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They say you must start at the very beginning, as it’s a very good place to start. In the next three tutorials, we’re going to be going over the ultimate basics of Photoshop (Ps), Illustrator (Ai), and InDesign (ID): How to create a new document. Let’s kick things off with Photoshop:

Photoshop

Starting with the simplest of the three, Ps is a suitable program to use when designing for both print and web. Though for typography I would advise using ID, or Ai if that’s unavailable.

Begin by opening your program with its corresponding icon and wait for as long as it takes for the little beach ball or hour-glass to think about it and let you into the program.

Photoshop Logo

Sometimes it just sits there mocking you, daring you to click it again.

Once it’s decided to play the game, take a deep breath and click File then slide your cursor on down to New – if you’re into shortcuts you can also press Cmd N on a mac, and Cntrl N on a PC… I think, haven’t used Photoshop on a PC in a while. This will open a new document options panel.

File, New

Greyed out text is the polite way of saying "Access Denied!"

Now you get to define the basic parameters of your document, name, size, orientation, resolution, etc.

Doesn’t this just fill you with unbounded anticipation?

Here you can name your document – please anything but ‘FINAL’, it’s a curse on us all – in the obvious box and chose what ever size document you require. For some reason the regular A sizes are defined under ‘International Paper’. There are also potions for U.S. Paper, Web, Mobile & Devices, and Film & Video. The resolution depends on what kind of document you  are intending to produce. 300dpi for print and 72dpi for web are standard, though on some occasions you may require alternatives. As for Colour Mode and Colour profile, the former again depends on whether you’re designing for web or print – RGB for web, CMYK for print. The Colour Profile is a bit more complicated, it depends on what printer you’re going to use and what country you’re in. It’s unnecessarily complicated, so I shall cover that in a later post.

Once you’re happy with your settings, slap that cheeky blue OK button with your mouse. Now you have a lovely blank canvas to deface with your creation! Or, in my case, stare at for hours not knowing where to start.

Next Time: Illustrator

Please note that all processes and methods in my tutorials are how I go about using these programs. I’m notorious for making things difficult for myself, so it’s best not to assume that my way is the best way. This is simply how I get things done. As long as you reach the desired destination who cares how you got there, right? </disclaimer>

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