My name is Mark and I’m a Digital Marketing Designer since 2007, working in the biggest worldwide advertising agencies out there.
I’ve been struggling for years trying to figure out a faster way to deal with the ocean of assignments I was getting daily. I heard a lot of fathers saying they don’t get to raise their children or they don’t even see them for a few days because they had to get the work done and they had to stay till midnight hours, just like everybody else.
I promised myself this would not happen to me. I told myself “When I’ll be a father, I’ll be home at 17:00”. Yeah, that didn’t work out… When my first baby girl was born, I was still working till late, sometimes coming home at 3 am, but I didn’t give up.
I kept learning ways to speed up my work and be more productive and Adobe helped me do it. In time, I started finishing my own assignments much faster. Sometimes I even had some spare time to help others, improve the studio effectiveness and teach others the same methods, so they could produce much faster.
I know that some of you know and work with these techniques, but I’ve decided I must share them with those who don’t. we can’t just keep it to ourselves, can we?
Just like Adobe read my mind
I felt like Adobe literally read my mind, trying to come up with tools, helping me get my goal. I was looking for a way to make the same scene with multiple options like different prices or few options of composition.. so just like magic, Adobe nailed it!
(Window -> Layer Comps)
My friend and colleague told me about this a few years ago. Frankly, I didn’t really use it back then. I knew it’s a very cool feature but I didn’t really see how it could help me deliver faster. One day I’ve decided to try…
I had an assignment to design a retail add and when I’m done I had to create about 15 variations of different products and their prices.
Needless to say, After using it, I was amazed by the amount of time I could save over the years!
Layer Comps basically lets you define a “state” weather by visibility, position or appearance. When I had to design retail multiple prices adds or banners, I used to create layers with all prices and products on the graphics, hid all and reveal just one and “save” it as a Layer Comps. This way I had one file with everything in it and even if I had some changes to do or some new pricing, I could just update the Layer Comps and hit export again.
Another great way I’ve been using the Layer Comps is to make a few variations for different options of design like different types of images for A.B testing or a few options for headers for a website.
(File -> Export -> Layer Comps to files / Layer comps to pdf)
(File -> New -> Web / Mobile)
Another GREAT time saviour. When I was working on banners design and my work was approved, I had to produce a mass of different kinds of sizes for all kinds of websites, so I was thinking: “I wish I had a way to create multiple sizes on one file”.
Adobe created this awesome thing called “Artboards”. It can be used for multiple pages design on one canvas like websites, brand books, magazines or any other multi-page product.
I’ve created a template with all possible sizes I needed for banners using artboards. This way, when the design is approved, I could just drag a copy of any element, to all other artboards and I had all the graphics I needed in one PSD file without juggling between files, windows and folders.
As soon as I’m done I could export them with one click instead of saving every file on its own, as multiple files or a pdf with all artboards in it. We all know that when it’s 35 different size files, it can become hours just to export them all!
(File -> Export -> Artboards to files / Artboards to pdf)
(Window -> Library)
Have you ever got to notice how many times you repeat your actions making a Layer Style such as “carved” font, for instance? One day it hit me that I was doing the same Inner Shadow effect, a bit of Drop Shadow with a bright tint and some Inner Shadow, over and over again...
Adobe “heard” my needs so they come up with this great thing called “Library”. I can save any kind of Layer Style, specific colours or any other asset I want. I can even upload everything in the document with one click and share it with my colleagues.
We simply uploaded all of our client’s brand books to the Library and shared them with everyone in the studio including colours, logos, layer styles and every other brand asset. So if any of us had to design something for a client, whether it’s a banner, newsletter or anything else, we already had all assets we need to start creating.
There are tons of other different reasons for keeping Photoshop as your primary design tool for Digital Marketing Design, such as Layer and image Adjustments, Actions and Batch automation, linked PSD files and more, but those three methods really were “life changers” for me.