Category: Podcast cover (Photoshop)

Photoshop experimentations

Design Ideas and Design process

I had a couple of ideas to produce for the podcast poster but u lacked the skills to actually produce these, as they were very complex composition whiles I hadn’t used photoshop before. When doing the photoshop task I found it enjoyable as well as very challenging as It was the pretty much the first time working with photoshop to create something. The task was to create a podcast poster relating to graphic design, my first cover is a red podcast poster titled “Talking with Type”. As it was my first attempt, I tried using simple images to try and get accustomed to using photoshop, so just using shapes and blurring out the edges of the circles to fade and smoothen out with the background. I then added my microphone which I struggled with, trying to crop and adjust the background so that it doesn’t override the actual colour of the background I had added.

For my second poster I kept it simple again using an image of a character by their phone waiting for the podcast to come on. For this I had to change the colours on the figure by cropping out the background and highlighting the areas which I wanted to amend and changed the colours.

For my third poster which is my favourite I used another microphone as the focal point of the postcard and amended the colours again. I also used simple circles to add some decorative effects to keep it simple. I then flipped the colours so that I would be predominantly white on black rather than black on white. I think this was my best attempt on the podcast as I got really comfortable with the composition and how to change the colours and tones of the shapes.

Software Tutorials­­

­­­­­­https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAmSB5MQxOo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXPRZTxNm0M&t=76s\

Watching these tutorials helped me to get an overview of how photoshop is set up and how to access certain tools which may not be so visible to me. It also helped me get more accustomed to certain shortcuts to do different kinds of things. The first software video basically explained what photoshop is and the main benefits of it, which helps you to understand and grasp the type of things you need to be focusing on working on in that space when you go into tasks. It gave me the first steps into actually creating a file and why to use certain measurements for different projects. Compared to InDesign its mainly using images and playing with the aesthetic of an image whereas with InDesign you are able to do that as well as have a large amount t of text in one file. Photoshop mainly works with images rather than words.

 

 

Resources for research and Inspiration

For my research I mainly looked through Pinterest to find some interesting podcast covers which I could take some ideas from. Most of the covers that I first saw seemed quite difficult in my point of view as I was only beginning to get used to using photoshop, so I searched for simple podcast covers which are just simple words and shapes, but is still very captivating and aesthetic to use for inspiration. Finding these I was still somewhat challenging for me to kind of recreate them using my own images and basing it on a typographic podcast. So I watched more videos and tutorials on how to edit certain things to help me expand on my ability to make the podcast cover better. These are some of the things that I used as inspiration to help me come up the covers.

 

 

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Photoshop Typography Podcast Cover

Design ideas and design process

I started my design process by looking at some existing examples of podcast covers. The covers I looked at had some noticeable themes that I intended to replicate. A fair few (The Joe Rogan Experience) featured a microphone in the cover so that was something interesting I wanted to explore. A lot also made use of an image of the podcast host (like the dropout and Joe Rogan examples) while others just had the podcast name displayed in a creative way (Like the buzz cast).

As I’d seen in my research, many podcasts covers incorporated the microphone so that’s where I started. I had this idea of someone talking into the microphone one end and out the other end there would spew subject specific vocabulary so from looking at the cover you could immediately tell what kind of topics would be discussed on the podcast. I also chose a catchy name for the podcast, ‘typography time.’ I enjoyed creating this idea and like the outcome, I think the cover incorporates typography well which reflects what the podcast is about.

For my second design I wanted to explore creative ways I could display the podcast name (like the buzz cast example). I started by choosing a tasteful colour scheme and a simple name. I then stretched the letters stems to create a striking linear pattern.  I then filled the gaps with the typical imagery you would see on a podcast cover (microphone and information). I experimented with this design by warping the lines to try and replicate sound waves emitting from the microphone but I decided to stick with the more simple idea.

For my final design I wanted to create something that incorporated as many of the archetypal qualities I had seen in my research. I thought an image of the host on the cover would make quite a convincing design however a problem I faced was that it was a made-up podcast with no actual host. I decided to just use stock images, one featured a man, the other featured a microphone, I then applied a black and white filter to both to keep the image consistent. Similar to my first idea I wanted to communicate what the podcast was about so I had this idea of a thought bubble coming from the hosts head which would have all the topics he would talk about in it. In the end I went with the idea of having books about graphic design and typography (that he might discuss on the podcast) flowing out of his head, as if all his knowledge is on display.

I started by removing the top half of his head and applied it at an angle to appear as if it was being opened. After that I found some of the best graphic design books and arranged them flowing out of his skull. I added shadow to the hosts head and to the books to give the image some depth. I did this by using tools like the drop shadow, curves adjustment layers and also just blending with the black paintbrush. I like this idea because It combines what I learnt from looking at existing podcast covers and overall looks quite convincing.

 

Software tutorials

I started by watching some of the official Photoshop tutorials. I watched a lot of the videos from the ‘working with layers’ link. This was very helpful as often my Photoshop layers get a little bit messy and this told me the importance of creating a Photoshop file that looks professional with correctly named layers. I did some further research into layers with just some basic google searches and discovered you can group layers when necessary which made a lot of this project more organised and effective. I also viewed the website ‘how to design a podcast cover’. This was really helpful as before I had a look through the website I had no idea how I was going to start with my designs but the website gave me some direction and discussed some good starting points and also some questions to ask yourself as you go through the design process. As I was working on Photoshop I had an issue where my images looked very flat on the background and I was not sure how to make layers look more natural and blend into the surroundings when on a page. A YouTube video called ‘Master Curves from Start to Finish in Photoshop’ really helped me out. I discovered you could use the curves adjustment layers to give an image darker tones and lighter tones in the appropriate places. This includes giving object shadows and highlights to make it look more natural. The curves adjustment layer also has a function where you can colour match two objects which will come in extremely useful. Skills I would like to develop in the future include mastering the pen tool as currently I am hopeless at using it. I would also like to improve at simple jobs like creating clean and crisp layer masks because currently when I cut out an image it takes ages and looks a bit dodgy.

 

Resources for research and inspiration 

Like i mentioned at the beginning, I started this project by looking for some inspiration and a great way to do this is by looking at existing designs. I started by googling ‘podcast covers’ which showed hundreds of results however each one incorporated some of the basic archetypes. To list a few: Vibrant colours, use of illustration, interesting typeface, experimental use of type, most of them reflect what they are about visually, use of a microphone, visuals that reflect radio or sound in some ways, most feature the hosts face. It would be difficult to include all of these stereotypes into one cover so I cherry picked 3 features that I wanted to include in my ideas.  1. have a microphone, 2. be experimental with the type, and 3. feature the podcast host. I also had a scroll through spotifiy to look at what the most successful podcasts had done on their covers (https://open.spotify.com/genre/podcast-charts-body). Like I also said earlier I found the ‘how to design a podcast cover’ website extremely useful (https://99designs.co.uk/blog/design-other/how-to-design-a-podcast-cover-the-ultimate-guide/) which addressed how to start a design and also went into detail about picking a theme and running with it. As I was designing I had this website up in  another tab just to refer back to and I feel like I was successful in following a lot of the instructions. For example it spoke a lot about picking a theme and colour and being consistent with those choices throughout, I’d like to think my covers have a solid style and a tasteful colour pallet. Topics I would like to explore further include colour theory, I’d love to learn about what colours work best together, combinations to avoid and also how colour can have an effect on the viewer. I’d also like to learn more

A source that was essential for this project was Unsplash, (https://unsplash.com/images/stock). It provided me with a lot of the images I used throughout which were all very high quality and just made everything so much easier.

