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The importance of visuals in branding a restaurant business

The restaurant business is one of the most highly competitive industries in the world. There are many factors that contribute to this. For example, there are many start-up costs, including equipment, real estate, staffing, and advertising. Many restaurants do not make this money back for several years. In such a competitive sector, it is important that a restaurant finds a way to stand out from the competition. Visual marketing is an effective method that has been used by many popular chain restaurants to great success. In some cases, these restaurants have become household names around the world.

 

Logo: making your brand

 

A memorable and attractive logo can ensure customers become familiar with a brand. If they eat at the restaurant at one location and enjoyed their meal, when they travel out of town and see the same logo again, they will be far more likely to stop at this second location. One major example is Quiznos, whose restaurants have a very noticeable logo. Rick Schaden created his Quiznos brand to be recognizable across the US. That means even if customers move, Quiznos will likely retain them as customers wherever the customer ends up. A restaurant’s logo needs to be unique and make a statement. Try using a font that is custom designed but still easy to read. The font alone can make the logo much more recognizable.

 

Choose your color theme

 

The color scheme of the restaurant needs to reflect the mood and clientele that the owner wishes to attract. If operating a restaurant that caters to those with children, consider brighter colors and fun designs. Neutral tones with a few unique colors can work well for restaurants trying to appeal to just a general audience. Quiznos uses red and green for their logo and theme. These colors stand out and reflect the colors of many of the fresh ingredients they use. In the past, red and green has also been used by other quality delis, and this association helps convey to customers that they are eating at a real local Italian sub shop that values quality and freshness.

 

Menu design

An easy to read menu is essential, but many people don’t know that the order in which food is listed can affect sales, or that using currency signs can over emphasize the cost of a menu item. Patrons read menus from top to bottom, so organize the menu well for better sales. Appetizers and light foods should be listed first. Using different colored boxes or even just having a line around certain menu items can help them stand out. Don’t use currency signs – a simple number is best. Many value restaurants use prices like $1.95 instead of simply 2. Using a single number like 2, 4, 8, etc. does not over emphasize the cost of higher priced items. While it is tempting to add pictures of food to a menu, it should not be overdone. It can be hard to get great pictures of food without spending a lot. Keep the menu simple and let the food speak for itself.

 

The restaurant and food sector is famously competitive, so focusing on targeted and visual branding is one way to make a business stand out from the rest.

Creative Strawberry Pictures

If you’re searching internet to find some ideas how to photographs strawberry, you are on the right place. You can try chocolate covered strawberries but they will not be delicious as pictures we collected bellow. Strawberries have amazing red color and that make them perfect object for creative design and photography. Digital Photography goes on new level with this delicious nature beauty.

The Rule Of Conversion

In this article, I would like to share a recent experience that I had in working with one of by great clients. Through that story, I hope to introduce a concept that I am calling the Rule of Conversion, which is a way of thinking that I believe can be truly valuable. I know it will be for me on future projects!

Recently, I was working on a logo project for a client. Nothing unusual there. The process I followed was pretty typical for the work that I do. I started of with the little spiral-bound notebook that I call the Book of Logos and just sketched out some ideas. Some were interesting, others were horrible and, of course, the one that I liked the best in terms of pure aesthetics was also the on that I felt was probably the least relevant to the actual client.

After selecting three of the most appropriate concepts, I then turned to Illustrator, where I started rendering the logo mark and playing around with typefaces, using some of my installed fonts and even coming up with some custom lettering.

I fired off three concepts to the client. They told me which they liked best, and we went through some revisions, actually combining some elements from another concept into the selected one, while offering a range of colour options. For the typical second round of revision, I also created a smaller “icon” like version of the logo to be used in smaller spaces.

Everything went well. The client was awesome and happy with my work and I felt good about the finished product.

Now, fast forward a few weeks. No this is not one of those Clients from Hell stories of things gone terrible wrong. Everything is still cool with the client, and we’re now talking about actually doing a website. However, I did get an email asking if I could supply the spot (Pantone) colours that I used in the logo design…

That doesn’t seem like all that much of a problem right? Well it wouldn’t have been, except that I did all the design work in CMYK. Yeah, probably not the smartest decision I ever made as a designer, but it’s what I’ve been used to. Almost all of my design is done either for the screen (RGB) or for four colour process (CMYK). I almost never work with spot colours, and it looks as though I’ve picked up a few bad habits that I’m going to need to break.

