Photoshop Tutorial: Gradient Image Effect & Thumbnail Design

In last week’s article, I showed you my favourite websites for the month of March. Spotify’s Year In Music website was one of the websites featured and had a ton of images like the one I’ll be showing you today. So let’s get started.

Source Files:

Step 1: Place Image

First, create a new document that is 1280px (width) by 720px (height). This is the recommended resolution specified by YouTube for video thumbnails. Now, go ahead and place (embedded) the photo you wish to use for this tutorial. I’m using this image of a motorcyclist because it adds to the cool, trendy look that I feel this designs style embodies.

Step 2: Gradient Map

Next, go to the bottom of the layers panel > adjustment layers  > gradient map. With the gradient map adjustment layer selected, click the gradient to start adjusting and choosing the colours you want your image to have. Keep in mind that the darkest colour will represent the shadows in the image and the light colour will represent the highlights in the image. The colour that I chose for my shadows is a dark purple (#290a59) and for the highlights I choose the colour pink (#fd3392).

Step 3: Add Additional Graphics

Now that you’ve got the look you want, you can either leave it and use it as is, or add some text. I like to keep it simple, so I’m just going to add an Adobe Photoshop logo to this thumbnail so that viewers will know that it’s a tutorial that involves Adobe Photoshop.

Now It’s Your Turn

How do you plan on using this effect? Will be you be using this for your videos or will you be using it for your other projects? Let’s chat in the comments section below!

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I'm a Content Creator, Front-End Web Developer, UI Designer, based in Toronto, Canada. I have a healthy addiction to the internet, technology, and digital media. I'm so passionate about all things design and tech that I write about it any chance I get on my blog xopixel.com!

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