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PS 7.0: Abstract how-to on signatures. Rate Topic: -----

#1 eLliDKraM   User is offline

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Posted 02 September 2005 - 04:04 PM

This is an abstract overview on how to make a very colorful signature or a spiffed up logo.

Please note this is MY order of doing things, being the idiot I am, I am quite sure there are more efficient ways of completing this.

1. Get your idea down of what colors, what images, what everything you will be using; your overall look in mind is a necessity.

2. We need a background. The wonderful things about sigs is that they do not need to be these ultra complex background pictures with some mediocre text placed on them. There are two ways you can approach the background image.

2a. We can take a pre-existing image and manipulate it. I don't mean taking someone's logo or anything, but a screen shot in a video game is an excellent way to get started. Since I am not into forum signatures I will show you a logo I made for my Dille-Zone website that has the same effects a sig will.

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Cool right? Right. Hard right? Wrong. I had an idea down so it only took me a few minutes to get the general part accomplished and a few more to master the look I was attempting to achieve. I took a screenshot of a game in action, Battlefield 2. I modified its size, (IT DOES NOT NEED TO BE PERFECTLY TO SCALE ON THE X AND Y) and if you look closely you can tell it's very vertically scrunched which is JUST FINE because it looks great. So we have our background image, why doesn't it look like mine? What did I do? I have a secret black background behind it and I put the screenshot layer to the "Hard Light" layer setting. Now we're getting somewhere (adjust the layer setting to what you believe looks the best) in all of my experience I am accustomed to making darker images and even if it is just a screenshot I still want it to look fairly abstract. Abstract is the key to this style logo.

2b. We make our background ourself. I'm going to make a new tutorial about signature backgrounds later but I'll tell you some key points. We can do very cool things with filters and levels. Get a general image, either a picture or start completely from scratch with clouds let's say. Other tricks I've used is just making a rectangle (fairly small) with a solid color and just using the smudge tool (with a nice exotic looking brush) and just smudging it around and adding color to it. Just get an abstract looking background.

3. We have the background. Now what?

3a. On our screenshot logo we can do some basic things to spiff it up. What I did was take some programming language in C, put it to size 3, white text, arial font and just paste it on there. Three sections of C program pasted right on a logo and it looks good? I believe it does. Remember, it's abstract, it makes the background look busier, it is dividing the focus of the eye to the well placed background and a bunch of little letters that match our theme but the onlooker can't place anything about it. This part is totally up to you. Many logos have fancy placed text but a signature or in my case my site's logo just has simple white text with a globe behind it. Lovely huh? The logo is up to you. Remember I'm just telling you my steps of how things are done. You need to reinterpret my ideas into your own, I'm just an inspirator. Two problems now, it's a little plain still. Hexagons. Hexagons and abstract shapes are a life saver when it comes to graphic design. I put a bunch of tiny hexagons (on a layer above the black bg layer but under the screenshot layer) and lowered their opacity just a tad and placed them under my Dille-Zone text and now it looks much more alive. That side of the logo is still just a tad plain due to the portion above hte text is a little plain. Using your circle marquee tool I just made a circle nip the top of the logo and i filled it in white and changed its opacity. The right side of the logo is still a little bland but I had just the right text to put there. Battlefield 2. Most people put testimonials or slogans or their site's version there (think something up). Basically I just put white text reading Battlefield 2 UNDER the background text and one over the background text. Go into the layer formatting (double click on it, or click on the (f) on your layers window) and on the general blending options tab I put the FILL opacity to 0% and I went over to stroke. I gave it a 1px outside 100% opacity black stroke and that makes it much more readable with a very cool inside.

Again, the purpose is to inspire you with more creative ideas on how to make your image look full, busy and professional.

4. With this completed, a very popular thing to do (especially over abstract home made backgrounds) is to add images and blend them. I'll get into the technical details in my next tutorial but to give you a broad idea of what I mean, a perfect example would be my other DilleZone logo.
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I used a character from Halo 2, a sniper from Battlefield 2 and Marv from Sin City because, aside from the fact they look awesome together, they describe what my site is about. Games and entertainment. Also, they look really cool. This is a tutorial to teach your mind to start thinking creatively and outside the box.

I will make the next tutorial based on cropping and blending images VERY EASILY to my background.

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