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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Deke's Techniques 401: Styling Type with a Pattern of Vertical Lines

Stying Type with a Pattern of Vertical Lines

In this week's free Deke's Techniques video, Deke finally wraps up the MDNA-inspired photo that we've been working on for the past two weeks, by showing you how to create the vertically striped text at the bottom.

There are also two exclusive movies at this week. The first shows you how to reshape the letterforms to match the intervals of the pattern you apply. The second shows you how to swap one photographic image in this project for another. If you're not a member of, you can get 10 free days to check it out by going to lynda,com/deke.

Why so short and sweet this week, Colleen? Well, Deke and I have hauled all our progeny to Cayman Brac for a scuba-diving spring break this week. And both my surface time and bandwidth are limited. But in celebration of Deke's new course and to prove to you dekeOphiles that he never stops working, even underwater, here are some photos of Deke with his nose (and GoPro) to the grindstone.

In the second photo, there is virtually no info in the red channel, so when I get off the island, maybe I'll revisit these images with a little bit of Enhancing Underwater Photos with Photoshop with Deke McClelland. Blub, blub! Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 398: Infusing an Image with Vivid Nightclub Colors

Infuse your image with vivid nightclub color

In this week's free Deke's Techniques video, Deke adds some vivid nightclub-esque colors to last week's homage to the MDNA album cover. With a few hue and saturation adjustments in Camera Raw (applied in Photoshop CC via an editable filter) and a gradient fill, he takes the ribbed glass image we left off with...

...and adds some vibrant Madonna-inspired color.

Vibrant colors added to a scene in Photoshop

If you've been waiting to use your free 10-day trial (obtainable at to watch some cool exclusive movies, today might be the day to jump in, because Deke's got two member-exclusive movies to share this week. In the first, he adds the MDNA album cover-inspired bands of color. In the second exclusive movie, he patches some badly displaced edges on his way to this ultimate result:

Colored bands and edge fixes in Photoshop

And to demonstrate the flexibility of this week's advice, as well as acknowledge that---here in the US---St. Patrick's Day is considered an excuse to turn green in a nightclub, here is my own experiment with today's techniques. (Love how her lips stay vibrant red here, because I definitely draw the line at green lipstick):

Change the color of the effect for St. Patrick's Day

Happy Day, my wily little dekeRechauns. Read more » 

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The Undersea Life of Deke McClelland (and Photoshop)

Today marks the release of an all-new course at Enhancing Underwater Photos with Photoshop. Yes, my dekeQuarium dwellers, you can now go under the sea with Deke and the sharks (as well as jellyfish, angel fish, parrot fish, groupers, octopi, turtles, eels, and, did I mention, sharks?)

Enhancing Underwater Photos with Photoshop

The real star of this undersea world is Photoshop itself. Shooting underwater is tricky, and the equipment can be expensive. But you'll see in this course that Photoshop can sweeten even the simplest of shots, even those taken with the underwater equivalent of a standard point-and-shoot or with a stolen frame from a GoPro video.

And you don't need to be a member of or a seasoned scuba diver to get great tips out of this new course. For instance, the first chapter, "The Moon Jelly," features a creature that lives very near the surface of the sea and the entire chapter is completely unlocked for anyone to watch. Check out this translucent transformation and click on the image to start watching:

Moon jellyfish before and after Photoshop

Each of the free videos in this chapter have a hidden bonus tip, because, after all, Deke's got more Photoshop knowledge than there are fish in the sea. (OK, only a minor exaggeration, but I'm creating a mood here.) Here's what I mean:

In "Selecting a frame from a GoPro movie," you'll not only see how to isolate an individual frame to develop as a still photo in Photoshop, but you'll also see how to convert that image to the correct color space.

In "Correcting contrast with the Overlay blend mode," you'll not only see how an adjustment layer and blend mode can work in powerful tandem, but you'll see how to set your own shortcuts to get at this power more efficiently.

In "Turning the ocean a true Caribbean blue," you'll not only see how to restore what you remember as the correct color, but you'll also see how to get rid of those pesky automatically generated adjustment layer masks.

In "Enhancing clarity with the High Pass filter," you'll not only see how to invent your own Clarity, but you'll also see how to set those big useful thumbnails in the Layers panel.

And, in "Cropping an image that can't be harmed," you'll also see how to add more High Pass filter to provide detail sharpening.

(It's like Deke has provided little shark sucker tips that latch on to his big apex predator advice and come along for the swim.)

There are some other great free movies available as well, each with a useful quick tip for your own underwater adventure shots. Here are a few (with their respective projects in before/after style for your inspiration.)

Selecting the best frame of a fish in motion from the chapter where this queen angel fish gets the royal treatment.

Queen angel fish before and after.

Bring out the the detail in a turtle's eye. Buddy tip: if you can't immediately spot Deke under the water, look for the guy with a GoPro-on-a-stick chasing the turtle.

Turtle before and after

Developing multiple octopi at the same time in Camera Raw, in which Deke works on what may be two different octopi simultaneously. (Or it may have been the same creature seen at the beginning and end of a night snorkel.)

If you're not a member of, and would like to see more of this course, you can sign up for a free 10-day trial at, which will give you access to the chapter on this magnificent creature:

Shark in all its glory

See you under the sea, you gorgeous dekeOpuses! Read more » 

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