The modern “techie” kind of style is the most popular style to use for printed advertisements. Even for something as simple as flyers, it is not enough these days to “just” paste in image and text together. Nowadays you need to be flashy and modern with your flyers if you hope to market to the increasingly more technologically oriented demographics.
In this guide, we will show you how you can design your own creative and “techie” flyer advertisement in Adobe Photoshop. Here we will use a laptop product, but basically you can insert any kind of product as the feature and use this style of flyer design. So review carefully and learn how you can do this yourself.
To start with, let us setup the document so that it is in the size of a flyer. With Adobe Photoshop open, press CTRL+N to create our new flyer document. You can now enter the values for the Width, Height and Resolution of our image. Now, you can set these any way you like, but it is best to follow the standard dimensions for a flyer, especially if you are working with a printing company. For our example we are going to use the values below as recommended by most printing companies.
a. Width: 4 inches
b. Height: 6 inches
c. Resolution: 300ppi (IMPORTANT!)
d. Color Mode: CMYK
When the document is open, we start with a black background as the base. Also, add in quarter of an inch (1/4) guidelines from the edge of the canvass. This will serve as our margin. You will not want to position any important design elements out of that margin.
Now, lest us start building up our background. First we will add a gradient color to our background. Use the gradient tool in the tools panel and set the gradient to two theme colors. Use the radial gradient setting and drag the gradient tool across our background. Have the lighter color at the middle of course.
Second, create a new layer by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+N. In this layer we will brush an extra theme color. Just click on the Brush tool and then right click on the canvass to bring up the brush tool context menu. Choose a large and soft brush to paint with. Of course set the foreground color to the theme color of your design and use this as the color of your brush.
Next, we add more detail using some “clouds”. Press the letter D and the letter X on the keyboard to reset the foreground and background colors to black and white. Create another new layer. Now, go to Filter -> Render -> Clouds. This should render some nice clouds unto our layer.
Then go to the layers panel. Change the blend mode of the clouds layer to “multiply”. Reduce its opacity as well to 20%. This will integrate the cloud effects to the background. Once you are done, save this as your main template.
Now, we will paste in our image. In our case it is a laptop we are selling in this flyer (we got this image from here. Just copy and paste in the image into the canvass. Now as you can see we have chosen a nice image of our feature product with a white background. However, we will want to remove the white background of course. To start doing this, we select all the white by using the magic wand too and clicking on the white area. This is the fastest way to remove a plain background.
Now, you can either use the Eraser tool to remove the background or just press BACKSPACE to delete the selected areas of the active layer.
Next, we go to Image -> Adjustments -> Brightness and Contrast. We boost the Brightness and Contrast values so that we make our laptop more vivid.
Then, we press CTRL+T to transform our laptop image. By drag-clicking over the edge of the transformation box you can easily rotate and transform the image. Here we rotate the laptop a bit for a creative effect.
Double click on our laptop layer now to bring up the layer styles window. Click on the “Inner Shadow” option. Our goal here is to add slightly darker edges in our laptop. We use the settings below for the “Inner Shadow” options.
a. Opacity: 90%
b. Distance: 0
c. Choke: 35
d. Size: 5
Next, hold down the CTRL key and click on the thumbnail image of the laptop layer in the layers panel. This will select the area of the laptop. Create a new layer by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+N and then use the paint bucket tool to fill the selected area in our new layer black.
Then, change the blend mode of this new duplicate layer to “Soft Light”. Reduce its opacity as well to 60%. This helps us get a more robust darker finish to the laptop.
Now we will replace the screen of the laptop. To do this, we create another new layer. Then, using the Polygonal lasso tool we trace out the laptop screen. Once you complete polygon of the screen and create the selection, fill the layer first with a placeholder color.
Then we use the gradient color tool to render a nice color gradient across the screen. Use to theme colors to create this effect.
Next, create new layer again on top of our latest screen layer. Press the letter D and the letter X again to make sure you have black and white as your background and foreground colors. Go to Filter -> Render -> Clouds to create a new black and white cloud layer.
With this new layer selected, use the rectangular marquee tool to select the center of our cloud layer. Then go to Filter -> Distort -> Zigzag. Set the amount to 100%, the Ridges to 5 and the style to “pond ripple”.
Now, we press CTRL+SHIFT+I to inverse the selection. Erase all the other excess cloud renders. Once we are done, press CTRL+T to start transforming the ripple layer. Resize and distort it to fit the screen.
Then erase the edges of the layer with a soft eraser brush. Make sure it does not touch the edges of the screen. Once done, change the blend mode of this layer to “color burn”. Once done, our processing for the laptop is complete. It might be good to collect all the laptop layers in their own group. Just create the group by clicking on the “Add new group” icon in the layers panel and then just drag all the laptop layers there.
Our next step is to add a few special effects with the laptop. Create another new layer. Then render clouds into it again by going to Filter -> Render Clouds. Afterwards, go to Filter -> Render -> Difference Clouds. Take note that you can repeat the process over and over until you get a nice looking cloud render with the right light and dark distribution for you.
Next, go to Filter -> Distort -> Twirl. In the window that opens drag the slider to the rightmost side increasing the angle value to 999 degrees. Press OK once done.
Press CTRL+T to start the transformation and reduce the size of our twirl cloud so that it approximates the width of the laptop. Take note that you can skew with the dimensions a bit here to get a more circular effect.
Of course we will want to cut the edges. To do this in a better circular fashion first use the elliptical marquee tool and select a nice circle area that centers upon the twirl. Then on the options bar, set the feather value of the tool to 50px.
Just do a copy and paste of this layer and then delete the older layer at its back. You should then get a fuzzy cut around the layer.
Then repeat the process. This time, use a smaller circle to target the center of the twirl. Then, instead of copying the center of the twirl we hit the backspace key to remove the center part in a fuzzier way.
Press CTRL+T to transform our twirl and match it to fit around our laptop.
Go to Image -> Adjustments -> Hue/Saturation. Click on the option “Colorize”. Then adjust the Hue, Saturation, Lightness values to get the color that will be good for our twirl.
Then we just change the blend mode of this layer to “Overlay”. We also erase part of the top area of the twirl that should go “behind” the screen so to speak. Besides that, we rotated both the laptop group and the twirl to position them better for our flyer.
Finally, we add some light streaks. To do this, we create a new layer. Then using a very large (400-800px radius) soft and white brush we brush in a white spot. Click one or two times to get some intense white on the center.
Then, using the rectangular marquee tool, we select the right side of the spot and erase it.
Then, we press CTRL+T and then transform the half-white-spot to a thin streak.
We then change its blend mode to Overlay. Then we Press CTRL+T again and rotate the streak into position.
We then just duplicate the streaks. You can reduce and alter their length of course. It is also recommended that you vary their opacity randomly. We also added a few more white spots at the back of the laptop in a new layer and changed its blend mode to overlay. This gave us the lighter spots at the back.
Then in another layer, we paint in some multicolored starbursts. You can find the starburst brush in the brush options by right clicking on the canvass with the brush tool activated and then loading the starburst brush. Change the blend mode to overlay. This gives us a magical starry effect.
Then, we just type in our text for our flyer. We use a theme color for the font color of course. Place the text layers just behind the streak layers if possibl. We also changed its blend mode to Overlay.
Great! That finishes our creative techie flyer design. Congratulations!