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For all you new First Quarters…

October 1, 2009

Top 10 Most Common Errors Made Using Photoshop

The right kind of Black


It’s like assuming a person as black when in fact he is mulatto. A lot of designers at one point thought that setting the Photoshop’s K in CMYK to 100 would result in black. The hybrid would offspring a dark grey. At one point you can get away with it, but if you really want a darker shade of it in rich black set your CMYK to C=90 M=30 Y=30 and K=100 that would give you a richer black as a night shade.

Although you can get away with setting your K to 100 for black text, large areas of black should be set to ‘Rich Black’. Try using C=90 M=60 Y=30 K=100 – it will produce a much richer and noticeable black.

Inappropriate Extracting Technique


Inexperienced Photoshop users always rely on the infamous magic wand tool or the quick select lasso tool to extract backgrounds and objects in an image. Photoshop’s easy selections as well as extraction methods have come a long way since but nothing compares to the precision in using the Pen tool.

The Pen tool may not be your tool of the trade because it can be complicated and awkward for you to use. But once controlled you will never use any other method the same way again. Quick masking tool can be good too; however, stay away from the eraser tool for extracting technique. It would add up an improvement in the appearance of your images if you render a slight feather to your extractions.

Beveled, embossed and drop shadows


It is easy to abuse these features because; really it is fun to see those fonts come to life in a click of a button. However, in as much as we enjoy making it pop up with effects, little that we consider if we are making any sense at all. You can easily tell whether a designer is an inexperienced one through the way he treated these features in his design. Unless you have a valid reason to use the said effects, just like rainbow gradients-stay away from these and using it in moderation will be appreciated by the viewing public.

Drop shadows should be used with care. The shadow should match the source of light of the entire design. It is awkward to see contrasting shadows in your image and your fonts clashing each other inadvertently. This would render a “fake look” on your image and would defeat the natural look you want to achieve. Drop shadows should not come as harsh and dramatic; they should just support the image and not overshadow it. Tone it down a little bit and you’re good to go.

Creating logos in Photoshop


Some designers might disagree with this, because they have been using Photoshop to create logos. I think Logos should be rendered in vector-based programs like Adobe Illustrator as much as possible. Well, for one vector based graphics can be blown out way too large without losing its quality. Logos are meant to be seen in a crisp clear manner in able for the proper identification as it serves its purpose-represent the product through its name. Logo’s purpose might be defeated if they cannot be seen regularly in sharp detail such those rendered in Photoshop.

Using rainbow gradients


Just like Michael Jordan’s ubiquitous tongue, Rainbow gradients is everywhere, people have been using it like a million times. Every time we see those rainbow gradients, it became more and more loud and grating. However, that doesn’t mean that you should not use gradients totally. Using gradients should not limit your creativity it’s just a matter of how you will combine it with your other design. Try blending the gradients from light to dark using the same color. Blending two or more inconsistent color really hurts the eye.

Not learning shortcuts or the hotkeys


This is not only applicable to Photoshop, but in all programs out there. Learning the hot keys or the shortcuts will benefit your working habit a lot but many tools needed hot keys for added functionality. Many didn’t know this but you can create your own shortcuts if you are not compatible with the preset shortcuts the Photoshop has. Select edit>keyboard>shortcuts, then make your own shortcuts for your convenience.

Setting Body Copy


A Photoshop user should know the limitations and boundaries of using a design, especially in creating a fantastic text effects. Do not; by any means you should use those text effects on large areas especially for the body copy. Leave that to Quark, InDesign or to Adobe Illustrator. Texts are meant to be read for comprehension and figuring out its meaning-the reason why it should be clear enough to read in a sharp details. Your text will not par enough in a raster-based program like the Photoshop. You should know that a vector-based program can do justice with the letters of the alphabet for the large amounts of copy.

Layers and Folders lack of knowledge


Layers in Photoshop serve a great purpose. They’re not just there lying around for display purposes. Everything in Photoshop revolves around layering and utilizing it wisely will benefit your work greatly. It makes your work easier to edit, duplicate, move or delete. Renaming your layers and structuring them to folders is necessary especially if you are a web designer and having too many bits and pieces of design that needs to be organized. Layers will help you categorize and save you the headache of looking for something that wasn’t there.

To Desaturate is to convert to black & white


This is an often overlooked thing in Photoshop even by experienced designers. Desaturating an image often produces flat and lifeless images. Try this instead: go to Image>channel mixer>check off monochrome, and then adjusting the red, green and blue sliders. It would produce a lot richer depth image.

The advantage of guides and grids


Guides and Grids are there for particular reasons. They can make your design proportionately beautiful and believable and using them in the first place could spare you of adjusting things here and there accordingly. There is still so many designers who still do it by eye…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 6, 2009 6:35 pm

    Does a rich black of C:40 Y:40 M:40 K:100 work, as well? That's the formula I've seen used a lot.

  2. October 8, 2009 9:27 pm

    I'm not a first quarter, but this was still very helpful. Thanks!

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