 

TYPE IT OUT – podcast

For my photoshop task we were asked to make a podcast cover for graphic communications. This was my first time using photoshop, so it was a challenge to begin with, and I had a few designs to start off with, that in all honestly looked very childish, simple, and I was not a fan of them. So I decided to go for a design that was a bit more simplistic in hopes, that while I’m still learning, simple would look more professional. I went online to look at other podcast designs for a better idea, and looked at graphic design posters as well to try and help with some inspiration. I came across a photo of a small podcast mic, and thought I would incorporate that into my design, and decided on a simple pattern behind it using just the shapes tools. I went for the circular pattern behind, as the circles could look slightly like sound radiating off the mike, and I think with the colours it looks slightly vintage, with a 60s, 70s kind of vibe to the cover.

Above you can see my two trails designs, it was my first time using the software so they are quite simple, especially the one with the circles, where i was just testing out what I could do with the software and how it worked. While I was not keen on this design it did defiantly help to inspire my final product, taking from it the colour scheme, and the circle kind of pattern. My second design was to look almost like a book cover with various fonts to the side, while I liked the idea of this design, I was not happy with the final product, and thought it looked a bit childish, I also don’t think the colour complimented each other in the end, maybe with the right colours this design could have worked, but I also struggled to find some more elegant fonts in photoshop as well. Despite the fact I feel this design was not particularly good, I did end up using the type face that I used for the heading.

When it came to colour scheme, I wanted to use colours that complimented another, and with it being autumn, ended up choosing some warm tones, of yellows, orange, purple. When I cut out the mic, I actually ended up using the outside part that I had cut out, layered it on top of my coloured pattern, so that the colours only shone through the mic, and the rest would be muted, allowing my text and title to stand out. I’m a big fan of record design and covers, and in fact have a large collection at home, so did look to them for some inspiration, with my Photoshop skills still being quite limited, I couldn’t yet create something like my favourite designs and covers but thought it was a reasonable start. I also liked working with a square base for design, as it is slightly unusual, but very common in podcast and music, I really hope we get a few more projects like these, to experiment with advertising something as well, as a cover is a form of advertisement that contributes to the consumer picking your product, or in this case, podcast.

Choosing a title and a font, I chose the name ‘Type It Out’, as a play on for the common saying ‘talk it out’, its simple and easy to recognise for people, and clarifies that the show will be about type and font. Below the bottom of the mic I wrote ‘graphic communications’ just for added clarity, as my design is very simplistic. I also changed the font, the title font, is bold and eye-catching, and has a slightly old fashioned look to it, with the added details, so went for something minimum for under the mic, and to give the title the forefront in the design. Chose for both pieces of text to also be in white to add contrast to the design, and again help them to stand out. I think I could of added something more about typography to my design, as perhaps an image would have made it slightly clearer what the podcasts subject was, however the title, and sub heading below the mic I think explains it well enough, and both are quite bold to create a hierarchy in the design. I also layered the text so it ever so slightly went on top of the mic, making sure it was in the foreground, and liked how the cross over looked.

I was quite happy with the end result of my podcast cover, however I hope with time to become more familiar with photoshop, and would have liked to have used my own photography, then edited a cover out of that for an extra challenge, to find and compose the right photo for a cover. I think the simplistic design did managed to work in my favour of looking more professional, rather than setting myself too challenging a design as I tried previously with my first couple attempts, and it looking quite cheap.

In conclusion I enjoyed learning the different software’s, and enjoyed the task using illustrator as well, to explore my designs further it would’ve been nice to see them in a few different colour swatches, perhaps this time in some cool tones, although I liked the fact that I had an autumnal theme, and the warm colours also gave it that 60’s look. I will definitely try improving my skills with a bit more time, and try to source some more videos and tutorials on YouTube, perhaps editing more photos, and learning how to manipulate and photos and colour swatches a bit better.

Let’s Talk About Typography

Our first task for this module was a Photoshop task, with the aim being to create a Podcast cover for a new podcast about typography and graphic communication. I decided to call mine  ‘Let’s Talk About Typography’ to create an inviting feel that encourages the idea of discussion and represents the content of the podcast.

Design Ideas and Design Process

I began my design process by researching existing podcast covers, including podcasts that focused on the topic of graphic design. Looking at these existing covers helped me to grasp that the ones that stood out the most to me were the ones with brightly coloured backgrounds, a relatively simple design and typography that stood out. Personally, I begin the design process by mind mapping my own ideas so I created a mind map of words relating to typography and graphics. I then went on to use these as a guide to search for images on free stock image sites. For this task, I mainly used Pixabey as recommended in the provided guidance, but I also looked at images on unsplash.com. The keywords I was searching for were mainly: metal type, woodblocks, warped grid, laptops, and desk.

After downloading my chosen images, I began working on them in photoshop.

FINAL IDEA 1 – LETTERING BACKGROUND
I began by cropping the original image and used the camera raw filter to adjust the exposure, contrast, highlights and shadows etc. My aim was to go for a brighter, higher-contrast image to make it ‘pop’. I feel I did this successfully and found the camera raw filter a very easy tool to use as you can see the adjustments you are making as you are changing the values. I also wanted to add a ‘grainy’ sort of effect to the image, almost making it appear faded and older to represent how metal type and woodblocks were used for bookmaking back in the 15th century. I played around with various different filters to give this effect such as: adding noise, grain and despeckling. I finally settled on adding noise as I felt it gave my most desired effect. I thought that the image still looked a bit dull therefore I went to image > selective colour and chose red to give the image warmth and make the red colours pop.

I used the image of woodblock type as I was inspired by our print and printmaking module where we have learned about the history of printing and how books were printed from the before and after the 15th century. I thought it would be interesting to use an image that had a historical context in the topic of the podcast cover, which my audience could connect with

FINAL IDEA 2 – OFFICE BACKGROUND

I used two images to create this podcast cover. After importing the first image of the laptop and coffee and phone into photoshop, I used the direct selection tool to cut out the objects I wanted to use from the image and copied them into separate layers. I deleted the background from the image and imported an image of pieces of paper to create the background. Underneath this layer, I created a pink square and used the layer blend options to merge them together to create a textured background that made the design pop. After then watching a tutorial about how to blend out the edges of the cutout objects to make the concept look more well put together, I used layer masks and adjusted the feather, contrast, and shift edge in Global Refinements to give a blurred effect around the layers. For the text, I used two different fonts. Although in our integrated design module, we have learned to rarely use more than two typefaces at once, I felt it was appropriate to create emphasis on the topic of discussion. We have also been taught in integrated design to always track all caps, which I did for my capital letters. I changed by type to white and then placed it in the top left corner of the design.

