Learn it fast with expert-taught software and skills training at lynda.com. Start your free trial

By Todd Gallopo | Thursday, June 25, 2015

Designing an Album Cover for Motley Crüe's Tommy Lee


Never doubt what you’re capable of.

I learned this after I tried my hand at creating images for Tommy Lee’s Never A Dull Moment album packaging in 2002. The concept in my head was inspired by the photography of David Hockney, but the budget for the photography portion of this project was limited.

It’s a problem that many of us designers have to come to terms with now and then: How do we create the images we need when the budget doesn’t allow us to team up with the creative professionals we want to work with?

Do we pull favors? Do we D.I.Y.? I chose the latter. I’m not a photographer, but I believed I could create what I envisioned.

I’ll show you how I did it:

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Create 'Pinstriped' Type Like the Madonna MDNA Album

Mimic the striped type on the Madonna MDNA album

Welcome back to Deke’s Techniques. For the last two weeks, we’ve been creating an image inspired by the cover art on the Madonna MDNA album — but this week’s technique is great whether you’ve been following along or not.

The “pinstriped” type Deke creates in Adobe Photoshop looks just like the type on Madonna’s album cover, and would look just as cool in your own composition.

By Lauren Harmon | Thursday, March 27, 2014

Adding Effects to Reverse Type

InDesign Secrets

Do you want to make your headlines pop? Reverse type—light text against a dark background—is a good design choice. Readers are predisposed to seeing dark text on a light background, so the opposite effect is quite eye-catching. Although reverse type is a pretty standard design element at this point, you can make the effect fresh again with additional ornamentation. This week in InDesign Secrets, David Blatner shows how to use paragraph rules (both the Rule Above and Rule Below options) to add rounded caps, cutouts, and patterns to the backgrounds behind your type. He also shows how to build the rules into a paragraph style that you can reuse again and again throughout your documents.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Creating metal type in Photoshop: Deke's Techniques

Creating metal type in Photoshop

Explore this course at lynda.com.

They say you can’t improve on the classics but this week Deke dives into his archives and revisits a tutorial from the very early days of Deke’s Techniques, “Creating heavy metal type.” This is a technique his fans have asked him again and again to update, since the technique has changed so much since Adobe Photoshop CS6 and CC were released. Watch the new video and learn how to build a custom pattern for “stamping out” your type and use layer styles to really make it pop out from a metallic background.

By Mordy Golding | Thursday, September 12, 2013

Remembering Doyald Young

Today would have been Doyald Young’s 87th birthday. The famous typeface and logotype designer/teacher said:

There are over a hundred thousand fonts out there. … People say, ‘If there are a hundred thousand fonts, why are you drawing a letter? Why not use a font and do something with it?’ Well, I have very technical reasons of why I do that, but I also have a very simple answer, which is, it’s custom. I am designing something custom for you. … It’s custom. We all want something unique.

By Colleen Wheeler | Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Deke's Techniques: Creating a classic carved font by hand in Illustrator

In this week’s free episode of Deke’s Techniques, Deke shows you how to take any font you like and give it a carved, sculpted, or engraved effect.

As Deke points out in the video, some fonts already have an engraved, or sculpted effect built in, like Imprint Shadow for instance:

The Imprint Shadow font

You don’t have to rely on a font to come with this effect though. You can create your own built-up, carved effect using any font you have available, Adobe Illustrator, and a host of Transform and Offset effects applied systematically to a collection of strokes and fills. Take this type from last week’s project, which is set in the classic 1910 typeface Hobo, for instance:

1910 typeface Hobo

In the video, you’ll see how Deke transforms flat letters into sculpted, almost molded, letters by duplicating the stroke and resizing, moving, and changing its colors to create shadows and the illusion of highlights. In the finished font below, you can also see he’s applied a similar treatment to the stars, which he demonstrates with another set of effects in this week’s video. Note the number of effects applied to the multiple strokes in the Appearance panel. These are all just mutated duplicates of the original stroke (in other words, no drawing involved):

Deke's embellished typeface with the Adobe Illustrator Appearance panel


The result, when combined with last week’s Spirograph-style embellishment, is this striking logo that—dare I say—really pops.

The finished type effect placed in the Spirograph-style logo

Deke will be back with another new technique next week!


Interested in more?
• The entire Deke’s Techniques weekly series on lynda.com
• All Illustrator courses on lynda.com
• All courses by Deke McClelland on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:
• Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals
• Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals
• Illustrator Insider Training: Rethinking the Essentials

By Colleen Wheeler | Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Deke's Techniques #13: Simulating subpixel rendering

What, you ask, is subpixel rendering? This week’s Deke’s Technique will either make your head spin or make you feel on top of the geek heap. The idea is this: Regardless of the which rendering intent you use for your text—Sharp, Crisp, Strong, or Smooth—Photoshop has a habit of rendering very small type badly, whereas that same very small type looks nice and legible when rendered by your operating system or as editable type by a browser. What’s the difference? The reason is subpixel rendering, which permits an application to rasterize text and other vector objects, on-the-fly, to each of the three color channels (RGB) independently. Here’s a diagram to help things make slightly more sense:

Of course, if you’re working with HTML type, all is well. But as soon as you render that text to pixels, subpixel is not an option. It’s not Photoshop’s fault; JPEG, GIF, PNG, and other web image formats don’t support subpixel rendering. In this week’s free technique, Deke shares not only how subpixel rendering works, but also how to simulate it in Photoshop by creating a faux color antil-alias effect. For those of you who make small type for your screen images—whether web, kiosk, or presentation—or who just like to know the geekiest trick of the week, it’ll make all the tiny difference in the world.

Each week, there’s a new free technique from Deke. And lynda.com members will find an extra cache of awesome, geektastic, or just plain useful techniques exclusively inside the Online Training Library®. See you next week!

Related links:Deke’s Techniques courses on Photoshop in the Online Training Library® courses by Deke McClelland in the Online Training Library®

By Colleen Wheeler | Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Branding type on a texture in Photoshop: Deke's Techniques

It’s a blog post. It’s a podcast. It’s another quick step-by-step tutorial from lynda.com author Deke McClelland! However you think of it, we were thrilled with the positive feedback you provided for last week’s preview episode of Deke’s Techniques, Creating Ice Type. Today, Deke’s Techniques becomes a full-fledged course in the Online Training Library® where members can go to review all the episodes to date and find a new members-only entry to the course. Meanwhile, here on the blog, we’re happy to share another free episode with everyone.

This week’s technique features Deke showing you how to virtually brand your chosen type into any surface imaginable in Photoshop. The specific background (leather, cowhide, parchment, corrugated paper) doesn’t matter. (In fact, for Thanksgiving, Deke employed this technique on my hand. Totally painless, except for holding my hand in the right position to make the turkey’s eyes google correctly.) The key to this technique is turning your background (or your hand, as it were) into a displacement map, then applying some Burn tool action and a little Bevel and Emboss. Check it out, and we’ll see you next week for another quick technique!

And thanks for letting us know how these quick-burst tutorials fit into your training needs. Keep the feedback coming!

Get the latest news

  •   New course releases
  •   Pro tips and tricks
  •   News and updates
New releases submit clicked

You can change your email preferences at any time. We will never sell your email. More info

Featured articles

A lynda.com membership includes:

Unlimited access to our subscription library courses
Certificates of completion
New courses added every week (almost every day!)
Course history to track your progress
Downloadable practice files
Playlists and bookmarks to organize your learning
Start your free trial

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.