Marketing Tools -- Graphics Basics
Part four of ten
is an intimidating subject for many Internet entrepreneurs. However,
most of us must learn some basic design techniques in order to avoid the
high costs of hiring a professional designer.
In order to create or edit your graphics, you'll need to invest in a
good graphics-editing program. The most popular program used by Internet
marketers is Paint Shop Pro. This powerful program is the only program
you'll need to design professional looking graphics. You can download a
free 30-day trial and register the software for only $99.
The most popular image formats used on the Internet are GIF and JPEG.
Graphic Interchange Format, better known as GIF, uses a maximum of 256
colors and is best suited for images such as logos, buttons and bullets.
GIF images can be saved in two different formats:
The 89a format is the preferred GIF format, as it has the following
Images saved in the 89a GIF format can have a transparent background.
This will enable the canvas of an image to be transparent and enable the
background to show through.
Images saved in the 89a GIF format can be saved as interlaced. This will
enable your image to display as it is being loaded into a web page. The
image will gradually become clearer as the page loads.
Images saved in the 89a GIF format can be used to create animated
images. Animated images are simply several GIF images compiled into one
GIF image file that loops. In order to create an animated image, you'll
need a special editing program.
Joint Photographic Expert Group, better known as JPEG, is the best
format for photographs. JPEG images can contain millions of colors and
allow you to specify the degree of compression.
Although there are many graphics programs available on the Internet,
this tutorial will focus on using Paint Shop Pro 7.01. If you are using
a different version of Paint Shop Pro or another graphics program, the
graphic tools mentioned below will not be located in the same places.
When working with images in Paint Shop Pro, you will have the ability to
save your image in PSP format. This format will enable you to begin
working on an image, save it in PSP format and finish the image at a
later time. It will preserve all of your work without any changes.
If you would like to edit an image that has been previously saved in the
GIF format, you must first increase the image's colors to 16 million. If
you don't, your colors will be limited. Go to "Colors" - "Increase Color
Depth"- "16 million colors (24 bit)" to increase your image's colors.
If you'd like to resize an image in JPEG format, you can do so in one of
two ways -- through your graphics program or within your HTML. You can
resize your image within your HTML by changing the HEIGHT and WIDTH
values. To retain your images original characteristics, make sure you
adjust the height and the width equally. In other words, if your
original image dimensions are 50x100 (width 50 and height 100), to
reduce your image to one half the size, change the width to 25 and the
height to 50.
If you'd like to resize an image in JPEG or GIF format, go to "Image" -
"Resize" and select "Percentage of original." Type in your selection in
the first box and click on "OK." There's no need to fill in the second
box, as it will be filled in automatically. For example. If you would
like to reduce your image to half the size it is now, type in 50. This
number is telling the program that you'd like to reduce the image's size
If you would like to increase your image's size, type in a number over
100. Your original image is considered to be 100%. If you would like to
increase your image's size by 50%, type 150 in the first box.
If you'd like to rotate an image, go to "Image" - "Rotate" and select
When rotating an image, it may lose some of its clarity (become blurry).
You can correct this problem by sharpening your image. Go to "Effects" -
"Sharpen" - "Sharpen". If after sharpening your image it still appears a
little blurry, simply sharpen it again.
Working With Text
If you would like to use text within your image, your first step will be
to select your text color. The "Styles" boxes are located on the right
hand side of your screen. The top box should be set to Null (off) and
the bottom box should be set to Solid, which will look like a
paintbrush. To change the style of each box, click on the black arrow
and make your selection.
To change the text color, click in the center of the bottom box and
select your preferred color. Your text will be displayed in the color
within the bottom box.
If you would like to outline your text in a different color, click on
the black arrow of the top box and select the paintbrush. Your text will
be displayed in the color your bottom box contains and outlined in the
color your top box contains.
Once you've selected your text color, click on the text tool on the
left-hand side of your screen. This will launch your text window. Select
your font and text size from the drop down menu and type in your text.
Make sure you select Antialias and Floating then click "OK."
Antialias will smooth out all of the rough edges of your text and blend
it in with your background color. You will use the Antialias setting
with various graphic tools when designing your graphics, so it is
important to remember its function.
You will now see your text with, what looks like, marching ants around
it. If you'd like to move your text, click and hold your left mouse
button directly over your text to drag it to your desired position. Try
to center it as well as possible, but don't deselect it.
If you would like to rotate your text, now is the time to do it. Simply
follow the same instructions (above) used to rotate an image.
If you make a change to your image and you're not satisfied with the
outcome, you can undo your last change by going to "Edit" - "Undo." It
will only undo the last thing you did.
Adding a Drop Shadow
Your next step will be to add a drop shadow effect. With your text still
selected, go to "Effects" - "3D Effects" - "Drop Shadow." Your selected
text will be displayed in the window. Try different settings until you
achieve the effect you'd like. Click on OK. When you're satisfied with
your text, right click on your mouse to set it.
Now that you have a basic understanding of graphics, take some time to
learn some additional techniques. There are many free tutorials
available on the Internet. Not only will it assist you in creating
professional looking images, but it will also save you a great deal of
Copyright © Shelley Lowery
About the Author:
Shelley Lowery is the author of the acclaimed web design course, Web
http://www.webdesignmastery.com And, Ebook Starter - Give Your
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