How to Recolour a PNG with a Gradient in Photoshop

Do you want to add a splash of colour to your blog and social media images? Today's Photoshop tutorial will show you how you can recolour png overlays - like frames, logos, words and embellishments - using the gradient tool.

Today’s video uses a quote overlay as an example. You can download this in the Resource Library, if you’d like to play along.

Do you want to add a splash of colour to your small business blog and social media images? Today's Photoshop tutorial will show you how you can recolour png overlays - like frames, logos, words and embellishments - using the gradient tool. Today’s video uses a quote overlay as an example. You can download this in the Resource Library, if you’d like to play along.  itsorganised.com | photoshop video tutorials

WHERE WOULD YOU USE A GRADIENT? 

One of the most important things you can do for your small business images is to make them recognisably yours. Consistent use of brand colours is one way to do this. Have a distinctive style is another.

You can add embellishments or frames to your images but, unless you design these yourself, you are probably buying stock overlays that anyone else can buy too.

Gradients are a great way to combine your brand colours and make stock files look branded and, most importantly, a little different to everyone else's. 

They are also one of the graphic design trends for 2017, so you'll be on-trend too!


TIPS FOR USING GRADIENTS ON YOUR IMAGES

Lots of other small business will be using similar colour schemes to your own. Gradients are a way to use colour a little differently. 

Having said that, they need to be used wisely to be effective:

  • Keep them in your brand colours. They need to work will everything else and look like they belong.
  • Don’t be tempted to use gradients on everything. A little goes a long way with special effects.
  • Subtlety is the name of the game with gradients.  If in doubt, go for a softer look with fewer colours, or try a one-colour gradient with different shades of the same colour.


VIDEO TUTORIAL

This video will show you how to:

  • apply a gradient to a png;
  • rasterise and apply a gradient to text; and
  • save branded gradients for later use.

 

 

THE STEP BY STEP

SETTING GRADIENT COLOURS

  1. Select the Gradient Tool (Shortcut G). If the Gradient Tool doesn’t appear, click and hold the Paint Bucket Tool to get the fly-out menu or click Shift+G to toggle through the options.
  2. On the Options Bar at the top, click on the coloured bar to open the Gradient Editor.
  3. The Tab Stops on the top of the coloured gradient bar set the opacity. The ones on the bottom set the colours.
  4. Click on one of the Bottom Tab Stops and then click on Colour to open the Colour Picker.
  5. Select a colour, or type in a brand colour, and click Okay.
  6. Repeat for the second Tab Stop.
  7. Add Tab Stops by clicking anywhere just below the coloured gradient bar. 
  8. Slide the Tab Stops left or right to change the position of a colour.
  9. Slide the Diamond left or right to change the point at which two colours transition.
  10. When you are happy with your gradient, click Okay.


APPLY A GRADIENT TO A PNG

  1. With your png layer selected, click on the Lock Transparency box (checkered square) at the top of the layer stack (first option after ‘Lock’).
  2. Select the Gradient Tool (Shortcut G).
  3. On the Options Bar at the top, click on the coloured bar to open the Gradient Editor.
  4. Follow the steps for setting gradient colours above.
  5. Click down just outside your png shape - either in a corner, centre top/bottom or centre left/right - and drag across to the other side of the png.
  6. When you let go, the gradient will appear.
  7. You can edit the gradient and reapply as many times as you need to. Each new attempt will overwrite the last one.


APPLY A GRADIENT TO TEXT

Before you can apply a gradient to text, you need to rasterise it. Once you do this, you will not be able to edit the text. Making a copy of the text layer first is useful, should you want to go back and edit.

  1. With your Text Layer selected, right click on the layer and select Rasterise Text.
  2. Your Text Layer is now a png - pixels and transparency.
  3. Follow the steps for applying a gradient to a png above. 


SAVING BRANDED GRADIENTS

  1. Follow the steps for setting gradient colours above.
  2. When you are happy with your gradient, type a name into the Name box.
  3. Click New.
  4. Click Okay.
  5. Your gradient will now appear at the end of the Presets next time you open the Gradient Editor.

 

BEFORE & AFTER

Two quite different effects, both using a gradient. If you create and save your gradients, you can see how quick and easy it is to add a distinctive look to your images.

 
Do you want to add a splash of colour to your small business blog and social media images? Today's Photoshop tutorial will show you how you can recolour png overlays - like frames, logos, words and embellishments - using the gradient tool. Today’s video uses a quote overlay as an example. You can download this in the Resource Library, if you’d like to play along.  itsorganised.com | photoshop video tutorials
 

GIVE IT A TRY

If you’d like to try creating a quote image, you can download the png used in the video in the Resource Library.

If you want to add more images to your blog posts, trying using this technique to add pull quotes highlight the key points you want to make in your post. Once you have a gradient set up, it is a quick and easy way to make useful, branded images.