As for what happened with the client—well I sat down in Illustrator and actually compared Pantone swatches against the three CMYK colours that I had used in the design until I found what I felt were the best matches. Held right up against each other, you could notice a slight difference, but they were close enough that most people wouldn’t be able to make the distinction without a direct comparisson.

A Lesson Learned, A Rule Confirmed

But I’m not telling you this whole story just so that I can make myself look bad. I’m not even telling it to you as a warning about designing logos in CMYK instead of Pantone, though that’s something I am certainly going to be looking at as I move forward. No, what I want to do with this personal anecdote is illustrate something much more generalized.

It’s something I would like to call the Rule of Conversion.

You see, as I was sitting there wading through all kinds of Pantone swatches, I had plenty of time to think. Given my circumstances, a good deal of what I was thinking about had to do with colour and colour conversion. For a long time, I’ve known that, when working in an application like Photoshop or Illustrator, it is always easier to convert from CMYK to RGB than it is to convert from RGB to CMYK. When your monitor displays a CMYK colour, it’s only ever displaying its closest RGB approximation, since your monitor (or other display) is only capable of displaying in RGB.

This, of course, means that you should see virtually no loss or change in colour when converting from CMYK to RGB in the same digital environment. Unfortunately, this is not true of the inverse, and converting from RGB to CMYK can frequently result in noticeable colour loss (especially in blues, in my experience).

As a rule of thumb, then, when I am designing something where there is even the remotest chance that I may need to use it for print in some way, I try to do all of my design work in CMYK. It does tend to result in larger files, but I like the added safety net of knowing that any conversions that I may need to do (into RGB) will be relatively painless.

Unfortunately, as my earlier story clearly illustrated, converting from CMYK to Pantone was not painless. In fact, it was quite an involved process. It would have been much easier to start with Pantone and then convert the colours to CMYK approximates later on. Granted, the colours would probably still not be a perfect match, but the conversion would be a lot simpler.

And that is the basic premise of the Rule of Conversion: design in such a way so as to simplify conversions. In our logo example, the better method would have been to start by selecting Pantone colours and then converting to CMYK and RGB, as required. This would have simplified things later on.

That being said however, the rule does not only need to apply to working with colours. It can apply to any area of design. Here are some other areas where the Rule of Conversion may be useful:

  • Create your raster-based designs at a larger DPI. It’s always easier to scale these designs down than it is to scale them up.
  • For the same reason (and where appropriate), design shape-based design elements in scalable vector format.
  • When working in Photoshop, use non destructive techniques such as layer masks, adjustment layers and layer styles, or adjustable elements such as colour or pattern layers.
  • In web design, use stylesheets to apply to control presentational design elements to an entire site. It’s always easier to maintain a single stylesheet than it is to edit inline elements on individual pages.

Article Source:  http://blog.echoenduring.com/2010/12/19/the-rule-of-conversion/

Introduction to PHP for beginners

So you have mastered HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Whats the next step? Sure you can make awesome looking static pages in HTML, but the web is much more than that. The web is ever changing and you need to create you web pages that will compensate for that changing content.

So you have mastered HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Whats the next step? Sure you can make awesome looking static pages in HTML, but the web is much more than that. The web is ever changing and you need to create you web pages that will compensate for that changing content. Whether it’s a full CMS (content management system) or just a simple form that sends a question to your email, there has to be code behind the scenes making everything work. 9 chances out of 10 this language is PHP; What is PHP? Well it stands for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessed and its a “General purpose scripting language that was originally designed for web development to produce dynamic web pages.” basically it was made to work perfectly within HTML and also uses databases to store information, so it’s the both of both worlds. Let’s get started learning this wonderful programming language.

Testing Environment

As you can imagine, there is a lot more stuff going on behind the scenes with PHP than there would be with just HTML,CSS, Javascript which is built into browser functionality. PHP is a server-side scripting language which requires a PHP server. This could be either on your web server (most paid hosting includes PHP) or you can set one up locally. For this tutorial I will show you how to set up your server on your own computer(locally). To do this we need to download some software.

