One of my favorite blog posts of all time is Jason Santa Maria’s Grey Box Methodology. Even though he posted this back in May of 2004, the principles he lays out for breaking the process into intermediate steps are timeless. My own personal design process is often similar, except that I usually skip Illustrator. The step of “plotting out” the layout is important, but I find that Photoshop has just enough vector capabilities to do that job for me these days.
With that in mind, you can tell I spend a lot of time in Photoshop. There is rarely a moment during my work day that the Photoshop application icon doesn’t have a little black arrow under it in my dock. Even when I’m coding, or working in Flash, I still keep it open for various reasons. So just what am I doing in this application all day, and why don’t I ever write about it? I suppose it’s because a goal of mine as a designer is to always do things a little differently. As a result, I avoid writing about the technical aspect of design. It’s not that I’m hiding behind some secret curtain like the Wizard of Oz, but rather wondering whether those specific techniques or tips are worth posting. Nevertheless, there are a few tried and tested Photoshop techniques that I’d like to post over the next few months as I find time. Some of them I’ve developed on my own, and some I’ve picked up from books, classes, and tutorials. I’m not sure exactly what techniques I’m going to post yet, but it should be interesting.