This week in class we dove into working with Photoshop by learning many of the basic tools and features of the program. Layers are one of the most fundamental features in both Adobe Photoshop and digital design, so I was eager to understand and begin.
For this design showcase, I was hired by a local company, Albert’s Grille, to create a BLT sandwich graphic for the company website.
Albert’s Classic BLT: Crispy bacon served on a bed of lettuce and tomato, sandwiched between toasted slices of white bread, mayonnaise and mustard. Mm-mm good. –Albert’s Grille menu
While the sandwich was meant to be the star of the image, I approached this project by first considering the look of the graphic as a whole. Albert’s Grille is a deli-styled restaurant whose staff prides themselves in serving timeless, traditional sandwiches for families of all ages to enjoy. Because of this, I knew I wanted to use a well-accostumed background, and went straight to the gingham tablecloth to contrast Albert’s classic white and blue plate. I used the Magic Wand tool to highlight the original white background in the plate document and delete it so the table cloth could be seen when I moved the plate over.
Next, after similarly deleting the background, I moved a transparent image of a slice of plain, white bread atop of the plate. Because Albert’s Grille describes their Classic BLT sandwich with toasted bread, I decided to “toast” my slice by using the Burn tool. Toasters usually toast bread unevenly, and there are normally a few lighter lines that run through the the toast from the mechanism within the toaster. I tried to achieve this look by first setting my exposure level to 50%. Then I used a larger-sized brush with 0% hardness to lightly “toast” the whole piece, followed by a smaller-sized brush with a 25% hardness to toast around where lines should be. When I was satisfied, I duplicated the layer (since there would be two slices) and hid the top slice by clicking on the eye to the right of the layer.
Using a combination of the magnetic lasso tool and the magic wand, I deleted the backgrounds from tomato, lettuce, and bacon images, then moved them to my new graphic, between the bread slices. Next, I chose a subtle yellow/brown color that looks like classic French’s mustard and, using the Brush tool, I drew it in a swirl design, like I would add mustard as a kid. I also chose to double-click on the mustard layer and add a size 1 stroke in a slightly darker hue to eliminate a harsh edge. I repeated the process to add mayonnaise but instead of a stroke, added a bevel and emboss effect, and softened to 100%.
Finally finished with the sandwich, I began to perfect the logo for the image. I used the eyedropper tool to pick up the color of the plate, but felt it was too dark and went with a slightly lighter version of blue. I chose to stretch the text as an arc to wrap around the bottom of the plate, then double-clicked and added a bevel and emboss effect as well as a drop shadow. Overall I am very satisfied with the look of this BLT image and hope Albert’s Grille will be, too!