Design Oahu

Web design blog from the middle of the pacific.

Radials, Rays, and Bursts

Whether you call them radials, rays, or bursts this technique is a great way to make your design pop. Unlike the sun which you are not suppose to stare at, you cannot help but focus on the center of a radial which makes radials a great addition to a design. Radials can range from mild to wild. If you want a subtle addition to your website header perhaps a burst that uses transparent gradients can help you add depth. If you want to draw attention to a specific element such as a logo, or a product for an advertisement you can use a brightly colored radial in the background with the product in the center. This adds depth and provides a faux 3D look.

Before you start to create your radial, plan out the colors, gradients, thickness, center, and shape you wish to achieve. The radial will be created in Photoshop by defining a pattern, filling a canvas with the pattern, then adding a Polar Coordinates distortion filter. Before applying the Polar Coordinates filter your canvas should be filled with vertical stripes. The top of your vertical stripes will become the center of the burst.

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Dog Ear Tutorial

Dog EarI’ve been seeing a lot of the dog ear element lately. The dog ear looks as if a page is being curled up or peeled back. If used correctly it can add depth to a flat design. The best ones I have seen are usually really subtle. They are applied to boxed elements or headers to make it look as if it is slightly peeling off the page. This element has been used in flash advertisements to make it look as if the website is being peeled back. I have also seen sights that use this in a corner of the site with text such as “Designed in Photoshop” or something similar. Here is a quick and dirty way to create this effect with Photoshop in 5 easy steps. Read the rest of this entry »