by: Shelley Lowery
design is an intimidating subject for many Internet
entrepreneurs. However, most of us must learn some basic design
techniques to avoid the high costs of hiring a professional
can create your own graphics that can look just as nice
some of the professionally created graphics for a fraction of
order to create your graphics, you will need to invest
good graphics program. You don't have to spend hundreds of
dollars on a fancy graphics design software. Paint Shop Pro is a
wonderful graphics program and is the only program you'll need
to design professional looking graphics. You can download a free
30-day trial and register the software for only $99.
The first and probably most important graphic technique we're
going to discuss is text. This is probably what you will use the
most. Not just any text, but text to be used with your logo,
banners or page titles.
you're ready to begin, open Paint Shop Pro and click
"File" then "New" and type in a width and height for your image.
Make sure your "Image Type" is set to 24-bit and select your
background color. You can leave the other settings at their
defaults. Make sure you give yourself a large enough space to
work with, as you can reduce it later.
first step will be to select a good font. Depending
the effect I want to achieve, I use one of three different
fonts; Impact, Verdana, or Arial Black. If you don't have these
fonts installed on your computer, you can find them here:
first text effect we will be creating will display your
in a large font size with a drop shadow effect. This drop shadow
effect can also be used with any other images you create.
first step will be to select your text color. To change
foreground and background colors, double click on the top and
bottom color squares on the right. Your text will be displayed
in the color within the top box, which is the foreground color.
For this example, I will be using a light color as my foreground
you've selected your text color, click on the text tool
the left side (It looks like a capital "A"). This will launch
your text window. Select your font and text size from the drop
down menu and type in your text. I will be using "Impact" bold,
size 24. Make sure you select "Antialias" and "Floating" then
will smooth out all of the rough edges of your text
and blend it in with your background color. You will use the
Antialias setting with various graphic tools when designing your
graphics, so it is important to remember its function.
will now see your text with, what looks like, marching
around it. If you'd like to move your text, click and hold your
left mouse button to drag your text to your desired position.
your text still selected (with marching ants), at the
of the screen, go to "Image" then "Effects" then "Drop Shadow."
This will launch the "Drop Shadow" window. Your image will be
viewable with the drop shadow in the little window at the right.
You can try different settings until you achieve the shadow
effect you desire.
text effect that is popular will display your text in
graduated color effect. Your text can be displayed with a dark
color at the top and gradually get lighter or just the opposite.
achieve this effect, the foreground (top box) color
first be set to white. Next, click on the text tool and follow
the same procedure for displaying your text. You should now see
your text displayed as "marching ants," only with no color. Now
you'll need to select a dark color for your foreground color and
a light color for your background color.
you've selected your colors, click on the "Flood
on the left. To change the effects of the Flood Fill tool,
locate the little box on your screen that says, "Controls" then
click on "Tool Controls." Under "Fill Style" select "Linear
Gradient" and then click on "Options" at the bottom. The "Blend
Mode" should be set to normal. In order to select which color
will be at the top of your text, where it says, "Degrees" type
in either 0 or 180 depending on your desired effect, then click
OK. Now place your mouse over each letter and fill it by
clicking on your mouse.
you've filled your text, you can either create the shadow
effect or "right click" on your mouse to deselect your text.
you'd like to decrease your graphics window size, click
the "Selection tool" on the left (dotted rectangle) and select
the portion of your graphic that you'd like to display within
your new sized image. Click on "Edit" then "Copy" then "Edit" -
"Paste as a new image."
you've completed your graphic, go to "File"
then "Save As"
and select a folder. Type in a name for your graphic and save
your new file in the .GIF format. The program will prompt you
and ask you if it's all right to reduce your file to 256 colors.
Click on yes. Your new graphic is now saved.
that you've mastered these new techniques, try them
some of your other images. The drop shadow effect can be used
with photographs or just about any image you'd like. Try the
graduated color effect with your banners or image backgrounds
and give your graphics a professional look.
Shelley Lowery is the Webmistress of Web-Source.net. Your Guide
to Professional Web Site Design & Development. Subscribe to
Syndicator Etips for fresh, original articles to assist you in
Web Design, Internet Marketing & Ecommerce
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