Designing good looking clean and functional Web layouts is an essential part of a Web Designers life. In this tutorial we are going to create a clean and professional Web layout in Photoshop from scratch. Along the way you can learn useful methods to create designs. So get started!
Preview of Final Results
Step 1 : Mockup
Before we start designing, we need to plan out the requirements, looks and the functionality. Then we need to fit these ideas into a layout to execute them visually. Mockups and wire frames are greatly useful to create layouts with lot of flexibility. It is a best practice and highly encouraged in the Industry.
I put the below one together using only grey tones. That way we eliminate color from the scene at this point. So that we can concentrate on the layout as a whole and avoid messing up with colors. That gives much freedom to quickly alter and rearrange things. A mockup can be as detailed as you want. For this purpose I am going with the below one. Just briefly defining the layout and what goes where.
Step 2 : Set up the Canvas
So we have a blue print for our layout. Let’s actually put the design together! We are going to create a 960 pixel wide layout. Create a new document at 1200 x 1500.
This is a 960 pixel wide layout, so we need define the work area by adding guidelines. Press Ctrl+A to select the entire document.
Go to Select > Transform Selection. Shrink the selection down to 960 pixels wide. That is the work area of the layout.
Add guide lines to the selection.
We need to create some padding between the border and the content that we will add later! With the selection active again choose Transform Selection. Resize the selection to 920 pixels wide. That means 20 pixels of padding each side totaling 40 pixels of padding.
Add guides to the selection.
Step 3 : Create the Header
Let’s create the header of the layout! Make a selection that is 465 pixels in height.
Fill the selection with a gray value first and later use the Layer Styles to add colors and gradients. Follow this throughout the design to maintain a visual hierarchy.
Add Gradient to the header. Double click on the layer thumbnail. Select Gradient Overlay. Create the below 2 color gradient. Use the settings.
It should look like this.
Next need to add a highlight to the header. Create a new layer by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Shift+N. Pick a soft brush with a diameter of 600px. Pick #19535a for brush color. Just click once on the center of the header.
Make a selection from the top that is 110 pixels in height.
Hit Delete key to delete the selected portion. That looks like below.
Shrink it vertically by pressing Ctrl+T.
We need to make sure that the highlight spot is perfectly centered to the header. Select layers, header and highlight and press “V” to switch to Move Tool. On the Options Panel select Align Horizontal Centers button.
Create a new layer, draw a one pixel highlight line using the Pencil Tool with color #01bfd2.
Hide the edges smoothly using a gradient mask. Pick the Gradient Tool, create the below gradient in the Options Panel.
Apply the above gradient.
Step 4 : Create Texture Pattern
Now create a simple checker pattern and apply to the header. Pick the Pencil Tool, set the brush size to 2 pixels and add two dots that are touching each others corners. Turn off the background and select the dots. Choose Edit > Define Pattern.