Mac Users

For Mac users I will direct you to a great program called MAMP (Mac apache Mysql PHP) download and install that, the free version should be more than enough to start out, but if you find yourself needing more the paid version is great.

Windows Users

Windows users may have a little less pretty interface, but it still works! A program call WAMP (Windows Apache Mysql PHP) Just download and install.

I will be doing this tutorial on a Mac so everything will be in MAMP but everything is very similar in WAMP. For both, make sure that your server is up and running. To do this on MAMP click on the app (the one that looks like an elephant) it will ask for the admin password, then you will be connected a web page will open confirming it’s success. With WAMP click on the icon, it will place an icon in the bottom right bar by your time (the icon looks like a meter of some kind). Click on this icon and select start all services. For more information on how to use WAMP check this out WAMP Docs. Now that we have our servers running it’s time to get started with the fun stuff, Writing the PHP.

Bare Bones Basics

This section I will talk about the very basics needed to get your first PHP application going. If you have already seen php code before than you will recognize some things, but go ahead and read over the information because if you mess up these very essential pieces of the PHP picture than nothing you write in PHP will work. So pay attention and you will be fine.

Article Source:  http://www.webdevtuts.net/coding/php/introduction-to-php-for-beginners/

The Value of an Experienced Graphic Designer

First of all what is a graphic designer? A graphic designer works to provide businesses with any visual communications they may require. This includes logo design, layout design for printed items such as signage, stationery, and marketing materials (brochures, flyers and so on) for example.

In today’s Internet age a graphic designer is often also able to design electronic communications such as e-newsletters, websites and more. Not all graphic designers cover all service areas mentioned, however a skilled and experienced graphic designer is worth their weight in gold.  Hiring a graphic designer who has a few years of experience working with business owners to create memorable visual communications has some distinct advantages over working with newer designers.

These include naming just a few

1. Speed & Efficiency – An experienced designer is often used to working on many different projects at once; managing their time effectively, and delivering your project to agreed timescales.

If you are hiring your designer on an hourly rate basis rather than being quoted “for the job” an experienced designer quoting you a higher rate per hour might actually bill you for less at the end of the project if they are quicker than a designer quoting less per hour.

It’s always good to get an estimate from your designer as to how long they expect the task to take, or even better try and get them to quote “for the job” regardless of how long it takes them. Don’t forget to ask if revisions are included in the “for the job” price.

2. Printing Pitfalls – There are several print layout design pitfalls a designer can fall into if they don’t know their trade inside out. These include;

Print Bleed: Any document laid out for print must have a few of bleed overlapping the edge of the document size (i.e. the designers document must be bigger than the actual printed item) – each print firm has a different requirement for how many mm’s that should be. An experienced graphic designer will understand the need to find out before they start designing, and hopefully be proactive enough to get in touch with the print firm themselves to find out.

Not offering correct dpi for images: Everyone knows that if you are offering a printing firm an image type that is made up of pixels such as TIFF or JPEG, that the image must be a minimum of 300 dpi (dots per inch)…. or do they all know this? Is your designer aware of this?

Likewise if you are offering the print firm a vector image such as EPS, or AI…. that pixels are irrelevant because scalable vector images output by professional design software are not made up of pixels.

Thin Lines in Graphics: Any line used in a graphical image is made up of a “line point size”, this can vary from as tiny as 0.10 all the way up to 1,2,3, or even 10 point size and higher. The bigger the point size the fatter the line is and vice versa.

An inexperienced designer – perhaps one who has produced a detailed illustration with much in the way of fine details – may not realize that you must never hand any design over to a printing firm that contains a line size smaller than 0.25 – printing presses simply cannot print lines any thinner than 0.25 points.

Colors – What is a hex color? What is a Pantone Color? What are CMYK colors? Never mind what they are, how does one choose between each color method available to them before their lovely designs are printed? Your designer should know this, but not all inexperienced designers fully understand the methods required for selecting print colors and this can lead to unexpected print results.

