If you are feeling uninspired and aren’t finding the perfect image or background, use your own photos to create a flyer for your event or to promote your offerings & services. Everyday we are taking photos and posting it to our social media accounts; there’s lots of things to take photos of – the sky for example, you can take a picture of a flower, the grass, the road, a wall, a piece of wood and use that as background texture. Remember, inspiration and beauty is everywhere!
A perfect photo to use has a lot of space for text, so try not to use an overly busy photo. For this tutorial, I am using a photo that I took of the sunset when hiking at Runyon Canyon in Hollywood, CA around dusk.
I am using Adobe Photoshop CC on a Mac. Beginners can follow along.
Tip: always duplicate your photo, and use that duplicate for your project. You never want to overwrite or use the original – then you would’ve lost your awesome photo forever. Sadface.
Step 1: Open up the photo you are going to use and go to File menu > Save As…
This saves your photo as a Photoshop document also known as PSD. PSD is the raw version of your file where you can edit, create your text and layers, etc.
It’s always important to Save (Command S, Windows/Start Key on PC). People tend to overlook this most basic step, especially when you’re in the zone. So always remember to save often if you don’t want to redo all the work that you did.
Tip: if the photo you want to use is on your phone, email the photo to yourself from another email address. From there you can check your email from your computer and download the photo.
Step 2: Resize your file.
You want to resize your file if you’re going to use this for internet / social media use. You don’t want your final file to be too big. Go ahead and go to Image menu > Image Size…
Type 600 as your Width and hit OK.
Step 3: Add some text. Play with the sizes.
Make sure you turn your Background layer in your Layers panel into a layer by double-clicking on it. Now you can add text.
The font I am using is OPTI Cashew Bold, it’s one of my favorite fonts to use.
Step 4: Add more text.
You can stick with one font as long as it’s easy to read. If you need to add a lot of information, then it would probably be a good idea to change the font. Helvetica is always a good choice. In this tutorial, I am sticking to using one font.
So for the most part, we’re actually done here. If you’re satisfied go ahead and go to File menu > Save for Web > use JPEG, High, Quality: 60 for your settings. Make sure you have ‘Optimized’ checked on. You now have a flyer that you can post on Instagram, Facebook, etc.
Step 5 (Bonus): Add a shape behind the text
Maybe the information isn’t standing out enough. Let’s add a shape behind the text ‘WHERE, WHEN & WHAT TO BRING?’…then make the text white.
Reversing the color of things always helps when all the text looks the same.
Click and hold the Custom Shape Tool (Star-looking icon on your toolbar) and click Custom Shape Tool. On your top bar where it says Shape (might be located on your far right), click and hold the little arrow; Photoshop comes with custom shapes that are ready to use for your project. Pick the one called Banner 4 (when you hover your mouse over the shapes, a label for the shape will pop up) and make your shape over the text ‘WHERE’.
Hit Command J to duplicate the shapes and place them over ‘WHEN’ and ‘WHAT TO BRING’. Resize the shape over ‘WHAT TO BRING’ since that one has longer text.
Step 6: Move shapes under your text and make them white or any color you choose.
At this point, your shapes are on top of your text. In your Layers panel, move the shapes under your text and change the color of your text.
Don’t forget to hit Save.
Step 7: Play around and have fun with it!
I did more tweaks to mine, like change the colons to question marks. Added an exclamation mark to ‘City!’ This didn’t take long at all, probably less than 30 minutes…an hour for me because I was creating the flyer AND typing this tutorial up.
I just realized that I have a lot of original content that I created for myself to use for social media stuff and really just for the sake of creating and experimenting; for example this one was my old Facebook cover photo from 2013. I always like things to match to the point where I become obsessive over it, like my cover photo and my avatar. What can I say, it’s one of the few things I CAN control.
I used an old drawing that I scanned (the woman with a rose and a skull); I then played around with colors and gradients in Photoshop. For some reason I was drawn to using bright colors, triangular shapes and checkerboards at the time – not really knowing the significance of each. I then created a black square shape, duplicated it and layed it out, grouped them together, flattened them and used the Perspective tool to create the floor. The white part is just one big shape.
I hope to type up a decent tutorial soon on how I create my graphics, so my blog posts can be more useful and have some kind of value to you, the reader.
Digital version of Kirin drawing