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Design an Awesome Product Ad

One of a companies main goals is to convince consumers that they’re getting their money’s worth with any particular product. Sometimes, a good advertisement design will go a long ways in the industry. This tutorial will teach you a few techniques to improve your designs in general.

For this tutorial I will be using Adobe Photoshop & Adobe Illustrator CS3. You shouldn’t have any problems following along if you’re using other recent versions of the Adobe Creative Suite.

For those that work in the design industry, we are all to familiar with having to establish an advertising campaign for products. No matter the product, it’s up to you to convince the potential buyer that this product is worth their money. Successful advertising can make or break a product. Apple is a great example of this: They generate a lot of product hype and develop gorgeous ads for their products well before they come out. As a result, Apple can convince consumers to pay ridiculous amounts of money for their products.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you a few techniques that may improve your design abilities when creating advertisements. One of the best ways to hone your skills is to practice making Ads for products that you’ve never seen advertised before (or simply don’t exist at all). More than likely wont be swayed into copying their style.

For this tutorial I’ll demonstrate with the LG KE800 Chocolate Platinum.

LG KE800 Chocolate Platinum

Extracting the Phone

We will be extracting the product alone from its background using a vector mask. This extraction technique works great for most objects since it produces crisp edges.

Select the pen tool by pressing “P” or by clicking the Pen Tool icon in the toolbox. Make sure you have it set to “Paths” mode before you start. This option is located in the Options Panel at the top of the screen (this will create a vector path, but with no fills or strokes applied to it).

Pen Tool in Tool BoxPen Tool Options

Now add anchors along the outline of the object. If you’re new to using this tool, check out the Pen Tool Basics Tutorial. Once you have the phone outlined it should look like this:

Pen Tool Applied to PhoneVector Mask in Menu


Now go to Layer > Vector Mask > Current Path. This will create a vector Mask utilizing the path we just created. So now we have the phone cutout.

Setting Up a Spread

Now that we have the phone we will set up our document. We are going to assume that this is for Web use and will create a document with the following size:

Document Settings

Go ahead and drop the image into your new canvas and scale it up to be a bit larger (Edit > Transform > Scale). When making an Ad for a product you usually want the product to be the most striking part of the image. If you try to scale the object and the phone does not change in size, but rather its mask does, you need to deselect the mask and make sure you are selecting the actual phone graphic. (Refer to images below.)

Wrong WayRight Way

Making a Background

Double click the background layer and hit OK to unlock it. Now double click the layer again to open the Layer Blending Options Panel. We want to add a Gradient that subtly fades from black to dark red. Using the eyedropper tool, you can get select colors from your graphic. This helps keep everything in the same tonal range. After finding a red from the buttons I darkened it a bit more.

Blending OptionsGradient Options

Making a Repeating Circle

In this step, we are going to use the shape blend tool in Adobe Illustrator to make some interesting shapes in the background.

Lets hop over into Adobe Illustrator to make some vector graphics. Create two circles, one smaller than the other. Also color the inner one black and the outer one a maroon color. Make sure they are centered. Next press “W” for the blend tool, or hit the button on the toolbox. Click the circles paths starting with the inner one.

CirclesBlend Shape in Tool Box

You should get a series of circles blending both shape and color. If you double click the Shape Blend tool in the tool box you will get a dialog box. Change the spacing to specified steps, and the number between 8-12.

Shape Blend Box Circles Final

Now select the object and copy it. Switch back into Photoshop and paste it into the Ad. You can leave Illustrator open because we will return to it soon. When you get the Paste dialog box choose smart object and hit ok. This will leave the object as vector and therefor will be more versatile when working with it. Play around with placement and size and come up with some sort of background for it to sit on. This is what I came up with:

With Gradient

Adding Flourishes

Thats right. As trend whore as they may be, they can allow for amazing artistic originality. I would stray away from using nothing but brushes made by other people, but it’s always Ok to collaborate with their consent. In this tutorial we will be making our own.

Select the Brush tool and change the Brush tip shape to a small soft brush. Open the brush settings and change them to the following:

Brush SettingsBrush Settings 2

Now select the Pen Tool and draw a swoosh shapes around the phone, like below. Make sure you add a new layer to work on before doing the next step.