FINAL IDEA 3

For this design, I used an image from Pixabey and created a gradient map, and experimented with different gradients to change the color to give a duotone color effect. I tried to do this by creating an 8 bit grayscale of the image and then using photoshops duotone effect but I found that the results didn’t look how I wanted them to so looked at a tutorial online and learned how to achieve the effect using a gradient map.

Software Tutorials 

We were provided with a list of Photoshop tutorials that I found helpful to refresh my memory on how to use the basics such as importing photos and using layers and effects, as I hadn’t really used the software since GCSE/ AS level. I had rarely used layer masks before, so it was interesting to learn how to use them.

From this online tutorial, I learned how to soften edges of cut out objects which I found helpful in my first concept where I cut objects out of one image and placed them on top of another.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lDtw99bM3w&ab_channel=Dansky

This tutorial was on how to create a duotone image in photoshop – I found this helpful in my last design and I’m glad I had the opportunity to learn how to do this as i find duotone images really interesting and have seen them gain popularity recently.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyuXdD_v4f8&ab_channel=PhotoshopTrainingChannel

I also watched this tutorial on using the selective colour tool as I planned on making the red colours in my first design pop out.
https://youtube.com/watch?v=crslYuiU1V0&ab_channel=PhotosInColor

All of these tutorials helped me with the technical side of creating my podcast covers, and aided me in my making. It was useful to watch the full videos even if I had already picked up what I felt I needed to learn, to explore the tools more.

I also watched this video on shortcuts in photoshop as I think it will help me in the future to make my workflow quicker and easier.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1732S1rlHOM&ab_channel=PhotoshopTrainingChannel

 

Resources for Research and Information 

https://design.tutsplus.com/articles/26-best-podcast-cover-art-designs-using-a-podcast-cover-art-maker–cms-34411

https://dribbble.com/stories/2019/08/06/30-creative-examples-of-podcast-cover-art-and-branding

Looking at existing podcast covers helped me to grasp which stood out to me more, such as covers with an effective, bright but simple colour schemes. I was particularly inspired by looking at graphic design podcasts for inspiration as to which typography to use. I thought that the covers that used a script typeface for emphasis were effective, and appealing to my eye. Hence why I used this typography throughout my designs. Although most of the podcast covers that I looked at were vector or illustration based, I still wanted to focus my covers on the use of the image to improve my skills in photoshop,  as I knew that we would have time to develop other skills later on in the upcoming weeks in the module.

We were also provided with sources of inspiration which encouraged me to think about the audience of my podcast cover and the style that I wanted my designs to fit into. When thinking of my audience, I wanted the covers to appeal to people interested in design and typography therefore i feel like my image choices were appropriate. I think I could have made the style of my designs more consistent but I used the same typography in all of them to tie them all together, which got me thinking about the identity of the podcast which I have also been thinking about throughout the other tasks from this module.

 

Designing a podcast cover using illustration in photoshop

   

(left to right) Design 1, Design 2, Design 3.

Design ideas and Process

My design ideas stemmed from the idea of using illustration. I really enjoy simple illustration, and thought that it could be used  well to create a neat, clean podcast cover. I knew I wanted to use the idea of interviewing designers from looking at some design podcasts on Spotify, which provided commentary on design, or interviews with designers about their work. From there I developed the phrase ‘type talk’, as well as the idea of having a simple design to show that concept. I think illustrations work best when kept to a limited colour palette, so I decided to work with a mix of both cool and warm tones that complemented well. This way I could keep the design simple and aesthetically pleasing, while communicating the theme of the podcast. In the actual drawing process I used my Wacom drawing tablet, and the photoshop basic brush presets, the hard round brush, on full hardness and 10% softness. This gave me clear lines, while keeping a rounded edge. I drew some little character busts in my own illustration style, with simple features and colours. The idea was to have one speaking into a microphone, as if recording the podcast, and another listening. My three ideas for this project were playing with the layout, text colour and form. I wanted to keep the idea of the two figures being linked by a wire, so in my first one I placed the figures back to back, with their wires plugged into the text. In my second I did a similar effect, with the figures at both ends of the screen. In the third I used a circle, with the text in the middle, and the wires jutting out with the characters on the circumference. In the end I used the second one, as it was my favourite of the three visually, and I felt was the most eye catching and original.

the colour scheme i used for the work
plain digital sketches
characters with the microphone and headphones
first sketches
final character sketches!

Software tutorials

As I am relatively competent with photoshop as a design and illustration medium, I mostly knew how to go about creating me design, but the tutorials provided by Rachel were still very helpful, especially the video by Terry White on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NrP690oqKA) . Although my initial plan was to work with illustration on photoshop, I still found videos explaining the uses of photoshop useful and helpful, such as the tutorial on embedding files in photoshop https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OfC9pZMJKs . I watched a few videos with tips on illustrating on photoshop, for example, Sophie Melissa on youtube has a video on her illustration process that I found helpful (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYoO_u8JNCQ.), that allowed me to reflect on making a simpler design. These provided me with more knowledge about how to navigate photoshop and how to make my design cleaner and neater. Software skills wise, id like to try a more complex design perhaps, or the use of actual photos and editing them in photoshop, as this is something i’d like to become more competent in. This project provided great insight on what i would like to work on in the future regarding photoshop and developing my current skills further, and also provided me with an idea of my current competency level with illustration in photoshop, and taught me how to simplify my designs, as I often have the desire to make them complex, so it has definitely helped me with the ‘less is more’ side of design in being able to create a clean, simple design.

Resources for research and inspiration

Most of my research was based around sketching ideas in different styles and then transferring them over to digital, however I did look at a few minimalistic illustrative images for inspiration, on pinterest and instagram. The first was Benji Nate https://www.instagram.com/benjinate/?hl=en, a favourite artist of mine who uses a style similar to my own, with pretty simplistic features that I thought might work nicely, but eventually decided didn’t quite fit the aesthetic i was attempting to achieve. Another source of inspiration was the art magazine ‘fan club’ chttps://issuu.com/fanclubnotts which uses a simple style that I really enjoy, and inspired me a little more to look at making a more simple style of my own. From this I took away some features that made the image much more clear and simple, while retaining the message of what it was supposed to represent and advertise. Looking at different artists and images really helped me develop the imagery I wanted from something i was used to and comfortable with, into a more user/audience oriented design that could be used for advertising. It also helped me develop skills I had previously struggled with through research and trial. Topics in design I might like to explore further within this project might be looking at a more photographic approach, taking my own photographs and editing them, whether they would be of typography I find, or images I take from pre made environments, or images constructed in a set to achieve a specific look. Id like to work on my photo editing and manipulation skills in the future, as that is something I am less comfortable with than illustration, and I think it would be useful to explore in my own time using some of the skills I learned in this project, and this module as a whole.

