Olivia M Design


Intro to Photoshop

Last week I gave you an intro to Illustrator, and this week I’m going to walk you through Photoshop! There are some similarities between the two programs, but Photoshop is definitely unique.

One of the things you use Photoshop for is editing photos, but I’m going to do a later post about that, so this blog will be just about using Photoshop for designing. You want to use Ps when designing for digital, when working with photos, and when designing things that are really large like billboards. Ps is not best for working with type, layout, or creating logos.

A big difference between Ps and Ai that can get confusing is the layers situation. In Ai, everything is on the same layer unless you purposefully create new layers. In Ps, everything you add goes on it’s own new layer, and you can’t just click on whatever you want and move it. You have to make sure the layer its on is selected first. Also, the order of the layers is really important because it determines what’s on top. Another thing is that after you resize something in Ps, you have to “apply transformation.” You can’t click on anything else or do anything else until you do this. There will be a check mark on the top you can click to do this, or just hit enter after resizing. But I’ll get into all that in more detail below!


This video is great for getting started in Photoshop! Like the Illustrator blog, I’ll list the times and topics below the video so you can jump around if you want.


  • 1:36 - Interface
  • 2:06 - Starting a new document
  • 2:30 - 1920 pixels x 1080 pixels is the standard size for screens
  • 3:30 - Layers
  • 3:53 - Unlocking layers
  • 5:03 - Move Tool
  • 6:15 - Control + Z - it’s a little different in Ps
  • 6:41 - Shape Tool
  • 7:03 - you can right click it or just hold down to see the other shape options
  • 8:53 - Transform Tool
  • 10:41 - You can hit the check button or just hit Enter
  • 10:50 - Effect Panel
  • 12:05 - Blending Options
  • 12:15 - Drop Shadow
  • 13:01 - Stroke
  • 13:30 - Bevel & Emboss
  • 14:17 - Outer/Inner Glow
  • 14:57 - Color Overlay - this is great for things you’ve imported and you can’t change the fill color
  • 15:35 - Gradient Overlay
  • 16:54 - Working with images
  • 17:03 - Placing/opening an image
  • 18:56 - Lasso Tool
  • 20:45 - Hiding layers
  • 21:28 - Flipping a layer
  • 22:55 - Adjustment layers - You can also access these by clicking the little circle on the bottom of the layers panel. It’s a half dark, half light circle, and when you click it, all these adjustment layers pop up for you to choose from.
  • 23:39 - Contrast
  • 24:30 - Levels
  • 25:32 - Exposure
  • 26:23 - Color Lookup - I never use this one
  • 27:26 - Working with text - Type Tool
  • 28:25 - If the text editing tools aren’t visible on yours, look at the panel to the left of the Layers panel and there should be a button with an A on it. If not, go to Window > Character to open that panel.
  • 29:03 - Text effects
  • 30:10 - Essential Tools
  • 30:15 - Eraser Tool
  • 32:12 - Pen Tool
  • 34:35 - Making a custom shape

This video really covers a lot, so take it step by step and see if you can follow along. Pause the video and go back as many times as you need to! Have fun exploring!