Create Your Own Urbana Poster: A Beginner's Guide To Photoshop

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By Gabriela Vilas - Guide

Photo by Szabo Viktor in Unsplash

January 27, 2021 at 8:30 P.M. EST.  

 

In my last two years of high school, my professors emphasized that we needed to get more than two industrial certifications before graduating. In my web and digital design classes, I had to complete a minimum of four practices with at least a ninety percent score. Apart from this, I had to take a two-hour exam to finally master both the theoretical and practical side using InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Mistakenly, I underestimated the value of having such skills and certifications in my life. Now that I manage Urbana's social media, I recognize how important it was to conquer those skills during high school. In fact, this experience has allowed me to help others to improve their business and media platforms.

Nowadays, most organizations and companies dispose of a highly professional team conformed by marketing strategists, web designers, and content creators. It is not less accurate that for most of these corporations to sell their services, products, or promote a new initiative, they need a substantial social media presence to make their audience and customers target-aware. In the case of Urbana - your favorite literary & arts magazine - when the social media team promotes a new writing or photography contest, we always try to reach out to students in the most convenient way possible. Indeed, Maria Patricia Mejicano and Wolfang Rugeles, layout designers, are the students responsible for those striking and artistic posters you may often notice on our different media platforms.

When I pitched this piece to Wolfang and Maria, they joined me without a second thought. We thought about the students and workers from our audience who may need a quick guide on working with Photoshop for their school or job tasks. Because of this, both teams -social media and layout- have partnered together to bring you this essential guide that will help you create a new project in one of the most useful applications from Adobe Creative Cloud: the revolutionary Photoshop.

Get ready! It is time to create your own Urbana poster.

1. The first step you need to do, once you finish downloading the Photoshop app, is to click on the "Create New" function (Figure.1). Since, in this particular case, we are making a promotional poster, we select the option "Arts and Illustrations" first and then the preset called "Poster." When you finished doing this, the final step would be to click on the "Create" option. Now, you are all set to create.   

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 Figure 1

2. As our layout queen, Maria, advises, right-click on the white background and select the option"Fit on Screen," or hold “Ctrl+0” on your keyboard to work more comfortably on the app.

 Figure 2

3. After that, you must select the "Layers" option situated on the right side's third panel. Then, click on the "Create a new layer" function located on the bottom right. It is usually a small square with a plus (+) sign inside it (Figure 2). Always make new layers if you want to add a new text or artwork. The more layers, the better. Also, the small padlock represents the lock function, which allows you to move other elements around without messing up their form.

Figure 3.jpg
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Juan Londoño

Gabriela Vilas is a second-year student majoring in business administration at the Honors College Dual Language program at Eduardo J. Padrón Campus. She is currently Urbana’s media manager for its volume XIV and vice-president of Fellowship and Service of the Beta Kappa Iota Chapter from Phi Theta Kappa Iota. She has a goal to double major in business administration and international relations to create her own NGO that could treat FGM’s victims and spread human rights education to different communities around the globe.  During her free time, she enjoys practicing guitar, photography, and editing videos on Adobe PremierePro.

Gabriela Vilas

 Figure 3

4. To add your background picture, click on File>Place Embedded. This will direct you to the folder where all your images for the poster should be. Once you select your desired picture, select the "Place" button, and it will automatically appear on your layer (Figure 4). Then, you may arrange it to fit the entire poster by holding the endpoints until the farthest end, or you can also use the "Shift" key from your keyboard to move it proportionally.

 Figure 4

5. After finishing with step number four, you may select the "Horizontal Type Tool" and then click on your background. By doing this, you will be able to type the information you want to convey without restrictions. After you finish writing, you must press "ESC" on your keyboard. Otherwise, if you hit "ENTER," it will only direct you to the next line. If you want to change the style, even the font size or position, you will find hundreds of options to choose from (Figure 5) at the top and the second bar. However, you must keep in mind that you must select the most legible font possible when creating a poster. Through this way, you make it accessible to visually impaired individuals as well.

 Figure 5

6. Now, you want to bring your audience's attention to the most crucial part of your poster: where the primary information will be. For this, firstly, you need to choose the "Rectangle Tool (U)" on the middle and right side of your screen (Figure 6). Hold it while making a rectangle shape and then proceed to release it. You may notice that it will automatically appear as a rectangle filled with a solid color and a new panel on the right side once you do this. To change it, select the "Fill" option with the color of your preference (must be pleasant to see) and then adjust its opacity to a 73% level (Figure 7).

 Figure 6

 Figure 7

7. As we mentioned in step number five, proceed to type all the information you want to present (Figure 8). 

Tip: if you are going to move any object from your poster, select the "Move Tool" since it is the one that recognizes an object independently of its layer.

 Figure 8

Hey, don't give up yet. We are almost at the end!

 

8. For the final touches, in our case, we added Urbana's and social media logos by selecting the "Place Embedded" option as we did in step number four for each of them, and we adjusted it to our desired dimensions. Also, to bring more focus to our different media channels, we applied the same process from step number six to create a light background  (Figure 7). 

Tips: Hold "Ctrl" and select the layers you desire to move simultaneously. After doing this, hold "Ctrl + T" while clicking on one of the selected layers' content to move them equally; a blue outlined rectangle will appear when it recognizes this function.

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 Figure 9

9. Presto! Your poster is finally done. You see? It wasn't that difficult to do. You need to unleash your creative side, even if it's small, at the time of envisioning anything that you want. You're the one who decides the position of the content in each of the layers. It is almost like a puzzle, in which you are putting different pieces together to make it work. 


How about we up the stakes! As promised, Urbana is inviting you to submit your own contest poster. We will give you until Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021 to send them to urbanalitpadron@gmail.com. Our team will choose the best posters received from our contest and feature them with your credits in our website and social media pages. Also, stay tuned for the second blog post from the Adobe Creative Suite series. Next time, we will be talking about InDesign and creating new layouts. See you then!