Mining in Photoshop

Design Ideas

For this task, the design was supposed to relate to typography and graphic communication. I first decided to name it ‘History of Typography’, because giving a name to the podcast can make my design direction more specific.  ‘History of Typography’, the word history means the past and the story of old-time. I wanted to design each of the covers for a particular period, for example, the first one as the 1970s edition and the next one be the 1960s edition. To make the design feels like its responding year period, I searched for their own represented era as the design theme.

Design Process

Design 1

My first design idea came from the word, ‘disco 70s’. Mirror balls are one of the iconic elements in this disco era, so I used a picture of a woman lying on the mirror ball to give out this similar sensation. The original picture was in a brownish warm colour tone, I increased the noise level to add more texture to the image. To create the dreamy fantasy look, I changed the gradient fills into blue and purple. I also wanted the audience’s attention to go to the mirror ball rather than the woman next to it. In this case, I needed to emphasise the existence of the ball, so I added a glitter image on top of that area and blended it in the colour dodge mode. A soft paintbrush was then used to add white dots to make those sparkles more noticeable. In this version, I did not do much to the typography, I just simply turned on the drop shadow and the inner glow effect to make it look much more three-dimensional.

Design 2

Pop art was first introduced during the 1950s, it went viral onwards. Comic style, dots were the key features, so I decided to apply these effects to my second design. I first cropped the woman out and change the background to full white. After that, I applied the halftone pattern with dot size 3. I increased the brightness and shadow level to create a much stronger contrast. I also changed the background to red and filled in the colour of the character in a comic style.

Design 3

The last one was designed for the 1960s. I tried to make the picture look like an actual oil-painting by editing its contrast level and setting different blending modes like dissolve or multiply. I also added a mask on top to create the light and shadow parts. For the colour adjustment, I increased the hue and saturation to the point that the image looks vibrant enough.

These designs came out great but the choice of imagery was not appropriate to the topic, which made the whole design not relevant to what I was supposed to achieve. As a result, I started to think about changing the image to another choice that would fit better with typography. I was searching for something vintage and representable to the theme at the same time. Finally, I decided to use a typewriter and applied the same effect on it as my last design.

 

Software Tutorials

For the whole task, I watched six different videos online. The most memorable one was what I watched for my last design. It was about creating a retro imagery style. One of the reasons that made this video especially unforgettable to me was because I reviewed it at least ten times. As a Photoshop beginner, it was really hard to follow his instructions when he only used short-cuts to control, so I had to pause after every step he made. In the video, he taught me to use the filter gallery from the effect panel, and the filter gallery can only be available in RGB mode, but my design task was in CMYK, so I needed to use an alternative way to achieve a similar result. Instead of applying a filter gallery to the picture, I edited the levels of the image and also extra blurred the picture to make it look more like an oil painting. Even though the outcome looked a bit different from the video, I think it still presented the retro atmosphere in the design.

Another video resource I used was about making pop art. This one was not that difficult as the previous one. Having my last time experience of struggling between the RGB and CMYK mode, this time I started editing directly on the original picture rather than placing and edit the image on the CMYK preset. For this tutorial, it was much easier to follow because those short-cuts were clearly shown on the subtitle. This effect also required me to use the filter gallery, but with a different filter pattern, called the halftone pattern.

These two videos helped me to learn using different editing functions in Photoshop and guided me to explore how powerful it can be. I had no idea about this software before, but now I can do a few interesting photo editing after watching those tutorial videos. In the future, I would like to learn more about how to edit pictures apart from using filters, such as combining pictures by cropping or blending them.

 

Resources for Research and Inspiration

Before having the whole idea of what to create, I had a look at a bunch of existing podcast covers from the internet. I found out that most of them are simply an image and the podcast title. Instead of using or combining many pictures, they only have one focused imagery. Therefore, I mainly used one individual image in each of my designs. At first, I wanted to refer my design to some old podcast covers, but it was hard to find them because people before did not use podcast covers at all, they usually advertised the podcast by posters or leaflets.

In this task, I aimed to create designs in a vintage or retro style to relate to my podcast title. I compared the difference between a modern design and a ‘traditional’ one. It is common to see that nowadays podcast covers tend to have a simple and basic layout, meanwhile, texture or extra decoration is generally used in vintage design. Typography wise, I used serif fonts instead of a san serif, as it gave out an old style. A serif at the end of each typeface can also have a decorative purpose which made the font look much more fancy and elegant.

I also got inspiration from a 20th-century artist, called Earl Moran. His artworks were mostly pin-up paintings and they really gave out a vintage style. Pin-up art was first introduced as attractive pictures to men back then, so nearly all pin-up art had women to be the painting subject. Unlike any other art, pin-up art tends not to focus on the background of the painting. They might just leave it blank or using a few colours to create shades as the background. Therefore, when I was designing my cover, I did not add any fancy stuff at the back, instead, I paid more attention to edit the imagery.

Lastly, Photoshop still has many functions that I have not yet explored but I am really willing to know more about it. In my opinion, learning Adobe software is just like mining, the deeper I dig in or investigate, the more and precious skills I can learn from it.

World of Type

For our TY1SK module we were asked to create a typography podcast cover  in photoshop.

Typography has a diverse audience, so I decided to create three very different designs to try and engage different age groups, who have different visual needs.

I started off by brainstorming short phrases including the words type and time. Designing for a podcast implies that the user needs to take time out to engage with the content of the podcast. For my first design I came up with a few phrases like ’Time for Type’, ‘Type talks’, ‘It’s Type ‘o Clock’ and ‘Whats the Type?’

Design ideas and design process

 

 Time for Type

 

                     

Original two images used to create design                                                                              

 

My final podcast design

 

For my first design I decided to use ‘Time for type‘ and chose two rather classical images from Pixabay, a clock and an hourglass. These images would appeal more to a more mature audience. Using the clone stamp tool and spot healing brush tool, I removed the numbers on the clock face and replaced them with letters instead, forming the words ‘Time for type‘. I also added the hourglass to the clock to fill the 11th hour space.

Experimenting further with the filters and adjustments, I landed on the word ‘posterize’. It opened up a variety of vibrant colours and gave me options to manipulate the mood of my design, adding an old world charm and warmth.

By posterizing the image I gave the old school clock a little contemporary edge. I also chose these rich colours because it is warm, welcoming and energetic. I placed the type clock wise on the clock face, which reads easily up to the 7th hour point where the type seems to be read in reverse. From that point the conventional way in which we read a clock, leads the eye to still make sense of the type. Although the overall appearance is unusual and challenging typographical conventions, I feel that it makes the reader think and engage a bit, suggesting that type is worth thinking about. I added visual texture through contrasting, but complimenting colours, which enhances the effect of distressed wood in the foreground. The orange colour suggests a border above the clock and helps define the space in which the clock stands. The type is in white to make it stand out and easier to read. The overall use of curvilinearity compliments the more classic atmosphere of my design.


