Ad Club’s Creative Workshop: The Adobe Suite

By Christine Melvin

Last week, Grand Valley’s Advertising Club was lucky enough to have Ray Cashbaugh stop by to lead a workshop on the Adobe Creative Suite. Ray works for Brilliance Publishing, which is an Amazon-owned company. He started his education at Grand Valley but ended up graduating from Kendall College with a Graphic Design degree. 

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Throughout the evening, Ray taught us about the three programs Graphic Designers use on a daily basis, which are: Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Each program has a specific purpose and a way it should be used. Below I’ll go over the basic uses of each program, along with a more in-depth tutorial on some basic photo editing skills in photoshop. 

Purpose of each program

InDesign

During the workshop, Ray briefly shared that InDesign is generally used for creating layouts and flyers with a lot of text. InDesign is very useful when working with grids, or projects with a lot of pages.

Illustrator

In illustrator, the key point that Ray focused on was that this is a program you would want to create vector images. You can create something in any size, and it can be printed as small or large as you want it to be.

Photoshop

Ray spent most of his time talking about some very complex features of Photoshop. He taught us that photoshop is a very good tool if you’re going to be working with a lot of colors and pixels. He spent some time showing us how he has manipulated images in the past to create graphics for different advertisements.

Although Ray spent a lot of time going over some very intricate ways to edit a photo, he also pointed out some important tools that can make a photo look great in a very quick way.

Focusing on Photoshop

Once you’re in photoshop, you can access the image tab, where there are several different tools to edit photos. If you’re in a rush, auto tone, auto contrast, and auto color are some very quick ways to make a photo look nice. Obviously, the program isn’t perfect so it may not look great, but you can hit command z (ctrl z on a PC) and you’ll undo anything you’ve just done.

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You can also mess with the brightness and contrast.

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The levels,

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and the curves. With the curves, an easy trick is to plot a coordinate on each intersection, and then move them to look like a slight S curve.

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Those are some simple ways to make a photo look better, but still realistic. There are also ways to make a photo look wild, such as the hue/saturation. Although this tool can be used to enhance a photo in a natural way, it could also be used to completely change the coloring of an image, like below.

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In the black and white section of the adjustments tab, you can make an image black and white (obviously),

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or you could add a tint to the image.

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Overall, this was a good event for students to learn some of the complexities of the Adobe Creative Suite that they are not exposed to in any of our core advertising classes. Knowing the basics of these programs can be extremely helpful in the advertising world, and we can’t thank Ray enough for taking the time to share his expertise. 

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