Monday, February 11, 2013

Brought to you by the letter 'L'


Today I'd like to share something you probably already know, especially if you use Photoshop: layers are your friend. In addition to the usual ways most people work, Adobe introduced the idea of layout comps years ago. I haven't heard if designers and photographers use the feature. It's still there (Window>Layer Comps [Mac]).

Some designers use layers in their layout programs to isolate elements they want to turn on or off. An example would be a layout containing one type layer for U.S. English audience and a type layer for Spanish-speaking readers.

As part of the design process, you should try using the layers in your page design program to determine which combination of font style works best with your graphics.

I created a simple restaurant menu cover design. Using InDesign CS6, I brought in an image of a salad plate and lowered its' opacity to 20%.

screen capture, InDesign CS6 print preview

On another layer I created a vertical arrangement of squares with a single rounded corner in InDesign, placing it on its own layer.

menu cover with art graphic

Now to experiment with various fonts I selected. Each font is on its own layer.

Scriptina font

Constantin font. Vertical art removed.

Fontin typeface, type positioned to upper right


American Gothic (typophiles think Copperplate), increased opacity.

One layout, several looks, one panel. Layers turned on or off:


Give this a try on your next project.