Today’s guest blog post was written by Rocco Lungariello as part of my series to help business owners with a variety of tasks.
Why should a business owner learn how to work Adobe Photoshop? After all, you can always hand that kind of work to your designer, right?
If you stop to think about it, you will realise that basic knowledge of Photoshop is just as vital a skill for a small business owner as knowing how to create a spreadsheet or navigate a word processor. Here are a few reasons why:
Photoshop skills can save you money.
Good graphic designers typically charge £75 or more per hour. Mastering basic Photoshop skills can save you a bundle when it comes to everyday design tasks such as photo editing or ad layout.
Photoshop skills can save you time.
Sometimes it’s faster to do small tasks yourself than to explain to your designer what you need.
Photoshop skills can save your day.
What happens when you are up against a pressing deadline while your designer is on holiday or backed up with other work? Having the skills to do it yourself in a pinch puts you in the driver’s seat.
Photoshop may seem daunting at first, but learning a few simple tasks will give you the confidence to handle most of the basic design work your business needs. Even if you don’t have time to do it yourself, these skills will help you communicate better with your designer — and possibly avoid being overcharged.
7 Basic Photoshop Skills Every Business Owner Should Know
1. Use layers.
Putting different elements of your design into different transparent “layers” makes it easy to move or change parts of the design without having to redo or disturb the rest. You can master basic layer skills — including creating and deleting layers, creating layer groups, and merging layers — in about three minutes with proper instruction.
2. Straighten a picture.
Crooked photos reflect badly on your business. When you know the simple four-step Photoshop fix for photo straightening, you won’t have to wait for hours (or days) before posting that awesome (but slightly skewed) photo on your Facebook page, or sending it with your company newsletter.
3. Create an adjustment layer.
Sometimes you have to play around with layer effects before you find the perfect look. You can do this risk-free by using Photoshop’s adjustment layer feature. This allows you to toggle back and forth to your original look with a click of the mouse. It takes about five seconds to implement when you know how.
4. Remove spots and blemishes.
Nothing is more annoying than a great picture marred by a stain or a pimple. Fortunately, Photoshop lets you and your employees always put your best face forward. You just have to know which tool to use!
5. Remove red from eyes.
Photoshop has a tool for correcting the flash photography red-eye effect, too. It’s simple enough to use that you can learn to banish those spooky eyes forever in about two minutes.
6. Isolate an object.
For ads and brochures, you may find yourself wanting to highlight an object/person by placing it/them against a different background. To do this, you need to be able to separate the object from its existing background. You can spend hours doing this by hand with the eraser tool. Or, you can take advantage of a couple special items on Photoshop’s toolbar and complete the task in minutes.
7. Apply effect to an object or text.
Effects such as drop shadow, outer glow or colour overlays can really make your design pop and call attention to your ad. It’s easy to do in the layers panel. Just don’t go overboard!
Why not give Photoshop a try? This quick slideshow contains clear instructions for how to accomplish each of the aforementioned basic Photoshop tasks. Test them for yourself and see how easy it can be to gain confidence in your Photoshop skills!