 Stepping into Type 

 

                         

Original two images used to create design

 

                     

First attempt at my design                                         Second attempt at design 

 

My final podcast design

 

My second design is more focused on a younger audience, and came to life from visualising someone stepping out of their usual day and into a space of type. That is how I came to the potential titles for this podcast; ‘Stepping into type’, ‘Into type’, and ‘Type flies’.

I decided on ‘Stepping into type’ because it is a bit more playful. Expanding the idea of playfulness and fun, I imagined  stepping through a floating door to meet some flying type. That would give it a whimsical and mysterious feel with a door up in the sky and footprints in the air approaching an encounter with Type. I used scattered type in various sizes and boldness to create visual texture in the sky. The footprints achieve the same effect by breaking up the plane in the foreground, and suggest the way to reach the door. ‘Stepping’ stands out on the line that suggests the two different planes, which separates the ‘usual day’ from the ‘space of type’. The analogous colours I chose are light and cool, and suggest a sense of serenity and airiness. I also used colour to create interest with line and suggestion of shade to strengthen the idea of the door hovering above the ground. I stuck to geometric shapes. I decided not to frame my design to enhance the sense of free and floating text in space.

My approach to this cover is actually quite abstract in appearance. I found an image of an open door in a room, cut it out and placed it on a clean background. I then inserted images of footprints, positioning them in a way that leads your eye towards, and through the door to all the type. I tried to create a sense of depth by using larger footprints in the foreground which then gets smaller towards the background. I feel it creates distance and gives a dynamic feel to the image.

I then played around with the different effects, and I edited the footprints with the layer style palette, adding an outer glow to them. Posterizing my image gave it a more abstract 3-dimensional appearance, which is accentuated by the drop shadow. I actually accidentally created the blue and milky purple background whilst experimenting with the different adjustments. I decided to keep it like this because blue and purple are analogous colours, which support each other. The blue is dominant, supported by the milky purple and then white which accentuates the text. The colours work well next to each-other. The blue also gives an airy and light feeling which adds to the whimsical playfulness of my design. The faded purple suggests a more earthy tone which also grounds my design.

I played around with the wording, trying to find a good composition for them. The horizontal placement of the words ‘Stepping into type’ supports the linear structure of the composition, and appears solid amongst the flying letters. The more structured layout supports clear communication, especially because the conventional direction of reading is challenged by the layout. The footprints are key to direct the viewer’s eye from the bottom of the composition, guiding the reading and comprehension in the correct order.


 World of Type

                     

Original image used to create design            The inverted design             

 

My final podcast design 

 

My third design came from the thought of how typography is global and how it affects everything. So I came up with ‘Type the world’, ‘Typo space’, ‘World of type’ and ‘Orbit into type’.

I decided to go with a simple title ‘World of type’, and chose an image of the globe, a clear symbol which is always relevant when depicting things that concern the world. To me an image of the globe is old and new in the same way, which will equally attract a young and mature audience.  I like this design the most. I think it will speak to a wider audience because it is very universal. It symbolises the relevance of Typography in the world and clearly communicates how text and typography makes the world go round. The deep blue background is solid, calm and reassuring, and form part of a grounding frame to globe. Visual texture is added by the scattered white type ‘in orbit’. Although I didn’t use formal lines, I did achieve it by a suggested line- the type running around the earth. The circular shape of the earth is hugged at the top with the podcast title written in a curve. This compliments the curvilinear elements in my design and adds visual balance to the centred composition.

I used one strong image to create this cover and removed the background of the image, inserting my own. The inspiration to incorporate the letters into the image came from looking at the planetary ring system around the planet Saturn. This inspired me to create a typographical ring consisting of letters spinning around the earth, reinforcing the idea of communication making the world go round.  So I did this through adding lots of letters in ‘orbit’. I wanted the earth to appear 3–dimensional, so I experimented with the filters and the layer styles, applying the inner and outer glow effects to the earth. I further experimented by inverting my image, however the colours appeared very toxic and unhealthy which would not support my communication.

All my ideas were developed using images that conveyed the key concepts of my design, which I could then enhance by adding type and manipulating the images to reflect what I visualised. My aim was to make my designs interesting, user friendly and appropriate, and I feel that I did achieve that.


Software tutorials

 

I watched the tutorials on adjusting the image quality in an image, and I applied the ‘Adjust brightness and contrast’ as well as the ‘Adjust colour vibranceto my ‘Time for type‘ image after posterizing it. It helped me to make my image stand out more because it enhanced the strong contrast in the colours that I used.

 

https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/photoshop/how-to/photo-enhancement-basics.html?playlist=/services/playlist.helpx/products:SG_PHOTOSHOP_1_1/learn-path:get-started/set-header:ccx-designer/playlist:ccl-get-started-1/en_GB.json&ref=helpx.adobe.com

 

I also watched the videos on ‘Creating your first design’ and I found the ‘Get to know layersvery helpful, as well as the ‘Adding text and effectsand ‘Exporting and saving the design‘. ‘Get to know layersshowed me how to bring an image into photoshop and then showed me that when bringing another image into the workspace, or other elements like type, it is best to keep all of the layers separate so that it is easier to edit the different elements, without affecting the rest of the image. The video also talked about the magenta smart guides, and they helped me with the alignments of my designs. (applying special layer properties). The ‘Adding text and effects’ video explained how I can edit the text and other elements and apply special layer properties with the layer style panel. It also showed me that I can add effects like drop shadows,

patterns overlays, textures, contouring, strokes, as well as an outer glow.

 

https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/photoshop/how-to/graphic-design-basics.html?playlist=/services/playlist.helpx/products:SG_PHOTOSHOP_1_1/learn-path:key-techniques/playlist:topic/set-header:quick-starts/en_GB.json&ref=helpx.adobe.com

 

Two additional Resources

 

I initially wanted to add text shadow to my ‘Stepping into type‘ design and watching the ‘Photoshop CC– How to add a text shadow’, helped me to understand where I had to go (layer style options), and what I had to do in order to accomplish this. 

I decided to add text shadow to the letters spelling out ‘Time for type’ on my clock face, because it made my letters more visible and I think that the effect gave them a 3–dimensional touch which makes them stand out.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c45mkQEfW2s&feature=emb_title

 

I was not sure how to remove the numbering on my clock image in order to add the words ‘Time for type’, but after watching the YouTube video ‘How to use clone stamp tool in Photoshop CS6′, I found that I could remove the numbers easily using this tool.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7jf6MCVvmk

 


Resources for research and inspiration

 

All of the images I used in my designs, were sourced from Pixabay.

https://pixabay.com/images/search/uk/ 

 

After watching Amr Elshamy’s video on how he created ‘Round things’, it inspired me to bring in circular shapes into my podcast because I think there is something very visually pleasing about circular shapes. It creates a feeling of continuity and seem softer and more welcoming than angular shapes.  That is why I chose to use the image of the earth in my ‘World of type’, because it is not only spherical and universal, but underlines wholesomeness and harmony.

