I just posted a new project at my primary design site regarding a coffee label design I did for Rahzo.com. I had shown this label to twitter users a while back after I got shipped some printed samples and was asked if I'd deconstruct how I went about creating it.
Well that is what this blog post is all about. So grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the post.
Source Photo: Paris, France.
1. Source Photo
Because I named the roast "Noir French Blend" it goes without saying it needs to have a French flair to the approach. I sourced out this picture which has the Eiffel Tower in the background.
I also picked this image because the contrast was perfect for how I planned on using it too.
Compositing images via Photoshop.
2. Distorting Reality
I wanted the the Eiffel Tower to be a focal point in my composition so if reality doesn't work you do what every fashion magazine does and manipulate reality so it looks better than real.
Converting photo to a halftone.
3. Halftone FX
I converted the photo to a halftone. In a nutshell: Convert color photo to greyscale, convert to halftone by going to the menu image/mode/bitmap. From there you'll have to experiment in order to determine what size of halftone works best for you, it isn't a one size fits all process. Once you have the size nailed down you have to convert back from bitmap to greyscale then copy/paste it back into your PSD file.
If you're still scratching your head after reading the above try this link it might help you? Or my big dot tutorial might also explain this process better?
Halftoned photo integrated into layout.
4. Halftone Integrated
I nest the halftoned photo into my over all layout. Mind you this is screen res so it doesn't do the halftone justice. Make sure to view the larger image at the end of this post to see how the halftones enhance the look and feel of the design.
I wanted drama in my design. It's Paris so it needed some beautiful romance so I sourced out this photo. Her eyes were captivating and that was what I was after.
Romantic dot gain.
6. Larger Halftone FX
Once again I used the same halftone effect, just a larger size and composited the romantic gaze into my design.
A lot of what I do when I use Photoshop is experimentation. Playing with transparency, blend modes and arrangement of content and via layers to achieve the look and feel I'm after.
Laying a graphic foundation.
7. Graphic Foundation
This historical ornament and banner dangler will serve as the foundation for critical content like type and iconography as you'll see in the following images.
...Like a big pizza pie that's moire.
8. Creating a Moire Effect
The design over all felt too stark to me. I wanted to blend it all together more. So I just opened another color stock photo (Any will work) gaussian blurred it, went to filter/Pixelate/Color Halftone, converted it to greyscale, copy/pasted it back into my PSD file, messed with transparency and blend modes and there you have it.
...You're in love.
9. Moire Effect Applied
Compare this image to step 7.
Adding more character.
To add more depth and interest I used a variety of surface textures from my "Crumble.Crackle.Burn" book.
Interesting diagram art.
11. Diagram Illustration
I wanted culture appropriate imagery to collage my design with so I did some research and found this great retro diagram illustration of a Vespa scooter.
The Vespa has been parked.
12. Diagram Illustration Integrated
I'm building my design layer by layer taking the various graphic elements and collaging them together. After all that is essentially what graphic design means.
Information added to the layout.
13. Typography & Iconography
It goes without saying that the type you choose need to work for the specific genre you are designing for. This design uses just two typefaces and I've added an iconic graphic of a coffee plant to lock up the design motif.
I also left room so we could work in Rahzo's logo stamp as well.
The label diecut.
On this project we had the luxury of doing a custom diecut so I created this unique shape to frame my design. Of course I knew I was doing this from the beginning so I kept that in mind as I collaged my graphic content too so as not to loose anything when it was trimmed.
Piping hot design ready to pour.
15. Final Product
The final labels came out great and the product is now available.
Click here to view a larger image of the final label design.
If you'd like to deconstruct this project further just download the "Brewing Design Pack" below which contains a print resolution (150 dpi) layered PSD file. (CS4 file but will open in CS3 or CS2) You'll be able to click through the layers and see exactly how everything was set up.
- Download "Brewing Design Pack" (5 MB)