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.
4 comments on “Photoshop Basics”
Wow! I’m glad you still like it 😀
Illustrator works great for me because I was using it for about two years before really jumping into Photoshop. It’s just so fast for what I need to do.
I look forward to reading what you come up with!
Back to the ‘ol grind of tutorial posting. This will be great Jason! I’m looking forward to it as well.
Yes, the Gray Box article is very influental. I’m using this technique to make an information design/interface mockups, which are then passed on to my fellow illustrators. Actually, in my case, it’s a kind of a page wireframe, but contrary to a pure IA wireframe, I do propose typography relationships and interface hints.
Marko, I think you’ve gained a reputation as a typography expert, so I’m guessing you’ll be proposing typography relationships on any project you work on in the future. 🙂