Friday, June 15, 2012

Adding a cool semi transparent shape to a photograph

Last night on Twitter, @beingmarci tweeted;

"See the pink circle here?? anyone know how to add to images? Thanks!!"
(this was the photo, and the pink circle with the "10 awesome party crafts" inside it)

 party crafts 10 Awesome Party Crafts

I do! and it's easy. I can show you how. (ok, too much Dora with the toddler...)
I started by tweeting back to her about Photoshop and then quickly realized that she probably didn't use Photoshop... It's a big program, and unless you need it, you likely won't be using it. This led me to free online photo editors, which, up until last night, I had never even looked at...They are FUN, FREE and I am impressed!
I took a look at two, and the process was similar for both.
I randomly chose one, here's a how-to using

1. click on "edit a photo" and, "upload a photo"

2. click on the icon on the side called "overlays" (it's the fifth one down where you see the 3 little icons together- a heart/starburst and comic bubble).

3. you will see lots of options in the "overlays" (geometric, hearts, arrows...), I chose "hearts" and then chose a basic heart from all the choices. once you click on it, it adds it to your photo and the fun starts. the circles in the corners allow you to make the shape bigger or smaller- click and drag in or out until you like the size. if you click in the middle of the shape, you can drag the entire shape around a bit until you decide where you want to place it in your photo. now, click around in the color pallet that presents itself and choose a color to try.

 now, play with the "fade" slider that you see under right under the rainbow of colors, this will give you that special transparency, from what you see above, to this, less opaque, below:
if you click anywhere else on the page, you can start doing other things (like adding text). if you want to go back and adjust the heart later, just click on it and your overlay menu with return.

4. adding text: in the menu, click the P icon (text), again, lots of options will open for you. i chose the font sue ellen francisco and then typed in my text in the box at the top. (here's the text window)

Here's what it looks like:

*my text is 3 lines, and I have not found a way in this editor to adjust the line height. if this bothers you, and you want the freedom to move text around, simply make each line it's own text block and then you can move them around separately. like this
each line is separate here, you can make each word (or letter) separate if you want and play with the sizes, fonts and colors. there are lots of options, so, go crazy!
i will say that I had to do a little fiddling to get to my text when i started moving it around, because i seemed to be automatically selecting the heart shape, rather than the text. if you find you are having this issue too, just move your shape out of the way for a while and organize your text, then move your shape back in when you are done.

5. save your photo.

voila! cool semi transparent shape with text in it tutorial!
(take a look at all the cool stuff you can do with the picmonkey editor- there are a ton of cool things, from photo actions to frames, labels, paper scraps...essentially, like a candy store to bling-out your photos!)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Head of the Class!

I have done some fun little jobs lately, like immediate gratification for a designer.
As much as I love the big jobs, sometimes the little ones are just, well, refreshing!
Both were to design new website headers.
The first was for the adorable and talented Nicole Cohen of
She was a dream client, really knew what she wanted and could communicate it beautifully (sounds like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how hard it can be for some clients to tell you what they want!).
Plus, I was using her gorgeous painting as the header's backdrop...hello?, again, makes my job easy. She told me what she was thinking, I proposed some ideas and, as she is so adept at doing (read her blog!) she took it to the streets for opinions...In the end, chose the typography that she liked the best. I think she chose very well and am proud to say that I helped her design her new header. I am a fan of her blog and her work, take my advice, spend some time on her site.

The next header was for my fabulous friend, writer (can't-believe-we-met-through-twitter-because-she-feels-like-freaking-family!)  She, knew a little less, what she wanted, but,  she did know what she liked, again, a good starting point (read on). My challenge was to find the thread that brought all the things she liked together (or some of them). Here are some examples of what she liked; vintage-ish, turquoise, red, brown, green, granny wallpaper, flowers, black and white photographs, good humor, drinking humor (she'll appreciate me sharing that!)  and naturally, as you'd suspect... old maps, typewriters, motorbikes and scooters... (this was not the entire list) but, let's face it,  it's pretty obvious, right?
Here's what she got,

Ok, it might not have been that simple, we went back and forth a few times, hey, I am a designer, not a psychic, but seriously, want to know how much fun is it to go back and forth and throw around ideas about headers until the cows come home with someone you adore? can't even put a price on that kind of fun!
Would I sound super cocky saying that I freaking love the result?..oh well.
Oh, and, get familiar with Natalie, and her writing, you will be happy you did!
Need a header? get in touch. Headers make me happy. (that sounds wrong)