Final Graphic Design Project

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This is the Final Graphic Design Project which is an update of my draft graphic design post.

My design idea was to generate a digital banner / post card  graphic that promoted animal rights activist group on Facebook.  After I completed my second draft and received feedback from my peers, I was able to focus better on my message and improve my original idea into a complete post card / digital banner graphic. The revisions to improve the final graphic were mainly on the color palette, typography and overall cohesiveness of the graphic elements. I utilized a non-destructive adjustment layer techniques to manipulate the image.  I used masking tools, overlays text and shapes effects, saturation lightness and hue adjustments.

The channel masking technique (unlike quick select tools and direct selection tools) helps select objects on the image to the greater detail. The background of my image seemed to work but not perfectly.  I chose to separate the kitten from the background all together, utilizing channel masking technique. Here is the step by step instruction for channel masking technique, using Photoshop CC 2017 for MAC users:

  1. First, I made sure to have Channels menu visible by going to Windows > Channels > ✔
  2. I selected the channel that separated the object you are working on from the rest of the image by clicking on Red, Green or Blue layers individually. I noticed that the most effective one was Green Channel.
  3. I selected and duplicated the channel that worked best by revealing the most contrast and as much details as possible. In my graphic it was the Red channel. (to duplicate the channel I dragged it down to the New Channel icon at the bottom of the channels window)
  4. In this step the goal is to make sure you get the light areas as close to the white as possible and dark areas as close to the black as possible. I worked with Image > Adjustment > Curves (or COMMAND + M)
  5. Once my kitten shape was mostly black and the background shape was mostly white, I picked a paint brush and painted over the spots to make the entire shape of the kitten black. I had to make sure to not touch the edges where the finest detail of the fur is going to make all the difference
  6. While in the channels window, I clicked on the Load Channel as selection to select mye new shape, then clicked on the RGB channel to select only RGB channels.
  7. Next I switched to the Layers window and clicked on “Add Channel Mask” at the bottom of the layers window.
  8. this created the mask over my kitten. I now was able to separate the kitten completely independent from the background.
  9. I also selected the mask and copy and paste the kitten to create additional layers

Once I finished separating the kitten from the background, I continued the work on the rest of my project.  I picked the colors of the both states (Oregon and Washington) to represent the Pacific Northwest theme, I designed the logo and placed the title and the action phrase at the header.  I utilized only two fonts in this graphic.  Sans serif type font (Helvetica Neue) is the main font and true type script font (Relation Two) as my secondary font.  One of the peers noted that my logo text and the sentence were too similar.  So I reduced the font of question and increased the font of PNW to create more distinction between the two. I tried to maintain contrast between the text and the background to make sure text popped from the image.

Following the design of the header I worked on the circles.  I struggled with the circles for a while. My peers also mentioned that the circles were distracting and there was not enough contrast to separate the images from the background. After a couple of versions I finally came up with a different way of displaying my message across the kitten’s body.  I found couple of images to visually represent the mutilations (my goal was to stay away from overly graphic images).  A few color and and cropping adjustments were made to manipulate images so they flow with the rest of the color scheme.   Element of the logo (human hand) were repeated on purpose, to connect through the animal rights theme.  Also hands were placed as a barrier between the word and the kitten’s body. This made sense to me as a visual representations of protecting the kitten from the harmful mutilations.

Although by far not the best, i am proud of this graphic and looking forward to utilizing it in my Facebook post for animal activism.

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