So that just gives you a very brief overview of why experience counts in graphic design, and to ensure that your designer is sufficiently experienced to take care of the essential practical aspects of designing for your business.
Article Source: http://designmodo.com/the-value-of-an-experienced-graphic-designer/#ixzz18xdMymYw

Train yourself to be a Pro Web Designer

You’ll not only be trained in the graphical and technical aspects of building web sites, but also in the core skills including branding, marketing, sales, search engine optimisation, and customer service.

I’ll also be coaching you on the mental disciplines required to proceed with confidence in your new profession.

The course will comprise online training materials, live chat, webinars, worksheets, and some practical tests. It will also be a lot of fun!

I am looking for an initial Foundation Group of just 40 students. I’ll work closely with this group over the coming months to create the perfect material that gives you everything you need in the right way.

A couple of places have already been taken, so if you’re someone who’s ready for a new career as a professional web designer, and you’re willing to commit to a 6-month course and be coached personally by me, check out http://www.prowebdesigncourse.com/

But please move quickly, as the places on this initial special group are strictly limited!

5 Easy Brochure Design Tips That Work

All of us would like to think our product is so good, our services so unique, they’ll simply sell themselves. Not so! Strong branding, powerful images, compelling web pages and outstanding marketing pieces make or break that upward sales curve you crave so urgently. In today’s market, your customers and clients are influenced more than ever by the visual presentation of your marketing pieces.

For example, a powerful brochure design will more likely to be read, remembered and respected. Here are five simple, but essential tricks of the designer’s trade that you can use immediately, at little cost, to improve your brochure design.

1. Take advantage of quality clip art and stock photos

Chances are you’re not an illustrator or photographer, but that shouldn’t stop you from using professional illustrations or photos in your marketing piece. You can use clip art—sometimes at a very low price—to enhance your layout. Check out the Internet for sites that feature clip art or stock photo libraries that provide a wide variety of quality and prices to choose from. Use the same style of graphics throughout your brochure design to create a consistent look.

2. Jazz up your layout so your most important points stand out

Break up monotonous lines of text with attractive “pull quotes” or “call-outs,” which make critical information stand out on the page. To create a pull quote, just copy a provocative or challenging statement from your text and paste it into a different position on the page using large, contrasting type. Add decorative quotation marks, border it with lines, or place it inside a box to jazz it up.

3. Repeat certain elements

Good design calls for repeating certain elements throughout your piece to make the whole piece come together visually. For example, use the same color, shape, and size for all your bullets. Also make all your headers the same size, color, and font. Repeat specific graphic elements such as boxes, banners, and rule lines throughout the piece. A word of caution: When you review your work, make sure you’ve used all of these design elements consistently.

4. Pay attention to proximity

Proximity refers to the exact spatial relationships between elements. For example, you create visual relationships between photos and their captions by keeping the captions close to the photos. For subheads, a pro positions them closer to the text below than the text above. Apply this principle of exact spatial relationship to all other graphic and text elements where appropriate. When you review your work, make sure you’ve applied this spacing consistently throughout.

5. Know when to use serif and sans serif fonts

In general, when you have a large amount of text, it is best to use a serif font because it is easier to read than a sans serif font. Serifs are the tiny horizontal strokes attached to the letters which help the reader’s eyes flow from letter to letter. Bold sans serif (without serifs) are good for headlines and subheads because they slow the reader down thus bringing more attention to each word or concept. Some examples of serif fonts that are good for body copy are: Times, New Century Schoolbook, Garamond and Goudy. Some examples of sans serif fonts that are good for headlines are: Arial Bold, Helvetica Black, Univers Bold and Trade Gothic.

Article Source: http://www.macgraphics.net/brochure-design-tips.php

The Making of “Constant Slip”

Final Image Preview

You can view the final image preview below or view a larger version here.

Today I’ll take you through the creative process of making intriguing light effects and applying them in your work. This is more a process description of making this illustration, than a detailed step by step how to. I’ll give you some good guidance on how to deal with an illustration like this and cover the overall workflow. Let’s get started!

Tutorial Details

  • Program: Adobe Photoshop CS3
  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Estimated Completion Time: 45 minutes

Preparation

This is an advanced piece, I mean there are no hard to do techniques, but this kind of work requires a lot of good taste, some color experience and casting shadows knowledge. So I do not recommend this tutorial for beginners. I’ll skip basic pointers and go straight to the main point. Basically, I want you to get the idea of how to create an illustration like this and follow your own way with these effects.

