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Design Vector Based Badges
Creating your own badges has never been easier. These badges are vector based, which means that you can scale them to whatever size you need without loosing any quality, and maintain a very crisp graphic with clear edges.
Start by creating a new document in Photoshop, 500×500, White Background.
Grab the Pen Tool (P) and choose the Ellipse Tool.
Select a good color that will show both shadows and highlights, I picked red. Now start creating an ellipse while holding down Shift, this will make the shape circular. This will be the base for the badge, but don’t worry about the size of the circle, since it’s vector based you will be able to scale it later on if you need to.
This step will be all about applying effects to the Layer Style. To access the layer styles window, either double click on the layer in the Layer Palette or Go to Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options…
Okay, now we’ve styled the base layer. Given it the rounded feel, added shadows and a little highlight in the middle. You should end up with something like this:
This step will help you create two subtle highlights, one on the top and one on the bottom. Duplicate the previous layer, the one with the circle in it; Layer > Duplicate Layer… You want to resize this new layer to 90% the size of it’s current size (Edit > Transform > Resize) Once again it’s a Layer Style only step:
Uncheck all the styles except for Gradient Overlay, which should get the following settings:
Click on the Gradient to bring up a new window. Here you will need to slide the top right arrow towards the middle, this will narrow down the gradient. On the left I used White (#FFFFFF) at 100% Opacity
Change the Fill to 0% (located just below the Layer Opacity in the Layer Palette). This will make the color of the shape disappear but leaving the layer styles untouched. You might want to lower the Opacity as well, I have mine at 30% for this layer.
This should give your badge a look like this:
Now we are going to create the main highlight.
Select the Pen Tool again and use the Ellipse Tool to make an actual ellipse this time.
Now we’re going to position this shape where we want the light to come from. Select the Move Tool (V) and check the Show Transform Controls checkbox in the top bar menu. While holding down Shift rotate the layer (place your pointer around the corners of the layer and start dragging). Rotate it to a 45-degree angle and place it where you want the highlight.
As you can see there’s a bit of space between the old highlight and the ellipse. To fill this space simply select the Pen Tool (P), and while holding down Ctrl, click inside the ellipse. This will show you the four points of the shape and what you want to do is to drag the one shown in the next image:
Now we’re going to change this black shape into a highlight with the help of, you guessed it, Layer Style.
Only Gradient Overlay this time as well:
You might need to drag the gradient around on the image until you get that perfect fit.
Change the Fill to 0% and the Opacity to around 60% for this layer.
The badge is more or less finished now, just select your base layer and change the Fill to 0%.
To show you what your badge should look like at this stage I’ve changed my background to blue, since the highlights won’t show on a white background:
The only thing that is left now is the actual content on the badge. If you have a picture you would like to use for your badge simply drag it into your image and place it below the base layer. After lining it up so that it fills the circle just like you want it, you simply Ctrl-click the vector mask of the base layer. This will give you a selecting of the circle (badge) and all you have to do now is, while you’re in your picture layer, click on the Add Layer Mask icon. This will hide everything outside the badge.
Remember that the badge itself is vector based so you can resize it all you want, but the content you have inside the badge might not be vector so resize the badge before you add content.