How to Create a Customizable Blog Header Graphic on Photoshop
Hey guys! In this tutorial, I'll be showing you how to use Photoshop to create a customizable blog header template that you can use for all of your blog posts! This will not only give your blog a polished, streamlined look, but it will also save you a TON of time when you go to create each future blog post's header image!
Let's dive in!
First things first, think about your website's brand. Make sure you know which color scheme and fonts you'll be using in order to make your blog header image perfectly complement your brand identity.
Okay, once you've thought about your brand, we can start creating. Here's how I create my blog headers on good ol' Photoshop.
1. Open Photoshop and choose a photo or image that you'd like to use as the background. ("File" → "Open" → Choose your photo)
2. Next, in Photoshop, we're going to create a new file. To do this, go to "File" → "New." This will then prompt the "New" Box. I titled my new file "Blog Header" and set my dimensions to 400 x 600 pixels. Notice that this will create a vertical template. I do this so that I can use the same images as pins on Pinterest. If you prefer a horizontal layout, just change Width to 600 pixels and Height to 600 pixels.
3. Next, we're going to drag our photo into the new document template. To do this, make sure you're in 'Select' mode (the arrow icon at the top of the left-hand side panel). Click on the photo itself and drag it to the Blog Header document, not letting it go until you've placed it IN the blank template.
(Note: if you can't drag the photo, the layer may be locked. To unlock the layout, double click the Title layer on the right-hand side of the screen and unlock the layer - to be renamed Layer 0.)
4. If the photo is WAY too big (or small) once it's been placed in your new document, you can transform the photo by pressing Command + T and then zooming way out (or in if it's too small) by pressing Command and then the '-' (the dash button) or '+' (to zoom) until you can successfully alter the dimensions of the photo by dragging the corners to make the photo the correct size.
5. Next I'm going to add some flair to the image by adding a shape to it - creating a more dynamic effect. I'll choose the Custom Shape Tool by pressing Control and selected the Rectangle Tool box to open a drop-down menu, giving me more shape options. From there, I will choose a Solid Triangle.
6. In the tool box along the top of the window, you'll be able to choose the color of the filled color as well as the stroke (the outer borders) of the shape. I usually keep these colors the same.
7. I've chosen to create a pink triangle and I've also decreased the opacity, making it a bit transparent and not totally covering the background image. To decrease the opacity, you'll see an option on the right side of the window, above your list of Layer Titles, with the percent of Fill and Opacity. I usually take my opacity down to about 65% - somewhere around there!
8. Now I'll add some text boxes (where my title will go) onto the image. To do this, I'll go back over to the left-hand side of the screen and select the Rectangle Tool (the same button we used to find our Custom Tool), just hold Control while clicking on the button to change the options you see.
For these colors, just do the same thing that you did in Step 6. I've chosen the same pink color but solid (not decreased opacity).
9. To create a couple more of these boxes, I just copy the layer two or three times, giving me a few more of the same-sized boxes. To do this, select "Layer" → "Duplicate Layer." You can rename the rectangles if you want, maybe to Rectangle 2 and Rectangle 3, etc.
10. Now the rectangle boxes are ready for some text!
11. To add text, head over to the toolbox on the left-hand side of the window and select the button with the 'T' on it (the Text tool). Then, click into one of the boxes to begin typing.
Note: Make sure your text size is appropriate for the box size (sometimes it can be way too big and you won't be able to see it!) You can change the size and font of the text along the top of the Photoshop window while using the Text tool.
12. As I said before, I use these blog headers also as Pinterest pins (double whammy!) so I like to add my website title to the bottom of them as well! (This isn't necessary if you prefer to only have the title of your post!)
13. IMPORTANT: When saving the file, select SAVE AS... (not just "Save" because you'll want to save a .psd Photoshop file to customize it each time!). So, select Save As... and name your photo. I like to save my blog header images as JPEGs.
14. Once the JPEG version of one blog post header is saved, you'll want to save the .psd (Format: Photoshop) version of the file so that you'll be able to open THIS file in Photoshop each time you want to use it for a different blog post image!
Each time you create a NEW blog post header image FROM this .psd file (think of it as a master copy), you'll have to remember to select 'SAVE AS...' a JPEG (and NOT selecting just 'SAVE' as that will save the entire file as a flat image without editable layers!)
15. Each time you open the master .psd file to edit to another blog post title, you'll be able to change the post title by directly editing the previous text (so that you don't have to go through the process of adding new text boxes, etc.).
Voilà, friends! There you have it!! Maybe a lot of steps, but really really simple. You'll be thanking yourself for creating a blog header image each time you're pressed for time at the last minute before posting and want to have a sharp, branded blog image!
Another idea: use multiple images to create a sort of rotation so that it's not always the same background post after post! (Hint: you'll just have to replace the background image, probably named 'Layer 1,' on your finished .psd file with another image! Easy peasy.)