Posts Tagged ‘tutorial’

Illustrator Tutorial: Give Your Flat Text Some Depth

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Illustrator Tutorial: Give Your Flat Text Some Depth

It’s been quite awhile since I have put together a tutorial using Adobe Illustrator. I’ve been working with Illustrator a lot more recently and decided to share an easy tutorial that will give your text some depth and make it pop off the page/screen a little more. I’ve used a few of these techniques before in my tutorial “Feature Post Logo” that I wrote last Spring. In that tutorial the finishing touches showed how to use the pen tool to add some shading to the text. This tutorial shows you another technique to achieve a shadow on your text.

STEP ONE – Open Illustrator, Create a New Document and Set your Text

step1-smI started out by creating a new document. Most of the time I use graphics for the web; however, there are times when my clients require the artwork for business cards, letterhead or other print collateral. So, you might want to create the new document profile for “print”, so that you don’t have to recreate the artwork if the client needs it for print.

After you have setup your new document, grab your text tool and set your type. For this tutorial, I used one of the great script fonts from House Industries…Sign Painter (House Script). This font isn’t free, but if you look around free font sites like; you should find something that works for you. One thing to note, is that you can use any style of font…I just chose a script font for fun.

I set the font size to 100 point, so that I could shrink it down later on for use on the web. If you use a script font you may need to bring in your tracking a little bit so that the letters flow together a little better. If your layers palette isn’t open go to: Window > Layers and get it opened. Once it’s open click the arrow on the left of the layer name “Layer 1″ and make sure you see the text. You’ll need to see these items as we go along. Once you’re happy with the type…it’s time to move onto step number two. (more…)

Photoshop Tutorial: Create a Grunge Street Sign

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

The other day while watching ESPN, I noticed one of the advertisements for their NBA broadcasts titled “Destination NBA”. At the tail end of the spot they show an image of street signs with the upcoming games and times, with a cool worn/grunge effect to them (here’s a screenshot). Since it seems that I’ve developed a flair for creating graphics with the same grungy look, I decided to try my hand at recreating the signs and at the same time write a tutorial on how I did it. My overall purpose of this tutorial is to show you how you can create the effect on a street sign, not to duplicate the fine work by the ESPN graphics team.

I have included a resources file at the end of the tutorial for you to download if you like. Included in the resources file are a few of the textures that I use along with a few brush sets used in the tutorial. The font used for the tutorial was purchased by me and I cannot share it with anyone, as it would be against the usage policy. With all of the fine details out of the way…let’s get started.


New Vector Pack & Textures from Go Media

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

The crew from Go Media are at it again as they just released their 13th collection of “stock” vector artwork. I use the word “stock” lightly, because their work is anything but! This latest release is chock full of great stuff and includes a total of 137 high quality, detailed vector pieces in seven individual themes. As always you can purchase the entire collection for set 13 or choose to purchase them in their individual packs, but you’ll pay almost $34 more if you were to purchase all seven packs separately. This set includes some very interesting stuff; I’m very interested to see the “Flow” pack in action as it’s got some really cool geometric shapes in flowing patterns…very cool stuff.

I’m not 100% sold on the 3D Skull collection, but I’m guessing with some tweaking and some experimentation they could be used very cleverly to create some cool artwork. The entire set has some really cool stuff in it which includes:

  • 3D Skulls (mentioned)
  • Robots
  • Bound (Vines, Ropes, etc)
  • Flow (mentioned)
  • Too Sexy (sexy silhouettes – also seen on “Speed Network”)
  • XTreme Sports
  • Apparel


Q&A with GrandmasterB – August 5

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

For awhile now, I have contemplated doing a Q&A feature post that would address questions from my readers. I’ve been compiling some of the questions and answers that I think will help people out of a tight spot. These questions can be on any topic; from Photoshop questions to Wordpress issues, tutorial requests to general banter. I will try to answer each question as best I can and give you resources where you can find more help on a given topic. So without further ado…I give you Q&A with GrandmasterB.

Question From: Jamie
In one of your tutorials it says to place a guide at 400x and 400y. How is this done??? Please help.


Photoshop Tutorial: Grunge Styled Banner

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

Recently, Cuzzy from contacted me about creating a new banner image for his blogroll post dubbed “Rolling a Blog Joint”. Since the overall premise is a play on the word joint, I thought something with a textured paper background and perhaps a pot leaf image would do the trick. Amazingly, enough there is a company named ‘Pot Leaf’ and their logo was available on, so that will save me a step of recreating the leaf in illustrator. The paper texture for the background will be a combination of a number of paper artwork that I found on Bittbox; which is a great resource for this type of stuff. So, that should be enough background on this project…let’s get ‘rolling‘.


The finished size of this image will be 450p wide x 150p high, but I’m going to start with a bigger canvas size. The reason being is that I want to be able to adjust the textured background to fit, and later I will crop it out. So, let’s start out by creating a new document that’s 600×600. From there drag guides to the center at 300x and 300y and then recenter the rulers to make that point 0. After that drag out horizontal guides to +/- 75px and vertical guides to +/-225px. These outer guides will be our bounding box…all of the content will go inside this area. Anything outside the bounding box will be cutoff in the final step, so make double sure everything is inside that box.


I want to make the background a different color from the text and leaf image, so I thought a light shade of brown would be a good contrast and it will make the paper more realistic. I’ll use a light shade (b79573) and a darker shade (7a5f43) and create a radial gradient; which will be the base of the background. Create a new layer and drag out a radial gradient starting a bit above the top guide and down towards the right corner (light to dark). We create a new layer, because I want to have a base layer that’s transparent…this layer will come into play later on in the tutorial. After you’ve made your gradient, rename the layer to ‘Base‘.


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