Amr Elshamy’s video also inspired me to create something more abstract, which I did with my ‘Stepping into type’ podcast design. I included more angularity and line for structure, and less texture to achieve a light, smooth and airy background with the floating door.

https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/photoshop/how-to/use-polar-coordinates-filter.html?playlist=/services/playlist.helpx/products:SG_PHOTOSHOP_1_1/learn-path:key-techniques/playlist:topic/set-header:get-inspired/en_GB.json&ref=helpx.adobe.com

 

I realised after reading through the article ‘How to design a podcast cover: the ultimate guide’, that before jumping into my design, I need to think about what I am actually designing, and who is my intended audience. I need to think about what age group I am targeting.

If I use an image, I need to think about what my podcast cover will depict and make sure that it is relevant to the topic: typography. I thought that if I can create a cover that is simplistic but clear and effective, with a catchy phrase relevant to the topic, I can create a design that appeals to the intended audience.

Lastly, the article helped me to think about the use of colour in my designs. Colour can have a big impact on the way that people see and understand things. It can even affect someone’s mood. So, using the correct colour palette is very important. As the article says, ‘warm colours are associated with energy, brightness, and action, while cool colours make you feel calm, serene and at peace.’

I decided to use very bright contrasting colours in my ‘Time for type’ design, to really make the image pop, and the variety in colour allowed me to manipulate the mood of the design, giving it a feeling of warmth and old-world charm.

My ‘Stepping into type’ design mostly uses the colours blue and purple, which are analogous colours that support each other rather than compete.

For ‘World of type’ I did not add a lot of extra colour because there are already so many different tones of green and blue on my image of the earth, so I stuck with a deep blue background which I think pushes the earth foreword slightly, adding to the 3-dimensionality of the image.

https://99designs.co.uk/blog/design-other/how-to-design-a-podcast-cover-the-ultimate-guide/

 

Additional Resource

 

I found another article called ‘8 things to keep in mind while designing your podcast cover art’. The ‘Keep it simple’ section made me think about how I can create a podcast cover that is simple and not overly complicated, but neat and effective. I realised that I do not need ‘complex elements to make something visually appealing.’

The article also stated not to use too many fonts, because writing on the podcast needs to be clearly visible. It also said that using fonts with thicker lines and clear characters help your writing to stand out more.

https://influencermarketinghub.com/podcast-cover-art/

 

 

 

TYPEFACES

THE FINAL PODCAST COVERS:

DESIGN IDEAS AND PROCESS:

For the ‘What’s your type?’ podcast cover, I wanted the podcast colour to be bright and have comedic connotations to match the image. I created the cover using layers, filters and opacity changes. I changed the opacity of the image and the filter to ‘luminosity’ so the picture would blend better with the background. I then duplicated the main heading and changed the colour to a darker pink, I also changed its opacity to 40%. I then placed this heading under the original to act as a shadow and give the heading a sense of depth. I’m happy with the end result, the colours are bright, they work well with the image and help maintain a sense of comedy throughout the design.

(the heading without a shadow)
(blending the image with the colour of the background)
(the final result)

For the ‘Typography & graphic communication’ podcast cover; I was aiming to create a mystery themed podcast cover but also incorporate typography. This is why i choose a ‘ransom letter’ typeface. I created the background by drawing on different layers in different colours, then i changed the opacity on each layer so each colour could be seen throughout the background.  I originally planned to make the text seem like it was melting but struggled to create the desired affect; so i used my experimentations of the melting effect as the background. I also used a scrabble type picture in the background with the opacity changed to 15%, this was to connote that the podcast was still about type rather than mystery.

(scramble background)
(opacity of scrabble image)
(first few layers)
(Layers with added colours)
(final result)

For the third podcast cover I wanted to stick with the mystery theme. To help the title stand out, I used a simple bold, sans serif, white typeface for the title called ‘Typefaces.’ I decided to stick with the purple and bright theme, as I thought it was eye-catching. I put the title above the woman’s face, the placement of the type and little information the cover gives creates a sense of enigma. I also incorporated a photo of metal type letters onto the image, this is to further connote that the podcast is about type and provide a sense of drama. In the top left corner I put further information about the podcast, however i don’t think its effective as it’s illegible.

My third podcast cover is my favourite as I like how simple yet effective the outcome was, I also like how it gives connotations of enigma.

(cut out of picture)
(opacity of type photo)
(merge of two pictures)
(filter on woman’s picture)
(the final result)

 

SOFTWARE TUTORIALS:

To help me create my podcast designs, I watched a few videos on youtube. One that explains what makes a good podcast and another for creating melting text. My original idea for podcast two was to add in melting text however I wasn’t happy with the outcome, so I used parts of it for the background. I used pixaby for most of the background images; For podcast one I used an image from google. The youtube tutorials helped me understand the conventions of a podcast and develop my cropping and picture blending skills in photoshop. They also helped me learn how to create a ‘melting text effect.’  In order to develop my photoshop skills further I would like to focus more on photo editing and other text effects.

During the first podcast cover i developed my skills with filters. I went through the list of filters to see what option would help the picture blend well with the background. In the second podcast I developed my layer skills further. I originally wanted the text to have a liquid/melting effect but I struggled to create the effect. In the third podcast I developed my photoshop skills the most, I used cropping, rubbers and layers to create the see through type effect on the woman’s face. I really enjoyed developing and playing around with different photoshop effects, especially exploring the ‘liquid text effect’. The video helped me explore different styles of text and how to manipulate text further. The ‘create podcast artwork’ helped me understand the conventions of a podcast and what makes a podcast look appealing.

The second podcast cover was the most enjoyable to work on as I enjoyed experimenting with the layers and the picture opacity.

These are some of the links to the videos i used:

https://pixabay.com/

 

RESOURCES FOR RESEARCH & INSPIRATION:

I created all three of these designs on photoshop, and drew my colour inspiration from existing podcasts. For my first podcast I drew lots of inspiration from gossip podcasts and drag queen podcasts. The woman featured is a well known drag queen called Bianca Del Rio. The composition of the first podcast cover  reminds me of talkshows, due to the bright colours and body language. I wanted the colour to be bright and comedic to match the woman’s facial expression. These are some of the existing podcasts I took inspiration from, they all use similar bright colours and have comedic connotations:

For the second podcast I drew inspiration from mystery, horror and crime podcast covers. I wanted to give the podcast some mystery and my use of the ‘ransom letter’ typeface was inspired by some of them. I used different layers to create more enigma, I also tried to stick to darker colours to create a ‘horror’ effect. These are some of the podcasts I took inspiration from, they all use similar ghostly conventions and dark purple, blue, red and green colours. I mainly took inspiration for the type from the podcast on the left:

For the third podcast I stuck to a purple theme; like the second podcast i wanted to create an element of mystery. I took inspiration from alternative podcasts which all use similar colours. My original idea was to create a podcast with neon type, and I took inspiration from podcasts with a neon theme:

https://shows.cadence13.com/podcast/dolan-twins

My favourite podcast I created was the third one, this is because it gives the desired effect that I had aimed for. I wanted to create enigma but also connote what the podcast was clearly about. Just like the podcast covers above it, it explains what the podcast is about but also creates mystery through its colours and typographical style.