Before we start, I wanted to show you how the concept changed during the whole session:

  1. This first image below is the main concept, that I planned. It’s the first idea that came to my head: an energy ball with lots of shine lines around it.
  2. While searching images I accidentally found an image of a man in a very cool position, which came from 123rf.com, so I thought this must be used here. So I put him there and wanted to make an illusion that this man is creating all the energy.
  3. The first plans were done and I started to work on this project. During the process this concept somehow lacked dynamics, so I decided to rotate the whole piece.
  4. Finally, when I had no idea how this energy ball could look like, and this took me some time before I came up with the final idea, I rejected the ball and went into energy touch only for this man.

So you see each project changes when you work on it, so before you get into this tutorial remember to work flexible, not everything needs to look the same way as you planned. Take your time and use your imagination.

Step 1

Before we start, you need to know that the shining effects work best on a black background. The darker the background is, the more visible and contrasted shine you will achieve. So I started with a black background of the canvas around 900px by 1100px (this should work for you fine).

Step 2

Now is the first hard part, searching for the right image. I know many people are unhappy with buying pictures, but well, the truth is: if you want good quality, you need to pay for it. I’ve nothing against free stock photos, if you have the time to search for a good image among mixed quality free pictures it’s OK.

Anyway, if you have the right image, then extract the person (or object) from the image of your choice. The biggest problem of all cut-outs is always the hair. But, as you can see in the image below, I had a short haired man. In this case I simply used the Pen Tool to deal with short hair. And because we have a black background in our main project document, we can easily blend this black hair with the background. To do this I used the Burn Tool with Range set to Midtones and burned the hair edges a little.

Step 3

Now, in the Layers Palette I added two adjustment layers: Levels and Gradient Map to make a better blending between this person and the black background. I used a gradient from black to white and set the Gradient Map layer’s Blending Mode to Soft Light, then lowered the Opacity just a touch.

Step 4

OK, next we’ll create ground. I used a Gradient Tool and on a new layer created a radial gradient from white to transparent (as you see in the first picture below). Then this big white dot needed some perspective, so here I hit Command + T to Distort (second image below).

The dot was blurred using Gaussian Blur at around 40 pixel Radius. Then I duplicated this blurred dot, stretched it a little bit (Command + T) and made two more copies to enhance the ground effect. If necessary, the opacities of these ground layers can be lowered just a touch. It means that this surface shouldn’t be too bright, as this will kinda destroy the concept of having the whole background black.

Step 5

Now, as you can see in the first image below, I started adding shadows under the shoes. It’s not suppose to be great and totally pimped shadow. I just needed to make an accent that this man is standing on something. This always works pretty well, as you start to see how your illustration is shaping up, even thought the shade will change, it’s good to have it sketched.

To do the shadow I used a black brush with Flow set to 2% and Hardness to 0%, then I slowly started creating it click by click (don’t hold the left mouse button while doing this, as you may make a very ugly kind of shadow that way). Individual brush clicks did the job just fine.

Now let’s focus on the second image below. Something didn’t work for me in this piece, so I decided to add the first dynamic touch to this illustration, so I selected all the layers and used Command + T to rotate them at a small angle (for now it looked kinda like a slip).

Step 6

I zoomed out and positioned this man and ground to the right. I kinda wanted to avoid the center focus of illustration. Sometimes it’s good to move the main object/person to the side, looks more dynamic and original to me.

OK, then I decided that this position works perfectly for this piece and started touching up shadows. Looking at this man it’s visible that few sources of light hit him (for example his left hand shows that light reaches it from left and right). So in this case I decided to give this man a soft shadow, only underneath him by using the same technique as previously.

I only want you to pay attention to his shoes which are the closest objects to the ground. Shoes stick to the surface, this means they need more shadow around them. The farther the objects are from the ground, the more they start to disappear (and the shadow starts to soften, then slowly vanish).

Step 7

As I was watching my illustration now, I felt like there are some spots that are too bright, so I used the Burn Tool to enhance the shade effect of the shoes. I also did some blending with the hand, as It seemed too bright on the left side.

