of adding bleeds to your documents from the start. In the “New Document” dialogue, under “Bleed” enter 0.125 in to any of the columns. If the link chain is selected already, then it will populate all 4 fields with 0.125 in automatically.

Add bleeds to an Adobe Illustrator Document


As you can see below, your bleed lines are added automatically. Shown as a red frame around the artbox…

Adobe Illustrator Bleeds


Adobe InDesign LogoAdobe InDesign:

In the “New Document” dialogue, make sure the “more options” button is pressed and at the bottom has a “Bleed and Slug” section. In the bleed box type 0.125 in and if the the link chain is selected it will automatically add it to the other 3 boxes.

Adding Bleeds in Adobe InDesign

Similar to Illustrator, InDesign automatically adds the red frame around the artbox as a guide for bleeds…

Adobe InDesign Bleeds

Adobe Photoshop LogoAdobe Photoshop:

In the “New” dialogue window, add 0.25 to the desired finish size. For example, if your designing a postcard that has a finish size of 5 x 7, then you would enter 5.25 x 7.25.

Add Bleed to Photoshop

Once you click OK, your empty canvas will appear and we will use the Rulers (View>Rulers) to use as guides to center our 5 x 7 within the 5.25 x 7.25 canvas and therefore make the bleed areas visible. Pull a guide from the ruler for each side of the canvas and drag it until it is 1/8th” inside the canvas from the edge.

Adding Bleed Guides in Photoshop

Photoshop Note:

We do not suggest using Photoshop for layout and typesetting of print projects. For best results use Photoshop for image manipulation and special effects. Import or place the image or object in Illustrator or InDesign for layout and typesetting.

Photoshop is a raster design program which uses grids of pixels to compose an object. Illustrator and InDesign create vector art which is composed of lines and curves or “Paths” to create objects and therefore create sharp edges and lines for both objects and text. Vector can also be scaled to extremely large sizes without losing quality.

Bookmark Worthy: Print-Ready Design Checklist

Use the checklist to double check that every requirement is already in your artwork to avoid any issues or delays!

Interactive Gift Wrapping Paper

QR Codes are catching on everywhere you look. This is just another way that advertisers and marketers can bridge the gap between offline with the online advertising.

Even that same ol’ boring pack of socks that you get every year from uncle Ernie will be fun to open when it’s wrapped in this interactive gift wrapping paper from QRappingpaper.com

Each QR Code directs your smartphone to a unique funny holiday video, there are up to 50 different videos available. Preview some of the videos on QRapping Paper’s homepage.

Important:

The QR Codes printed on the wrapping paper can be scanned by using your smartphone – Learn more about QR Codes and find a list of free QR Code Readers here.

QR Code – The Advertising Double Agent

QR Code
Scan me!

QR Codes (Quick Response Codes) are the connection between online and offline marketing. With the advancement and acceleration of smart phones, consumers have the ability to scan and interpret this barcode with their mobile phone. Originally created by a subsidiary of Toyota, Denso-Wave, the QR Code technology has been around for over a decade.

Versatility is QR Code’s middle name.

The amount of data that a QR Code can hold is approximately 7089 Numeric characters or 4296 Alphanumeric characters as stated on Wikipedia.

This allows for the encoding of URLs, phone numbers, full contact information, SMS messages, links to launch YouTube videos, display static text… to name a few options offered by this revolutionary technology.

How Can Advertisers Use QR CODES in Printed Materials?

QR Codes in Advertising

Believe it or not, your entire marketing piece can be designed around a QR code.

Want to inform your customers of a GRAND OPENING? Create a Google Places Page which provides you with a pre-made QR Code that contains a link to your Google Places Page, Your customers can scan the code and visit your Google Places Page on their mobile phone. Once there, your customer will find all there is to know about your business and directions to your location. Scan the QR Code above and see for yourself!

Do you have a  product demonstration video? Include a QR Code in your postcard, brochure or even next to the product in your catalog that will direct the customer to view a product demonstration video on their mobile device. This also gives you the chance to direct the customer to a landing page on your website before or after the video is viewed, reinforcing the sale.

Want to make it easier for that potential customer to retain your contact information? Generate a QR Code that contains all of your contact information and include it on your business card. When a customer scans your QR Code with their mobile device, depending on the QR Code Reader they are using (see “QR Code Readers” below), your contact information will be displayed and saved to the “contacts” or phone book of the mobile device.

Depending on your product or service, QR Codes can serve a variety of customizable uses in your marketing scheme.

Business card with QR Code

Where can Custom QR Codes be Generated?

We must be thankful (to Denso-Wave) for the use of QR Codes being free of any license. This has given developers the ability to create online QR Code generators…FREE TO USE! Of course you will find some out there that want to charge to use their generator or allow for Non-Commercial use only, but here is a list I compiled to help you get started generating QR Codes and better yet… more sales conversions!

  • beQRious – Extensive Options – Featured: QR Code with Embedded Image
  • ZXing Project – Extensive Options – Featured: Wi-fi Login Information
  • QRStuff – Extensive Options – Featured: Google Maps Directions
  • Delivr – Extensive Options – Featured: URL shortening
  • Mobile-Barcodes – Extensive Options – Featured: Email Composer
  • Mofuse – Simple Generator – Featured: Generates Hosted Image Link
Here are some helpful links to download QR Code readers for your smart phone:

View this article via your mobile phone to download and install directly to your mobile device.

I-nigma – I use this one myself.

Scanlife

NeoReader

How have you used QR Codes in your marketing?

Colorful Collection of Poster Designs for Inspiration

Poster by CPX InteractiveWhen promoting a band, a new product, service or simply to convey information, a full color poster will STAND OUT like capital letters in any text message.

Posters are designed to be hung on walls and many other large flat surfaces. Their large format allow for both text and images to promote events, use as an informational guide and can even be educational.

Posters can be printed on many different substrates.  To name a few: vinyl for durability, art canvas to give it an “artsy” finish or even acetate for more creative works. Posters can even be mounted on different materials or framed. Foamcore and Gatorboard are frequently used and allow for the poster to stand on its own or be displayed on an easel.

Here is a collection of beautiful and colorful posters that will hopefully strike a spark in your brain and ignite a creative fire that will make your next poster design STAND OUT beyond it’s size…

Poster by Beaucoupzero

Poster by Ellyezer

Poster by Etrix

K-Salaam and Beatnick Poster

Poster by MrHahn98

Bauhaus Poster by DT1087

Poster by StrongstuffPoster by Aremanvin

Poster by Zivrezcara

Poster by C345

BLACKOUT_POSTER_by_Demen1

[box title=”Word To The Wise” color=”#333333″]Get Inspired, Design Something Amazing and Have it Professionally Printed. Call us 516-334-1603[/box]