Pen Tool Path

Right click the path with the Pen tool still selected and select Stroke Path. Make sure simulate brush pressure is turned on and click OK.

Right Click Path Simulate Brush Pressure

Double click the layer that you applied the stroke on to get to its Blending options. Add a gradient like this:

Gradient Options

Next add a glow like this:

Glow Settings

Play around with some different strokes and get some interesting flow of lines. Guide the viewer’s eye around the product. This is what I came up with:

My Results

Making a Custom Brush

Next we are going to make a custom brush to treat the graphic further. I will be using a flower because I want to play off of the sensual nature of this phone. Think of your audience, if you personify the ad make sure it is to your benefit.

Find a good stock image of a flower and open it in Photoshop. Go ahead and extract the flower using the technique shown in the beginning of this tutorial.

You should end up with something like this:

Flower Extracted

Crop it in nice and tight and select Edit > Define Brush Preset.

Define Brush Preset

Now you have the flower saved as a brush, which will speed things up when we are illustrating. So go and add some cool effects with the brush tool. This is what I came up with:

My Results

(I used the symbol sprayer in Illustrator. You may need to play with brush colors if working in Photoshop.)

To finalize the image lets throw some text on it and play with the lighting a bit. By using the Dodge and Burn tools you can add shadows and highlight to the various layers and further control the viewer’s attention.

Results

This is my final result.

Final Results

87 Comments

  1. Add point Subtract point

    the tutorial is very clear and easy to implement exceptional … thanks for sharing, 2 thumbs up

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  2. Add point Subtract point

    That is great ! That we mix Photoshop and IIlustrator together thank you for your shearing :)

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  3. Add point Subtract point

    hi what’s a nice color combination. thank u

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  4. Add point Subtract point

    what a nice tutorial it is

    thanks MCSE

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  5. Add point Subtract point
    i want masking images with color combination (1 Point) July 16, 2010 at 6:15 am
  6. Add point Subtract point
    Thiago (1 Point) June 27, 2010 at 1:32 am

    Great effect, thank for sharing!

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  7. Add point Subtract point
    Designbychase (2 Points) March 2, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Great Tutorial. One comment on the Swoosh shapes if you didn’t know. The pen tool has to be a “path” pen tool and not a “shape” pen tool for the stroke path to work.

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  8. Add point Subtract point

    tank you …
    very god tutorials

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  9. Add point Subtract point
    ฟังเพลงใหม่ (1 Point) February 2, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Thanks for your post , Great post.33

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  10. Add point Subtract point
    เพลงใหม่ล่าสุดเดือนนี้ (1 Point) February 2, 2010 at 12:30 am

    Thanks for your post , Great post.26

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  11. Add point Subtract point
    เพลงสากลใหม่ (1 Point) February 1, 2010 at 2:37 am

    Thanks for your post , Great post.21

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  12. Add point Subtract point
    ดาวน์โหลดเพลง (1 Point) January 30, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Great reading! Thanks for sharing

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  13. Add point Subtract point
    Orlando (1 Point) October 28, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    WOW! this is amazing …
    i just wanna say thank a lot for helping to understand photoshop, well i’ve been using since 2008 so i’m not deep into photoshop
    but this tutorial encourage me to keep this up…
    it’s very helpful .
    once again thank a million

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  14. Add point Subtract point

    thnks so much, it helped me alot and this ad is so beautiful and georgeous

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  15. Add point Subtract point
    saiko-raito (1 Point) September 24, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    bookmarked…

    awesome tuts.. this very helpful for my werks

    thanks a lot..

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  16. Add point Subtract point
    Olga Na (1 Point) July 25, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Thank you for sharing….
    beautyfull design, nice and easy to follow

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  17. Add point Subtract point
    Zehna (1 Point) May 31, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    I feel this tutorial would be better f you were working with more high quality photos and payed more attention to detail.

    For example: the roses still have bits of white in them, and the phone has jagged edges. But then again, I suppose this is a tutorial on how to create effects more so than an effective, quality ad.

    The flat circles kind of throw everything off, I think, though. The circles behind the phone make it look as if the plane is flat and not 3D, but the things going in front of the phone make it look 3D, so I don’t feel that goes too well together, so is kind of a bad example. But that’s just my opinion.