 

 

 

 

Dear, Typography

Design Ideas & Design Process

Firstly, how did I come up with the title, “Dear, Typography” you may ask. A letter is a type of typographic piece of work; specifically the most dearest one to me. Another reason why I thought this choice in title was the best fit for this post is because of the play on words – we see a ‘deer’ visually on the final design, right?

DESIGN 1

Design 1 (final design)

My first design (Design 1), which ended up being my final design, consists of the combination of 2 separate images. my goal was to make it look like as though the image originally had come like that. This required me to research how to blend 2 images together in Photoshop as well as experimenting myself using the different tools available on the software. I used the eraser tool (shown in screenshot 1) to remove the background of the deer in the original image so that I had something feasible to work with in order to blend the crop of the deer in my desired background of the forest. I chose the luminosity filter (shown in screenshot 2) – this made the colours of the background come through into the deer making the 2 images blend together effortlessly. I then played around with the levels of the opacity for the typography and the images making sure both were balanced and legible.

Screenshot 1: removal of background using eraser  tool
Screenshot 2: applying the luminosity filter

DESIGN 2

Design 2

Whilst working on my second podcast cover, I developed a new skill. I had a vision of seeing a collage of images through the outline/fill of ordinary text so I hopped onto Youtube and found some content which helped me achieve what I wanted. I was introduced to a new feature I previously was not aware of before – a layer mask. This enables you to reversibly hide parts of a layer. In this case it was the fill inside the text which made the imagery behind seep through. The fill colour of the layer mask was a sold white, but I wanted to show more of the imagery so I decreased the opacity to show it through the mask (shown in Figure 3) The collage of the images behind (shown in Screenshot 3) relate to the Printing Press and the arrangement of the type on top reflect the topic of the podcast. I experimented with the size, leading and tracking of the text to make sure each letter looked equally spaced out. The knowledge I have gained from the TY1INT module has helped me massively here as I now know how to experiment with the different typographical variants effectively (size, leading and tracking)

Screenshot 3: soft light filter applied on text and inverse/outside area selected with a translucent, white fill
Screenshot 4: collage of background images

DESIGN 3

Design 3

My third idea also taught me a new technique. In my previous experience with Photoshop, I have always used the quick selection tool to remove the background of images, however I discovered through my research that with more simpler images, you can do this easily by just clicking a button. I used the object selection tool along with selecting ‘select subject’ (shown in screenshot 5) Photoshop selected the area which it thought I wanted – the simpler outline. Afterwards, I used the select and mask option to soften any rough edges and to double check that the software had removed and kept what I wanted. I used the vivid light filter on this which gave an abstract look and then placed the hand on a ‘nearly’ black background. I used the image and action of the hand writing as I think it reflects the subject well and to go with it I added repeated text onto the background. I was inspired by this repeated text from my previous design but I wanted to show it in a different place: the background. The repeated words replicate the appearance of a word search, which was my intention. I noticed that due to the filter applied to the hand, it made the text show through on top of it even though the layer was beneath the layer of the hand. To correct this, I used the eraser tool to remove the additional text which was present on the hand. Screenshot 6 shows how the text ended up after I erased the text on top of the hand – you can see that it has made an outline where the hand was. After arranging the layers, I put the hand at the front as I think this is the most vital aspect of the podcast as it displays the theme.

Screenshot 5: removal of the background with the object selection tool
Screenshot 6: shows the text after using the eraser tool without the hand layer

Software Tutorials

From previous experience with PhotoShop, I was able to perform the basic techniques such as: adjusting image quality, combining and layering images. However, with each design I made, I learnt a new skill. Not only this, I practiced, reviewed and consolidated the previous skills I already knew. This has developed my understanding in PhotoShop further. In my first design, when I removed the background on the picture of the deer, I learnt how before you convert an image to a layer, when you upload an image into PhotoShop, it comes as a smart object – with this you are unable to edit it. I discovered shortcut keys to make the brush of the eraser tool bigger and smaller which made it extremely easier as the job was done faster. To make the two images blend together, I used a mixture of varying the opacity and made the use of a filter from the effects option. The next thing I want to work on is blending 2 images in a linear manner. For example, combining 2 faces together, using one side from each individual. I want to use this technique in the TY1DP1 module for our film poster production. *Online resource used: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=US3NZc_pmSI&ab_channel=VerticDesigns

The tutorial I used to help me with my second design enabled me to experiment with text, which I found to be necessary as previously I worked with images. During my A – Levels, I never really understood the concept of a layer mask, however after working on this design, I secured my understanding. The two most important pieces of information I took away from the tutorial I used was choosing the correct blending option (soft light) and selecting the inverse of the text; in other words the outside area of the text. Now, I was able to make the adjustment layer, before choosing the white solid fill and decreasing the opacity, which gave me my desired finish. *Online resource used: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bG5r5TM5e2o&ab_channel=PhotoshopTutorials%7CPhotoeffects

My third design was where I sort of combined all the techniques I had learned through this task together. It also taught me a new, and an alternative technique to remove the background of an image. As mentioned previously, the object selection tool is an extremely clever way of PhotoShop helping you to perform the action you want to do. The tutorial taught me how to refine and neaten the edges after the crop was made. This is essential as the last thing you want is to have rough edges surrounding your image. To further develop my skill set in this area, I want to practice using the different background removal tools such as: the eraser tool, quick selection tool and the object selection tool with different images varying in complexity. *Online resource used: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWSa5SYzZu8&ab_channel=VerticDesigns

Resources for Research and Inspiration

Inspiration for Design 1; https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/560768591086535921/
Inspiration for Design 2; https://www.educba.com/transparent-text-in-photoshop/
Inspiration for Design 3; https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/267190190374863377/

These three images inspired me to make my designs. I came across the first two images when I was searching through PhotoShop edits. The reason why these images stood out to me was how both of them have manipulated the subject of the work. The designer’s have chosen a specific perspective to show the main picture through whether it be through a completely different image or through text. I wanted to learn and understand how to do this in my own work and use it in other areas in this module, as well as the other modules in this course. The third image is part of a big ‘umbrella’ of magazine covers. Many magazines place their mastheads behind their model. They do this because they know that their target audience are aware of about their publication. I was inspired by this idea, therefore incorporated it into my design but in a different style. In the future, I would like to explore this topic; constructing magazine covers and magazines in general. However, I know that a text like a magazine should be ideally made in Indesign.

