It never fails to bring a tear to my eye when I see a designer or graphic artist making color corrections & adjustments directly to an image. When you use the levels, curves, brightness and other filters on an image, you are destroying pixels - and there's no way to get them back once you save and close the file. These are called "Destructive" filters for a reason, they physically add, change or remove pixels!
Photoshop Actions are a designer's secret weapon. Actions can make your life much easier. Actions are your friend!
This isn't a tip, a trick or a hint. I'm not going to go into how to create your own actions - something that would take far too much space on this page. Instead, I'll simply point you to a site that has several INCREDIBLE actions pre-built and ready for you to use.
One of the things that many designers always seem to miss (mostly because we never read the manuals!) is the difference between Opacity and Fill. The difference can be subtle or extreme, depending on the effect you're looking for.
Create a layer and put an object or some text on it. Now apply a layer effect such as Outer Glow. (See image below)
When using small text in web graphics in either Photoshop or ImageReady, you may notice that your text looks blurry at small point sizes (usually, anything below 12 to 14 points). Running a sharpening filter over rasterized text only serves to make it look worse.
Ever try aligning a guide in Photoshop to one of the lines on the ruler and have trouble getting it exactly where you want it? Sometimes it seems like Photoshop is mocking you!
There's an easy way to do it, no matter what view percentage you're at. Simply hold down the Shift key while dragging a guide. Photoshop will automatically snap the guide to the nearest line on the ruler.
InDesign offers a lot of features for graphic designers, many of which are completely missing from Quark XPress. One of those features is ACCURATE high resolution graphic display of images in your documents. Unfortunately, the more graphics you add, the slower InDesign becomes to work in. One easy way to put a little kick back into ID is to adjust the display prefs of the document you're working in.
If you still haven't experienced the joys of Adobe InDesign, and you frequently find yourself swearing at Quark XPress for providing you with a perfectly useless preview image of your placed Photoshop EPS file (duotone files require the use of EPS), then this is for you!