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  18. Add point Subtract point
    Sulvision (1 Point) May 29, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Loved it, thanks for sharing…
    would like to add it in my blog if you don’t mind?

    http://sulvision.com/?p=4359

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  19. Add point Subtract point
    huwaw69 (1 Point) May 8, 2009 at 2:18 am

    Wow this is elegant design man! Great design

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  20. Add point Subtract point
    Ronald (1 Point) April 28, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Thanks isaac for the tutorial. Great tuts, not only teach ya about techniques but also the reason why you put all those lines and all.

    Im kinda new to photoshop and illustrator, but ive learnt alot , I meant really alot in the past 2 weeks since i start getting into graphic design, either from tutorial9 or other site similar to tutorial9. Awesome stuffs. Thanks again.

    Cheers

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  21. Add point Subtract point
    lachatte (0 Points) March 20, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    I really don’t know how the stroke like this. Please tell me more about ” Blending options” . Thanks so much.

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  22. Add point Subtract point
    Justin Ashley (1 Point) March 4, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    correction sorry. blended circles.

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  23. Add point Subtract point
    Justin Ashley (1 Point) March 4, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    How do you get the circles. I paste the circles into photoshop, but there is white behind the circles. How do you get rid of the white so that all you can see is blended white?

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  24. Add point Subtract point

    I like the tutorial…not much for the roses though. Thanks for putting that together!

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  25. Add point Subtract point
    pablobanillaaa (1 Point) December 30, 2008 at 2:53 am

    fabulous tutorial.:) thumbs up!:)

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  26. Add point Subtract point
    Hanif Khan (1 Point) December 5, 2008 at 11:17 am

    nice and easy to follow tutorial, I have no idea about Adobe Ilustrator so I tried to make the round line brush in photoshop. at the end I came up with this result:
    http://www.hallagulla.com/urdu/photo/showphoto.php?photo=240943&cat=500

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  27. Add point Subtract point
    mathew edison (1 Point) August 13, 2008 at 5:25 am

    Wow thanks for the awesome tutorial!! I’m gonna be making some nice posters :D

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  28. Add point Subtract point
    BatoR (1 Point) July 31, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Hay bin kunduz!

    Isaac u got all my best wishes and pray dude!
    Thnx a lot

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  29. Add point Subtract point

    The text is sooo bad.

    Everything was fine until then.

    Some of it is cool, though.

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  30. Add point Subtract point

    Awesome tutorial!
    Thank you! =)

    iSky

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  31. Add point Subtract point
    Rich (1 Point) July 5, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Hey, love the tutorial. Im a freelance product designer so knowing how to spice up my presentation boards is going to help me a lot. Cheers!

    I just wondered how you created the flower pattern in illustrator seen as the flower photo was in photoshop to start with. If i copy/export into illustrator i get a white bounding box behind the flower which i cant get rid of. Also did you use a jpeg template of the main piece so you knew where to place the flowers in illustrator? And whether once back in photoshop, each flower was a seperate layer?

    Id appreciate your help.

    rich

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  32. Add point Subtract point
    Dhane Diesil (1 Point) July 5, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    Another great tut. Thanks a billion!

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  33. Add point Subtract point
    Babatunde Adeyemi (1 Point) July 3, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    This tutorial is simply amazing. very good tut. Thanks.

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  34. Add point Subtract point
    IWDragon (1 Point) June 27, 2008 at 6:51 am

    nice tutorial, and fantastic end result!

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  35. Add point Subtract point
    Asyraf (1 Point) June 20, 2008 at 8:45 am

    thanks for the tutorial mate…really helps me for im been longong to learn this. ur awesome man.

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  36. Add point Subtract point
    Hafizk (1 Point) June 17, 2008 at 9:17 am

    Thanx for the tutorial.. Can’t wait to try it… :)

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  37. Add point Subtract point
    RUGRLN (1 Point) June 3, 2008 at 10:49 am

    Wiiicccccckkkkkeed! Amazing, great job! Fantastic! Loved it, a q though, how’d you create those repeating lines in the background of white colour with nearly 0% opactiy. I used to be able to do something similar in Fireworks, unf in Ps i can’t or simply dunno how…

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  38. Add point Subtract point

    well, would you be able to do this in just photoshop CS3, without illustrator

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  39. Add point Subtract point
    Timothy (1 Point) May 27, 2008 at 11:12 am

    the strokes are simple yet so effective, i love using them.