Reflection

I improved my skills in using the different layers efficiently; photograph editing; using tools such as the eraser and selection tool and experimenting with opacities. I have realised that there are multiple ways to do one thing in Photoshop – some are easier than others. However, each skill/tool results in a different finish.

I feel like I need to improve more on image manipulation and how I can combine images in different ways other than collages and blending. The next thing I want to work on is blending 2 images in a linear manner. For example, combining 2 faces together, using one side from each individual. To further develop my skill set, I want to practice using the different background removal tools such as: the eraser tool, quick selection tool and the object selection tool with different images varying in complexity.

Photoshop Task – Podcast Covers

Design ideas and design process

Podcast cover research

For my Photoshop task, I decided to create three completely different podcast covers. My first idea focused on my office life and ‘The Everyday’ life of a designer. I wanted to the text to be bold against the background image so opted for a black and white photograph of a work colleague. From here I decided that yellow would pair nicely and stand out well against the photo so chose this for my font colour. After researching podcast covers, it became apparent that graphic illustrations are often used to accompany titles. This gave me the idea to add diagonal lines to create a platform for the text to protrude – I’d previously tried drop shadows and outer glow effects but didn’t feel as though they made enough of an impact. To the left, you’ll also see what it looked like without any kind of effects or extra graphics. I also thought that if for whatever reason, I decided to make a series of podcast covers, the lines could be a reoccurring theme throughout the covers.

Design before adding any graphic illustrations.
Original Base Image

For my second idea, I decided I wanted to go really out there and push myself to polish up skills and learn new ones. I’d previously played around with the double exposure technique but decided to step it up by using multiple images.

Firstly, I decided the topic of my podcast would be ‘Design in Gaming.’ I chose this as I’d previously attended a Gaming Festival so thought I’d use imagery I’d taken at the event. I chose the saluting figuring as my base image – this would be the outline for my multiple exposures. I started by using the polygonal lasso tool to cut around the edges of the figure – alternatively, I could have used the magnetic lasso tool. I then inverted my selection by using the shortcut command+shift+i and from here deleted the background. The exposure effect was then created by dragging a new image into the document; I then altered the opacity so I could position where I wanted it and once happy with the position selected command and clicked the saluting figures layer. By then selecting the other images layer and adding a vector mask it created a silhouette of the saluting figure.

Close up of all the different images within the base image.

From here, I was able to use the brush tool in the colour black to fade out sections of the top layer image – this allowed for detail from the original image to be seen. I chose the brush tool to remove sections out, rather than than the eraser because by using the brush in the colour white I’m able to add the faded sections back in. I then repeated this process with a variety of images and added a gradient fill across all layers to add the blue and green effect. I finished by altering the exposure, contrast, whites and blacks to make colours darker and more defined.

Gaming Podcast research

I opted for a simple grey background with paint splatters in the same colours as the gradient. I’d done some research into gaming podcasts and they often used dark backgrounds with pop colours so I thought this would relate nicely (see image on the right). I also wanted a simple font so it stood out against the complex imagery. Looking back, this is probably the thing I would experiment with more. I don’t think it relates well to the rest of the design and almost looks out of place. From my research, gaming podcasts often rely on bold text with minimal imagery – my design is quite the opposite and therefore if published could go one of two ways.

Photoshop Layers

For my final podcast design, since I’d previously focused on bold imagery, I thought I’d focus more on the text. I found this image on Unsplash and liked the idea of making use of the green space. I started by cutting around the girl and blanket and duplicated the layer (command+j). This was so I could layer the text in between the two image layers to create a tucked behind effect. The image on the left shows my layers and how I positioned them. On reflection, I think I should have used the stamp tool to remove the text from all over the book. This would have made the overall design look a little cleaner.

My final designs:

Final podcast cover 1
Final podcast cover 2
Final podcast cover 3

Software tutorials

The biggest challenge for the Photoshop project was brushing up on skills I haven’t used in a while, such as; double exposure and outlining text.

For my ‘Design in Gaming’ podcast cover, a lot of the skills and shortcuts I used I already had an understanding of. I’d also previously experimented with double exposures but not to the extent of using 8+ images. To recap and learn how to do this, I read the Adobe article ‘Use Adobe Photoshop to create a double exposure effect.’ It was really helpful and allowed me to refresh my memory – it also gave me the idea of adding a gradient map to my final image. I decided I wanted to also watch a more in-depth tutorial and came across ‘Double Exposures Effect – Photoshop Tutorial’ by Letsgettoit on Youtube. It was incredibly helpful to be able to see what layers were being selected and the shortcuts being used.

Even though it wasn’t a skill I used in my designs, I really enjoyed learning about how to expose photos beyond the base image on double exposures. This was demonstrated in the Youtube Photoshop tutorial I watched.

I’d really like to learn a faster way of doing everything, whether this is learning shortcuts or different tools that do the same thing, just in a faster fashion. I’d also be interested to learn more about photo blending and the ability to combine photos and blend them together seamlessly while matching the colour and tone.

I’m also curious about how to dodge and burn images – this is something I have absolutely no experience in. I know that the dodge and burn tool are used to lighten or darken areas of an image but apart from this, I have no idea when it would be appropriate to use them and how you would use them.

Additional Resources –
https://www.adobe.com/uk/creativecloud/photography/discover/double-exposure-effect.html

 

Resources for research and inspiration

When we were first given this task, my initial reaction was to look at inspiration on Google and Pinterest. I created a board on Pinterest to highlight my favourite ideas, this mainly consisted of illustration based podcast covers as I struggled to find a variety of photography based covers. The reoccurring themes were bold fonts and graphics illustrations, with images of individual people cut out from their background and instead placed on a colour or pattern background.

On reflection, I definitely should have read articles on how to create a successful podcast cover and then matched my covers to represent my findings. Rather than looking at designs I liked and developing them into my own style and topic.

Since designing my covers, I’ve read the article ‘How to Make Great Podcast Cover Art (aka. Your Podcast Logo)’ by the Podcast Host – this is something I’d have benefit hugely from in my initial planning stages. They talk about how you should keep your artwork simple and as clean as possible as you want your podcast logo to be memorable. My ‘Design in Gaming’ cover definitely reflects the opposite of this, whilst it might have been a good idea for a postcard cover, I suspect viewers would struggle to make out with images within the saluting figure on their phone screens. I also sacrificed a larger title font size for the sake of my image – this again would have probably worked against me as some viewers may struggle with eligibility.

One thing I continually noticed in podcast covers was that san serifs were mainly used as titles – this could be due to san serifs being easier to read than serifs and that they also look better on screen. I made sure I only used san serifs, though I could have experimented more with colour and layout.

My Pinterest Board

Additional Resources –
https://www.thepodcasthost.com/promotion/how-to-create-your-podcast-cover-art/
https://blog.spreaker.com/9-steps-making-great-podcast-cover-art/
https://www.google.com/search?q=podcast+covers&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj72IP9463tAhXAUxUIHeeiCBQQ_AUoAXoECBEQAw&biw=1920&bih=866