Step 8

Finally this man is ready. Now this illustration needs to look more like one piece. So I did some overall color adjusting. I added a Curves adjustment layer and then a Gradient Map with a Violet to Orange gradient (picked from standard presets). Then I lowered the Opacity of the Gradient Map to around 25-30% and changed its Blending Mode to Soft Light. Both adjustment layers were set up to give this illustration a yellowish touch (as I experimented and liked it).

Step 9

Now it looks like this man really belongs to this place, and that’s the thing we want. Next, I started all the light tricks.

Here is something abstract that I prepared for this piece. So I opened these lights and dragged them into the project while changing its Blending Mode to Linear Dodge. It was put above all layers just not to get colorized by two previous adjustment layers.

Now look at the process. As I already had these abstract lights, I took the Burn Tool (Midtones) and burned parts of this piece that I wanted to get rid of (2nd image below). Then many less of these lines lasted, so I used a hard Eraser Tool to erase the rest of the disturbing lines, which I didn’t want to see here (3rd image below). Finally I added Image > Adjustments > Color Balance and adjusted this color exactly for these three main lines (blue, green and yellow). I worked to achieve cool, bright coloring for these lines.

This can be done for each line separately, but before that they need to be cut out into new layers.

Step 10

As I said, if you don’t have some color experience, this tutorial will be difficult for you to follow. Now is the further part when I repeated the same process as in the previous step. I created, erased, separated new lines and added various colors.

Step 11

I was still into adding color light lines, and I want to show you another example of flexible work. During this process I had many ideas of how to connect and set these lines.

First I thought maybe a good idea would be to cross them and make them in different positions (1st image below). This didn’t work out and I decided to make all the lines almost parallel (2nd image below). So I made it, and for some variation I added one green line that kinda crossed the space, but it gave some depth to the illustration so I left it be.

Step 12

Now I added some more brightness in places indicated below using soft white brush. The new layer was created below the lines layers, as these lines are half transparent (cause of the linear dodge mode), so everything put below these lines is visible.

Step 13

I played around with these lines and achieved some cool results (first image below). All done the same way as I showed previously.

Next I felt like this piece needs some more details going all around it and filling in some blanks. You can find some similar brushes to the ones I used for this. Experiment with various brushes in this step.

I picked one my grungy splatter brushes. Then found a nice dark color (coming from the color that I used in light lines – in my case it happened to be blue) and made a brush mark (second image below). Then I brought up the selection of this brush mark and contracted it by 2 pixels by going to Select > Modify > Contract (third image below). Next I hit Delete to get rid of the center brush part (forth image below). Then I positioned it near a light blue line.

Step 14

Now as I had this brush mark placed correctly, I used a soft eraser and erased disturbing parts. Then switching between the Burn Tool (Midtones) and Dodge Tool (Highlights) I pimped out selected dark spots of this brush mark.

When using the Burn Tool you actually darken the spot. When using the Dodge Tool, you brighten it up. So I was very careful in this step, a small overdo can destroy the idea.

So this process is just to show you how it works, the brush mark in the first three images below are just an example. In the forth image below you can see the brushes that I used originally.

Step 15

By the way we’re still with these brushes, pay attention to the little pieces above the man’s head (first image below) and the ones near his leg (second image below). Yes, they were made the same way as previously. To do this you can even use some splatter brushes and follow the same process.

Also pay attention to the second image below. I indicated a spot that points to shadow. This shadow made an illusion that these little pieces are in the air. So if you get more small pieces around the ground, you can cast some shadows underneath them (but on the ground) and this will give your effects more depth.

Step 16

Next to to add some sparkle to this illustration I decided to use a picture of sky and cut the sun out of it. Then I desaturated this piece (second image below) and set its Blending Mode to Linear Dodge and I erased all the unnecessary parts around this sun (with the Eraser Tool). I also brought up the Levels (Command + L) and enhanced the contrast. Then I used Burn Tool (Midtones) to enhance the light effect and darken the rays (fourth image below). Finally, I colored this sun using Hue/Saturation and Color Balance, I made it green and then gave it a touch of yellow.

Step 17

The sun was resized down to a very small size, and at this size it completely stops being recognizable as a shining sun. Now it’s just a shining spot. I duplicated it many times and placed it in various spots. By the way, I changed the color when it was necessary to make these lights fit. To change colors I followed similar steps as before (basically Hue/Saturation and when the tone was not fully satisfying I pimped it with Color Balance).