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  40. Add point Subtract point
    LOSWL (1 Point) May 24, 2008 at 3:42 am

    Really good tutorial, I love the mix media :o)

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  41. Add point Subtract point
    Qbrushes (1 Point) April 24, 2008 at 9:03 am

    awesome tutorial! thanks please more of the tutorials for intermediate and up :)

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  42. Add point Subtract point
    Kenneth (1 Point) April 5, 2008 at 1:28 am

    Really Nice tutorial

    Thanks

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  43. Add point Subtract point
    Nathan (1 Point) April 2, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    The oeverall visual effect doesnt show Purity. Nor does it show decadence, in my opinion.

    Thirs picture from the end is good, but then it gets messed up.

    Not the best tutorial i’ve seen on this website. Sorry :(

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  44. Add point Subtract point
    geantk (1 Point) March 30, 2008 at 10:09 am

    beuno a mi me parece impresionante tu trabajo es espectacular

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  45. Add point Subtract point
    CorrectionPen (1 Point) March 28, 2008 at 3:06 am

    This a sweet tutorial.

    I’m not sure about the petals and the roses though.

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  46. Add point Subtract point
    antOnwoOds (1 Point) March 24, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    An excellent tutorial, i use this technique alot for advertisements but slightly different with different brushes but none or less very well detailed tutorial.

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  47. Add point Subtract point
    Chris Henn (1 Point) February 29, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    Actually never mind I figured it out.

    Great Tutorial by the way, I’m using it for a school project.

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  48. Add point Subtract point
    Chris Henn (1 Point) February 29, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    I am completely new to Adobe Illustrator, how do I make circles?

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  49. Add point Subtract point

    Nice tutorial. ;)

    To Bojer – Make sure you’re using the “paths” option…I couldn’t figure out why my lines weren’t lines until I went to another tutorial. >>; Hehe.

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  50. Add point Subtract point

    You need to make sure the pen tool is selected when you right click the path, otherwise it will be grayed out. That should ake care of the problem.

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  51. Add point Subtract point
    Bojerboy (1 Point) February 21, 2008 at 7:47 am

    I have made a new layer and i still got the problem.. I can press “Stroke path” it isnt “Highlighted” if i can say it on that way :).. Plz help..

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  52. Add point Subtract point

    I dono if I’m completely right here, but make a new layer… then try and do it. Hope that helped you, even if I’m not right.

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  53. Add point Subtract point
    Bojerboy (1 Point) February 20, 2008 at 6:50 am

    Hi, i got a problem and hope one will help me… When im making the Pen tool shape cant i press Make Stroke Path? Why cant i press it??

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  54. Add point Subtract point
    Michael Wilson (1 Point) February 19, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Not feeling the roses on the final product, but the steps shown provide good learning material. Props.

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  55. Add point Subtract point
    james peotto (1 Point) February 19, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    I agree completely LBrother, these tutorials are so easy to follow.

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  56. Add point Subtract point
    LBrother (1 Point) February 19, 2008 at 9:23 am

    Great tutorial! I’m a newcomer and I really love to work with Photoshop. It’s so easy to learn, and you guys help me with learning it! Thanks for your tutorial (and all the others on this page), they’re quite good.
    Keep it up!
    LBrother

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  57. Add point Subtract point

    Great Tutorial Isaac. We’re lucky to have you on Tutorial9 with us ;)

    Cool Illustrator techniques mate. Maybe we’ll see some more Illustrator based tutorials in the future from ya.

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  58. Add point Subtract point

    Thanks!
    In regard to your question I would say if you are pressed for time use the lasso tool, because it is most definitely quicker. However using a mask can have its benefits. For example if you extract with lasso tool and then scale the image you will start to see the fuzy edges, resulting from pixelization. Paths will always remain sharp since they are essentially vector.

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  59. Add point Subtract point
    James Peotto (1 Point) February 18, 2008 at 10:15 am

    Oh my lord! That tutorial was CRA-ZY! I have a question though, is using the polygonal lasso tool just as efficient as the pen tool? I’ve found that making my selection and then (edit>selection>smooth I think?) by 1px usually makes my cut nice and smooth with no jagged edges. Anyway, great tut.

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