Photoshop Tips for Newbies: How to Create a Perfect PSD

Nothing is worse for a developer or fellow graphic designer than getting a PSD with un-named layers, no groups and a bunch of copied or empty layers. We would like to encourage web designers to follow these simple but efficient tips that will not only improve your work, but will ease other people’s job when working with your files.

1. Store all files relative to PSD – Consolidating all files in a folder relative to the PSD will make it very easy for another designer/developer to pick up where you left off and make sure all the files are included into the delivery.


2. Name layers appropriately – It is important to appropriately name all your layers so it isn’t a guessing game when you/or someone else needs to find something. When naming the layers, make them unique and arrange them how it is displayed on the file.


3. Use folders – Group all sections by a folder and each module in its own folder. You can also use the folder color so you will always know which main section you are in. For instance on a website I will color coordinate my header, body, footer and background folders so I know which main section I’m in.


4. Delete unnecessary layers – Once you finalize the design, remove any unnecessary layer files. If you insist on keeping them, save a copy with all the unused layers. In the final design comp, it’s important to keep things simple and keep the file size down.


5. Keep logos as smart objects – Not only should you keep logos in vector form, but I’d recommend any vector object. Also use smart objects to consolidate common elements.


6. Use ZIP instead of RAR – RAR-archives are not that good for UNIX-systems (MacOS, Linux). Develop a habit to use ZIPs this will not only ease the work of your colleagues but will reduce their anger towards you.


7. Make licensed fonts available – sometimes it can turn into a real problem, which is why you need to make all the licensed fonts available.


8. Double check the spelling – if not you than who’s going to correct your misspells.


9. Use the grid – symmetry is always important that is why you need to use the grid; this will reduce the possibility of uneven elements.


10. Save for Web Devices – simply choosing “Save As > JPEG” will get you bigger files, color issues and a world of hurt from your dev.


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Written by

Alexander B.


  • Web Design London
    June 22, 2012

    I really appraised your efforts. You have made some great points about photoshop. It is very easy to understand for new design crew. I would like to share with them. Thanks for sharing.

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