Step 18

Moving forward I thought I’d use these nice clouds of this sky to make some dust. So I opened the image and desaturated it. Then (as previously) I used Levels (Command + L) to make the clouds stand out. Next, I used a soft Eraser and got rid of unwanted parts (fifth image below). Finally, I grabbed Burn Tool (Midtones) and made some touch-ups to these clouds. I kinda separated them and brought them up more.

Step 19

I named these clouds “Dust” and changed the layer’s Blending Mode to Linear Dodge. Then rotated them and placed them towards the lines direction (as you can see in the image below).

I made a small comparison below, the whole illustration got a little bit smoother when I added this dust.

Step 20

So the illustration was almost finished, but the light lines were still not blended enough with the model. I hit Command + A to select the whole canvas, and then Command + Shift + C (copy merged) and Command + V (paste). This way I made a duplicate of the whole image and put it on top of all the layers.

Then while having this image selected, I went to Filter > Liquify and as you can see in the first image below, I did some stretching using the Forward Warp Tool (in Liquify filter). In the second image below you can see how smooth and nice these lines were blended.

Step 21

As the final touch I wanted to give this piece a little more realism, so I casted light reflections on this man’s clothes and skin. Each arrow below has the color of the nearest line. For example, the first orange arrow point of the shirt spot which should be affected by the orange light line. So I gave an orange color to this spot, and so on with the others.

To do that I made a new layer with the Blending Mode set to Color (Soft Light in some cases works fine also), then I used a very soft brush with proper color, and Voilà!

Conclusion

In the end you can give it a nice overall sharpen using highpass filter, this will bring even more quality to your work. So I hope you liked this piece, thanks for reading. The main purpose of this tutorial was to show you a good direction in how to use these effects. So be creative and try to discover your way of using them.

You can view the final image below or view a larger version here.

How to Make a Flyer

As your company’s in-house graphics person—perhaps more by default than by intention—you’re pressed to be a jack/jill-of-all-trades. You want to learn how to make a flyer that sells, but you have little time to master advanced design and marketing skills. Your ongoing challenge is learning to do a little more to get a lot better results–quickly and painlessly. How can you improve them?

What Techniques Can You Apply NOW?

Take these 3 flyer design tips to heart. Using them consistently will save you time in the long run and attract more customers.

1. Use digital photography and illustrations to grab attention and tell your story

Establish a visual focus of your flyer design with an attention-grabbing photo or illustration. Choose from stock photo libraries on the Internet or hire an illustrator to do a custom illustration. A few quick tips:
Place your strongest image in the top half of the page where it will get the best visibility.
Using one large picture makes a stronger impression than several smaller ones.
Group several small pictures so they collectively form a single element.
Juxtapose a small picture with a larger one for contrast.
The results? Photos and illustrations help you add the “eye” appeal that translates into “buy” appeal.

2. “Hook” customers with persuasive writing and a “call to action”

Make a habit of doing these two things: Use persuasive words that “hook” their interest, and include a well-defined call to action in every flyer. What can you do to make your flyers more effective? Apply these basics:
Create a catchy or provocative headline
Know who you are writing for and keep their preferences in mind as you write each word.
Put your message in terms of “you” rather than “I” or “we.” People don’t care about what “we” offer; they care about how your product or service can make their lives better.
Make it clear what your readers should do, think, or believe as a result of reading the information you present.
State your intention as a command—known as a “call to action.” It can be as simple as “Call Today” or “Order It Now.”
The results? The whole point of designing your flyer is to encourage your prospects to take action! Whether it’s to send an email or pick up the phone and call you, using precision wordsmithing persuades your prospects to take action . . . now!

3. Limit yourself to 2 fonts with their families

To give your flyer a unified and professional look, I recommend that you limit the number of fonts you use. It is best to use one font (preferably a bold one) for your headlines and another font family for the body copy. (A family is all the related styles that come with the font, and usually include bold, italic, and bold italic.) You can use italics or bold variations within the family for pull quotes or call-outs, captions, and sidebars.

The results? Your flyer design will look unified and professional, giving your company integrity in the marketplace.

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