Assigning Spot Colors to a Logo in Photoshop
Deke turns a full color logo file into a three-ink job by assinging spot colors in Photoshop.

Deke's Techniques 410: Assigning Spot Colors to a Logo

Assigning Spot Colors to a Logo in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke turns the logo he created in his latest full-length course---Creating and Adapting a Logo---into a three-color job by assigning spot colors in Photoshop.

While the RGB version may look great in backlit settings (like the web), for print, there's nothing like assigning specific ink recipes to get consistent reproduction of your logo.

Converting a logo to spot colors

If you're a member of, Deke's got an exclusive follow-up movie in which he creates some interaction between those same three colors to create a more colorful and textured effect.

If you're not a member, and you'd like to check out the exclusive movie as well as the entire Creating and Adapting a Logo course (not to mention the entire library), you can sign up for a free 10-day trial at

Blast off, my dekeStronauts. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 408: Developing an Awesome Angelfish in Camera Raw

Awesome Angelfish in Camera Raw

In this week's free Deke's Techniques movie, Deke takes a single frame from an underwater video shot with a GoPro Hero 4 and develops it into an awesome portrait of a French angelfish.

The heavy lifting for this transformation is done with Camera Raw's white balance and color enhancing features, along with a bit of Noise Reduction along the way. These useful aspects of Camera Raw are more convenient than ever to use, given you can now apply them as a smart filter from directly inside Photoshop.

Angelfish image before and after

If you're a member of, you can see how Deke made the finishing touches on this image in this week's exclusive movie. If you're not a member, you can get a free 10-day trial by signing up at

And if your appetite for underwater Photoshoppery has been whetted (or wetted, perhaps), use your membership (or 10-day trial) to check out Deke's new course, Enhancing Underwater Photos with Photoshop. Blub, blub my angelic dekeFishies.

Enhancing Underwater Photoshop with Photoshop

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Deke's Techniques 406: Recreate Real-World Paper Texture in Photoshop

Recreate Real-World Paper Texture in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke reveals how he recreated the background paper for the forged Inverted Jenny stamp he's been working on in previous episodes. The process begins with an unassuming field of gray, to which Deke then applies a cocktail of smart filters. Read more » 

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Deke's Awesome New Course on Start-to-Finish Logo Design (No Foolin')

Today marks the debut of one of Deke's most impeccably crafted courses to date, Creating and Adapting a Logo, in which he follows the process of developing, creating, and adapting a logo for a fictional space transport service.

For the "brainstorming" part of the process, Deke partnered with the imaginative, talented, and (in this case) prolific Danielle Fritz, who created these 45 sketches of possible ideas for Frontiers Unlimited:

45 potential logo conceptsThere's a free movie in which Deke discusses his review of this amazing collection, considering each idea and how it conveys the company's brand objectives of Magic, Excitement, Prestige, and Safety. Check out this unlocked movie to hear about Deke's initial reflections. (Bonus tip here: How to use Photoshop's "counting" feature to enumerate these images for easier collaborative discussion.)

The follow up movie (exclusive to members) takes you visually through Deke's development process. Here are all the stops (including a few internal bits of advice) along the way:

The logo development process

(If you're not a member of, and would like to check this movie out, you can get a free 10-day trial at to check it out.)

Once you've got membership in hand, you can also check out this video about choosing the perfect, consistent, reliable Pantone spot colors to convey your company's message:

Pantone spot color swatches with recipes

If you're not yet ready to subscribe (or take advantage of your free 10 days), there's another great unlocked movie in which Deke shows you how to load the spot colors into the Swatches panel, and then apply them to different shape areas in the logo:

In the end, you'll see how this process goes from the sketching brainstorm, through thoughtful color and type selection, and on to the creation of useful variations, including a horizontal variation and one that incorporates photographic elements. Along the way, you'll learn valuable Illustrator and Photoshop skills that you can put to use in your own projects, logo or otherwise. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 404: Forge a Million-Dollar Stamp in Photoshop

Forge a million-dollar stamp in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques video, Deke uses Photoshop to turn a scan of the first Airmail stamp (valued at roughly $160) into an almost-million-dollar "inverted jenny." Along the way, there's a great deal to learn about intricate masking of fine detail (which is good, because knowing more about forging stamps is a questionable bit of skills development).

Before and after

Before I get into detail about this technique, however, I have to show you the joy that arises when a Photoshop genius lets his inner philatelist-nerd out to play. Just look at the unapologetic grin on Deke's face and the sparkle of delight in his eye:

Happy Photoshop-Philatelist Nerd Deke

Anyway, this actually useful technique involves masking the blue-inked airplane away from the red frame, and then, of course, turning it upside-down. But the real subtlety and ingenuity comes when Deke stacks layers made from a series of increasingly fine alpha channels, shown here in the Channels panel:

Series of increasingly detailed alpha channels

Deke then uses those alpha channels to imitate ink passes, thus allowing for the build-up of detail with each virtual "ink pass."

Simulated ink passes in Photoshop

If you're a member of, then you can watch the follow-up movie in which Deke shows you how to isolate the red-ink frame around the airplane and the perforations of the stamp. If you're not a member, you can get a free 10-day trial by signing up at And the sky's the limit on other Deke's Techniques (and other training videos in the library) that you can watch with your trial subscription. Read more » 

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